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Why Are Mittens Warmer Than Gloves on a Cold Day?

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

why are mittens warmer than gloves on a cold day

Biking can be really challenging during extremely cold temperatures. When the temperature drops below zero degrees, it is vital to wear the right gear to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions.

For the perfect hand warmers, most people choose mittens rather than gloves as they give more warmth during the cold days. But, why are mittens warmer than gloves on a cold day?

Mittens tend to be warmer because their designs can generate more heat. They offer fingerless hand warmers that keep your fingers together and heighten the body temperature. Luckily, we have this article that can accompany you in exploring further what makes mittens warmer than gloves.

Mittens vs Gloves


Gloves vs mittens are both protective hand warmers that offer comfort and prevent you from freezing outside. They give different levels of protection and vary in terms of design, material, and dexterity. Depending on your needs, you should consider the following when choosing between mittens and gloves:

1. Protection

The main reason you are looking for the proper gear for your hands is protection. You want to keep yourself warm during the cold seasons. Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves and offer better protection against the harsh weather. Unlike gloves, they generate more heat because mittens keep your fingers together.

Mittens do not separate your fingers by fabric, which can increase the level of warmth you get. Every finger is warming the other, unlike with wearing gloves. Also, there are times that gloves can make you feel colder instead of warmer.

Since the fingers of a pair of gloves are separated by fabric, your fingers cannot produce enough heat to keep gloves warmer. In this way, you might still feel cold upon wearing gloves.

2. Dexterity

Even though mittens give more warmth than gloves, the latter offers better dexterity. Your hands have more movement freedom with gloves. Since your fingers are separated by fabric, it gives more space for your fingers to move freely.

Gloves also come with special designs that offer high levels of dexterity. Some are designed with an outer layer enabling you to use phones conveniently. With this kind of design, you can hold more objects. Using gloves is more convenient when engaging in an activity that requires you to move like frequent handling of gear or adjusting your clothes.

3. Design

The difference in design between mittens and gloves is straightforward. As mentioned earlier, gloves keep the fingers separate while mittens place them together. Gloves can cover the entire hand and have separate openings for every finger. They give better mobility and versatility.

The design of mittens prevent separate slots for each finger. It may have an opening for the thumb, and another opening for the rest of the fingers.

4. Material and Durability

Mittens or gloves warmers can both be durable. Depending on the material used and the construction, the level of durability differs. Look for products that exhibit robust construction, including sealed seams, great synthetic, and insulation. Some of them have waterproofing features, which are beneficial during cold weather.

Gloves are usually made of leather, wool, nylon, neoprene, spandex, and cotton. Some have heavy-duty constructions that reinforce grip and durability. But it does not guarantee that they can trap heat more effectively. If you want more insulation, choose fabric like PrimaLoft, Thinsulate, Thermacore, and Kevlars.

Mittens also come in synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyurethane, neoprene, cotton, and wool. They also come with materials that offer better insulation like polyester fleece, tricot, acrylic, and synthetic fur.

What Makes Mittens Warmer Than Gloves


Mittens and gloves are the go-to hand warmers for cold seasons. But, what are mittens made of to make it warmer than gloves? Let’s explore further to understand why mittens are better than gloves during the winter.

1. Less outside surface area

When you measure the seam along the outside edge of both mittens and gloves, you will notice that gloves are noticeably longer. The fabric that runs along the edges of your finger allows heat to escape. Since gloves are longer than mittens, there is a higher chance that heat might not be contained or trapped inside the gloves. This makes mittens warmer than gloves.

2. Less seams

Seams for hand clothing gear translate to insulation. Insulation is the ability of a material to stop heat from going in or out of the surface area. With mittens having fewer seams, there is less chance that heat can escape from the fabric.

3. Fingers occupying the same space

Mittens keep your fingers together, which increases its ability to generate heat. Since your fingers are physically touching one another, they can produce body heat inside. It is a natural process that keeps your skin warm, while the lack of seams trap the warmth. Your hands are more enclosed in mittens than in gloves.


When choosing gear for the winter, it is important to consider material, construction, and function. Gloves and mittens protect you from cold weather at varying degrees. But if you are looking for the best hand warmers that can trap heat and offer better insulation, mittens win over gloves. With its distinctive appearance and design, a mitten warmer can keep your hands warm when the temperature drops to zero degrees.

Hope you like this guide on why are mittens warmer than gloves on a cold day. If you need anything else, feel free to let me know!

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