Capacitive touchscreen gloves that let you use your smartphone while protecting your hands from the icy cold are sure to be big sellers this winter. But which touchscreen gloves are best for you?
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No one likes cold hands, but no one likes not being able to use their touchscreen device either? And most touchscreens need your actual warm finger skin to operate properly. Wrap those digits in a lovely glove and the digital devices won’t register your touch.
That usually means removing your glove, sticking it in a pocket or hanging it out of your mouth, while you tap away on your smartphone or tablet in the freezing cold with numb fingers. This means wet or lost gloves plus a good chance of frostbite.
Most smartphones – iPhones, Android, Windows – use a capacitive touchscreen rather than the older resistive touchscreens. Resistive relied on mere pressure to work. Capacitive have an electrical field and so require contact with something that can conduct electricity – typically a finger or a special stylus.
When you wear standard gloves you lose that electrical conductivity, so the charge can’t pass from your finger through the glove and register on the screen. Tap as you might but the smartphone says no.
Unless you wear fingerless gloves or cut out holes for your skin to show through, you need a special pair of touchscreen gloves that will work with capacitive touchscreens. Luckily there are a few around and we look at the best touchscreen gloves here.
Mujjo Single- & Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves
Dutch design company Mujjo was one of the first makers of touchscreen gloves, and has a wide range from standard to double-layered and leather. They also look like something from the James Bond movie Spectre.
Many touchscreen gloves are restricted to a couple of fingers for their operation. The Mujjo gloves work on all parts of the hand: fingers, knuckles, palm or heel.
Its latest are the recently updated Single-Layered and Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves, which feature a design including a leather wrist strap with magnetic snap closure and upgraded material for increased durability, maximized grip – grip dot patterns on the palms aid anti-slip capabilities (think skiing, or maybe not dropping your valuable phone!) – and an integrated soft fleece lining.
The Double-Layered gloves feature an extra wool layer that acts as an insulator and doubles as lining, providing enhanced insulation.
The stretchable gloves look great, and quite different to any others we’ve seen so far. The cuff boards are constructed of matching black leather and the palms feature gripping dots. The magnetic closure means you're less likely to lose one of the pair when you take them off.
To make the gloves conductive, Mujjo has knitted silver-coated nylon fibres into the fabric, which make the gloves conductive and therefore touchscreen compatible.
In our tests the Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves kept our hands nice and warm while giving us unrestricted access on our touchscreens.
The Mujjo Single-Layered and Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves are available at mujjo.com in sizes Small, Medium and Large. The Single-Layered gloves cost €29.95 plus €6.90 shipping to the UK, so around £33 in total; cost for US customers (including shipping) is around $41. The warmer Double-Layered gloves cost €34.95 plus €6.90 shipping to the UK, so around £38 in total; cost for US customers (including shipping) is around $46.
The Leather Mujjo gloves (above), fitted with a stylish fold-over closure, cost from £80/$99 with free shipping. These look even meaner than the Layered Gloves – maybe these are more for the arch villain than James Bond himself. No nordic noir killer should be seen without them.
On the softer side Mujjo also sells wool touchscreen gloves (above; available in natural grey and sandstone) for €24.95/£29/$35 including shipping.
North Face Etip gloves
The more well-known North Face brand is famous for its cold-weather outerwear, with its logo much-seen in wintery episodes of The-X-Files. Think Fox Mulder rather than James Bond.
The North Face Etip Gloves in stretch-knit fleece are a little more expensive at £30 (from US$40), but are equally warm and tight fitting. They also feature a silicone gripper palm pattern for non-slip grip. For colder situations there's the £65 ($65) Windstopper Etip Gloves, featuring an extra Gore lining.
Previously the conductivity was limited to just the thumb and index fingers but the latest versions will work with touchscreens on all fingers.
They are available in Black, Vanadis Grey (like lilac) and Black Ink Green (more like grey), and in S, M, L and XL sizes.
Muji touchscreen gloves
Not to be confused with Mujjo, at the cheaper end of the market are Muji's touchscreen gloves (above), priced from £7.95. Available in either plain, striped or patterned versions Japanese utilitarian goods maker Muji offers its usual high quality at a reasonable cost.
Only the middle and index finger on each glove will work with touchscreens, unlike some of the other gloves featured here that can control a phone using just about any part.
Timberland touchscreen gloves
The Timberland Women’s Black Shelburne Bay Leather Touchscreen Glove costs £55, and is available in Small, Medium and Large sizes.
The Women’s Maiden Beach Knit Touchscreen Glove (£30; pictured above) is blended merino wool, and works with touchscreen on each forefinger and thumb. It’s available in S/M and M/L in Mauve Wine and Yolk Yellow.
The Men’s Smugglers Beach Knit Touchscreen Glove (£30) comes in S/M and L/XL in Medium Grey Heather and dark Red Dahlia. These too work on each forefinger and thumb.
For £60 Timberland offers the Men’s Shelburne Bay Leather Touchscreen Glove.
M&S touchscreen gloves
You'd expect Marks & Spencer to have a good selection of gloves, and quite a few work with touchscreen devices.
Prices start at £8 for a 2-pack of knitted touchscreen gloves (strangely for kids only...), rising through £9.50 for a 2-pack of metallic-effect gloves, and up to £25 for a pair of Leather Touchscreen Gloves with Thinsulate.
Blacks Mountain Equipment touchscreen gloves
Outdoor specialists Blacks offer a pair of soft, stretchy touchscreen gloves as "an everday winter essential" for £24.
They feature Polartec Power Stretch Pro for "snug comfort and exceptional insulation," and are available in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Of course they are available only in Black.
For £37 the Sealskinz Ultra Grip Touchscreen Gloves feature greater grip as well as touchscreen index finger and thumb.