Best hand warmers 2021: banish frozen fingers in any weather

Find the best hand warmers available now to keep out the chill while you're out and about

Included in this guide:

Black Lifesystems reusable hand warmer in someone's hand, against backdrop of autumn leaves
(Image credit: Lifesystems)

With one of the best hand warmers in your pocket you'll be able to keep your mitts nice and toasty, even when it's freezing cold out there. There are plenty of rechargeable and reusable hand warmers available that'll heat up when you need them, making them an essential piece of kit any time you're heading out and likely to feel the cold, whether you're off on a winter ramble or standing around at a sporting event.

Of course you could put on a pair of gloves (we can direct you to the best cold weather gloves or the best touchscreen gloves), but when the wind's really biting there's nothing to beat a helping of heat. And that said, scroll down to find a pair of heated gloves for maximum luxurious warmth. And while you may consider a hand warmer to be a bit of an extravagance, many of them are fantastic value and we're sure you'd rather spending a bit of money on them rather than suffer for hours with frozen fingers.

Whether you want an electric hand warmer, one that uses liquid fuel or that warms using a chemical reaction, you'll find what you need here ( and our hand warmer FAQ will help you understand the differences). In this guide, we've selected a range of different options for different situations and needs, including plenty of reusable and rechargeable options. Some of these hand warmers we have tested out ourselves, while others are recommended based on research and other customers' reviews. These are the best hand warmers to pop in your pocket this winter.

The best hand warmers 2021

Black Lifesystems hand warmer on white background

(Image credit: Lifesystems)

The best hand warmer for most people

Specifications
Type: battery powered
Max hours of use: 6
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Switch on and off as needed+Different temperature options+Doubles as a power bank
Reasons to avoid
-Not fully waterproof

The best hand warmer all round is this rechargeable option from Lifesystems. It features convenient USB charging and can be turned on and off as and when you need it, and it'll deliver up to six hours of heat on a single charge. There are four heat levels to choose from so that you can get things as toasty as you need, and a handy visual indicator will show you how much charge is remaining so you don't get caught out in the cold.

It's ergonomically shaped, pleasant to hold, and has two internal heat plates that deliver a decent burst of even heat from both sides. Finally, it doubles up as an emergency power pack, which is not strictly necessary but surprisingly helpful. Head to our full Lifesystems rechargeable hand warmer review for more of what we thought. 

Hotsnapz Hand Warmers in green and red

(Image credit: Hotsnapz)

2. Hot Snapz reusable hand warmers

The best budget hand warmers

Specifications
Type: crystallisation
Max hours of use: 1
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Compact +Reusable+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't stay warm for long-Boiling to 'recharge' is a faff

If you want the convenience of a disposable hand warmer in a reusable format, try Hot Snaps. It's a crystallisation-type hand warmer that you immerse in hot water for 10-15 minutes before you go out, then when you need a blast of warmth you can simply click the metal disc in its centre to release the heat.

Be warned, though: they don't stay warm for long: about 50-60 minutes for Pocket Warmers, 30 to 40 minutes for Hand Warmers. So this is not a good choice for lengthy outdoor adventures. But if you want something for short spells out in the cold, this is nicely portable, easy to use and endlessly reusable.

Black Zippo Hand Warmer

3. Zippo Hand Warmer

The best hand warmer for up to a full day of warmth

Specifications
Type: fuel
Max hours of use: 12
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Up to 12 hours of warmth+Refillable+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Need to keep buying fuel

The Zippo hand warmer is shaped like Zippo's iconic cigarette lighter, with six designs to choose from, and works in a similar way. It uses specially-created Zippo fuel that burns slowly and flamelessly, so there's no need to worry about accidentally getting set on fire. And the clever refill system make topping up the fluid pretty easy too. On a full tank, this hand warmer will provide 12 hours of warmth – great if you happen to be heading up the mountain for the day, or planning to go off-grid for a while. 

Aroma Season Rechargeable Heated Gloves

(Image credit: Aroma Season)

4. Aroma Season Rechargeable Heated Gloves

The best option for totally toasty hands

Specifications
Type: battery powered
Max hours of use: 9
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Whole-hand heating+Good battery life+Waterproof
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly chunky

Rather than fiddle about with a hand warmer, why not ensure constant warmth for your hands with these heated gloves? The Aroma Season rechargeable heated gloves pack a pair of 7.4V 3000mAh rechargeable batteries that delivers warmth to your whole hand for up to an hour at a time, after which they'll automatically cut off, presumably to save you from chilblains. You'll get up to nine hours of warmth out of a single charge, though.

They're waterproof, windproof and breathable with three heat settings, and the thumbs and forefingers feature conductive material so that you can still use your phone without getting cold hands. They might be a bit chunky for some, but if you're susceptible to the cold, particularly due to arthritis or Raynaud's disease, they could be exactly what you're looking for.

Celestron FireCel+ hand warmer

(Image credit: Celestron)

5. Celestron FireCel+

An excellent, multi-use rechargeable hand warmer

Specifications
Type: battery powered
Hours of use: 12
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Up to 12 hours of warmth+Features flashlight +Doubles as a power pack
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

Celestron is the brand behind many of today's best telescopes and binoculars, and its easy-to-use and versatile hand warmer is similarly impressive and capable of providing continuous heat for up to a massive 12 hours. You can choose to heat up one side, or both. Its aluminium shell is rugged enough for outdoors use, but it’s equally suitable for your winter commute, or standing in the park watching the kids play sports. 

And that’s not all. This is also the Swiss army knife of hand warmers, as it also features a flashlight, and works as a portable charger. The 5200 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery delivers two full charges to most smartphones and MP3 players, and also charges USB-powered cameras.  

Selection of Grabber Big Pack Hand Warmers

(Image credit: Grabber )

6. Grabber HWPP10 Big Pack Hand Warmers (10 Pairs)

The best disposable hand warmer

Specifications
Type: air activated
Hours of use: 6
Reusable: no
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use +No need to charge
Reasons to avoid
-Not reusable -Doesn't heat for long periods

Most of the best hand warmers are designed to deliver continuous heat over a period of hours, but if all you need is the occasional revitalising blast of warmth then the Grabber might be a better option for you. Designed for occasions such as outdoor sports, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, jogging and dog walking, these single use, air-activated packs provide fast and immediate heat, starting off at a maximum temperature of 156° F (69° C). They're very easy to use: simply open the packet and expose it to the air. They take less than a minute to warm up, and they’ll stay warm for up to six hours, although the heat intensity will dip from the initial high level. You’ll get best results if you keep them in a pocket or glove. 

Lifesystems Reusable Hand Warmers

7. Lifesystems Reusable Hand Warmers

The best hand warmer for those on a budget

Specifications
Type: gel
Max hours of use: 30 mins
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Simple to activate+Easy to reset
Reasons to avoid
- Not the longest-lasting

Don't want to spend much money on the best hand warmer? That's fine; if you're on a budget then you'll find these reusable gel hand warmers from Lifesystems will do the job at a decent price. Pop them in boiling water for a short spell, and the crystals formed from the chemical reaction will turn back to gel. That makes them an absolute bargain over the long term. Be warned that the heat from them doesn't usually last more than about 30 minutes. But if that's all you need, then why spend more?

Hot Hands Instant Hand Warmers

8. Hot Hands Instant Hand Warmers

The best disposable hand warmers for long periods

Specifications
Type: disposable
Max hours of use: 10
Reusable: No
Reasons to buy
+10 hours' of warmth+Instant heat+Simple to use
Reasons to avoid
- Not reusable

Hot Hands have been around for a while. And these rectangular shaped, single-use, air-activated heat packs continue to be a popular choice worldwide. Although they don’t emit as much heat initially as Grabber, higher up our best hand warmer list, they do stay warm for longer; up to 10 hours at a time. So if you're going to be out in the cold for lengthy periods, they're an excellent choice at a very low price. (Bear in mind, though, that they're not reusable). 

Peacock Hand Warmer

9. Peacock Hand Warmer

The liquid fuel hand warmer that stays warm the longest

Specifications
Type: fuel
Hours of use: 30
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+30 hours' of heat+Elegant design+Refillable
Reasons to avoid
-You'll need to buy fuel

If you need a hand warmer that'll keep on going for absolutely ages, you'll probably want the Peacock, which provides up to 30 hours of heat with just one tank. This liquid-fuel powered hard warmer uses the same fuel as the Zippo lighter, and comes with refilling aids to help you keep it topped up. With its flashy, elegant design, the Peacock Hand Warmer could also make a handy gadget for anyone who suffers from cold digits.

OCOOPA 10000mAh Hand Warmer

(Image credit: Ocoopa)

10. OCOOPA 10000mAh Hand Warmer

A long-lasting battery powered hand warmer

Specifications
Type: battery powered
Max hours of use: 15
Reusable: yes
Reasons to buy
+Long battery life+Stylish looks +Silicon protection
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier than alternatives

Another top option for anyone who needs a long-lasting hand warmer, the Ocoopa features a whopping 10000mAh battery that'll keep the heat flowing for up to 15 hours, beating some of the best fuel-powered hand warmers and without the smell. Its heat goes from gentle warmth up to a seriously toasty 131°F. It'll charge your devices while you're on the go. And it's a sleek-looking piece of kit, with a curved body and silicone corner protection to protect it should it get dropped.

Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim is a freelance writer who has been covering tech, games, design and more for magazines, websites and brands over many years.