Best Gardening Gloves of 2020
Of all the gloves we tested, the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo garden gloves provided the best fit. They have a comfortable second-skin feel making them dexterous and agile. They are also made from bamboo, which is an added benefit as they are latex-free and environmentally friendly. The protective rubber-like layer on the palm side of the glove provides excellent grip and water protection, and the back of the glove is breathable and absorbent. During both our dexterity test and our comfort test, these gloves excelled. We also discovered that the fingers on this glove are sensitive enough that you can use your touchscreen phone without taking them off.
The only issue we had with the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo gloves, is simply that they can only be washed in cold water and cannot be put in the dryer. For a pair of gloves that are intended to spend all day in the dirt, we were disappointed to see that they could be challenging to clean. However, slightly complicated washing instructions are worth the little bit of extra attention if it means a better and more environmentally friendly pair of gloves.
The COOLJOB Gloves are simple and effective gloves to keep you comfortable and clean in the garden. The slim and elastic fit allows plenty of dexterity, and the latex finish on the palm side of the glove keeps your hand dry while working in wet soil. You can also use your touchscreen phone while wearing these gloves. We found that these gloves are a great all-around option for just about any gardening activity.
The comfortable cotton-elastic back of the COOLJOB Gloves makes the product extra breathable and form-fitting. However, they also have a greater propensity to stretch out over time, catch on thorns, or wear down. Out of the packaging, these gloves do have a powerful chemical smell, which does go away over time but can be off-putting at first. These gloves turned out to be one of our favorite products due to the comfortable fit and great dexterity they offer.
The Handylandy Pruning Gloves are by far the best leather glove we tested. They offer the best fit, comfortable and agile finger mobility, and a sleeve to protect your arms when pruning rose bushes. We appreciated the sleeve protection when sticking our hands into thorny bushes, and also found that we could roll the sleeves up when we didn't have any use for them. We were pleasantly surprised by how adept these gloves are with delicate tasks and how comfortable they are for extended periods.
After leaving the Handylandy Pruning Gloves fully immersed in water and allowing them to dry, the protective sleeve became stiff. But after a couple of uses, they broke in again. It came to our attention that these gloves need to be taken care of if you want them to last. This is not a pair of gloves to leave in your garden bed every night, or they could easily become stiff and even break down. They are a glove designed to prune delicate roses, and not so much dig in the dirt.
The Amazing Stuff for You Grippy Gloves are comfortable, protective, and durable. These gloves fit and feel great. The elastic back and band make this glove feel like a sock for your hand. The protective latex layer is flexible and holds up well against dirt and thorns. This product also allows for dexterity and makes it easy to pick up small seeds.
The Amazing Stuff for You Grippy Gloves were among the least breathable gloves we tested. If you are looking to spend long days in the garden, these gloves might become uncomfortable after just about 30 minutes or so. That being said, the poor breathability is hardly noticeable if you don't plan on wearing them for extended periods.
The FZTEY Thorn Proof glove is a great glove in both the garden and in any workshop. These gloves have a comfortable worn-in feel almost right out of the box, and offer a versatile range of capabilities. Although they make an excellent garden glove, they also are good general work gloves and can be used for anything from handling splintering wood to re-potting a delicate prickly plant.
Although we loved the durable leather make and the simple and comfortable design of the FZTEY Thorn Proof glove, we found that they were not agile enough to handle tiny seeds. We also observed that these gloves bleed a little bit of yellow when soaked in water. Overall, these gloves offer good protection and comfort.
The G and F 1852-3 glove is simple and is 100% cotton. These gloves come with PVC dots for grip, and fun colorful designs for style. We saw that the PVC dots on this product work incredibly well and make it easy to pick up tiny seeds or grains of rice. We also discovered that they are easy to wear for long periods and have great breathability. This pair is easy to throw on for quick garden work and comes with three different pairs, each with a different color and design.
We did find that the G and F 1852-3 gloves were not as fitted or comfortable as we would have liked. We didn't like that you can feel the seems inside the gloves while you're wearing them. We also found that because these gloves only have the PVC dots and no further latex or rubber protection, they aren't great for working with plants with thorns or spikes, and we would not recommend pulling out a large yard full of dead weeds with them either. The soft, breathable fabric is easily penetrated by anything sharp.
We enjoyed the OZERO Leather Work Gloves in both the garden and in the shop. The leather feels nice against your skin and has a slightly waterproof finish to help repel water. The leather did a great job of protecting our hands against thorns and cactus spikes and even kept our fingers warm. These gloves are also the most affordable leather gloves per pair that we tested. Since they are so similar to some of the other leather gloves, they are a great deal. If you are looking for a glove you can use to handle cactuses, pick blackberries, or splintering wood, this product is a great option.
While watering the garden, the OZERO Leather Work Gloves happened to get wet enough to soak through the cowhide. After removing the glove, we found that it had left yellow stains on our hands, and on the following day, we noticed the glove had shrunk a little. Our tests on these gloves reinforced that they bleed yellow and shrink when they get wet. We also found that they are not a dexterous glove and are not good at working with small delicate things.
When we received the Garden Genie Claw, the first thing that came to mind was a Halloween costume or elaborate back scratcher. However, once we put them on and took them out to the garden, it became clear that these are fantastic gloves for your garden. The claws make digging incredibly easy, and the gloves have more plastic protection than other gloves to keep your hands from getting dirty when you are digging.
We were under the impression that the Garden Genie Claw would be great for planting seeds because of how easily they make small holes in the dirt. However, these gloves failed our dexterity test, proving that handling small seeds is not what they are made for. Also, due to the extra plastic coating on the gloves, they are considerably less breathable than the other products. These gloves are fantastic for replanting and weeding, but you may need another pair for longer, hotter days in the garden.
The SEUROINT Cotton Gloves are comfortable and cute. They have a soft fleece-like lining in the inside of the glove to keep your fingers comfortable and are nice and breathable for the summer. They are flexible, making it easy to do delicate pruning. This product also has PVC dots on the palm side to help with gripping and keep dirt out of the fabric.
We feel that the fit of the SEUROINT Cotton Gloves is baggy at the wrist but tight in the fingers. The fabric they are made from is also not very elastic, making for a strange fitting glove. Although these gloves have PVC dots for protection and grip, our rice test revealed that the bulky material accumulated at the finger tips prevents delicate finger-work. We also thought white was not the best choice of color for gloves meant to spend all day in the dirt, especially since they are in no way waterproof.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our landscaping team spends hours in the garden, most of the time wearing gloves. They have learned the ins and outs of garden gloves, what to look for and what to stay away from. Head tester Liv Mertens loves gardening, but has also come to understand that a good pair of gloves is essential to a good experience in the garden. From weeding cattails to pruning roses, she has been working in the garden since settling in Reno. She organized the product testing based on her own experience, making sure to test the gloves for durability, comfort, precision, and protection.
Although garden gloves come in all different shapes and materials, our team has learned the advantages and disadvantages of each. Whether you are looking for waterproof gloves, gloves for weeding, or perhaps just something comfortable in the garden, we made sure to cover all the bases. We soaked the gloves in water, dug into the dirt, and went deep into thickets of roses.
Analysis and Test Results
By creating a series of tests based on what one might want out of a garden glove, we could determine which products performed best in which areas. We tested the versatility, durability, comfort, and the extra features that a few of the gloves came with. For each metric, we performed tests to help us determine the functionality of each product and give you a better idea of what each glove can do. We tried to pick up a single grain of rice on a hard flat surface, re-pot cactuses and house plants, and weed dry foxtails with each glove. We left each pair in a bowl of water for a couple of hours to see if they would dry out properly or if the colors would bleed. We grabbed thorny vines and squeezed till we could feel each thorn.
Ideally, we want one glove to do it all, to weed, prune, and plant. Instead of having an arsenal of gardening gloves, it would be undeniably easier to have one glove that is good at everything. And yet, inevitably, there will be some gloves that are better at one thing and other gloves that are better at another. Although it is important to know what you want out of a glove before making a choice, it is also nice to have the option to use it for something unexpected. For this reason, we decided that the versatility of each product was an important factor to test. We tested each glove for pruning prickly plants, handling small and delicate seeds, re-potting plants, and weeding.
To test the dexterity of the gloves, we designed the rice test. This was a simple test to see how easily you can pick up a grain of rice with each glove. This test reveals what it might be like to handle small seeds or do delicate pruning in each of these gloves. We found the gloves that performed the best in this test were the COOLJOB Gloves and the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo working gloves. These gloves easily grabbed a single grain of rice off of a flat hard surface.
To test re-potting, we simply re-potted some of our own plants. Of all the gloves, the Garden Genie Claw are the easiest to use for re-potting. The claws at the end of each finger cut through the dirt quickly and effectively without having to pull out a shovel or spade. Just be careful not to cut through the roots. The protective latex lining covering the outside of most of the glove also made it easy to replant small and prickly cactuses.
To test pruning, we grabbed a thorny stem on a rose with each pair of gloves. We were able to tell right away that the SEUROINT Cotton Gloves and the G and F 1852-3 gloves would be difficult to use for anything prickly. The Handylandy Pruning Gloves are our favorite due to the long protective leather sleeve.
To assess what each glove would be like while weeding, we pulled a yard full of dead dandelions and cattails. We found that almost every pair of gloves ended up with dry sticks and prickly things sticking out of it except for the leather gloves and the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo gloves.
The comfort of each glove heavily relied on its fit. This includes seams, stretch, and material. Alongside fit, we considered breathability for longer and hotter days in the garden.
To test breathability and comfort, we wore each pair of gloves for 45 minutes without taking them off. Although simple, this test told us a lot about the comfort of the gloves. We didn't realized how uncomfortable the Garden Genie Claw are until we had them on for a while. They are an excellent tool for digging in the garden for short stints, but if you're planning on wearing gloves all day, you will want a different pair. We found them to be hot and sweaty, and the claws created discomfort as well. It was also during this test when we fell in love with the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo working gloves. We expected them to be sweaty and hot due to the rubber-like coating on the outside of the gloves but found that the material was both breathable and absorbent enough to keep the glove comfortable for extended periods of use.
As we went through the testing process, we discovered that the OZERO Leather Work Gloves and the FZTEY Thorn Proof gloves had uncomfortable seams between the fingers. The more they broke in the less obtrusive the finger seams became.
To test durability we decided to put the gloves in extreme environments. Our water test entailed putting each pair of gloves in a bowl of water for a couple hours, then taking them out and waiting for them to air dry. Once dry, we put them back on to see if the gloves held up. The first thing we noticed with this test was that the leather gloves bled. We already knew this might happen because while watering the garden one of the leather gloves bled on to our tester's hand, turning her hand yellow. The water test did reveal that the OZERO Leather Work Gloves bleed the most, the FZTEY Thorn Proof glove bleed a little less, and the Handylandy Pruning Gloves hardly bleed at all.
All of the gloves we tested each had certain features that distinguished them from the rest. We looked at each of the features, from PVC dots, to claws, to pruning sleeves, and rated their effectiveness.
Our favorite feature was the Garden Genie Claw to help with digging. We found that we loved the plastic claws for digging but were not suitable for picking up small seeds - or in this case, a grain of rice. It is important to note that the claws on these gloves do not come off.
In reviewing these nine pairs of gloves, we found that we preferred a well-fitting dexterous glove to something that may offer more protection but less finger agility. The more time we spent in each of these gloves only reinforced the importance of being able to use our hands with freedom and comfort. For this reason, we were drawn to the gloves that felt more like a second skin than a thick protective coat; these were usually stretchy with a protective but flexible layer on the inside of the hand. Although we preferred these gloves, they did not offer the same protection against thorns and weeds as thicker, less dexterous gloves did. Each glove offers a technical advantage depending on what you need out of your pair of garden gloves.
— Liv Mertens