When arthritis pain occurs in your hands, you may find it difficult to do your daily tasks, especially because of its pain. Unlike pain in other parts of your body, you cannot simply “rest” your hurting hands or take OTC pain medications 24/7. However, you can provide support for your hands by wearing an arthritis glove, which reduces swelling, stiffness, and pain associated with arthritis.
The portability, flexibility, and support of arthritis gloves should be taken into account. In addition, Magdalena Cadet, MD, a rheumatologist practicing at NYU Langone in New York City, says that it is crucial to choose gloves that fit well, have a soft fabric (cotton), and are comfortable. Compression gloves have been worn to reduce swelling. Fingerless gloves may offer some flexibility with range of motion.
As part of our research, we evaluated dozens of arthritis gloves based on their material, fit, comfort, and price.
Here are the best elastic gloves for arthritis on the market today.
Our Top Picks
8 Best Elastic Gloves for Arthritis
1. IMAK Compression Arthritis Gloves
The IMAK Compression Arthritis Gloves earned our best overall pick for a reason. The gloves can be used for any type of arthritic hand pain to address the aches, pains, and stiffness that can happen throughout the day. With the fingertips exposed, this makes these gloves perfect for daytime use because it allows you to continue with your daily tasks, whether it be typing on a computer or working throughout the home.
Additionally, the gloves are made with a breathable material of both cotton and spandex. This combination makes for flexible wear, which is important for people who experience some swelling of the joints. We also like that there’s an added compression effect with the gloves to keep the blood flowing throughout the hands and fingers. The best part is that the gloves also come in a variety of sizes to fit your hand well.
- Helps all types of arthritis
- Breathable fabric
- Also help carpal tunnel syndrome
- Keeps fingertips free
- Material can attract lint and pet hair
2. Vive Arthritis Gloves
The Vive Arthritis Gloves provide soothing compression therapy and warmth to the hand at an affordable price, which is why they were our best budget pick for arthritis gloves. You won’t sacrifice quality when you buy these gloves because they have the same benefits as other arthritis gloves on the market. The gloves provide soft compression to the hand and fingers to reduce joint pain.
The gloves are made from a lightweight cotton-spandex blend that gives them some flexibility when putting them on and off. The fingertips are also left free so you can continue working.
- Great value
- Lighter compression
- Runs small
3. Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves
Among the metals that have been touted as potentially helpful for arthritis sufferers is copper. However, this information is pseudoscience at best with few studies showing a clear difference in someone’s symptoms when wearing the metal. However, it does not mean that wearing Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves does not have any benefits.
The gloves can be worn during the day or at night depending on what causes you the most pain and stiffness in your joints. Additionally, the compression effect minimizes swollen joints and relieves pain.
Some people may have allergic reactions to metals. When you first wear new gloves, monitor them to make sure there are no allergic reactions or irritations caused by the new materials.
- Machine washable
- Finger grips wear off
4. ComfyBrace Arthritis Hand Compression Gloves
If you’re experiencing joint pain and swelling from your arthritis, then finding a pair of gloves that compress the hand is a good therapeutic option. ComfyBrace Arthritis Hand Compression gloves were designed specifically to gently compress the joints the second that they are placed in the product.
The design also has seamless stitching to make the gloves comfortable to wear for long periods of time, making them ideal for sleeping. The material is breathable and moisture-wicking for comfortable wear during warmer weather.
According to reviewers, wearing gloves at night made them wake up with less stiffness and achy joints in the morning.
- Free e-book included
- Minimal seams add to the comfort
- Ideal for wearing to bed
- Material is less stretchy
5. PhysioNatural Microwavable Therapy Mittens
A great way to treat arthritis pain and stiffness is by applying heat directly to the fingers and thumbs. PhysioNatural’s Microwavable Therapy Mittens are a great option if you suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is because of the direct heat they provide to the joints when they are worn.
A mitt, as opposed to a glove, can also warm up the joints because the fingers are next to each other rather than separated, allowing more heat to pass between them. On the other hand, the mittens prevent you from doing any work. So this product is ideal for someone who experiences joint pain and stiffness in the morning and wants to wear it at night.
- Helps with multiple conditions
- Machine washable
- Backed by a money back guarantee
- May be small on some hands
6. Copper Compression Full Finger Arthritis Gloves with Touchscreen Tips
For some people, gloves that cover the entire finger tip to the tip can be a nuisance, especially in the summer. If you suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome or live in cold weather, full-cover gloves can be particularly beneficial. The symptoms can be worsened by cold weather.
It improves circulation throughout the fingers and hands, as well as reducing stiffness in the fingers and hands due to the added fabric enclosing the fingers.
The Copper Compression Full Finger Arthritis Gloves might not hinder someone from performing tasks, even though full-fingered gloves are often difficult to wear. You can text on your phone or use a tablet with these gloves because they have touchscreen fingertips.
- Keeps fingers warm
- Helpful for other types of finger pain
- Ribbing on fingertips rubs off quickly
7. Thermoskin Premium Arthritic Gloves
It has been proven time and time again that heat is a powerful tool for alleviating joint stiffness and pain. Heating pads and warm washcloths are easy ways to provide heat to aching joints, but they are not easy to use all day. With Thermoskin Premium Arthritic Gloves, you can keep your fingers warm all day and night without affecting your ability to do your job.
As well as providing heat, the gloves also provide soft compression, which reduces swelling and pain. Additionally, the gloves feature small rubber dots on the inside palm of the material. By doing so, people can easily grip household items.
- Works with your own body heat
- Grips on fingers
- Seams can rub
8. Brownmed Intellinetix Therapy Vibrating Arthritis Gloves
The use of vibrations as a therapeutic method could relieve arthritis symptoms more effectively than other approaches. While science has not yet caught up with the technology, it could be something new to try if other therapies fail to work. By wearing the gloves and pushing the button, vibrations can be activated. Vibrations can act like heat therapy by warming up your joints and reducing any stiffness and pain you may be experiencing.
It was reported in a 2018 study published in Pain Medicine that Intellinetix gloves helped women suffering from osteoarthritis reduce hand pain.3 Just over half (53.5%) of the participants said that they would use the gloves again in the future.
As these gloves are pricey, you might consider buying a cheaper pair that provides heat and compression therapy instead. These gloves may offer the same or even more benefits than vibrating gloves.
- Comes in three sizes
- Last 40 minutes when fully charged (via USB)
- Made with breathable cotton material
How We Selected the Best Arthritis Gloves
We consulted with rheumatologists and occupational therapists when selecting gloves for arthritis relief. After searching the web for hours, we found the best and most effective gloves. Our decision on which to feature was based on the key criteria recommended by the experts: comfort, coverage, material, and additional features.
As we narrowed down our options, we weighed their benefits against their price tags. While some choices may be more expensive, we wanted to offer a wide range of options that would fit all budgets and needs. We compiled this list of the best gloves for relieving arthritis symptoms based on all of these factors.
What to Look for in Arthritis Gloves
You should be able to put on gloves and forget you’re wearing them: That’s the true mark of comfort. What’s comfortable for one person may not necessarily be comfortable for another. You should make sure the gloves don’t pinch or dig into your skin when you’re wearing them. “I would be careful with compression gloves that also fit too tightly.
The fit of the glove can change from day to day depending on swelling in the hands and joints. Betty Hearne, OTHR, an occupational therapist in Massachusetts, said: “The glove that fit yesterday may not fit today.” Most people can feel it if the gloves are too tight. Their hands might feel cold and tingly. They might ache like a shoe that’s too small.
There are several coverage levels for gloves: full hand and wrist, finger-only, wrist-only, hands and fingers, and fingerless. Select a glove that supports the part of your hand that suffers from arthritis and addresses the type of arthritis you have. “For people with Raynaud’s Phenomenon, I prefer gloves with all fingers encased in one mitt that is heated,” Dr. Greer advises.
It is ultimately up to the individual to decide which coverage makes the most sense for their personal situation and symptoms. “For daytime use, I would like to have my fingertips free but my fingers covered,” Hearne says. “For nighttime use, I would like my hands covered.”
For instance, if you tend to run hot, you might want to choose a breathable fabric. But if your hands are always cold and cause you pain, a thermal option would be a better choice. Hearne says heavier gloves provide more warmth, but they make it harder to move your fingers. They are often worn at night. “Lightweight fabrics make gloves easier to put on and remove during the day, as they are easier on the hands.” Lightweight fabrics will also provide more flexibility in the glove.
According to Hearne, “Many garments have copper in them and claim to help arthritis. The copper is not proven to help, but it is a good glove and reasonably priced, so it is recommended.”
The selection of gloves should take into account allergies. “Be cautious, patients may have allergic reactions to gloves, particularly latex and rubber products,” Dr. Greer advises. If sweat builds up on your hands when wearing gloves, you should give them a break based on the breathable nature of the material. “You don’t want your hands completely encased 24 hours a day without allowing the glove to dry,” Dr. Greer says.
A variety of therapeutic features can be found on arthritis gloves to combat symptoms people may experience on a daily basis. Heated gloves are important to consider because they ease joint stiffness and pain. Dr. Greer says the heat in the gloves improves circulation and reduces stiffness in joints for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The heat will temporarily relieve joint stiffness, but, like other therapeutic methods, it will not reverse the disease. “It is a symptom reliever,” he says.
A compression feature also helps relieve symptoms associated with arthritis in the hands and fingers temporarily. Most of the patients I see have osteoarthritis-related pain and swelling in their joints, Hearne says. “The gloves can really help by providing some compression to the hands and joints, which will inhibit pain.”
There’s no scientific basis for features like copper gloves and vibration added to heat and compression therapy, Dr. Greer explains. These are all pseudoscience based, he says. These things won’t hurt you, they won’t cause damage, but the science behind them isn’t as robust as the science behind the drugs we use to treat those diseases.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long should I wear my compression gloves?
A glove’s efficacy and safety can be determined by its specific directions. Most are recommended for eight hours of wear. If you keep it on longer, you may experience side effects. A rheumatologist at Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine says that excessive compression can worsen poor circulation. “I would not recommend it if there is skin breakdown or poor blood flow, and if the pain worsens with use, I would recommend against using it.”
Aside from arthritis, there are additional conditions, especially those relating to circulation, that arthritis gloves don’t suit. In the case of circulation problems, Raynaud’s disease, in which blood vessels become constricted, or carpal tunnel syndrome, which can occur in people with diabetes, thyroid disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, a physician needs to be consulted before wearing gloves, says Magdalena Cadet, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and rheumatologist at NYU Langone.
Can you wear arthritis gloves to bed?
It is not only possible to wear arthritis gloves to bed, according to Alejandro Badia, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Florida, but it is also a good idea to wear them at night for two reasons. Initially, compression of joint swelling and shifts in lubricating joint fluid do not take place overnight. Most people sleep at least six hours per night, and continuous pressure is most effective during this time,” Badia tells Verywell Health. “There’s no better time than during sleep to do that consistently.”
The second reason, he explains, is that most swelling happens at night because of fluid retention due to cortisol secretion, as well as the fact that most joints are at the same level as the heart—positioned horizontally while we sleep. Badia says the gloves will prevent fluid from pooling in already painful joints.
How tight should arthritis gloves be?
Before finding the right pair, you may need to try out a few different ones. When one’s hands may fluctuate in size due to fluctuations in swelling, it can be difficult to find arthritis gloves that provide the right amount of support without the downsides of constriction.
The arthritis gloves should be tight enough to minimize joint swelling and edema, Badia says. “Too loose, they don’t work. Too tight, it’s hard for patients to adhere to the prolonged use they need,” he explains.
If worn for 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed, Leversedge recommends wearing gloves that support painful joints, are comfortable, and do not cause significant swelling of the fingertips. He warns that wearing fingerless gloves that are too tight might cause swelling beyond the fingers, beyond the tighter portions of the gloves.
We recommend the IMAK Arthritis Compression Gloves if you are looking for gloves that help alleviate a variety of arthritis symptoms while still allowing you to perform various tasks throughout the day. The Copper Compression Full Finger Gloves provide full coverage to your entire hand if you are looking for gloves that provide complete coverage. Your hand will be warm from the fingertips to the wrist without preventing you from using your smartphone.