Multifunctional hand warmer: Xmas for Techies

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Cold hands and empty smartphones – that sounds like winter. For both problems there are a whole range of chic mini heat pads that also act as a power bank. Perhaps not a bad idea as a last-minute Christmas present.

If you want to stay mobile in winter, apart from charged electronic devices, you also need warm hands to operate them. The gloves that used to be fine in winter are not really very suitable, as the electric field of a capacitive smartphone touchscreen recognizes only bare, conductive fingers. Even with special touchscreen gloves operation is not easy. And, as we all know, when you take off a glove it tends to get lost.

Heat pads are an alternative. The principle was first used by Japanese soldiers in 1924 during the Korean War. In 1988, more than 450 million of these “civilian” hand warmers were produced. To “charge” these pads, the solid salt-water mixture sealed inside them is “melted” in hot water and then cooled again. But it still remains in a sort of liquid state. When the pack with the “semi-stable” salt solution is then stimulated to form crystals by bending an enclosed small metal disk, it immediately emits heat.

Rechargeable hand warmer plus LED

CSL Rechargeable hand warmer
CSL hand warmer provides warmth for two hours. (Image: CSL).

Heat storage can be implemented in a more modern and practical manner via electric energy. By the way, several years ago, an iHandWarmer was available in the App Store. It simply let the processor and other power consuming components work at full capacity “open-ended” to heat the smartphone. In the meantime, Apple has removed the app from the Store. In principle, the new battery-operated hand warmers are power banks with an integrated hot plate. They are charged by USB and warm your hands or charge the smartphone as required.

For example, for €17.85 the CSL hand warmer with a 2200 mAh battery provides pleasant warmth for two hours or power for one smartphone charge.

BigBlue Rechargeable hand warmer
The BigBlue can be used as a power bank or an emergency flashlight as well. (Image: BigBlue).

More expensive, trendy and longer lasting is the BigBlue for €29.99. With 6,000 mAh, the two heater levels are said to keep constant temperatures of 35-45°C or 40-60°C respectively for up to five hours. On both sides with up to 90% of the nominal temperature in just 30 seconds. You can also charge a smartphone twice with it.

The Flag 18 Heiz-Pod Recharge + LED, which costs almost €33, closely resembles a flashlight, not only in terms of its shape. The integrated 2,200mAh battery provides temperatures of 40-42 degrees Celsius for four hours and recharges a cell phone once.

New from Munich, Germany, a hand warming energy storage unit with 5,200 mAh provides heat for three hours or two smartphone charges. The PLUS HEAT power bank from XLayer for less than €19.90 with a “fast heat” function will be available from the middle of December.


USB hand warmers with charging function – or vice versa – have several advantages compared to conventional heat pads. They can be recharged easily, they can be switched on and off, and they also charge power-hungry smartphones whenever necessary. Since some of them even look quite attractive, they could well be a “low-risk” Christmas present.


Battery-operated hand warmer (Image: Purital).

The gold standard - the Purital Hand Warmer & Power Bank in gold satin with dual heating system and 4 heating levels. (Image: Purital).