Hot Water Bottle Safety Standard

BS1970 is an internationally recognised UK safety standard for hot water bottles, whether rubber or PVC, that provides minimum specifications to help ensure consumer safety.

It requires that manufacturers follow strict guidelines on production, testing the product for purpose and ensuring that the end user has clear instructions for safely filling, using, caring for and storing the hot water bottle.

Although mainly associated with filling instructions and general safety, the standard also includes certain manufacturing best practices.

The relevant standard should be permanently marked on the bottle and is usually stamped on the inside of the bottle neck along with the manufacturer’s and/or distributors mark so that in the event of a serious defect the manufacturer/distributor can be located.

1. Fill requirements

The inside faces of the hot water bottle must not stick together or block any water during filling. This does not only refer to the bottle neck but to the hot water bottle as a whole.

It must be possible to fill the hot water bottle to the recommended two thirds / three quarters capacity in 30 seconds.

The minimum elongation at break for PVC materials has been reduced from 200% to 150%. Elongation at break measures how much bending and shaping a material can withstand without being compromised.

2. Safety Recommendations

  • Always be careful when filling and using hot water bottles.
  • Before first use, fill with cold water to ensure the bottle is in perfect condition, fills properly and does not leak.
  • Check the entire hot water bottle including the stopper for any signs of wear or damage, splits or perishing before use; if the bottle is split or perished, do not use and replace with a new one.
  • Use a cover or wrap the bottle in a towel before using to help prevent burns.
  • Never use boiling water to fill your hot water bottle as this can cause the bottle to split or leak; very hot water is fine.
  • Fill to 2/3rds capacity only to prevent over-filling.
  • Do not overfill bottle as this may cause it to burst.
  • Ensure that the funnel is empty.
  • Make sure the top is firmly closed before using.
  • Do not lay or sit on the hot water bottle or use as a cushion.
  • Do not place anything on top of a hot water bottle whilst in storage.
  • For children and the elderly, use the bottle to warm the bed, then remove before the person gets into bed. 
  • Replace bottles every 3-4 years if if unused as rubber can perish during this time.   

All hot water bottles sold on meet the BS1970:2012 British safety standard applicable to hot water bottles, so you can buy with complete confidence.