How Do Heated Gloves Work? A Simple Guide

Ever wondered how does a pair of small, heated gloves keep you warm, throughout the winter? Well, say no more!

What are heated gloves?

Heated cycling gloves

As the name suggests, heated gloves are comfy, heat-generating apparel, which take the form of gloves, glove liners, and mitts. They’re best used for outdoor activities (like hiking, camping, or skiing) or if you have Raynaud’s syndrome. There are also special heated gloves for cycling.

Depending on the manufacturer, they’re categorized based on their heat source. These are the common kinds you’ll find in the market:

  • Chemically-Heated Gloves: These contain built-in back-pockets, which hold disposable chemical warming packets. 
  • Electrically-Heated Gloves: The more prevalent model, these battery-powered gloves have tiny electrical wires embedded in their lining.

How do heated gloves work?

Heated gloves come in several types, sizes, and heating capacities—but essentially, they’re made of heat-insulating material, which keeps your fingers nice and toasty!

Chemically-heated gloves work the simplest. By unsealing a warming packet, its iron component will start to oxidize and produce long-lasting heat for up to 8 hours! However, single-use packets can be costly—and, not to mention, environmentally harmful—in the long run. 

Electrically-heated gloves, on the other hand, are more sustainable. Each glove contains a battery pack—be it rechargeable, USB-powered, or replaceable—located in an exterior pocket, as well as a series of interwoven wires. 

Simply press the power button, and an electrical current will pass through the glove and generate heat! To change the heat level, simply access its temperature control settings and adjust this to your liking.

Heated gloves

How do I choose a pair of heated gloves?

While the technology isn’t complicated, their variety can get overwhelming! To ensure a perfect fit, keep the following in mind: 

  • Size: The ideal pair should be comfortable and flexible—so, make sure that they’re tight enough to trap heat, but not too much that they’ll cut off your circulation. 
  • Material: Fleece and polyester provide the most warmth, but you’ve also got leather as an option.
  • Battery Life
  • Features: Nowadays, most gloves are equipped with touchscreen capabilities.
  • Price

How safe are electrically-heated gloves?

Rest assured, heated gloves are safe to use.

Most batteries and wires have a protective coating and are configured to shut down, should they overheat or short-circuit. These also won’t catch fire, since their batteries won’t even get hot enough to reach their “flash-point temperature” or sudden ignition.

If anything, you’re in good hands! (Pun intended.) Just be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

Heated hiking gloves

How long do the batteries last?

This depends on the heat level you’re using. On average, their batteries last for: 

  • Low: 8 hours
  • Medium: 5 hours
  • High: 2.5 hours

To conserve power, simply use these on “low” or keep them inside your bag until needed. 

Note: Rechargeable batteries usually take 7 hours before they’re fully charged—so before you plan on heading out, remember to plug these in overnight! 

Furthermore, to prolong your gloves’ battery life, you must charge these every three months and avoid draining them completely.

How do I clean my heated gloves?

To properly clean your heated gloves, follow these easy steps: 

  • Remove batteries before washing.
  • Either spot-clean with a damp cloth, or handwash using cold water and mild detergent.
  • Don’t wring-out or dry clean—hang them dry instead.

It’s best to avoid machine-washing your gloves, since you might damage or shrink them in the process!

How much do heated gloves cost?

Chemically-heated gloves are the cheapest, ranging between $20-40. Meanwhile, electrically-heated gloves on Amazon cost around $20-30. 

Know that higher-quality gloves are priced at $100-200, with those above $129 are guaranteed to heat both your hands and fingers!

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