When you head outdoors to work in your yard or garden, the first gardening tool you reach for is a pair of sturdy gloves. However, wearing gardening gloves doesn't mean you have to sacrifice comfort or style. “Now, I love pretty painted fingernails, and people always want to know how I can keep mine clean when I dig in the dirt all day long,” says Carmen Johnston, founder and owner of Bespoke Garden Plans. “My secret is to put on a pair of clear disposable latex gloves underneath the Digz [Nitrile Dipped] gloves!”
We sent 22 pairs of gardening gloves home to volunteer testers who used them over a two-week period while maintaining their yards and gardens. Our testers evaluated these gloves based on their quality, durability, comfort, design, and value.
Our top pick, the Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather gloves, offer breathable coverage with added protection on the palms, thumbs, and forefingers.
Backed by our testing, here are the best gardening gloves.
Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves
Adjustable wrist strap
Thumb sizing is off
The Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves are our top pick because of their durable construction and thoughtful features such as a terry cloth thumb to wipe damp foreheads and touchscreen compatible fingertips. Our tester wore these gloves for approximately 30 minutes while regularly caring for her garden and said they were comfortable and well-made gloves. Thanks to their breathable mesh backs and synthetic leather palms, she said these gloves felt durable without being “heavy duty” like some work gloves are designed.
We love that these gloves are touchscreen compatible, so you won’t have to worry about yanking them off every time your phone rings. The thumbs, forefingers, and palms have additional padding to make gripping gardening tools and equipment a little more comfortable. And the terry cloth finish on both thumbs enables you to wipe away dirt effectively and absorb sweat.
Our tester’s one complaint about these gloves is the thumbs had about an inch too much fabric on the end, making certain tasks difficult to complete. However, we recognize that sizing is generalized to fit the majority of users. Despite this fit issue, our tester said that the adjustable strap around the wrist of these gloves made it easy to secure them in place, and overall she enjoyed wearing these gloves to prevent blisters and bruises during her gardening tasks. These gloves are not only a great option for gardening enthusiasts, but are also loaded with practical features that can help you tackle many outdoor tasks comfortably.
Price at time of publish: $14
Material: Synthetic leather and mesh | Machine Washable: Yes | Waterproof: No
Amazing Stuff for You! Grippy Gardening Gloves
Waterproof coating on palms
Loose fit on fingers
These grippy gardening gloves by Amazing Stuff for You are a great option for anyone on the hunt for a basic glove that can handle your entire garden and lawn checklist. Aside from their affordable pricing and the convenience of offering two pairs of gloves per pack, our tester said these gloves held up well for all of her gardening needs from watering flowers to gripping shovels and other equipment. The water-resistant coating not only protects from moisture but also protects against dirt stains.
Our tester said she thought these gloves fit well around the palm of her hands and wrists, but the fingers were exaggerated in size, which may make them difficult to maneuver for users with especially small hands. And while these gloves are not revolutionary in design, our tester said they’re a great option for everyday gardening needs and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Price at time of publish: $10
Material: Coated palms with nylon shell | Machine Washable: Yes | Waterproof: No, water resistant
Ansell HYFLEX 11-600 Light Duty Nylon Industrial Gloves
Designed for high dexterity jobs
Variety of sizes
Where quality for price is concerned, gardening gloves don’t get much better than these Ansell Hyflex Extra Thin Nylon Work Gloves. Our tester said these gloves were her favorite pair out of the four pairs she tested at home. She said they not only fit her hand as if they were made for her but also were thin enough for delicate jobs like repotting plants and separating roots. These gloves have a breathable nylon shell that prevents sweat and moisture. Our tester said she was completely comfortable wearing these gloves while working for over an hour in her garden.
Our tester also said she was surprised by the quality of these gloves because she had assumed they’d be somewhat disposable since they came in a 12-pack. She has yet to switch out the first pair for a new pair from the pack. These gloves even stayed comfortable through watering and repotting with wet soil. Although they’re definitely more durable than anticipated, we do think these gloves are more disposable than other options on the market, which might not be ideal for everyone’s working conditions. We also wouldn’t recommend using these gloves for any heavy-duty work involving sharp blades, as they could easily be sliced open. Overall, our tester was highly impressed with the durability and comfort of these gloves and said she would definitely consider repurchasing them—if she ever gets through the whole pack of 12.
Price at time of publish: $37
Material: Nylon | Machine Washable: Not listed | Waterproof: Yes
Bionic GDTNML ToughPro NaturalFit Large Gardening Glove
High quality design
Comfortable for long-term wear
Sizing on gloves can vary slightly between men and women, and our tester loved the fit of these Bionic Men’s Tough Pro Gloves. Our home gardener said these gloves felt so nice that they almost didn’t want to get them super dirty with soil and other debris. Some leather gloves can be quite uncomfortable during their first wear, but our tester said there was no discernible “breaking in” necessary with this pair. The grippy rubber on the palms and fingertips also gave our home gardener added confidence while working with certain tools.
These gloves also have vented knuckle seams, so your skin can breathe while staying protected. The inside of these gloves features additional padding on the palms and fingers for more comfort while gripping machinery for long periods of time. Our tester said they wore these gloves for almost three hours at a time with no complaints. Although these gloves have a hydrophobic coating, we wouldn’t recommend getting them wet as water may damage the performance and durability of the leather over time. These gloves are certainly one of the most expensive options we tested, but our tester said they were well worth the extra cost as they’re sure to last several seasons and their comfort stands out among other designs.
Price at time of publish: $57
Material: Leather | Machine Washable: No | Waterproof: No
Magid Thornproof Gardening Gloves
Back of hand not protected
Pilling on inside lining after one use
A reliable pair of thornproof gloves are an essential tool for rose garden enthusiasts. These gloves from Magid impressed our tester with not only their durability but also their comfortable fit. Our tester said that the thumb was slightly too large for her hand, but the rest of the glove fit well and stayed on while she was working in her rose bushes. After several uses around her thorn bushes, our tester said these gloves had no pricks or visible signs of wear on them. However, she did note that the back of these gloves can easily be pulled, snagged, or punctured because they are a spandex material, rather than the synthetic leather that makes up the rest of the glove. She also said she noticed pilling on the inner liner of these gloves after just one use, so they may not be the best to use in incredibly hot climates.
While the back of her hand was not well protected in these gloves, our tester loved the knuckle guard, which is made out of synthetic leather, and protected her knuckles and fingers from thorn pricks. The protective gauntlet attached to these gloves reached our tester’s elbow, which provided plenty of protection from her thorn bushes. Although these gloves are slightly more expensive than other options on the market, our tester said they offered excellent thorn protection, making them worthy of the splurge in our book.
Price at time of publish: $16
Material: Synthetic leather and spandex | Machine Washable: No | Waterproof: No
StoneBreaker Gloves Rancher Work Glove
Can be used during high dexterity tasks
May not fit smaller hands
Leather gardening gloves are always a great option, especially if you prefer your gloves to withstand heavy-duty tasks such as removing unwanted branches or collecting firewood. These gloves from Stonebreaker impressed our tester with their heavy-duty leather exterior, yet soft, comfortable interior. Two layers of lining protect against blisters thanks to double stitching and a thick leather exterior. Our tester also noted that these gloves did not fit her hands, but did fit her boyfriend’s hands, who happily used them while gardening and doing yard work for several hours. If you have smaller hands, these gloves may not be the best option for you.
Despite their lack of range in sizing, these gloves are not only a great option for heavy-duty work, but can also be used for gardening tasks that require high dexterity and finger mobility. Our tester said that even though the gloves were too large for her, she still felt like she had a full range of motion and was capable of performing detailed tasks. Although they are these leather gloves are not waterproof, we think they are a great option for heavy-duty tasks and stand up well against thorns and branches.
Price at time of publish: $25
Material: Leather | Machine Washable: No | Waterproof: No
COOLJOB Rubber Coated Gardening Gloves
Will not protect against thorns
If comfort and breathability are at the top of your list for gardening gloves, we recommend these gloves from COOLJOB. Our tester said these gloves were by far the most comfortable pair out of the four she tested in her garden. She said the rubber-coated palms not only accurately fit her hand but also kept water and moisture out of the gloves while she handled wet soil and watered flowers. She also appreciated that the wrist portion of the glove was actually long enough to keep out dirt.
Aside from their fit and overall durability, our tester said that these gloves made it easier to grip gardening tools, while also being compatible for delicate tasks like replanting flowers. Although they’re a pretty basic design and might be considered a more disposable option compared to other gloves available, our tester said these gloves performed very well. Keep in mind that these gloves are not meant to protect against thorns, so they may not be best if your gardening needs fall into heavy-duty categories.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Micro-foamed latex coating | Machine Washable: Yes | Waterproof: Yes
Garden Works Bamboo Garden Gloves
Show wear easily
These gloves claim to be “the most comfortable pair of gloves you will ever wear,” and our tester said they’re definitely high up on her gardening gloves list for comfort and breathability. She said the bamboo fibers wick away sweat, while the foam latex palm protects against outside moisture. She also said they’re about as close to a second skin as can be, adding that the thin fabric is stretchy and cooling without feeling too tight and itchy.
Our tester’s major concern with this pair of gloves is their long-term durability because they quickly showed pulls and nicks from small twigs after a few uses. She also felt that their price tag was somewhat expensive for their basic design, although she recognized the merits of their cooling effect may justify the price. All in all, these gloves are a great option if you value comfort while working in your garden and don’t mind having to potentially replace them after one season of use.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Bamboo fiber and foam latex | Machine Washable: Not listed | Waterproof: Not listed
Best Long Sleeve
G & F Products Florist Pro Garden and Rose Gloves
Provide protection without restricting movement
Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
Durable outer shell
Material could be pierced
Pruning rose bushes and other thorny varieties in a garden can be a painful task, but these gloves from G&F Products completely changed our tester’s experience. She said these gloves protected her arms and hands while pruning her rose bushes and she still had full mobility and comfort, even with the gloves’ bulky finish. She especially enjoyed how these gloves did not bunch up around her wrists, so she was still able to maneuver through branches with ease.
Although these gloves are very similar to our pick for the Best Thorn-Proof category, our tester noted (she also tested the best thorn-proof pick) that these gloves were slightly more comfortable to wear for a long period of time because the inner shell offered more breathability and did not become hot and sticky with wear. Our tester’s only concern is that she had some thorns stick into these gloves. Even though she said the overall integrity of the gloves was unharmed, we worry that over time a larger tear or pre-existing hole could result in scratches. Despite this long-term durability concern, we still recommend these gloves for their effectiveness in preventing scrapes and remaining comfortable during thorny tasks.
Price at time of publish: $14
Material: Synthetic leather and spandex | Machine Washable: No | Waterproof: No
Bamllum Leather Gardening Gloves
14 pattern options
Protect from sharp plants
Not best for detailed tasks
Gardening is always more fun with a playful pattern on your gloves, which is why we love these gloves from Bamllum. Not only are these gloves made of high-quality leather, but they’re also great for performing heavy-duty tasks around your garden such as clearing debris, moving spiky or sharp plants, and pulling weeds. Our tester said these gloves are quite thick, which made them less than ideal for fine motor tasks such as handling seedlings and replanting flowers. However, she said they performed well for other tasks around her garden and lawn.
Our tester’s only other note of concern was that the yellow color became stained and she could not wash them. She pointed out that while gardening gloves don’t have to be pristine, the yellow color may not be the prettiest toward the end of a season of use. She also said these gloves were rather hot to wear for a long period of time, so they may not be best for warmer climates. While our tester said she may not choose these gloves for comfort, she was certainly impressed by the range of patterns and colors available and thought they were well worth their price for high-performance tasks.
Price at time of publish: $12
Material: Leather | Machine Washable: No | Waterproof: No
While many of the gardening gloves we tested stood out for their durability and comfort, our favorite gloves are the Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves. These gloves stood apart from the rest for their innovative design that offered protection and comfort and their unique features that made gardening an even more enjoyable experience for our tester. If you’re looking for an affordable option that can last you through a season, we recommend the Amazing Stuff for You! Grippy Gardening Gloves, which are sold in a pack of two and offer great protection and added grip while handling tools and equipment.
How We Tested the Gardening Gloves
To simulate the most accurate setting for gardening gloves, we purchased 22 pairs of gardening gloves from a variety of brands and sent them home to volunteer testers who then used each pair while caring for their gardens and lawns over a two-week period. Altogether our testers spent 33.5 hours examining every feature and protection that these gloves had to offer. When our testers first received the gloves, we asked them to evaluate their quality, looking at the gloves’ construction and sizing, and compare them to manufacturer claims. For glove styles that claimed to be waterproof, we asked testers to spend at least 30 minutes wearing the gloves while watering or completing other yard work that involved handling moist soil. While our testers wore the gloves in their gardens, we also asked them to consider the overall comfort and feel of the gloves during extended use. They made note of whether the gloves became hot and sticky or kept their hands feeling cool.
For gloves designed for handling thorns and completing other heavy-duty tasks, our testers kept in mind that their durability may affect their comfort, but still considered if they were practical for long-term wear. Our testers also considered the gloves’ design and noted any helpful features that made certain pairs stand out. To test durability, we asked our testers to think about how each pair of gloves held up compared to other gloves of similar design and how they may perform long-term with appropriate use. Our testers also followed manufacturer care instructions and washed any gloves listed as machine washable. They took note of shrinkage, change in texture, or performance after washing. Finally, after wearing each pair of gloves for multiple hours, we asked our testers to look at the list price of the gloves they received and consider the overall value based on their performance as a whole. We also asked testers to make note of any situations or circumstances where their gloves would be especially helpful or not useful at all.
What to Look for in Gardening Gloves
Size and Fit
One of the most important things to look for when shopping for gardening gloves is a good fit. You want them to be snug enough to keep dirt out but not so tight that they restrict your range of movement. Avoid gloves that leave extra room at your fingertips or ones that don’t offer a firm but flexible fit where your fingers attach to your hand. Gloves often come in sizes of small, medium, or large and may be labeled as “Men’s” or “Women’s.” If you have particularly large, wide hands or small hands, don’t worry about labels and choose the ones that feel right.
Comfort and Protection
The fit of your gardening gloves has a lot to do with their overall comfort, but there are a few other factors to consider. The material should be stretchy, breathable, and flexible. Moisture-wicking fabrics can also reduce friction and keep your hands dry while you work. Additionally, some gloves have ergonomic thumbs or webbing through the palms, which some people find more comfortable. Our best overall pick, the Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves, features a breathable, mesh back and comfortable reinforced padding on the palms and fingertips.
Reinforced fingertips stand up to repetitive tasks like weeding and help protect your nails and fingers from poking through and breaking or splitting. Leather is soft but tough. While wearing leather gloves, you'll feel confident about pruning shrubs or removing brambles and brush. Elbow-length gloves protect your hands and arms when you prune your roses, such as our Best Long Sleeve pick, the G & F Florist Pro Garden and Rose Gloves, which our tester found to protect her arms, without restricting her movement. The best gloves are comfortable to wear and provide the right protection for the task.
Gardening gloves are meant for gardening, but they’re not all created equal. For the most part, you’ll find options with stretchy knit linings and some sort of latex or rubber coating on the palms and fingers for grip and protection.
However, there are also different varieties of work gloves, including thorn-proof, leather, puncture-resistant, thermal, orthopedic, and clawed designs for weeding. Consider your working conditions and look for a pair that can accommodate your unique needs.
How do you soften leather gardening gloves?
Leather is a material that softens naturally with repeated use and a little care. Leather gardening gloves are most often made with cowhide, deerskin, or goatskin, with goatskin as the softest. Keeping your leather gloves clean and conditioned with mink oil or another mild lubricant will help keep them pliable. Old unused leather can become hard and cracked. If this is the case, apply small amounts of mink or coconut oil or work vaseline into the gloves to recondition them.
Why should you wear gardening gloves?
The primary purpose of gardening gloves is to protect your hands from elements like soil, plants with rough surfaces or thorns, and insects and against painful skin cracking and other conditions that result from heavy use. Some gloves also make gardening chores easier by improving your grip and reinforcing strength in your fingertips.
Can you wash gardening gloves?
How to clean your garden gloves depends on the material used to make them. Gloves made entirely of cloth can be washed as any normal item of clothing. Specialty gloves like leather or nitrile must be cleaned differently. Saddle soap is a common leather cleaner. Nitrile gloves should be washed with antibacterial soap inside and out. Gloves with webbing or reinforced fingertips or palms can be hand washed with mild detergent. Gardening gloves of all materials will hold up longer when they are dried completely before the next wear.
“Depending on how dirty or wet my gloves get, I wash them every one to three times I garden,” says Johnston. “Sometimes, I simply hose them off, but I definitely toss them in the washing machine! I’d rather have extra time outdoors than inside hand-washing! I throw them in with a scoop of Oxi-Clean and—for super dirty days—treat them first with Spray N Wash.
“I never, ever use the dryer though; just lay them out to air dry. I probably have 10 to 15 pairs of gloves, and I store them in a Tupperware container in the laundry room.”
Why Trust The Spruce?
The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer specializing in home and garden. Growing up on a farm with a mother who kept two gigantic gardens, she knows a thing or two about weeding and planting tools, including gloves. You can also find more of her work on MyDomaine. Additional research for this article was provided by Barbara Gillette, a master gardener and herbalist who keeps all her garden gloves handy. She works with honeybees and other pollinators to grow organic vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers on her 8-acre hobby farm.
This roundup was updated by Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, who has previous experience reporting on gardening and outdoor equipment. For this roundup, our senior editors analyzed our testing data and our at-home testing methodology to select the top-performing gloves from the entire batch tested. Emma then analyzed our testing insights and updated this product list to reflect new selections and provide in-depth analysis of the user experience with each of these gardening gloves. Emma also conducted market research to consider what consumers look for in a pair of gardening gloves and identify any popular brands and styles of gloves. Finally, Emma consulted Carmen Johnston, founder and owner of Bespoke Garden Plans, who provided insight on how to keep gardening gloves clean and her personal tricks for keeping her hands clean. Johnston’s work also can be found on Instagram and TikTok.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.