The 7 Best Gardening Gloves of 2023, Tested & Reviewed

You'll want something lightweight, flexible, and comfortable enough for every type of gardening task.

Rachel covers all aspects of the home space and tests products to find the best for consumers. When she's not writing, you can find her streaming, hiking, and decorating. Leather Work Gloves

The 7 Best Gardening Gloves of 2023, Tested & Reviewed

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Gardening gloves are an important means of protection while gardening. Not only do they prevent dirt and soil from getting all over your hands, but they also prevent your skin from being subjected to scratches and punctures from prickly plants. The best gardening gloves provide a snug, comfortable fit while also offering enough room to give you the range of motion necessary to complete all of your gardening tasks—well worth keeping your eyes out for when garden supplies go on sale in September and October.

To find the best gardening gloves, we first tested 17 popular options in our Lab before assessing them in real-world conditions over a period of six months. We evaluated them on quality, comfort, design, durability, and value. We also spoke to Allison Vallin Kostovick, an expert gardener and creator of the gardening blog Finch + Folly, for her insight on finding the right gloves. 

“When it comes to garden gloves, it’s good to have two different kinds of garden gloves available—a lightweight pair for daily gardening tasks, and a pair that offers heavy-duty protection from things like thorns and brambles,” says Kostovick. “When it comes to your everyday garden glove, look for a pair that offers a good fit, no-slip grip, and flexibility. Comfort is key, so you’ll want a pair that is lightweight enough in material, but fits tight enough so you can gingerly pluck a weed.”

Who it's for: People who want a great deal on gardening gloves that are comfortable, durable, and machine-washable.

Who it isn't for: People who want gardening gloves made of a more breathable fabric.

These gardening gloves have a lot going for them, as they scored pretty high in our testing for quality, comfort, durability, design, and value. These gloves have a high-quality fit and fabric—the stretchy fabric is comfortable and secure, while the waterproof coating protects your hands and provides excellent grip. The coating is also designed to protect the hand from prickly plants, while the tight fit around the wrist helps keep dirt and debris from creeping into your gloves. Over our six month testing period, we found these gloves to be incredibly durable—standing up to both washing and long-term wear.  

The gloves are made from nylon, which makes them machine-washable. However, nylon, which is a synthetic fabric, isn’t breathable, so it won’t wick away sweat that may build up while working in hotter temperatures. Despite this downside, we felt that the gloves were thin enough to prevent them from becoming too uncomfortable while gardening. We were pleased with the performance of these gloves, and would recommend them to anyone looking for a basic gardening glove that can handle a variety of tasks. What’s more, you get two pairs for the price of one. 

Price at time of publish: $11

Material: Nylon | Sizes: S-L | Care: Machine-washable

Who it's for: Casual gardeners who want lightweight gloves.

Who it isn't for: People who want waterproof gardening gloves.

These affordable gardening gloves are great for people who are casual gardeners, or beginners who want to test the waters with gardening gloves before they commit to a higher-priced style. We found the West Chester Protective Gear Hi-Dexterity Gloves to be just as comfortable as other more expensive models we tested. The gloves are lightweight and breathable despite their synthetic leather construction, which isn’t typically as breathable.

The main downside to these gloves is that they aren’t waterproof, and while working with mulch and dirt, debris made their way into the gloves. Plus, after an hour of use, we noticed some wear, including fraying on the fingertips. During our long term testing, we mainly reached for these gloves for lightweight outdoor tasks like raking, sweeping or mowing, but found them to be a less attractive option when doing messy, wet gardening. 

Price at time of publish: $8

Material: Mesh and synthetic leather | Sizes: Small, large | Care: Hand wash

Who it's for: People who regularly handle plants that may scratch or puncture their skin.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to pay a lot for a pair of gardening gloves.

Those new to gardening may be hesitant to use leather gloves since they can be tricky to wash. However, leather gloves are actually great for gardening, as their thick construction prevents any scratches or punctures from happening while handling prickly plants. And for how well these leather gloves performed during our tests, going out of your way to carefully wash them is worth it. We were impressed by the construction, design, and comfortable feel of these gloves, especially considering their leather construction.

These gloves were designed by an orthopedic hand specialist to ensure comfort as well as dexterity. These design aspects are easily seen throughout the glove, which includes lycra patches (a fabric known for its elasticity) located along the knuckles and in between the fingers to ensure easier movement. There are also silicone zones found on high-touch areas of the glove that prevent wear and tear and provide a firmer grip. Inside, the gloves are lined with an absorbent terry cloth to help soak up sweat while working when it’s hot outside. 

Over our six month testing, we found that these gloves got better with time, becoming even more comfortable and soft without sacrificing their protective features. While all of these are great features, some may be turned off by the high price. However, we believe that these quality gloves are worth the relative splurge. 

Price at time of publish: $57

Material: Leather, lycra, silicone, terry cloth | Sizes: S-XXL | Care: Machine-washable; hand wash recommended

Who it's for: People who want elbow-length gloves that will protect their hands and arms.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want gardening gloves that extend up their arms.

People who grow roses in their garden know that tending to them can be risky business. Regular garden gloves won’t cut it when it comes to thorns, so you’ll need gloves that extend up your arm for optimal protection. These Magid gloves are made of spandex with synthetic leather sewed around high-touch areas that allow for extra protection and a greater grip. These thick gloves protected our hands and arms from pokes and scratches as we pruned roses and weeded around them. After six months of use, these gloves were as good as new, and quickly became our go-to for working with prickly or thorny plants. 

The arms of the gloves are loose to allow airflow, while the wrists are ruched tight to prevent any dirt or debris from entering. Despite the roomy fit, however, we found the gloves to lack breathability. After about 15 minutes of wearing them while working, our arms became warm and a bit sweaty. Our long-term testing also revealed that the thick material makes these gloves a bit slower to dry after washing or wet gardening. Despite these minor drawbacks, we still found these to be high-quality, heavy duty gloves that offer excellent thorn protection. You can expect these gloves to hit about an inch below your elbow, depending on how long your arms are.

Price at time of publish: $17

Material: Spandex, synthetic leather | Sizes: XS-XL | Care: Machine-washable

Who it's for: People who want gardening gloves that are compatible with touch screens and are breathable for hot weather.

Who it isn't for: People who want more stylish gardening gloves.

Even though these gloves are made from synthetic materials, which are generally not supposed to be the most breathable, we found them to be lightweight enough to offer breathability and comfort. This can be attributed to the mesh spandex, which can be found primarily on the front of the gloves. The underside, which includes the fingers and palm area, are padded with synthetic leather for protection. We loved these gloves for heavy-duty gardening tasks like composting, mulching or digging holes, as the padding cushioned our hands while the mesh allowed for airflow. 

These garden gloves boast extra features not often found in other pairs of its kind. First, they have an adjustable wrist strap that can be tightened up when dealing directly with dirt. Second, the fingertips are compatible with touch screens, which, if you are following directions while gardening, will prove quite useful. Third, they are machine-washable for easy care. Overall, these gloves held up well throughout our six month testing period and were durable enough to handle more labor-intensive yard tasks.  

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Spandex, synthetic leather | Sizes: S-XXL | Care: Machine-washable

Who it's for: People who want gloves made of a natural, breathable fabric.

Who it isn't for: People who want gardening gloves that won't show wear and tear after initial use. Gardening gloves, while incredibly useful, can get uncomfortable quickly if the fit is incorrect or the material is incompatible with the type of work you’re doing. These bamboo gloves not only fit super well, but also feel comfortable throughout long stretches of gardening work. This is achieved largely thanks to the bamboo fabric. Bamboo is a natural fabric that is breathable, strong, soft, and is capable of wicking away moisture from the body. All of these components make it a great fabric for gardening gloves. These gloves also have a foam latex coating on the palm that is waterproof, offering greater protection for messier gardening tasks.

These garden gloves feel like a second skin, and compared to other pairs we tested, were one of the most comfortable. The thin bamboo fabric is cooling with the right amount of stretch to fit securely but not squeeze too much. Over our six month testing period, these bamboo gloves quickly became our go-to pair for gardening. Though the material sustained a few small snags and stains, it didn’t compromise the overall quality or comfort of the gloves.

Price at time of publish: $12

Material: Bamboo, foam latex | Sizes: S-XL | Care: Machine-washable

Who it's for: People who garden often enough that they go through garden gloves frequently.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to buy gardening gloves in bulk.

Although these are technically gloves for automotive work, we wanted to test to see if they could also be useful for gardening. Turns out, they definitely are. These gloves boast a comfortable fit and an impressive overall value, with 12 gloves included in the pack. The gloves are made of nylon and have been coated with an anti-slip plastic material that is also waterproof, so they are still able to adequately protect your hands while weeding and working with damp soil. We used these gloves for gardening tasks in addition to household work, like installing a new toilet. The grip, heavy-duty construction, and dexterity of these gloves make them supremely versatile.

We were also impressed with the lack of wear and tear after first use, which led us to believe that it would take a while to get through the box of 12. Our long-term testing confirmed this, as we used the same pairs repeatedly without significant damage or wear, with the exception of some light dirt and scuffs. Although buying in bulk may deter some buyers, we found this deal to be worth the cost, especially considering they could be used for other handy home work, including crafting.

Price at time of publish: $37

Material: Nylon, polyurethane | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Care: Not listed

Overall, we recommend the Amazing Stuff For You! Gardening Gloves. During our testing, we found these gloves to hold up well during a variety of gardening tasks, and were impressively comfortable, durable, and a great value for the price. Plus, they are machine-washable.

We first tested 17 gardening gloves in our Lab, assessing them on quality, comfort, design, durability, and value. First, we wore each of the gloves for 30 minutes while doing gardening tasks such as repotting a plant or weeding. We measured how easy it was to move our hands in the gloves, as well as overall comfort and breathability.

For the gloves that were also advertised as waterproof, we worked with watering tools, such as watering cans or garden hoses, and wet materials, such as wet soil, to assess the gloves’ resistance to water. We also did a separate test for gloves that were designed to protect against thorns by working with prickly plants to see if the material protected from scratches and punctures. If gloves came with any special features, such as compatibility with touch screens or a better grip, we tested those too. At the end we evaluated if the performance was a good value for the money, and if we would recommend it to fellow gardeners. 

In addition to Lab testing, we also assessed the gardening gloves over a period of six months in real-world conditions. For waterproof gloves, we made sure to spend time doing wet gardening or yard work. We also evaluated the comfort of the gardening gloves, taking note of feel, breathability, thickness, and dexterity, as well as any irritation. To provide accurate data in real-world conditions, we completed at least 30 minutes straight of gardening or pruning work for heavy-duty glove models. 

Throughout this testing we also considered each pair of glove’s design, accounting for both functional and aesthetic components of their appearance. If there were any added features, like grip pads, extended cuffs, or touchscreen compatibility, we evaluated their effectiveness and value. Following these trials, we noted the gloves' durability, looking for ripped seams, cracks, punctures, shrinking, or odors.

“The material of the glove is key when it comes to comfort,” says expert gardener Allison Vallin Kostovick. Choosing the right material for your gardening gloves is dependent on your personal preferences and the tasks at hand. If you detest your hands getting hot while wearing any kind of gloves, “you’ll want to look for one that offers breathability, like nylon, nitrile or cotton.” says Kostovick. “I personally have had more luck with nylon and nitrile gloves keeping their shape versus cotton. The cotton gloves seem to stretch out a bit more over time, especially around the wrist, which then allows lots of dirt to collect on the inside of the glove.”

Synthetic materials, such as spandex or synthetic leather, will cause your hands to heat up more than they would with natural fabrics. Whether you choose a natural or breathable fabric, know that these thinner materials won’t protect you as well against prickly plants, such as roses. If you work with particularly rough or prickly plants, get leather gloves—the thick material will protect you from scratches and punctures to the skin. “For chores like pruning blackberries or roses, I recommend a leather or heavy-canvas glove,” says Kostovick. “Many of the heavier-duty gloves also offer a longer cuff to protect your arms as well.”

Fit is also super important when choosing the right gardening gloves. Gardening gloves that are too small will limit your range of motion in your hands, while gardening gloves that are too large will make you feel like you're not getting a good enough grip on what you're doing. Both of these will be uncomfortable and prevent you from being able to enjoy, your gardening.

“You’ll want your gloves tight enough so you have good dexterity, but not too tight that when you make a fist, your fingers get squeezed,” says Kostovick. “Look for gloves that offer grip-support of some sort. Without it, plants can easily slip through your gloved fingers and you’ll lack the exactness of control that you’d like when dealing with delicate plants. You’ll want the material to be thin enough that it doesn’t feel clumsy when handling plants.”

For those tackling wet or muddy gardening jobs, opt for a waterproof glove. Synthetic materials like rubber, nitrile, and polyurethane can prevent water from soaking through to your hand, keeping you comfortable and dry no matter the task at hand. Synthetic materials are more water-resistant than natural fabrics, with the exception of rubber. Look for gloves that are rubber or have a plastic coating, such as polyurethane. 

Waterproof gardening gloves also have the added benefit of protecting you from potentially harmful substances.

StoneBreaker Rancher Gloves: Although these are a solid option for dealing with thorny plants and heavy-duty tasks, we didn’t like how they weren’t waterproof or breathable to wear.

Cooljob Gardening Gloves: These garden gloves had an impressive fit and comfort, and were the most true to size of any other gloves that we tested. However, they were so thin that they didn’t offer protection from thorns.

Gardening gloves aren’t absolutely necessary, but they’re still a pretty good idea to protect your hands from dirt and your skin from being scratched and punctured by plants—even if you're gardening in a small space. If you’ve ever been through the struggle of getting dirt out from under your fingernails, then you can imagine how beneficial gardening gloves can be. Plus, getting scratches and punctures while gardening will make your gardening experience, which should be enjoyable and peaceful, uncomfortable and painful. Gardening can actually be good for your mental health, so it’s best to use protection tools, such as gloves, so you can get the most out of the experience. However, if you are using chemicals to treat your garden, such as pesticides, you must wear gardening gloves.

It depends on the gloves. “Some gloves are able to be tossed into the washing machine, while others may be best suited for hand washing/air drying,” says Kostovick. “Best to always follow manufacturers directions. I toss my cotton and nylon gloves in a cool washer, but always air dry as they can shrink in the dryer.”

Leather gloves require a little extra effort. If your leather gloves have stains, tend to those first with a microfiber cloth and a solution that is made up of equal parts water and distilled vinegar. If you have mud stains, wait until those are completely dry and use a soft bristle brush to remove the debris before spot treating. Then, mix soap designed for leather goods, such as Castile or saddle soap, with warm water and clean the gloves. Use a separate microfiber towel with water to brush the soap away. After that, let them air dry on a towel away from direct sunlight.

The best gardening gloves for weeding are thick and durable enough to protect you from pricks and scratches. We recommend leather, nylon, spandex, or polyurethane-coated gloves, as they create a protective barrier between you and the prickly task at hand. For even more protection, you can opt for gloves that extend above the wrist, like the Magid Professional Rose Pruning Gardening Gloves.

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best gardening gloves and tested 17 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on quality, comfort, durability, design, and value.  We also spoke to Allison Vallin Kostovick, an expert gardener and creator of the gardening blog Finch + Folly for her expert insight.

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn’t an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

The 7 Best Gardening Gloves of 2023, Tested & Reviewed

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