Gardening

The UK’s Best Gardening Gloves For Heavy-Duty Thorn Protection

gardening gloves sat in a plant pot
Written by April Foot

A good pair of gardening gloves is an essential part of every gardener’s wardrobe – they help to keep your hands clean and protected from stings, scratches and other injuries as you work in the garden.

Gardening gloves need to be made from thick, tough material, that will prevent thorns and sharp objects from penetrating. Longer gloves will help to protect your wrists and lower arms, as well as your hands. The material should also be waterproof, or at least offer some water-resistance, to keep your hands dry and comfortable. 

When choosing gloves, consider your environment, and the kind of work you’re going to be doing. If you’re working in the winter, you’re likely to also want gloves with some kind of lining, to keep your fingers functioning in the cold. In summer, you’ll appreciate breathable gloves, to keep your hands cool and sweat-free. As with all clothing, gardening gloves are available in different sizes, so it’s a good idea to measure your hands before purchasing.

If you’re looking for the perfect new pair of gloves for some heavy-duty gardening work, take a look at our selection of 5 of the best gardening gloves on the market.

Last update on 2020-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

We’ve based our selection on their material, durability and comfort level, as well as their (all-important) style!

Best Pick: CCBETTER Rose Pruning Gloves

Our best gardening gloves are made from soft goatskin, and offer excellent hand and lower arm protection against thorns

These CCBETTER Rose Pruning Gloves are our top pick of the best gardening gloves available. Made from tough 100% goatskin, these long gauntlet-style gloves are here to protect not only your hands, but your whole lower arm, from rose and blackberry thorns.

The material is tough enough to resist puncture, yet soft and supple enough to enable good dexterity. Goatskin is said to be preferable to pigskin in wet working conditions, as the larger pores in the skin allow for better breathability. However, the gloves are not fully waterproof, and will require treatment to make them so.

These gloves are available in a range of sizes, and a choice of 3 colours – brown, white or yellow – so there’s a pair for every gardener. They are a snug fit, and the elasticated wrist cuffs ensure the gloves will stay on while you work, as well as prevent debris from entering the glove.

Unless you’re pruning thick brambles, these durable gloves should provide you with great protection for most garden tasks. We believe these gardening gloves offer you superior comfort, quality and protection, compared to others on the market – and whilst they may not be the cheapest option, they are still very reasonably priced, and worth the money.

Pros

  • Made from soft and durable goatskin, with cowhide cuff.
  • Tough material is flexible, breathable and puncture-resistant.
  • Long style offers protection right up to the elbow.
  • Elastic craft ensures the gloves fit snugly to your wrist.
  • Available in a range of sizes, and 3 colours.

Cons

  • Not the most affordable option.
  • Not waterproof in the way that rubber gloves are.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Value Pick: Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves

Our best value gloves are natural, breathable and lightweight – perfect for longer periods of wear, and fiddly tasks

For a more affordable pair of gardening gloves, check out these Bamboo Working Gloves by Pine Tree Tools, at almost half the price. These gloves are made from breathable bamboo, which will keep your hands cool in summer, and warm in winter. Although these are not fully waterproof either, they are fine for use in damp weather.

These gloves aren’t as thick and bulky as the previous ones, and they’re short, so there’s no lower arm protection. They are puncture-resistant, and will still protect your hands against stings and spiky objects though. Their light weight also makes them more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

One of the best things about these gloves is that they’re designed to have bare hand sensitivity, meaning you shouldn’t feel the need to take them off every time you have a fiddly task to do. This also makes them touchscreen-friendly, so you won’t need to remove them to look up those plant care requirements on your iPad, or answer your phone.

The gloves are available in a choice of sizes, all of which are excellently-priced. Providing you’re not going to be elbow-deep in thorns, or working in heavy downpours, they should provide adequate protection, and allow you to undertake fiddly tasks, such as weeding, with comfort and ease.

Pros

  • Made from natural and breathable bamboo.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Bare hand sensitivity offers you greater dexterity.
  • Touch-screen friendly.
  • Available in a range of sizes.
  • Highly affordable.

Cons

  • No lower arm protection.
  • Not enough to protect you from thick thorns.
  • Not fully waterproof.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Acdyion Gardening Gloves           

These long, cowhide gardening gloves are ideally suited to thorny tasks, such as pruning roses and blackberries

Our next gardening gloves from Acdyion are long, gauntlet-style gloves, similar to our best pick. They are designed for pruning roses, and therefore offer full protection for your lower arm, up to your elbow.

These highly-rated gloves are made from cowhide leather, which the manufacturer claims is more durable and wear-resistant than goat leather. The leather is designed to be puncture-resistant (although not completely puncture-proof), and the gloves are suitable for pruning roses, cactus, blackberries and other thorny bushes. They can also be used as a cat-handling glove!

Despite their tough exterior, the gloves have a soft lining to make them more comfortable, and help prevent blisters. The leather is flexible enough that you can maintain good hand movement, and the ergonomically-designed thumb makes it easier to grip tools. They’re available in a choice of yellow or white, and a range of sizes – the sizing is quite generous, so bear this in mind.

These gloves offer you excellent protection, whilst maintaining good dexterity, and are ideal for those spikier garden jobs. Considering the quality on offer, we think they are very well-priced, especially as they are durable enough to last you for several years.

Pros

  • Made from premium, tough cowhide leather.
  • Elbow-length style offers protection for the entire lower arm.
  • Puncture-resistant, and thick enough to protect you from thorns.
  • Ergonomically-designed thumbs make it easier to grip tools.
  • Soft interior of gloves helps to prevent blisters.
  • Available in a range of sizes, and 2 colours.

Cons

  • New gloves may have a strong smell – this will fade over time.
  • Not entirely puncture-proof.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Kim Yuan Leather Work Gloves

A pair of short, soft leather gardening gloves, of impressive thickness and quality

If you want durable leather gloves without the gauntlet-style, take a look at these Kim Yuan Leather Work Gloves. They offer similar hand protection, without the bulkiness of the lower arm cover.

These gunn cut gloves are made from 100% cowhide leather, of at least 1.2mm thick, to provide impressive protection against punctures. A reinforced palm piece offers further reassurance when working in thorny environments, as well as improving your grip.

The leather is soft and supple, and seams set away from the palm help to make the glove more flexible, and improve your dexterity when wearing them. Gloves are available in 4 sizes (which do come up a little small), and have an elasticated wrist cuff for improved fit, and to help prevent debris from entering them whilst you work.

These are some of the priciest gloves on our list, but for users who prefer their gardening gloves to cover their hands only, and want superior protection, these robust and durable leather gloves might be a perfect fit.

Pros

  • Made from 100% cowhide leather, of at least 1.2mm thick.
  • Reinforced palm offers superior protection and grip.
  • Soft leather ensures they are flexible and comfortable.
  • Elasticated wrist cuff for improved fit.
  • Available in a range of sizes.

Cons

  • No lower arm protection.
  • Not the most affordable option.
  • Sizing may come up small.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens Collection

These lightweight gardening gloves are available in a range of bright, funky colours – perfect for trendsetters

Finally, if you’re looking for gardening gloves that look as good as they feel, check out these Spear & Jackson gloves from their Kew Gardens Collection. Available in a choice of 7 colours, including purple, aqua and orange, they’re a welcome break from the endless browns and greens of most gardening gloves.

They’re not all style over substance though – these gloves have plenty of practical features. They are made from cotton with a natural latex coating, making them lightweight and breathable. Nitrile-coated palms ensure they offer greater protection and grip, and they are also machine washable, so they’re super easy to keep clean.

These are another pair of gloves that are designed to fit like a second skin, making it easy for you to undertake a wide range of tasks, without feeling the need to remove your gloves for dexterity.

With all this on offer, it’s not hard to see why these gloves were winners of the Great British Growing awards in 2018. You can choose from 3 sizes, small, medium or large, and the fit is true to size, so you can shop with peace of mind.

Although they don’t offer quite the same level of protection against thorns as the thick leather gloves on this list, these gloves are suitable for many day-to-day garden tasks, and are comfortable and stylish enough to wear all day long.

Pros

  • Made from lightweight, breathable material.
  • Nitrile-coated palms offer protection and grip.
  • Available in a selection of bright and funky colours.
  • 3 sizes available, and fit is like a second skin.
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • Not as thick as leather gloves, so provide less thorn protection.
  • 3 sizes is relatively limited.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

How To Soften Leather Gardening Gloves

The leather used in gardening gloves can make them hard and stiff, especially when new, limiting the movement in your fingers. Over time, this can also lead to the leather breaking down and cracking. As this is hardly ideal, there are several things you can do to soften leather gardening gloves.

Firstly, you can try lubricating them with oil. As leather is made from animal skin, a natural oil is best, such as coconut or olive oil. Place the gloves outside in the sun for a few minutes to open the pores in the material, then massage the oil into the leather. Allow to dry, and the leather should be softer and suppler.

Another way to soften leather is to use a specialised leather conditioner. Use a cloth to wipe the gloves clean before applying the conditioner, then rub or spray it on according to the instructions. Allow it to soak in and dry before wearing the gloves again. In the absence of leather conditioner, you can also use Vaseline or lanolin.

Treat leather gloves regularly to ensure they stay in the best condition. This could be as often as every 1-2 weeks, depending on the strength of the leather and your environment. How new the gloves are is also a consideration, as older, used leather is likely to be softer, and need less treatment.

How To Clean Gardening Gloves

The best way to clean your gardening gloves depends on what material they’re made from – always follow any care instructions on the label. Rubber or latex gloves are water-resistant, so you should be able to wipe them clean, or wash them with soap and running water. Allow them to dry thoroughly before storage, to prevent mildew forming.

Cotton gloves can also be cleaned with soap and water. In fact, most of these gloves can be washed in the washing machine, and pre-treated for stain removal, if required. Allow the gloves dry flat, to ensure they keep their shape.

Leather gardening gloves will probably require a specialised soap for cleaning. Start by brushing off any loose dirt, then use a saddle soap on a damp cloth to clean the gloves. Move in circular motions, working the soap into the leather. Remove the soap with a clean, damp cloth – never submerse them in water. Air dry, and then finish by treating with a leather conditioner.

About the author

April Foot

April is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, home and garden design, and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.

Leave a Comment