Best Gardening Gloves, According to Testing
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. Lastly, we used the gloves in our gardens for six months to evaluate how they held up over time.