Before most houses had central heat, fireplaces and wood stoves were used to warm houses. Houses were often cold and drafty in the winter. A footwarmer could provide a little comfort. People would pour hot water in the vessel and then plug up the spout. They could warm their hands and feet on the footwarmer, or even put it at the foot of their bed to warm it up.

This footwarmer was made by an unknown potter in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.