Scientist and author, Beth enjoys living life in the slow lane. She takes time to enjoy the little things in life.
Best 5 Gadgets for Warm Feet and Hands
- Single Use Hand and Feet Warmers
- Reusable Chemically Activated Heat Warmers
- Battery Operated or USB Rechargeable Electric Socks
- Lighter Fuel Hand Warmers
- DIY Method for Cheap Glove and Sock Warmers
1. Single Use Hand and Toe Warmers
Single use warmer pouches are good for people who only occasionally need to warm up their fingers and toes. A single use pack consists of two chemicals that are inert (stable and non-reactive) until they're mixed together.
The chemicals are held separately in sealed compartments within a larger cover. To activate the pack, you simply break the seal between the two compartments and an exothermic chemical reaction occurs. Exothermic is a scientific term that means heat is produced as a by-product of the chemicals mixing together.
There are many brands of single use warmers available. I like Hot Hands hand and toe warmers. They're convenient to use and cost less than a dollar each. And they work! They can be stored until you need them, and are easily activated. You pop them inside your gloves, socks, or jacket pockets to provide a much-needed source of warmth. They're also great for heating up cold wellies on a snowy day.
Single use hand and feet warmers can be kept in your backpack or car trunk, so that you're prepared for unexpected bad weather. Each single use warmer lasts from 8 to 12 hours depending on the brand and on how cold the weather is.
2. Reusable Chemically Activated Heat Warmers
If you're likely to use hand or feet warmers on a regular basis then it's cheaper to buy reusable ones (and better for the planet.) I like the HotSnapZ reusable hand-warmer. They give instant heat without the need for batteries, electricity, or lighter fuel. Although reusable warmers cost a bit more upfront, in the long run, they work out cheaper compared to single-use, disposable ones.
Reusable chemically-activated warmers work on the same principle as the single-use ones described above. The chemical reaction is started by flexing or bending a small metal disc within the pack. This enables two chemicals to interact with one another and start to create heat, during which solid crystals are formed from the two liquids. As the crystals form, heat radiates from the pouch onto your hands or feet and the warmth produced is effective for several hours.
An exothermic chemical reaction produces heat as a result of a liquid being turned into a solid. A solution of sodium acetate crystallizes into a solid, producing 130 degrees Fahrenheit in 5 seconds.
To reuse the pouch and reactivate the chemicals, the warmer needs to be boiled. The sodium acetate is returned to a liquid form by boiling in a pan of water for 10 minutes. The video below demonstrates how simple the reusable hand warmer pouch is to activate and reactivate.
How to Click the Clicker Inside a HotSnapZ Hand Warmer
3. Battery Operated or Rechargeable Heated Socks
If you don't like the idea of carrying chemicals around in your gloves or boots, you may prefer to buy a battery operated hand or foot warmer. These are a similar size to the chemical versions. Many also have the option to choose high or low heat levels. To charge before use, they are connected to a USB charger or a conventional electric wall plug. In use, they draw power from a battery placed within a small pocket hidden in the sock or glove.
Rechargeable heated socks are ideal for keeping your feet warm and cozy inside wellington boots or similar. The Rabbitroom Unisex Rechargeable Battery Electric Heated Socks kit is my favorite. It is made of a thick cotton fabric and has three heat settings. There is a small pocket at the top of each sock for a cell battery. When activated, heat spreads throughout the sock fabric. It is your personal foot-shaped electric blanket. Battery operated socks are ideal for outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and sporting events.
4. Lighter-Fuel Hand Warmers
Lighter-fuel hand-warming devices work on the same principle as cigarette lighters. Each hand warmer contains a catalytic burner which uses lighter fuel for combustion and heat generation.
The warmer is a small metal box about the size of a pack of playing cards and fits inside your glove or coat pocket. The burning fire within the box is completely enclosed and the smouldering heat generated lasts for up to twelve hours. The warmer is filled with ordinary lighter fuel. It keeps your hands toasty and warm despite the freezing cold weather outside.
5. DIY Method for Cheap Glove and Sock Warmers
Do you like saving money and enjoy doing DIY? Then you can make your own single use hand or feet warmers using Calcium Chloride and water. It's not too difficult to do and the materials are easily available.
You will need
- Calcium chloride pellets
- A couple of self-closing bags
The video below shows how it's done.
DIY Instant Hand Warmers
Other Uses for Mini or Pocket-Sized Heaters
Pocket-sized or mini heat warmers are designed to be put inside gloves or shoes, but also have many other uses. Here are a few suggestions.
- Dry out wet walking boots overnight. Put one in each damp boot before you go to bed. Your boots will be warm and dry when you wake up next morning.
- Place a couple of hand warmers in the foot area of your sleeping bag when camping outdoors. They will help keep your feet warm overnight. They will stay hot for longer than a conventional hot water bottle.
- Use them as a heat pack to soothe sore muscles and aching joints. This works well for for rheumatic and arthritic aches and pains. The small size of hand and feet warmers means they can be placed directly on the target area and can provide instant relief.
- Warm up a pair of cold slippers with a heat pack before you put them on your bare feet. This works like magic if you have to get out of a warm bed into an unheated room on a cold winter's morning.
- And I'm sure your pet cat or dog would love a warming heat pack placed in their bed in wintertime too! Your pet will be your best friend forever if you treat them to this luxury.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.