I prefer to go au naturel, as in I hate to cover my hands up while working with anything, especially in the yard. I love to keep my nails done, but I will happily sacrifice them to the dirt gods when digging, pulling weeds, cutting flowers, or planting bulbs in the yard and garden.
It seems so hard to grasp tools and get a good hold of so many other things with bulky gardening gloves. Have you ever tried to open a pocket knife with gloves on? And most of the time, if you are covering your hands up for a prickly plant, the darn gloves aren’t thick enough anyway for good protection. But there does come a time when you just can’t avoid that extra layer. When you do decide to invest in hand protection, make sure to look into your options in order to get what you need for your local vegetative needs.
Read on below for some of my favorite picks to make work in your garden easier, rather than an added nuisance.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Gardening Gloves for 2021
|Legacy Gardens Leather Gardening Gloves||Check The Price!|
|Magid Glove & Safety MultiMaster T86 Gloves||Check The Price!|
|Magid Glove & Safety Professional Rose Pruning Thorn Resistant Gardening Gloves||Check The Price!|
|Atril Nitrile Garden Gloves||Check The Price!|
|Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Work Gloves||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Gardeners are tough — there’s no question of that! While we respect anyone who goes into their garden tasks bare-handed, tons of past gardening experience has taught us the importance of high-quality gloves.
For years, Backyard Boss has been finding the best products, tips, and resources for our readers. We believe that a great pair of garden gloves are just as important as finding the right power tool for the job.
Proper hand protection is a must if you want to save your skin or preserve your manicure. Plus, the wrong pair of gloves could throw your entire day off course, especially if you’re working with harsh weeds or thorny shrubs. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to choose the best gardening gloves for your specific needs.
Best Leather Gloves
Why We Like It: Made of flexible, A-grade goatskin leather, these gardening gloves provide all the protection you need against thorny vegetation. They even feature a long cuff to defend your forearms from sharp plants and tools while you work.
One of the best things about these gloves is you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for protection. The goatskin leather is incredibly flexible and the fingers are double-stitched and padded for durability. Plus, with the wide size range, almost everyone will find a glove that fits.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone who works with sharp plants like rose bushes and cacti. These gardening gloves are also ideal for anyone who has sensitive skin or suffers from contact allergies.
Best Cotton Gloves
Why We Like It: You don’t always need to toughest protection available to tend your garden. Whether you’re tending to your houseplants or planting a new bed, these breathable cotton gloves are great for keeping your hands clean and snag-free. Just don’t wear these gloves to rip out thorny weeds or work with wet soil.
Easily one of the biggest benefit of wearing cotton garden gloves is how easy they are to clean. You can toss these gloves right in with your other machine laundry. Unlike rubber- and nitrile-coated gloves, this pair is also safe to machine dry.
Who Should Buy It: Cotton gloves are ideal for gardeners that don’t need very much skin protection. These gloves are also easy to wash and dry between uses. If you’re looking for an affordable pair of gardening gloves for lightweight work, these are a nice option.
Best for Thorns
You can stop sharp thorns in their tracks with these heavy-duty gardening gloves that reach from elbow to fingertip.
Why We Like It: Made for strength, durability, and comfort, these protective gloves are built for a long day in the garden getting after the toughest of vegetation. Available in both a men’s and women’s version, you can pick your size for the best fit possible. Made of puncture-resistant synthetic leather and spandex, fingers, palms, and knuckles are reinforced to withstand extra wear and tear.
An extra bit of elastic in the wrist helps keep them from slipping as well, and the long gauntlet provides protection to your elbows without causing the undo stress of extra heat like gardening sleeves can do. Not all the seams are double-stitched, however, so chores that include a lot of pulling at the glove, such as shoveling the garden, might be best left to a sturdier glove.
Who Should Buy It: The flexible knuckles with the added layer of protection are definitely a perk for those who work with rose or cacti. We also recommend these gloves to anyone removing noxious weeds from their property. For a larger fit, a men’s version is also available.
Best for Water Resistance
Why We Like It: These breathable yet water-resistant Nitrile gardening gloves are the perfect protective barrier for lightweight work in the yard and garden. Fitting like a second skin, they are great for keeping hands clean. These gloves are durable enough for digging, pulling, and planting while offering protection against insects and the elements.
Because of the snug, flexible grip, these gloves are perfect for when you need to have your hands available for zippers, tying, or other small tasks where finger dexterity is a must. The nitrile coating even works on most smartphones!
Who Should Buy It: These gardening gloves aren’t the best choice for heavy-duty garden or yard work. If you do a lot of work with thorny plants, these gloves won’t offer any protection against punctures. Instead, we recommend these gloves for day-to-day tasks like transplanting, composting, and mulching.
Why We Like It: Natural bamboo fibers and a reinforced nitrile lining make these garden gloves a good choice for light work in the yard and garden. Toted as a soft and durable alternative to cotton, bamboo gloves are flexible and fit close to the skin. These gardening gloves are machine-washable (but should not go in the dryer) in case you prefer to keep your gloves clean and sanitized between jobs.
Bamboo fibers are naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial for an added barrier of protection for sensitive skin. Although they can handle simple brambles and thistles, these bamboo gloves are not puncture-proof and do not hold up well to thorny plants.
Who Should Buy It: Although they are a unisex glove, you can choose from a wide size range to fit almost any hands. The flexible, snug fit allows for greater mobility when working with small tools. These gardening gloves are great for all-day wear as long as you aren’t working with thorns.
What to Look for in Garden Gloves
Not all gloves are made alike, and depending on what sort of work you are wanting to attack outside, you’ll want to consider what your gloves are made of before you reach for either tool or plant. Glove materials vary in thickness, versatility, flexibility, and design, and having the wrong pair might end up doing more harm than good.
There are a variety of different leathers on the market for you to choose from. They range from supple and form-fitting to thick and bulky.
One of the highest-quality leathers is goatskin, which is a softer, more durable leather that is puncture-resistant and forms well to your hand. Goatskin leathers also have a higher price tag, so many manufacturers use other leathers to make their gloves.
The most popular leather used is pigskin, due to its flexibility with consistent use and relative durability. Because it is a less expensive choice, it is used more often. Leather gloves really are the best gardening gloves for thorns, and if you have roses or other brambles you’ll want to keep that in mind.
Split cowhide is another popular and inexpensive choice. Durable and rugged, cow leather is rough and can handle some of the toughest jobs. It also wears extremely well and can last for years. However, it can be very stiff and unyielding and can be problematic for people with smaller hands.
Synthetic leather is just that: A man-made product that mimics real leather and can offer greater durability. Popular because of its more affordable cost, synthetic leather is often used to line the palms of gloves made of other materials to reinforce heavily used areas. Overall, though, it still won’t last as long as the real thing.
Synthetic leather can crack and peel with use or exposure to the elements. However, it’s easier to clean and won’t become stiff like real leather when it gets wet.
Cotton gloves are lightweight, breathable, washable, and come in a variety of different colors and patterns. The downside to cotton gloves is the fact they are for lightweight use only, are not exactly form-fitting, and offer minimal protection when pruning or digging. Anything sharp will easily puncture a cotton glove. If you are working in an area with burs, your gloves will quickly be covered in the annoying seedpods.
Waterproof Coating (Nitrile)
Nitrile is a rubber-like, waterproof coating used as both reinforcement for other materials (such as cotton) and alone. Nitrile provides protection from the elements, moisture, and an added barrier between your hands and prickly stems and thorns.
Because it isn’t breathable, your hands will likely sweat which can cause discomfort for some people. But if you are looking for the best waterproof gardening glove, nitrile coating is a keyword of choice to use in your search.
There are a variety of other materials used to make gardening gloves, including Lycra and spandex for stretch, or neoprene for durability and waterproofing. Most often these are used in a blend with cotton or pieced in for added protection with other materials.
Fit (men and women)
When choosing gloves, the fit is important. To start, some gloves are made exclusively for women, or smaller hands, and others for men. There is often a distinct difference in design, such as the length of the fingers and the width of the palm. Be sure to take your hand shape and size into account when looking for gloves, especially if you work with tools in the garden.
As mentioned above, some materials provide more flexibility and stretch than others. When working with tools, or delicate seedlings, you’ll appreciate the added range of motion. If your hands are stiff, or if you suffer from arthritis, flexibility is going to be important in your search.
Thicker, more protective gloves can be difficult to bend at the joints. While some glove materials soften with time, many do not. What you buy is most often what you get. Try making a fist, spreading your fingers out, and grasping objects to determine if a pair of gloves is comfortable and see if you can complete your normal yard and garden tasks.
When digging or weeding it is easy for loose materials to fall into glove wrist openings. If you are doing a lot of groundwork, consider a glove with a wrist closure of some sort. Elastic cuffs and adjustable Velcro straps are good choices and will help maintain a snug fit and keep most debris out of your gloves.
Padding and Protection
If you are doing more than just simple digging and planting in the garden you’ll probably want more than basic protection from dirt and scratches. Pruning, cutting, and working with tools such as rakes and lawnmowers can result in branch punctures, stuck thorns, cuts, and blisters. Depending on the amount of time you spend in the yard and garden doing heavier work, you’ll want to protect yourself accordingly.
Fingertips on gloves tend to wear out quickest in areas with constant friction. Because of this, many gloves are reinforced with double-stitching or durable lining material, especially if the glove has a lightweight base made of cotton or a similar material. If you use your gloves regularly, this is an added protection you will want to consider in order to get more life out of your purchase.
The seams of well-used gloves can fail over time, especially when heavier material is used or they are not double-stitched. If one set of seams fail, the other is there to help keep it all together. Check the quality of your gloves for double-stitching along the seams and areas of reinforcement to prevent future ‘peeling’ or pulling up of the material.
How to Choose the Best Gloves for Gardening
Since there is such a wide variety of high-quality gloves on the market, be aware of your needs before purchasing, and, if possible, try on potential options. You may also want to determine your glove size since higher-end gloves will be sized to men’s and women’s hands for a better fit. Then, consider the following while making a decision:
Will you wear your gloves for light or heavy garden chores?
You may want to purchase a pair of gloves that will be useful for more than one task. If you regularly complete light- and heavy-duty garden work, a glove that is equally up to both tasks would be the more frugal buy.
What garden tools will you use most often?
Gripping large tools, such as shovels and rakes, is pretty easy with any sort of glove. But if you need to use pruning shears or loppers and need a firm grip on a smaller shaft, you will want to take into account the flexibility of the glove.
How often will you use your gloves?
If using your gloves is a daily occurrence, purchase something with good reinforcement and durability for longevity. If your gloves are only used for specific jobs, or are used infrequently, then a more affordable pair might be a better choice.
What sort of vegetation are you coming into contact with?
Plants come in all shapes and sizes, and so do weeds. That includes species with prickly stems and leaves, fiberglass-like hairs, sharp thorns, sticky secretions, and splintering wood. Buy a gardening glove that can withstand what you know you will be in contact with. Above all else, your new gloves should keep you protected.
How We Picked
There’s no shortage of seemingly great gardening gloves for you to choose from. To narrow down our list, we focused on finding the best gloves for the most common gardening tasks and scenarios. After all, the best pair of gloves for pruning roses isn’t the same as the best pair for transplanting seedlings.
When researching the best gardening gloves available, we looked at factors like construction quality, materials, fit, size range, and durability. This ensured that we covered a wide variety of features, so every gardener can find the perfect pair of gloves for their needs.
Try Out the Best Gardening Gloves for Yourself
Even if you aren’t a big fan of covering your hands while working in the garden, at many times it’s a necessity for added protection. There are a variety of different gloves out there to choose from. Each features different materials, thicknesses, and durability to fit your needs.
Our top pick are the Atril Nitrile Garden Gloves. These lightweight gloves fit like a second skin, which is perfect for anyone who dislikes the stiffness of other gardening gloves. If you need to be able to access tools, amongst other things, these gloves won’t stand in your way. Protection from dirt and insects, as well as the ability to grip and pull weeds is exactly what we look for in an everyday garden glove. The fact you can buy these gloves in sets of four is an added bonus.
Whether you need basic coverage for digging and planting or a more durable thickness for pruning and thorns, our list offers multiple choices that give you a good idea of what is available on the market for your specific gardening needs.
Which style of gardening gloves is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with brands that have worked best for you. Please share below, and of course, if you’ve enjoyed this article, please like and share it with your friends!