The municipality (originally the parish) is named after an old farm (Old Norse Lautvin). The actual farm is probably the one which is now called Prestgarden (meaning "the vicarage"), where the first church was built. The first element is laut which means "hollow depression". (There is a long depression between the Prestgarden and the old church.) The last element is vin which means "meadow" or "pasture".
From about 1500 until 1838 the name was written "Leuten" or "Leuthen". From 1838 until 1918 the name was written "Løiten". It has been spelled Løten since 1918.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 7 September 1984. The arms show a gold-colored drinking horn from the Middle Ages on a red background. It represents the historical importance of growing wheat and also the products of the modern Løiten Brænderi (Løten brewery).
There has been traffic from east to west through Løten, throughout all recorded periods of history and archeological evidence supports earlier trade along this route. The old town center was formed around the Løten Church, which is from the 13th century.
When King Christian IV of Denmark prohibited the importation of German beer in the early 17th Century, distillation began in Norway. In 1624, distilled alcohol was prohibited at weddings, and by 1638 King Christian forbade the clergy the right to distill in their own homes. The corn-growing districts of Løten, Vang (the former municipality in Hedmark), and Romedal all became famous for their distilleries. "Gamle Løiten" from Løiten Brænderi, which was established in 1855, was a highly prized ‘akvavit’ produced in Løten.
Løten is the most eastern of the original[clarification needed] villages in Hedmark where it is lies between Hamar municipality to the west northwest, Stange municipality to the west southwest, and Elverum municipality to the east. Small portions of the municipality border on Åmot in the far north and Våler in the south. The moorland Hedmarksvidda lies in the north.