How To Keep Your Hands Warm in the Winter

Key Points

  • Whether you're huddled inside or hitting the slopes, the cold months force you to find ways to keep your hands warm in the winter.

  • The best winter gloves are made of natural or synthetic insulating fibers to help you avoid icy fingers.

  • Choose the right gloves for outdoor activities like running, skiing, sledding, and shoveling.

Winter weather makes everything cold, but for some reason, parts of the body — like the hands and feet — are colder than other areas. Alyssa Tucci, RDN and nutrition manager at Virtual Health Partners in New York City, says, "The reason our hands and feet get cold in the winter is because our body prioritizes keeping our vital organs like our heart and lungs warm, which leads to a reduction of blood flow to the extremities."

There are ways to keep those fingers from feeling as if they may fall off. Cold hands indicate that your chilled body has consequences on the way. You want warm hands so you're comfortable but also to ward off other issues that arise. Here are a few ways to keep your hands warm in the winter.

Keeping Warm Indoors and Outdoors

Whether you're looking for ways to keep toasty inside or while trekking in the great outdoors, here are tips for how to keep your hands warm during the chilliest season.

Stay Inside

It's easy for hands to feel the cold weather quickly when you step outside. Instead of allowing that chill to settle into your extremities, stay inside on the coldest days of the year. Unless you have to leave home to get groceries, pick your children up from school, or go to work, the easiest way to keep your hands warm is to keep them inside where the heat is running and the air is toasty.

Sit by the Fire

Nothing is more comforting on a cold winter day than a roaring fire. Start the fire in your fireplace and sit on the bricks nearby. Hold your hands up in front of the fire; if they're a little chilly, that feeling soon disappears. If you work from home, set up a table near the fire and work on your laptop to enjoy the warmth without running your whole heating system too much. The fire is also an excellent place to go when you come in from outside. Warming your hands is easy — and fast.

Keeping hands warm by fire

Hold a Warm Drink

Many people enjoy warm beverages in the cold winter months. It warms you up from the inside out and helps your hands to remain warm as you grasp the mug in your fingers. Whether you prefer hot tea, cocoa, or coffee, a warm drink in your hands keeps them at the right temperature — until the drink cools down.

Soak in a Warm Bath

Sitting in warm water and submerging your hands is soothing if you have a nice bathtub. If you don't have time for a full bath but your hands are freezing, fill the sink with warm water and plunge them in. Alternatively, run warm water over your hands to stimulate circulation.

Make Outdoor Trips Brief

Winter temperatures are harsh, and being outside for any length of time allows that cold to settle into your body, starting with your fingers and toes. If you appreciate warm hands, keep your trips outside as short as possible. Run out to get the mail and then return to the warm oasis in your house. Warm your car up before you head out on an errand so you don't have to touch a cold steering wheel. Winter is the time of the year when you stay inside and enjoy the comforts your house offers.

Utilize Hand Warmers

If your hands get cold, hand warmers are a fantastic product that brings your hands the warmth you crave. They heat up quickly and bring your fingers around from freezing to warm in no time. Some users hold the hand warmers when they feel a chill settling in. These chemical warmers can sit inside gloves or boots to keep fingers and toes warm when you're inside or outside. When fingers are numb upon entering your house, use hand warmers to quickly get feeling back into your extremities.

Purchase Battery Operated Hand Warmers

Technology is on your side, and now battery-operated hand warmers help keep your fingers happy. Most hand warmers that operate on batteries recharge for many uses. They're not placed inside a glove but held in your hand. Don't get them wet, as batteries and moisture don't mix.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps to improve circulation in your body. As Tucci indicated, blood flow slows down in the cold. This is a circulation issue. The better your circulation works within your body, the less likely your hands get cold during the winter temperatures.

Point the Vents at Your Hands

When you have to get in the car to run errands, drive to work, pick up kids, or for any other reason, you often pump up the heat so you don't freeze while you're out. Point those heating vents at the wheel so they're hitting each of your hands directly. Having hot air on your hands helps to ward off the chill.

What To Look For in Gloves

Cold hands and winter weather go together, but the right gloves are essential when your fingers freeze. To combat the cold, look for these key qualities in winter gloves.

Hands with gloves and snow

Choose Insulating Materials

For winterized gloves, the best natural and synthetic materials include wool, acrylic, polyester, and nylon. The most popular insulating materials are waterproofed leather, Gore-Tex, polar fleece, and synthetic fibers. In particular, Merino wool is a winter favorite because it keeps you warm even if the material is wet.

If you want to wear cotton gloves around the house to keep your hands warm, that works well. However, when you go outside, cotton gloves soak in any water and make your hands even colder. If you wear cotton gloves outside, you're inviting cold, and the gloves lose their insulating abilities fast.

Insulation is something rated by weight in grams. The higher the level of insulation, the warmer the gloves. If you need gloves for working around the house to keep your fingers warm, you don't need that much insulation. However, insulation is very important if you're an avid hiker who is often out for hours at a time. There are many different types of insulating materials.


Thinsulate™ is the most common insulation for gloves. It comes in many different weights but allows moisture to escape, so snow doesn't freeze on your hands. Thinsulate™ costs more than other options but allows for greater dexterity, or finger movement.


Polyester is a synthetic fiber that provides excellent thermal insulation, which means it holds in air to keep hands warm longer. Polyester gloves are super durable and won't shrink in the wash. Although polyester isn't the most comfortable material on its own, most winter gloves are made of a cotton-polyester blend.


Unlike polyester, nylon is a synthetic fiber that doesn't trap in odors. Nylon is lightweight and durable, and it provides flexibility. Gloves with a polyester or nylon exterior have a lower price point but are still a great option for protecting hands from winter elements.

Cold hands in the winter


Wool is an excellent insulator due to its natural fibers. Not only is wool robust and naturally flame resistant, but it also allows for greater air circulation. As a result, this fiber doesn't trap dampness and ensures your hands stay warm and dry.


Acrylic is one of the warmest options, but it's also bulky. Gloves made from acrylic are lightweight and durable, but they're not as breathable as other materials. Acrylic gloves won't shrink or tear and are more suitable for athletic activities.


Fleece is made from natural and synthetic fibers. This material is soft to the touch and holds heat close to the hands. Although fleece isn't the most water-resistant option, it dries out fast and breathes well.


Flannel wicks moisture away from the hands but isn't an optimal insulator. This is because flannel is often made from a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers. Don't utilize flannel insulation if you face ultra-cold conditions.

Check the Fit

If have great gloves but your hands are still cold, then it's likely your gloves don't fit well. Too large gloves allow cold temperatures and moisture into the gloves and around your fingers. You want gloves with an adequate fit to prevent heat loss. Gloves need to fit snugly around the fingers and wrist. It would help if you only had a small gap between the fabric and your skin. If there is too much air space in your gloves, it's a good idea to shop for a new pair or get a glove liner to fill that space.

Consider Glove Liners

If you already have gloves you love, you could incorporate lightweight glove liners. Glove liners are thinner, lightweight gloves that you wear as your first layer. You then put larger, thicker gloves over the liners for extra insulation. There may be a glove you appreciate because it's soft and feels nice against your hand, but it doesn't combat the cold temperatures outside. Wear those gloves as a liner and get a thicker glove for the top.

Glove liners add extra insulation and fit tightly against your skin. They don't hinder how you move your fingers, or you may not be able to take on the tasks you need to accomplish. For cold days that don't necessitate thick winter wear, glove liners work well on their own.

Man cold in the winter

Wear the Right Winter Gloves

The best way to keep your hands warm in the winter is to purchase a pair of winterized gloves that are waterproof and insulated. There are many different gloves utilized for many occasions. Suitable gloves for each circumstance help you to stave off low temperatures and remain as comfortable as possible in the winter weather.

Here are some of the gloves you can consider for specific outdoor activities.

Lightweight Running Gloves

Avid runners don't give up their sport just because of a little cold air. Fingers freeze fast, and it's a good idea to wear gloves to ward off numb hands during a long run during the winter months.

SoundTouch Gore-Tex Infinium All-Weather Gloves are waterproof, lightweight, and breathable. Some of the fingers on the gloves are touchscreen compatible, so you can change the music on your device or even take a phone call while you're out. Since these gloves are lighter, they make a good liner for thicker gloves if you need further insulation on other occasions.

North Face Ventri Convertible Gloves are expensive but highly runner-friendly. The palms feature grips, and they also have easy-on loops. Their polyester materials are waterproof, and the soft fleece interior makes the gloves soft and comfortable. A gadget-friendly fingertip allows runners to change tunes or send texts as needed.

Waterproof Skiing Gloves

Skiing is one of the most popular outdoor sports people enjoy over the winter months. Cold fingers settle in quickly whether you're a novice or a pro. Quality ski gloves withstand the rigor of the sport while keeping your fingers warm.

Hestra Army Heli Ski Gloves are a good option with a stylish design. They feature a removable liner for easy washing and adjustable straps to tighten the gloves and keep the snow out. They come in many colors to match any ski jacket.

North Face Montana Ski Gloves are affordable and have a water-repellant design to keep hands dry on the slopes all day. Skiers can quickly move their fingers in these products, and the gloves are even touchscreen compatible.

Snow gloves and ski poles

Durable Snowmobiling or Sledding Gloves

When you want to jump on your snowmobile or hit the hills to sled with the kids, your fingers need warmth, flexibility, and durability in winter gloves. There's a difference between average and great gloves.

FXR Leather Gauntlet Gloves are among the best options. These gloves heat for up to five hours in the snow. The membrane liner is breathable, which keeps hands dry and comfortable. The exterior glove is also reflective for safety measures when you're out in the snow.

Klim Elite Snowmobile Gloves use Gore-Tex for waterproofing. Hands stay warm on the coldest days with a non-slip control for gripping the machine or the sled. The removable fleece liner adds warmth and makes washing easier. The gloves are heavy-duty and warm but also lightweight. The elastic velcro cuff lets you tighten the gloves against the wind or loosen them for ventilation.

Essential Shoveling Gloves

If you're a homeowner, shoveling is a necessary evil that comes with the winter months. It's often a thankless task that leaves you cold and uncomfortable, but the proper gloves make all the difference. You need heavy-duty, insulated gloves that offer dexterity, so gripping the snowblower or shovel is easy.

Carhartt Quilts Insulated Gloves are highly rated waterproof gloves. The soft microfiber lining wicks the sweat bound to form when you're working hard to move the snow. The adjustable wrist buckles help you to shut out the wind and snow as you work.

Unigear Waterproof Gloves are a budget-friendly, machine-washable pair of gloves with zippers on the wrists. The gloves are warm but not bulky, and they have touchscreen capabilities for breaks. Throwing them in the machine is simple and fast whenever they get dirty and need washing.

Safe Driving Gloves

It's miserable touching the frozen steering wheel, but you have to drive your car to get to work and other locations — even in the winter. Plenty of driving gloves are lightweight, safe, and warm.

North Face Adult FlashDry Liner Gloves are a good option. These glove liners are comfortable and stylish, and they dry quickly if they get wet. Since they have good grips on the hand portion, the steering wheel does not slip. These aren't gloves to wear outside skiing or shoveling, but they make for good driving gloves in the winter.

Mountain Hardwear Southpass Gloves are more expensive than others, but the sherpa-covered parts don't allow the cold to get through to your hands. These fleece gloves are flexible for driving and offer an excellent fit if you choose the right size. For warmth against the chilly steering wheel, these gloves are ideal.

Knit Gloves for Interior Chills

Let's face it — your hands get cold, even if you don't go outside. For chilly homebound days, knit gloves help warm your fingers while taking on household chores. Lightweight gloves keep you warm and allow you to keep your dexterity intact.

Putting on gloves in the snow

Trendoux Knit Touch Screen Winter Gloves work well for working around the house. You don't have to stop texting or making calls because the gloves have touchscreen capabilities on the first two fingers and the thumb.

North Face Women's Etip Recycled Gloves feature recycled materials and work well as lightweight gloves to wear inside over the winter months. The warm gloves come in several colors, and the durable materials wash well. With high grip ability on the fingers and palms, nothing in the home is slippery while you get things done.

Maintain Comfort With Warm Hands

The next time your hands feel chilled, use one of these tips to help you warm them as fast as possible. There is no reason to be miserable during the winter months. There are enough gloves and boots on the market to keep fingers and toes nice and cozy in any condition.

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