Whether it's cutting a teeny tiny hole in your glove forefinger, wearing those abjectly useless fingerless jobs or peeling off your glove with your teeth, using a smartphone, smartwatch or any other touch screen device outdoors in the dead of winter is excruciating. But there is a solution.
When technology gives us capacitive touch screens, the same tech helps us come up with toasty warm touch screen gloves so you never have to be sorry you answered that call or text or checked that street map.
What are they
The most conductive material on a touch screen device is your skin. So naturally, a touch screen glove seeks to emulate the conductivity of your finger with fabrics that emulate skin, similar to the materials used to build capacitive styluses. But even among gloves, there are variations in touch screen facility.
Fingertip gloves: Only the fingertips of such gloves are conductive and don't mimic whole hand conductivity. A few individual fingertips on these gloves are woven with a special yarn or tip that operates the touch screen. These gloves tend to be more reasonably priced because they are mostly made of conventional fabrics – acrylic and wool to faux leather – except for the special fingertips.
Full glove: These knitted touch screen gloves are fully conductive and come in leather or fabric. They cover your hands in conductive materials, such as silver and copper threads, that emulate the touch of your hands. This provides extra convenience for using different parts of your hand, such as a knuckle or palm, to tap through a text or phone call.
Added flexibility, though, comes at the expense of choice. They are available in fewer styles than fingertip-touch gloves and tend to be more expensive. But if you're looking for touch screen gloves that let you use any part of your hand, a full glove is the way to go.
Touch screen gloves are, first and foremost, gloves. They are designed to keep your hands warm as you travel to your appointments or to and from the office.
Touch screen gloves are surprisingly delicate and tend not to last as long as conventional gloves. That's because the capacitive material wears out quickly. With repeated washings, you can keep your gloves clean, but eventually, the capacitive threads degrade, and you'll have to spring for a new pair.
How accurate and easy to use touch screen gloves are depends on the balance between thickness, warmth and flexibility. Generally, the thicker the glove, the more klutzy your experience. Unless you are wearing extremely thin gloves, don't expect the same dexterity as your finger. And watch out for Velcro – it's hell on touch screen gloves.
Here are some of our favorite touch screen gloves.
Moshi Digits Touch Screen Gloves ($29.95)Credit: Moshi
Digits helps you tap and swipe with ease even in the frostiest weather. A dual-layered glove with a micro fleece lining, each fingertip has special conductive fiber so you can type and gesture accurately. The GripTrak pattern on the inside of each glove helps you maintain a good grip on your device. They are available in dark gray in large and extra large and light gray in small and medium. They are hand washable.
GliderGloves Copper-Infused Touch Screen Gloves ($12.99)Credit: GliderGloves
If you live in or will travel to a cold winter climate, give your fingers a break by packing a pair of GilderGloves. These copper-infused touch screen gloves with an anti-slip grip are made with spandex, acrylic and nylon so the entire glove is conductive. The gloves come in Urban and Winter styles. The Urban style is slim-fitting with a soft interior to keep hands warm without extra bulk. The Winter style has extra layers and an extended cuff that conforms to your wrist to hold in the heat.
Agloves Unisex Sport Touch Screen Gloves ($6.99)Credit: Agloves
If you seek a soft, warm, stretchy glove to keep your fingers toasty, have a look at Agloves. Made with breathable acrylic, spandex, rubber and genuine silver, the gloves are a black, slightly fuzzy knit with silver flecks for an overall charcoal grey color that goes with most outerwear. A fitted cuff seals off the cold while the silver nylon keeps the heat trapped. Agloves Sport are available in small/medium or medium/large and are hand washable.
Mujjo Double-Layered Touch Screen Winter Gloves ($34.95)Credit: Mujjo
If you're out and about in the cold, you don't have to worry about taking a call or sending a text if you're wearing Mujjo's gloves. Aside from being stylish with work attire, the insulated glove adapts to the shape of your hand for a comfortable, snug fit. With it, you can use your whole hand – fingertips, knuckles, heel or palm. Silver-coated nylon fibers knitted into the glove's fabric make them touch-screen compatible for any mobile phone or tablet. A neat-looking leather strap crosses over a notch on the wrist where a magnetic snap button closes the glove over your hand while cuff boards with matching black leather add a stylish look.
Elma Women's Texting Gloves ($14.99)Credit: Elma
These classic cable-stitched gloves will take you right back to your school days and are available in gray, beige, fuchsia, yellow, black, green or purple to go with any winter outfit. A wool and nylon outer with a polyester fleece lining gives you comfort and flexibility when using your devices outside in the dead of winter. Touch sensors are in contrasting colors are on only three fingers: the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. But for many folks, that's plenty.
Achiou Winter Warm Touch Screen Gloves ($6.99)Credit: Achiou
Achiou touch screen gloves are a great outdoor companion whether you're waiting for the train to get to the office or driving to work. With their acrylic outside and warm wool lining, they are touch sensitive with conductive yarn woven into the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. An anti-slip palm stays breathable so your hands feel comfortable and not sweaty. The gloves have elasticity and conform to your hands. They come in small, medium or large for both men and women, and are available in black, brown, black and white, rose red, brown and white.
Warmen Women's Touch Screen Texting Genuine Nappa Leather GloveCredit: Warmen
This is a lovely pair of dress gloves that will serve you for all occasions. Simply styled, they come in 12 brilliant colors in small, medium, large and extra large. The shell is 100 percent sheepskin while the lining is 30 percent cashmere and 70 percent wool. They're pretty and super warm but not bulky.
Lethmik Mens Winter Thick Gloves ($7.99)Credit: Lethmik
Lethmik combines style and functionality with these high-quality, thick, acrylic gloves. These comfortable gloves sport a soft, warm wool lining and an outside knit with various contrasting color designs to choose from. The glove material has excellent elasticity and will stretch to fit most hands. Pair them with your favorite outfit. You can hand wash or spot clean.
Fosmon Touch Screen Gloves ($7.95)Credit: Fosmon
These brightly colored, fun gloves are great for all outdoor winter traveling to work and outside appointments. Your customers will surely notice your hands. Compatible with popular touch screen devices, these unisex gloves fit most hand sizes and offer three-finger functionality including thumb, forefinger and middle finger. It provides a firm grip on your smartphone when holding or sliding across the screen. They come in several variations of stripes and block color schemes.