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12 Different Types of Gardening Gloves

A woman happily showing off her garden gloves.

Tetanus, sepsis, legionellosis, melioidosis and Rose gardener’s disease — these are just some of the infections and diseases you can get when gardening with bare hands. A pair of gardening gloves are necessary not just to keep your fingernails from breaking or to keep your hands warm and dry.

If you get cuts, scrapes or splinters, all sorts of bacteria and fungi can enter your body. There’s a suitable gardening gloves depending on a specific garden tasks. Make sure that you also wear one that fits you and feels comfortable.

A. Features/Purposes

1. Claw Fingers

Blue and green garden gloves with claws.Gardening gloves that have fingertips shaped like claws are truly invaluable, and their main advantage is being able to dig, plant seeds, and even weed without the use of special tools. The tips of the fingers are pointed and made out of materials such as ABS plastic, which is sturdy and long-lasting. Although you should be aware of cheap imitations, the truth is that most companies that make this type of gardening glove can offer them to you at a price of under $10 per pair, which is roughly the same price as other types of gloves.

The gloves are also perfect for pruning roses because they offer protection from thorns. More often than not, the claws are located only on the four fingers of each hand and not the thumb, which means you can use your thumb to maneuver around your garden bed and perform other gardening tasks. Some of them also are designed with claws on only one of the gloves, or on three of the fingers, excluding the thumb and pinkie finger. If you’re interested in this type of glove, doing some research on the Internet should enable you to find exactly what you want.

Stores such as Etsy are great places to find these types of gardening gloves.

2. Forearm Protection

Brown and pink garden gloves with forearm protection.When it comes to gardening gloves, many gardeners prefer to have extra protection for their forearms, and fortunately, this is one feature that is easy to find. Many companies make gardening gloves that offer this feature, and many times, the forearm part is made of a different pattern, and sometimes even a different material, than the rest of the glove. The forearm part is always thick enough to protect you against things such as thorns, and in fact, many of the gloves that include this feature are specifically made for gardeners who grow roses.

They are also great for handling cacti, pruning prickly shrubs, and picking citrus fruit, among other tasks, allowing gardeners to feel more confident and less apprehensive when performing this type of work. In fact, even with regular gardening tasks, these gloves can be a lifesaver, because they protect your skin from the sun and make gardening much more comfortable, whether the job you’re doing is a basic landscaping chore or a more complex form of work.

Online stores such as Houzz carry gardening gloves with forearm protection.

3. Extra Grip Capability

Garden gloves with an extra grip capability.Sometimes gardeners need or want more than just standard gardening gloves, and when you’re working with certain plants and seeds, it is common to need a set of gloves that provide extra grip on the part of the glove that covers the inside of your hands, including the fingertips. Many gardening gloves are available with this feature, and they include materials such as synthetic leather and Spandex, thumb strips made of terry cloth for wiping sweat off your face, adjustable wristbands that are usually made of elastic for a tight fit, and most importantly, fingers and/or palms with extra reinforcement so that you can better grip things while gardening.

Instead of a loose feel, these gloves are made of materials with a tighter fit, enabling you to grab and hold onto things without accidentally letting them go. They are still made to be comfortable and accommodating, but they are a little tighter-fitting and in some ways, sturdier than many other types of gloves.

The gloves that provide gripping capabilities also do a great job of resisting oil and other liquids, and they make it easier to avoid suffering cuts or abrasions when working with twigs, branches, and even thorns. They often have liners made of materials such as HPPE fiber knit and 12-gauge ANSI 4 glass, which means they are so comfortable that you’ll forget that the outside of the gloves are protecting you against numerous injuries that can wreak havoc on both your gloves and your hands and wrists.

Furthermore, they provide the same great gripping capability whether they’re wet or dry, which means they can be relied on regardless of the weather conditions. They keep you safe but provide the capability to do whatever it is you’re trying to do in your garden, making your work a lot easier and faster.

Hayneedle carries these types of gardening gloves.

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4. Waterproof Gloves

Waterproof gloves with a yellow mustard shade.Although gardeners usually accept the fact that they’re going to get their gardening gloves dirty and wet, there are times when you may prefer to work with gloves that are waterproof or water-resistant. It is simple for companies to make gardening gloves with these characteristics, and they can be made of many different materials, including nitrile, latex, nylon, and plastic. If you have sensitive skin, having waterproof gloves can be a lifesaver, because dampness and wetness can wreak havoc on your fingers and hands.

It can cause skin irritations, itchiness, and redness when too much moisture or water seeps through your gardening gloves, but a good pair of waterproof gloves can eliminate those problems so that you can enjoy your gardening hobby for a very long time without worrying about the damage it may be doing to your skin. Waterproof gloves are also able to withstand a lot of heavy moisture, so whether it is snowing, raining, or simply sprinkling outside, you can use these gloves any time you need to work in your garden during inclement weather.

5. Bionic Gardening Gloves

Bionic, leather garden gloves in black and cream tones.These are gardening gloves designed by orthopedic specialists and made to help patients with extra-sensitive or arthritic hands. There is simply no need to give up your love of gardening just because you have muscle or joint pain in your hands, especially when there are specialized gloves made specifically to grip your hands the right way so they can provide your hands with the support they need to continue your gardening project.

Gloves designed for people with arthritis typically come in three different styles: those that are heated and use infrared light, those that have open fingers and are usually called fingertip gloves, and those that have special wraps around the wrists for support. Each of these types of gloves tend to have adjustable features such as size settings and are made of soft materials that still lend your joints and muscles the support they need to minimize pain and discomfort while you garden.

They often have neoprene at the wrists to make them fit better, and they essentially massage your hands while you work, making them perfect for people suffering from any type of hand pain.

Gardening gloves for arthritic patients often include other features as well, including special padding that supports the base of the thumb and the wrist, fingertips made of silicone so that the gloves last longer, mini-towels made of terry cloth that absorb moisture in certain spots, and strong materials such as synthetic and real leather for durability and reliability.

Stores such as Hayneedle offer these types of gardening gloves, which are often called bionic gloves.

B. Styles

Although most gardening gloves are essentially the same size and shape, there are some that have some pretty unique characteristics, and these include the following:

  • Gloves that come in a wide selection of colors, both solids and prints, basic colors and bright neon colors, solid-colored and those that have two or more colors, gloves that are half solid-colored and half in print, and dozens of other combinations that make working in your garden more personalized and fun
  • Gloves with various types of wrist cuffs, including those that are loose, those that have elastic at the wrists, and those that provide Velcro straps at the wrist which are adjustable and able to make the glove looser or tighter whenever you wish; the latter is also great for keeping out dirt and other debris
  • Gloves made for men, women, children, and even unisex gloves made for anyone
  • Gloves that come in various sizes or a “one size fits all” capability
  • Gloves made of special fabric that protects your hands from harmful UV rays, which are perfect for people who spend long periods of time working in their garden
  • Gloves that have a gel-filled material at the fingertips, which is perfect for preventing blisters from developing as you work in your garden
  • Gloves infused with copper that are intended to reduce the fatigue and pain that many gardeners experience in their joints and muscles when working in their garden for long periods of time

There are other types of specialized gardening gloves, of course, so if you have a special need that you are concerned about or you are choosy about the type of gloves you purchase, it is best to research them online so that you can find the perfect pair of gardening gloves in the end.

C. Materials

1. Synthetic Leather

Bright-colored garden gloves in green and peach colors, made out of synthetic leather.

Synthetic leather gloves are usually combined with materials such as Spandex for extra comfort and a better fit. The material also allows for puncture-resistant fingertips and extra thickness, which means that the gloves are not only more comfortable, but also safer because they protect you from becoming injured by rose thorns, rocks, and other debris that is often found in a garden. Often, these types of gloves have padded areas that make working in any garden much easier, and they are extra tough to be able to handle any type of shrubbery or flowers you may have.

Synthetic leather gardening gloves can be found at Home Depot.

2. Real Leather

White leather gloves with colorful floral accents.

Many gardening gloves are made out of real cowhide leather, and their ability to last a very long time is perhaps their biggest asset. Leather gardening gloves are often made using another type of material as well, such as woven linen, and the more you wear them, the softer they become. Leather gloves are great if you wish to be protected from scratches or stings while working in your garden, and they also repel both water and soil, meaning you never have to worry about water or debris getting into your gloves.

Real leather also fits snugly and absorbs perspiration, and over time these gloves will take on the shape of your own hands, making them feel like they were made just for you. Leather gardening gloves are also easier to clean than you might think, and you can do so by washing them in cold water and then hanging them to dry. Last but not least, leather gardening gloves also look very stylish, even when they get dirty, especially if the manufacturer adds some designs or a decorative material to the area above the hands.

Etsy has numerous decorative gardening gloves made of real leather.

3. Bamboo Gloves

Black bamboo gloves with green accents.Many people are unaware that this type of glove exists, but gardening gloves made of bamboo are breathable and flexible, offering the ultimate in comfort every time. Although they do not always protect against thorns and other sharp items found in some gardens, bamboo gloves make you feel like you aren’t wearing gloves at all, so they are perfect for gardeners who don’t like gloves that feel restrictive and tight. Some people, in fact, lose sensitivity in their fingers while working in the garden, but this problem is eliminated when you wear bamboo gloves.

With these gloves, you can enjoy full dexterity and no irritation of the skin. They are perfect for delicate jobs, are seamless, and usually have a tough nitrile coating on the palm side of the gloves so that you can benefit from having just the right amount of thickness for the job. In addition to bamboo, the material these gloves are made of often includes Spandex as well, and they are perfect for general gardening tasks such as weeding, planting, and doing landscape work.

Home Depot has a great supply of bamboo gardening gloves.

4. ABS Plastic

Garden Gloves with 4 ABS Plastic Claws for garden Digging Planting

These types of gardening gloves often have claw-like fixtures at the fingertips, which make it easier to perform tasks such as digging and planting without using gardening tools. With a fit that feels like a second skin, these gloves are breathable, puncture-resistant, waterproof, and will protect your hands from sweat, dirt, and even injuries. One of the biggest advantages of these types of gloves is the fact that most often, they are made to fit both men and women because they come in a “one size fits all” size. For gardeners who take their gardening hobby seriously or do a lot of gardening work all year long, these gloves are the perfect item to keep in their shed or tool box.

Amazon sell these types of garden gloves.

5. Latex Coating

Latex garden gloves in green and black.

Many gardening gloves have a latex coating that makes the gloves extra strong and sturdy, not to mention able to handle any gardening task you have in mind. Most often, gardening gloves with latex coatings have a crinkle-like finish and feature liners made of a blend of polyester and cotton or materials such as nylon. Unlike one-size-fits-all types of gloves, these gloves usually come in various sizes that range from small to extra large, and they are comfortable and flexible enough to use while performing any gardening task.

The latex material is also helpful for gripping tools and even seeds, and if you do some research on the Internet, you can often find companies that sell these gloves in bulk, which is perfect for large gardening centers and nurseries.

Gardening gloves made with latex coatings can be found at stores such as Etsy.

6. Leather Suede

Leather suede garden gloves in Mustard Yellow.

Gloves made of leather suede are usually made and given as gifts, and they are often engraved to make the gloves even nicer. They do, however, present you with a strong and reliable alternative to other types of gardening gloves. Leather suede gardening gloves are extremely comfortable and accommodating, and depending on the thickness of the gloves, you can count on them to hold up under nearly all of the gardening tasks that you enjoy.

The gloves are rugged and high quality, easy to clean, and simply make you feel good because of their softness and durability, not to mention their comfort. Good for general or heavy gardening tasks, these gloves are usually available in colors such as natural brown or beige, and they often have a liner that is made of a material other than leather suede, such as cotton or polyester.

Handmade leather suede gardening gloves can be found by visiting stores such as Etsy.

7. Nylon Gloves

White garden gloves made out of nylon, enhanced with floral designs.Nylon gardening gloves are very popular, both for their cost-effectiveness and their ability to do the job you need them to do. There are many advantages to choosing this type of gloves for all of your gardening tasks, including characteristics such as breathability and comfort, durability and reliability, protection from punctures and chemicals, extreme comfort even during hot weather, and the fact that nylon gloves are inexpensive and make a great overall gardening glove.

In addition, nylon gardening gloves come in a wide variety of colors, including purple and neon green, providing you with a way to enjoy your time working in the garden even more. Many of them have nitrile coatings and are so inexpensive that they come in packs of two, and because they make such a good general-purpose gardening glove, they are extremely popular, even among professional gardeners.

Nylon gardening gloves can be found at Etsy.

D. Sizes

If you’re curious about finding the exact size of gloves you need, which is much more important than you might think, measuring your hand before you do anything else is the best way to do so. Start by following the following these three basic steps:

1. First, take a ruler or measuring tape and measure your knuckles from one end to the other while your hands are folded. After you find the measurement in inches, use the following guide:

  • Small gloves: for knuckles that are 6.5 to 7.25 inches in length
  • Medium gloves: for knuckles that are 7.5 to 7.75 inches in length
  • Large gloves: for knuckles that are 8 to 8.75 inches in length
  • Extra-large gloves: for knuckles that are 9 to 9.75 inches in length
  • Extra-extra-large gloves: for knuckles that are 10 to 10.75 inches in length
  • Extra-extra-extra-large gloves: for knuckles that are 11 to 12 inches in length
  • If your knuckle size falls in between two of these sizes, you can either choose the size that is a little bigger than your knuckle length or try the gloves on and determine which one works best for you.

2. When you try on your gloves the first time, make sure the fingertips fit properly and that there is no space at the tips of your fingers. If you notice a gap of more than half an inch between the tips of your fingers and the top of the fingers of the glove, it is likely that the gloves are too big for you. In this case, it is best if you try the next smallest size of gloves. If you try the next smallest size and the gloves feel very tight around your knuckles, it is likely that you’ll need specialized gardening gloves. This isn’t as difficult as you might think, because many online nurseries and garden supply stores sell custom-made gardening gloves that may work for you.

3. Once you receive your gloves, try them on so you can test the tightness of them to make sure it’s right for you. First, you should make a fist while the gloves are on. Next, make sure that the fabric is tight against your skin but not too tight, which results in restricted movement. The gloves are considered too small for you if it is difficult to tighten your fist all the way or the tightness is uncomfortable for you. If this is the case, simply try the next biggest size, but if you try the largest size of that particular brand and the gloves are still too small, you have two options: either try another brand of gardening gloves, or find a facility that offers custom-made gloves so that you can get the size you need.