10 best gardening gloves that will protect your hands during outdoor graft

10 best gardening gloves that will protect your hands during outdoor graft
Protect green fingers while you prune your patch with the best hard-wearing gardening gloves tried and tested from AmazonBasics, Wilko, Gold Leaf and more

If you spend a lot of time gardening – be it professionally or recreationally – then you’ll want to invest in a decent pair of gloves to protect your paws.

Some hardened gardeners may forgo gloves, relying on leathery skin for protection, but you do run the risk of infection through abrasions and cuts if you go messing around in soil.

You should also consider wearing gloves when wielding garden implements for any length of time to prevent blisters, and most garden gloves will give you that extra bit of purchase for sure-handed work.

We’ve gone hands-on with some of the best on the market, and put them through their paces down on the allotment, doing digging duties, weeding and pruning tasks.

We were looking for durability, protection and comfort. So without further ado, here are the best gardening gloves to buy.

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Watson flextime workshop glove

Canadian glove specialists Watson started off making work gloves for Vancouver dockers and offer a vast catalogue of products to fit on your mitts. We think one of the best pairs for gardening purposes is their super-supple work glove, made from waterproof, goatskin leather and featuring a secure velcro wrist closure. In use, these gloves are an absolute dream – you’ll forget you are wearing them such is their comfort and flexibility. Some gloves are rendered shapeless and floppy after prolonged use, but the Flextimes form-fitting memory (afforded by the stretchy spandex back panel) ensures they literally fit like a glove every time you slip them on.

Gardena garden and maintenance glove

New for 2021, this lightweight pair of gardening gloves from Gardena boasts touch-screen compatibility – handy for gardeners wishing to Insta their latest gardening successes. We’ve tested touchscreen gloves before that have failed to deliver on their promise, and have ended up just smearing mud over our phone screen, but these worked just as prescribed.

Circular, silicon, squid-like patterns on the palm help provide good purchase for safe spade wielding, and we also like the soft micro-fleece panel on the rear of the thumb – handy for wiping your filthy brow after a tough digging session.

Amazon Basics gauntlet gloves

This gauntlet style glove from Amazon Basics is a decent, low-cost option for gardeners requiring lower arm protection for wrestling roses and thrusting fists deep into thorny foliage. Constructed from full-grain leather, they feel soft and supple when worn, whilst affording a good degree of movement. The gloves we tested were a kind of duck egg grey hue, which made us look like we were about to handle infectious samples in a lab, but other colours are available.

Hexarmor thornarmor palm protection gardening gloves

THE go-to glove for grappling thorny bushes and arduous landscaping tasks. These short, mechanic-style gloves come packing a triple layer of practically impenetrable, armour plated fabric – you can grip as hard as you like on the spikiest bramble and your palm will stay puncture free. That said, their one weak spot is the stretchy, breathable fabric that forms the back panel, so be wary of sneaky thorn strikes from the rear.

Gold Leaf winter touch gloves

A gold-standard glove for cold winter work, this dandy pair of deerskin gloves pack a thinsulate lining and provide a high degree of wet weather protection. The reinforced palm patches also offer up extra abrasion resistance and added purchase for sure-handed wielding of garden implements. However, beware hot, sweaty hands if you wear them in high summer – save these fleecy fellas for when the temperature starts to plummet. 

Draper medium duty gardening gloves

A great, knockabout budget glove for general gardening tasks and outdoor tinkering, offering a good amount of finger mobility and protection. They provide great abrasion resistance too, so good for shifting rocks and stones and messing around with bits of wood. There’s no wrist fastening, but an elasticated hem does the job by keeping them secure, which does make them easy to fling on and off when required.

Donkey gloves

Designed by pro-horticulturalist Clare Cooke, these hi-vis work gloves are 15 years in the making, and feature the most padded palm sections of all the gloves we tested. If there’s serious digging to do down on your plot, you’ll want to be wearing a pair of these. Clare is also a former Blue Peter gardener, so we would expect these gloves to be great for removing tortoises from lettuce patches and hauling wet labradors out of sunken ponds. All proceeds go towards supporting Clare’s Farm – a private animal sanctuary – so that’s another reason for grabbing a pair.

Marigold large extra tough outdoor gloves

Use these gloves for tough garden tasks and you’ll rip through the fingers at a fair rate of knots, but for dexterous potting jobs, pond work or pulling fistfuls of leaves from a blocked drain, they are difficult to beat. This extra tough Marigold incarnation is double the thickness of the bog standard washing up variety, and features roll top cuffs that help to reduce upper arm chafing. Now we’re not the type of gardener that uses weed killer or insecticides, but should this be your modus-operandi you’ll be pleased to know that these gloves sport a special coating that will protect your hands as you reign down chemical carnage.

Genus waterproof gardening gloves

We tested this pair on our windswept allotment on one of the coldest, wettest days of winter, and whilst the bitter windchill would normally reduce our fingers to useless palm appendages in a matter of minutes, our digits remained warm and mobile inside the fleecy confines of this great winter glove.  We had our doubts on the durability of the bovine-friendly, synthetic leather used in these gloves, but after prolonged use on some rough allotment work, we experienced no splitting or rippage. Fit-wise, these gloves are a kind of halfway house between a standard glove and gauntlet, so you get that extra bit of wrist protection without the compromise on flexibility.

Stripes Company gardening gloves

This UK designed, UK made glove will bring stripey summer deckchair vibes to your garden pottering. Constructed from thick, thorn-repelling hide, they feature a comfy cotton back panel to help keep your hands cool during hot garden graft. The extra panelling on the rear of the thumb is a nice touch – handy extra protection when grasping foliage and getting busy with a pair of pruners – and we also like the soft roll top cuffs. These gloves are designed for women, and are therefore a slimmer fit than most, so if you possess hands like spades, you may wish to look elsewhere.

The verdict: Gardening gloves

Hexarmor Thornarmour gloves should be your go-to for tackling thorny jobs, but for the perfect all-round gardening glove, grab a pair of Watsons.

Want to bring the garden inside? Read our review of the 8 best house plant pots to showcase your greenery in style

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