Need gloves that work with your iOS or Android device? These special touchscreen gloves will keep your digits warm and digital devices working. Simon Jary reports
Capacitive touchscreen gloves that let you use your phone while protecting your hands from the cold are sure to be big sellers this winter. But which touchscreen gloves are best for you?
None of us like cold hands, but we don’t like not being able to use our touchscreen devices either. And most touchscreens need your actual warm finger skin to operate properly. Wrap those digits in a glove and the digital device 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, whether they be iOS, Android or Windows, use a capacitive touchscreen rather than the older resistive technology, which relied on pressure to work. Capacitive displays 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 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- and Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves
Dutch design company Mujjo (mujjo.com) 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.
The firm’s latest are the recently updated Single- and Double-Layered Touchscreen
Gloves, whose design includes a leather wrist strap with magnetic snap closure and upgraded material for increased durability and grip – a dot pattern on the palms aid anti-slip capabilities – and an integrated soft fleece lining.
The Double-Layered Gloves have an extra wool layer that acts as an insulator and doubles as lining for enhanced insulation. These stretchable gloves look great and are different to any others we’ve seen so far. The cuff boards are constructed of matching black leather and the palms also feature the dot pattern for extra grip. The magnetic closure means you’re less likely to lose one of the pair when you take them off.
To make its gloves conductive, Mujjo has added silver-coated nylon fibres into the fabric, which make the gloves conductive and therefore touchscreen compatible.
In our tests, we found that the Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves kept our hands nice and warm, while giving us unrestricted access on our touchscreens.
The Mujjo Single-and Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves are available in small, medium and large. The Single-Layered Gloves cost 29.95 plus 6.90 shipping to the UK, so around £33 in total. The warmer Double-Layered Gloves cost
34.95 plus 6.90 shipping to the UK, so around £38 in total.
Prices for the Leather Mujjo Gloves, fitted with a stylish fold-over closure, start at £80 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 (available in natural grey and sandstone) for £29 including shipping.
North Face Etip Gloves
The more well-known North Face brand (thenorthface.co.uk) 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, 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 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 small, medium, large and extra large sizes.
Muji Touchscreen Gloves
Not to be confused with Mujjo, at the cheaper end of the market are Muji’s (muji.eu) touchscreen gloves, priced from £7.95. Available in either plain, striped or patterned versions The firm 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
Timberland (timberland.co.uk) has a wide range of men’s and women’s touchscreen gloves, starting at £30 in a variety of materials and styles.
The 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) is blended merino wool, and works with touchscreen on each forefinger and thumb. It’s available in small/medium and medium/large in Mauve Wine and Yolk Yellow. The Men’s Smugglers Beach Knit Touchscreen Glove (£30) comes in small/ medium and large/extra large in Medium Grey Heather and dark Red Dahlia. These too work on each forefinger and thumb. For £60, the firm offers the Men’s Shelburne Bay Leather Touchscreen Glove.
Marks & Spencer Touchscreen Gloves
You’d expect M&S (marksandspencer.com) to have a good selection of gloves, and quite a few work with touchscreen devices. Prices start at £8 for two pairs of knitted touchscreen gloves (for children only), rising through £9.50 for a pair 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 (blacks.co.uk) offer a pair of soft, stretchy touchscreen gloves as what it calls “an everyday 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 have greater grip, as well as touchscreen index finger and thumb.
The North Face Etip Touchscreen Gloves The North Face Windstopper Etip Touchscreen Gloves Muji Mocha Brown Touchscreen Gloves Muji Stripped Touchscreen Gloves
Left: Mujjo Single-Layered Gloves Below: Mujjo Leather Touchscreen Gloves Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves in coral pink
Mujjo Double Layered Touchscreen Gloves
Timberland Men’s Shelburne Bay Leather Touchscreen Gloves Marks & Spencer Metallic Effect Touchscreen Gloves Blacks Mountain Equipment Touchscreen Gloves