Whether you’re forced to weather the harsh winter elements at home or work in an icebox of an office building, you’ve probably been faced with these dilemmas: Comfy gloves that don’t work on your phone’s touchscreen, or frozen fingers as you tweet in the cold. Thanks to the advent of touch-friendly fabrics, you won’t have to suffer anymore. Here’s our guide to the best touchscreen gloves for smartphones.
Different types of touchscreen gloves, and how they work
The reason you can’t use a smartphone with an ordinary pair of gloves has to do with the way touchscreens work. Capacitive screens — the type in popular phones like the iPhone X and Galaxy S8 — are blanketed with electrodes. When a conductive material like human skin comes into contact with them, it completes the circuit; an alternating current in the smartphone’s touchscreen induces a current in the conductor, bridging the gap between the touchscreen’s electrodes. Those circuits register as taps, touches, and swipes on your screen.
Skin isn’t the only great electrical conductor, of course, and touchscreen-friendly gloves take advantage of that fact. The gloves are made in part or in whole from fabric that emulates skin’s conductive properties, similar to capacitive styluses like the Apple Pencil and Microsoft’s Surface Pen.
But touchscreen gloves aren’t all cut from the same cloth. Here are the different types of touchscreen gloves, and the best touchscreen gloves in each category.
Fingertip gloves don’t mimic the whole of your hand’s conductivity. Rather, a few individual fingertips are woven with a special yarn or tip that completes the touchscreen’s circuits.
The advantage is price. Because fingertip gloves don’t need to be woven with a pricey conductive material, they can be made of cheaper variety of fabrics, from acrylic and wool to faux leather.
The Nacodex iGlove gloves may not turn heads or raise eyebrows, but it boasts a classic design that pairs well with any outerwear. These knitted, solid-pattern gloves have conductive material embedded in the index finger and thumb, and a stretch cuff that fits snugly around your wrist. At a bargain price for a pair of gloves, the iGlove is one of the cheapest knitted options on the market. Nacodex’s iGloves come in black, gray, green, pink, red, and sky-blue, and one stretchable size.
The Winter Hot WaitingU are the knitted gloves for the fashion-conscious. The lined wool and acrylic gloves come in patterns like khaki, rose red, and coffee, and feature three conductive points of contact — one each on the thumb, the index finger, and middle finger. The Winter Hot gloves are a little thicker than most, which makes them a little less stretchy. But it’s also designed to withstand colder weather. WaitingU’s Winter Hot touchscreen gloves come in a variety of colors and one stretchable size.
Fosmon’s touch-sensitive gloves checks every box at a price that doesn’t break the bank. The stretchy, unisex design provides firm grip that won’t damage your phone’s screen, and features three capacitive touch points — one on the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Fosman’s touchscreen gloves come in a variety of colors and one stretchable size.
Regular touchscreen gloves aren’t great if you’re doing a more strenuous activity, and expect to be out in all weathers. The wool tends to get wet, they’re not windproof, and they don’t give enough extra grip. That’s where HiCool’s Lycra cycling touchscreen gloves come in. Made from elastic Lycra fabric, these gloves fit snugly, are thick enough to protect against the cold, provide a lot of extra grip — and crucially for this round-up, come with a touchscreen-compatible fingertip for using your devices while on the go.
Full-glove knitted touchscreen gloves
Full-glove knitted touchscreen gloves are fully conductive. By incorporating materials like silver or copper into the weave, they take on the conductive properties of your hand’s skin. That means you can use a knuckle, pinkies, or your palm to control your phone’s screen instead of just a finger.
The added flexibility comes at the cost of choice. Full-glove knitted touchscreen gloves are available in fewer styles than fingertip touch gloves, and tend to be more expensive. But if you’re looking for touchscreen gloves that won’t get in the way of your texting, a full-glove knit is the type for you. Here’s a list of the best full-glove knitted touchscreen gloves.
Mujjo’s distinctive wool touchscreen gloves feature a leather securing strap that snaps shut with a magnetic button, a double soft-touch insulating lining, and black leather cuff dots that match the gloves’ black-and-silver pattern. Anti-slip silicon grooves in the palm prevent accidental slippage, and stretchable, silver-coated nylon fibers make the entire glove (including the knuckles and palm) touch-sensitive. Mujjo’s double-layered touchscreen gloves comes in one color, black and gray, and in small, medium, and large sizes. A pair costs from $35, or you can opt for a single layer pair at $30.
GliderGlove’s mix of acrylic, nylon, and copper warm your hands and work on touchscreens. A thick, double-lined brushed interior provides ample insulation, and an extended cuff area provides grip and padding around the palm area. It’s slim-fitting and lightweight, and available in two styles: Urban and winter. GliderGlove’s touchscreen gloves comes in small, medium, and large sizes.
Glove.ly‘s remit is pretty simple: Gloves that keep your hands warm and let you continue using your phone. Glove.ly’s Classic gloves are just that: Classic looking, soft, warm, and have use silver-threading to provide all-over touchscreen sensitivity. They’re reasonably priced for what they are, they look good, and best of all, they come with Glove.ly’s proprietary maglove technology; two magnets at the bottom of the gloves snap together when not in use, keeping them united and reducing the risk of loss!
Moshi’s Digits gloves are woven with a conductive fiber that makes each fingertip responsive to touchscreens. It’s got a thick, hand-washable microfleece lining that provides enhanced comfort, palms studded with grippy material, and a dual-layer knit design is specially engineered to shield against cold wind. Moshi’s Digits come in in two colors, dark gray and light gray, and small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.
Full-glove leather touchscreen gloves
If you aren’t afraid to shell out a few extra bucks on touchscreen gloves, consider a pair of full leather models. They’re made of genuine or faux leather that’s been treated with a conductive solution, making the glove’s surface responsive to touchscreens.
Leather touchscreen gloves require a bit more work than knitted gloves, though. They’ll wear if you don’t care for them properly, and the conductive coating can rub off over time. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better balance of fashion and utility. Here’s a list of the best full-glove leather touchscreen gloves.
Kent Wang ($95)
If you’re dead set on a premium leather, consider Kent Wang’s Deerskin touchscreen gloves for men. The design, a wrinkle-resistant combination of calf leather and deerskin, is about as classic as they come. The inside is lined with soft cashmere that’s thick but dextrous, and five fingers are coated with touchscreen-responsive nanotechnology that’s resistant to wear and tear. Kent Wang’s Deerskin touchscreen gloves are available in black, and are available in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.
It’s tough to find quality leather touchscreen gloves on a budget, but Harrms fits the bill. The Italian Nappa touchscreen gloves for men are professionally stitched with genuine, water-resistant leather, and pack a cashmere inner lining that insulates against chilly winds. Harrms claims its touchscreen technology offers more precision than most gloves, and that it’s longer-lasting too. Harrms Italian Nappa touchscreen gloves come in black and brown colors, and small, medium, large, extra large, and 2x extra large sizes.
You don’t always have to spend a lot to get a good pair of leather touchscreen gloves. This pair from Warmen is made from durable, long-lasting, and easy-to-clean PU leather, and includes an inner fleece lining that extends slightly beyond the glove to make sure you’re fully covered. The touchscreen senstivity is just the fingertips, which is a shame, but the gloves are an absolute bargain.
If you want a pair of seriously classy, comfortable, and warm leather gloves then you should check out Mujjo’s offerings. With a fold-over magnetic snap closure and full touch sensitivity for smartphone screens, these gloves tick all the boxes. Crafted from Ethiopian lambskin and lined with cashmere, they are comparatively expensive, but you’ll feel the difference when you slip them on.
Now you’ve got a lovely pair of touchscreen gloves, why stop there? We’ve got great tips on how to “winterize” your car, and keep an eye on the weather with the best weather apps for Android, and for iPhone.
Update: Added gloves from HiCool, Glove.ly, Warmen, and Mujjo.