The best gardening gloves 2018

Every rose might have its thorn, but you no longer have to worry about it with our selection of the best garden gloves. Say goodbye to blisters, scratches and hard-to-reach dirt with these helpful hand coverings

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You could be forgiven for thinking that all gardening gloves were created equal, especially if your only experience with them is hand-me-downs from family members who’ve treated themselves to a shiny new pair, or the ones you’ve quickly grabbed from near the till at the garden centre when you realise you have a rose bush to prune when you get home. But in reality, that’s far from the truth.

First, there’s the overall type to choose. In terms of specialist kit, the vaguely medieval-sounding rose gauntlets are designed to minimise scratches and protect the forearms when reaching into prickly rose bushes, but their full-coverage design can also be useful for gardeners with allergies. Meanwhile, grippy and durable work gloves are useful for a variety of tasks including digging and hauling garden waste, and often come with reinforced or padded bits. In terms of material, leather or faux leather gardening gloves are the standard cover-all buy, offering a happy union of protection and flexibility, while cotton and nylon gloves are good for light occasional use and delicate jobs.

After that, the individual subtleties are all down to you. Whether you spend your days in the garden doing delicate deadheading or wielding power tools like chainsaws and strimmers (maniacal laughter optional), there’s a glove for your needs, so keep reading to find out which of our picks is right for you.

1. Showa Floreo 370 Lightweight Garden Gloves

All things bright and beautiful now include these great-value knitted gardening gloves

Specifications
Best for: Cheap and cheerful
Materials: Knitted nylon, nitrile coating
Wrist closure: Elastic
Type: Gardening
Reasons to buy
+ Excellent value + Flexible and light for detailed jobs 
Reasons to avoid
- Don’t offer much protection 

These inexpensive gardening gloves are just right for a little light weeding and digging here and there, and their budget price shows you don’t have to pay over the odds for a decent pair. Their knitted nylon construction is lightweight and flexible for delicate, detailed tasks like sowing small seeds and pricking out, and the nitrile-coated palm gives them some back-up. The elastic wrist closure doesn’t offer close-fitting protection, but if you’re not going near prickly plants or doing heavy-duty work, it’s perfectly good. 

2. Gold Leaf Soft Touch Glove

A comfortable and versatile gardening glove to give your green thumb that golden touch

Specifications
Best for: Comfort
Materials: Deerskin leather, lycra/nylon
Wrist closure: Velcro strap
Type: Gardening
Reasons to buy
+ Very comfortable + Durable and scratch-proof 
Reasons to avoid
- Run quite small for men’s gloves 

These gents’ gardening gloves have the rare distinction of being the only ones recommended by the RHS, and we can see why. They’re supremely comfortable and robust, made from high-quality supple deerskin leather, with a close fit and flexible back for increased dexterity around tricky tasks. They also provide all-over protection from pricks and scratches, so they’re a decent substitute for a rose gauntlet if you’d rather invest in a more multipurpose gardening glove. 

3. Digz Women's Gardening Gloves with Touchscreen Fingers

Instagram your flowerbeds to your heart’s content with these phone-friendly gloves

Specifications
Best for: Touchscreen compatible
Materials: Canvas
Wrist closure: Velcro strap
Type: Gardening
Reasons to buy
+ Compatible with touch screens + Cheerful design 
Reasons to avoid
- A bit snug 

These lovely-looking gloves won’t just cheer you up during a grey day’s gardening, they’ll also keep you connected with their touchscreen-compatible fingertips and thumbs. If you’re mid-rant to your best friend or in the world’s most active WhatsApp group, you don’t have to keep taking them on and off to use your smartphone or tablet while out in the garden. And, with their stretchable back and machine-washable fabric, they’re both comfortable and convenient. As the best gifts for gardeners go, these are pretty high on our list.
 

4. Sophie Conran Gauntlet Glove

Inexpensive gauntlet gloves for gardeners with small budgets and big ideas

Specifications
Best for: Great value gauntlet
Materials: Cotton
Wrist closure: Elastic / gauntlet
Type: Gauntlet gardening
Reasons to buy
+ Superb value + Protective and flexible 
Reasons to avoid
- Palm protection isn’t the best 

With their superior protection and pocket-friendly price, these gauntlets offer exceptional value. While much less dear than other full-coverage designs, they still offer a great deal of dexterity, boast reinforced knuckle and fingertip protection to foil any especially determined thorns, and offer an extra defence to sensitive forearm skin for allergy sufferers. The only weak spot is their palm protection, so it’s probably best to exercise caution when gripping especially thorny stems. 

5. Burgon and Ball 'Dig The Glove' Men's Gardening Gloves

Dig those gloves, man — as gardening gifts go, these are sure to hit the spot

Specifications
Best for: Stylish and practical
Materials: Leather, cotton
Wrist closure: Elastic and strap
Type: Gardening gloves (heavy duty)
Reasons to buy
+ They look really good + Fab all-rounders 
Reasons to avoid
- No finger reinforcement 

These slimline and stylish gardening gloves are deceptively good-looking — they’d even pass muster as a last-minute grab to wear on a cold-weather walk — but they have all the functionality you’d expect. The soft-feel fabric is hard-wearing, the stretchy mesh between the fingers keeps you dextrous and cool, the padded palm offers extra cushioning when using tools, and the wrist strap means they stay put and guards against debris. The elegant design makes them a great gift for father’s day, while the comfortable and durable construction ensures he’ll use them year-round. 

6. Oregon Chainsaw Protection Gloves

The power’s in your hands with these tool-friendly protective gloves

Specifications
Best for: Lightweight work gloves
Materials: Smooth leather
Wrist closure: Elastic
Type: Work gloves (light duty)
Reasons to buy
+ Light and comfortable but protective + Great for using with power gardening tools 
Reasons to avoid
- Designed for right-handed users 

For wearing over long periods of time while using power tools, these light and comfortable, yet surprisingly heavy duty gloves, are your best bet. The hard-wearing palm area on the right glove gives you great grip when holding tight to chainsaws, strimmers, and all sorts of other gardening tools, while the heavy padding in the left offers protection, a clever solution to the compromised dexterity of overall padding.