Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Should you buy this $140 hot water bottle?

We take a look at whether Stoov's cordless electric bottle offers cosy comfort on chilly nights.

stoov homey hot water bottle on a blue background
Last updated: 22 May 2024

CHOICE verdict

Electric water bottles are hardly a new concept, so it was only going to be a matter of time before someone gave them a stylish makeover, changed the technology and jacked up the price. Overall we weren't very impressed with the Homey's cosiness claims and found it had a lack of heat compared to a regular hot water bottle. One of our reviewers even remarked that the bladder felt like it was filled with air and as though it could pop at any moment. Given the Homey's not full of hot water, that's not as potentially catastrophic as it could be with a traditional hot water bottle, but it does take a bit of getting used to, and even then it may not deliver the level of warmth and comfort you've been craving.

Price: $144

You've heard of a pub with no beer, but what about a hot water bottle with no water? Dutch lifestyle brand Stoov has brought a number of stylised products to the Australian market, one of which is the Homey: a cordless electric bottle that uses infrared technology and a rechargeable battery.

Measuring 20x25cm and in the same familiar shape as a hot water bottle, the stuffing-filled device heats up thanks to a small lithium-ion battery that fits in a compartment under the Velcro lining.

187343 FL.Stoov Homey- hot water bottle-4

The bladder of stuffing inside the Stoov Homey "hot water" bottle.

How does the Homey work?

Once you've connected and inserted the lithium-ion battery, you just need to turn on the rocker switch and press the power button to the required level.

The Homey comes with three heating levels, but there's no explanation of what these levels mean in temperatures on either the instructions or the packaging. Thankfully the website reveals more details and claims that the Homey heats up to 42°C. 

In our trial, we found level 3 was just getting to an uncomfortable temperature point when sitting on a chair with the Homey positioned over the lower back.

Temperature settings and run times, as per our testing

  • Level 1: 50%, 4 hours, 36°C max
  • Level 2: 70%, 2.5 hours, 43°C max
  • Level 3: 100%, 2 hours, 62°C max

When we ran an infrared camera over the Homey it measured an impressive 62°C at its highest heat, but that doesn't necessarily translate to how it feels against your skin when coming through the layers. We found the edges of the bottle are just as cold as the surrounding areas.

Back High Heat Setting

An infrared view of the Homey showing a temperature of 61.7°C on its highest setting.

Putting it to the test

With a price of $144 for the standard Homey (or $159 if you're feeling particularly fancy and want to opt for a pink velvet cover), you'd want to be getting a superior experience to the $10 hot water bottles you can pick up at Big W or Kmart. 

So just how does this lavish electric heated bottle perform? We decided to look at three ways people tend to use regular hot water bottles to see how the Homey compares.

Lower back pain

This was one area where the Homey had mixed reactions from our reviewers. We had two people sit at a desk for a few hours with the Homey shoved at the back like you'd normally use a hot water bottle.

While one of them felt the Homey had enough heat and the "bladder" of the bottle did manage to act like a hot water bottle usually would, the other felt the amount of heat generated wasn't high enough to satisfy compared to the everyday hot water bottle.

187343 FL.Stoov Homey- hot water bottle-5

Doesn't hold water: the stuffing inside the Stoov Homey cordless electric bottle.

Heating cold feet in bed

Unlike hot water bottles, the Homey doesn't deliver enough heating to the foot space of the bed, as there's just not enough heat being generated compared to your average hot water bottle. The Homey delivers spot heating, whereas a hot water bottle seems to spread the heat further – most likely due to the higher temperature of the water in the hot water bottle.

Sitting on the lounge

Spot heat of this type is always appreciated, but again, the amount of heat generated by the Homey just doesn't satisfy (unless you're a fan of a lukewarm measure of heat rather than a quick blast). Once again the Homey doesn't measure up to the cosiness of the tried-and-true hot water bottle.

Lithium-ion heat?

Stoov claims to be using infrared technology to heat the Homey rather than direct heat, stating that "IR-C heat's absorbed by the skin which causes our body to warm up".

Specifically, it "penetrates approximately 1 to 3mm deep into the skin and the tissues of the body".

187343 FL.Stoov Homey- hot water bottle-7

The rocker switch you'll need to turn on to get the Homey going.

If any of this wording is turning you off, Stoov reassures you on the same page that "to date, there are no known negative health effects associated with the magnetic fields of electrical heat products (source: Federal Office for Radiation Protection)".

We feel more sceptical than reassured, but that does tend to be our modus operandi here at CHOICE.

Safety concerns

With all the stories going around regarding lithium-ion batteries burning houses down, it's a difficult time for a company to release a bunch of heating products into the market heated by those same batteries. However, the appropriate batteries, chargers, labelling and instructions included with the Homey are encouraging.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.