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How to keep warm in winter: tried-and-tested tips to stay toasty outside and indoors

It’s time to get cosy. But the dropping temperatures in tandem with the cost of living crisis means we’re going to have to get resourceful to stay warm this winter. Try our top tips on how to keep warm this winter indoors and outdoors.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Jun 13, 2023

Woman in snow

Winter is well and truly here. It’s grey outside, the nights are closing in early and no one feels like doing much of anything. It makes you want to just draw the curtains, snuggle up in bed with the best electric blanket and hibernate up until the spring.

Shivering at the school gates as you wait for your little one to emerge or getting sodden on the sidelines of their sports game isn't an experience any parent relishes, but there are ways to layer up and beat the chill, even on the iciest of days.

This year, many are facing the chill not just outside, but in the home too as the cost of living crisis comes into full effect. One of the primary expenses this winter will be the cost of keeping homes heated, leaving many having to make difficult decisions about how to keep warm this winter. From cheap ways of insulating rooms to savvy, warming buys like the best women's slippers that can save you money in the long run, discussions on this topic have been wide-ranging on Mumsnet with many of our users sharing their invaluable advice.

So, to help you stay toasty in the cold, we have searched the best of the Talk forums to find Mumsnetters' top tips on how to keep warm in winter, whether you're preparing for a frosty day outside or are looking for ways to stay snug around the home.

How to keep warm in winter outdoors

Woman in snow

Whether it's a quick trip to the shop or a long winter walk with the family, these are the staples Mumsnet users  recommend you wrap up in before you head out in the cold. You don't have to spend a small fortune too – while high-quality products can keep you warmer in the long run, second-hand shops like Vinted, Depop and eBay are excellent places to pick up winter essentials at a cut of the RRP.

1. An excellent coat goes a long way

Investing in one of the best winter coats for women makes those cold days at least a tiny bit more bearable.

Your coat is going to be your main staple when it comes to the outdoors this winter. So choose something practical, not too bulky and one that can accommodate layers underneath. A good quality coat is a key way to stay warm in winter, but you should also choose something you like too – after all, get the right one and it'll see you through several winters.

If you’re wanting extra comfort, you can even buy the best heated gilet or coat for that extra bit of warmth. Think of them like an electric blanket you can wear out and about – bliss!

What Mumsnet users say

“A decent coat designed for really cold outdoor pursuits - skiing or shooting jackets are good, or a down coat.” Mintjulia

“I've just bought a Jil Sander for Uniqlo down coat and it is the warmest coat ever. That and a cashmere beanie and I was cosied up for a walk along the beach.” supercee

Mumsnetters' top winter coat picks

Seasalt Janelle Coat
Best overall winter coat

Janelle Waterproof Coat

Buy now
Trespass Clea Womens Padded Jacket
Best budget winter coat

Clea Waterproof Concealable Jacket

Buy now
Jack Wolfskin coat
Best down winter jacket

Jack Wolfskin
Crystal Palace Coat

Buy now

2. A warm pair of boots

Before you head out into the cold, think about your footwear choices.

Boots keep your feet warmer than regular shoes because they cover your ankles and tend to be a bit more sturdy. They also offer better waterproofing than shoes made of more breathable materials. Remember, dry feet = warm feet, so do ensure they are waterproof – you never know when you're going to get caught in a downpour.

Boots can be an excellent fashion statement too. You can dress them up or down but, worn with a pair of decent socks, they're an excellent choice this winter to keep warm.

What Mumsnet users say

“I've had mine for ten years, worn almost daily, if not daily, because I have horses and dogs to walk. They have been used in snow, ice, thick mud, deep water, the sea, etc, etc and are still going strong. They are also fashionable and I do wear them out socially if it's a Sunday lunch type thing, or if I want a 'country' look.” RalphLaurenG

3. Layer up with scarves

Not only can scarves serve to liven up an outfit, they are also a great way to stay warm when you head out.

Scarves allow you to protect parts of your neck and ears that your jacket doesn't reach, plus layering one under a coat provides extra warmth. They can also be worn indoors to help withstand draughts too. Either way, they are an obvious but key tool to be used to keep warm this winter.

What Mumsnet users say

“A thin-knit, wide wool scarf looks chic. You can then wear what you want under it.” DreamingofNuneaton

4. Great jumpers are a centerpiece

Woman in jumper

It may seem like an obvious choice, but wooly jumpers are a really great way to keep warm in winter. Wool helps to regulate your body temperature and it also helps trap heat, so go for wool when choosing a jumper!

Whether you’re going out and about or staying in, the key features to look for to maximise warmth are a high neck, thickness and material. What's more, they're a stylish solution to help get you toasty too.

What Mumsnet users say

“I had a couple of warm cowl-neck jumpers which I can put a long-sleeved top under. They were dreadfully unflattering standing up but sat down and on Teams they were smart enough.” lugeforlife 

“I find you can’t beat real wool for warmth so I have bought a few jumpers from TKMaxx.” SheWoreYellow

5. Keep a hand warmer in your pockets

The best hand warmers can be worn inside gloves and sleeves to stay warm whilst outside this winter. There are various types ranging from electric to single use, but they are a savvy way of adding on-demand heat when you need it.

They work like little versions of the best hot water bottle, becoming a source of heat for your hands and fingers when activated. Many Mumsnet users swear by them this year.

What Mumsnet users say

“[Keep] Hot Hands hand warmers in your bag for when it becomes truly unbearable.” altforvarmt

Hot Hands Instant Hand Warmers. 6 Pairs

"They fit inside gloves and provide warmth for a good few hours."

Suggested by Mumsnet user MrsWooster

Instant Hand Warmers

Hot Hands
Currently £6

Buy now

6. Move around to create heat

When you do go out, try and keep moving to help the blood circulate around the body. A little bit of exercise can be a really good way of getting you warmed up, so keep moving and try a brisk walk if you can.

What Mumsnet users say

“If I get cold, I will move about and have hot drinks.” RoseMartha

How to keep warm in winter indoors

Woman holding drink

We've already seen snow and sub-zero degree temperatures this year in the UK, and many are feeling the chill in their homes. With the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills too, many households are trying to limit their use of central heating this year, without sacrificing on the benefits of keeping warm. Here are five methods Mumsnetters use to keep warm in their homes.

1. Wear thermals under clothes

Wearing the best thermal underwear for women under clothes provides an excellent base layer whether you’re planning on staying in or going out. But with heating becoming increasingly expensive, they can be a useful way of keeping yourself warm at home.

Look out for merino wool or a merino wool blend, and it doesn't just have to be underwear too – you can also get thermal leggings and tops. For some of the best ways to keep warm indoors in winter, we also love layering thermals under the best women's dressing gown too – they make a super snug combo.

What Mumsnet users say

“Get some thermals to layer under your clothes.” chanie44

“Can't emphasise the need for layers of clothing enough. Start with thin ones against your skin. Keep to natural fibres if possible as they are the best insulators, especially wool.” loopylindi

2. Insulate your home on a budget

Keep your living space warm as efficiently as possible and save on heating bills by properly sealing gaps under doors and windows to prevent draughts. Purpose-built tape can be bought for this, and this was widely recommended as the one of the  best draught excluders on Mumsnet.

You can also get creative: rolled up newspaper, delivery foam, anything that you can wedge into the gaps will make a difference.

Another way of minimising draughts is to use the best thermal curtains or regular heavy curtains in the winter to minimise heat loss through the window.

What Mumsnetters say

“We got some draught excluding tape that you use in doors and put it round the inside of our kitchen cupboards to stop the draught. Worked a treat.” Soontobe60

Best draught excluders: editor's picks

Adhesive draught stopper
Best budget

Adhesive Strip Draught Stopper

Buy now
DraughtEx roll
Best foam

Roll 8mm Width

Buy now
Stormguard window seal
Best for windows

Window and Door Gasket Seal

Buy now

3. Make the most of passive heating

Make sure to capitalise on moments where you can warm your house up without turning the heating on. Try and spend time in parts of the house that get the sun, and open the curtains when the sun is out to let the heat in. Close them afterwards to keep the heat inside.

What Mumsnet users say

“Use passive heating as much as you can - right now my front curtains are open, as the sun is shining that side. The moment the sun goes down I will close the curtains to retain the heat.” poshme

4. Invest in a blanket hoodie

Woman wearing a blanket hoodie

Incase you missed it, the best blanket hoodie is BIG news this year. A wearable blanket that comes in the shape of a super oversized hoodie, lined with heat-retaining fabric, it's a practical but fun trend the whole family will love.

We couldn’t give you tips on how to stay warm indoors without mentioning these. Across so many different threads, Mumsnetters kept coming back to them as a great way to keep warm in winter, with Oodie, and Sienna (now less than £20) touted as the top brands to go for.

What Mumsnet users say

“If you can get an Oodie, they’re great.” Coolyule 

“They are toasty! Ours is a fake one from Amazon. Just as good as the expensive ones.” Wildthingsinthenight

Oodie mega pack

"You can’t beat Oodie for comfort and warmth"

MNHQ tester


Blanket hoodies
From £54

Buy now

6. Don't go barefoot

Bare feet on the floor is a sure fire way to get your feet feeling cold. Slippers lined with something warming are highly recommended, but when moving around the house, it’s always good to cover your feet to keep warm in winter – whether that be with shoes or socks.

What Mumsnet users say

“I have fur-lined Crocs. They are the best slippers I’ve ever had. My feet are toasty and I [have] carpet only on the stairs so comfort and warmth is important.” Caramac04

“Sheepland Sheepskin Slippers. I suffer badly from cold feet and these are amazing. And cheaper than UGGs.” PawPrintsInMyPansies