Gardening doesn’t do the hands any favours, which is why a pair of the best gardening gloves are essential for anyone with green fingers. Aside from thorns, sharp twigs and rough bark causing inevitable injury, the worst offender is soil, because it literally draws all moisture out of the skin, leaving the hands as dry and chapped as the Bonneville Salt Flats.
What you need my friend is a decent pair of general gardening gloves for working in the rough, whether it’s replacing turf, planting or pottering or, in some instances, dealing with prickly issues like rose, bramble, thistle and holly clearance.
We’ve called in a bunch of different garden gloves designed for both gardening and general household use and put them through their paces while performing a number of different tasks, from digging and pruning to heavy lifting.
Only the best made it to this list so, without further ado we suggest you read on to find out which gloves are the best for your gardening needs.
The best gardening gloves you can buy in 2022
Constructed out of stretchy ribbed PVC with reinforced leather palms and silicon fingertips for gripping stuff like heavy terracotta pots, power tools and cliff tops, these mountain bike-style gloves are tough enough for most gardening duties, including rose bush clearance, soil toiling and carrying heavy stuff with sharp edges.
They’re available in a wider range of sizes than others we’ve seen (Medium, Large, X-Large and XXX-Large) and they’re easy enough to get in and out of. At around £9.99, they’re cheap, too. However, they don’t breathe that well so perhaps consider them for autumnal work and grab yourself a pair of the fancy Burgon & Balls below for the hotter summer months.
Available in two sizes (M/L and L/XL), these gloves fit very comfortably though they are quite narrow at the cuff so bear that in mind if you have chunky hands. The Dig The Glove is constructed out of breathable denim with padded palms, genuine leather trim and temperature regulating stretched mesh between the fingers.
Although the gloves’ palms, finger and fingertips are covered in puncture-resistant suede-like material, most stiff rose thorns will penetrate if gripped too hard. However, for lighter duties like pruning and general tool work, they perform admirably well. If you’re looking for a light, breathable and stylish looking glove for summer gardening, put these on the shopping list.
Although they’re advertised as ‘safety gloves’ these manly rubberised and double insulated gloves are absolutely perfect for winter gardening. In fact they’re so warm you could wear them as normal gloves for snowball fights.
The first thing that strikes you as you put your hand inside is how impeccably well they fit – the sizing seems consistent with most other gloves – and how cosy they feel. Their ability to grip knows no bounds and, as a result, I use them for a plethora of both garden and general home tasks like relaying turf that the dogs have destroyed, carrying heavy York stones, lifting shiny home appliances, picking up broken glass, etc. The encapsulated air molecules in the HPT foam coating also provide an inherent cushioning effect that protects the hands even further.
The rubber coating on these thermal gloves is super thick but extremely pliable and that means you can dig right into that hideously thorny rose bush with complete confidence that you won’t feel even the smallest prick, if you’ll pardon the expression. The main rubber section is naturally fully waterproof.
Available in S, M, L and XL – and also in a range of other models – you really can’t go wrong with a pair of these. Especially as they’re so cheap, too.
Coated in a pliable layer of textured rubber with thin, breathable nylon mesh backing, these gloves provide impeccable grip while protecting the fingers to some degree from sticky out bits and your skin from all that earth you’ll be handling. They are also equipped with elasticated cuffs for a snug fit.
These gloves are ideal for light summertime gardening work like potting and ground prep. However, they’re not that great for thorny tasks like clearing brambles, nettles and roses because, while the rubber finger and palm sections are quite robust, the breathable nylon backing provides zero protection against anything sharp and pointy.
On the plus side, they’re also really useful for getting a good firm grip on heavy items you need to carry, like washing machines, fridges, pianos, safes, anvils, uranium, etc. Just be warned that availability online is somewhat erratic, with some stores selling mediums only and others large and small. Hence, you may need to shop around. Also bear in mind that their sizing is smaller than the norm so perhaps go for one size bigger when ordering.
If you’re looking for an ultra tough pair of gardening gloves that offer great protection when performing heavy-duty tasks like tree surgery, consider this robust leather and textile pair from Stihl.
Aside from being really comfortable gloves per se, the Function MS Protect are also designed for light chainsaw protection to the back of the hands. This particular model is classed 0 in a chainsaw clothing scale of 0 to 3. This means the back of the hands will be protected against a chain spinning at 16 metres per second. Of course, that’s a difficult statistic to get a handle on so if you’re a keen chainsaw enthusiast, consider a pair with a rating of 3.
Nevertheless, even some protection is better than no protection at all so in that respect, these gloves will at least keep your hands safe to some degree when operating a chainsaw – as long as the saw isn’t too powerful and is quickly pulled away if it makes any contact.
On the other hand (if you still have it), these are just great gardening gloves for a range of tough tasks like piling thorn-covered stalks into the green wheelie bin or on the compost heap. They’re also handy for carrying paving stones, picking up the glass remnants of an accident in the greenhouse, lifting heavy garden ornaments and a zillion other garden jobs.
Now read our guide to the best manual garden tools, as well as best secateurs and best garden sprinklers.