Privacy   |    Financial   |    Current Events   |    Self Defense   |    Miscellaneous   |    Letters To Editor   |    About Off The Grid News   |    Off The Grid Videos   |    Weekly Radio Show

8 Weird Ways Your Ancestors Kept The Bed Warm During Winter

8 Weird Ways Your Ancestors Kept The Bed Warm During Winter

Image source: Wikigallery

Our ancestors’ homes usually were heated by wood-burning stoves. While any wood stove will keep a certain space warm, the ability to heat a whole house – particularly one that is two stories — diminished with distance and range.

Sitting next to a fire is nice when the weather outside is -30 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you’re sleeping upstairs you’re going to feel far less heat and far more cold.

While some homes had the luxury of a second story fireplaces, most did not. As a result, our ancestors had to improvise numerous solutions to stay warm at night.

Some of these solutions were simple and some more complex. Some were temporary, while others were more permanent. Many of these solutions were used in combination on particularly cold nights. Still, our ancestors found some unique and even weird ways to stay warm at night when sleeping.

1. The “grate.” Homeowners would cut a hole between the first and second floor and insert a grate that would allow the hot air from below to rise into the second floor. It was far from forced-air heating, but it did offer some relief.

2. The hot-bed pan. Another solution was to take hot coals from the fire and insert them into a covered pan on the end of a long wooden handle and rub it over a mattress before sleeping.

Be Prepared: Get The Ultimate In Portable Backup Power!

It brought some wood smoke into the bedroom briefly, but that was and still is common in any home heated by wood. The heat was temporary, yet it took the edge off a cold bed when first turning in.

8 Weird Ways Your Ancestors Kept The Bed Warm During Winter3. The “nightcap.” If you’ve ever slept in a cold tent during winter, then you know the need for a “nightcap.” This was a head covering that could be a knitted cap or, in Artic climates, a fur cap. When the weather outside is frightful, keeping your body warm is only half the battle. A stocking cap or “nightcap” made a big difference.

4. Layers on layers of insulation. Layering is a common concept for anyone in winter, and layers of sheets, blankets and quilts made a sleeping arrangement warm and warmer. Goose down quilts were a luxury and often a necessity on bitterly cold nights.

5. Sleep with the dog. The shared body heat from a pet can help keep a bed warm at night — and the dog appreciates it, too.

6. Night clothes beyond pajamas. Most pajamas are made from a thin, lightweight material that serve more as a modest way to sleep.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

Our ancestors didn’t mess around. Their night clothes were often heavyweight combinations of wool and thick, cotton flannel.

7. Snuggling. Families often slept together in the same bed, especially on cold, winter nights. The human body radiates heat at an average of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and a combination of people in the same bed allowed the body heat to be shared.

8. Hot iron. This is potentially dangerous, but hot pieces of iron were sometimes heated on the top of a wood-burning stove or in a fireplace and then placed into a metal bucket. The bucket was then brought to the bedroom and placed on the floor or even under the bed. The radiant heat from the hot iron lasted for hours and helped to bring some added heat to a cold bedroom.

Of course, when all else failed, it was likely that a family would sleep downstairs in closer proximity to a stove or fireplace. This was a somewhat radical move, but when temperatures plunged far below zero, it was sometimes the only alternative.

Do you know of other ways our ancestors kept their house warm at night during frigid temps? Let us know in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

© Copyright Off The Grid News

3 comments

  1. The quilts they had were much more substantial than what we make today. They were made of wool and heavy cotton with cotton batting or wool blankets for batting. I’ve slept under many quilts like that. Also, pillows were stuffed with chicken feathers. They were thickly stuffed and really warm. Mattresses were not the ridiculous contraptions they brag about today. I slept on a solid cotton mattress til I left home to live on my on. Six inches thick and no springs. The best sleep ever.
    Getting into a cold bed was just the way it was. After a few minutes you get warm and stay warm. I never had a nightcap, but I did and still do pull the cover over my head. My face is all that is exposed.

  2. My grandmother used hot rocks at her feet in the covers. She would warm them in the wood burning stove to heat them up and place them in her bed. She would always joke that she didn’t trust electric blankets when they came out and thought hot rocks were far more safe. She was cherokee and had many many neat things she would do :)

  3. Bed Curtains. Suspend curtains/drapes from a rail running around a 4 poster bed (or even from the ceiling) to create a mini “room” just around the bed. (Think Scrooge in A Christmas Carol)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>