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10 best thermal socks for warm, cosy feet this winter

Don’t let winter chills stop your feet from feeling warm and cosy. Treat your toes with our pick of the best thermal socks, as recommended by Mumsnet users.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Nov 23, 2023

Selection of the best thermal socks

When temperatures drop, there are few things more uncomfortable than chilly toes. To get a foothold on this problem, investing in a comfy pair of the best thermal socks can help keep your feet toasty and cosy all day long.

Usually made from heat-insulating fabrics like wool, thermal socks tend to be thicker than your average pair of socks, with many designed to offer extra support and cushioning – perfect for keeping warm while walking the dog or cheering on the kids from the sidelines. There are also cosy pairs that work just as well at home, whether you’re pottering around the house and team them with the best women’s slippers or wear them snuggled up on the sofa with a hot water bottle.

To help you choose the right ones for your budget, we’ve scoured our forums for Mumsnetter-recommended thermal socks, seeking out pairs that were praised for their comfort, durability and, of course, warmth. We then scrutinised verified consumer reviews to highlight the best thermal socks you can buy to keep your toes super snug all winter long.

Best thermal socks UK: at a glance

M&S Sumptuously Soft Thermal Socks
Best thermal socks overall

M&S Sumptuously Soft
Thermal Socks

Buy now
Heat Holders Thermal Socks
Best thermal socks for Raynaud's

IOMI Heat Holders
Thermal Socks

Buy now
Darn Thermal Socks
Best thermal socks for durability

Darn Tough Lightweight
Cushion Socks

Buy now

Best thermal sock overall

M&S Sumptuously Soft Thermal Socks

What we like
  • Pack of three offers excellent value for money 

  • Extra stretch for comfort 

  • Thick and warm

What we don't like
  • Some may prefer the lighter colour pack

Key specs

Price on writing: £10 for three pairs | Material: 88% viscose, 11% polyamide and 1% elastane lycra® | Size range: 3-5 or 6-8 | Care: Wash at 40°C, not suitable for tumble drying

What Mumsnet users say
Lcb123 · Recommended
I have some Sumptuously Soft™ Thermal Socks from Marks and Spencer. Really warm, but still thin and pretty.
See Post
TheFlis12345 · Tried & Tested
M&S Sumptuously Soft or Heatgen thermal socks. I also like their cotton-rich thermal socks but they are quite thick.
See Post

Our verdict

This pack of three stylish socks from M&S not only offers excellent value for money, but they also genuinely live up to their name. Super soft to the touch, they have a ribbed ankle-length design including extra stretch for additional comfort.

With a medium thickness and warmth rating that is cosy and comfortable without feeling bulky or weighty on your feet, they’re ideal for wearing both inside and outside the home, trapping air against your feet to keep them toasty warm when temperatures drop. 

Related: Discover the best electric blanket according to Mumsnetters


Best budget thermal socks

URECOVER Thermal Socks for Women

What we like
  • Great value for money

  • Selection of colours

  • Cosy warmth rating 

  • Tear and crease-resistant 

What we don't like
  • The gift box, while a nice touch, is Christmas-themed, making it less suitable for all-year-round gifting

Key specs

Price on writing: £10 for five pairs | Material: Polyester | Size range: 4-7 | Care: Machine wash

Our verdict

Looking for socks that’ll keep your toes toasty warm without a significant price tag? This URECOVER pack of five thermal socks offers excellent value for money, working out at just £2 a pair.

While the polyester fabric may not appeal to everyone, they offer cosy warmth and excellent insulation, with a durable ankle-length design that’s suitable for wearing as bed socks or worn inside and outside the home. It’s worth noting that they do come in a festive gift box, which while ideal for a Christmas gift, may be a bit random when gifting at other times of year. 


Best thermal socks for Raynaud's

What we like
  • Designed specifically for people who suffer from Raynaud's syndrome

  • Non-slip grips on the sole 

  • Claim to be eight times warmer than a standard cotton sock

  • Double layer 3.1 tog rating

What we don't like
  • Costly for a single pair 

  • Some found them too tight on the leg so you may want to opt for the larger size if you’re above shoe size 6

Key specs

Price on writing: £14 | Material: 89% acrylic, 8% polyester, 2% polyamide, 1% elastane | Size range: 4-8 or 6-11 UK | Care: Machine washable

What Mumsnet users say
QueenRefusenik · Tried & Tested
Iomi Heat Holder socks, Raynaud's rating. The only ones that work for me.
See Post

Our verdict

Heat Holders are a brand trusted by Mumsnet users, but in this recent collaboration with IOMI, they’ve produced a pair of thermal socks specifically for those with Raynaud’s syndrome – a medical condition which can cause feet to feel bitterly cold and numb. These double-layered socks have a tog rating of 3.1, claiming to be up to eight times warmer than a traditional cotton sock.

While they work out relatively costly for a single pair, these practical socks are ideal for both inside and outside the home, with non-slip grippers on the sole to prevent slipping on tiled or wooden floors. 

Related: The best heated gloves and hand warmers for Raynaud's syndrome


Best thermal socks for durability

Darn Tough Lightweight Cushion Socks

What we like
  • Made from super warm merino wool

  • Seamless design

  • Breathable, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial for more active days 

  • Durable cushioned sole 

What we don't like
  • Hand wash only 

  • Costly 

Key specs

Price on writing: From £21 | Material: 54% polyamide, 43% wool (merino), 3% elastane | Size range: S, M, L | Care: Hand wash only 

What Mumsnet users say
Oldraver · Tried & Tested
Darn Tough Merino are the best socks I've bought. If you want thin ones, go for the 'light' version.
See Post
bingohandjob · Recommended
If you want the very best that will last - Darn Tough.
See Post

Our verdict

They may not come cheap, but if you’re looking for high-performance thermal socks that are suitable for a more active lifestyle, this durable pair is certainly worth the investment. Darn Tough promises that you’ll experience “no slipping, no bunching, and no blisters” when wearing their outdoor socks, which feature a seamless, cushioned design that’ll keep you warm and dry during your travels. 

Made from merino wool, these socks regulate your body temperature and offer excellent insulation with a breathable, moisture-wicking design that can keep your feet comfortable and dry all day long. Pair them with your warmest winter coat and you'll be ready to face the cold wherever your adventures take you.


Best thermal socks for comfort

Heat Holders Thick Fluffy Thermal Socks

What we like
  • Wide range of colours and designs

  • 2.3 TOG rating for cosy warmth

  • Comfortable brushed inner 

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

What we don't like
  • Can be a bit thick under normal shoes 

  • Synthetic fabrics are not as breathable as natural fibres

Key specs

Price on writing: £10 | Material: 91% acrylic, 5% polyamide, 3% polyester, 1% elastane | Size range: 4-8 | Care: Machine wash

What Mumsnet users say
Lottapianos · Tried & Tested
I have freezing cold feet and someone recommended Heat Holders socks. They have a lovely fleece lining and they're definitely the warmest socks I've tried.
See Post
TheFormerPorpentinaScamander · Recommended
I've got 'Heat Holders'. I bought them on Amazon, but have also seen them in Primark. I think they do child-sized ones too. They are super warm.
See Post

Our verdict

Heat Holders have a great reputation for their thermal socks, and they're praised by Mumsnet users for their cosiness, warmth and quality. While they’re priced at the higher end of the market, they claim to be seven times warmer than a regular cotton sock, with a 2.3 TOG rating and fluffy brushed inner that exudes cosy comfort.

Available in a huge variety of colours and styles, these socks are best for use at home when you’re snuggling up on the sofa or staying cosy in bed. Their thickness makes them pretty bulky, so they won’t feel comfortable in a standard pair of shoes, although they’d work well as wellie liners to keep feet warm on a cold and wet day out walking. It’s worth noting that with synthetic materials, they’re not as breathable as some thermal socks, so we recommend you take them off at intervals to let your feet ‘air out’.

Related: Best draught excluder for insulating your home


Best long thermal socks

M&S Collection 2-Pack Thermal Knee-High Socks

What we like
  • Reinforced heel and toe

  • Stretchy fabric

  • Antibacterial to prevent stinky feet 

  • Choice of black or grey

What we don't like
  • Some reviewers found they slipped down when walking 

Key specs

Price on writing: £10 for two pairs | Material: 93% viscose, 6% polyamide and 1% elastane lycra | Size range: 3-5, 6-8, 3-5W, 6-8W | Care: Machine wash at 40°C

What Mumsnet users say
FatGirlShrinking · Tried & Tested
M&S knee-high thermal socks, they are really soft and thin but warm.
See Post
howgirl63 · Recommended
M&S thermal socks - bought ankle and knee-length this year and they are great even after washing!
See Post

Our verdict

When it gets really cold outside, or you need to keep your legs warm when working from home, it’s well worth layering up in your best thermals and pulling on a pair of cosy knee-high socks. These M&S Collection socks fit the bill, are available in a choice of black or grey, and offer great value at just £10 for a pack of two.

With stretchy fabric for a flexible, comfortable fit, they even have antibacterial ‘Freshfeet technology’  that can keep bad odours at bay - a great choice for all-day activities or long commutes to work. With a reinforced heel and toe, they won't wear out easily – however, some reviewers did find they slipped down a little on more active walks.


Best thermal socks for hiking

Stance Merino Wool x Infiknit Crew Socks

What we like
  • Infiknit technology that never rips or tears

  • Excellent breathability 

  • Performance cushioning 

  • Reinforced heel and toe

What we don't like
  • Costly

  • Hand wash only 

Key specs

Price on writing: £13 | Material: 37% nylon, 35% merino wool, 26% polyester, 2% elastane | Size range: Small or medium | Care: Hand wash only

What Mumsnet users say
IWineAndDontDine · Recommended
Stance socks 10000%. The techy ones specifically. They are great.
See Post
ShirleyPhallus · Tried & Tested
Another vote for Stance, they're brilliant. If you get the Infiknit ones they have a money-back guarantee.
See Post

Our verdict

If you’re looking to keep your feet warm and dry while hiking, walking or exploring the great outdoors, these high-performance Stance Crew Socks make a worthy investment. With cushioning across the arch to support you over longer distances, they include reinforced heels and toes that won’t wear out, no matter how far your travels may take you.

The breathable merino wool not only offers excellent insulation but is also breathable and moisture-wicking too, preventing your feet from getting sweaty even after extended wear. With Infiknit technology that is tear and rip-resistant, these cosy and classic socks are built to last, keeping your feet warm and comfortable for many winters to come.

Related: The cosiest kids’ blanket hoodie according to parents


Best thermal socks for extreme cold

Bridgedale Women's Midweight Plus Ski-Merino Endurance Socks

What we like
  • Shockzone advanced padding for extra support and comfort 

  • Super soft merino wool socks

  • Thermal, moisture wicking and breathable 

  • Supportive fit over the calf 

  • Flat seams for comfort 

What we don't like
  • Costly 

  • Warm but not particularly thick

Key specs

Price on writing: £26 | Material: 34% merino wool, 32% nylon/polyamide, 33% endurofil/polypropylene, 1% LYCRA/elastane | Size range: Small, medium and large | Care: Machine wash 

What Mumsnet users say
CMOTDibbler · Recommended
I'm wearing Bridgedale merino socks right now, and they are perfect. Not thick but cosy, and they stay on properly even in wellies.
See Post
DotBall · Tried & Tested
Bridgedale merino socks. Various thicknesses and lengths available to suit.
See Post

Our verdict

If you’re heading off skiing, taking part in winter sports, or simply hoping to keep your feet warm in more extreme weather conditions, these Bridgedale Women's Merino Endurance Socks will make a great addition to your drawers.

With a non-bulky design that comes halfway up your calf, they offer excellent coverage to protect you from the elements. The SHOCKZONE advanced padding system offers additional cushioning across the high-impact areas of your foot, while the merino wool fabric provides excellent warmth, breathability and moisture-wicking no matter how high energy your adventures may be. 


Best lightweight thermal socks

Uniqlo Heattech Thermal Socks

What we like
  • Choice of five colours

  • Non-bulky design

  • Soft and comfortable

  • Ideal for everyday wear 

What we don't like
  • Not as warm as some thicker pairs

  • Relatively costly for a single pair

Key specs

Price on writing: £8 | Material: 51% acrylic, 19% polyamide, 16% viscose, 11% modal, 2% elastane, 1% polyester | Size range: 4-7 | Care: Machine wash at 40°C

Our verdict

Uniqlo’s thermal HeatTech range has proved popular amongst Mumsnet users, with their thermal tops and leggings being praised for their ability to keep you warm and comfortable when working from home during the winter months. 

These thermal socks are no exception. Despite their relatively thin and lightweight design, these ankle-length socks have a ribbed fabric that helps retain body heat to keep your feet warm and comfortable all day long. They’re not the thickest or warmest socks for outdoor wear, but they are ideal for everyday use around the home, especially when paired with the best heated throw for cosy nights on the sofa. We love the pick of five colours too – from traditional white and black to a bolder pink or beige.


Best thermal bed socks

Good Ideas 3-Pack Thermal Bed Socks

What we like
  • Good value for money 

  • Ideal for use around the home

  • Super soft and comfortable 

What we don't like
  • Synthetic material

  • Less breathable than some thermal socks

Key specs

Price on writing: £10 for three pairs | Material: 90% acrylic, 10% polyester | Size range: 4-8 | Care: Machine wash

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a cosy pair of socks to wear at home or in bed with your blanket hoodie, then look no further than these soft and fuzzy ones from Good Ideas – with three pairs for £10. With subtle pastel shades of pink, blue and white, they have great reviews, mostly focused on the extreme comfort and softness, as well as the quality material that doesn't shrink in the wash. 

The obvious downside to these socks is that they’re made from completely synthetic materials, so your feet may get a little sweaty if the temperature gets too warm. Overall though, considering the great price and super cosy comfort, these socks make a great choice for indoor use. 

Related: Best thermal curtains for keeping the cold out

What to consider when buying thermal socks

With so many thermal socks to choose from, it can be difficult to decide on the right pair to purchase. Here are some things to consider when making your choice:

  • Where will you be wearing them? - Are you looking for thermal socks to wear around the home or in bed, or are you after thick and warm socks to help protect you from the elements when outside in cold weather conditions? Some brands are more durable and better suited to outdoor use, while others are best for indoor use to prolong their life.

  • What material are they made from? - Some thermal socks are made from synthetic materials, which while offering excellent warmth and insulation, are not as breathable and moisture-wicking as natural fibres such as merino wool. 

  • How thick do you want them to be? - Some thermal socks are relatively thick, which while great for warmth, can make them feel a bit bulky and difficult to wear under regular shoes. Others offer medium warmth and a thinner design which are better suited to everyday wear.

  • How active are you? - If you intend to go hiking or be particularly active in your thermal socks, you may want to consider those with reinforced toes and heels for durability. You should also consider the length and seams – seamless or flat seam designs are less likely to cause irritation or friction on more active days.

  • How easy are they to clean? - Some merino wool designs recommend hand washing to protect their fibres, whereas others can be washed in the machine at 40 degrees. Synthetic designs tend to dry more quickly than natural fibre designs. 

  • Budget - How much are you willing to spend? While you may pay more for performance socks or those specifically for medical conditions such as Raynaud’s, you can find multi-packs of thermal socks that offer great value for money for everyday use. 

What are the warmest socks?

For everyday wear around the home, Heat Holders offer significant warmth, with a high TOG rating and a thick, fleece lining that can keep your toes toasty warm when snuggling up on the sofa or working from home. 

If you’re heading outside, however, and want to keep warm whilst being active, the performance Darn Tough thermal socks offer the ideal combination of insulation and durability.

Plus, if you're wanting an extra boost of warmth this winter, we also have a guide to the best heated socks.

About the author

Lucy Cotterill is a Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in parenting and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy has extensive experience researching and exploring the pros and cons of products, something she brings to every Mumsnet Swears By guide she writes.

Working from home for the majority of her working week, Lucy treated herself to a selection of thermal socks last winter, including our top pick M&S thermal socks and a few pairs of thick and cosy Heat Holders for additional comfort. 

Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.

How we chose the best thermal socks

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

First up, we sought out parents' advice on the Mumsnet forums to discover what thermal socks they had bought and whether they were still happy with those purchases some time on. We also made sure to note any brands or socks that Mumsnetters didn’t rate too.

Authentic consumer reviews 

To find the best warm socks, we then scoured verified reviews to see what consumers were saying and assessed the merits and disadvantages of each product.

Expert opinions

After that, we consulted in-depth analysis on fashion, lifestyle and outdoor pursuit sites. We then collated both lists to develop a shortlist of thermal socks that had won industry awards, accolades from experts and applause from real people.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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