As energy bills go up and more extreme weathers embrace us, the need to be more efficient and safe about our heating needs is paramount. Enter Stoov, who offer cordless heated cushions and blankets. While they also have a product that is their variant of a hot water bottle, we didn’t get to try it. What we did try was their cushion (named Ploov) and their blanket (named Big Hug – which I love).
The idea is simple. They rely on the more efficient concept of infrared heating. Packed (comfortably) inside each cushion and blanket is a battery pack, not that far from the kind of thing you’d use to charge your phone while travelling. The output is infrared heating, which is one of the more efficient means of heating, meaning you get the most out of it. Of course, you can also keep it plugged in.
- Each cushion/blanket is covered in soft fabric that can be hand washed
- The battery pack lasts 2-4 hours depending on your usage
- Offers three output heat settings, focused around 34, 38 or 42 degC.
- Built-in overheating protection
- Battery can be charged in or out of the device
- Easy to transport and light to carry
Look and feel
In terms of their look and feel, the heating element is perfectly hidden inside a soft shell, meaning they work reasonably well in their capacities as cushions or blankets. The cushion has a softer outer cover than the blanket, but they are both soft enough for the purpose.
They are also fairly light, but obviously the battery and the heating element mean that they do have a higher weight than your usual item.
Out sticks (if you want) a tag with the Stoov label, a button and 3 LEDs to show you which power you are on. A single press of the button will turn this on at the highest power, and the subsequent presses can lower it till you turn it off. With the cushion, it is easy to hide this tag inside, which makes it convenient for it to be just a cushion when it gets hot.
Use and utility
I have really enjoyed using these. The portability makes them nice and easy to take out of the house. A particularly good use for them, even while it has been hot in spells, has been around camping. They warm-up fairly quickly, and the heat control is pretty good as far as I have been concerned.
I do look forward to trying them out as it gets colder, especially on colder nights.
One particular application that I might have looked forward to would have been using them as a hot water bottle, but Stoov have a particular product aimed towards that application, though it doesn’t offer any higher temperatures than the 42 degC offered by the other products.
The 2-4 hour of use is pretty convenient, especially if you’re trying to go to sleep and need a little bit of extra help, but don’t want something to be on all night.
More information on the Stoov range can be found on their website.
You can buy them directly from the website, where they start from around a £100, or find them on various online retailers such as Amazon.
As the world around us changes, I can definitely see me relying more and more on such products. Stoov have cleverly combined both comfort and luxury as well as utility into their products. The price may be a bit on the higher side, but as a complete package, it ticks all the boxes.