If you want to work on your garden this summer, you’re going to need a pair of the best gardening gloves. Wearing a good pair of gardening gloves is just as fundamental as using the right tools in the yard. They protect your hands from discomfort and damage, while keeping them clean and dry. Plus, the best gardening gloves will be breathable, with adequate grip. So, whether you’re doing heavy work, or moving delicate seedlings, you’ve got the dexterity and protection required.
But, with there being so many different types of gloves on the market, how can you tell you’re getting the right pair for the job? That’s where we can help. We recruited Farmer Rich, a seventh-generation fruit and vegetable farmer, to test a range of gardening gloves to find those that provide the best performance.
Each pair of gardening gloves had to endure a range of activities, from transplanting and harvesting vegetables, to pruning sharp thorn bushes. Work gloves were tested with more heavy-duty activities, such as shoveling compost and handling an electric weed trimmer. During these activities, the design of each glove was carefully assessed, factoring in the dexterity, comfort, protection, grip and breathability. Farmer Rich even looked for signs of shrinking and cracking after drying the gloves out in the sun once they'd been soaked. After extensive testing, the results were compiled to form the below list. These are the best gardening gloves.
What are the best lawn and garden gloves?
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After extensive testing, we found the best gardening gloves to be the 2-pack Amazing Stuff for You! Garden Gloves. These gloves offer pretty much everything you could hope for. They are comfortable to wear, provide brilliant grip, and are functional whether you’re working in wet or dry conditions. The thickness of the material is also just right for balancing protection with dexterity.
If value for money is what you’re after, then we recommend the G&F Rubber Latex Double Coated Work Gloves. With 12 packs in one set, you’ve got one pair for every family member, and thanks to its durable design and excellent grip, there’s little to complain about.
The Amazon Basics Leather Gardening Gloves with Forearm Protection are the best rose pruning gloves. You don’t need to worry about any thorns, weeds or even angry cats scratching through the material. And yet, the grip and flexibility are still impressive, even when wet. Overall, they are extremely well made and should be in every gardener’s glove box.
We found the best work gloves to be the Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves. Designed by an orthopedic surgeon with arthritic and sensitive hands in mind, these machine-washable gloves offer excellent comfort, grip, durability and dexterity, even when wet. It is as if they took the best parts of a gardening glove, work glove and athletic glove, and combined them into one super glove.
Best Gardening Gloves
The 2-pack Amazing Stuff for You! Garden Gloves are a well-designed nitrile coated glove that are both comfortable to wear and functional in use. The thin nitrile coating offers excellent grip and dexterity in both wet and dry conditions. These gloves are also thin enough that you can feel the delicate stems of vegetable and flower transplants, yet rugged enough to protect your fingers from scrapes, soil and spiky vegetables.
These machine-washable gloves worked very well for harvesting cucumbers and using pruners. Plus, the quality stitching around the wrist kept the gloves in-place. The gloves were able to perform basic smartphone touchscreen functions, although texting was a little cumbersome. Like most nitrile gloves, the mesh backing can let in some loose soil and mud. However, it allows the gloves to breathe so your hands don’t get too hot. Overall, they are a great pair of medium-duty gardening gloves that should last. For a 2-pack, and such a reasonable price point, the performance won’t get much better than this, which is why they’re the best gardening gloves.
The G&F Rubber Latex Double Coated Work Gloves are heavy-duty gloves that come in a 12-pack, making them a great bargain for those who need a large number of gloves. Textured latex coating provides excellent grip on tools, plants and rocks, even when wet. They are thick enough to be warm in cold weather, but breathable enough to be comfortable in the heat.
While inspecting multiple pairs of these gloves, we found that the quality of the stitching was not consistent — some had loose threads that would catch on your fingers as you pulled them on. The color of the blue latex also faded over time working in the sun, but did not impact performance. For the price (less than $1.30 per pair), neither of these imperfections were something to really complain about.
These gloves worked very well with touchscreen phones and were comfortable to use. They performed well in all of the gardening tasks we used them for. Buy these gloves and keep a pair in your car, house, garage and wherever you might need them. These would be a great value for community gardens or beach cleanup projects with multiple workers as they are not expensive and are very durable.
The Amazon Basics Leather Gardening Gloves with Forearm Protection are an overall fantastic rose pruning glove. Its soft goatskin leather with sturdy cowhide gauntlet provide protection from both thorns and noxious weeds. These are perfect for handling thorn bushes and yanking out stinging nettle alike. The gloves provided nice grip and dexterity while holding pruners, even when wet. They also performed well as claw and bite protection while trimming our unhappy long-haired cat, who got into some brambles.
These gloves required no ‘breaking-in’ period to feel comfortable. The water-resistant leather stayed soft and flexible, even after being soaked and dried in the hot sun. Although there was a little bit of seam poking on the inside of one of the fingers, it was minimal. All seams are double-stitched and showed no signs of fraying, even after moving rough stones. Ultimately, they are great rose pruning gloves and are bound to provide years of use. That’s why they make the best gardening gloves list.
The G&F Florist Pro Long Sleeve Rose Gardening Gloves have the features of a heavy-duty work glove, but the protective gauntlet cuff of a rose pruning glove, offering the best of both worlds. All seams on this synthetic leather glove are double-stitched. Reinforced fingertips and padded palm pads allow you to use garden tools just as easily as yanking out stubborn weeds. The breathable mesh back made these gloves good for both warm and colder weather use. However, the backing is not water-resistant.
As with many synthetic leather gloves, there were some blackberry thorns that did manage to poke through, but it was minimal. We did find it to be a great glove for grabbing and removing overgrown zucchini and summer squash plants without getting a single scratch. Although the thumb was a bit large, the overall glove fits well. If you want rose pruning gloves, but don’t want leather, these are the ones to get.
The term ‘Fits like a glove’ comes to mind when using the Women’s Tuscany Gauntlet Gloves. These were the softest gloves out of all the gloves we tested. Made of leather and spandex, these incredibly comfortable gloves provided great dexterity and sensitivity when handling plants. The construction was thick enough to protect against most thistle and bramble thorns, while thin enough to feel delicate flower stems during pruning. These are not heavy-duty gloves. They are made for general gardening and pruning.
It is refreshing to see a gauntlet-style glove designed without any visible stitches in the palm — that means there’s no stitching that can be snagged and pulled by thorns. The wrists do tend to run small on these gloves though, so if you have a large wrist, you’ll want to size-up if possible. Natural lanolin makes these gloves soft, so be sure never to use soap as it will wash away this protective oil. If you’re looking for a second skin while gardening, the Women’s Tuscany Gauntlet Gloves are an excellent choice.
The G&F 3-pack Women’s Soft Jersey Garden Gloves provide a colorful twist on the traditional gardening glove. Made of soft cotton and polyester with PVC gripping dots, the gloves provide a balance of comfort, functionality and style. One set includes three bright patterns and colors in red, green and blue. The thickness of the gloves will keep your hands warm in spring or fall, and cool in the summer. The gripping dots also worked well holding a trowel and pruner. They provided nice dexterity for handling fragile transplants.
These gloves do have some limitations. They are not at all water-resistant, and the exposed cloth on the fingers and palm let in fine dirt. In fact, our hands got very dirty while using them to transplant vegetables into the dry field soil, and picked up the smell of the fertilizer water that was in the roots. The soft jersey also tends to snag on sharp thorns and branches. That being said, they do work very well for pruning and moving plants. Their sizing helped earn these gloves the title of ‘best gardening gloves for small hands.’
These Rose Pruning Gloves are made of soft goatskin leather. They provide excellent grip and dexterity while handling pruners and pulling vines. Plus, they are water-resistant and have a thick, heavy leather gauntlet for superior forearm protection. Some seams do poke through on the fingertips and on the wrists, but it is not uncomfortable for extended periods of work.
No blackberry thorns came through while pruning back a bush. We found these offered excellent hand and forearm protection while pulling thistle and overgrown zucchini plants as well. There was, however, a fraying seeam on the right palm and a missed stitch created a small hole between the ring and middle fingers. Besides those imperfections, the gloves seem very durable.
The gloves run a little large — they were a good fit for a large hand even though it was sized for medium. If you are undergoing a project where you need to protect your forearms, these would be the best gardening gloves for you.
The Magid Professional Rose Pruning Thorn Proof Gardening Gloves are made of soft, synthetic leather (nylon, polyurethane, polyester and spandex) with a thick, protective cuff. These machine washable gloves are comfortable and well-designed. In terms of functionality, they are designed similarly to work gloves, but have the added protection of a long gauntlet.
Padding stitches across the palms reduces friction and vibration, making them great for handling string trimmers and hand tools. All seams are double-stitched and the fingertips are reinforced. It is worth noting though that while the mesh back of the glove is breathable, the thick foam cuff became uncomfortably hot while working in the sun. The rubbing of the thick gauntlet cuff on the forearm, especially around the seams, caused some discomfort over time when worn without sleeves as well.
Like most synthetic leather gloves, there was some poke-through of thorns, but it was minimal. They offered great protection while pulling thistle as well. However, the gloves have a thin mesh on the back of the hands which makes them poor candidates for reaching into thorn bushes or using in wet conditions. The Magid Professional Rose Pruning Thorn Proof Gardening Gloves have excellent knuckle and finger protection though, which is why they make the list of the best gardening gloves.
Best Work Gloves
What happens when you combine the best parts of a gardening glove, a work glove and an athletic glove all into one? You get the Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves. According to legend (and Amazon), Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves were “designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon with arthritic and sensitive hands in mind.” An outer layer made of double-stitched goatskin leather, neoprene, lycra and silicone offers protection and comfort, while the terrycloth inner liner keeps the hands cool and dry.
Special ‘web zones’ and ‘motion zones’ built into the fingers allow joints to bend with ease. Padding built into the palm and finger creases make most gardening tools comfortable to use and greatly reduces vibration. The silicone fingertips provide superior grip and protection when working with soils and stone. Furthermore, the velcro wrist enclosure allows for a secure fit and dirt protection.
We tested the medium-sized women’s glove, and the fit was just right. While it was true to size, they are designed to be more ‘snug’ than traditional work gloves. The finger padding at the joints did make the gloves a little stiff, but not uncomfortably so. That padding noticeably reduced vibration fatigue when using a gas-powered weed eater. At over $30 a pair, these were the most expensive gloves we tested. And while they might not be as heavy-duty as standard all-leather work gloves, the Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves are extremely well made and are worth the investment. These are definitely some of the best gardening gloves out there.
The OZERO Leather Work Gloves offers the protection of puncture-resistant cowhide leather combined with the comfort and dexterity desired in a heavy-duty work glove. This is your traditional-styled work glove with an open cuff and leather backing. There is no extra padding, lining or frills. All seams are double-stitched and held up to the major scrapes and abrasions of moving cinderblocks and pulling vines. It required very little ‘breaking-in’ to feel comfortable. The water-resistant leather stayed soft and flexible even after being soaked and dried in the hot sun.
The size fitted properly with no pinch-points or uncomfortable rubbing. We found that the gold color wore off when scraped, but it didn’t impact its ability to grip tools, even when wet. For some reason, the gloves had a very strong, lingering leather or lanolin smell compared to the other gloves we tested, which might be a deal breaker for sensitive individuals. While these may not be ideal for extended masonry work, the gloves work very well for everything else. Overall, this is a great pair of heavy-duty work gloves.
The feature that makes the Firm Grip Pigskin Leather Work Gloves stand apart from other heavy-duty leather gloves is that they are breathable. Micro holes in the leather help prevent your hands from sweating and overheating while working in the sun. This double-stitched work glove has a reinforced palm to help prevent calluses while using hand tools. However, we found the gloves to be very stiff, especially after getting wet and drying in the sun, but they do break in over time.
The Firm Grip Pigskin Leather Work Gloves are very strong, well-made and offer great protection from rocks and scraping. These had excellent grip on rocks and tools, even after being soaked. In fact, we used them explicitly for rock picking one damp morning, and they held up very well and maintained an excellent grip. However, the thumb seemed a little long, slightly reducing dexterity. Also, the cuff is very wide, allowing dirt and weeds to enter through the top. That being said, this is overall a great pair of work gloves which will take a beating so your hands don’t have to.
How we selected and tested the best gardening gloves
There are hundreds of lawn and garden gloves available on the market. The gloves chosen for this test were selected because they ranked among the highest in terms of product reviews from reputable brands and vendors. We were looking for gloves that were comfortable, durable and provided a proper balance of dexterity and functionality.
Each of the gloves featured in our best gardening gloves list were hand tested by an experienced farming couple while planting, harvesting and maintaining the property on their historic farm. Gloves were separated into gardening, pruning and work categories. Each pair of gardening gloves were used to transplant, prune and harvest vegetables. We tested the dexterity by removing fragile transplants from seeding trays while also assessing the hand protection and dirt exclusion. The pruning gloves were used while we pruned thorn bushes with the best pruning shears. Plus, we pulled out tangles of wild grape vines and overgrown zucchini plants. The work gloves were used to shovel compost, pick up field rocks and drive fence posts. They were also used to hold and control a gas-powered weed trimmer to test for vibration protection and grip.
At the end of testing, all gloves were soaked with water to test the wet-grip while holding a rake, and then each pair was set out in the sun to dry and then worn again to test for shrinking or loss of flexibility.The fronts and backs were also rubbed on concrete to assess the long-term durability of the material and stitching.
Some pairs of highly-rated gloves failed to hold up in our tests and were not included in our ranking.
What to look for when buying gardening gloves
While having a little dirt under your fingernails is a badge of honor for many gardening enthusiasts, a brush with poison ivy or repeated scratches from a zucchini plant can have you singing a different tune.
There are three primary styles of gloves used in lawn and garden work; work gloves, rose pruning gloves and gardening gloves. Some companies specifically design ‘Women’s’ or ‘Men’s’ gloves, while others are gender-neutral (unisex) and offer a range of sizes.
Work gloves are designed to protect both the front and the back of your hands from abrasion while doing landscaping work, such as moving rocks, raking or using heavy tools.
Rose pruning gloves are typically looser fitting leather gloves with a long cuff or gauntlet that protects your hands and forearms from thorn punctures and noxious weeds. Secretly, they also come in handy when grooming cats that don’t like to be groomed.
Gardening gloves are typically light-weight and tight-fitting to allow for good dexterity when handling small plants and hand tools. Many can also double as work gloves.
Which material should you get?
Real leather (pigskin, goatskin or cowhide) will typically be the most puncture resistant of any glove material. These are used in a wide variety of industries because they offer such a high degree of protection. Natural lanolin is often applied to keep the gloves soft, so you should avoid using any kind of soap to clean real leather gloves — it can dissolve the oils and dry out the material. Brand new brightly colored leather gloves have a tendency to stain your skin if they get wet or sweaty, so read the reviews to check if that’s an issue before purchasing.
Synthetic leather is often more ‘breathable’ and comfortable than genuine leather, but can wear out quickly due to repeated abrasion (especially in the fingertips). These are also not as good as leather for handling thorns, although they still offer great protection from blisters and abrasions. Many work gloves feature a synthetic palm and fingers while sporting a flexible fabric around the back of the hand for increased dexterity. Synthetic leather gloves are a nice alternative option for vegan gardeners and are often machine washable.
Nitrile and latex are thin, rubbery coatings which are often found on a woven mesh glove — each with water and chemical-resistant properties. Nitrile is a safe alternative for those with latex allergies. They both offer superb grip and dexterity, even in wet conditions. Plus, they are very light weight, tight fitting and offer a great range of motion. However, neither material is puncture resistant, so avoid using them when handling thorns. Nitrile and latex gloves are both touch-screen compatible as well, so these are a good option if you need to use your phone while working.
Knit work gloves are typically made of cotton or cotton/poly blends and are machine washable. They are lightweight and very comfortable when compared to the heavier and stiffer leather and synthetic options. Some styles of knit work gloves have non-slip nitrile or latex incorporated into the palm and fingertips for added grip. Knit gloves are breathable in the warm summer and offer a degree of warmth in the cold. They are not designed for heavy-duty or wet work and will tend to snag on thorns. However, they are a comfortable option for light yard work and gardening.
Quality of Construction
If a glove isn’t made well, it’s not going to last. If you are in the market for leather or synthetic leather gloves, make sure the seams are double-stitched, especially on the palms. If you’re moving rocks or branches, a single stitch will eventually fray, fail and start pulling apart. Some gloves may also look good on the outside, but they can have loose stitching or rough seams on the inside that snag and rub against your skin, so be sure to check this. Nitrile, latex and knit gloves can sometimes have loose strings around the cuffs and fingertips that feel uncomfortable in use. The quality control standards were all high for the best gardening gloves featured in this list.
Using the right glove for the right job
You should always use the right tool for the right job, and gardening gloves are no exception. While no one will stop you from using pruning gloves for planting vegetables, that is not what it is designed for, which means its use can result in discomfort and frustration.
Tough leather work gloves might last you years when utilized for basic lawn and garden work, but these can wear out in a day of working with wet concrete blocks. And while nitrile gloves provide superior gripping strength, their tightness can create ‘hot spots’ that lead to blisters when using hand tools like post pounders or a pickaxe. A good work glove reduces the chances of developing blisters in these instances.
Even the best gardening gloves can fail when used improperly. That’s why it is a good idea to have multiple glove types available for all work occasions.
How to find a glove that fits your hand
You may have heard the saying, ‘fits like a glove,’ but what does that actually mean? How is a glove supposed to fit? It turns out that not all gloves are supposed to fit the same. Most heavy-duty leather work gloves and pruning gloves should be loose fitting. It reduces rubbing and the formation of ‘hot spots,’ which, in turn, prevents blisters. Garden gloves (including nitrile and latex gloves) are designed to be close fitting, allowing for an improved sense of touch and dexterity, while still providing excellent grip and protection.
Some companies specifically design ‘Women’s’ or ‘Men’s’ gloves, while others are gender-neutral (unisex) and offer a range of sizes. Like most clothing options, the sizing is often at the whim of the producer. Women’s gloves are typically smaller than men’s gloves, however, the craftmanship is the same. Gender-neutral gloves often run slightly larger to fit men’s hands, so women may need a size smaller if they’re considering these. Glove sizes are typically determined by measuring the circumference of the palm just under the fingers and the length from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger.
The Bionic Relief Grip Gardening Gloves description on Amazon offers a sizing chart along with a diagram to show how to make the measurements. Always read the Q&A section and reviews to see if the gloves run larger or smaller than normal.
How to properly maintain your garden gloves
Gardening gloves get dirty. There’s no way around it. You might be tempted to throw your gloves in the washing machine or use a bar of soap to give them a good cleaning, but read the label before you do. Many nitrile and synthetic leather gloves are machine washable (cold water, air dry). However, most genuine leather gloves are ruined if washed with any type of soap. Lanolin is a natural oil used to soften the majority of leather gloves. Washing with soap removes the lanolin, leaving the leather very stiff and uncomfortable to wear. For genuine leather, simple tap water and a gentle fingernail brush will remove much of the dirt without damaging the lanolin. When in doubt, check the label or product website.
Like any tool, never put gloves away wet. There’s nothing quite like pulling a moldy, rotting glove out of the trunk of your car. Wash your gloves when they need it and make sure they are thoroughly air dried before putting them away. The UV light from the sun can break down the polymers in synthetic leather, and weaken latex and nitrile. Ideally store your gloves in a dark, dry location like a glove box or a drawer.