Why is my wife always complaining that the house is too cold? © Dan Bright

Why is my wife always complaining that the house is too cold?

Don’t touch that thermostat dial! There are lots of theories why we feel temperature differently but are there any real differences between genders?

There are some studies that claim that women feel colder than men. For example, in 2015, a widely reported study by two Dutch scientists suggested that women are comfortable at a temperature 2.5°C warmer than men. But their sample size was small, and other studies have shown no difference between the sexes.


That hasn’t stopped theories emerging as to why women might feel colder. Some have suggested that women’s blood vessels shut down sooner and for longer compared to men in response to the cold, possibly because they have more oestrogen. Others claim that women produce less heat because they have a lower metabolic rate (the rate of energy expenditure per unit of time). Another theory is that women have more fat than men, and this insulates the skin so their skin temperature is lower.

None of the evidence is entirely convincing. In truth, we are more likely to hear about evidence that explains why women might feel colder because it’s more interesting to read. The real reason that women prefer higher ambient temperatures than men may simply be explained by the lighter clothing normally worn by women.

Your wife might simply be complaining that it’s too cold because we all experience temperatures differently.

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