Are you dreading winter? Here are 52 clever things that'll make it WAY better

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ByCliché Wynter
Originally Published: 

Winter is not necessarily an easy season to weather (pun intended), what with the colder temperatures, time spent indoors, and the sun that all but disappears by mid-afternoon. And in a year when we're hunkering down more than usual, it's not a bad idea to start stocking up on clever things that'll make this winter way better.

There are a fair few practical items on this list, like a magnetic car windshield cover that stays put in the wind, and hand-warmers that make it easier to stay warm when you have to venture outdoors. But I've also packed this roundup with products that make staying in more fun, like a wearable blanket that's earned more than 13,000 five-star Amazon reviews, an indoor herb-growing kit for anyone finessing their home chef skills, and a wine aerator that'll upgrade your Saturday-night-on-the-couch plans. (Pass the cabernet, please.) Even going to bed will be more pleasant, thanks to this weighted blanket that actually helps reduce feelings of stress. (It works.)

To be honest, some of these finds are so great, you may want to continue hibernating long after winter's gone. And if not? You'll still find a good number of products that'll upgrade your life until springtime and sunny days return.


A neck gaiter to block out the chill

Fight off the cold-weather chill with a neck gaiter that's warm, breathable, and moisture-wicking. The gaiter is less bulky than a scarf, and it can be pulled up to cover the lower half of your face to lock in warmth. It's sold in packs of one and two, but keep in mind: This is not a CDC-approved face covering. You'll still want to wear a multi-layer cloth mask or disposable mask underneath.

  • Available colors: 15


The fan-favorite travel tumbler

With its double-walled insulation, this stainless steel tumbler can maintain your drink's temperature to the very last sip, and it's Amazon reviewer-approved, as evidenced by the 48,000 five-star ratings. The mug is designed with a magnetic lid that prevents accidental spills, and the no-sweat exterior keeps condensation at bay. Plus, it's dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

  • Available colors: 21


A design-forward mug warmer

A simple press of the power button is all it takes to keep your beverage warm with this mug warmer that comes in design-minded colors and styles, like sky blue, minimalist white, and woodgrain. It has three temperature settings that can be adjusted to your liking, and the automatic shut-off function activates after four hours.

  • Available colors: 6


The wearable blanket with a hood

This wearable blanket will make frigid winter nights at home way more cozy. It's essentially an oversized hoodie, complete with plush sherpa lining, a hood, and a roomy kangaroo pocket at the front (for your snacks, of course). Put this on before your next TV marathon.

  • Available sizes: adult, kids
  • Available colors and styles: 13


A sleek electric kettle

Step into the future with this sleek electric kettle made from stainless steel and borosilicate glass, which is known for its superior heat- and crack- resistance. The 6-cup kettle boils water within minutes, and the blue indicator light lets you know when it's ready. Plus, it's got a "keep warm" function that maintains temperature while you sip.


These moisturizing lip balms

Soothe dry, cracked lips with this set of five lip balms made from natural ingredients, like beeswax, and deeply hydrating sunflower seed and coconut oils. The cruelty- and paraben-free balms are flavored, too: green tea, peppermint, mango, vanilla, and pomegranate.


An electric blanket for the car

When the temperature really drops and it takes awhile for your car's heat to kick in, this electric blanket will pick up the slack. The 12-volt throw plugs directly into your vehicle and warms up in no time. It also has a 96-foot long cord, so it can reach all the way to the backseat.

  • Available colors: 6


The thermal socks with a fuzzy lining

These thermal socks are designed with a plush lining for extra insulation and comfort in winter, and according to reviewers, they really work. “I LOVE these socks. They are so soft and warm! My toes are ALWAYS cold in the winter. I slipped these on over top of my thin compression socks and that problem is now solved,” one customer wrote. Each order comes with three pairs in a range of colors. However, you can’t choose your shades.


A powerful mini space heater

Reviewers report that this mini space heater is "small but powerful," and it's a great way to heat up the space directly around you, whether that's at your desk or on your bedside table. The ceramic heater comes in four colors and features a sturdy base and tip-over protection.


An extra-large heating pad

Get soothing pain relief from this electric heating pad. The extra-large pad can be stretched across the shoulders, back, abdomen, or any other part of your body, and the plush flannel cover is soft on the skin. It has six temperature settings, a digital display screen, and an automatic shut-off function for safety.

  • Available colors: 4


These fingerless flashlight gloves

These fingerless flashlight gloves come in handy when you're doing repairs in the dark (plumbing, changing a tire), and they're also handy for setting up a campsite when summer rolls around. The LED lights are powered by two AAA batteries (which are included), and the glove themselves are made from breathable and flexible cotton.


This ear-warmer

If you don't want to deal with the bulk of a winter hat, this highly-rated ear warmer is a great alternative. It's ultra-slim and comfortable, and it also doubles as extra cold-weather protection if you wear it under a beanie. Made from fleece and spandex, it offers a snug fit and is contoured for full ear coverage.


The rechargeable hand warmer that doubles as a power bank

This hand warmer not only keeps your fingers toasty, but it also doubles as a power bank, so you can charge your phone or tablet on the go. Available in three colors, it features three adjustable temperature settings, and can operate for up to eight hours on the lowest setting before needing to be recharged.


A rechargeable lighter

This USB-rechargeable electric lighter lets you keep a safe distance while firing up grills, lighting candles, or building fires. And because it uses lithium-powered plasma beams instead of lighter fluid, it's easy to use in wet or windy weather, and you won't have to replace it anytime soon.


The fan-favorite ointment for dry, cracked skin

Cold weather can sap your skin of moisture, but this soothing ointment can restore hydration while reducing redness and irritation — ideal for skin or lips that have been exposed to extreme weather, hand sanitizer, soap and water, and indoor heat. The fragrance-free formula comes with thousands of reviews and a 4.8-star overall rating to back it up.


A wallet-friendly fitness tracker

This fitness tracker proves you don't have to break the bank to get a device that accurately monitors heart rate, steps, distance traveled, and even sleep quality. Like its more expensive competitors, the tracker also analyzes specific workouts (like cycling and yoga), and allows you to control music and receive incoming messages and calls.

  • Available colors: 4


The fabric defuzzer

Sweaters and slacks can look worse for the wear over time, but this battery-operated fabric defuzzer makes it easy to remove pilling. It's safe to use on most fabrics — including cashmere and furniture upholstery — and the three adjustable depth levels guard against snags.


A silicone door draft stopper

Boasting more than 17,000 ratings, this door draft stopper is an easy way to cut down on your heating bill in the colder months. Made from flexible silicone, it tightly seals any gaps between the door and floor, and all you have to do is peel off the backing and apply. (Bonus: It'll can also help reduce your a/c bill in the summer.)


These touch screen-sensitive gloves

These touch screen-sensitive winter gloves are designed with conductive fabric on the thumb and index finger, so you can search, dial, and text without exposing your hands to the cold air. Made with double-layered fleece, they're also water-resistant and windproof, so they'll stand up to even the most blustery days.

  • Sizes: small - x-large


This magnetic windshield cover

A magnetic windshield cover will save you the trouble of having to constantly scrape ice and snow off your car in the morning. The strong magnets at the edges ensure the cover stays put, so you don't have to worry about it blowing off in the wind, but it also features loops, so you can further secure it to your sideview mirrors.


The Bluetooth-enabled beanie

Stylish and practical, this Bluetooth beanie features built-in speakers that can be paired with your smartphone or tablet, so you can listen to playlists and podcasts without getting cold ears. You'll get up to 10 hours of play before needing to recharge, and the knit hat itself features a soft and breathable lining that makes it comfortable for all-day wear.

  • Available colors: 10


The ear warmers with built-in speakers

If hats aren't your thing, try these Bluetooth-enabled ear warmers instead. Made with soft material and a plush lining, they're contoured for full-ear coverage and feature built-in high-definition speakers, with control buttons on the exterior. They're rechargeable, and you'll get up to 10 hours of play before needing to plug in.


A portable s'mores maker

If you're looking for a little nostalgia while you hunker down at home, break out this ceramic s'mores maker. Just pop in a can of chafing fuel (sold separately), and you’re ready to roast marshmallows inside without having to build a fire. Plus, it comes with an elegant tray and four roasting forks.


The extendable 3-in-1 ice scraper

This ice scraper extends from 31 to 39 inches, so you don't have to strain to clear off the windshield. Aside from scraping ice, this clever gadget also has a built-in squeegee and thick-bristled brush on the other end, so you can remove snow and slush with one convenient device.


A dice game that requires bluffing

Pull out Bamboozled the next time game night rolls around. In this dice game, you have to beat or tie the previous player's roll; if you don't, you can try to bluff, but be careful — if you get caught in the lie you'll lose one of your three "lives." If you get away with a lie, on the other hand, you'll win a Bamboozled card, which acts as a get-out-of-jail-free pass later in the game. Reviewers say it's "fantastic" and "so fun to play."


The fast-paced game of wits

If you like to think on your feet and test your wits, this fast-paced card game is for you. When two of the same card categories are drawn, you and your opponent will be challenged to shout out an example of that category. For example, if you draw the "Brad Pitt movies" card, you might shout out, Moneyball or Ocean's 11 — whoever answers first wins that round. (Note: some of these cards are adult themed, so you may want children to sit this one out.)


These cloud-like memory foam slippers

Designed with a plush fleece lining and high-density memory foam insoles, these unisex slippers offer fantastic warmth and comfort. They also have anti-slip rubber soles, so you can step out to get the mail while wearing them, and they come in three neutral shades: camel, gray, and two-tone gray and black.

  • Available sizes: men's 4 - 14, women's 5 -16
  • Available colors: 3


The plush unisex robe

Wearing this plush bath robe is the next-best thing to being at a resort, and it's great for chilly mornings and lazy weekends. Made from soft fleece, it has two pockets at the sides and an adjustable tie closure. One reviewer wrote, "This is one of the softest, most comfortable robes ever."

  • Available colors: 8


A compact light therapy lamp

Combat the winter blues with this light therapy lamp that's sleek, compact, and folds down when not in use. It has three brightness levels, so you can adjust it to your preference, and the rotating light panel lets you get the perfect angle for your session. Also great: Light therapy may help you fight jet lag.


The non-stick baking mats

From baking cookies to roasting vegetables, these non-stick and reusable silicone baking mats let you forego the use of oils, sprays, or parchment paper. (They're even designed with a macaron template for easy baking.) They're heat-safe up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit, and easy to wash with soap and water.


These color-coded stainless steel mixing bowls

Trick out your kitchen with these stainless steel mixing bowls with color-coded, silicone bases that keep them from sliding around on your countertop while you're blending, whisking, and stirring. They’re also designed with wide, rolled rims for mess-free pouring, and the set includes five bowls in various sizes that can be stacked for storage.


A mess-free batter dispenser

Use this batter dispenser the next time you make pancakes, cupcakes, or muffins. It holds up to 4 cups, and the squeezable handle gives you more control over how much batter is dispensed. And unlike ladles or spoons, it's outfitted with a leakproof valve to prevent dripping.


A classic French press

Make a perfect batch of French press with this Bodum coffee maker. The 34-ounce carafe is made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass, and the stainless steel plunger and mesh filter extract coffee while separating the grounds from the brew. One reviewer wrote, "Great Bodum quality. [...] For the price and ease of use, this is the best coffee press available."


An indoor herb growing kit

Put your green thumb to work with this organic indoor herb-growing kit. The kit comes with nine reusable pots, nine nutrient-rich soil discs, and nine herbs: dill, basil, chives, thyme, parsley, oregano, cilantro, sage, and mustard. It even includes a step-by-step instruction guide for beginners. Set it up by a window and watch your herbs flourish.


The wine aerator that oxygenates as you pour

Forget the decanter, and oxygenate that bottle of big Napa red with this aerator instead. It fits neatly into the neck of the bottle, and infuses your vino with oxygen as you pour, helping to bring out the flavor and bouquet. Just as good, the slanted swan-neck spout makes pouring easy, and the notched tip minimizes splashing.


The bamboo bathtub caddy

Stay in the bath as long as you like with this bathtub caddy made from eco-sustainable bamboo. It's outfitted with multiple compartments for storing your a book or tablet, phone, soap, and even a glass of wine. Designed to fit most tubs, it extends it extends from 28 to 41.5 inches, and the silicone grips keep it in place


A 4-in-1 milk frother

Make your caffeinated beverages at home with this automatic frother. The stainless steel machine is multi-functional, and can heat milk and create froth — from both warm and cold milk. (In other words, this is an easy way to save on your monthly coffee shop bill.) Plus, the pitcher is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.


The weighted blanket that reduces stress

A weighted blanket provides deep pressure stimulation that can help improve sleep and reduce stress, so it may be a worthy investment for, well, just about all of us. This one is quilted to evenly distribute the weighted beads across your body, and it's available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and weights; for ideal results, choose one that's approximately 10% of your body weight.

  • Available sizes and weights: 14
  • Available colors: 20


An adjustable phone and tablet stand

Go hands-free with this adjustable phone and tablet stand. It can be elevated from 6.3 inches to 9 inches, so you can get the right angle while preventing neck and back fatigue. The stand is designed with an aluminum alloy arm, a sturdy metal base, and a silicone pad that protects your phone from scratches.


A memory foam seat cushion

With over 44,000 reviews this seat cushion is an undeniable fan favorite. Made with memory foam, the cushion utilizes heat-responsive technology to mold to your body and provide optimal comfort and support. The U-shaped cushion also works to alleviate pressure on the hips, waist, and thighs, and the soft cover is removable and machine-washable.


The no-touch forehead thermometer

Stay on top of your health this winter with this no-touch infrared thermometer without ever needing to make contact with your forehead (or anyone else's). It has a color-coded LCD temperature display system that indicates a normal temperature, a mild fever, and a high fever.


These stress-relieving balls

This 12-pack of stress balls is a bargain, and they're great for reducing stress in any high-intensity situation (and let's be honest, there are many of them). They're durable (so you can squeeze as hard as you want), and they come in starry-night patterns in shades of indigo, purple, and dark blue.


An iron skillet with a hot handle holder

If you're a frequent cast iron skillet user, you know just how hot it can get. This skillet and hot handle holder duo helps solve that problem: The silicone handle holder slides right onto the pan to protect your hand from the scalding heat. (And if you're not a cast iron skillet user, now's the time to get on board — it distributes heat more evenly and upgrades flavor.) Bake, braise, fry, and grill like a pro.

  • Available sizes: 3.5-inch, 6.5-inch, 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch, 10.25-inch, 12-inch, 13.2.5-inch, 15-inch


An around-the-neck reading light

This around-the-neck reading light is a great way to catch up on some work or dive into a book without disturbing anyone else. It has three dimmable color modes: yellow, warm white, and cool white — and two heads that are angle-adjustable. It's USB-chargeable and works for up to 80 hours before needing to be juiced up again.


These airtight food containers

Whether you're looking to store soups and sauces or pack away dry goods, these storage containers are a must for any home chef. The set comes with bins of various sizes, and the airtight lids preserve freshness and prevent leaks. They're dishwasher- and freezer-safe and come with chalkboard labels for easy organization.


A compact humidifier that’s safe to use around pets

This cool-mist humidifier is slim, compact, and design-conscious. It's sized to fit in small spaces but is still powerful enough to cover up to 175 square feet. Since it releases a cool, quiet mist, it’s a great options if you’re worried about burns. Get 10 hours of runtime with each fill and has two settings. It’s also great for keeping plants happy.


A pack of reusable hand warmers

These reusable hand warmers provide instant heat relief without the use of electricity. Snap each packet and it'll warm up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The set comes with four pocket warmers that last for approximately 50 to 60 minutes and four hand warmers that last for 30 to 40 minutes. Recharge them in boiling water for up to 15 minutes and you're all set for next time.


A brightening mask that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin

Formulated with soothing marshmallow root extract and brightening vitamin C, this Bliss face mask is a customer favorite for skin that could use a refresh. The non-greasy formula has reviewers raving: “It's been 3 weeks, and I am absolutely amazed by this product. It's now in my regular skin-care routine. My face is glowy, soft, and no longer incredibly sensitive. My skin is moisturized, and it looks surprisingly healthy.”


A Dutch oven that won't break the bank

If there's one thing this year has taught us, it's that everyone needs a cast iron Dutch oven. This one won't put a dent your wallet, and it can be used on the stove or in the oven (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Available in three sizes and eight colors, it features a non-stick interior and a durable enamel finish. Use it for risottos, roasts, sourdough bread, and more.

  • Available sizes: 4.3-quart, 6-quart, 7.3-quart
  • Available colors: 12


The blackout sleep mask

Settle in for a great night's sleep with this sleep mask that features cushioned, adjustable, recessed eye cups that won't put pressure on your eyelids. The breathable cotton mask features an elastic and velour strap that's soft and adjustable, so you can get a snug but comfortable fit.


These air-purifying bamboo charcoal bags

Eliminate odor and purify the air with these fragrance-free bamboo charcoal bag. The linen bags are filled with activated bamboo charcoal, and they can be used in your closet, bathroom, car, or gym bag to fend off unpleasant smells. The best part? You can use them for up to two years; just set them in the sun occasionally to reactivate.


The High-Fidelity Bluetooth earbuds

These Bluetooth earbuds provide an immersive sound experience, thanks to their hi-fi sound, and they're ideal for video calls and podcast or music listening. The adjustable earfins allow you to customize the fit, and you'll get five hours of play time on one charge, and the charging case offers an additional 100 hours. Perhaps the best part is the fact that they're waterproof, so you don't have to worry about them getting damaged in the rain or snow.