Behind every gorgeous, bountiful garden is a great deal of dirty work. Fortunately, a pair of rugged, reliable gloves makes yard tasks faster, safer, and easier. Whether you’re planting seeds, pruning thorny bushes, pulling stubborn weeds, or spreading chemicals such as herbicide, pesticide, or synthetic fertilizers, there are gloves designed to better handle each specific task.
Read on to learn the key factors to consider when shopping for gardening gloves, and check out this list below of some of the best options for a variety of yard work jobs.
- BEST OVERALL: SHOWA Atlas NT370 Nitrile Garden Gloves
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pine Tree Tools Gardening Gloves
- BEST FOR KIDS: Wells Lamont Kids Work and Garden Gloves
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: COOLJOB Gardening Gloves for Women
- BEST INSULATED: Wells Lamont Women’s Latex-Coated Grip Winter Gloves
- BEST WITH CLAWS: Alkey Gardening Gloves with Claws
- BEST FOR PLANTING: Amazing Stuff For You! Garden Gloves, Super Grippy
- BEST FOR DIGGING: Wells Lamont Women’s HydraHyde Gardening Gloves
- BEST TO APPLY PESTICIDE: SHOWA Nitrile Cotton Chemical Resistant Glove
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gardening Gloves
There are a lot of choices when it comes to garden gloves. Selecting the best gardening gloves can depend on various factors, including hand size, tasks on the gardening to-do list, and comfort. Additional features that might make working in the garden easier, like touch-screen sensitivity, also can be a factor in narrowing down the options.
Size can affect comfort and productivity. Consider avoiding one-size-fits-all gloves if you want gloves to fit well and not get in the way of the work to do. To determine your correct size, wrap a measuring tape around your hand (excluding your thumb) just below the knuckle. Find the glove size corresponding to your hand measurement in the size chart on the package or manufacturer’s website.
A well-fitting glove leaves no more than ½ inch between your fingertips and the top of the glove, feels comfortably spacious around the knuckles, and fits snugly around the wrist to keep out dirt, twigs, and small rocks.
Gardening gloves are available in multiple materials, and choice mostly comes down to the tasks you’ll do. There also are glove materials that may be necessary to keep skin safe while applying chemicals but aren’t needed while weeding.
- Cotton gloves are generally the least expensive options. They’re conveniently machine washable and designed to keep hands clean. Cotton gloves lack durability and provide little protection, but they’re breathable and keep hands cool in warm weather.
- Nylon offers superior resistance against moisture-related warping. These synthetic gloves are best suited for wet tasks like irrigation.
- Leather work gloves, either of goatskin or cowhide, are thick and sturdy. This material offers the best protection against thorns, branches, and other sharp plant parts while pruning or trimming bushes, hedges, and trees.
- Bamboo is a thin and breathable material, which is another great choice for hot temperatures. Bamboo gloves offer the most flexibility and control during detail-oriented tasks like planting seeds and delicate seedlings.
Protection and Grip
A secure glove grip that allows you to keep a firm hold over plants, tools, lawn machinery, and pots is usually provided by a coating or textured material.
Garden glove coating most often contains nitrile, which is a water- and chemical-resistant synthetic polymer with a rubbery texture. This coating is the best option for tasks involving contact with water, like irrigation, or chemicals including herbicide, pesticides, or fungicides. Rubber-coated gloves offer similar protection, but hands can get hot and sweaty with this material.
Textured material—such as goatskin leather or silicone—sewn over the palm and/or fingers provide a pain-free grip on sharp or abrasive objects. This is a good option when working among thorns, branches, or rough materials (e.g., concrete blocks for a garden wall) as well as friction-producing tasks, like pulling weeds.
Gardening can be a time to relax, set aside worries, and enjoy working in the soil. Comfort is key to making sure your gloves don’t fall off, squeeze, irritate, allow prickly thorns through, cause blisters, or let fingertips freeze. Some factors that make gloves more comfortable include the following:
- Extra padding on the knuckles, fingertips, palms, and wrists can provide increased protection for manual tasks like yard work or shoveling.
- Lined gloves help keep fingers toasty instead of frozen in colder weather,
- Ergonomic padding helps relieve pressure and even out the surface of a hand.
Some gloves include additional features that may be worth considering when shopping for gardening gloves.
- Elasticized wrists can help keep out dirt, debris, and bugs.
- Fingerless gloves can make it easier to sow seeds.
- Touch-screen sensitivity on the fingertips of gloves allows checking off electronic to-do lists or answering a smartphone while working.
- Attractive patterns and colors can brighten up the day and match gardening tools.
- Built-in claws on the fingertips can help with digging and loosening soil.
- Hanging loops allow for easy and quick storage.
Our Top Picks
Chosen in accordance with the shopping considerations detailed above, the following list contains a selection of garden gloves in a range of categories. These are some of the best gloves on the market that help make gardening tasks easier.
The SHOWA Atlas garden gloves are made for messy and damp jobs in the garden where dexterity and durability are important. A tough nitrile palm and finger coating provides durability, grip, and resistance to both water and chemicals. The toughness doesn’t make them stiff and combined with the breathable and flexible nylon material, the gloves prevent hands from getting too warm or sweaty.
Seamless and ergonomically shaped, these machine-washable gloves are sold six pairs per pack in a range of colors, with size options ranging from small to extra-large.
These affordable thin and lightweight gloves slip on like a second skin for maximum flexibility during fine-motor garden tasks like planting seedlings and pruning budding plants. The slip-resistant nitrile coating on the palm fends off dirt, provides a secure grip, and is certified for abrasion resistance, so there’s no worry when pulling weeds or hauling bags of compost.
Sold in sizes small to extra-extra-large, the breathable, hypoallergenic bamboo gloves help hands stay cool. The touch-screen sensitivity allows ticking off those lawn to-do’s on a smartphone without taking off the gloves. The gloves are made for men and women and are offered in green.
Little green thumbs can use these kid-size gloves while helping in the garden or working with grown-ups on other projects around the house. The leather gloves have a cowhide palm, knuckle strap, and fingertips for a secure yet flexible grip.
The winged thumb design and elasticized wrist make it easy to slip on the gloves while still keeping out dirt and rocks, and the extra-long safety cuff staves off scrapes and splinters. There is no seam between the thumb and palm. Made for kids ages 5 through 8, these gloves have high puncture resistance and high abrasion resistance, too.
Working in the garden for hours on end can create tired and achy hands. These lightweight gloves from COOLJOB diminish fatigue when working on all gardening tasks—from weeding to harvesting. The soft latex coating makes the gloves pliable to allow for precision work, and the anti-slip layer provides sturdy performance and an excellent grip.
The gloves have a light and breathable knitted base for a comfortable fit that keeps the sweat away. And the thickened fingertips protect fingernails. Easy to clean, they are machine-washable or can be rinsed under the hose.
Cold fingers and hands can make working outside in chilly weather miserable. These winter gardening gloves from Wells Lamont can help. The 13-gauge knit brushed shell with a warm acrylic liner keeps hands toasty while still allowing the agility to get the job done. And the textured finish provides extra grip. Go ahead and plant those crops and work in the yard when it’s cool outside without worrying about frosty digits.
The gloves also boast a water-resistant nitrile coating on the palm and fingers to protect hands from a large variety of solvents and chemicals. Water beads up on contact to keep hands warm and dry. The nitrile coating also resists cuts and abrasions. However, it doesn’t cover the wrists, so it’s best not to immerse hands in water.
Forget the mini shovel in the shed? No problem. These Alkey gardening gloves come with claws at the end of each finger. When you’re planting and working in the garden, the claws can help with tasks such as planting seedlings, loosening soil, scooping, and aerating. The durable plastic finger shells won’t fall off while working.
The gloves also boast waterproof and breathable material for keeping hands dry and comfortable. Plus, they protect against thorns. The green gardening gloves come in a package of two and are made for men and women.
Secure a firm hold while working with plants and tools. Covered with a water- and liquid-resistant coating, these garden gloves from Amazing Stuff For You! offer an outstanding grip. The garden gloves also feature a lasting nylon shell that helps to keep dirt and bugs out while adding breathability and dexterity. Master the art of gardening, play in the soil, and say goodbye to hands that overheat.
The machine-washable gardening gloves work great in wet and muddy conditions and are available in small, medium, and large. They’re available in green and come as two pairs to a pack.
Grab that shovel, spade, or scoop, and get digging with these Wells Lamont gardening gloves made with cowhide leather and spandex. The leather palm adds to the durability and overall grip of the glove, which can be ideal for working with tools. The spandex snugs the hands to allow for finesse. Both materials are water-resistant to keep hands dry and comfortable, and the leather is soft.
When working in the soil, the hook-and-loop closure on the wrist creates a customized fit while keeping the bugs and dirt out. For added protection, the gloves come with reinforced fingertips and lightly padded neoprene knuckle inserts. The gloves are available in small, medium, and large.
When spraying pesticides or herbicides in the garden, protecting skin against harsh chemicals found in pest control products is vital. While many water-resistant gardening gloves come with a nitrile coating that safeguards against cuts and abrasions, these nitrile cotton flocked-lined gloves from SHOWA are chemical-, solvent-, and abrasion-resistant.
The gloves also feature an extended gauntlet that protects the forearm. They are 13 inches long and also can be used for increased safety while working with chemicals around the house. Sold in packs of 12, the gloves are offered in green and are available in extra-small to extra-extra-large sizes.
FAQs About Gardening Gloves
There are many options to consider when shopping for new gardening gloves. Now that you know more about some of the features and uses, there may be a few lingering questions. Check out the answers below to some of the most common questions about garden gloves.
Q. Do you need gardening gloves?
No, not everyone needs gardening gloves. But the gardening process is a lot more enjoyable when your hands are protected and comfortable. Pregnant women should wear gloves because cats like to use flower beds and soil as a litter box. Without gloves, there is an increased risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.
Q. Are leather gloves good for gardening?
Yes, leather work gloves, either goatskin or cowhide, are thick and sturdy. This material offers the best protection against thorns, branches, and other sharp plant parts while pruning or trimming bushes, hedges, and trees.
Q. What should I look for in gardening gloves?
The garden gloves you purchase will depend on the gardening task you want to perform. For instance, if working with rose bushes, rose pruning gloves are best. If working in warm weather, you might want cotton gloves. Also, consider the size of your hands, the material and coating needed, and additional features mentioned above. All of these factors will help you pick the perfect pair for you.
Picking the best set of gloves is based on what plants and chemicals you’ll be working with, the time of year, and the size of your hands. These factors will help you choose materials and coating as well as additional features. After you know the types of gardening gloves available and how best to select the ones you need, it’s time to start the process of getting the dirty work out of the way and creating that magnificent garden designed in your mind’s eye.