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The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Autumn brings a familiar crisp to the air and a chill to our hands. Investing in the best hand warmers for the upcoming winter season will help you make the most of a day outdoors, no matter the conditions.

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If you plan to spend time outdoors this winter, only the best hand warmers should make your gear list. With better run time, heat retention, settings, and reusability, hand warmers have evolved from simple single-use pocket warmers to rechargeable electric warmth machines.

Our extremities are the first part of the body to suffer from cold-related discomfort. Cold hands are actually a symptom of the body working to protect itself. In order to protect the vital organs, blood vessels in the extremities constrict in cold environments, which keeps blood where it’s needed most. Unfortunately, this pro-survival mechanism leads to that all-too-familiar feeling of stiff and numb fingertips.

We’ve ordered up the top-selling and most promising hand warmers and compared them with some good old-fashioned hands-on testing. We’ve unpackaged these devices and assessed their efficacy with a stopwatch and a thermometer so we can confidently say which ones will do the trick, where each falls short, and what to recommend for tailgating, sitting in a hunting blind, or just staying toasty while you’re out and about this winter.

Whether you need 12 hours of reliable heat from a rechargeable warmer or the classic ease of a disposable heat pouch, our list of the best hand warmers of 2024 has you covered. For more information on different kinds of hand warmers and how to choose between them, check out our Buyer’s Guide and our Comparison Chart toward the end of this article.

Editor’s Note: We updated this Buyer’s Guide on March 26, 2024, adding the OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable, our new top pick for the Best Rechargeable Hand Warmers.

The Best Handwarmers of 2024


Best Overall Hand Warmers

Ignik Hand Warmers

Specs

  • Max temperature 140 degrees F
  • Warming time 10+ hours
  • Weight 4.5 oz. per pair
Product Badge The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Comes in resealable packaging
  • Can extend 10-hour life span by cutting off O2 supply
  • Inner material is compostable

Cons

  • Expensive if you don’t take advantage of the resealable packaging
Best Budget Hand Warmers

HotHands Hand Warmers

Specs

  • Max Temperature 112 degrees F average; 118 degrees F maximum
  • Heat/Run Time Up to 10 hrs.
  • Weight 1.6 oz. per pair
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-use

Cons

  • Single-use
  • Short lifespan
Best Rechargeable Hand Warmers

OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable Hand Warmers

Specs

  • Max temperature 136 deg. F
  • Heat/Run time up to 15 hrs. total
  • Charge time 3.5 hrs.
  • Weight 8.3 oz. per pair
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • Includes two units
  • Heats up quickly
  • Gets very hot

Cons

  • Won't fit in gloves or boots like disposable warmers
  • Somewhat pricey
Best Catalytic Hand Warmer

Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer

Specs

  • Max temperature 105 deg. F average; 110 deg. F maximum
  • Heat/Run time 11-21 hrs.
  • Weight 2.6 oz. empty; 3.5 oz. full
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Reusable
  • Long-lasting heat
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Messy to fill
  • Takes extra work to maintain
  • Can’t turn off
Best Low-Tech Reusable Hand Warmers

HotSnapZ Hand Warmers

Specs

  • Max Temperature 130 degrees F maximum
  • Warming Time 0.5-2 hrs.
  • Weight 4.0-7.0 oz.
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Reusable
  • Rapid heating
  • Watching the chemical reaction is admittedly fun

Cons

  • Short heating time
  • Plastic casing could be punctured and make a mess in your bag
Best of the Rest

OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Specs

  • Max temperature 110 deg. F average; 131 deg. F maximum
  • Heat/Run time 4-8 hrs.
  • Charge time 2-3 hrs.
  • Weight 4.6 oz.
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • Can charge other devices
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold a charge as long in extremely cold temperatures

Zippo Heat Bank 9

Specs

  • Max temperature 120 degrees F
  • Warming time 9 hrs.
  • Weight 5.5 oz.
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • No plastic packaging waste
  • Doubles as small device charger
  • Rapid heat delivery

Cons

  • One heating unit; you’ll need to get two if you want heat in two pockets
  • Bulky
  • Rigid
  • Expensive

Grabber Hand Warmers

Specs

  • Max temperature 120 degrees F
  • Heat/Run time 7 hrs.
  • Weight 2.0 oz. per pair
The Best Hand Warmers of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Heat intensity doesn’t last the entire time

Hand Warmers Comparison Chart

HandwarmersPriceMax TemperatureRuntimeCharge timeweight
Ignik Hand Warmers$13140 degrees F10+ hrs.N/A4.5 oz. per pair
HotHands Hand Warmers$10118 degrees F10 hrs.N/A1.6 oz. per pair
OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable$43136 degrees F15 hrs.3.5 hrs.8.3 oz. per pair
Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer$22110 degrees F11-21 hrs.N/A2.6 oz. empty,




3.5 oz. full
HotSnapZ Hand Warmers $20130 degrees F0.5-2 hrs.10 minutes*4.0-7.0 oz. each
OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer$27131 degrees F4-8 hrs.2-3 hrs.4.6 oz.
Zippo Heat Bank 9$50120 degrees F9 hrs.1 hr.5.0 oz.
Grabber Hand Warmers
$19120 degrees F7 hrs.N/A2.0 oz. per pair
*HotSnapZ require 10 minutes in boiling water to recharge
We got our hands on a variety of hand warmers, measured their activated heat temperature with a meat thermometer, and used each in chilly winter weather; (photo/Matt Bento)

How We Tested Hand Warmers

Our editors and gear testers are no strangers to long winters, and we eagerly anticipate ski season every fall. However, we’re about as adverse to numbed-out, cold fingers as anybody out there, so we’ve spent considerable time finding and testing out the best winter gloves and the best winter mittens in addition to the best hand warmers.

Hand warmers have a simple job to do, and while they can’t replace your own body (Eat! Hydrate!) as a heat source, they can provide a little relief when you need to be out in the cold and stationary. 

To find the best hand warmers we ordered a variety of disposable and electronic warmers, along with one catalytic model, and put them to the test with a stopwatch and a thermometer. We placed each warmer in the pocket of a highly insulated down jacket and then measured the ambient temperature in the pocket after a half hour.

While this gave us a little numerical data, we also considered the overall user experience. The HotSnapZ Hand Warmers, for example, delivered heat on command but didn’t last for more than two hours. The electronic heaters don’t perform as well in super cold environments, so we can’t recommend them for long days in the backcountry.

Editor Matt Bento is the lead hand warmer tester for this Buyer’s Guide. He brought each model hiking and climbing in the High Sierra, even leaving an Ignik Warmer in his chalk bag for some on-demand heat while sport climbing. He also enlisted friends to use them while watching the local football games and working on their vehicles in the cold. In the latest 2024 update, we added the OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable Hand Warmers, our new top pick for the best rechargeable hand warmers.

The Zippo Heat Bank 9 is a great alternative to traditional disposable hand warmers; (photo/Matt Bento)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Hand Warmers

Types of Hand Warmers

We’re no longer limited to just disposable warmers, as there are now several alternatives to the old standbys, including the very effective rechargeable electric hand warmers. It is never a bad idea to have a few disposable hand warmers in your glove box for emergencies, but if you’re someone who uses them on a regular basis during the winter, a rechargeable electric model like the Zippo Heat Bank 9 or the OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable is a worthwhile investment, as they both provide more heat for longer durations than the disposable types, and you’ll create less waste. 

Some folks are just looking for added comfort, but for people dealing with Raynaud’s syndrome or poor circulation, keeping your hands warm is critical in daily life during colder months. Maintaining dexterity is key for many outdoor activities, from tying on a fishing lure to general vehicle maintenance. So consider this when you’re looking at what you need and how much you’re looking to spend.

Rechargeable Electric

Rechargeable electric hand warmers are usually powered by a lithium-ion battery. These models heat up quickly, typically have multiple heating levels, can get very hot, and can last a long time in the right conditions. Some electric warmers also double as a handy battery pack you can use to charge your phone on the go. Downsides include susceptibility to moisture or impact damage, potential reduced battery life in the cold, and longer recharging periods. Rechargeable electric hand warmers are also usually a bit more expensive than than traditional disposable models.

The OCOOPA UT3 PRO Magnetic Rechargeable is our favorite rechargeable electric hand warmer. It includes a set of two units, so you can keep one in each pocket or hold one in each hand. The units heat up very quickly and have four different heating levels, with the top level reaching up to 136 degrees F. The two units also magnetically stick together to create one larger unit, which can come in handy in certain situations. This model has an input port to recharge but does not include an output prot to charge other devices like your phone.

close up view of the Ocoopa UT3 Pro Magnetic Rechargeable hand warmers
The OCOOPA UT3 PRO includes two rechargeable units, each with four heat level settings; (photo/Nick Bruckbauer)

Other rechargeble electric models like the Zippo Heat Bank 9 and the OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer both include output ports, allowing these devices to double as a battery pack for your phone or other small electronic devices, ensuring they will be able to be used year-round.

We love utilitarian, multi-use devices like electric hand warmers since they are effective and let us cut down on our waste stream. However, there are a few advantages to disposable, chemical-powered hand warmers. They are generally smaller and softer, allowing them to be shoved into a glove or a sock. They come in pairs so you can have one for each pocket, and depending on how many hand warmers you go through in a year, they can be a much less expensive option.

Catalytic

Catalytic hand warmers run on liquid fuel and require a flame to start flameless combustion. Because these warmers generate heat via combustion, they never need to be charged and work well even in very cold temps. Though catalytic warmers provide a consistent heat source for longer periods of time, they can be messy and somewhat complicated to fill. This really only applies to the Zippo 12-hour Hand Warmer.

We think the majority of folks won’t want the hassle of needing to keep lighter fluid on hand and the potential mess of refilling the unit, so they should go with the rechargeable electric model. But the Zippo could be useful for folks at hunting camps or in other scenarios without access to electricity, where the reliability of using lighter fluid outweighs the potential downsides.

The Zippo 12-hour hand warmer runs on lighter fluid and isn’t hindered by extreme cold. Tester Paul Mandell considers it “the perfect dad gift”; (photo/Matt Bento)

Disposable

Disposable hand warmers are the cheapest, easiest to use, and usually the most reliable. They take a while to heat up but have a pretty consistent temperature for their run time. They can only be used once, so if you need hand warmers often, either purchase them by the pack or consider another type of warmer.

Our favorite disposable hand warmers by far are the Ignik Hand Warmers. Not only did they get hotter than the other disposable warmers we tested, they also come in a resealable baggie, so If you use them for five hours of their 10-hour runtime, you can put them back in their package. This cuts off the oxygen, stopping the oxidation process and effectively “turning them off” until you need to use them again. The insides are compostable, and we’re generally psyched about the brand’s commitment to making a disposable product as environmentally friendly as they can.

HotSnapZ heat up quickly thanks to a chemical reaction, but they only maintained heat for 2 hours; (photo/Matt Bento)

Heat Output

When shopping for effective hand warmers, heat output is most people’s top priority. If a hand warmer isn’t warm enough, it’s rendered useless. However, it’s important to understand the relationship between heat output and other factors including run time, reliability, and price.

As a general rule, lithium-ion-powered warmers tend to offer the highest maximum temperatures.

While battery-powered warmers are great, they tend to be less effective in cold conditions. It’s important to note maximum temperatures are generally only achievable for most hand warmers in relatively moderate conditions.

Other types of hand warmers, including catalytic and most disposable warmers, are usually able to perform at their maximum temperature no matter the surrounding air temperature. While these types of warmers may not boast the same maximum temperatures as battery-powered warmers, they’re less condition-dependent and perhaps more reliable.

The Zippo Heat Bank 9 gives you a little more bang for your buck since it can provide some extra power to your devices as well as warm your hands; (photo/Matt Bento)

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Hand Warmers

While all the hand warmers on our list are pretty easy to operate, we’ve found a few tricks that will make them go farther. 

Disposable warmers take a few minutes to heat up as they rely on oxidation to catalyze the chemical reaction that generates heat. So, if you’re looking to get them cooking more quickly, keep them outside of your pockets initially, and give them a good shake to get the process going.

Electronic devices like cellphones and cameras can suffer from extreme cold, as their batteries can struggle to hold a charge. You can take a disposable hand warmer like the Ignick Hand Warmer and tape it to the back of your device or chuck a few in an insulated pouch with your camera batteries to get better performance in the wintertime.

FAQ

Are hand warmers safe to use?

Most hand warmers are safe if used properly. Some people, usually children, have very sensitive skin and should not let hand warmers come into direct contact with their skin.

Some hand warmer varieties, like catalytic burner warmers, prove to be more dangerous than others. To safely use these, you must ensure the correct fuel is used and there’s no excess fluid on the outside before you light it.

If not sealed properly, there is also a risk of carbon monoxide leaking, which poses a danger if used in a confined space. An insulated sleeve can also be a useful safety measure when using catalytic warmers.

Which hand warmer is best for me?

To decide which hand warmer is best for you, ask yourself one question: What is my intended use?

If you are a climber, maybe Grabber Hand Warmers will be the best choice. These warmers are quick to warm and very compact. Also, they can fit easily into a chalk bag and allow you to warm up your fingers mid-route.

If you’re a hunter with cold hands, a longer-lasting reusable hand warmer is likely to be the best choice. Or if you want to keep your hands warm as you watch your kids play outside, opt for the HotSnapZ.

All types of warmers have their pros and cons. It just depends on the application.

Which hand warmer lasts the longest?

On this list, the Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer earns the top prize for total runtime. Because this warmer runs on lighter fluid, its runtime is determined by how much fluid is used. In some tests, a unit filled with maximum fluid stayed warmed for upward of 20 hours.

In the disposable category, HotHands Hand Warmers are known to stay warm for up to 10 hours — an impressive stat for such a small and affordable warmer.

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