Earlier this week Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis published a sad but essential guide called ‘heat the human not the home’. In his guide put together by his team, he shared a number of cost effective ways to keep warm without the need for putting the heating on.
Martin tweeted the guide out to his 1.4 million followers, writing: “I felt sad asking my team to put this together, but my emailbag is full of people so desperate they can’t put the heat on, I wanted to try some help. ”
One of the suggestions in the post was using USB gloves to combat soaring energy costs. Though Martin is clear he’s not telling people what to do or that ‘Martin says you should do this’.
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He added: “This is a guide I really wish we needn’t be publishing. It’s more that we’re trying to help provide some options and information for those that may need to drastically cut down on energy usage due to financial desperation and some help for others who may want to do it out of a commitment to green issues.”
The USB heated gloves were one of the cheapest options on the list, with an initial investment of around £5, costing less than 1p an hour to run, and around 4p a week to use, based on being used for five hours a day.
I ordered some Rehomy USB heated mittens from Amazon, which cost slightly more than Martin’s £5 pair, but were one of the cheapest, but best-rated on the marketplace website.
The pair I picked were £9.99 for a gray and black pattern, which had 56 ratings, of which 42 per cent were five stars.
The gloves were really simple to set up. A USB plugs into your laptop, which then splits into two wires each leading to a mitten. Inside the mittens are two heating patches that are attached to the inside of the glove with velcro.
The gloves can be detached from the power source to be used as regular mittens, too, so you only need one pair for indoor and outdoor use. The chips can also be removed if the gloves need to be washed.
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The gloves heated up immediately, taking around five seconds to reach a comfortable hand warming temperature. The chip heats to around 40 degrees celsius and heats both the palm of the hand and the knuckles.
The half finger design means that they’re ideal for home workers who use the laptop, as they still allow for easy typing, though the extra fabric takes a little getting used to. The mitten covers button out of the way, but can be folded over the fingers for full cozy coverage.
I found that as soon as the gloves are detached from the power source, they cool almost as quickly as they warm up, which is great from a safety point of view. However, it would be great to be able to charge these ahead of them being used to allow for a more cordless, portable approach.
While typing in them took some getting used to, they definitely kept my hands nice and snug while I did so. If I had a portable power bank, these could be used almost anywhere, even out and about outside the house too.
Sizing is no issue either, as they fit both my petite hands, and stretch well to fit my dad’s much larger hands, so anyone can use them.
Other products I’ve recently been using to keep warm is this foot warming hot water bottle from Aldi, and a furry duvet set which means I rarely need the heating on throughout the night. I’ll definitely be adding these gloves to my list of cozy essentials.