Fall weather can be fickle--one moment you're cradling a warm pumpkin spice latte, the next you're pining for an iced version. You've already weather-proofed your home for more serious cold ahead, but for those transition days, when the temperature dips and a sweater alone won't do the trick, save energy and money by resisting the urge to immediately blast the heat. Instead, try these simple solutions to make your space more cozy--and don't forget the effectiveness of pets and significant others!
Get a rug. If you don’t have carpeting, or even if you do, putting down a rug adds insulation to the floor and helps keep cold air at bay. The same concept can be applied to your walls— create functional art by hanging a stiff-fiber design. Try a Navajo blanket, or peruse antique shops for similar wool blends.
Throw down a draft dodger. From polka dots to solid colors, options abound on Etsy. Or get crafty and create your own draft dodger with heavyweight fabric (over-the-knee socks work, too) filled with sand or rice.
Experiment in the kitchen. Chilly days are perfect for testing out bookmarked recipes. Seasonal favorites like pecan pie, baked apples, mulled wine, and soups and stews will warm your soul and more importantly, the oven use will heat your home.
Upgrade your sheets. Made of wool and cotton, flannel sheets provide added warmth. The higher the thread count, the softer they’ll be. For the warmest bedding, look for sets labeled with a 300–400 thread count or 4-oz./square yard (ounces of flannel per square yard).
For year-round comfort, consider investing in silk sheets. Though more expensive, silk is long-lasting, and the breathable nature of its fibers—which is so effective at keeping you cool during warmer months—will also keep you warm and dry throughout colder months by wicking away moisture. Not to mention, it’s also naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mildew and dust mites. And connoisseurs swear by its wrinkle-minimizing power and other beauty enhancing effects.
Sleep with a hottie. A relic from grandma’s days, perhaps, but if it ain’t broke… Modern designs and materials have made hotties, or hot water bottles, even more practical. A simple concept: boil water and pour into a bottle (usually made of rubber), seal it, and either slide into a cover or place directly under your sheets. Some are microwaveable, others are animal shaped, a few come with cashmere covers, but all turn your bed into a cozy retreat. They’re also great for soothing muscle aches and pains.
Snuggle up under a heated blanket. Toss one on top of your bedding or cover up with one while lounging on the couch. For safety reasons, be sure it’s the top layer.
There are plenty of heated blankets to choose from, but look for ones with raised control buttons, multiple heat settings and a timer, and are energy-efficient and easy to wash. Larger blankets sometimes have dual controls—perfect for sharing.
Plug in a space heater. For more threatening temperature drops or an especially frigid morning, space heaters are a perfect way to quickly warm a small space. Sometimes a cheaper alternative to heated blankets, experts say space heaters can also help alleviate overall heating costs by keeping your main thermostat at a lower temperature.
Get clean. Shower in the morning? Try showering before bed instead. Your body will be relaxed and well heated—slip on wool socks and flannel PJs to retain the feeling even longer. Slide into bed, perhaps already warmed by a heated blanket or a hottie, and we dare you to attempt reading a full page of that new book waiting on the nightstand (without it hitting you in the face)!