Heated Mugs, Electric Desk Mats, and Other Essential Tech For Keeping Warm This Winter

Heated Mugs, Electric Desk Mats, and Other Essential Tech For Keeping Warm This Winter

The frigid months will soon be upon us, but these gadgets will keep you warm and toasty.

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a screenshot from The Shining
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Like it or not, for many people around the world, summer is already a distant memory and winter’s arrival is less than a month away. It’s about to get real unpleasant for those who complain about being cold all the time, but if you plan ahead, you can stay one step ahead by surrounding yourself with gadgets designed to fend off the cold.

Whether you work from a home with a faulty furnace or spend five days a week stuck in an office where heating is considered an unnecessary expense, the winter month’s are nothing to fear with the right upgrades.

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Heated Computer Mouse Pad Hand Warmer

Heated Computer Mouse Pad Hand Warmer

A laptop user at a desk with their hand inside a heated mouse pad.
Image: Amazon

There’s nothing that makes starting a day’s work quite as annoying as reaching for a cold computer mouse does. But you can make winter mornings a little more tolerable with this $23 mousepad, which hides your computer’s mouse inside a heated plush cave that warms both the mouse and whichever hand you use it with to temperatures between 110 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the future we were looking forward to.

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Heated Desk Pad

Heated Desk Pad

An overhead shot of a desktop heating mat glowing orange and red.
Image: Amazon

But why stop at just a heated mousepad on your desk when you can cover your workstation in a $26 oversized heated desk pad? Better than a pair of fingerless gloves, this desk topper promises to keep your fingers, hands, arms, and even upper torso warm, assuming you stop to take the occasional well-earned desk nap atop it. A button in the upper corner can be used to activate one of three different heat levels, and it’s robust enough to be used as a heating pad for your feet as well, so you might as well buy two of them.

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Ember Temperature Controlled Mug

Ember Temperature Controlled Mug

The Ember self-heating mug on its charging base sitting on a desk.
Image: Ember

One of the most effective ways to stave off the cold is to warm yourself from the inside out with a hot drink, but even the best thermally insulated mugs and bottles won’t keep a drink warm forever. The $130 Ember Mug solves that problem with a built-in battery-powered heating element and sensors that can heat a beverage to a specific app-specified temperature and keep it there indefinitely, assuming you remember to occasionally charge the mug by setting it down on its charging pad.

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Rechargeable Heated Ear Warmers

Rechargeable Heated Ear Warmers

After an ignored ear infection in high school almost cost me my hearing in one ear, I now swear by earmuffs, specifically the strap behind the head design, which I wear the moment the temps dip below freezing. This $60 upgrade introduces a battery-powered heating element that provides a welcome boost of warmth for up to six hours on the lowest setting, or just two hours on high when Jack Frost is really being a jerk.

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Thanko Electric Portable Bento Box

Thanko Electric Portable Bento Box

A person sitting at a desk eating from an electric bento box full of rice using chopsticks.
Image: Thanko

There’s nothing like a warm meal to make you forget about hours spent in the cold, but instead of playing Russian roulette with the break room’s microwave and risking burning your mouth on an over-nuked frozen dinner, why not opt for some fresh cooking? Thanko created a $65 personal-sized heated bento box that can be used to cook a full serving of rice in 20 minutes, or a half-serving, perfect for a warm afternoon snack, in just 14 minutes.

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Under the Desk Flat Panel Heater

Under the Desk Flat Panel Heater

Although scientific data points to Antarctica being the coldest place on Earth, it’s hard to imagine someplace more frigid than an office trying to keep heating bills to a minimum in the winter. Space heaters are often prohibited, which is why this $116 silent flat panel heater is the perfect alternative. It attaches to the underside of a desk using nails, screws, or magnets, and blasts heat onto the user’s legs and feet while being completely out of sight to bosses, managers, and snitches.

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Heated Lap Desk

Heated Lap Desk

If you’re still able to work from home three years into the pandemic, you’ve probably cobbled together a lap desk for staying productive on the couch or in bed. Well, Japan has a lap desk variation of the country’s famous kotatsus that adds a thick blanket and heat source to the mix, creating the perfect reason to never want to leave home again. This modernized version from Thanko isn’t cheap to import, at $206, but can accommodate laptops up to 17.3-inches in size and offers adjustable temperature settings from 100 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Heated Towel Rack

Heated Towel Rack

The worst part of a cold winter’s morning isn’t stepping outside to face the wind and snow, it’s stepping out of a warm shower to face a frigid bathroom. The alternatives are to just stay in there until the hot water runs out, or upgrade your bathroom with a $200 heated towel rack with eight heated bars that can reach temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrapping yourself in a pre-heated towel or housecoat is the definition of luxury, but why not throw your socks, undies, pants, top, and coat on there, too?

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Sinus Pressure Relieving Heated Face Mask

Sinus Pressure Relieving Heated Face Mask

The best gadgets are multi-purpose devices that go above and beyond the call of duty. This $100 heated face mask definitely falls under that category, because in addition to helping relieve sinus pressure through a gentle heat ranging from 105 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it will also ensure no one will bother you while you have what appears to be alien technology strapped to your face. Someone willing to wear this in public, like in their office at work, is someone you don’t want to engage with, making it the perfect device for warmth and peace and quiet.

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Heated Steering Wheel Cover

Heated Steering Wheel Cover

A heated steering wheel cover illustrated emitting heat in all directions.
Image: Amazon

It’s a standard feature on many vehicles today, but if your daily commuter is lacking the luxury of a heated steering wheel, it’s a relatively affordable $40 upgrade with this slip-on steering wheel cover that connects to your vehicle’s 12-volt power port. In just three minutes, it can take a steering wheel from feeling ice cold to a balmy 101 degrees Fahrenheit, but we hope it’s got a long enough power cord to not impede users from actually turning the wheel.

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