Winter is quickly descending on China,and there are all sorts of ways to stay warm. Ill get into methods in a later post, but for now I want to focus on some

Ive also recently discovered the ease and joy of online shopping using Taobao and its sister site Tmall. Ive found the prices there to be equal if not lower than the stores, and with cheap delivery there is no need to actually go shopping for some items in physical stores. The one large purchase item, a space heater, I have yet to buy yet, and am waiting till I really need it. But until then, here are some of the goodies I bought, along with the prices I paid.

Stave Off Winter with These Online Purchases

1. Area Rugs (地毯) This is the first time Ive had a rug in a Shanghai apartment, and Im loving it so far. Its so much nicer to step out of bed onto a rug than a frigid wood floor. I bought two ROBO (not sure what this means) off Taobao, and together they cover most of the bare floor in my bedroom. Also, they arent super shaggy, so they can be vacuumed fairly easily. If you dont have a vacuum I would caution about getting rugs. Chinese cities can be pretty dusty, and hardwood floors can be easily swept and mopped. Not so with a rug, so youll need to get a vacuum or be open to shoving them in the washer to taking them to a cleaners every once in a while.

Price: 99 RMB ($16) for 1.3 meters x 1.9 meters (4 3x 6 3)

80 RMB ($13) for 1 meter x 1.4 meters ( 33 x 4 7)

Link to product on Taobao

2. Humidifier (加湿器)- The air in all cities can get really dry when you start using your heater. This is especially true in Shanghai or Southern Chinese cities that use the air conditioner which blows out hot, dry air to heat your apartment. Dry air can leave you more prone to getting sick, as well as giving you dry skin. There are tons of humidifiers on the market. They differ in many ways, including water tank size, shape, light features, etc. You can get more normal looking humidifiers (like mine) or you can get ones that look like animals, trees, any number of shapes. Id definitely look online for these. You can find a much better selection, and also see reviews of the products. I got a Deerma brand one, which has a 2.8 Liter tank which will last all day or all night.

Price: 89 RMB ($14)

Link to product on Tmall

3. Electric Blanket (电热毯) I personally dont use electric blankets, but I helped my friend buy this on Taobao a couple of weeks ago. They can help warm up a cold bed before you go to sleep, but Id be cautious about leaving it on all night.

Price: 148 RMB ($24) for a Queen sized electric blanket

Link to product on Taobao

4. Electric Heating Fan (电热扇) This electric heating fan uses a heating coil and reflects it off a metal back surface to heat a room. I picked mine up used off www.shanghaisecondhand.com, but looking at Taobao, it seems you can buy a small one for 50-60 RMB. I use mine to heat my bathroom, which does not have heat lamps (like my old apartment) so the bathroom gets very cold, especially with poorly insulated windows. I usually turn the fan on for 10 minutes before my shower, and this gets my small bathroom fairly toasty and comfortable. Theres obviously a danger when you use electric products around water, so be sure to keep all heaters and cords far away