My hands are always cold – especially at work. Sometimes they are freezing, other times downright chilly, but cold is the constant.
If you Google “hands always cold,” a plethora of medical symptom sites appear. This post is not to diagnose why your hands are always cold or to tell you what diseases are associated with cold hands. Rather, I’m going to share the results of using nine different types of hand warmers on the market, try them out at work, and give you my take on each.
DISPOSABLE WARMERS. Probably the most common hand warmer on the market, these disposable pouches last six to 10 hours and are oxygen activated. Comprised of iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite, your hands are heating up within 20 minutes. You’re looking at around 140 degrees of heat for 10 hours. That’s even long enough for workaholics.
ELECTRIC HAND WARMER. These small gadgets rely on rechargeable batteries to get their juice – and when it comes to juice – there ain’t much! Topping off at around 105 degrees, electric hand warmers only last about three hours, meaning that you need to keep the power cord with you at all times. The device will not warm while charging, so expect to go several hours without heat.
BOIL BAGS. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough on my plate in the morning before I leave for work to be worrying about boiling water. But if you do have the time, these reusable hand warmers that rely on soft thermo crystals – might be up your alley. Simply press a button and enjoy up to 130 degrees of heat for around 30 minutes. Hands cold again? Re-boil the bag and start over. Between the water boiling and cooling process, you are looking at spending around 30 minutes of time to get 30 minutes of heat. Hey, nothing in this world is free!
GLOVES. Take it from someone who has worn gloves around the office – you end up looking like a weirdo. As someone who does not like to draw attention to himself, or explain to coworkers that I have crappy blood circulation in my digits, gloves are not an option. Plus they are cumbersome when typing.
HEATED USB. Peripheral manufacturers offer a plethora of USB-powered heating gadgets. Heated keyboards and mice generally top out at 100 degrees. Since they are AC powered and have safety devices in place, the stream of heat is constant (until you blow your office’s circuit breaker). The downside is that your hands must be attached to these devices to feel the heat. That means less motion, which won’t help your poor circulation. And since they are not mobile, you’ll still freeze at meetings.
ZIPPO. From the company that brings you the refillable lighter desired by 16-year-old boys comes the windproof hand warmer. Light this in the office and expect to hear your coworkers asking, “is something burning.” Though designed for outdoor use, it’s hard to turn away from 24 hours of heat! The metal hand warmer is housed in a cloth bag, ensuring that oxygen allows it to continue to burn – and that you don’t burn your hands.
FUEL STICK. On the verge of extinction, this hand warmer is comprised of a small red velvet case that houses a disposable fuel stick. Like the Zippo, the initial ignition requires a flame. If you can look past the faint smell of charcoal (blame your cologne), this hand warmer will give you several hours of warmth. I like the way it feels in my hand and the size is just right to slip into your pocket.
HOT WATER BOTTLE. Move over grandma! Popular since the 16th century, this rubber bottle is an ecologically-friendly way to keep your hands warm. The large size is a bit cumbersome for office use, but it’s friendly on the wallet, requiring only hot water to generate heat. And even the most barren offices generally offer employees a hot water source.
CUP OF TEA. The paper cups you use for your hot beverage can be used as an incognito hand warmer. As an anti-caffeine advocate (don’t hate me!), I never drink coffee at work. You will, however, often see me around the office nursing a cup. I do it solely to keep my hands warm.
Instead of spending the winter months listening to your coworkers complain about cold hands, take this gift idea , try looking for the perfect gift for your cube mates, a handwarmer will please almost everyone.
When you thank me for a great gift idea and shake my hand, don’t judge me! My hands are always cold!
Are your hands always cold? Let us know what you do to keep them warm.
Andrew G Rosen is the author of: how to quit your job.