Of all the essential equipment that a gardener should have, there’s few things higher up the list than a reliable set of gardening gloves. Indeed, a well-chosen pair of gardening gloves will last you over many years, becoming increasingly comfortable. So which should you buy?
For lighter duties like potting and planting, you can get away with lightweight gardening gloves made of polyester or cotton. Lighter gloves also give you more dexterity. But for tougher jobs like shifting rubble or clearing brambles, you’ll want a tougher pair. These are most likely to be made of leather.
And if you regularly prune, you’re best off erring on the side of caution and picking up a heavy-duty pair of gardening gloves that are thornproof. If you spend a lot of time with a wheelbarrow or other garden tools, a pair with extra grip is a wise idea. And if you’re working in short sleeves, gardening gloves with extra-long ‘gauntlet’-style cuffs that will come in handy. Oh, and you may even want a pair that look nice too.
Other features to look out for include breathable backs, elasticated cuffs that will keep the elements out, and leather palms. We’ve picked out a range of our favourites, from heavy-duty options to long gardening gloves. For more essential garden wear, take a look at our selection of the Best wellington boots.
The best gardening gloves in 2023
ReliefGrip Bionic Gardening Gloves
If you suffer from arthritis, or any similar issues where handling things needs a little extra support, take a look at Bionic’s gardening gloves.
They’re a bit eccentric-looking, but they’ve been designed by an orthopaedic hand surgeon to offer your hands as much assistance as possible with your gardening.
Each finger is coated with silicone for extra grip, and there’s a velcro wristband for added support. We’ve linked to the men’s medium size below, but these also come in men’s large and women’s small and large sizes.
Spear & Jackson Men's Gardening Gloves
If you’re looking for expert credentials on a pair of gardening gloves, you can’t beat the folks at Kew Gardens. The Royal Botanic Gardens’s horticultural team advised and collaborated in the making of these gloves from Spear & Jackson.
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Everything about these gloves shouts no-fuss practicality, from the ripstrap cuffs to the elastane backs. They’re also available in pink.
Burgon & Ball Love The Glove
Here’s a pair of gloves that prioritise style - and why not? The Gatbsy is our favourite set of gloves from Burgon & Ball’s Love the Glove range: we really love that pretty, tile-like pattern and the pink edging. Other gloves in the series use fabrics like tweed and denim. We’re unsure if the artificial suede will look quite so fetching after repeated use - but they’ll certainly make a lovely Christmas gift.
All Things Brighton Beautiful Pigskin Gloves
This set of tan-coloured gardening gloves from All Things Brighton Beautiful tread the line between style and functionality. They’re made of pigskin, which is known for being a particularly soft, supple type of leather. They’re loose-fitting, and offer little in the way of features besides elastic wrists, but will offer an assuring level of comfort as they mould themselves to your hands.
Briers Lined Leather Gardening Gloves
Another pair from Briers, these ones made of cream-coloured hind leather and aimed squarely at the gardening market. This is another pair that look like they’ll happily take battering over many long years in the garden, and will become more comfy along the way. They’re also fleece-lined, to give you that extra warmth.
Long gardening gloves
The Little Boys Room Personalised Denim Gauntlet Gloves
If you’re thinking of Christmas presents for any green-fingered gents you know, take a look at this fun set of long-length denim gardening gloves from The Little Boys Room. You can request a personalised message that will be emblazoned across the arm of one of the gloves - make it count! We’ve picked out the gauntlet-style pair, but you can also get these in a smaller standard size.
Waterproof gardening gloves
Gold leaf winter touch gloves
Gold Leaf is a market leader in gardening gloves, each pair in its line is designed in a variation on the brand’s signature yellow and black colours. We particularly like the Winter Touch Gloves, which are made of a quality deerskin leather that will mould itself to the shape of your hands. A perfect choice for those who want assured quality and comfort - especially as they’re endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Thorn proof gardening gloves
Showa Grip Master Gloves
If you’re in search of gloves that will give you a sturdy grip, these are the best on our list. These gloves from Showa are made of polyester, but with nitrile-coated latex that will tack to surfaces better than leather or cotton. They also have a waterproof coating to keep your hands dry in poor weather.
These are unlikely to be the most pleasant-feeling of gloves, but synthetic fabric is made of a breathable mesh that will prevent your hands getting too clammy. Savvy gardeners will have a pair of these as well as a more all-purpose pair.
Briers Reinforced Rigger Gloves
Rigger gloves aren’t strictly - or at least exclusively - for the garden: they are used throughout the construction industry for handling rough and abrasive materials. This pair from well-known garden brand Briers are ideal for those tougher jobs in the garden, and will keep your hands free of any nasty shocks if you’re clearing brambles. The palms are made of leather, while the ventilated mesh backs will prevent your hands from getting too hot.
Matt Breen is a digital writer for the tech section of RadioTimes.com. He writes buying guides, product reviews, how-to, explainers and news stories about everything from flagship smartwatches to bendable televisions (no, really). He keeps a beady eye on all the latest news in the consumer tech world. Matt has also written for Expert Reviews, BikeRadar, Coach, Gardens Illustrated, Gathered.how and The Week. When he's not obsessing over the latest tech products, you might just find him painting and drawing - anything to limit his screen time.