Which insulated work gloves are best?

People who work with their hands must wear proper protective work to prevent injuries like cuts and burns. However, most gloves prioritize safety over warmth, making them unsuitable for working in cold conditions. To keep your hands both protected and warm, you will need a pair of insulated work gloves.

If you need a pair of high-quality insulated work gloves, the OZERO Work Gloves are a great option. Their tough, leather exterior and lofty interior fleece protect hands and fingers from the cold, and the elastic wrist straps keep them in place all day long.

What to know before you buy insulated work gloves

Glove types

There are three basic types of insulated work gloves. You can pick between mittens, gloves and convertible mittens.

Mittens cover all your fingers together in one compartment. Your fingers can easily share heat and is the warmest option of the three. However, they are not appropriate for work that requires finger dexterity.

Gloves protect each finger individually. This option allows you to better grasp small items and use tools effectively. However, they allow cold air between your fingers, which makes them cooler than mittens. Some gloves allow for more flexibility than others at the expense of thicker insulation.

Convertible mittens consist of a fingerless glove with a mitt you can slip over your fingers. This allows you to use your bare fingers if necessary and then cover your hands back up for insulation. However, these are the least warm of the three options and are not suited for extreme cold. 

Work requirements

If you plan on using your insulated work gloves for shoveling snow or other tasks that don’t require much dexterity, mittens are the best choice. However, even turning the key to start your vehicle can necessitate removing the mittens and exposing your skin to the elements. Consider what you’ll be doing when you select your glove type, so you have enough range of motion to perform your work safely and efficiently.

Temperature

If you plan on working in sub-zero conditions, standard work gloves will not be enough to save your hands from the chill and potentially damaging frostbite. Select a pair of insulated work gloves that will provide enough warmth for the worst-case scenario. Gloves are affordable and easy to store, so many purchase multiple pairs that work for various conditions.

What to look for in quality insulated work gloves

Dexterity

Choose an insulated glove that gives you enough dexterity for your work. While warmth is important, it’s also critical to move your hands as needed. Consider the work you’ll be doing and find a pair of gloves that have a good blend of insulation and flexibility.

Material

Insulated work gloves come in many different materials. Traditionally, workers prefer leather or cowhide gloves because of their resilience and resistance to wear and tear. However, leather can be rigid, and it takes time to soften. If you need an insulated work glove that’s flexible right away, select a synthetic material that does not require breaking in. Synthetic materials also tend to dry more quickly.

Shielding

Many work gloves feature hard rubber or plastic plating for protection. This shield is usually located on the knuckles and on the back of your hand. It can give you peace of mind, especially in cold conditions when it’s difficult to articulate your fingers. 

Warmth and insulation

Some work gloves and mittens feature a removable insulated insert that you can take out when temperatures warm up. Others have thick padding stuffed with materials designed to retain warmth and wick away moisture. Select a pair of work gloves that allow you to perform your work without losing body heat. If you opt for a pair with elastic wristbands, these prevent cold air and snow from entering your gloves and keep them in place.

Water-resistance

Wet clothing pulls warmth away from your body and releases it into the air. Select a pair of insulated work gloves with superior water protection to prevent them from getting wet while you work. Sweat from your hands can also contribute to wet gloves. Find a pair with removable inserts to ensure your gloves dry out easily.

Grip

Some insulated work gloves feature rubber fingers and palms for a better grip. This is especially valuable if you work with tools. If you drill or pick up screws and nails, gloves with a good grip are particularly helpful. 

How much you can expect to spend on insulated work gloves

You can usually find insulated work gloves in the $20-$40 range, which will get you through a winter or two. Some companies offer premium insulated work gloves and mittens for $100 or more. 

Insulated work gloves FAQ

Are there fur-lined insulated work gloves?

A. While natural fur provides excellent warmth, it is a delicate material and is unsuitable for work environments. The closest option available in a work glove is likely synthetic fleece lining.

Should I wear multiple pairs of work gloves in the winter?

A. It can be tempting to layer a few pairs of thin work gloves instead of purchasing a dedicated pair of cold weather gloves. However, layering gloves can hinder your grip and won’t provide as much insulation as a single pair of decent winter gloves.

How do I dry my insulated work gloves?

A. If you have a pair of gloves with inserts, remove the inserts first. Leave your gloves open to allow air to flow through them. You can also expedite the drying process by putting them near a fan or heat source. Some gloves are safe for a dryer, but check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you don’t damage them.

What are the best insulated work gloves to buy?

Top insulated work gloves

OZERO Work Gloves

OZERO Work Gloves

What you need to know: These thick leather gloves are fully insulated and built for heavy use.

What you’ll love: Made of cowhide leather, they stand up to abuse and are water-resistant. Their synthetic lambswool interior keeps your hands warm, and the elastic wrist bands ensure your gloves stay on.

What you should consider: It can be challenging to size these gloves correctly, and many users mentioned they ran small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top insulated work gloves for the money

Winter Work Gloves for Men by Mechanix Wear

Winter Work Gloves for Men by Mechanix Wear

What you need to know: If you want a pair of comfortable, affordable gloves that are both light and dextrous, these are a great option.

What you’ll love: The micro-fleece lining provides warmth while wicking away sweat and moisture. They are machine washable and touch screen friendly, which appeal to the modern worker.

What you should consider: These gloves are on the thin side and are not water-resistant.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

IRONCLAD TUNDRA GLOVES

IRONCLAD TUNDRA GLOVES

What you need to know: These insulated work gloves feature tough reinforcement to protect your knuckles.

What you’ll love: Whether you enjoy outdoor winter sports or have work to do in the snow, these gloves will keep you warm and dry with their removable, synthetic insert. The reflective straps add visibility in dark conditions and feature shield protection.

What you should consider: These gloves are not as flexible as other options and often limit mobility.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.