The snug fit of the Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves's knit design makes typing easier, and the microfleece lining is soft, cozy, and warmer than some of the other gloves we tested. Sure, while you wear them you won't be able to properly compose a tweetstorm about how hot Timothée Chalamet looks in Greta Gerwig's Little Women, but you should be able to easily text your friends that you'll meet them "inside the movie theater in 10." We also found that the Moshi Digits dry faster and have a better grip than other knit gloves. The company recently redesigned the glove to lengthen the older version's frustratingly short fingers and fit a wider variety of hand sizes. Because the Moshi gloves have a simpler and more elastic fit than others we tested, it should be easy to determine which of the gloves' three sizes are the right fit for you.
Sizes: S, M, L
Colors: light gray (S, M), dark gray (L)
Materials: acrylic and nylon shell, microfleece lining
If you're particularly worried about an accurate fit, consider the Black Diamond HeavyWeight ScreenTap Fleece Gloves, which have a stretchy fit that hugs the hand like a second skin and makes typing more accurate than with other gloves we tested. (The difference in ease of typing between the Moshi Digits and the Black Diamond gloves was negligible, though.) The Black Diamond pair's fleece material also blocks wind better than traditional knit fabrics (like that used in the Glider Gloves) and is water-repellent. But these are designed to be liner gloves, so they're not very warm on their own. Unless you're going to be active, you may want to pair the Black Diamonds with an outer glove in extremely cold temperatures and in the snow. The Black Diamond gloves' stretchy material also means sizing is more forgiving than with some other gloves we tested, and the company offers more specific sizing than Moshi (XS to XL, rather than just S to L).
Sizes: XS to XL
Materials: fleece shell, goat leather palm
If you live somewhere with temperatures that rarely drop below 40 °F, you can get away with the less insulated but more accurate Glider Gloves Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves. They're the least warm of the gloves we recommend and a little baggy, but you can easily size down for a tighter fit. And they're a good option if you work in a cold office and need something thin for all-day use.
Sizes: S/M to XL
Color: black with a mélange pattern
Materials: acrylic, nylon, spandex, copper yarn
If you want a pair of fancy leather gloves that will keep you warm through the winter, the Canada Goose Workman Gloves are surprisingly accurate, given their thickness, and they still look stylish. But be prepared to spend a little more. The plush, thick Workman gloves are the warmest pair we recommend, with an exterior of goatskin leather with wool trim and a lining of polyester faux fur. These gloves also have ribbed cuffs to keep cold from reaching your fingertips. Although all of our testers noted their accuracy, the Workman Gloves have touchscreen capabilities only on the index finger. We found them to be surprisingly cozy, but we don't expect them to keep your hands warm when the temperature starts dipping below zero.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Materials: goatskin leather, wool trim, polyester faux fur lining
The Kent Wang Deerskin Gloves have a classic design, a cashmere lining, and above-average touchscreen accuracy. They weren't as warm as the double-layer knit Moshi Digits, but our testers found them to be about as warm as the Black Diamond fleece gloves. Like the Canada Goose Workman Gloves, they're expensive. Because the Kent Wangs are sold in specific sizes and the leather is less stretchy than our knit and fleece recommendations, it may be harder to get a proper fit. If that's the case, you can opt for a custom pair, for $25 more.
Sizes: 7, 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5
Colors: black, dark brown
Materials: calf leather palm, deerskin back, cashmere lining
Who should buy these
Regular gloves don't work with the capacitive screens on phones and smartwatches, so if you want to use your device when it's cold out, you'll need to either take off a glove or use gloves that are designed to work with touchscreens.
Unfortunately, every touchscreen glove we've tested exists on a continuum of "warm but inaccurate" to "cold but good for typing," and no glove was truly good at both. Inaccurate gloves led to incoherent text messages, and thin but accurate gloves left us freezing when we wore them in cold weather. In an era in which voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant are increasingly accurate and useful, you may be better off just using a normal glove and talking to your phone instead.
In our trials, we focused on gloves that existed in that middle ground of the continuum—those suited to when you're out walking the dog or waiting for a train, rather than those designed for Arctic conditions or heavy labor. They'll keep your fingers from freezing while you're brushing the snow off your windscreen, and they will allow you to fire off a quick text or get Google directions.
Touchscreen gloves also break down quickly—a pair of good touchscreen gloves will last you a full winter or two if you're lucky, because the conductive material that enables touchscreen compatibility wears down over time.
How we picked and tested
We've researched hundreds of gloves over the past five years. In our most recent update, we looked at 47 pairs, tested 20, and panel-tested nine winter gloves with four testers who had various hand sizes and aesthetic preferences. We chose gloves to test based on several factors, including our previous picks, companies with great reputations in outdoor wear, strong owner reviews, availability across major retailers, and a wide variety of styles and fits.
Heavy-duty gloves aren't great for typing, and the thinnest gloves won't keep your hands much warmer than if you were wearing no gloves at all. So we focused mostly on the middle ground: gloves that would be warm enough to get you through a commute.
To start the latest update to this guide, I (Justin Krajeski) tested 20 gloves myself. This meant wearing four pairs of gloves each day for a week on my commute, during lunch breaks, and while running errands around New York City in December. After 11 pairs were eliminated, a panel of Wirecutter staffers with very different hand shapes and sizes tested each pair of gloves for accuracy, fit, appearance, comfort, and ease of use (like when you pull a key card from your pocket to enter a building). We tested the nine finalists on the loading dock of our Long Island City office on a day when the weather oscillated between rain and light snow, with the temperature at about 40 °F. While blaring the latest King Princess record, Wirecutter staffers used each set of gloves as they attempted to fill out a survey on their phones, and we used their responses—and typos—to inform our picks.
In 2018, we tested each glove's durability and drying time. We ran strips of Velcro across each pair 10 times to see how easily the fabric snagged. We also melted crushed ice on each pair of gloves and tracked the drying time. This told us how fast they'd dry after an afternoon snowball fight with the kids or during the commute home on a sleeting day.
Our pick: Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves
No pair of touchscreen gloves is going to let you type a message with flawless accuracy and also keep your hands warm for hours on end. But if you need to type when it's cold out, we recommend the Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves. After seven years of testing, these are the best touchscreen winter gloves we've found. They're easier to type in than the competition, they're warm enough to use for your winter commute, and—after a recent redesign to include larger hands—they fit a wide range of hand sizes.
The typing experience with the Moshi Digits is pretty good. But keep in mind that "pretty good" is like saying "unbelievably great!" in another product category. By comparison, when we asked a tester if the Lululemon Cross Chill Run Gloves were keeping their hands warm, they typed the response: "By A.G. kk. Not a all." The Moshi's knitwear pattern is taut and flexible, which is ideal for dexterity. And the seams are thin on the fingertips, which makes typing more predictable and reliable than with most other knit gloves. All of the fingers have the conductive fiber sewn in (that's what makes it possible to use gloves with a modern touchscreen), so you can type text messages with your thumbs or poke with your pinky.
Our testers thought typing was easy while wearing the Moshi Digits and filling out a survey on their phones. In our testing in 2018, we found that the gloves' thicker insulation caused testers to have to press down hard on their screens to get a response. But even though the gloves are still double-layer, that complaint seems to have been addressed in the new version of the Moshi Digits. Single-layer gloves, including those from Agloves and Glove.ly, offered more dexterity but were less predictable at typing because the fingertips were too long.
The Moshi Digits were the coziest gloves we tested. Think of them as a combination of that fuzzy scarf Nana made you last year and the winter blanket that your pet hogs on the sofa. The gloves have a knitted exterior, are lined in microfleece, and were the softest and among the warmest gloves we looked at. In our thermal camera testing, it didn't show much difference between them. In previous years' testing, a panelist thought the gloves performed well during high-energy activities, such as shoveling snow, and found they were "plenty warm" for a 15-minute dog walk.
Although most knitted winter wear can be a pain to dry, the Moshi Digits dried quickly in our tests. It took an hour for these gloves to dry, compared with the six hours that the equally thick Smartwool Cozy Gloves needed. The Moshi Digits's knit construction easily catches on Velcro, and though the snagging didn't tear the glove or do any other real damage, it did lead to general fuzziness.
Moshi recently redesigned the Digits to lengthen the older version's annoyingly short fingers and transition from just two sizes (S/M and L/XL) to three (S, M, L), which means that they should now work well for a wide variety of hand sizes. When we tested the large Digits with people who had bigger hands, they said the gloves felt good and fit "much better than the medium-sized gloves. Although they were a little tight around my fingers, it was much more manageable." Just keep in mind that Moshi measures hand size from wrist to fingertip, as opposed to palm width, so confirm your size before ordering.
Runner-up: Black Diamond HeavyWeight ScreenTap Fleece Gloves
The Black Diamond HeavyWeight ScreenTap Fleece Gloves offer a stretchy fit that hugs your hand and makes it easy and accurate to type. They weren't quite as warm as the Moshi Digits, but their fleece material blocks out wind better than traditional knit fabrics. They'll work best at keeping you warm if you pair them with an outer glove and save solo use for when you're being active. Black Diamond offers a more specific range of sizes than Moshi does. Although that means you're likely to find a more accurate fit for your hand type, it may just be easier to buy one of the simpler elastic options from Moshi.
Of the gloves we tested, the Black Diamonds were among the most accurate at typing, although the difference in accuracy between the Black Diamonds and the Moshi gloves was negligible. The stretchy fleece material covers your hand nicely and offers good dexterity that makes typing easier. Like the fingers on the Moshi Digits, all of the Black Diamond gloves' fingers are conductive—but it's easiest to type with your index fingers because the fit there is better (the gloves' thumbs were either too long or a little too tight on our testers). Most of the typing mistakes we made with the Black Diamonds were due to seam placement on our fingers, which some panelists felt made typing uncomfortable and less accurate, but most didn't notice.
Although the gloves are about as decent for typing out texts as the Moshi gloves are, they won't keep your hands very warm. The gloves are from Black Diamond's liner series (meaning you can wear them with an outer glove) and are recommended solo in temperatures from 25 °F to 40 °F. In 2018, they received mixed reviews on how well they insulated during our walk-in fridge testing: Our panelists thought the elastic cuffs did a pretty good job of preventing the 30 degree Fahrenheit air from seeping into the gloves, but their fingertips were still cold. In real-world testing, these gloves kept our hands warm enough for a short dog walk in mid-30s (Fahrenheit) temps—although we don't recommend them for those times you're stuck outside your friend's Bushwick apartment at 9 p.m. in 10 °F weather.
The manufacturer says these gloves will fight off the cold better when you're active rather than standing still, stating they're "ideal for skiing, trail running or hiking with your smartphone." This is a point commonly made about soft-shell gear: that it will keep you warm enough while you're active, but that you'll need something substantially warmer if you're standing still.
If you get splashed by a passing vehicle during your morning commute, these gloves will dry out by lunchtime. When we melted crushed ice on the gloves, it took just two hours to air-dry them, thanks to their DWR (durable water-repellent) coating. The Smartwool Cozy Gloves were just as thick, but they took more than six hours to dry.
Of the gloves we tested, the Black Diamonds fit the most hand shapes and sizes, and they come in sizes from XS to XL. Comparatively, the Moshi Digits come in only three sizes (S, M, L), but their simple, more elastic body means the limited sizing will still fit a wide variety of hand sizes. The Black Diamond gloves' stretchy fleece shell offers just enough give that the gloves were never too loose in the palms nor too snug in the fingers. The stretchiness also made it easy for our testers with long fingernails to move up a size without compromising the overall fit.
The Black Diamonds are all about function, not fashion. While the soft and fluffy gray Moshi Digits are practically cuddle-worthy, the Black Diamonds are available only in black, and the stretch-knit fleece design reminded one panelist of what thieves wear in heist films. The only branding is a small Black Diamond logo on the back of the hand. A large patch of black leather on the palm makes it easy to grip slippery phones and metal railings. You can also connect the two gloves with a tiny clasp, so they stay together at the bottom of your bag.
We know from our experience over the past seven years of testing that it's hard to find a good pair of touchscreen winter gloves that are reliably in stock. If you can't find the Moshi Digits or the Black Diamond HeavyWeights, and none of the other gloves that we highlight here appeal to you, consider a different model from the Black Diamond ScreenTap series, like the LightWeight or MidWeight versions. These gloves are thinner, so they're not as warm as the HeavyWeight gloves we recommend (and the HeavyWeights aren't even that warm, so take that into account). But they have the same design, so we're confident they'll provide the same level of dexterity and typing accuracy as the HeavyWeight version.
A thinner pick for warmer climates: Glider Gloves Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves
The Glider Gloves Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves were our original pick, a few years ago, and we still like them. Their conductivity is great, and because they're thin, they're also very accurate if you get a good fit (we recommend sizing down if your fingers are shorter than average). But they're the thinnest gloves we tested, so they aren't ideal for colder climates.
Because they're so thin and fit a little baggy, they don't trap body heat as well as our other picks. They're single-layer knitted gloves, so they're less resistant to wind than the Moshi Digits or the Black Diamonds, and they stop being warm enough in the low 40s (Fahrenheit). The manufacturer says the loose fit is normal, and the size guide for the gloves states that the gloves "contain 2% spandex material that will conform to your hand the more you wear it." We long-term tested the gloves and found that they didn't change much in shape, though. (Make sure you reference the company's sizing guide to find the right size before ordering.) The Glider Gloves are interwoven with conductive copper yarn, so the entire glove is touchscreen-compatible.
These gloves are slow to dry if you get them wet—they took five hours to dry during our tests, which was longer than most pairs we reviewed. (The Smartwool Liner Gloves were equally thin and needed just an hour or two to dry.) The Glider Gloves are still a great buy if you live in a more temperate area or venture out into the cold for only short bursts at a time. Their low insulation also makes them a good choice for people who want to wear gloves all day—for example, in a cold office—but need normal dexterity.
The gloves are available in black with a striped, olive green design (aka a "neutral mélange pattern"). The fingers and palm are covered in a cluster of small silicone, honeycomb-style hexagonal holes to keep slippery devices from falling out of your hands. And the gloves are thin enough to roll into a bundle (like a pair of socks), so you'll spend less time digging through your bag to find them.
The best leather touchscreen gloves
Leather touchscreen gloves provide a more formal and refined alternative to the standard knit and fabric options that you see in most stores. Though they're significantly more expensive, they're the way to go if you need an option that's suitable for wearing with a business suit or to a formal event, or if you're searching for a particularly nice gift for someone.
The Canada Goose Workman Gloves are made from goatskin leather, and their insides are lined with polyester faux fur. Photo: Michael Murtaugh
If you're looking for a pair of dressy leather gloves that will keep you pretty warm throughout the winter and can be used with a surprising amount of accuracy (considering how heavy they feel), the Canada Goose Workman Gloves are our favorite choice. They're a good (albeit expensive) option for people who want the look and feel of all-leather gloves while maintaining touchscreen compatibility. The Workman Gloves are goatskin leather with wool trim, and their insides are lined with polyester faux fur. Plus, they have ribbed cuffs to keep any cold from reaching your fingertips. Although all of our testers were impressed by their accuracy, the Workman Gloves have touchscreen capabilities only on the index fingers. And though they're the warmest of the gloves we tested, they're still not designed for truly frigid conditions.
If you're willing to trade a bit of warmth for a more refined look, we like the classically designed Kent Wang Deerskin Gloves, which are made of calf leather and deerskin. They're cashmere-lined, and even though they're warmer than the Glider or Black Diamond gloves, they're not on the same level as the Moshi or Canada Goose options. And because they're leather and are sold in specific sizes, it's harder to get a proper fit than you would with a softer and stretchier material, like those used in our non-leather picks. But you can opt for a custom pair for $25 more.
Although the Canada Goose gloves have touchscreen capabilities only on the ends of the index fingers, the entire surface of the Kent Wang gloves is touchscreen-compatible. They were better at typing than the other leather gloves we tested in 2018—though not as good as our other picks. The thick seams along the fingers meant we had to use our finger pads (not the tips or sides, which is a natural position) to type and swipe.
The Canada Goose gloves were the warmest pair of gloves we tested that remained accurate to type with. While probably not warm enough for below-zero temperatures, they're well suited as an everyday, stylish-looking glove for cold commutes, dog walks, or other regular activities in a New England winter. The Kent Wangs are better suited to the milder seasons of the West Coast and the South, or for dressier occasions like winter weddings or going to the orchestra.
The Kent Wang gloves' deerskin exterior shed moisture and prevented water stains better than most other leather gloves. If you drop your phone in the snow, you don't have to think twice about water damage to either the Canada Goose Workman Gloves or the Kent Wangs when you pick it up.
Animal rights advocates have criticized Canada Goose for how it sources both animal fur and goose feathers for its iconic jackets. Neither of these materials is used in these gloves, but some people prefer to avoid the company entirely on ethical grounds.
Both sets of leather gloves fit our testers' hands well, with a little more give in the knuckles and palms than other leather gloves, which can be too constricting (like the Mujjo and the Nordstrom Cashmere Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves). This helps with typing dexterity and means you're less likely to take the gloves off in frustration when responding to a quick Slack message or an email. You can buy the Canada Goose Workman Gloves in sizes S to XL. The Kent Wangs are sold in sizes 7 to 10.5, but aren't available in whole sizes after 7 (they go from 7 to 7.5 to 8.5, and so on). If you'd prefer to wear a whole size—or your hands are particularly petite—you can spend an extra $25 for a custom-sized pair.
A good-enough pair you can go into the store and grab right now because your fingers are freezing
We tested Target's Wild Fable Women's Tech Touch Gloves and its Goodfellow & Co. Men's Solid Knit Fingerless Tech Touch Gloves for our winter 2019-20 update. We found the Goodfellow & Co. gloves difficult to type in. But Target's Wild Fable Women's Tech Touch Gloves—which are designed as a one-size-fits-all pair of gloves—worked for the men and women in our test panel, regardless of hand size. Our panel agreed that the Wild Fable gloves were comfortable to use and provided some warmth for their fingers, but everyone acknowledged that these gloves wouldn't last for a brisk walk through freezing temperatures. Even so, we found Target's gloves to be totally adequate when you've run out to complete a few errands but forgot your Moshi Digits, and you need to spend a few bucks on a pair of touchscreen gloves so your hands don't fall off your forearms.
Target frequently adds and removes listings for its gloves, so we can speak with certainty about only the two we tested. But even so, we think that if you're in a pinch, whatever you find in the store will probably be good enough.
How these gloves work
For a capacitive touchscreen (the technology used in most touch-capable phones, tablets, and computers today) to register that you're interacting with it, you have to poke it with something that conducts electricity, such as a finger or a stylus. Touchscreen gloves are embedded with special materials to achieve the same effect.
Early attempts at touchscreen gloves used patches of conductive material sewn into the fingertips. Some manufacturers still do this, but gloves made using this method wear out quickly.
A more common method is to weave conductive thread (typically silver or copper; the two have about the same performance and durability) into the fabric, either just in the fingertips or throughout the glove. The thread conducts electricity from a finger to the tip of the glove covering that finger.
A third method, used in leather gloves, embeds leather with nanoparticles of silver, which produces full-hand conductivity. This technology is more forgiving of a loose fit than knit gloves with conductive thread, because the leather can conduct electricity from any part of your hand to any fingertip.
(You can make your existing gloves touchscreen-capable by sewing special thread into them or treating them with special drops. But judging from the cost and reviews of those items, we recommend simply buying a proven pair.)
The Aegend and TrailHeads running gloves worked poorly with our capacitive touchscreens, and they were thin, so they didn't keep our panelists' hands warm during testing.
When we tested the Black Diamond LightWeight WoolTech Gloves, we found they were more like windbreakers for your hands than gloves meant to actually protect you from severe—or even mild—winter weather conditions.
The Burton Men's Touch N Go Glove was baggy, and its poor fit didn't help when it came to typing on our phones.
When I say that I could not type more than "t fdkf hag" while wearing my Dimore Winter Gloves and that they ripped at the seams when I pulled them over my knuckles, I mean that literally.
We tested the men's Isotoner Faux Suede and Microfiber Touchscreen Gloves, smartDRI Microfiber Touchscreen Gloves with Berber Spill, and smartDRI Nylon & Fleece Touchscreen Gloves with Gathered Wrist. Although all the gloves from Isotoner were warm, the thumb slots on the Faux Suede and smartDRI Microfiber touchscreen gloves were way too big for my thumbs. This made the typing experience particularly frustrating. Plus, the Faux Suede gloves may be difficult to match with your outfit; plaid is a very specific stylistic choice. The smartDRI Nylon & Fleece gloves didn't have the same issue as the other Isotoner gloves we tested, but they weren't as comfortable as our top picks.
We tested the L.L.Bean Cresta Wool 250 Liner Gloves in women's and men's sizes. We found that not only were we unable to use the touchpad on our laptops, we were unable to type anything resembling the English language.
The Lululemon Cross Chill Gloves were not well-received. We found them difficult to type in and not very warm. As Updates writer Jordan Bowman said, "Please skip these at all costs."
When we tested the Lululemon Resolute Runners Gloves, we ran into similar issues. SEO Content Strategist Lauren L'Amie really liked the look of the gloves. She found the fit snug and the material soft. But once she started using them to type, she turned to me and said: "Help, they are the worst!"
No one particularly liked the fit of the Mission Workshop The Strasse touchscreen winter gloves. People were divided about the look of the gloves—some thought they looked sleek, while others found them ugly. Half of the testers thought these gloves kept their hands warm, but the other half found this pair left them cold. Everyone agreed that we shouldn't recommend them.
The Mujjo Insulated Touchscreen Gloves and Double-Insulated Touchscreen Gloves were comfortable and attractive, but they had poor accuracy while typing.
The fit on the Black Diamond Midweight Softshell Gloves was baggy for all of our testers, and this made typing nearly impossible.
The Columbia Ascender Softshell Gloves are available only in men's sizes, and our testers thought the soft-shell material crinkled too much. And the fit was tight, which made typing uncomfortable.
The Columbia Trail Summit Running Gloves (men's and women's) were a strong contender for a cool-weather pick because they fit well and typed with greater accuracy than most thin gloves we tested. But they sold out in the women's sizes during our review, and the touchscreen ability didn't surpass that of our Glider Gloves pick.
The Columbia Thermarator Fleece Gloves (women's and men's) were thin and lacked a lining, which made them scratchy to wear. The fit was bulky, and only conductive patches on the index finger and thumb pads were usable.
The Isotoner Women's smartDRI Chevron Shortie Touchscreen Gloves were too tight in the palms and too long in the fingers. The poor fit made typing impossible.
The Nordstrom Cashmere Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves are sold in a women's cut, so they fit petite hands better than our Kent Wang pick. But they fit a little tighter, which makes them harder to wear, and they're thinner, so they're not as warm.
We tested two styles of Smartwool gloves: the Cozy Gloves and the Liner Glove. The touchscreen sensitivity was poor, and they fit baggy on most of our testers.
We retested a few gloves from the North Face, including the Apex+ Etip and the Commutr. Even with gender-specific sizing available, the fit wasn't ideal. (Our testers who identify as women thought the women's fit was too tight, and the unisex gloves were too boxy.) The arc of the gloves (which the North Face calls "radiametric articulation") left our hands frozen at an uncomfortable angle, and we couldn't flex our fingers. All of this made typing on our devices impossible.
We tested the following gloves for previous versions of this guide (discontinued models are not listed):
The Agloves Sport and Polar Sport gloves are thin, and they just don't compare to the Moshi Digits in warmth or quality.
Burton's Men's AK Tech gloves are a decent soft-shell option, but their fit was poor, and the typing accuracy was abysmal.
The Glider Gloves Winter Style Touchscreen Gloves were our previous main pick. They offered the best combination of warmth, touchscreen sensitivity, and grip at the time. In 2015, Glider added a longer cuff and an improved conductive mix. But in our tests, the touchscreen sensitivity was worse, not better.
J.Crew's Wool Smartphone Gloves for men are warm and fit well, but you can activate a touchscreen only with your finger pad. The leather is also slippery, which isn't great when you're holding an expensive smartphone.
The North Face Etip gloves have clunky conductive panels, and the Denali Etip gloves (men's and women's) fit boxy—both of these things made precise typing almost impossible.
This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.
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