A good pair of gloves can make gardening or yardwork a safer, cleaner, more comfortable task, but picking the right gloves can be tricky, especially for novices. Fortunately, whichever pair you choose, they won’t break the bank: Many gardening gloves are available for less than $10 a pair, though gloves with tougher fabrics such as leather or those meant for more precise work such as rose pruning will often cost a bit more.
Gardening gloves come in a variety of fabrics, including cotton,... leather, and nitrile, and each type is best for a certain type of duty. Experts recommend breathable, washable cotton gloves for light duty such as planting and raking—just note that cotton can rip easily and soak up moisture, too. Pricier leather gloves are a better pick for heavy-duty jobs like digging, chopping wood, or pruning bushes, while gloves with a rubbery coating such as nitrile can provide more durability and a steadier grip in damp or muddy conditions.
Finally, any gardener who’s working with thorny roses or very thick brush of any kind will want to consider gloves that cover the arm up to the elbow. These full-coverage gloves, called gauntlets, can help ward off painful scrapes and punctures. They can even help prevent sporotrichosis, a rare but potentially serious fungal infection also known as “rose gardener’s disease” that can affect the skin, lungs and even the nervous system.
Still overwhelmed? Here are six of our favorite pairs of gardening gloves for a variety of needs.
Reviewers say Handmaster Bella Comfort Flex garden gloves are all-around strong performers, giving them high marks for flexibility, grip, and fit. These water-resistant nylon gloves come in three sizes for both men and women: small/medium, medium/large, and large/extra-large. A few owners warn that they run a bit on the small side, but others say they prefer the snug, streamlined fit to looser, bulkier gloves. They come in black and gray or black and pink.
The palms of the Bella Comfort Flex have... textured, double-coated, nitrile palms for increased durability and grip. They also feature a knitted wrist that reviewers say is snug enough to prevent leaves, dirt, and other garden debris from collecting inside the cuff of the gloves. Owners also praise the gloves’ lightweight construction, but a few note that they aren’t ideal for heavy-duty jobs involving lots of thorns. They can be machine-washed for easy cleaning.
Gardeners looking for a snug fit and a wide choice of colors will want to check out Foxgloves Original Gloves, which come in eight hues and three sizes: small, for glove sizes 6 or 6.5; medium, for 6.5 to 8; and large, for 8.5 and over. Black and tan are available, but so are brighter choices like red, spring green and fuchsia.
Water-resistant Foxgloves are made out of Supplex nylon, which provides both toughness and softness for long afternoons of weed pulling or planting. Elastane provides a... snug fit, and an extra-long cuff helps keep dirt from getting in, too. Reviewers laud them for their lightweight, flexible feel and custom-feeling fit. Though a few caution that they’re not a good pick for really wet soil since they’re only water-resistant, not waterproof, most recommend them for all but truly heavy-duty or thorny tasks. They’re easy to clean in the washing machine, too, owners say.
It’s hard to beat the value of Atlas Nitrile Touch Gloves at less than $4 a pair, and despite their low price, they earn both expert and owner raves for flexibility, comfort, and the versatility to tackle a range of gardening tasks. Best suited for light or medium duty, these nylon gloves come in three sizes (small, medium, and large) and a range of colors including green, black, purple, and pink.
Users report that they can really feel what they’re doing and maintain better control compared with... thicker gloves. The nitrile-coated palms provide more grip and durability, but reviewers say these gloves are still breathable enough to be comfortable. Like the Handmaster Bella gloves, these probably aren’t thick enough for thorn-intensive duties, but they are machine-washable.
Made of washable goatskin leather, Bionic Gloves Relief Grip garden gloves earn rave reviews for comfort. Users say these orthopedist-designed gloves are ideal for protecting joints from becoming stiff and sore during repetitive work. They’re available in four women’s sizes and five men’s sizes for a fit that feels custom, and a rose-pruning version with an extra-long gauntlet is available, too. Note that a handful of reviewers say these run small, so consider sizing up.
The Bionic Gloves feature... a padded palm and silicone finger tips to boost durability in areas that see the most wear. They also have Lycra to provide wearers with a full range of motion—one reviewer raves about being able to pluck single leaves from flower beds with ease—and a terrycloth liner to absorb sweat and moisture, boosting comfort on hot days. Several owners say they’re very durable, standing up to years of use without ripping. They also say they’re sturdy enough to repel thorns, sharp sticks and other potentially painful debris.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
Thorny tasks such as pruning prickly rose bushes demand gloves that protect the arms from painful scrapes, and owners say their Fir Tree Leather Gardening Gloves with Gauntlet are up to the task. Made of washable goatskin leather with cowhide gauntlets, they are available in five unisex sizes that keep wearers covered up to the elbow.
Owners praise their Fir Tree gloves for softness and flexibility, which allow for easy movement during any gardening task. But they also note that they’re still... tough enough to repel cuts and scratches from even the most intimidating thorns. Despite their full coverage, these gloves also get good marks for keeping wearers cool during long, sweaty work sessions. While most owners seem satisfied with durability, a few reviewers do report rips and tears. The company actively reaches out to those who report issues to offer replacements.
If you have a little one who likes to help out in the garden, you've probably discovered that most kid’s gardening gloves are made of thin, flimsy cotton that won’t allow for more than light gardening. But that’s not the case with these leather gloves from Just For Kids. Made of suede, these gloves can handle more intense yardwork like carrying logs and pulling thorny weeds, allowing kids to really pull their weight, reviewers say. They come in two sizes: medium, recommended for kids ages 4... to 6, and large, recommended for ages 7 to 9.
The Just For Kids gloves feature a shirred wrist to keep dirt and debris out as well as a sewn-in keystone thumb to allow more natural motion and durability. Most reviewers say they fit well and allow for enough dexterity when kids are helping around the yard. A few complain of rough seams on the inside and say they need to be broken in, however.
Women who have a tough time finding snug-fitting gloves might like Piddlin’ Jenny Women’s Leather Gardening Gloves, which are specially designed for smaller hands. Made of both goatskin leather and a polyester/neoprene blend, the gloves can stand up to tougher garden duties, even those involving thorns, but remain versatile and flexible enough for lighter work that demands more precision. They come in small, medium, large, and extra-large, and the manufacturer recommends that women who want a... looser fit size up.
The Piddlin’ Jenny gloves have reinforced leather knuckles, fingertips and palms, and wearers say that pays off in increased durability over time. They also like the Velcro-secured wrist closure, which keeps out dirt and grime. The gloves are machine-washable for easier cleanup, too. Complaints are few, but some women say these gloves run small, and others wish for more color choices—they’re only available in white with pink accents.
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