Goodbye, Scratched Arms: I Tested & Reviewed These Popular Gardening Sleeves
Goodbye, Scratched Arms: Our Favorite Gardening Sleeves Reviewed
Get ready to turn your gardening game up a notch! While gardening is a fantastic way to connect with nature and grow your own produce, it can leave you with sunburned arms and scratches from pulling weeds or pruning tomato plants. But fear not: I’ve found the perfect solution this summer—Wellday gardening sleeves.
Along with other products that make gardening easier, such as raised beds and kneeling pads, gardening sleeves increase the user’s comfort, making gardening tasks even more enjoyable. With over a dozen playful patterns to choose from, including mermaid scales and tie-dye, these sleeves will protect your skin and add some fun to your gardening outfit. I went with bright yellow sunflowers on a black background—the perfect complement to my gardening spirit.
But do these sleeves actually work? You bet! As someone who has dealt with the annoyance of sunburn and tan lines from wearing short sleeves for years, I put the Wellday gardening sleeves to the test. Read on to find out what happened and why these little helpers deserve a spot in your gardening accessories.
Wellday Gardening Sleeves: At a Glance
- Lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear for extended periods
- Protect sensitive skin from irritation and scratches during gardening chores
- Fun, whimsical patterns that add a colorful element to gardening attire
- Not designed to keep arms warm, so might not be suitable in cold weather
- Light-duty protection only—not made to withstand pokes from thorns
- One size only—some users may find them too large or too small
What are gardening sleeves?
Gardening sleeves are stretchy tubes of fabric that pull on like form-fitting gloves and extend above the elbow, only they don’t cover the fingers. My hands were still mostly uncovered, making it easy to grasp gardening tools and work with tender plants. Before buying Wellday gardening sleeves, I looked at a couple of different types of gardeners’ gloves. Some brands feature a cuff at the wrist, while others, like Wellday, feature holes for thumbs, which pull the cuffs a couple of inches lower on the hand.
I prefer the thumb holes because they keep my gardening sleeves from sliding up my arms. Besides, if I don’t want to use them, I don’t have to—I can slide the cuff to my wrist and skip the thumb hole altogether. Additionally, if I want whole-hand protection, I can pull a pair of gardening gloves over the sleeves without the fabric bunching up or feeling uncomfortable.
How effective are gardening sleeves at protecting arms?
I put the durability factor of these garden gloves at light to medium duty. I could reach my hands through cedar tree branches without snagging the sleeves. I also cut dried-flower specimens, which dislodged some seeds that stuck to my T-shirt but didn’t stick to the gardening sleeves. The surface of the sleeve fabric is smooth and sleek; I didn’t notice weeds sticking to it, either.
I saved the rose pruning for last, and after cutting away last year’s dead wood with my pruners, I reached into the prickly plant to pull out the cut stems. This chore was a bit too much for the gardening sleeves. Some of the sharper thorns poked through—ouch—and one caught on the gardening-sleeve fabric and tore a tiny hole.
Still, these colorful arm protectors are great if you’re not dealing with thorns. After I spent the warm spring day working outdoors, other than the one thorn hole, the sleeves were still in excellent condition. I used a variety of shovels, pruners, and weeding tools, and the sleeves didn’t interfere with my grip on their handles. The sleeves were dirty and dusty when I was finished, but they survived and so did my arms.
Are gardening sleeves comfortable?
Once I pulled on the gardening sleeves and adjusted them a bit to ensure that they were straight—not twisted around my arms—I almost forgot I was wearing them. They were very comfortable and didn’t feel scratchy against my skin. They also stayed put and didn’t sag downward like long socks tend to do. I stretched my arms out straight to see if they would move downward, but they didn’t.
These gardening sleeves are one-size-fits-most, measuring 17.3 inches from end to end. The cuff seams on my pair were smooth and well sewn—no loose threads or scratchy edges. The design is printed on the outside, and the inside is a plain white tone.
I tested the sleeves without washing them first to see if the dye would run or leave color on my skin if I was sweating. I lightly sprayed water from the hose on the sleeves and let them dry while wearing them. The color didn’t run, and the fabric dried quickly, within about 15 minutes.
Can I wash and dry my gardening sleeves?
I tossed my gardening sleeves in the washer along with other bright-colored pieces of clothing and washed the load on cold, using Tide HE liquid laundry detergent with no bleach or bleach alternative. I also sprinkled a few laundry aroma beads in with the wash because I use them in every load.
After washing, I tossed the load into the dryer and set it to medium. After the cycle was complete, the color on the Wellday gardening sleeves was as clear and bright as when I initially unboxed them.
Over the next few days, I wore the gardening sleeves a few more times when I was working outdoors, and after washing them a second time, I decided to hang them outdoors on my clothesline. They dried within 15 to 20 minutes in the sunny breeze and were still as soft as when I’d dried them in the dryer.
Should you buy a pair of gardening sleeves?
If you’re tired of coming in from a day of gardening or working in the yard and finding your arms covered in scratches or sore from too much sun, by all means—try out a pair of gardening sleeves. As of this writing, they sell for $16.99 at Amazon, and if you steer clear of thorns—and barbed wire—they may last all summer.
They’re comfortable and add a cute splash of color and whimsy to outdoor attire. They’re easy to wash and dry, and they retain their stretchiness.
If you want to protect the skin on your arms from making contact with plants and weeds that can lead to itching and rashes, these gardening sleeves are a fun solution. Plus, you can wear them with or without gardening gloves. They could even be another layer of sun-protective clothing for anyone who enjoys other outdoor activities, such as hikers and bicyclists who might otherwise end up with sunburned arms.
Where to Buy Gardening Sleeves
Meet the Tester
Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in construction, remodeling, and real estate. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.