Hand Warmers: A Buying Guide



hand warmers uk

Now that winter is fast approaching, hand warmers are hot on many people’s minds. They’re ideal for keeping your hands warm during cold weather, particularly when you’re out driving or doing the school run.

But hand warmers do have their downsides too. In this article we’ll look at some of the main questions related to hand warmers UK and also some alternatives that solve the biggest issue with hand warmers.

How do Hand Warmers Work?

Hand warmers work in different ways depending on their main ingredients. That said, they all use the same basic principle of an exothermic reaction.

An exothermic reaction is one that produces heat as part of the reaction process. Several chemicals mix together and the heat produced can last for up to 10 hours.
Disposable hand warmers generally use iron as their main ingredient. As the iron oxidizes (rusts) it produces heat. Salt is added to speed up this process, and they contain ingredients such as activated carbon and cellulose to retain the heat.
But the main downside of this is that disposable hand warmers are very wasteful. Once they’ve been activated they can never be used again.

How do Reusable Hand Warmers Work?


reusable hand warmers

A good alternative is to use reusable hand warmers. These also rely on an exothermic reaction but can be reset after use.

Reusable hand warmers are often known as ski hand warmers for obvious reasons.

They contain a chemical called sodium acetate, which is supersaturated. This means the solution is heated to a high temperature to dissolve more of the chemical.

Reusable hand warmers contain a metal strip that acts as a crystallization site for the sodium acetate. You bend the strip and crystals begin to form quickly, which produces heat as a waste product.

How to Reset Hand Warmers

As mentioned, reusable hand warmers can be reset quite easily. To do this, you simply boil them in a pan of water for 5-10 minutes, which dissolves the sodium acetate crystals.

Being able to reuse them in this way reduces the waste problem associated with disposable hand warmers.

How to Reuse Hand Warmers

Other than the method mentioned above, another option for a reusable model is the electric hand warmer.

These contain a battery-powered heating element that can last for up to 6 hours. This is possibly the best way to reuse hand warmers because you can simply recharge them when necessary.

Older models of electric hand warmers used disposable batteries, but these have been replaced by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, like the one in your phone.

Electric hand warmers can heat up to 48 degrees C and have around 500 recharges before they die.

How to use Hand Warmers?

how to use hand warmers

Regardless of whether you’ve bought an electric, disposable, or reusable hand warmer, the process of using them is pretty much the same.

  • For disposable or reusable models, crack them or press the activation button. For electric hand warmers, simply turn them on.
  • They can take up to 30 minutes to reach full heat, but the best hand warmers heat up in around 10 minutes.
  • Never put them in direct contact with your skin; they get too hot.
  • Instead, place them inside hand warmer gloves or in your shoes when wearing socks.
  • Hand warmers can last up to 10 hours, but you’ll typically get 2-4 hours from most models.

As with your own hand warmers, it’s best not to put a pram hand warmer in direct contact with your baby. Either put it under the pram’s seat or wrapped in a blanket on their lap. Babies are much more sensitive, so take extra precautions.

Once the hand warmer has stopped working, you either need to throw it away or reset it depending on the model.

Can you use toe warmers as hand warmers?

Toe warmers are exactly the same principle as hand warmers; they’re just shaped differently.

Hand warmers are usually fatter and rounder, while toe warmers are long and flat so they fit in your shoes more easily.

In short, you can use toe warmers as hand warmers, and you might find they fit in your gloves better.

Toe warmers produce the same level of heat and work using exothermic reactions. Other than the shape, the other main difference is that you likely won’t find electric toe warmers.

How do hand warmer packs work?

Hand warmer packs work in exactly the same way: they use exothermic reactions to heat the pack, which you can store inside your gloves.

You’ll usually find kids hand warmers as packs, and they’ll often have designs on them that are appealing to kids. Other than that, they’re exactly the same as normal hand warmers.

Hand Warmer Gloves: An alternative to hand warmers


hand warmer gloves

While hand warmers are useful, they’re not particularly environmentally friendly. Even reusable hand warmers have a limited lifespan. So if you’re looking for the best hand warmers UK, we have a good solution for you.

Try Zaini hand warmers instead. Rather than packs that produce an exothermic reaction, they’re convenient hand warmer gloves.

They’re fleece lined gloves that are entirely missing the fingers. This means they do a great job of keeping your hands warm but still give you full control over what you’re doing!

They make great kids hand warmers because kids can still do everything they love without limited movement. Also, there’s no danger of burning yourself because they don’t contain any chemicals.

Zaini make a wide range of cute hand warmers suitable for everyone in the family. There are kids and adult versions for hands of all sizes.

What’s more, they’re better than reusable hand warmers because you don’t have to wait for the reaction to kick in. You simply put them on to enjoy warm hands straight away.

The fleece lining is great for insulating heat and they’re machine washable, meaning they’ll last forever and will always look great.

So if you’re looking for a good alternative to hand warmers UK, try a pair of Zaini hand warmer gloves. There are even matching scarves and hats!

Pick up a pair today and keep your hands warm throughout winter!


zaini hands warmers uk

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