How to

27 October 2016

Handy Inventions to Keep You Warm this Winter

As one season draws to a close, another rears its head; arriving on a spectrum from prematurely unwelcome to gloriously late, the next season epitomises the coming months. Spring rejuvenates the environment after the long, cold haul. Summer is a time for animation and little clothing, offering the last warm refreshment before autumn (fall to some) leeches the world of colour. Alas, we stumble through autumn with ochre-tinted lenses, pretending not to notice the dwindling light as the sun sets earlier in the day. We are slowly being robbed of the sun, unwillingly sacrificing daytime to the laborious season as it diminishes all that is good in the world before our very eyes. Winter, the unbecoming cousin of the seasons, revels in cold and lifelessness, preferring utter desolation over all else. And it is coming.

We’ve all endured a couple, choice winters that are as cankerous as they are infinite. Obviously, I’m a bit biased, favouring the warmer seasons. Winter is a bane, a troll, a destroyer of things. But when the snow ceases to melt, you have to find happiness within the horror.

For those of you struggling to find inner warmth, these handy inventions are right up your alley:

Microwavable Slippers

Cosy slippers on their own might be enough for some, but a microwavable version upgrades cosy to toasty warm. I recommend browsing the options for men, women, and children at Amazing Health where slippers start out at $9.76 (£8) and top out at $19.51 (£16). Their polar fleece slippers are filled with treated flax seeds or wheat and fragranced with dried lavender. Heating for a minute and a half will keep slippers warm for a couple hours. And in case you were wondering, it is safe to wear the slippers in bed. The footwear can be reheated over and over again to ensure warm toes for as long as your floors are chilly and the weather is bleak. Not only do these slippers combat the cold, they can aid those with rheumatism and arthritis or facilitate circulation. However, those with diabetes should consult a doctor before use.

Men's (left) and Women's (right) Microwavable Slippers

Warming Insoles

Boots and thick socks are great at trapping warmth, not so great at generating though. That’s where heated insoles excel. Cozy Feet insoles are very affordable at $7.98 (£6.55), though a bit finicky, according to Amazon reviews. They’re battery operated which can be… awkward and uncomfortable to fit in a pair of boots. A great stocking-stuffer, they’re worth it for relief during outdoor work. Just think about it. These are the equivalent of heated seats for your feet. 

Cozy Feet (left) & Warmawear Heated Insoles (right)
If you must have the best of the best, consider Warmawear’s deluxe heated insoles. Costing quite a bit more, $85.25 (£69.99), the Primrose insoles, unlike Cozy Feet’s offering, have rechargeable batteries and come with a remote control keychain to turn on or off and choose between three heat settings. So, to reiterate, it’s wireless, has controllable heat, and can be recharged so you aren’t wasting batteries. A great gift to thank that special someone for constantly shovelling, though pitching in would probably be more appreciated.

Heated Computer Peripherals and Accessories

As someone who spends an exorbitant amount of time at the computer, I can tell you first hand that it gets pretty chilly in the wintertime. My rig is currently situated next to a bay window, meaning that it’s drafty. The heat from my computer is enough to combat cold feet, but what about the other extremities? Donning gloves before typing isn’t feasible, so the next best option is to purchase a heated peripheral element or accessory. Keyboard pads are a good one to keep in mind since they don’t impact the quality of your keyboard whereas buying a heated keyboard will surely make you regret your decision (don’t worry, they’re no longer available). 

ValueRays Warm Keyboard Pad
Surprisingly, there isn’t much of a market for heated mouse pads. There were only a few options available, one of the most popular being this funny blue whale/fish thing for $10.99 (£9.01). The USB-powered pad is a novelty item at best. It totally restricts your hand! Consider instead ValueRays’ USB-powered hand warmer. It is designed to fit a regular 12” x 12” mouse pad within the fleece pocket. Unlike the whale warmer, this one is hand-washable. And they’ve thought of everything; a wireless mouse will work thanks to the net opening. On both pads the heat source is located along the spine of the fish or on the top of your hand. Like the microwavable slippers mentioned above, this heated mouse pad can help relieve some health issues like arthritis, Raynaud’s, and encourage circulation.

Blue Fish Heated Mouse Pad (left) & ValueRays Mouse Hand Warmer (right)
Heated Mouse, an authorised seller of ValueRays heated peripherals and accessories, has cornered the market on heated mice. Offering several colour options, you can get a heated mouse in a rainbow of colours though the traditional black is classic. It has an on/off switch built onto the cord. Honestly, that seems annoying, especially if you’re a gamer, but that’s the trade-off for warm fingers. Like the heated elements mentioned above, this mouse will alleviate joint pain and aching fingers. A carbon fibre heating element provides a heavenly 99-104 °F graspable temperature all for $18.95 (£15.54) from the Heated Mouse website.
ValueRays Heated Mouse

 Zippo Hand Warmer

I’d never be one to argue against the validity of a Zippo product. I don’t even smoke and I’d love to own one of those lighters at one point in my life. So, when I saw these Zippo Reusable Hand Warmers, I knew it would be of good quality. It operates similarly to a Zippo lighter, generating heat using lighter fluid. Using lighter fluid to warm provides 10 times more heat than those fiddly disposable hand warmers. To be clear, this warmer does not produce flame and is odourless. With purchase you’ll receive a filler cup and warming bag. Made of chrome, it can be carted anywhere you desire. Shell out the $17.80 (£14.60) and have happy, warm hands to spite the cold. 

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).