The 6 Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Whether you’re looking for disposable, compostable, or reusable options to keep you warm.

Rena Behar is a freelance journalist and editor focusing on tech, travel, and gender. She has contributed to Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy, and more. Hand Warmer Charger

The 6 Best Hand Warmers of 2024

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Whether you’re preparing for a day on the slopes or strolling through a holiday market, you don’t want to bring down your outing (or drop your precious mug of glűhwein) with frigid fingers. Enter the hand warmer, a small device designed to fit inside your pocket, gloves, or even your boots, to help you stay toasty.

While we love rechargeable hand warmers, sometimes you may just want a lightweight options that’s ready to go the moment you get chilly, disposable and non-battery-powered reusable hand warmers are great options to have on hand in your car or day bag without the fuss of charging. Enjoy all of your winter activities with the best warmers that are sure to keep you cozy.

They provide up to ten hours of warmth per set.

They are on the small side, so those with large hands, or who are intending to put these in boots, may need an extra.

HotHands Hand Warmers resoundingly win for their ability to reach high temperatures quickly and stay warm longer than competitors. The classic air activation is easy to use, just remove them from the outer package and shake to heat. You can shake again as needed if they start to cool down.

They’re also slim enough to slip inside of gloves or boots and won’t bulk up your coat pockets. They’re even TSA-approved, so you can throw them in your luggage for your next ski trip without a care. HotHands also make larger foot and even body warmers, so you can keep everywhere equally toasty.

The Details: 135 degrees Fahrenheit | Up to 10 hours | Single-use disposable

These are easy to use and more eco-friendly than disposable options.

They don’t last as long as other options.

If you want to keep resetting your hand warmer but don’t want to invest in a battery-powered model, go for the HotSnapZ. These lightweight models are filled with a solution that generates heat as it crystallizes. Once you’ve activated the larger body warmer, it will stay warm for about two hours, the Pocket Warmers will stay heated for 50-60 minutes, and the round or heart-shaped warmers will stay heated for 30-40 minutes. When the warmth is used up, just boil it to reverse the reaction and it’s ready to reuse. If you only need a short burst of heat and don’t want to worry about recharging, these are your best choice. As a bonus, unlike most other hand warmers, they can also be used in water, perfect for ice fishers or anyone who spends a lot of time in the snow.

The Details: Up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit | Up to 2 hours | 4 ounces | Reusable

Along with a pleasant and fast-warming heating experience, you also get a flashlight and power bank from these hand warmers.

The on/off switch may stick with heavy use, and they are heavier than  disposable options.

If you’d rather just get one set of hand warmers to keep with you, opt for the Go Warmers. We tested 15 rechargeable hand warmers to find the best in the category, and the Go Warmers won our top spot, with perfect scores across all categories including ease of use, effectiveness, battery life, design, and durability.

They heat up quickly to any of three different heat settings, and the ergonomic shape and dual-sided heating feel pleasant in your palm or tucked into your coat pocket. Not only do they provide an excellent hand-warming experience, they can also serve as a flashlight or portable power bank to charge other devices, making them an extra valuable addition to your outdoor gear collection.

The Details: Up to 8 hours | 4.96 ounces | Rechargeable

Zippo provides consistent heat in a sleek and easy-to-refill package.

Once it’s turned on, it won’t turn off until it’s out of fuel, and you have to carry extra fuel with you if you want to activate it more than once.

If you’re looking for a reusable lighter that doesn’t require a battery, the Zippo is for you. This hand warmer runs on lighter fluid via a catalytic burner, so when it runs out, you simply refill the burner (Zippo conveniently includes a fill cup to make that process even easier). Once it’s lit and activated, you can’t turn it off — it will burn until it runs out of fluid, but you can put it in its pouch and place it on a fireproof surface until that happens if you don’t need it the entire time. Zippo also makes a smaller 6-hour Refillable Hand Warmer if you don’t need it for quite as long or want a smaller build. The hand warmer will run consistently at the same heat for the full duration and is a sleek accessory, with three different colors to choose from.

The Details: Up to 12 hours | 2.6 ounces | Reusable

Each Ignik Hand Warmer offers 10 hours of heat that can be used over the course of 72 hours.

The outer packet itself isn’t compostable, you have to cut it open and dispose of it separately.

If you’re going the single-use route but want to be a little more eco-friendly, go for Ignik’s compostable hand warmers. While the packet itself isn’t compostable, once you’re done using it, you can cut it open and compost the material within, making your environmental impact just that much smaller. Each hand warmer provides up to 10 hours of heat, and it doesn’t have to be continuous — while they’re air-activated, you can reseal the AirBarrier pouch and store open warmers for up to 72 hours, so you can tuck them away overnight after an evening walk and use the same pair the following morning. They also come in single pairs, in packs of four, 10, or 20.

The Details: Up to 10 hours | 0.9 ounces | Single-use disposable

These gloves have three heat settings, come in five sizes, and three different wearing options, so you can find the best setup for any scenario.

It’s a little tricky to get the batteries into their pouches, and the outer shell is on the bulky side.

The Ororo heated gloves beat out 15 other pairs during our testing. A lithium-ion battery tucked into a pouch on each glove provides up to eight hours of heat when fully charged (though we struggled slightly to get the batteries into their pouches initially). You can preheat the gloves to make sure they’re toasty before you even put them on, and there are three heat settings to choose from. The gloves also come in five sizes (S to 2XL) and the inner liners detach from the water-resistant exterior, so you can choose to only wear the liner if you need a slimmer style. Even better, both the layers are touchscreen-compatible, so you don’t have to sacrifice the use of your phone.

The Details: 89 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit | Up to 8 hours | Rechargeable

There are three main types of hand warmers: air-activated, supersaturated solution, and battery-powered. Air-activated warmers are mostly single-use and long-lasting and they’re usually small and light, making them easy to throw in your bag — an ideal addition to any winter running gear. Supersaturated solution warmers are reusable, easy to transport and reset, but generally don’t last as long. Battery-powered warmers vary more in size and also tend to last longer, but are usually heavier and can’t go into checked luggage with the batteries.

Where are you going to be holding your hand warmer? If you prefer to stash it in your coat pocket, size may be less important. But if you’re sliding a warmer inside a glove or looking for compatibility with other sports gear, you may need a thinner or smaller option. If you want a slim hand warmer that you can slip inside any outer layer, a disposable product may be your best choice.

Do you just want something to tuck in your pocket when you take the dog out, or are you catching the first lift of the day and staying on the mountain until dark? Most of the best single-use hand warmers last up to around 10 hours, but rechargeables may lose power faster if you keep them on higher settings. Other hand warmers, like HotSnapZ, only last for around an hour, but provide high heat throughout that time.

Air-activated hand warmers contain a mixture of ingredients that react with each other when exposed to air, starting an extremely fast oxidation process that generates heat. HotHands, for example, contain iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal, and vermiculite. Reusable gel types contain a solution of sodium acetate that generates heat as the compound crystallizes; boiling the hand warmer dissolves those crystals so they can repeat the reaction and thus get reused.

Most of the best single-use hand warmers last up to 10 hours, though this can vary. If you’re using an air-activated hand warmer, you can also break up that 10 hours by sealing the hand warmer in a plastic bag between uses, since depriving it of oxygen will pause the reaction. Hand warmers with rechargeable batteries will give you a varying amount of use time based on how high you have the settings.

Hand warmers can work in extreme cold depending on the type of warmer.. Most styles of hand warmer should still activate in extremely cold weather, some just may not last as long. Cold air is also notorious for running down batteries, so if you’re worried about extreme cold, go for a non-battery model to stay on the safe side.

For this story, Rena Behar researched the best options for hand warmers and relied on her extensive experience as a gear tester and reviewer to find the best products for every user.

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The 6 Best Hand Warmers of 2024

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