The 10 Best Gardening Gloves, According to Testing

We love the padded palms and adjustable wrist on the versatile Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves, earning them our top rating.

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Best Gardening Gloves Tout
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Many gardeners enjoy getting their hands dirty as they garden—but unfortunately, danger can lurk in the soil. (Think animal fecal matter and organisms, not to mention poison ivy and other undesirable plants.) Garden gloves are a great way to protect yourself from thorns, brambles, and scratchy plants—and keep your hands cleaner, too.

"Gardening gloves are essential," says Karen Funkenbusch, extension specialist with the University of Missouri Extension. "I suggest wearing gloves for most garden-related activities. They can help you avoid scrapes, pricks from thorns, splinters, blisters, cuts from garden tools or equipment, and any chemicals that you may be using in your garden."

Of course, not all garden gloves are created equal. Some are ideal for weeding and planting, while others are great for heavy-duty tasks. Some will protect you from thorns; some will not. Your choice will depend on personal preference, as well as which tasks you want to use the gloves for.

"I'm a firm believer in wearing the right glove for the right garden task," Funkenbusch says. "When it comes to choosing gardening gloves, I consider whether they will be comfortable when I'm working in the garden and check the fit around the wrist. The wrist closure should be positioned on your wrist and not sit too high or too low."

We put 17 of the best gardening gloves to the test in our experts' gardens, evaluating the gloves for quality, durability, comfort, design, and value as we performed a variety of garden tasks, including weeding, digging, using a watering can and hose, pruning, repotting, and working with gardening tools. We also washed the gloves that were machine washable to check how well they held up to cleaning.

Our top pick was the Firm Grip Women's General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves; the gloves worked well for a wide variety of tasks and had extra features (such as touchscreen compatibility) that made them even more convenient.

Here are our picks for the best gardening gloves based on testing.

What We Recommend

Best Overall: Firm Grip Women's General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: These are great all-purpose gardening gloves, offering padded comfort and an adjustable fit. The gloves are also touchscreen compatible.

Keep in Mind: They're only available in one size, so they might not fit your hand perfectly.

If you only want to have one pair of gloves on hand for all your gardening chores, our choice for the best gardening gloves—the Firm Grip Women's General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves—are a good option.

The synthetic leather fingertips provide good grip, and the stretchy spandex between the fingers and on the body of the glove adds breathability and extra comfort on hot days. An adjustable hook and loop wrist strap allows you to customize the fit. Reinforced seams at common wear points add durability, and the padded palm enhances comfort, especially during repetitive tasks. If they get dirty, the gloves are easy to clean—just throw them in the washing machine when needed.

In addition to offering protection during a variety of garden tasks, these gloves are also touchscreen compatible so you don't have to take your gloves off every time you need to reach for your phone. Plus, the thumb features a terry cloth strip to help you wipe away sweat—a nice feature for those hot summer days.

Our tester found that the fingers fit well (although the thumb was too long for her), and she appreciated the adjustable closure on the wrist, which made the gloves feel more comfortable and secure. The gloves earned a 4.5/5 for comfort during testing and a 5/5 for both design and durability. The tester found the gloves protected her hands from blisters and bruising when using power tools, digging, and raking and that they held up well to normal use.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: One size (women's medium)
  • Materials: Synthetic leather, spandex
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Best Budget: Ansell HyFlex Light Duty Nylon Industrial Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These gloves are so thin, they almost feel as if you aren't wearing a glove at all; they provide plenty of dexterity for repotting seedlings and weeding.

Keep in Mind: These gloves aren't particularly cute or pretty, but they get the job done.

Since these Ansell HyFlex nylon gloves are sold in a 12-pack, we expected them to be pretty much a disposable glove (use once and then toss), but our tester was surprised to find that they held up for multiple uses. They offer plenty of value for the money, earning a 5/5 during testing and making them our choice for the best gardening gloves on a budget.

A stretchy nylon liner and polyurethane coating make these gloves ideal for carpentry and automotive work, in addition to gardening chores. They are so lightweight that our tester almost forgot she was wearing gloves at all. And since they're so lightweight, they offer excellent dexterity, allowing you to easily handle small seeds and seedlings. Anti-slip material on the palms gives these gloves a good grip, and they offer abrasion resistance as well.

While they aren't waterproof, our tester found that any dampness that soaked through dried almost immediately. You can't put the gloves in the washing machine, but some users have suggested you can leave the gloves on and wash your hands with dishwashing detergent to clean them.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: 2X-small to 2X-large
  • Materials: Nylon
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: No

Best Leather: StoneBreaker Gloves Rancher Work Glove

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: These leather gloves are great if you need a pair of heavy-duty work gloves for all sorts of garden chores. Plus, they offer protection from thorns.

Keep in Mind: They're a bit bulky, so they aren't good for working with small items. They're also not waterproof or machine washable.

These heavy-duty work gloves from StoneBreaker are a good choice if you'll be working around thorny plants, picking up yard debris, or doing pruning or mulching.

A combination of North American deer skin and split cowhide creates a tough, durable glove that's ideal for all kinds of work in the garden and beyond. Double-sewn seams decrease the frequency of rips and tears, and overwrapped leather patches provide more protection at common wear and abrasion points. Extended cuffs with hook and loop tape closures help prevent debris from getting in. Sealed shock-absorbing padding offers protection without extra bulk, so you can easily get your work done.

Our female tester found that these gloves were bigger than she was used to—they seemed to be sized to fit men's hands better, so you may need to order a size smaller than your normal size. They offered excellent protection when pruning and working around plants with thorns. Despite being a bit bulky, she found them to be soft and comfortable.

These are more expensive than some garden gloves, but their quality seems to match the price. They'll last a long time—the gloves earned a 5/5 in our durability test—but expect them to get dirty over time since they are not machine washable. Although they are not the most attractive gardening gloves, they're very useful to have on hand for heavy-duty yard work.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: Medium, large, and X-large
  • Materials: Leather
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: No

Best Waterproof: Amazing Stuff for You! Grippy Gardening Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These gloves are super versatile in the garden—they're waterproof and thin enough to allow you to easily grip small items.

Keep in Mind: These are a great basic garden glove, but for heavy-duty tasks, you'll likely want to reach for a thicker glove.

Coated palms and fingers on these gloves offer water resistance and ensure you'll have a good grip on your garden hose, tools, and other items. Nylon fibers make these gloves extra breathable; the fabric helps reduce the buildup of heat so you can wear them more comfortably for longer.

During testing, we found that the gloves are thin enough to provide plenty of dexterity when working around small plants or seeds, but the materials also seemed strong enough to ensure long-lasting durability, too. A little extra length in the wrist helps extend coverage and keep you cleaner.

Our tester found the overall fit very comfortable (although a tad long in the fingers). She was happy with the waterproof coating, and found the gloves held up well to a variety of gardening tasks.

Sold in a two-pack, these gloves are easy to clean—just rinse them off or throw them in the washing machine. Although you may want to choose a heavier pair of gloves if you'll be working around big thorns, these gloves offer good protection from smaller thorns as well as splinters from any worn handles on garden tools. Bottom line: These gloves might not be fancy, but they offer good protection at a good price.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: Small, medium, and large
  • Materials: Nylon
  • Waterproof: Yes (one side)
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Related: The 9 Best Wheelbarrows for All of Your Home and Gardening Needs

Best Nitrile: The Floral Society Garden Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Folia Collective

Why You Should Get It: These gloves are attractive, water-resistant, and good to have on hand for a lot of different garden tasks.

Keep in Mind: The price is a little on the high side, and they won't offer protection from thorns.

If you're on the hunt for nitrile or nylon gloves, these are the best gardening gloves for you. These durable gloves feature a basic design, but they are more than up to the challenge of a variety of garden and yard chores. The gloves' seamless nylon liner provides flexibility, while the rubber palm ensures a natural-feeling grip. The surrounding fabric is breathable enough for hot days. And since the palm is waterproof, these gloves work well for watering chores.

Our tester found that the rubber coating on the fingers and palm was thin enough that she could still feel what she was doing when engaged in more precise tasks. While the gloves did fit her, she felt like they ran a bit small and that they may be too small for people with large hands. The gloves weren't too hot and held up to moisture well; the cuff did tend to roll up as she was working, which was somewhat of an annoyance. She found herself reaching for these gloves often since they were comfortable and versatile.

When garden chores are done, these gloves can be thrown in the washing machine. You'll want to hang them up to dry rather than putting them in the dryer.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: One size
  • Materials: Nylon liner with nitrile coating
  • Waterproof: Yes (on palm)
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Best Rubber: CoolJob Rubber-Coated Garden Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These affordable gloves are comfortable and breathable. They're a great choice if you want to purchase just one pair of gloves for a variety of garden tasks.

Keep in Mind: They can be washed and will likely hold up for more than one garden work session, but don't expect them to last forever.

The non-slip coating on these lightweight gloves make them a good choice for a variety of gardening tasks, such as weeding, planting, seeding, and harvesting. The soft latex coating is designed to reduce fatigue while you're working—and the material is breathable enough that your hands won't get sweaty. A long, flexible cuff helps keep dirt and debris out.

Our tester found these gloves to be very comfortable, rating them a 5/5, plus she felt they were lightweight and breathable enough to wear even on hot summer days. She noted that the rubber palms offered some water resistance, but she didn't feel the gloves offered any protection against thorns.

The two-pack includes two different colors of gloves. You can assign a specific color for different types of garden tasks if you like—or give one color to a garden helper if you have one. Plus, the bright colors make it easier to find the gloves if you lay them down in the garden while you're working.

You can throw these gloves in the washing machine if they get dirty, and then hang them to dry. Our tester washed hers with cold water and found they did not shrink. Plus, they dried quickly, so she could use them again soon after washing them.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: One size (medium fits most women)
  • Materials: Polyester with rubber coating
  • Waterproof: Somewhat
  • Machine Washable: Yes

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Best Gauntlet: G & F Products Florist Pro Garden and Rose Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart and The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: Gauntlet gloves are extra-long to protect your wrist and arm from thorns, so they're great for pruning roses. This pair is also comfortable and breathable.

Keep in Mind: Because these gloves are only available in two sizes—one for women and one for men—they may not fit your hands perfectly.

Gauntlet gloves are a must when pruning roses, and this pair offers a good mix of quality materials and comfort. These G & F gloves feature 15-inch-long sleeves, so they'll cover your lower arm up to the elbow. The double-padded palm lends additional thorn resistance, too.

Double stitches add extra durability to ensure they will last a long time and the stretchy spandex back adds breathability and comfort—making pruning chores more enjoyable (or at least tolerable). The gloves are available in two colors: dark gray/army green for men and dark gray/pink for women.

Our tester found that these gauntlet gloves protected her very well when pruning rose bushes; when thorns broke off on the glove's exterior, she wasn't able to feel them at all on the interior of the glove. The one-size-fits-all women's glove fit her perfectly in the fingers but was a little large in the thumb, making it difficult to grab smaller stems. The cuffs on the gloves added protection, but they didn't feel bulky or interfere with movement. Plus, the liner on the cuff helped reduce sweat.

Because sizes are limited, these gloves may not fit everyone perfectly, but they do offer plenty of protection when working around roses.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: Women's medium and men's large
  • Materials: Synthetic leather, spandex
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: Yes

Related: The 10 Best Garden Hoses for Watering All Your Plants

Best Eco-Friendly: Garden Works Bamboo Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Terrain

Why You Should Get It: You can feel good that these gloves are made with an eco-friendly material. They can be used for both gardening and household chores.

Keep in Mind: The price of these gloves is a little higher than some other types of gloves, but they are a good option if you're willing to pay more for comfort and eco-friendly materials.

These gloves are made with bamboo fiber, which offers a natural alternative to nylon that is breathable, stretchy, and helpful for wicking away moisture. The palm of these gloves is coated with foam latex to offer even more protection. They're offered in three different colors so you can choose your favorite hue or choose a different color for different family members.

Our tester was impressed by the quality and fit of these gloves, noting that the fabric was stretchy enough to fit securely without squeezing her hand too much. She thought the bamboo fabric felt lightweight and kept her hands cool, while the latex offered water resistance and improved the grip. She did notice that the bamboo side showed some signs of wear in places where it got snagged on twigs, but the latex area still looked new after wearing it for the afternoon.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: Small, medium, large, and X-large
  • Materials: Bamboo fiber, foam latex
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: Yes

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Best Patterns: Bamllum Leather Gardening Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These gloves bring style and fun to gardening tasks, while still offering comfort and wear-resistance. They would make a great gift for a garden enthusiast.

Keep in Mind: Only one size is available, so they may not fit especially small or large hands. Be sure to check their sizing chart and measure your hand before ordering.

Sometimes boring just won't do. If you want to bring some fun style to your garden gear, these are the best gardening gloves—plus they're useful for a variety of garden tasks, such as pruning, mowing, and planting.

Made of microfiber leather that provides abrasion resistance, they are also soft and breathable enough to be comfortable. The ergonomic design around the palm and fingers (as well as the leather fingertips) gives you a good grip. The back of the gloves are made of elastic, which is breathable and helps to absorb sweat; this allows your hands to stay dry as you work in the garden. An elastic closure on the wrist helps keep dirt out and ensures the gloves are easy to pull on and take off.

Our tester found that the material on these gloves was thick enough to offer good protection from damp soils and scratchy plants. But she found the material too thick and bulky for hand weeding and planting. The gloves are best for pruning hedges and working with thorny plants.

The material seems to be high quality, and the gloves are well-made. Plus, the colorful fabric will likely bring compliments from neighbors; just keep in mind that it also highlights dirt more than plain brown gloves. Overall, though, these stylish gloves offer a good value for the price, earning a 4.5/5 score for value during testing.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: One size (medium)
  • Materials: Microfiber leather
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: No

Related: The 10 Best Outdoor Sheds to Keep Your Backyard Organized

Best for Men: Bionic Men's ToughPro NaturalFit Gardening Gloves

Gardening Gloves
Courtesy of Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These heavy-duty gloves are great for all your hardest garden chores, including operating power tools. They were designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon to help prevent hand fatigue and joint pain.

Keep in Mind: These are expensive, and while the silicone pads on the fingertips add durability, they don't work with your smartphone.

These gloves are pricier than other pairs, but if you're willing to shell out the money, you won't be disappointed. Our choice for the best gardening gloves for men, these gloves were designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon to provide better dexterity, while reducing hand fatigue, joint pain, blisters, and calluses.

They're made of extra-durable goatskin leather, and silicone-reinforced fingertips and palms provide additional durability and offer a better grip. Extra padding on the gloves absorbs vibration, making them a good choice when using power tools, trimmers and weeders, and push mowers.

During testing, experts found that the lycra areas over the knuckles and between the fingers added breathability and improved the fit, while an open cuff design made them easy to pull on and off. Washing the gloves makes them more durable and the leather more supple. And in case you're wondering—they make these gloves in women's sizes, too.

Our tester wore these gloves to shovel and transport many loads of gravel without developing even one blister. They were comfortable from the start, without any wearing-in period. Really, the only problem you may run into is that they're so nice, you may be reluctant to get them dirty.

Product Details:

  • Size Options: Large
  • Materials: Leather
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine Washable: Yes (cold water, gentle cycle)

Related: The 13 Best Potting Soils for Indoor and Outdoor Plants

The Bottom Line

After testing 17 gardening gloves and using them for a variety of tasks, the overall best gardening gloves are the Firm Grip Women's General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves because they are a great all-around glove to have on hand for daily garden work thanks to high marks in comfort, durability, and breathability.

If you have a lot of roses to prune, we recommend reaching for the G & F Products Florist Pro Garden and Rose Gloves, which extend up to your elbow and feature padded palms to stop thorns from puncturing your skin.

Our Testing Process

To test gardening gloves, our testers wore them while performing a variety of gardening tasks, including weeding, digging, watering, pruning, repotting, and handling gardening tools. The testers examined the material, design, and construction of the gloves before wearing them and assessed the comfort and fit while wearing them for their garden work. After using the gloves, our testers inspected each glove for any signs of wear and tear and washed them once to see how well they held up in the washing machine if the manufacturer says they can be washed. We rated each pair of gloves based on quality, comfort, design, durability, and value in order to pick our favorites.

What to Know About Gardening Gloves Before Shopping

Size

When purchasing garden gloves, be sure to find out what sizes are offered. Some gloves are only available in one size (designed to fit most users). If you have small or large hands, our expert testers suggest looking for a pair that is available in multiple sizes. Many manufacturers include a size chart on their websites to help you find the correct size; however, it's always helpful to try on garden gloves before purchasing them to ensure a proper fit.

Materials

Gardening gloves are made of a variety of materials, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. During testing, our experts found that leather gloves provide a high level of protection when pruning plants with thorns or doing heavy lifting, but they are usually too bulky for working with tender plants or hand weeding.

Cotton gloves are inexpensive and widely available online and at garden centers. They don't provide protection from thorns and aren't waterproof, but they are good lightweight, all-purpose gloves that work well for a variety of garden chores.

Rubber gloves offer water resistance when working with wet soils and are a good choice when you are spraying any type of chemicals, but our testers found that they often aren't as breathable as cotton gloves.

Nylon gloves are stretchy so they can fit a variety of hand sizes well. They are resistant to mold and mildew and can be easily cleaned; however, they are not eco-friendly since they can't be recycled.

Waterproofness

If you often find yourself working in wet conditions, consider opting for a pair of waterproof gloves. Nitrile gloves are a good waterproof option. Some companies sell gloves that are completely made out of nitrile, while others just put a coating on the fingers and palms to improve water resistance. Keep in mind that the same types of gloves that protect your hands from water can also help protect your hands from any chemicals that you are applying in your garden.

Care and Washing Instructions

When you purchase any type of garden gloves, be sure to look at tags and manufacturer washing instructions to determine if it's safe to put the gloves in the washer. Many gloves can be put in the washing machine, but others may shrink or fall apart. Our testers found that most gloves can't be put in the dryer; you generally will need to hang them up to dry. Leather gloves will often need special care, so be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Remember, it's a good idea to wash garden gloves after handling chemicals or diseased plants.

Other Gardening Gloves We Tested

G & F Products Soft Jersey Garden Gloves

Our tester found the G & F Products Soft Jersey Gloves to be soft and breathable. She loved the three-pack of different designs and the colorful fabric, as well as the very affordable price point. However, our tester found the gloves didn't hold up well in the washing machine, and their baggy fit made it difficult to weed or repot small plants.

Skydeer Leather Suede Gardening Gloves

The Skydeer Leather Suede Gardening Gloves are well suited for yard work. Our tester liked the extra padding on the palm, the cinched wrist to keep debris out, the breathable fabric, and the floral design. Although the nylon back of the glove is waterproof, the palm, made of deerskin leather, is not. Our tester found that the seam across the fingertips made detail work difficult but felt the gloves were a good general-purpose option.

Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gloves

Since they are tight fitting, our tester felt the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gloves to be helpful when weeding and repotting. Her hands got a little hot when she was wearing these gloves, but she thought they did a good job of protecting her hands from outside moisture when working with damp soil. After several hours of work, they were still in very good shape. Our tester did find the gloves to be a little snug, so you might want to go up a size if you are unsure.

Your Questions, Answered

Should you wear gloves when gardening?

Yes, you never know what's lurking in the soil! There could be fecal matter if there are animals around (especially cats), plus there are plants that can cause contact rashes, such as poison ivy and stinging nettle. You may not realize they are hiding in your garden until it's too late.

"If you have any cuts or skin sensitivities, or have garden beds frequented by animals like cats, definitely wear gloves," says Melissa J. Will, garden blogger at EmpressofDirt.net. "It's just not worth the risk."

How do you clean gardening gloves?

Be sure to read the care label to find out how to best clean any pair of gardening gloves. How you should clean them will depend a lot on the material. Our testers found that you can throw some garden gloves into the washing machine, but others you may need to just spot treat as needed. "I like to own several pairs so I always have a clean pair available while others are being washed," Will says.

What kind of gloves are best for thorns?

If you're working around thorns, we found during testing that gauntlet gloves that extend all the way up to your elbows are an excellent choice. You'll also want to look for a glove made from a thick material or one that has extra padding. "A heavy-duty glove is best," Will says. "They're not as flexible as other gloves, but you can prune without worries."

Who We Are

Renee Freemon Mulvihill is a freelance writer who specializes in home and garden topics. To write this article on the best gardening gloves, she spent several days researching gardening glove materials, prices, styles, uses, and more. She then compared this information with insights gained during expert testing. She also spoke with Melissa J. Will, garden blogger at EmpressofDirt.net, and Karen Funkenbusch, extension specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, to learn more about gardening gloves.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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