Mittens vs. Gloves: Similarities & Differences Between Them

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People often get confused between gloves and mittens and how specifically they are different from one another. This article focuses explicitly on gloves vs. mittens while also explaining other aspects of them.

As the year 2021 progresses further, we are getting nearer to the snowy months of winter. This means everyone needs the proper protection for this weather, right? We’d love to be able to enjoy the snow, warm cocoa, and fun winter sports comfortably. Well, that’s what we are here for.

This article is written precisely to help the readers get all possible information about gloves and mitts and pick the pair that suits them best!

What is the difference between mittens and gloves?

difference between gloves and mittens

Basically, a glove is a garment that covers the whole hand. They tend to have an opening for each finger. Usually, gloves come with a sheath that covers each finger, but if there is an opening for fingers and no sheath for each finger, they are called “fingerless gloves.”

Gloves also come in various types and are often made out of different materials. The most common types are fabric gloves- leather and cotton. Moreover, there are also various other types of gloves that are used for protecting the hands. During the pandemic, the use of latex, rubber, and plastic gloves has risen drastically.

On the other hand, mittens or mitts are a type of glove that covers the foremost part of the hand, palm, and fist, but they do not have separate openings for each finger. It is believed that fingers maintain their warmth better when they are in contact with each other. Some mitts have a different opening for the thumb while others do not.

While wearing mittens, one feels that they are wearing a warm pocket. However, they do sort of restrict one’s hand movements.

The significant difference is the appearance and the way that they are designed, followed by the fact that mittens restrict some sort of hand movements while gloves do not. In order to overcome these, there are also what one calls “hybrids” that are a combination of both gloves and mitts, which enables one to conquer the contrast between them.

Comparison between Gloves and Mittens


When it comes to mobility, gloves are much more preferred over mitts. As gloves cover the entire hand and have separate openings for each finger, they provide fantastic versatility.

As compared to gloves, mittens do not have separate slots for each finger. They usually have an opening for the thumb and the other for the rest of the four fingers. There are also a few gloves that do not have a thumb opening and have a pocket-like opening for your hands.

In brief, gloves provide more mobility than mittens.


In terms of warmth, mittens are preferred more than gloves. As mittens do not have separate openings for the fingers, they tend to keep the hands cushy. It is said that fingers maintain their warmth better when they are in contact with each other. And since mittens provide that, they tend to keep the hands warmer.

Gloves, on the other hand, have a separate opening for each finger, losing the essence of keeping the fingers packed together. Even when the glove and the mitten are made out of the same material, mittens provide more warmth.

To conclude, when it comes to warmth, mittens are better than gloves.


We can concur with what is more breathable by the inferences above. As we know, mittens are warmer and, thus, do not have mobility for the hand, restricting its movements. Furthermore, gloves provide mobility but are not that good in providing warmth due to the separate openings for fingers.

Thus, gloves provide more breathability than mittens and are better for your hands as they do not let them sweat and become damp as mittens do.

Skiing: Gloves vs. Mittens

While skiing, ski gloves or mitts are used by skiers to protect their hands. A lot of skiers, however, prefer gloves over mittens. Nevertheless, there are no restrictions on using mittens for skiing. However, skiing with mittens takes longer to get used to, as skiers continuously need to hold the poles. Moreover, mittens are far more helpful if one is skiing in a cold climate.

Skiers tend to lean more towards mittens because they provide better dexterity and are much more helpful in aiding the handling of the gear. As skiers have to hold poles to move, gloves are far more equipped in this area as they provide more mobility than mittens. Moreover, if someone is skiing in a warmer climate, they might want gloves that provide proper waterproofing.

In a nutshell, skiers prefer gloves over mittens.

Snowboarding: Gloves vs. Mittens

In contrast to skiers, snowboarders prefer mittens in colder places. Although they use sometimes use both gloves and mittens, there is no one perfect garment when it comes to snowboarding.

Some snowboarders wear mittens as they do not need the dexterity that skiers do, but they do need the warmth that mittens provide. Moreover, some snowboarders wear gloves as it is easier for them to take off and put on bindings at the start of each run.

Gloves or mittens for snowboarding are often exchangeable for use. It just depends on the location of the snowboarding activity. If a snowboarder is looking for warmth, then mittens are the ideal option; if they are looking for mobility, gloves are the ones to go for. If they are in a warmer area, gloves will be a better fit, and if they are somewhere, snow tends to melt frequently, a good waterproofed pair of mittens or gloves will be ideal.

Snow gloves are specifically designed to keep one’s hands warm and dry. They are generally made using a three-layer design, the outer shell of nylon, leather, Kevlar, or other similar material.

To conclude, snowboarders prefer both gloves and mittens; it just comes down to what exactly they are looking for.

Final Words

Gloves and mitts can be used interchangeably, but due to factors such as mobility, breathability, warmth, etc. a person chooses one over the other.

As seen above, gloves and mittens serve almost the same purpose. They keep one’s hands warm and further protect them from any sort of damage. It is said that mittens are better than gloves when it comes to providing warmth, but gloves are preferable when it comes to better hand movements.

In the end, a person can choose either of them depending upon their needs and personal preferences.

Dinesh Kajla
I love the winter season. Every year, I wait for this season so that I can enjoy the snow, and the comfort of winter clothing.

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