Four easy pieces: Winter luxury on a shoestring

Photos by Susan Schaefer

Beat brutal winter temperatures with a few smart purchases that promote good health and can last a lifetime.

Bed warmer 

Memories of Mrs. Senior’s copper bed warmer being slipped into my guest bed in Edinburgh, Scotland sent me on a quest. A little internet detective work and less than $90 later, I installed my multi-temperature, dual control Biddeford Sherpa Heated Mattress Pad over my queen mattress for five-star slumber every winter night! This device works so well I can crank it up before turning in, then shut it off for a toasty, nightlong snooze.2BiddefordWarmer

Take the chill off 

While it’s recommended to keep a cooler bedroom, sub-zero outdoor temps can create sub-par sleeping conditions. Similar to switching on my mattress heater, I can preheat the bedroom with an energy-efficient Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator Heater, available for under $40 at many local hardware and home goods stores. One hour of preheating, coupled with the same timing for the bed warmer, creates a toasty welcome and a great night’s sleep.3PelonisOilHrtr

Breathe free 

Dry winter air cracks skin and dries sinuses. I found a way to create a perfect night and daytime indoor environment by investing in a premium, German-made Venta Airwasher. This two-in-one product cleans and humidifies using doctor recommended cold evaporation. 

Depending on your room size, you can purchase one for about $300. Other than filling it regularly, it doesn’t require filter replacements, so the only maintenance needed to rinse the reservoir and permanent tumbling filter occasionally!4VentaAirHumid

Bottoms up! 

My European holidays introduced to me to the luxury and hygiene of heated-seat bidets. Once again a short, internet sleuthing session comparing available products sent me to Brondell’s highly affordable Swash 300 Bidet Seat. Needing minimal “installation” this mighty unit does everything that brands costing 10 times its price do for about $250! With a three temperature heated seat and dual washing wands for separate front and back cleaning, this fourth addition has transformed my bedroom and in suite bathroom into a five-star hotel experience!5BrondellBidet

Total budget: For less than $700 dollars I created a smart, simple way to enhance my lifestyle during the dark, cold days of winter. Living in Minnesota, this means a lot. Even better, the air purifier/humidifier and bidet work year round. Invest in yourself.