Quick! What’s the one thing that eSports players and mountain climbers have in common? If you answered with “hand warmers” then congrats! When setting up your battle station, not many gamers think to include something as simple and unassuming as hand warmers. But, as time goes on, a lot of people started to realize that hands tend to get very cold when gaming, with hands getting especially cold when playing for long periods of time.
Best hand warmers for gaming? HotHands hand warmers are the perfect instant and easily accessible version, while the OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer is perfect for long term and high-quality warmth.
These may be the best hand warmers for your gaming needs, but why? Be sure to read on to learn about these picks and why they stand out as the best!
Why should you get hand warmers?
Not only is having cold hands uncomfortable, but how cold your hands are could be affecting your gaming, and not in a good way. How does that even work?
When your hands are nice and warm, it’s easy to move your fingers and react quickly. However, the colder your hands get, the more the muscles in your fingers start to lock up and restrict your movements and dexterity.
Since this can sometimes seem like it can be combated by just turning up the heat, this brings up the question of…
Why do eSports players wear heated gloves / use hand warmers?
Having cold hands can lessen response times and just all around make gaming uncomfortable. Considering how long eSports players have to sit at their stations, comfort is a big deal.
Hand warmers and gloves do seem like they work, but why not just simply turn up the heat?
Since most eSports arenas house many contestants and fans, as well as the countless machines, the arenas have to be kept at a pretty cool temperature. Make the room too hot and the contestants, fans, and machines all become part of one big unintentional sweat sauna. Yuck!
The drawback of keeping the arenas so cool are those frosty fingertips that the poor eSports pros commonly get. But that’s where the hand warmers come in! By using these hand warmers during down times and brief breaks, these eSports pros can keep the cold at bay and ensure all their fingers retain their dexterity.
The really good news is that you don’t need to be a pro to benefit from some awesome hand warmers. Casual players can benefit too.
Types of hand warmers
There are several types of hand warmers to pick from, all with their own pros and cons. Here, I will go over which ones work best for one thing but might fall a bit short with others.
Probably the most commonly seen and usually the most affordable option are the air-activated version of chemically-activated hand warmers.
Appearance-wise, these hand warmers closely resemble particularly large tea bags (please refrain from steeping and consuming them, though). As for accessibility, these are the kinds you can pretty easily pick up in a variety of stores, both online and in person. You can also sometimes find them in convenience stores!
How these are typically used is by first opening the sealed plastic packet that they are kept in, then shaking them. They should begin to activate and start to get warm almost instantly. While they heat up almost instantly, they don’t usually tend to stay hot for very long.
These are much more straight forward than the chemically activated ones are. A strong, rechargeable battery is used to emit a steady source of heat for long periods of time. These ones tend to boast other features as well, such as the ability to be used as a battery pack, or different heat intensities to choose from.
Catalytic, also called refillable, usually resemble the battery-powered in appearance but they use lighter fluid to generate heat. These tend to reach the same heat levels as battery-powered ones, but last much longer, some even going as long as 21 hours! The only downside to these types is that refilling them can be a bit of a pain. They have to be upright when being refilled, and must remain upright for about two minutes afterwards to ensure all the fluid has properly sunk to the bottom. But hey, you could have warm hands for 21 hours, so yay!
These types of hand warmers, while they do exist and have their uses, they just don’t quite make sense to use as hand warmers for gaming purposes.
Aside from the air-activated ones, there is another type of chemically-activated hand warmer. This is one that uses a special clear liquid with a metal disk inside a soft plastic pouch. These have often been referred to as gel hand warmers or sometimes even crystallization-type, and for a good reason.
These types are activated by first submerging them in boiling water, then when they’ve been sufficiently cooled off you can press the metal disk. Pressing the metal disk creates a reaction in the gel which makes it harden and turn opaque, as well as heat up. They can be reused by simply boiling them in water again. These ones win points for being neat to watch activate and can reach pretty high temps. But they are kind of a hassle to reactivate and don’t last much longer than one hour, which is why they fall just a bit short when it comes to this list.
And as cool, ancient, and incredibly simple as they are, I’m afraid the charcoal types of hand warmers don’t quite cut it here either. For these, you have a special box, usually covered in a soft material like velvet or felt, full of heat conducting things like metal, as well as a spot for a hot piece of stick-shaped charcoal to rest. You use it by lighting both ends of the charcoal stick, then putting it out and placing the hot charcoal into the box. Even though the charcoal sticks are usually pretty inexpensive and can be found in some outdoors stores, their messiness (on behalf of the charcoal) makes them probably not the best choice for use near technology.
Can hand warmers be dangerous?
Hand warmers tend to reach pretty high temperatures in order to effectively warm said hands, with some even reaching up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this high temperature, many people tend to get a little worried that they might become dangerous.
But most, if not all, of these things can also be applied to heaters as well. Such is the nature of things that heat up.
For the most part, so long as you follow the included instructions on your hand warmer of choice closely and try not to leave them pressed directly to your skin, hand warmers are relatively safe and work wonders.
What are the best hand warmers for gaming?
Here we are, the Thunderdome of hand warmers for the most elite of gamers! These tried-and-true picks were some of the best rated in their respected fields, all condensed into this handy and easy to read list.
You can’t go wrong with a classic, and these HotHands packets are certainly a classic.
A staple item for both eSports players and mountain climbers alike, these simple little packs pack fast acting and long-lasting heat no matter where you decide to slip them into.
Highly rated and visually pleasing, this rechargeable option from OCOOPA offers three different heating modes, a massively powerful 7800 mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for 8 – 12 hours, duel sided heat so you can grip onto it like a frozen goblin, and it can even double as a battery pack for your phone and other rechargeable devices!
Upon a quick search you can usually tell that rechargeable hand warmers are typically very pricey.
But, if you’re in the market for a decent rechargeable hand warmer without breaking the bank, this Jomst Rechargeable Hand Warmer should do the trick!
Not a fan of either rechargeable or chemically-activated?
No problem! This refillable hand warmer from Zippo makes use of lighter fluid to create heat, and also comes with its own handy little refill cup and a special sock to stick it in.
Whether you’re an aspiring pro eSports player, are an avid fan of playing competitive games, or are just a particularly perturbed and frosty-handed gamer, investing in some kind of hand warmer has been praised by some to be the savior of cold and unresponsive hands. While the use of hand warmers isn’t going to immediately turn anyone into an expert level elite gamer, the continued use of hand warmers has been proven to at least quell the uncomfortable feeling of cramped, frozen hands.