Martin Lewis reveals seven gadgets to avoid switching on the heating – and they cost less than 1p an hour to run

MARTIN Lewis has revealed seven nifty gadgets that should cost you a lot less to run instead of putting the heating on.

From heated gloves to electric blankets, here’s what the MoneySavingExpert (MSE) founder suggests before hitting the heating button.

The money expert encouraged people to heat themselves first, before heating the home.


The money expert encouraged people to heat themselves first, before heating the home.Credit: AFP

The suggestions come as part of MSE’s heat the human not the home guide which explains how struggling households can stay warm without paying higher bills.

In MSE’s latest newsletter, Martin provided readers with seven gadgets they could purchase.

While they still use power, the overall costs of using these items compared to putting the heating on should be a lot cheaper and could therefore be well worth the investment.

These gadgets are helpful if you’re working from home or if you just want to keep warm in the house – here’s what Martin suggests.

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Of course, make sure you shop around to find the best deals and do your research on products before buying.

The price to run per hour is based on the current price guarantee rate of 34p/kWh.

1. USB Gloves

First on the list is USB gloves which MoneySavingExpert said costs less than 1p per hour to run.

If you were to use them for a normal 9-5 work day, then it would cost you less than 10p to use all day.

You do need to keep them plugged in in order for them to work.

Amazon are currently selling them for £4.99 while Originals is selling ones you charge using a battery pack (which could cost less to run) for £39.99.

It’s worth considering which ones would be better for you to use by comparing how often you’ll use them.

2. Heated insoles

If your feet get chilly easily then you may want to consider buying heated insoles which Martin said start at £8.

Like with heated gloves, the majority of heated insoles come with a USB port rather than an option to charge them up first, but MSE also said that they cost less than 1p to run per hour.

Wowcher is currently offering heated insoles for £7.99 while Shoe Insoles is selling them for £19.99.

3. USB hand warmers

Also available are USB hand warmers – these differ from gloves and are items you hold rather than wear.

According to Martin, these are another purchase you can make which would cost less than 1p per hour to run.

MSE said you can get them starting at £9 and we’ve found one on Amazon for £9.99.

Urban Outfitters is selling them for £10 while Wiggle is selling them for £22.99.

4. Heated gilets

Next on the list, and jumping up in price, are heated vests which Martin wrote could be bought for £50 including a battery pack.

BestUKTech is offering one for £49.99 while Flash discount is selling on for just under £38.

Some come with battery packs while some come with USB ports – the latter would probably be more expensive to run but certainly not as much as putting the heating on.

MSE states that battery powered heated gilets cost less than 1p an hour to run.

5. Microwaveable wheat bags

These are also a handy option.

These can cost you just £5.50 for a 1.5L bag and cost 7p an hour to run – you’ll need to boil water in a kettle first.

The cheapest MSE found was at Argos for £4 or even Superdrug for £3.99.

WheatyBags is selling them for £9.95.

6. Hot water bottles

Hot water bottles have probably been the most used over the years and Martin said they cost just 7p an hour to run as you’ll need to boil the kettle.

Argos is selling a hot water bottle for £12 but they’re often sold in high street shops such as Asda, Aldi and Wilko – they may be cheaper here.

To save even more money, it’s worth boiling your kettle in the morning and pouring any spare water into a flask to use throughout the day.

7. Electric blankets

Finally, there are electric blankets – these have become quite popular at the moment – here are our top nine to keep you warm this winter.

These will need to be plugged into a main socket but Martin writes that this can cost just 3p an hour to run.

He said you can find one for £18 at Wilko for a single one but prices do vary depending on size and quality.

Do note that these come with a safety hazard and must be stored correctly to avoid any fires.

MSE said that the fire service says electric blankets should be stored flat, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring.

Also, unplug blankets before you go to bed, unless it has a control for safe all-night use.

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A double size from Wilko would cost you £23.

Another option would be to buy a heated throw – these can be used as blankets on the sofa and for your bed.

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