15 Tricks to Keep Your Apartment Warm During the Winter in China

By That's, January 8, 2021

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Brrr! It’s chilly out there, and for these frigid winter weeks, you are going to want to invest in a few items and use some tricks to keep your apartment above freezing. 

For those of you not lucky enough to get central heating, here are the easiest and best ways to stay warm and cozy indoors during these unbearably cold winter months.

READ MORE: Cold Wave May Bring Lowest Temperatures This Winter in China

1. Buy a Space Heater or Heating Fan

Space heater China
Image via Taobao

This is a quick and easy method for getting your apartment nice and toasty. If you have pets or young children, avoid getting tall space heaters because they are easier to fall over. On Taobao, search for 取暖器 (qunuanji, general space heaters) or 小太阳取暖器 (xiao taiyang qunuanji, small solar heaters, including heating fans). Supermarkets and hypermarkets such as Carrefour and Walmart also usually have them in stock during the winter.

2. Cover Your Bed with an Electric Blanket

Stay Warm Electric Blanket China
Image via Taobao

Electric blankets are a great way to have a great night’s sleep (but might just make it nearly impossible to get up in the morning!) Look up 电热毯 (dianretan, electric blankets) on Taobao. Or find them at your local hypermarket.

3. Seal Your Windows with Better Insulation

window.jpegImage via Sina

Many flats — especially traditional lanehouse apartments in Shanghai — don’t have very good insulation, so reseal your windows to keep the heat locked in. Caulk (填缝, tianfeng) can be used to create a better seal, as can transparent insulation tape (绝缘胶带, jueyuan jiaodai), which can be found at small hardware shops. For more DIY insulation materials, look out for window film (贴窗膜, tie chuang mo), weatherstrip seals (密封条, mifengtiao) and other things like plastic film and rubber foam tape. If that's not enough, contact your landlord to see if you can also get double-paned glass windows (双层玻璃窗, shuang ceng boli chuang) installed.

And, of course, don’t forget to firmly shut your windows!

4. Upgrade Your Curtains

interior.jpg
Image via Pixabay

Draw your curtains at night to keep the cold from entering your room. If your current ones aren’t doing the trick, you can buy heavier, custom-made drapes. Search for 窗帘 (chuanglian) at your favorite physical or online home goods store.

5. Layer Up with Warm Undergarments

Thermal Underwear China
Image via Taobao

Stay cozy by purchasing special thermal clothing. Uniqlo’s ‘Heat Tech’ line is a great start. You can also find thermal underwear, pajamas and more by using the phrase 保暖内衣 (baonuan neiyi, thermal underwear) on Taobao search or at your local shop. Or simply enter the keyword 'thermal' on Baopals to find tops, pajamas, men's/women's wear and more. 

6. Purchase Special Heating Comforters

Ikea
Image via Ikea

Ikea offers thick comforters as well as special winter thickness duvets. Browse through their online catalog of quilts here.

7. Close Your Doors


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Image via Pixabay

Closing the doors in rooms you don’t use allows the heated air to stay in the important rooms. Also, keep the door shut on rooms with a particularly poor sealant. If that still doesn’t work, put towels at the bottom of your door to stop cold air from seeping under.

8. Wear Fuzzy Slippers

Electric foot warmer
Image via Taobao

Keep your toes warm with a pair of fuzzy slippers. Look for 棉拖鞋 (mian tuoxie, cotton slippers) online or at your local store.

9. Keep a Hot Water Bottle Handy

Thermos hot water
Image via Taobao

This is another item you can easily find online or at your local supermarket. You’re going to want hot water handy this winter. Search for 电热水杯 (dian re shui bei, electric mugs) or 膳魔师 (shanmoshi, Thermos bottles).

10. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

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Image via Unsplash

If you are able to, get your ceiling fans to spin in a clockwise direction. Energy Star says it will create an updraft and push down the heated air from the ceiling, which will avoid giving you a windchill. The higher your ceilings are, the more helpful this will be. Most ceiling fans can be reversed with the simple switch of a button on the fan.

11. Light Candles

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Image via Unsplash

Candles are a great thing to have just in case of a power outage, and as an added bonus can make your place smell great too. You can find them at most home goods stores or simply search for 蜡烛 (lazhu) if you’d rather order them online.

12. Roll Out a Rug

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Image via Unsplash

Not only will rugs add some extra flair to your apartment, but they'll also insulate your flat and keep your feet warm, which is especially great if you’ve got tile or hardwood floors. Look for 地毯 (ditan) online or at your interior goods store of choice, or click here to find rugs and carpets on Baopals.

13. Or Better Yet... Get Heated Mats!

dog-mat.jpg
Image via Weibo

Taobao truly has everything — and your dog will thank you for it. Search for 电热地毯 (dianre ditan, ‘electric carpets’).

14. Install Heating Lamps

Stay Warm with Heating Lamps
Image via Taobao

Stepping out of a nice warm shower and into a freezing bathroom with wet hair is no fun. That’s where heating lamps can come in handy. Search for 浴霸灯泡 (yuba dengpao, ‘Yuba bulbs’) on Taobao. Ask your landlord to hire a repairman to help get them installed.

15. Stock Up on Heating Pads

Heating pads
Image via Taobao

On Taobao, search for 保暖热贴 (baonuan retie, literally 'thermal heat stickers'). Most convenience stores — as well as beauty stores such as Watson’s — have them in stock.


This article was originally published in 2018, and has been updated and republished in 2021.

[Cover image via Pexels]

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