Three best arthritis gloves
Arthritis gloves are an excellent tool to help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis. Although they won't completely banish your symptoms, users report marked improvements that allow them to accomplish daily tasks that can otherwise be difficult for arthritis sufferers.
Arthritis gloves work in one of three ways: by compression, by rigid support, and by heat -- or a combination of the three methods. We'll help you figure out if arthritis gloves are right for you and offer recommendations on the best arthritis gloves on the market. The top overall pick is from Dr. Frederick's and sets the standard because of its durable and comfortable construction.
Considerations when choosing arthritis gloves
Types of arthritis gloves
Here's a breakdown of the three types of arthritis gloves offered. Remember, there are also gloves that incorporate more than one method to optimize results.
Compression gloves are ideal for arthritis sufferers who experience swelling; they can help reduce puffiness. They are tight by design and exert pressure over the entire hand. However, they shouldn't be so tight that they cut off circulation in the hand. Compression gloves come in degrees of mild (less intense) to firm (more intense) compression. These gloves may also improve a user's grip. We don't recommend wearing compression gloves if you also suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, as the gloves could make those symptoms worse.
Basic arthritis compression gloves are available for less than $10. A good pair should cost you between $10 and $20. A high-end pair can cost over $30.
Thermal gloves use heat to relieve pain and also stiffness, which is a typical symptom associated with arthritis. They are designed to trap body heat and are made from a thick material. Because they create a warm environment around the hand, they are often too warm for daytime use. These gloves are ideal for nighttime wear, so that you wake up refreshed from overnight symptom relief and improved sleep.
These gloves start around $10 or $15. Pricier pairs can cost as much as $30 or $40.
A less common yet highly supportive arthritis glove is the splint glove. These gloves combine a splint (such as you would wear if you sprained your wrist) with a glove. They can help reduce pain from movement and are recommended for arthritis sufferers who need extra support.
The most basic splint gloves can cost as little as $8 or $10. Gloves that include compression may cost around $20 or $30.
Arthritis glove considerations
Fit is important when it comes to finding the right arthritis gloves for your needs. The gloves come in sizes ranging from XS to XL. Unfortunately, these sizes aren't universal, which makes finding a glove that fits -- well, like a glove -- challenging. Fortunately most manufacturers provide a sizing chart, though you may have to take some measurements of your hands to use it.
Compression gloves are designed to have an extremely snug fit. They take some getting used to, but they shouldn't add pain to your situation. If they do, try going up one size. Remember, though, that arthritis gloves should have a snug fit in order to deliver therapeutic effects. If in doubt, consult with your doctor on the tightness of your gloves to make sure they're not cutting off blood flow and are doing their job.
Fingerless vs. full-hand gloves
Full-hand gloves (like you would wear on a cold winter day) are slightly more effective than fingerless gloves due to their full coverage. However, fingerless arthritis gloves will help you carry out certain tasks and let you use your touchscreen devices. If you choose fingerless gloves, make sure the fabric covers your affected joints.
Some arthritis gloves have rubberized knobbles on the palms, which can help you grip utensils, open jars, or do things that are otherwise difficult with arthritis.
Arthritis gloves come in a host of materials, from natural to synthetic. While gloves constructed from synthetic materials tend to be more affordable, they also tend to be less breathable. For daytime wear, we recommend gloves made of cotton and a little spandex (or similar) for stretch and compression. If your hands tend to get hot and sweaty, look for gloves that provide moisture-wicking action. On the other hand (pardon the pun), thicker or "thermal" gloves are preferable for nighttime use due to the heating properties of the gloves.
Q. Why do some arthritis gloves contain copper?
A. A number of arthritis gloves have copper woven into their fabric, which some believe relieves arthritis pain. This folk remedy for arthritis pain is not backed by scientific evidence; a variety of studies show that copper has zero effect, positive or negative, on arthritis. Wearing gloves containing copper won't harm you, but it also won't provide any proven benefit, so we don't recommend paying extra for them.
Q. Are there arthritis gloves that look like normal gloves?
A. Yes. There are arthritis gloves on the market that look a lot like regular winter gloves. The best ones available come in neutral colors, like black or grey, and will attract less attention to your hands if that is a concern of yours.
Arthritis gloves we recommend
Best of the best: Dr. Frederick's Original Arthritis Gloves
Our take: These compression-style arthritis gloves excel in construction and quality where many others fall short.
What we like: We love the fingerless design of these gloves and their extended coverage down to the last knuckle. The cotton and spandex blend is breathable yet provides firm enough pressure to deliver relief.
What we dislike: These gloves are a bit costly but not exorbitantly so.
Best bang for your buck: VIVE Arthritis Gloves
Our take: A pair of fingerless arthritis gloves that provides perfect compression and thermal heat. They are affordable without cutting corners on quality and efficacy.
What we like: The minimalist stitching of these gloves is less likely to cause irritation on swollen hands. They are designed to retain body heat and warm aching joints.
What we dislike: This product only comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large -- so you're out of luck if you have an extra-small or extra-large hand measurement.
Choice 3: Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves
Our take: A great option for compression gloves and recommended for those who find arthritis relief from copper.
What we like: These fingerless gloves work well in both daytime and nighttime, and we like their wrist coverage for typing. They are form-fitting and made from flexible material.
What we dislike: The fingers of these gloves are a bit short and may not cover all your affected joints.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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