Do I need thermal underwear?

Do I need thermal underwear?

clock-circular-outline Posted 6 Oct 2022



With summer behind us, and winter fast approaching, you might be wondering if you’ll need your thermals this year. Andrew Grinnell explains why thermal underwear is a must for the winter workwear wardrobe…


Wearing thermal underwear as part of your daily workwear will help keep you warm in cold environments, whether you’re out in the elements loading or unloading, working in a draughty warehouse, or travelling the country delivering parcels and pallets.


Do I need thermal underwear?

As the temperature turns colder, most people working in logistics roles would benefit from incorporating some kind of thermal underwear into their everyday workwear. If you’re moving around the warehouse, or in and out of different environments, it will help to keep you warm without making you sweat. If you’re standing still working on a production or assembly line, it offers extra warmth without the bulk that results from layering up to the extremes.


Does thermal clothing work?

Yes, they really do work! Thermal underwear acts like a second skin, keeping your arms, core and legs warm and dry. You don’t get cold so fast, and it is specially designed to help regulate body temperature by reducing the heat that builds up when you move. Made from wicking material, it pulls sweat from your body, keeping you at a comfortable temperature.


What is the difference between thermal underwear and base layers?

There is no difference between thermal underwear and base layers. Both lock in body heat and wick away sweat, helping the wearer to regulate their temperature in cold environments. Whether you call them thermals, thermal underwear, base layers, long johns or thermal t-shirts – they all do the same job of keeping you comfortable at work in winter.


How to wear thermal clothing: The art of layering

Keeping warm and comfortable in cold weather is all about the right layering. It is far better to wear several thin layers of clothing than to add a bulky top layer to your normal workwear.

Starting with a thermal base layer is ideal, as thermals are lightweight and won’t restrict movement. Thermal underwear underneath normal workwear, with a fleece jacket on top, should be sufficient to keep warehouse workers warm during the cold weather. Adding a hat and lightweight thermal gloves on top of this will help to reduce heat loss from the extremities.


Our tip: Forklift drivers working in cold environments will require different winter workwear to people working in roles where they are moving around a lot, and may be most comfortable wearing waterproof workwear designed for people working in cold stores, freezers and chillers.


Find out more: Read our blog on staying warm in the warehouse this winter.


Our tips for staying warm in cold environments are:


  • Layer up – Wearing several thin layers is most effective. Air gets trapped between the layers, where it acts as an insulator to keep you warm.
  • Wear a thermal base layer – Choose close-fitting, lightweight thermals with moisture wicking properties. The last thing you want in the cold weather is to feel wet.
  • Protect your extremities – Wearing a hat and lightweight thermal gloves can make a huge difference to overall body temperature and comfort.
  • Don’t overdo it – Start slightly chilly and wear several layers that you can add to or remove as needed once you start moving around and building up body heat.
  • Micro-adjust – If you start to feel hot, small adjustments like opening a zip, rolling up sleeves, or removing a hat are often enough to help the body regulate its temperature. If this doesn’t work, you can remove a layer of clothing. Just be careful not to remove too much clothing at once, as your temperature could go too far the other way.
Andrew Grinnell By Andrew Grinnell

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