Hot water bottles are a long-standing favourite for millions and in some cases an essential for those living somewhere with colder seasons. For more than a century, this well-loved product has barely evolved. That is until the YuYu bottle made its debut a decade ago.
Hot water bottles have been with us since the 16th-century. Back then they were simply known as bed-warmers and were made from metal as rubber was yet to have been invented. Fast forward to the dawn of the twentieth century where a Croatian named Slavoljub Eduard Penkala created and patented the hot water bottle design many of us as familiar with today calling it the Termofor.
Since then, the shape of the bottle has pretty much remained the same. That is until British brand YuYu came onto the scene with their innovative new take on a 100+year-old idea. It was ten years ago that Richard Yu came up with the idea of the YuYu bottle at his home in Wimbledon.
After only two years, Richard’s design was officially launched in none other than the Harrods department store and is now stocked by many of the most prestigious stores around the world. In addition to this, it’s found itself into some well-known royal households along with a good number of the world’s leading hotels.
That’s not a bad C.V for a company who’s only been with us for ten years, stemming from an idea born at home. And it’s not only the high-end stores who are fans of the YuYu bottle, leading private hospitals and medical experts have also endorsed it. This clearly shows there is hope for all the budding inventors out there!
As I sit at my desk writing this piece, we’re moving into the chillier Autumn months, and very soon Winter will be upon us. In our household, we’re huge fans of the common or garden version of a hot water bottle, the one designed by Slavoljub Eduard Penkala. We like nothing more than laying out on the sofa in front of the television bedecked in a thick fluffy dressing gown with a hot water bottle resting on the chest.
No one needs reminding that keeping warm is an essential part of staying healthy, and given the time we’re currently living in; it has become even more vital to look after ourselves. We love the warmth, and over the years, we’ve tried everything imaginable, including heated blankets, electrically heated shawls, battery-powered heated socks, heated body pads, but nothing yet has come close to bettering a traditionally shaped hot water bottle.
Is the YuYu Bottle a step up? Let’s take a look.
What is the YuYu Bottle?
When taken out from its stylish cover, the YuYu bottle looks akin to a full-length Roman sword in its scabbard. It measures a whopping 81cm in length, and there is a reason for this. The YuYu bottle can be worn. Yes, you did read that correctly, this hot water bottle isn’t just for indoor use, you can actually wear it on your body while out and about.
On the bottle cover is an extendable strap which allows you to wear it on your the front or back of your body, in the form of a sash or just wrapped around whatever part of your body needs warming.
How to wear it is entirely up to your imagination. One of my favourite ways to use the bottle was to place it over the back of the neck and let it hang down to warm my chest while watching a film with my wife. The only drawback I found with this method was it becomes so comfortable; I kept nodding off, missing many of the most exciting parts of the movie!
Like some other bottles on the market, the YuYu Bottle has raised circular nodules, without going into the science behind this, it helps the bottle to retain heat longer. YuYu states that their bottle retains heat for four to six hours; however, our tests found it retained heat in a warm environment a little longer than this.
The YuYu Bottles are available with a variety of different covers. For children, there is the Warm Worm range which are colourful striped covers called George and Benjamin replete with smiley faces. There are case covers made from pure Japanese cotton, Belgian Linen and even a collection using Lochcarron of Scotland Tartan.
If you’re a fan of luxury, there are also some very special versions of the YuYu Bottle’s which sit at the top of the range. These include covers made with Liberty fabric and the luxurious Cashmere collection which comes in a gold foiled gift box with a magnetic closure. The bottle we tried came from the luxury fleece collection which, despite the name, sits at the lower end of the price scale costing a very affordable £33.00.
Did the YuYu Bottle live up to our expectations? The answer is a resounding yes. The simple fact that it can be worn on the body elevates it far ahead of what we’ve been used to. Also, it’s quite fun walking around outside in the knowledge that you have a hot water bottle strapped to the body When I think about it; I can’t recall ever doing this at any other time in my life.
I also liked that YuYu is focused on sustainability only using 100% biodegradable natural rubber and not PVC as found in the majority of hot water bottles on the market. They also don’t use any harmful chemicals and dyes in the manufacturing of their bottle.
Many manufacturers pay little heed to this important aspect which can potentially cause health issues down the line. Nearly all of us are guilty of just aiming for what we deem is the best price possible, and in doing so, ignoring how what we are buying is made. It’s prompted me to look at my existing bottles in a completely new light, and some, sadly for them, will be heading to the dark confines of the rubbish bin.
In addition to considering people’s health and helping to save the environment, YuYu is also distributing unsold and unused bottles to London’s homeless. At this point, you’re probably thinking what more could they be doing to make the world a better place? Well, the company is also currently working on plans to install a hot water filling station in the city!
The YuYu Bottle has taken a well-loved product and has adapted it into something that provides many more benefits than just an in-home heating implement. If you’re already a fan of hot water bottles and appreciate being cosy and warm in the winter, you should get yourself one. It also makes an ideal gift and will show that you care.
I should mention that the YuYu Bottle is not only handy for the colder months. When the temperature reaches the point where you need to cool down or if you’re having problems sleeping due to the heat; pop it in the fridge for short time and voila! Problem solved!
As a fan for many decades of traditionally shaped hot water bottles, I doff my hat to YuYu for converting me. I now feel confident I can handle whatever the cold and the rare warm British months have in store.
The YuYu bottles are priced from £25.00 to £179.00 depending on the collection and cover materials. The online shop also provides a range of handy accessories and all can be ordered and purchased via their website www.yuyubottle.com.
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