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Are Gloves or Mittens Warmer?

With winters around the corner, we all start looking out for stuff to keep ourselves warm. Winter clothing include sweaters, jackets, socks, gloves, mittens, etc. Our hands and feet both tend to get colder than any other part of our body. Hence you should choose the right clothing.

Keeping your hands warm is important, whether you are on a mountain, snowboarding, or even skiing during winters. You’ll not be able to enjoy anything if your fingers are freezing cold. There are two options to keep our hands warm, and here we are going to discuss which one is better – gloves or mittens?

What you should choose between the two depends on warmth vs. practicality. However, most importantly, it is a matter of what works best for you. So, are gloves warmer or mittens? Read further to know the answer!

Let us first understand the basic difference between gloves and mittens. Gloves cover your hand entirely and have separate sheaths for each finger and the thumb. Mittens, on the other hand, have only two sections, one for the thumb, and the other for all four fingers.
There are also lobster style gloves available which have 3 sections; one for the thumb, the other for the index and the middle finger, and the third for ring and pinky finger.

So, are gloves or mittens warmer?

Less surface area means less radiant heat loss, which proves that mittens are warmer because their surface area is lesser compared to gloves. Even mittens without liners are warmer than gloves with liners.

Why are mittens warmer?

As your fingers are closer to each other in mittens, they stay warm. It is also mainly because of heat loss, which we need to understand. Gloves have a greater surface area because the material covers each finger individually. Due to the large surface area, gloves generate more heat loss. Moreover, there are more seams in gloves than mittens, hence generating more heat.

There has also been a study done to prove how warm mittens are than gloves. The study had been carried out in extremely cold weather, and the results that were simplified were in favor of mittens! Still, the warmth depends on the brand of the gloves or mittens.

Why do hands feel colder with gloves than mittens?

Sometimes, you might feel that your hands are not warm while wearing gloves. Most of the time, it also feels that the hands are even colder than they were without gloves.

Remember that gloves work like insulation and trap in heat. So, if your fingers do not produce enough heat, even wearing gloves won’t help as there will be no heat to stay trapped.

If your gloves are absorbing moisture or they are too tight, they might not help in keeping your hands warm. Also, your hands tend to be warmer when you keep them in your pockets, so they are mostly colder with gloves when outside.

To keep your hands and fingers warm in gloves, you should always keep them dry, try new gloves, and increase your body temperature by doing warm-up exercises, etc.

How to make gloves warmer?

To keep your hands warmer with gloves, you can follow some simple tricks. You can put on a thinner layer of glove first, then a larger one. Wearing hand warmers inside the gloves can be quite helpful in keeping your hands warm. Furthermore, buy heated gloves if your hands are always very cold. They are costly but worth it.

Other tips to keep your hands warm

Here are some tips to help you keep your hands and fingers warm:

  • Keep yourself warm overall by wearing a torso. When your body is warm, it gives out heat to your fingers and toes and keeps them from getting cold.
  • Keep your fingers dry. Wet hands are colder; thus, you should always dry your hands properly after washing.
  • Block the wind by wearing windproof clothing. A cold breeze can make you feel cold if you are not wearing appropriate clothing.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes. Tight clothes can lead to poor circulation of blood hence making your fingers feel colder than normal.
  • Consider an alternative such as heated gloves or heated mittens to keep your hands warm.
  • Lastly, keep moving your hands so that they remain warmed up.

Final Verdict – Mittens or Gloves?

Only because mittens are warmer doesn’t mean they are in all way better than gloves. When going for a mountain hike, mittens will be the best option. On the other hand, if you are going for adventures that require you to use your fingers for a better grip, gloves will be best.
Some people use both mittens and gloves together. You can wear gloves first and mittens over them so that you can remove the mittens when you need to use your fingers, like when you have to tie a rope or even use your cell phone.

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