By Matt Gibson
Gardening gloves are a gardener’s best friend, and most gardeners can wear out quite a few pairs of gardening gloves over their lifetimes. Some highly active gardeners can even go through several pairs in a single growing season. If you are looking for a gift for a gardening friend and are wondering whether getting them another pair of gardening gloves when they already have a pair is a good gift, the answer is yes. Getting your green-thumbed friend another pair of gardening gloves is always a good idea. In fact, they have most likely been ready to throw out their current pair of work gloves for weeks and just haven’t gotten around to purchasing a replacement.
Some gloves wear out faster than others. Cheap pairs of gardening gloves aren’t made to last for multiple growing seasons. Cheap gloves are cheaply-made, and they are a lot more likely to bite the dust after a few uses than a pair of high-end gloves that are built to last. Purchasing a high-quality pair of work gloves should be an investment that rewards you with a product that is built to stand the test of time. On the other hand, cheap gloves are cheap for a reason, so `buying several pairs of them shouldn’t be a big hit to your budget.
Some gardening gloves are better than others for specific tasks. For example, thicker gloves are better for cultivating rose bushes, because they will protect your hands better than other gloves. Rose gardeners should also consider longer gloves that offer some sort of arm protection as well, as thorns are not just a menace to hands alone. Lightweight gloves, on the other hand, are well-suited for protecting your hands when using garden tools, like a shovel, or a rake. Having several different pairs of gloves on hand will make your job much easier and offer some versatility and comfort while working the soil.
When shopping for gardening gloves, there are several factors that you should take into consideration. First, what material are the gloves made from? Are they cotton, canvas, leather, goatskin, cowhide, or synthetic materials, such as neoprene, spandex, or Lycra. Each material type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Goatskin gloves are the toughest and most puncture-resistant. Cotton and canvas gloves are the most affordable, and are well-suited to simple tasks such as planting, potting, and weeding. A general rule for material consideration, is to choose your gloves to fit the task.
A good pair of gardening gloves should be both durable and comfortable, as you will put them to task when you wear them and you’ll be wearing them pretty regularly especially during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Gloves that have fingertip reinforcements and double-stitched seams are a plus, as long as you don’t feel the seams while wearing them. Gloves that close tightly around the wrist are a must, as you don’t want dirt and other debris falling inside the gloves while you are working your soil.
Though it may seem obvious, you need gloves that fit your hand size as well. Having gloves that are too big can be especially cumbersome, and gloves that are too small are uncomfortable. A snug fitting glove that allows flexibility in the fingers is ideal for most tasks. However, some situations call for a more heavy duty glove, one with extra padding or thickness. Avoid heavy duty gloves that feel stiff or bulky.
Proper maintenance and care for your gardening gloves will extend their shelf life. Try to keep your gloves in good condition so that you won’t have to replace them as frequently. Rubber gloves and cotton gloves can be tossed in the washing machine. Leather gloves and goatskin gloves should be cleaned with a wet handcloth and occasionally need to be waxed or oiled. No matter what kind of gardening gloves you choose, taking good care of them will make them last through the seasons.
Unfortunately, not all garden gloves are created equal. Some brands offer high-quality products at reasonable prices, and some just don’t deliver. Luckily, we did the research for you so you don’t have to dig through pages of reviews. These are the best gardening gloves on the market this year, bar none.
Exemplary Gardens Goatskin Work Gloves
Find on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2HxH5MS
These gloves get absolutely rave reviews, and it’s easy to see why. They are made of goatskin and they are highly durable, surprisingly flexible and they have a great grip. Available in five different unisex sizes, these gloves are great for heavy duty gardening tasks. They are treated with lanolin, which makes them feel especially soft when you are wearing them and actually works to keep your hands moisturized while you work, all while keeping them dry and clean. With the five sizes and an elasticized wrist, you can find the perfect fit with Exemplary Gardens goatskin work gloves. At an affordable price, you can get a backup pair.
Magid Glove & Safety’s Bella Comfort Flex Gloves
Find on Amazon.
For being such thin, flexible gloves, the Bella Comfort Flex Series from Magid Glove and Safety are surprisingly protective and especially durable. Expect these gloves to last through the entire active season, from early spring until the break of winter. At just north of eight bucks, it shouldn’t be much trouble to replace these each year, and they will be your favorite gardening gloves. They are breathable, flexible, water-resistant, and double coated with polyurethane and nitrile on the palm side for additional protection and comfort. These don’t feel like you’re wearing gloves, they are that comfortable.
GLOSOV Thornproof Cowhide and Pigskin Gardening Gloves
Find on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2HwZEAo
Not many gloves have the tenacity to label themselves thornproof, but GLOSOV’s cowhide and pigskin gardening gloves bring the toughness. These are perfect for cultivating rose bushes and other thorny items, like cacti, thistles, and briars. Fear the thorns no more with these puncture resistant behemoths. These gloves not only protect your hands, but they protect your arms too, all the way up to the elbow. The arm cuffs are adjustable too, so they will fit those with skinny arms as well as those that have a bit more meat on their bones. Heavy duty leather gloves have a tendency to be bulky, but these have a decent amount of dexterity in the fingers that allow you the ability to grip garden tools with ease and a surprising amount of flexibility.
Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves
Find on Amazon.
Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves are the Maserati of Gardening Gloves. They are a little bit pricey, but they are the best gloves on the market. Fingertip reinforcements and double stitched seams are coupled with a, “patented pad relief system,” that was, “designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon.” These gloves actually have terrycloth mini-towels installed on the inside lining of the gloves to keep your hands dry. They also have what the Bionic product description calls, “Lycra motion and web zones,” and a, “form-fitting LightPrene expanded wristband,” which sounds made up but makes you want the gloves even more, no? The kicker, however, is how sleek and stylish these gardening gloves look. Seriously, these are cool.
Garden Genie Gardening Gloves With Claws
Find on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2J6CtOb
It may seem somewhat trendy, or maybe even pointless, but you must admit, these gloves with the built-in claws look really fun. Imagine digging a hole with these on and pretending you were a wolverine in the wild. Aside from the gimmicky-nature of the whole claw idea, these gloves are actually highly effective and well designed. They are waterproof, puncture-resistant, easy to clean, breathable, flexible, and they have a lot of elasticity for a snug fit on just about any hand-size. On the old Garden Genie gloves, they made one hand clawed and the other without for versatility. On the new version, the gloves are removable, which means you can dig your wolverine hole with two hands instead of one. The Garden Genie gimmick gloves are worth the investment.
Suse’s Kinder Rose Pruning Gloves with Kevlar
Find on Amazon. https://amzn.to/34qMH3Z
Suse’s Kinder Rose’s pruning gloves are made for working with thorny tasks, and they have some extra length to them to match their purpose. The goatskin leather in brown makes them an attractive choice for either men or women, though other colors are sometimes available. Although the glove are named for rose pruning, they’re appropriate for all kinds of garden tasks, including working with cacti, picking blackberries, and clearing brush. They’re also made to work perfectly in conjunction with any type of garden tool you may need to use, yet they retain enough flexibility to be used in delicate tasks like sowing seeds. The material isn’t the most breathable option, so gardeners in warmer areas may wish to use these for their thorny work and get a different pair for standard use. For times when you need a glove to protect you as you work with plants that tend to defend themselves, these gloves can save you a lot of pain and suffering—literally.
Find on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3jzWvxe
These yellow and tan gloves are made of durable North American deer skin and split cow hide. There are patches to reinforce the areas that take the worst beating, and seams have been sewn twice to make sure they hold tight. They’re strong and flexible enough to be used on the toughest tasks. These aren’t the best option for those who work in truly frigid weather, as there’s no insulation and the leather is made thin so you have free hand movement. You’re paying a little more than the average glove, but it’s well worth it for the comfort and durability StoneBreakers offer.
As you can see, there are gloves on the market to suit just about any gardening task that’s been hurting your hands. A lot of gardeners don’t realize how much more comfortable gardening can be until they try a good pair of gardening gloves. There’s no reason to suffer through an activity that’s supposed to be fun—try out a pair of the gloves that best suit your needs, and find out how much more fun gardening can be.
Did we miss your favorite brand or type of garden gloves? Leave us a comment and let us know so we can add them if we agree.
Our home and garden obsessed writers and editors choose every product we review. We may earn money if you buy from a link at no additional cost to you.