Use This Garden Glove Buying Guide to Find the Perfect Protectors

Safeguard your hands when working outdoors by following these tips for choosing the right gloves for the job.

It doesn't take long for outdoor work to take a toll on your hands, but wearing the garden gloves suitable for each task will help you enjoy planting, pruning, and harvesting without hurting your hands. Investing in more than one style of glove that fits well and holds up to the task at hand (no pun intended) means you'll be comfortable longer and reduce the risk of injury or exposure to infection-causing pathogens. In addition, if you have allergies or sensitive skin, garden gloves can help protect your hands from plants like stinging nettle that can be irritating.

Durability is important, but perhaps even more important is the fit of the garden gloves. If they're too big or loose, you won't have the dexterity you need, and gripping tools and plants properly could be tricky. They should have a snug or adjustable cuff to keep soil and debris from falling inside the glove. While gloves should fit snugly if they're too tight, they'll limit your movements and wear out more quickly.

Best Gloves for Planting, Weeding, and Harvesting

person pulling on gardening gloves
Dean Schoeppner

Some garden tasks require the ability to feel textures or carefully grip tiny seeds or delicate plants. Gloves that are thin, snug, and flexible work best for these activities. Stretchable synthetic knit fabric gloves that are partially dipped in nitrile are the garden gloves perfect for general gardening tasks and can be washed and line-dried when necessary.

Test Garden Tip: Lightweight yet durable, nitrile-dipped gloves usually come in a variety of colors and are inexpensive, so you can keep several pairs on hand whenever you need them.

Lightweight goatskin leather or synthetic leather gloves ($9, Home Depot) are also a great choice and generally last well for more than one season. Although inexpensive, lightweight cotton fabrics can quickly get soggy while going about your garden tasks and don't hold up well over time.

Best Gloves for Digging and Working with Stones or Pavers

hand in gardening glove on shovel handle
Dean Schoeppner

If you're planning to lay a patio or edge a bed with bricks or stones, you'll need garden gloves that offer extra protection for your fingertips. You'll also need gloves that aren't quickly worn by rough hardscape materials or gravel. Fit is essential here, but you'll have to give up some dexterity to gain important durability and protection.

Look for gloves that offer extra protection for knuckles, fingertips, and palms and have adjustable or snug elastic wrists. Leather or synthetic leather garden or work gloves ($13, Home Depot) will work well.

Best Gloves for Pruning and Working with Thorny Plants

Even if you don't grow roses, you may need a pair of rose gloves with a long gauntlet ($28, Home Depot) when pruning or weeding out thorny plants. These garden gloves include an extended cuff to protect most of your forearm. Some rose gauntlets have reinforced palms or fingertips, but if the gauntlet is lightweight goatskin or fabric, you'll probably come away with scratches. Make sure the glove material is tough enough to resist punctures.

Best Gloves for Pesticide Application

Applying chemicals to your garden and yard (even if they're pretty safe) means you'll need protective gear. Nonabsorbent gloves are essential for safe pesticide and herbicide application. Look for latex or neoprene-coated gloves or nitrile-dipped gloves ($28, Home Depot) that protect the back of your hand and palm.

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