Let’s face the facts: it’s winter, we’re cold, and yet central heating is usually our last resort (high bills do not equal a happy new year). While piling on the socks, scarves, hats, gloves, and jumpers is always an option, why not make it easier on yourself to breathe and walk and lessen your laundry load by investing in a few of these gadgets that will keep you warm year-round? After all, everyone knows that proper hot summer in the UK lasts an average of 1 1/2 months, and then we’re back to wondering if we can make our morning commutes with a thick blanket wrapped around ourselves.
Bluetooth Headphone Beanie
A beanie is a necessity when you’re going out because not only does it stop your hair from flying all over the place, it also keeps your ears and head toasty warm. And if you’re anything like me, you like to put your headphones in with 1989 on full blast so as to distract yourself from how miserably cold it is outside. This headphone beanie combines heat and your iTunes library — perfect for staying warm while letting people know you are definitely not up for small talk at 9 AM.
This particular colour is £24.99 at Amazon, but you can get a wide range of colours and designs (some of them are a few more quid).
If beanies aren’t your thing, then these fluffy earmuffs will also protect your ears from that dreadful windchill while you listen to Adele on repeat. Unlike the beanie, these aren’t wireless and do have a cable attached, but if you’re used to using normal headphones or earphones, then that shouldn’t be a problem.
On sale(!) for £10 at John Lewis. Also available in black and white.
Electric Fleece Mattress Cover
This is more of a long-term investment, but having it for just one winter will make you confident that you made the right choice. The fleece is soft and cuddly to roll around on, it only takes 5-10 minutes for your mattress to become warm, and the 6 heat options allow you to make sure the bed is at your ideal temperature. Our favourite option though is the dual control, which is perfect for the times when you’re too cold but your partner isn’t (and vice versa). That’s one less fight you’ll have in the midst of all the January stress.
£69.95 at John Lewis
No, this is not the same as the last item. That one goes underneath, and this one goes on top, okay?
Another slightly pricey and long-term investment, but again, so so so worth it over a long period of time. This duvet is made of 100% cotton and light non-allergenic fibres, boasts 9 heat settings, a dual control, and a timer option so that it switches off after a specified amount of time. Anti-overheating safety protection technology is also integrated into the duvet, so you can sleep peacefully (and warmly) without worrying about any potential fire hazards. We apologise in advance if this makes it 400% more difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
£99.95 at John Lewis
USB Mug Warmer
Tea or coffee is a year-round essential, but it’s especially compulsory during the cold winter months. And of course, we all know that horrible nightmare when you make a cuppa, let it cool while you take care of something else, and come back only to find that it is now cold. Thankfully, this USB mug warmer will save you from any future scarring cold coffee discoveries for a very affordable price. Plus it’s shaped like a cookie, and who doesn’t like cookies?
£8.95 at Tesco
Narwhal Heated Slippers
Sure, socks can keep your feet warm, but what about heated slippers that look like narwhals? You can charge them via USB, and each charge keeps the slippers warm for 4-6 hours. Not only will your toes stop feeling like they’re about to freeze and fall off, but looking down and seeing a pair of smiling narwhals will make you smile even during the coldest and darkest of winter months.
Fox Lap Warmer
If you’d prefer a heated cuddly animal that covers more space (and thus spreads warmth over more of your body), then this adorable fox lap warmer is the way to go. It can be easily charged via USB, and will stay heated for up to 6 hours. Use this either while you’re working at your desk and need something to keep your lap warm, or as a pillow when in bed or having a TV marathon on your couch.
Leather Touchscreen Gloves
Touchscreen gloves are always great because you can carry out basic smartphone functions while you’re on the go without having to risk frostbite. While there are plenty of options to choose from, we especially like these ones because of the classy and stylish Italian leather and the cosy 100% pure Italian cashmere lining that will make your texting fingers simultaneously look chic and feel great. You can also choose what size glove you want, which is not always an option when it comes to touchscreen gloves. Who says you have to sacrifice comfort and practicality for fashion?
[Ed: please note that these are entirely useless when trying to fingerprint-unlock your phone. I keep forgetting and looking like a plank]
£19.99 – £23.99 depending on size and colour at Amazon
Heated Lap Blanket
Perfect for those Netflix and Chill nights (or good old-fashioned Netflix bingeing and Domino’s nights), this blanket heats up in a mere 10 minutes and will keep you warm through the entire first season of Jessica Jones. There are 6 temperature settings, and a controlled timer that will prevent the blanket from overheating and turn it off when unattended. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a built-in front pocket in which you can keep your hands (and remote)? This is what dreams are made of.
£49.99 at John Lewis
Main Image © iStock/juannovakosky