The hottest gifts for that friend who is always cold

The hottest gifts to buy for the friend who’s always cold

Keep yourself and your friends warm. all winter long with these great gifts Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

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For some people, the holidays are far from the most wonderful time of the year, temperature-wise. While others are going on strolls to enjoy the crisp fall air or playing in the snow of a winter wonderland, these folks just don’t seem to be built to withstand the dipping temperatures. Just like bears, they seem to spend the last months of the year hibernating in the warmth of their homes, dreading the very thought of setting a single foot outside. You can convince them to leave their home, though, by giving them the proper gear to keep them warm and cozy. That’s why we’ve collected some of our hottest picks for the best gifts for the perpetually cold.

Best for people with cold feet: Heat Holders Thermal Socks

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When you’re cold, it makes sense to heat yourself from the bottom up, which is why everyone should have a pair (or six) of thermal socks. Heat Holders socks are made out of yarn that’s been developed in-house and knitted to hold in warm air without cutting off your circulation. Yes, the socks will add some bulk to one’s feet, but that’s kind of the point. Nobody wants sweaty feet, but that shouldn’t be an issue since the yarn Heat Holders automatically wicks away moisture. The company says its socks are over seven times warmer than traditional cotton pairs, which is reason enough to stuff them in a stocking. Don’t have cold feet about getting these, and you won’t have cold feet getting outside. (And if you really want to take it to the next level, there are always battery-powered heated socks, insoles, as well as the Volt boots we’ve featured below.) — Brandt Ranj

Best for techies who drink coffee and tea: Ember Travel Mug

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Ember’s 12-ounce Travel Mug can keep beverages between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for up to three hours thanks to a seven-sensor heating system and built-in battery pack. One can set the mug’s temperature through an app or by using its touch-sensitive display. Ember bundles its Travel Mug with a coaster, which doubles as a wireless charging pad. The mug will keep beverages warm continuously when it’s on the coaster, which is great for anyone who works at a desk. And it will warm your heart to know there are also options if you’re looking for a more “traditional” 14-ounce or 10-ounce coffee mug (also available in metallic finishes) or 6-ounce espresso cup. — Brandt Ranj

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Volt’s Lava Boots take the concept of the Ember Mug (above) and extend it to your feet. The boots feature a rechargeable 8V battery that can power their integrated heating elements for up to 14 hours, depending on whether they’re set to low, medium, or high. One can change between these settings by using the Volt app or through a controller on the shoes themselves. The best part about the Lava Boots is that they don’t scream “gadget.” Other people walking around won’t notice your high-tech shoes—in fact, the Lava Boots are actually pretty fashionable, depending on your style. Looking for something more low-profile but still extremely comfy? Check out the 3V Camp Heated Slippers, which keep your toes toasty whether you’re on your deck or at your desk. (And if your other appendages are jealous, we have suggestions to help you complete an entire ensemble of heated clothing.) — Brandt Ranj

Best flannel: Jetty Horizon Flannel

The ’90s are back, and they got a glow-up. A super heavy-weight flannel, the Jetty Horizon (shown here in Charcoal) is foundational cold-weather everyday wear with dusky gradients of flattering horizontal stripes. It’s a crisp, comfy outer layer that says, I might buy some Nirvana albums reissued on vinyl, but I’ll keep the grunge out of my tasty twill, thanks. Complete the look with the Mariner stretch canvas pants with flannel liner made of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent Oystex, a fabric blending pulverized oyster shells with recycled polyester (RPET). That makes it cozy and conscientious—a wicked ’90s-style combo way better than the plats and wack slacks worn by lamestains the first go round.

Best pants: Duluth Trading Company Men’s Ballroom Double Flex Relaxed Fit Lined Jeans

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Durable. Comfortable. Oh so warm. These are the ways we’d describe the Duluth Trading Company Men’s Ballroom Double Flex Relaxed Fit Lined Jeans, which may be the perfect winter pants. The flannel lining is thick enough to provide a surprising amount of insulation to retain heat without making you feel weighed down. There’s enough give in the waistband and gusset in the undercarriage that we never felt pressure when bending over to pick something up or running to catch a closing New York City subway car. After trying them for ourselves, we couldn’t imagine wearing anything else to dates, the office, or errands once the weather gets chilly. If you’d like to complete this ensemble, pair this gift with one of Duluth Trading Company’s flannel shirts.

Best hoodie: Chrome Merino Cobra Hoodie

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Hoodies and sweaters may be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of warmth and comfort. A hoodie made out of wool is better. And a hoodie made of Merino wool is the best. The prized material is breathable, odor-resistant, totally biodegradable, and oh, so soft. Chrome’s Merino Cobra Hoodie features this natural fiber’s properties in an all-black, classic design that will match any outfit. Your ever-frozen friend can wear it as a cozy garment indoors or as an extra layer to insulate from the biting frost outside.

Best slippers: Glerups Wool Slip-On

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Let’s admit it: Satisfying feet is no mean feat. Sometimes, they’re too cold, but if you overcompensate, they’re swampy. The solution? Enter the self-regulating wonders of wool. The Glerups felt slip-on (with 100 percent pure natural wool) naturally absorbs moisture while keeping your extremities warm. At the same time, they’re breathable—so just as comfy in the summer—and protect against odor. Available in multiple colors with either leather or rubber soles (the latter being better if you use them, like I do, to walk the dog and do other lite outdoor activities), they’re also available as a shoe and a boot, if a slipper isn’t your thing. — Tony Ware

Best for the couch potato: The Comfy Wearable Blanket

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The Comfy looks ridiculous, but any semblance of pretension melts away whenever one puts it on. This is basically a blanket masquerading as a one-size-fits-all oversized hoodie. The Comfy is probably best recommended for at-home use, but it’s well worth a look if you’re shopping for someone who just wants to binge-watch shows all winter without freezing. The Comfy’s sherpa inner lining and microfiber outer lining are soft to the touch, which makes it easy to wear for hours at a time, while the centered pouch gives one a place to put their hands. The Comfy is objectively ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculously warm. — Brandt Ranj

Best heated blanket: Bedsure Heated Blanket

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Bedsure’s Heated Blanket is an essential gift for anyone who wants to make it through the winter without being tempted to reach for the thermostat. The flannel blanket’s heating coils are arranged to provide even heating, and a large controller lets you adjust their intensity between 104 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. If one falls asleep with the blanket on, the heating coils will automatically shut off after three hours to prevent overheating. Surprisingly, Bedsure’s Heated Blanket is machine washable and can be kept clean without a big hassle. The only difficult decision will be whether to get an electric blanket in a single-person throw size or one that covers the entire bed. — Brandt Ranj

Best for winter sports lovers: Stio Men’s Figment Jacket

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Wearing heavy clothing while skiing or snowboarding is inadvisable as it can make it more difficult to move, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your favorite outdoor sportsperson in the lurch this holiday season. Instead, go the extra mile and gift them a Figment Jacket from Stio. The thin jacket is impossibly warm thanks to the company’s use of durable, sustainable materials, including recycled polyester and custom-made PeakProof™ fabric, which keeps moisture from getting through. Well-positioned pockets make it easy to store and grab gear while you’re in the middle of a long run, while durable zippers make sure those pockets stay closed unless you want them opened. Available in both Men’s and Women’s styles, the Figment Jacket is the type of gift someone will appreciate each time they hit the slopes. If you’re shopping for someone who also needs an everyday jacket, we can also recommend Stio’s Saratoga Shearling Jacket.

Best space heater: De’Longhi Ceramic Tower Heater

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A cold room can put anyone in a bad mood, which is why De’Longhi’s Tower Heater is such a thoughtful gift. The 1500W oscillating heater was very effective in our tests, appreciably raising the temperature of our bedroom within minutes. One can adjust the heater’s settings by pressing buttons on its face or using its remote. The Ceramic Tower Heater’s safety features, which include an override that shuts it off if it gets too hot, a switch that disables it if it tips, and a timer, provide ample peace of mind. If anything, the space heater worked too quickly and effectively. We were also surprised at how quiet the heater was unless it was cranked to an ultra-high setting, which means it can be used in a living room without disturbing anybody. We love space heaters, and we think you, or whoever you gift this to, will as well. — Brandt Ranj

Best for cold sleepers: Double Stitch Cotton Jacquard Quilt Set

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It can be hard to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold, especially if you’ve got poor circulation, but that’s exactly what Double Stitch’s Cotton Jacquard Quilt Set prevents. The items in this set are made from 100 percent BCI-certified cotton that’s soft, smooth, and 60 percent recycled materials. It’s even naturally vegan and allergen-free. We were able to try this set out for ourselves and can attest to both its comfort and ability to keep cool sleepers toasty all night long. The only downside to this set is that it may make it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. — Brandt Ranj

Best jacket: Kühl Stretch Voyagr Insulated Jacket

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Kühl’s name is ironic because the company’s Stretch Voyagr Insulated Jacket will keep the person you gift it to toasty until spring. The jacket is made from polyester but has spandex in the lining, which offers a little bit of give. Its five pockets give you places for your hands and belongings, and we’re especially fond of its internal security pocket, which is a must-have if you don’t want to keep your wallet or phone in your pants pocket. If you get caught in inclement weather unexpectedly, you’ll immediately appreciate this jacket’s hood, which actually stays on your head while it’s engaged instead of immediately slipping off. If you want to match this gift with a couple of other hot pieces of apparel, Kühl’s Hot Ryder pants and a Kühl Flannel shirt are also safe bets.

Best for campers and commuters: Hydro Flask 16oz Insulated Cup

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Hydro Flask’s Insulated Cup is a double-insulated stainless steel mug made from proprietary materials that allow it to keep beverages hot for several hours without requiring any fancy technology. The cup is available in over a dozen colors and three sizes, but we’re partial to the 16-ounce option as it’s the equivalent of a medium-sized coffee or tea from popular cafes. The leakproof lid creates a tight enough seal that Hydro Flask’s Insulated Cup can be stored in a bag or purse without spilling all over the place. The icing on the cake is that this mug can be cleaned in a dishwasher. (Does your gift recipient need some summer hydration help? We have lots of insulated water bottles we recommend.) — Brandt Ranj 

Best for the cook: Fuego Box Spicy Box of Awesome

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Sometimes, you want to be heated from the inside out, so a Fuego Box’s Spicy Box of Awesome is the ideal gift. The box comes with three hot sauces, jalapeño and garlic rub, and Himalayan ghost salt. The site also offers a subscription service that sends between one and three hot sauces to the recipient’s door every month. Sauces can also be purchased a la carte, and each is branded with a heat level from one to four peppers, so you know whether the bottle you’re picking is mild or extra hot. One of our favorite parts about the Fuego Box is that sauces are sent in a wooden crate, making it much more fun to open before you get to the gift itself. — Brandt Ranj

Best for the backyard: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

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We’ve all sat around a fire pit that didn’t provide enough heat unless you were close enough to be pelted with eye-watering smoke, but Solo Stove’s Bonfire fixes all that. The fire pit provides ample warmth while keeping smoke to a minimum thanks to a unique design that catches ash in a pan rather than letting it smolder at the bottom of the pit. We’ve seen the Bonfire 2.0 in action, and the results were impressive—there was still some smoke, but not nearly as much as we’d experienced on a traditional fire pit. Solo Stove’s big innovation with this iteration of the fire pit was building it with a removable ash pan, which can be lifted (once cooled) to dispose of ash in one fell swoop. It’s the type of convenience feature that’ll make whoever receives this smokeless fire pit much more inclined to bust it out more frequently. — Brandt Ranj

Best for cold hands: Öjbro Karg Glove

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You can find gloves and mittens in any of its multiple formats (fingerless, convertible, etc.) for myriad prices, but investing in a high-end pair is absolutely worth it. Öjbro Vantfabrik has a wide range of knitted products, but their four-layer Merino wool gloves and mittens are really something. They’re designed in Sweden with Nordic winters in mind, which means they can keep your hands warm in the coldest climes. Their mittens are even called Varning Varma Vantar, which translates to “warning, warm mittens.” If your friend isn’t a fan of having their hands reduced to tongs, you can always give them a pair of four-layer gloves with mobile-friendly material lining on the index finger and thumbs.

Best for dry hands and chapped lips: Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment

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Let’s face it: There are parts of your body you just can’t put Merino wool on. And since frosty air really does a number on your skin, it’s important to bring out the big guns when it comes to dry hands and chapped lips. Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment is a great low-budget solution both to prevent and treat the whiplash from wintry winds. Its versatile ingredients allow you to use it on most of your body. It also acts as a protective layer to help a healthy dermis stay healthy, while healing already damaged skin.

Best blanket: Pretty Rugged Black TS Luxe Faux

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If you can’t coax your friend outdoors with four layers of mittens, it’s okay; they just need the right blanket. Pretty Rugged’s Pretty Rugged Black TS Luxe Faux is impossibly soft inside but waterproof on the outside. This means occasional autumnal raindrops—or even melting snowflakes—won’t ruin the vibe. We’re especially fond of this blanket’s large size, which can easily accommodate a couple of people. Whether they want a way to snuggle inside their home or out, Pretty Rugged’s blanket won’t let them down.

Best personal heater: Ostrichpillow Heatbag

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If your friend constantly talks about getting a dog that will double as a warm cushion in the winter months, but their landlord doesn’t allow pets, gift them the next best thing. Ostrichpillow’s Heatbag is literally a squishy, energy-radiating pillow your friend can put their arms around. It won’t bark or wag its tail when they come home, but its clay interior can be reheated an unlimited number of times. Plus, it’s soft to the touch, and its memory foam shell will help conform to every weird sleeping position they adopt. The bag can also be used for physical therapy—heat it in the microwave and place it on sore muscles or strained joints for slow relief.