Chilly weather can make time spent outside uncomfortable, especially if your hands are cold. While wearing gloves or mittens is a smart move, there are other ways to heat up your hands in cold weather. Hand warmers are an easy solution that can provide artificial heat that usually lasts for hours, making the outdoor experience more comfortable. Here’s our list of the best hand warmers.
This hand warmer comes in three colors and emits heat from both sides. Along with the charger, it includes USB-C and USB-A charging cables, as well as a travel pouch for storage between uses.
Each pack contains two hand warmers that offer up to 10 hours of long-lasting heat. These air-activated warmers are safe, odorless and TSA-approved.
Select from one of three temperature settings on this hand warmer and enjoy 4 to 8 hours of warmth or charge your phone to full power in 2 to 3 hours. It’s compatible with both Android and Apple devices.
To use this hand warmer you’ll need to fill it with lighter fluid and use a lighter or match to light the burner.
We like that you get a mix of round and pocket-size hand warmers with this 8-piece set. They emit between 30 to 60 minutes worth of heat, depending on the size, and can be recharged in boiling water.
1. What are the different types of hand warmers?
The most common hand warmers are air-activated and rely on a supersaturated solution, battery power or heat-absorbing gel. Air-activated hand warmers tend to be disposable and are immediately activated upon opening the package. From that moment, they emit heat and lose power over time. Most hand warmers are designed to last for several hours, but gel hand warmers only support a few minutes of gel and the heat can dissipate fairly quickly. Alternatively, battery-powered hand warmers have the added advantage of offering double-duty functionality as power banks.
2. Can hand warmers cause discomfort?
Yes, they can, depending on the type of hand warmer. The most common version — air-activated hand warmers — is not intended to come into direct contact with your skin. This is because the chemical reaction required to create heat can be dangerous when left against your skin for extended periods. However, rechargeable and gel-based hand warmers are safe if they come into direct contact with your skin. Typically, they feature a casing that prevents your skin from directly touching the heat source.
3. Can hand warmers be reused?
Yes, again, depending on the type of hand warmer you’re using. Air-activated hand warmers with a 10-hour run-time are not intended to be reused. Depending on the outdoor conditions, you might not even get a full 10 hours of heat. But, once you’ve reached that benchmark, these hand warmers lose strength and no longer release heat. However, you can reuse rechargeable or refillable hand warmers. A battery-powered hand warmer can easily be recharged by plugging it into a power source via its built-in micro-USB ports. Similarly, refillable hand warmers usually need to be replenished with a fuel source before they can be used again.
4. Can you put hand warmers in the microwave?
Yes, depending on your hand warmer type. Single-use air-activated hand warmers usually contain iron as the catalyst for the heat source. Because of this, there’s always a risk that putting it inside a microwave can damage your appliance. Similarly, USB-rechargeable hand warmers should never be put inside a microwave, as they also contain a lithium-ion battery. There are metal components inside the casement as well as the battery pack, which could cause a fire. Rice-based hand warmers can safely be put into a microwave, but be sure to watch the cook times to prevent overheating the warmer.
About The Author
Grace Vest is a project manager and writer who loves baking and hiking in her spare time. When she’s not wrangling projects and words, you can find her at the library or on a walk with her husband and son.