Mittens vs Gloves – Which One is the Best Option for Winter?

Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or climbing up the mountains in winter, it’s important to keep your hands warm. And if you’re going outside on a chilly winter, you have to have your hands protected from the cold. You should have earmuffs to protect your ears and scarfs for your neck.

There are two things you will often reach out for warmth, it’s either a mitten or a glove. What’s the difference between a glove and a mitten? What should you choose: a warm pair of mittens, or fancy gloves?

You will feel the most comfortable when you choose the right winter gear. And If you’re skiing, comfort can also reflect on your performance. If your hands are cold, you won’t be able to have fun down the slopes.

Glove and Mitten – What’s the Difference

Technically, both gloves & mittens are great for skiing. But they can also be used in other ways. Let’s compare these two warm babies so we can see the differences.

What are gloves?

Your fingers will be individually wrapped in fabric when you wear gloves. This will improve your dexterity. Say, you’re always reaching for a gear or you often need to adjust your boot buckles, gloves will come in more handy.

Lightweight gloves can also be worn when you’re snowboarding or doing any activity where your body still generates heat.

What are mittens?

Mittens, however, clump your fingers together. So they aren’t wrapped individually. The fingers are not separated by fabric so this can provide more warmth. Although mittens are still useful for holding your gears and carving the mountains, they will not provide the same level or dexterity of gloves.

Gloves Vs Mittens- Which Is Better

To answer the above question, let’s talk about two aspects: mobility and heat.

Glove or mitten – This provides more mobility

Gloves will help you move more easily. As we have mentioned above, when you’re wearing gloves, your fingers are individual wrapped in the fabric. Because your fingers are not clumped together, this will allow for softer movement.

Not all gloves offer the same level dexterity. Some gloves may offer greater mobility than others, depending on the material. The right size gloves are also important. If your gloves are not properly fitted, you won’t be able to properly hold onto your gears.

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While mitts may not offer the same mobility as gloves, some brands are able to keep up a bit. Some brands make three-digit mittens. Others use the traditional two-finger mittens. This will allow you to adjust your boot buckles more easily. These three-digit mittens can be a great choice if you are looking for warmth and mobility. Though your fingers do not feel as free when you’re wearing gloves, it might suffix in some cases.

Gloves or mittens – which is more comfortable?

Clammy hands can be very uncomfortable. You can protect your hands from the cold by wearing gloves or mittens. But which one is better?

As mentioned previously, mittens make it easier to keep your fingers together. They can provide greater insulation against the cold. Your fingers share heat so there are less parts exposed to cold. So mittens are warmer and more comfortable than gloves.

However, not all mittens are warm and cozy. It also depends on the material used to make them. We’ll discuss the different types of insulation used in mittens or gloves. Continue to the next section.

What Keeps Your Hands Warm? Types of Insulation in Mittens or Gloves

Two common types of insulation are used in gloves or mittens:


Down is a great material for heating. It can provide warm warmth to your hands and retain its loft for a longer time. There are downsides. One, it’s quite expensive. Two, you need to keep your hands clean. Once down becomes wet, it loses its insulation ability.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation costs less than down. It also dries faster, that’s why it’s often a favored material for gloves and mittens used in snowboarding and skiing. The downsides are, it’s bulkier than down yet it will not be able to provide the same level of warmth as down.

Which is better for your health?

Both gloves as well as mittens have their advantages and disadvantages. It can be difficult to choose between the two. If the situation calls for it, some people will buy both and switch to the appropriate gear. But what if you have to choose one? Which one would you choose, and why?

These are the questions you should ask.

1. What activities are you planning to do?

Gloves are best if you’re going to be doing snow sports or activities that require more mobility. Glove liners are an alternative if your hands feel too cold. This will increase the warmth you get from your gloves.

And if you find yourself always removing your mittens just to be able to tie your boots or reach for the phone, it’s best to wear gloves with liners instead.  

2. How quickly do your hands become cold?

Mitts are the best choice if your hands get cold easily. Mittens are the best choice for cold versatility.

3. What’s the weather like?

Since mittens offer more versatility in the cold environment, it’s a better option during harsh winters. Gloves, on the other side, are more suitable for cold environments. Gloves are also a good choice if you sweat.

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How to Choose the Best Mittens and Gloves

How will you know you’re buying a suitable pair of gloves or mittens? Check out our buying guide. These are important considerations to make when you purchase a pair. If you don’t, you might not get enough insulation against the cold.


Waterproofness is very important, whether you’re wearing mittens or gloves. If your hands get wet, a pair of gloves ormittens that are well-insulated will be very useful. This is a crucial feature to have, especially if your goal is to ski or snowboard.

The best snowboarding gloves and mittens are made of waterproof membranes. It’s placed between the outer shell and the insulation material. This allows moisture and sweat to escape so your hands won’t be soaked.

Gore-tex is a popular waterproof material for ski gloves and mittens. It offers excellent protection against moisture and allows your hands to breathe, so you’ll feel comfortable.

Heated gloves and mittens

You can save your life by using battery-powered heated gloves andmittens when it is too cold. These mittens or gloves come with a rechargeable lithium ion battery mini heater. You can also adjust heat output. It’s like a personal heater for your hands.

Heated gloves can be bulky, which is a problem. It is normal to expect it to be bulky, since it has a personal heater.

Touch screen capabilities

Are you often forced to take off your gloves to use your phone? It’s a hassle, right?

Gloves or mittens with touch screen capabilities can eliminate this hassle. You can text or phone without having to take off your glove. Some models have full palm capability, while others are limited to finger touch screen. It’s a great option for people who always use their phones.

The fit and size

Gloves and mittens must be correctly fitted to your hands to enable better dexterity. Even ill-fitting gloves won’t be able to provide better movement. Even if your gloves are not properly fitted, it will still be difficult for you to hold onto your ski poles.

It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. How do you know if your garment is properly fitted? You should have at least 1/4 inch of material between your fingers. To restrict your mobility, mittens or gloves that are too tight can be restrictive. However, too loose mittens and gloves can limit your surface area and expose your wrists. It will also make it more cold if there is too much airspace. It’s also easier for the snow to get in if your gloves are too loose.

It will give you two benefits. It will allow you to move more freely. It will also keep your hand sufficiently warm and dry.

Additional features

Depending on your situation, there may be several features that you need in your mittens and gloves. So it’s best to look for one that can tick all the boxes in your list.  

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Thumb wipes

These are soft material on the thumb part of the mitten or glove. If your nose is dripping, you can use it to wipe it. This might be something you need, since cold weather can make your nose go crazy.

Leather palms

Gloves and mittens with leather palms will give you a better grip. Leather palms are more durable than synthetic palms and will give you a better grip on your ski poles.

Write cinches

Writs cinches ensure a snug fit. They prevent snow and rain from getting into your gloves and mittens.

Zipper pockets

You can slip in hand warmers up to pocket-size by using zippered pockets or slots. These can be useful in frigid winters.

You might also like these: Best Ski and Snowboard Mittens

Cuff with Long Gauntlet

These mittens and gloves can be extended over the sleeves of your jacket. This helps to keep rain and snow out.

Cords for the wrist

This secures your mittens or gloves to your wrist so it doesn’t fall off when you’re skiing or riding up the mountains.

How to keep your hands warm and toasty in winter

You might need gloves or mittens if the temperature drops below zero. These may be helpful:

Liner gloves

If you love the dexterity of gloves but can’t stand the cooler air, liner gloves are heaven-sent.

This is also known as an inner glove, which can provide extra insulation from the cold. It’s the best way to add extra warmth to your beloved pair of gloves. Glove liners are the best option for those times when wearing mitts is not an option.

Merino wool glove liners are the best, as they provide warmth and insulation. There are also options for synthetic and silk liners. They can also provide warmth, it’s just that the merino wool is more toasty and cozy.

Chemical Hand Warmers

These are small pockets that can be slipped into the zippered pockets on your gloves ormittens. These should not be applied directly to your skin. The chemicals can irritate or burn your skin.


Which one is better, gloves or Mittens? There isn’t any clear winner as to which of the two is the better. Warmth is a priority, so mittens are better than gloves. Gloves are the best choice if mobility is a concern. It could be as easy as that or not. It is still up for debate as to which one is better. You should weigh all options carefully if you have other factors to consider.

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