Oven mitts are an essential product for every kitchen, and we wanted to find out which mitt on the market performs the best. After more than 35 hours of researching, handling, testing, and cleaning the best mitts on the market, we concluded that the HOMWE – Silicone Oven Mitt is our top choice. It offers more coverage of the wrist and forearm than any other mitt we tested, keeping you safe and worry-free when handling hot dishes. It also provides a secure grip for heavy items, and it’s flexible enough to manage small kitchen tools.
OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt is another a top contender, due to its long-lasting heat protection, easy-to-clean silicone shell, and textured gripping strips that ensure a good hold on heavy items.
[Update on August 2017: our top pick the RedLantana Oven Mitts has been discontinued, but luckily there is an almost exact replica of this item available on Amazon: the HOMWE. It looks as if it’s an incredibly close rebrand, and we have updated all of our product mentions and links from the RedLantana to the HOMWE silicone oven mitts.]
Our Pick: HOMWE Oven Mitts
HOMWE came out on top because of their superior combination of protection, flexibility, and user experience.
Table of contents
- How we found the best oven mitts
- Why you need a good oven mitt
- How can I use an oven mitt?
- Things to look for before buying
- How we tested our finalists
- The best oven mitt overall
- The best mitt for heat protection
- The most versatile mitt
- The best mitt for cooking with hot liquid
- The other mitts we tested
- Long term testing notes
- The bottom line
How we found the best oven mitts
First, we dove into researching the best oven mitts, combing through blogs, reviews, burn statistics, and magazine articles. We watched videos of testing techniques and developed a system for rating our top mitts using both qualitative and quantitative data.
Then, we spent three days in an increasingly hot kitchen testing our top eight oven mitts in a variety of scenarios designed to measure their heat resistance, usability, and ease of cleaning. We also analyzed their aesthetics, materials, and design features.
All told, we spent more than 35 hours reading about, analyzing, and testing our top products.
We read blog posts that discussed different mitt features and materials, watched video reviews of the top oven mitts on the market, and analyzed test results from a variety of cooking websites.
First and foremost, oven mitts should protect the skin from burns. But after researching the features of the best oven mitts, we found that consumers want a lot more from this simple kitchen tool.
We found that people look for the following features most often when shopping for an oven mitt:
- Heat protection
Once we finalized the metrics, we used them to shop for the best oven mitts and selected our top picks.
The eight best oven mitts
|Product Name||Material||Cleaning||Length (Inches)|
|Calphalon Oven Mitt||Silicone w/ Cotton||Machine||14|
|Mastrad||Silicone w/ Cotton||Liner Machine, Shell Hand||11|
|The Kitchen Haven||Silicone w/ Cotton||Hand||11.8|
|RedLantana||Silcone w/ Cotton||Hand||16|
|The Triumphant Chef||Silicone||Hand||11.5|
|Zbling Mitts||Silicone w/ Cotton||N/A||12.5|
|OXO Good Grips||Silicone||Machine||13|
Why you need a good oven mitt
Even if you only cook occasionally, an oven mitt is essential. Cast iron, aluminum, and Pyrex are used in cookware because they’re excellent conductors of heat. While this is great for your food, it’s dangerous for your hands.
In order to insulate and protect your hands from burns, an extra layer of protection is key. Some people resort to using a dish towel, but they’re often too thin, don’t offer enough grip, and can cause burns when heat transfers through a wet towel. They must be folded in a way that restricts the mobility of the hands, and the cloth will easily burn.
Traditional potholders — squares of thick or knitted fabric used for handling hot dishes — provide no protection for the back of hands, wrists, or forearms. These exposed parts of the arm can easily come into contact with the hot interior walls and racks of an oven.
While it’s true that you won’t see oven mitts in professional kitchens, this is largely because hands that cook for a living have acquired calloused, more tolerant skin. Unless you’re willing to earn those chef hands through countless burns, you’re much better off using an oven mitt.
Not only are burns unpleasant and painful, but they can also cause infections and require medical treatment. In fact, more than 40,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year from burns suffered by direct contact with a hot surface. The best way to ensure safety when handling hot items in the kitchen is with oven mitts.
How can I use an oven mitt?
Oven mitts are ergonomically designed so you can confidently reach into a broiling oven and grab hold of anything — regardless of shape, size, or weight — and be able to move it safely and easily. Today, oven mitts are made with synthetic materials, like silicone, Kevlar, and Nomex, to increase heat resistance and provide a stronger grip.
Oven mitts aren’t just single-use products. Aside from handling hot kitchenware, they can be used for the following:
- tending a campfire
- handling hot light bulbs
- protecting surfaces from hot dishes, like a trivet
Things to look for before buying
Cotton is an antiquated technology when it comes to oven mitts. None of the top eight mitts we tested relied on cotton alone to protect from heat.
Most of the best oven mitts use silicone, which can withstand temperatures in excess of 400 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period without burning or melting. Silicone also ensures a more secure grip with a hot surface and it won’t slide like cotton.
Other mitts, like the ‘Ove’ Glove, are made using high-tech synthetic materials like Kevlar and Nomex. Kevlar is an incredibly strong fiber, used to manufacture bulletproof vests. When it comes to oven mitts, it provides a lot of durability and security. Nomex is a heat and flame-resistant material that often serves as the foundation for firefighter apparel and auto racing track suits.
Size and Shape
For an oven mitt to be the most effective, it must enclose the entire hand and have a cuff that covers the wrist and the beginning of the forearm. Our top eight products offer this kind of protection.
Most products on the market are designed in the style of a mitten, keeping the four fingers separate from the thumb. By forcing the four fingers together, this style may provide a stronger, more secure handle for heavier loads.
However, there are five-fingered glove options as well. This glove style allows for more delicate maneuvers, like stirring a dish with a kitchen utensil while it remains inside the oven or manipulating hot food directly.
Because oven mitts are used so frequently, they often become a part of a kitchen’s decor. Many people choose to hang or display their oven mitts, which makes their design an important feature to consider. Many of the mitts we tested come equipped with a small loop for the purpose of hanging them.
Some mitts, like the Calphalon Textiles Twill Thumb Mitt, are available in a variety of colors and patterns and are designed to go on display in a kitchen. Others look more utilitarian, like the fully silicone mitts, which can appear rubbery and unattractive.
Price per mitt
While price is a factor in choosing an oven mitt, it shouldn’t be a limiting one. As we were selecting our top pick, we chose not to weigh price heavily. We decided to focus primarily on performance metrics because an oven mitt should last many years, and the ones we tested are similar in price.
If you’re comparing prices, it’s important to consider the cost per mitt. Oven mitts are packaged in singles and in pairs. Our top eight were evenly split, with four products sold as pairs and four sold solo.
Most oven mitts cost under $20 for a pack of one or two. Our top eight range from about $7 per mitt to $18 per mitt. Our top pick, the HOMWE Silicone Oven Mitts, come in a pack of two and fall on the lower end of the price per mitt range, at around $8.50 per mitt.
Many people can get by with just one, but we recommend owning two oven mitts to ensure a proper hold on heavy trays and dishes. We found that packs of two have the best value: a lower price per mitt and the extra support when you need it.
How we tested our finalists
Most of the time, an oven mitt will be used to remove a dish from a hot oven, but sometimes a greater range of motion is required. During the cooking process, we stir and mix contents, add new ingredients, measure temperature and rearrange racks — all with our hands in a hot oven.
We can also use oven mitts to assist us in handling hot surfaces like grills and household items like lightbulbs.
To test the flexibility and dexterity of our mitts, we used each one to pick up a tablespoon from a kitchen counter and then changed our grip of the spoon in a various ways. We rolled and rotated the spoon, grabbing different parts of the handle and maneuvering it as one might do when stirring or scooping food in the oven or over a hot stove.
The 'Ove' Glove
Peforms not just in the kitchen but around the grill and campfire as well.
The only product we tested that separated all five fingers was The ‘Ove’ Glove, and it easily performed best. We were able to freely and quickly manipulate the spoon in our covered hand. The ‘Ove’ Glove also allows you to wrap your fingers around the handles of a dish or pot, which can make for a more secure grip on certain kinds of cookware.
Many of the silicone mitts offer a similar experience in terms of flexibility. The Calphalon Textiles Twill Thumb Mitt and ZBling Mitts, because they have thicker cotton insulation, are bulkier and harder to maneuver. We could lift the spoon off the counter, but we couldn’t do much with it. The Triumphant Chef mitts and the Kitchen Haven mitts provided more dexterity and allowed for manipulation of the spoon.
The OXO Good Grips mitt was much more difficult to use in this test because of the gripping strips that run across both sides of the mitts and wrap around the palm to cover the thumb. While they’re great for securely holding larger objects, they make it difficult to change your grip or perform other actions with smaller items in hand.
Likewise, the design of the Mastrad mitt, which forces the thumb under the four fingers instead of to the side, resulted in a limited range of motion and control over the spoon.
Since oven mitts often end up on display in the kitchen and must be cleaned frequently to avoid spreading germs, it is important that they be easily and effectively washed.
In general, silicone is a great repellent of liquid. Simply wiping down or rinsing the silicone shell of many of the mitts was sufficient to keep them looking sharp. If a mitt has any fabric components, including the wrist cuff area and the interior lining, it can be much more prone to attracting grime, grease, and food stains.
To measure how our mitts stood up to common kitchen spills, we stained each mitt with a quarter-sized drop of two common kitchen condiments: hot sauce and soy sauce. If the mitt’s shell material was silicone, we stained the cotton liner in order to equally compare products.
We allowed the stains to set for two hours and then followed the recommended cleaning instructions for each product.
Some oven mitts — like the Calphalon, the OXO Good Grips, and The ‘Ove’ Glove — are completely machine washable. While tossing them in the laundry is easy, the spots of each condiment were still obvious after two washing cycles. The soy sauce stain faded more than the hot sauce, but both were still clearly visible on the light-colored cotton sections of the mitts.
The Mastrad mitt recommends separating the outer silicone shell from the cotton liner to wash. Both condiments wiped off very easily from the stain-repellant shell, and we added the machine-washable liner to the laundry load with the other mitts. After cleaning both components of the Mastrad, the liner and shell came out looking like new.
The ‘Ove’ Glove, made with Dupont’s high-tech flame resistant fabrics, proved the most difficult to clean. It’s the only white glove in the top eight, and its exterior stains remain visible.
Care instructions for the other mitts — the HOMWE, The Triumphant Chef, and the Kitchen Haven — recommend hand-washing with warm water and soap. These gloves cleaned up much better, and the condiment stains disappeared with one wash. In particular, The Triumphant Chef required the least amount of effort to remove the stains.
While the ZBling Mitts lacked cleaning instructions, we decided to be safe and hand-wash them. The condiments left a faint stain on the cotton part near the wrist.
The Triumphant Chef, Kitchen Haven, and Mastrad have no exterior fabric — just water-repellent silicone — so we performed our cleaning test on the interior lining. Because these gloves have less stainable surface area, they’re more likely to look better longer.
We learned a lot about our mitts by testing their flexibility and how well they cleaned up, but nothing is more important than the protection they provide against heat. To measure their insulation capability, we placed the same ceramic casserole dish in the same oven set at 450 degrees.
After 15 minutes of baking, we used each oven mitt to pull the dish and its glass lid out of the oven. We gripped the dish the same way with each mitt, with fingers holding the bottom and thumbs keeping the glass lid in place.
We held the dish and timed how long it took for the initial feeling of heat to come through the mitt to the skin. Our results established three tiers of protection among the top eight.
The top performers protected our hands from the heat for upwards of 50 seconds. The OXO Good Grips — with its thick cotton insulation, silicone construction, and added textured strips — exceeded all other mitts, at 59 seconds. The Triumphant Chef and ZBling, both very similar in design with a quilted cotton liner and solid silicone covering the hand, also provided excellent protection.
The ‘Ove’ Glove and Calphalon fell in the bottom tier, due to their absence of total silicone coverage. The Calphalon, which is protected by thin strips of silicone over thick cotton, afforded the shortest protection time, at 18 seconds until with heat penetrated the mitt. The ‘Ove’ Glove, with its proprietary combination on Nomex and Kevlar, also failed early.
The best oven mitt overall
The HOMWE Silicone Oven Mitts are our top pick. They provide the best combination of protection, flexibility, and user experience.
We felt that the HOMWE’s design brings it to the top of the pack. The extra long fabric cuff, which extends the mitt nearly to the elbow, provides a much more functional level of protection. From the opening to the fingertip, the HOMWE measures 15 inches, a full two inches longer than any other product we tested.
HOMWE features a secure grip and superior forearm and wrist coverage in addition to impressive flexibility.
While it didn’t rank first for protecting against a hot dish, it was one of the easiest mitts to manipulate while wearing. Our fingers didn’t feel trapped or inhibited as we performed common kitchen tasks with the mitts, and it grips onto heavy dishes effortlessly. Even small utensils, like the tablespoon we used in the dexterity test, were easily picked up and maneuvered.
The silicone construction of the mitt is very easy to clean, and the interior cotton lining is comfortable and insulating. Its wavy, red silicone and black cotton design looks sleek, and it comes with a loop to hang it. At $16.95 for a pack of two, it’s an excellent value.
For any task that might bring your hands in contact with hot surfaces, the HOMWE is the best option.
- The HOMWE provides solid surface coverage of the hand, wrist, and forearm, and it protects more skin than any other mitt.
- It’s equipped with a strong silicone gripping texture, that’s flexible enough to handle small kitchen tools and accommodate detailed kitchen tasks.
- Priced just under $8.50 per mitt, it’s a great value without compromising quality.
The best mitt for heat protection
One of our other favorite oven mitts is the OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt. It proved itself as an extremely effective product that would be a substantial addition to any kitchen.
The mitt from OXO Good Grips provided the longest protection against sustained contact with a hot object straight out of the oven. At 59 seconds until heat traveled through the mitt to the skin, it clearly established itself as being a stronger, thicker option than the other finalists.
OXO Good Grips
If your kitchen experience requires prolonged and intense exposure to heat, OXO is a great choice.
The textured silicone strips that cover the mitt provide such a secure hold that it’s nearly impossible to drop something once they’ve latched onto it. This provides great confidence when grabbing the heaviest and largest dishes from the hottest ovens.
While the strong silicone has its benefits, it makes adjusting your grip on a dish or picking up a small kitchen utensil more challenging. In our dexterity test, it was the stiffest product in our top eight and the most difficult to maneuver.
In our cleaning test, the tough fabric prevented stains better than the other mitts, and the rubber ring attached to the cuff makes display easy and attractive.
At $14.99 per mitt, the 13-inch OXO Good Grips is one of the most expensive products we tested, but it’s a clear example of getting what you pay for.
- The OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt provides heat protection longer than any other oven mitt in our top eight.
- Its unique gripping strips ensure a strong, secure hold on any hot item.
- The silicone shell stays clean and looks sharp.
The most versatile mitt
We liked the five-finger dexterity of The ‘Ove’ Glove. It’s the only product in our top eight that can easily perform any action — not just in the kitchen but around the grill and campfire as well. However, it’s also the smallest and thinnest mitt, barely covering the wrist, and it lasted just 26 seconds of holding the hot dish in our heat test.
The best mitt for cooking with hot liquid
The Mastrad was a strong contender because of its unique waterproof outer shell that allows you to grab items like eggs or potatoes directly out of boiling water. It also sports gripping strips similar to the OXO Good Grips for added security. But its design forces the thumb under the other four fingers, instead of to the side, and makes even simple adjustments to grip more challenging that the other brands.
The other mitts we tested
The Calphalon Textiles Twill Thumb Mitt is available in 13 different colors and has a simple design with less silicone than the other brands. But because it has thin silicon strips over a cotton mitt, it came in last in the heat protection test. It also felt too bulky to perform many tasks around the kitchen.
The ZBling Mitts, Kitchen Haven Silicone Quilted, and The Triumphant Chef Silicone Oven Mitts look and perform similarly. They are great examples of the new standard of oven mitts, using a combination of solid silicone on the outside to cover a quilted cotton interior. However, nothing in terms of features or functionality separates them from the pack or from each other.
Long term testing notes
We originally published this post in June of 2016. Six months later, we’re still as excited as ever with the HOMWE. It’s durable, isn’t showing any wear from heat exposure, and still retains the same positive impression it gave us when first using it.
It’s most noticeable how great the HOMWE is when we switch to other mitts still hanging around our kitchen. When one, poorly performing mitt causes us to burn our palm from the heat, the HOMWE transfers almost none, emphasizing the gap difference between the HOMWE and mediocre mitts in the same class.
The bottom line
The best way to guard against burns from hot surfaces is by using an oven mitt, and the best mitts on the market come from HOMWE.
The HOMWE provides great protection from heat, using high-quality silicone construction and an extended fabric sleeve that covers more of the arm than any other product we tested.
It withstands temperatures up to 460 degrees and does so for longer than average oven mitts. It cleans up easily and is priced well below other oven mitts that fail to offer the same level of protection.
We also recommend the OXO Good Grips for its uniquely strong gripping strips and long-lasting resistance to high temperatures. It outlasted all the other products in our heat test and offers a premium user experience.
Other mitts may be better for specific functions, like the five-fingered ‘Ove’ Glove for dexterity or the Mastrad for removing food from boiling water, but for overall, everyday protection the RedLantana Silicone Oven Mitts are our pick for best overall mitts.