Are Mittens Warmer Than Gloves? [Quick Answers You Should Know]

When winter comes and the days are cold, there is nothing better than feeling warm all over. To warm your hands up, what you need is a good pair of mittens. Or was it gloves? Have you ever wondered if mittens are warmer than gloves or the other way round?

A lot of people have cold hands all year round, no matter the weather. These people need the warmest mittens or heated gloves in cold weather to keep their hands warm. Otherwise, they will feel like they have frostbite on every part of their bare skin.

This guide will serve to tell you everything you should know about mittens and gloves. By the end of it, you will know exactly what type of hand covers you need. I hope that it will also solve the dilemma about mittens and gloves, so you will know exactly which type of hand cover is warmer than the other!


Why Are Mittens Warmer Than Gloves?

Are mittens warmer than gloves, and why? This is a question I get asked often. Having gone on a lot of winter hikes, some in very cold temperatures, I have some knowledge about the warmth you can get from mittens and gloves.

In general, I would say that mittens are somewhat warmer than gloves, and there are several reasons for that. If you have cold hands, you should choose mittens over gloves because they will keep your hands warmer.

This is because you have one part that keeps four fingers together, with only the thumb being in a separate part. Mittens are a type of fingerless gloves that will keep the fingers together. That increases the body temperature in the mitten and makes the hands warmer.

Since there is less surface area and fewer seams in the mitten, there will be less heat loss and more warmth in the glove. This is the main difference between mittens and gloves. The glove is a type of hand cover that has material wrapped around each finger individually.

Gloves have more surface area, more material, and more seams that allow warmth to escape from the glove. Since the fingers are also separate from one another, they cannot keep each other warm all the time.

Even though this is a general overview of why mittens are warmer than gloves, this is not a rule for all types of mittens and gloves. Certain types of heated gloves can do a great job at keeping your hands warm, even in extreme weather. The warmth you will get from a pair of mittens or gloves depends on the material used, the design, as well as the manufacturer.

How Are Mittens Different From Gloves?

Now that you know that mittens are warmer than gloves let’s delve into what makes the two different. If you are still wondering whether you should get gloves or mittens, this will help you decide with ease.


The most significant difference between the two is the actual design. As noted before, gloves keep the fingers separate while the mittens keep them together. Having your fingers together means that there will not be any heat loss!

In comparison, having all your fingers separate means more material, more seams, and more places from which heat can escape. Your body will generate the same amount of warmth, but your hands will feel a lot colder.


Dexterity is another essential feature to keep in mind. While mittens are warmer than gloves, gloves have better dexterity than mittens!

If you are someone who likes to go skiing or snowboarding, or you want to do more things with your hands while wearing hand covers, you will need a pair of gloves. The mittens provide you with warmth, but they do not allow you to do anything with your fingers while wearing them.

This is where gloves come in. There are special types of gloves that have great dexterity and an outer layer that allows you to use your phone without any problem. If you need to hold some other objects, deal with a zipper or buttons or something like that, I recommend that you get gloves instead of mittens!


Besides the dexterity, you should know about gloves because they offer more protection to the hands. Some types of mittens are also great, but gloves are the type of hand cover made to protect the hands.

If you take a pair of ski gloves, you will find that they have better grip, more dexterity, more insulation, and they have more padding around the wrist to protect it in case you fall. They can be either heated or regular and still have all these features.

mittens cold weather

Are Mittens Better Than Gloves?

In some ways, mittens are better than gloves. Some might say that they like gloves better than mittens. Both opinions are correct and which ones you get depends on what you need them for.

If you are going on a regular walk or short hike, I recommend that you go with a pair of mittens. They will provide you with enough warmth and still keep your hands as protected as possible. Your hand will stay dry, and you will not have to worry about internal moisture at all.

But gloves are great too! I recommend them for skiing and all other types of activities related to snow or extreme cold. Especially the quality ones made from high-quality, durable materials that will protect the hands from the cold and moisture. Let’s see the temperatures you can expect to get from gloves and compare them with mittens:

  • Outdoor Research heated gloves reach a temperature of 28 to 36 degrees Celsius when pre-heated, whereas Outdoor Research Alt Mitts reach a temperature of 23 to 29 degrees Celsius.
  • Outdoor Research heated gloves reach a temperature of 28 to 36 degrees Celsius when pre-heated, whereas Outdoor Research heated gloves reach a temperature of 21 to 34 degrees Celsius when turned off.
  • Volt-heated gloves reach a temperature of 18 to 35 degrees when pre-heated, whereas Volt-heated mittens reach a temperature of 27 to 34 degrees when pre-heated.
  • Marmot 8000 Meter Mittens reach a temperature of 27 to 33 degrees Celsius, whereas generic mittens can reach a temperature of 15 to 24 degrees Celsius.

So, I cannot say that there is a clear winner between the two. You have to decide which ones you need or like best and get them! Still, there is a type of glove with a hybrid design that you should also know about!

The hybrid gloves have one separate section for the thumb, a second one for the index finger and the middle finger, and a final one for the ring finger and the pinky. They are a cross-over between gloves and mittens.

These hybrid gloves offer warmth, a good grip, as well as decent dexterity. They keep the hands dry at all times while giving you enough freedom to be able to do whatever you need. They are a great choice if you do not feel like gloves and mittens will work well for you!

So, if you are on the market for a pair of hand covers, you should consider all three options. I recommend that you go to a specialty store and have a professional help you with the choice.

glooves in winter

How to Make Gloves Warmer?

If you have a pair of gloves that you love and you want to wear in cold weather, I can help you make them a bit warmer. By raising the temperature in them, you will be able to take them wherever you go!

The easiest solution is to use hand warmers under the gloves to keep your hands warm. Hand warmers are not that expensive, and you can find them in most specialty shops. I recommend that you get a pair, especially if you do a lot of activities in cold weather.

If you are not in a position to get some hand warmers, you can always try layering your gloves. If you have a smaller pair, try wearing them first and add another pair of gloves on top. Even though it takes some getting used to, wearing two pairs of gloves can make your hands very warm!

Finally, I would recommend that you go with heated gloves to get the most warmth. Heated gloves can be expensive, and not everyone can afford them, but they are worth every penny. Again, if you are sure you will use them often, I recommend getting them instead of a pair of regular gloves.


Well, that’s a wrap on the discussion of mittens and gloves. There is no clear winner between the two – you should get the ones you like best and the ones that fit your needs better. Remember that mittens offer more warmth, whereas gloves offer better dexterity!

Let me know in the comment below if you like mittens or gloves more. I would love to get your input on the topic, so do not hesitate to share your opinions and stories!

Andrew Mullen

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