Braving the harsh winter cold can present a dilemma: Do you wear warm gloves that don’t work on your phone’s touchscreen, or accept frozen fingers as you tweet in the cold? The reason you can’t use a smartphone with an ordinary pair of gloves has to do with the way touchscreens work. Capacitive touchscreens — the type you’ll find in all the best smartphones — are blanketed with electrodes. When a conductive material like human skin comes into contact with them the circuit is complete, and 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 best touchscreen gloves are made in part, or sometimes entirely, from fabric that emulates your skin’s conductive properties. But touchscreen gloves aren’t all cut from the same cloth. Here’s our guide to the best touchscreen gloves for smartphones. These work best if you have a phone with secure face unlock, such as the iPhone 11 Pro or the Pixel 4, because you’ll still need to remove your gloves to unlock phones with a fingerprint sensor.
Mujjo Insulated Touchscreen Gloves
There are a few reasons that we really like these touchscreen gloves from Mujjo. Firstly, they work beautifully — you can use any part of any finger to tap or swipe on your touchscreen. They’re also understated, in black with a simple logo on the cuff. They have a 3-layer construction with 3M Thinsulate and soft fleece inside, but it’s all fused together, so you don’t end up separating layers when you take them off in a hurry. They are very comfortable, cozy, and they have a wrist cuff that keeps out the cold. Mujjo has altered the silicone grip lines in this year’s pair to ensure they offer a secure hold on your phone. The Insulated Touchscreen Gloves are suitable for moderately cold climates, but you can always opt for a Double-Insulated pair if you live somewhere really cold. They come in small, medium, large, and extra large.
Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves
If you want a traditional-looking pair of gloves, then the Moshi Digits could be ideal for you. The gray knit is woven with a conductive fiber that makes each fingertip responsive to touchscreens. There’s a very soft microfleece lining inside that provides enhanced comfort and the dual-layer knit design is specially engineered to shield against cold wind. To ensure that your phone doesn’t slip from your grasp, Moshi has used a GripTrak pattern of lines bolstered by dots, which covers the palms and the bottom of your fingers and gives you a sticky grip. The Moshi Digits come in two colors, dark gray and light gray, and you can get them in small, medium, or large sizes. There’s a Moshi logo on a soft label sewn onto the ribbed cuff. These touchscreen gloves are very comfortable, warm, and they work well with touchscreens. The only thing we’re not keen on is that the inner lining can sometimes separate from the outer knit when you’re taking them off in a hurry.
HiCool Touchscreen Gloves
Regular gloves aren’t ideal if you’re active, and expect to be out in all weather; the wool tends to get wet, they’re not necessarily 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, and provide a lot of extra grip thanks to an anti-skid silicone pattern on part of the palms and fingers. There’s a reflective logo on the back for improved visibility, which is great if you’re running or cycling. Crucially for this round-up, they also come with touchscreen-compatible fingertips, but they really are conductive pads that are limited to the fingertips. They come in black, gray, or dark blue, and small, medium, large, or extra-large sizes. The quality isn’t great, but that’s reflected in the price and they’re ideal if you just want a backup pair for cycles and runs to keep your main pair in good condition.
Black Diamond Heavyweight Screen Tap Fleece Gloves
If you’re looking for something that can handle extreme cold and serve you well on the ski slopes, hiking, or just out walking the dog in bad weather, then these gloves from Black Diamond could be worth considering. There’s a flexible Polartec Power Stretch fleece shell to keep your hands warm and the palm is covered in durable goat leather, which is ideal if you’re holding a leash. You’ll also find they work just fine with touchscreens, though the sensitivity can wear away a bit as the gloves age, depending on how hard you are on them. The heavyweight gloves are designed for 25 to 40-degree weather (-4 to 4 degrees Celsius), but Black Diamond also offers mid- and lightweight gloves.
Mujjo Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves
Mujjo’s distinctive wool touchscreen gloves feature a leather securing strap that snaps shut with a clever magnetic closure, a double soft-touch insulating lining, and black leather cuff dots that match the gloves’ black-and-silver pattern. Anti-slip silicone dots in the palm and on the fingers do a great job of preventing 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 come in one color, black and gray, and in small, medium, and large sizes. If you don’t need your gloves to be really warm, then you can save a few bucks by opting for the single-layer version. Much like the Moshi Digits, the weakness of these gloves is that the layers sometimes separate when you’re taking the gloves off and it can take a bit of fiddling to get them realigned.
GliderGlove Touchscreen Gloves
You can choose from a selection of knitted finishes from GliderGloves which employ conductive copper yarn to ensure your entire hand and all your fingers will work on touchscreens. The layered nylon combines with a soft, waffle interior to provide ample insulation, and acrylic mesh provides enhanced grip around the palm area. These aren’t the warmest gloves around, but they’re fairly slim-fitting and lightweight, and there’s a small amount of spandex to help them adjust to your hands. They come in two styles: Winter is supposed to be snug and Urban is a looser fit. GliderGlove’s touchscreen gloves come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. They won’t last forever, but they are relatively cheap and they’re good for driving, too.
Warmen Faux Leather Touchscreen Gloves
You don’t always have to spend a lot to get a good pair of fake 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 with a wool cuff that extends slightly beyond the glove to make sure you’re fully covered. The touchscreen sensitivity is limited to the fingertips, which is a shame, but the gloves are an absolute bargain. The adjustable wrist strap lets you tighten the gloves and they’re fairly slim, but they won’t stand up to really cold temperatures and the PU leather can be a bit stinky at first. They come in five different sizes.
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.