Staying warm this winter

24 November 2021

Many people with arthritis report that their symptoms get worse when the weather is cold and damp.

Here are our top tips for staying warm this winter and reducing your symptoms:

Stay warm with layers of clothing

Wearing layers and loose layers of clothing work better at trapping the heat than thicker clothes.

Try hand warmers or heated gloves and reduce the amount of heat you lose through your head by wearing a hat.

Wearing thicker socks or two pairs helps to keep your feet warm but also provides extra cushioning under your soles.

Many slippers, shoes and boots are available with fur linings to help keep your feet warm. It’s easier to keep your feet warm when the rest of your body is warm. Read Getting dressed when you have arthritis: tips on how to make it easier.

Keep your home warm

The NHS recommends that you should heat your home to at least 18C if you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease.

Older people could get help to pay heating bills through the Winter Fuel Payment scheme. If you’re getting certain benefits, you could also be entitled to Cold Weather Payments.

Try other ways to warm up

A warm bath or shower before bed will help to warm you up will also help to ease stiff and painful joints.

Use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket to keep your bed warm. Using a hot-water bottle or microwaveable wheat bag can also help to ease stiffness.



My infrared blanket will be used every day, and I have a long hot water bottle that goes around my back, big fluffy socks and slippers.

I will start to drink, golden milk, a lovely hot drink made with almond milk and a turmeric paste you make easily at home.” Sarah has osteochondritis and fibromyalgia. Read her story.

Aim to keep active

Exercise will improve your circulation and help to keep you warmer. The weather might put you off doing long outdoor walks but there are many indoor options, like doing a yoga class, trying aerobics or using a treadmill.

Rob lives with psoriatic arthritis and works as a fitness instructor. He shares why it helps him to have regular movement as part of his routine.

From a fitness perspective, I’ll be exercising daily as usual. I like to enjoy and be part of the general festivities with both family and friends but will always make time my workout.

It can be easy to get carried away with parties, eating and drinking, if you strike a balance with some exercise, you can help your arthritis and energy levels.”

Read our advice on keeping active and you can find more winter tips on our online community.

Why not sign up for Let’s Move? This is a tailored online programme for people with arthritis who want more movement in their lives.

Make sure you eat well

You need energy from food to stay warm, so try to have regular hot meals and drinks. Find out more about eating well with arthritis.

Check out our top tips and advice to help make healthy cooking at home a little easier.

Thank you for your Facebook tips

On Facebook we had a great response from you on what things have helped you. We wanted to include the themes here so more people can benefit from the advice. Keep them coming by adding your comments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

  • Try thermals and layers, including leggings and bed socks
  • Wrap up with a scarf, hat and gloves and you could try hand heat pads Hot water bottle or microwavable wheat bag
  • Warming foods like soups with lots of vegetables.

Help and support

We are committed to help people live better with pain and other conditions through all means possible.