Who Makes The Best Hand Warmer?

We use the Zippo hand warmer a lot around the 50 Campfires office, and wondered how it would stack up if we compared to two other types of hand warmers. We decided to compare it to disposables (air-activated) and an electric model to find the best hand warmer.

Run Time

We’re able to get about 12 hours out of the Zippo hand warmer, 10 hours from the disposable, and about 4-5 from the rechargeable.

Winner: Zippo

run time

Zippo hand warmer


Ease of Use

The Zippo hand warmer requires both a lighter and fluid to get started. Once you get used to it you can light it easily. Still, it requires more attention than the other two in this category. The disposables couldn’t be easier. You just rip the package open. The rechargeable is a flip of the switch, but this is after you’ve spent time charging it.

Winner: Disposable

easiest to use

Disposable hand warmer




We were actually surprised at the winner here. Many of us grew up using disposable hand warmers and just assumed that they were going to be the cheapest. After finding the lowest prices at a popular big box store, we were able to get the cost per use of the Zippo hand warmer down to $0.25. The disposable actually ended up being twice the price per use: $0.50. The rechargeable comes in at basically zero, because it’s charged by a low wattage USB cable.

Winner: Rechargeable

best hand warmer

rechargeable hand warmer

Heat Quality

Our last category in the search for the best hand warmer is how the heat actually feels in your hand. The Zippo hand warmer runs hot for 12 hours. So hot in fact, that it needs to be in the cloth bag to be used safely. Disposable hand warmers are warm, but the heat slowly tapers off toward the end. When the rechargeable was tested, it just couldn’t hold up to the heat of the other two.

Winner: Zippo

best heat quality

Zippo hand warmer

The Verdict

Zippo emerges here as the clear winner when considering all four categories. As much as we like the idea of rechargeable hand warmers, the technology just isn’t capable of providing a great user experience yet. That leaves disposables and the Zippo. After factoring in cost we chose Zippo as the best hand warmer currently on the market.

Overall Winner: Zippo

best hand warmer

Zippo hand warmer