The holiday season is creeping up on us, and baby, it’s cold outside. Sometimes it’s cold inside too, and the chill spreading throughout your body can really kill your holiday buzz. Instead of chugging eggnog or doing 50 jumping jacks to generate body heat, why not get an electric blanket and snuggle up? You can never have too many gadgets, right? Right?!
Whether you live in your own house or in a shared apartment, temperature control can be tricky — not everyone has the same tolerance for the cold. Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of options to keep you nice and toasty even if your roommate insists on keeping the temperature set at arctic levels. Or if it’s the middle of winter and your building still hasn’t turned your radiators on. (New York City problems.)
Keeping warm indoors
But first, here are some options for those who live alone. Obviously, the best way to keep warm when you’re at home is by adjusting your thermostat or cranking up the heater. Yes, we know you know this, but stay with us: There are ways to make all this a little easier. If you’re able to install a thermostat (i.e., you own your place or don’t have a strict landlord), we recommend the Nest Thermostat E. It’s the industry favorite, and for good reason. The physical controller is easy to use and set up, and the Nest app lets you set your home’s temperature remotely. You can also create schedules to turn off the heat when you don’t need it, which can ultimately save you money. Apple fans might consider the Ecobee 3 Lite, which plays nice with Siri.
If you’re unable (or don’t want) to install a thermostat, you can still have home-temperature control in the form of standalone heaters. Depending on your budget, you could opt for something as high end as the Dyson Pure Cryptomic air-purifying heater. It blows hot air all around your room while also removing allergens, pollutants and formaldehyde, which can cause irritation. If you don’t have $750 to spend on Dyson’s device, consider a WiFi infrared heater like the Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX ($146) that will still give you smartphone control over the device. You can also go even cheaper and pick one of dozens of space heaters available, including this one from Bayka ($40). Just don’t expect to be able to get super precise temperature control or be able to heat up a room before you get there.
Pro tip: If you get a dumb space heater (or dumb anything on this list), you can use a smart plug to easily add remote controls, schedule setting and, in some cases, voice-assistant integration. There are plenty of options available, and they generally cost less than $30. Make sure you look for ones that don’t need a hub — like the Belkin WeMo ($22), SmartThings smart plug ($17) and TP-Link products. Amazon’s own Smart Plug ($25) works with the Alexa phone app, so you don’t need a separate speaker to ask the assistant to turn your heater on.
If cold feet are of particular concern, consider floor heating. You can get an under-rug warmer for extra comfort for your feet like the $220 Woo Warmer. And since hot air rises, this has the added benefit of making your entire space a little warmer.
But if you live with other people who prefer colder environments, they might not appreciate you cranking up the heat in common spaces. You can still keep yourself warm and cozy in these areas by getting a heated blanket. There are plenty of options available, including this $40 microplush throw in a variety of cute patterns. Spend a little more money and you could find a bigger heated blanket like Biddeford’s ($63) that can cover your queen-size bed (or your giant sectional).
That said, if your problem is feeling cold in bed, you’ll be better off with an electric mattress pad or connected mattresses from a company like Eight Sleep or Sleep Number. These will let you adjust the temperature of your side of the bed so you and your partner don’t get mad at each other when you get too hot or cold in the middle of the night.
For something a little more mobile, bundle yourself up in an electric shawl. Bed Bath and Beyond sells a heated wrap for $25, and you can find a cute poncho-like scarf for $47 on Amazon. Whatever you decide to get, it’s a good idea to find something machine washable.
One more place it can get uncomfortably cold is the bathroom. Unless you’re taking a hot shower, taking a trip to the toilet can be chilly. Make the whole experience a little easier on yourself (and your tushy) by investing in a heated toilet-seat cover. Toto is the industry leader when it comes to bidet add-ons, and its Washlet series is a little pricey, starting around $248. Kohler has a slightly cheaper option with its PureWarmth heated toilet seat ($187), but that doesn’t include bidet functionality. These are definitely only a purchase if cold bums are a real problem in your household or you’re feeling like splurging.
Leaving your warm, comfy home can be a real drag in the winter, especially if you have to rely on public transit. But the holiday season means parties with loved ones that you can’t miss. Make the trek a little more bearable by bundling up in the hottest wearables. If you’re lucky enough to be able to snag a Pizza Parka, that thing will keep you super toasty even in the middle of a bitter snowstorm. But Pizza Hut never mass-produced the jacket, so you’ll most likely have to find other options.
Keep your torso warm with a selection of Under Armour’s infrared sweaters or jackets, featuring a thermo-conductive inner layer that better retains your body heat. Or consider Levi’s smart Sherpa Trucker jackets, which are great for crisp fall and prewinter weather. The touch-sensitive fibers on the cuff make use of Google’s technology, allowing you to control music playback or have Assistant read out messages without you to have to reach for your phone. That’s a blessing for when you’re frozen and rushing to get home. And yes, you can use thermal underwear, but get a high-tech upgrade via ThermalCore’s infrared heated clothing, which has a base layer series with heated pads stuck in strategically located pockets to spread warmth throughout your body. Columbia also has an Omni-Heat series of electric clothes that are designed to defend you against the cold.
It’s not only your core that needs protection but also often our extremities that are the most susceptible to the chill. Keep your fingers and toes toasty with heated socks, insoles and gloves (like the ones from Columbia’s Omni-Heat series). Those who frequently suffer from cold feet will appreciate Digitsole’s products. At around $220, they’re quite steep, but at least you’re not limited to a particular style of footwear, since you can place them in whatever shoes you want to wear that day.
If your fingers don’t get cold enough to warrant shelling out for battery-powered gloves, it’s still a good idea to consider touchscreen-friendly options. That way, you won’t have to expose your fingers just to dismiss a call or reminder on the go. Most major brands offer such options, like the North Face Etip gloves ($45), Gap smartphone gloves ($15) or Polo Ralph Lauren Touch gloves ($40), so you just have to look for something that fits your style and needs. Our friends at Wirecutter recommend the Black Diamond HeavyWeight ScreenTap and the Moshi Digits ($30), as they offer the best combination of keeping your fingers warm while offering enough flexibility to type on your phone.