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Safety Articles

Article # 2505

Safety Q & A

Q: Which provides better insulation from cold, gloves or mittens?
A: As always, there can be many variables, such as size, materials, linings, etc., but if all things are equal, it is conceivable that mittens may well provide better insulation, better value, and in many instances, better dexterity, than gloves.

Gloves and mittens perform the same in both heat and cold. In heat, mittens are not only better insulators, but they are a better value than gloves. The same can be true in cold situations. Mittens insulate better than gloves because the fingers are not "forced" into specific areas or required to be positioned closer to the source of heat/cold. The space--or air--around the fingers itself contributes to insulation, as well as contributing to the dissipation of the heat/cold away from the fingers.

Additionally, mittens are generally less expensive to manufacture and are reversible, which provides for double wear life. Reversible mittens allow for dispensing in single pieces versus pairs, dramatically reducing costs.

Many people believe insulated gloves provide more dexterity than mittens. Insulated gloves typically include bulky seams that can in fact hinder dexterity. And since the majority of industrial applications include a "claw-like" action, mittens actually provide better dexterity in many cases.