Every home chef has, at some point, grabbed a hot pot with their hands by mistake. This is why most professional cooks use towels, mitts, or specially insulated holders. Finding the best oven mitts and pot holders for your kitchen will seem like an easy choice at first. However, you will be surprised by how many different variations there are on the market. From the materials from which they’re made to the heat insulation, stitching, and comfort, there are enough mitts and pot holders to make your head spin!
Below, I’ve ranked all of my favorite models for this year based on a few of their most important characteristics. Moreover, I’ve discussed their pros and cons and have compared them to one another.
Best Overall – Cuisinart Silicone Oven Mitts
The Cuisinart Silicone Oven Mitts is one of the more expensive models on this list but are also one of the best-made ones. They feature a polyester shell on the outside and an inner cotton lining. The outside polyester acts as protection for the cotton lining which, in turn, makes the mitts super comfortable to wear. Both these materials insulate your hands well but the extra silicone pad at the front is what makes them truly great. That non-slip ribbed grip silicone pad makes the gloves heat resistant up to 500 degrees and greatly prolongs the time in which you can hold hot things in the kitchen.
The mitts are fairly long, although I would’ve liked for them to have a bit more on the wrists for extra protection. Still, they aren’t very thick, meaning you won’t lose a ton of feel with them. Additionally, they come in 4 amazing colors, giving you the option to color match them with the rest of your kitchen!
One of the main disadvantages of these oven mitts is that they aren’t machine washable. The manufacturer recommends hand-washing them and laying them flat to let them dry. Thanks to the polyester and silicone structure, they won’t need long before they are completely dry. As a whole, the overall quality of these mitts combined with the practicality and the level of heat protection makes them a solid choice who wants to have their money well-spent.
- Great design
- Durable build quality
- Silicone pads for additional heat resistance
- Up to 500 degrees (F) protection
- Very soft and comfortable
- Come in 4 color options
- A bit expensive
- Not machine-washable
Best Pot Holder – OXO Good Grips Silicone Pot Holder
While most oven mitts come in sets with pot holders, there are people out there simply looking for a good single holder that will help them do their job in the kitchen. And the market has really embraced this by offering well-made pot holders that are of superb quality and are sold separately. The OXO Good Grips Silicone Pot Holder is one prime example of that. On one side, it has a non-slip silicone pattern that is designed for an improved grip. On the other side, you have a pocket that lets you put your hand in so that the holder doesn’t come off your hand in the most crucial moment.
The pocket is lined with a soft cotton fabric that further insulates your hand and makes it even easier to grip. The silicone is heat-safe and resistant to staining, flame, and steam, among others. The whole pot holder is also super easy to wash and doesn’t stain or retain scents easily.
This pot holder also comes in 6 other color combinations – Eggplant, Grey, Navy, Sage, Teal, and Burgundy. You can also get it with an Oven Mitt that has much of the same thermal and comfort features, although the price of the set isn’t cheap at all. As a whole, if you’re looking for an individual quality pot holder only, this one should be right at the top of your shortlist. It is stylish, very practical, and will protect your hands quite well.
- Steam and heat resistant
- Very soft and comfortable
- Large enough for most hands
- Comes in 6 colors
- Great grip
- Has a hanging loop
- Expensive for a single pot holder
- The silicone pad isn’t very soft
- Can be too big for small hands
Best Silicone Oven Mitts – Homwe Professional Silicone Oven Mitts
The Homwe Professional Silicone Oven Mitts are one of the finest options if you’re looking for a well-crafted cotton glove with a huge silicone grabbing surface. The silicone not only further protects your hand from the flame and heat but is also entirely water-resistant. It is also textured, making it easier to grip pots and pans with it. That water resistance also translates well into steam resistance if you’re dealing with hot steam in the kitchen.
The gloves are treated with a flame retardant on the outside that not only adds to the heat resistance but also makes them quite resistant to open flames such as the one on gas stoves. The gloves also offer a lengthy design at 13.7-inches which protects your hands and wrists from burns much better than some shorter models out there. Lastly, cleaning-wise, these gloves are incredibly easy to maintain. They are machine washable and are stain-resistant. The cuffs tend to absorb scents a bit but that’s not a huge issue, especially when you compare them to some polyester/cotton models.
One of the things I really like about those mitts is that they come in a huge variety of style options. You can get them in the whopping 14 different color options which are, by far, the most out of any other oven mitt on this list. It lets you choose the style that fits both you and your kitchen the most! As a whole, at a regular price, these gloves aren’t particularly attractive as there are cheaper models with similar practicality out there. However, they are often discounted and are, then, an insane deal and have little to no competition when it comes to their build quality and thermal protection.
- Long design protects wrists
- Very comfortable
- Heat, steam, flame, and water-resistant
- Silicone layer
- Machine washable
- Don’t absorb liquids
- A bit big for people with small hands
- A bit thick
Best Set – Rorecay Extra Long Oven Mitts and Pot Holders Set
If you want to get a set of oven mitts and pot holders that will be a great value for your money and will have everything you need, then the Rorecay Oven Set is one of your best options currently. It is comprised of a set of oven mitts, two trivets, and two mini punch mitts. All of these are covered in a textured silicone surface that will prevent slipping and will make them even more heat-resistant.
One of the highlights of this set, and also the reason for its slightly higher price, is the fact that all the materials here are premium and well-put-together. The silicone is extra thick compared to other mitts on the market and is also BPA-free. It has a honeycomb pattern design that works great on all sorts of slippery surfaces. The cotton lining is organic, unlike other manufacturers that use recycled cotton. Not only will that premium cotton be more comfortable but also more breathable and resistant to heat. All those layers and the bigger thickness, however, don’t help with sensitivity and make the gloves quite bulky, especially if you have big hands.
The exterior grey color is stain-resistant and features a breathable lining that finishes with the silicone layer at the top of the mitts. They are also quite long, measuring 15-inches, and have an easy-entry design that allows you to slide them in and out of your hands easily. Also, unlike some other cheaper sets, this one is entirely dishwasher-safe and can be cleaned easily with the rest of your laundry. The set also comes in three colors – red, grey, and black, each containing the same elements. All in all, in this price range, there aren’t a lot of options that feature this level of quality and have that many different amazing features that make the whole set feel worth its price tag.
- Excellent price-to-value ratio
- Comes in three colors
- Thick silicone layer
- Machine washable
- You also get mini pinch mitts
- Heat, water, steam, and flame-resistant
- The pinch mitts are hard to hold if you have big hands
- Don’t perform well at temperatures higher than 450-500 degrees
Most Comfortable – Big Red House Oven Mitts
High-quality premium mitts are hard to come by these days and they usually cost you an arm and a leg, especially when compared to the tons of budget mitts that have flooded the market. Still, the Big Red House Oven Mitts are incredibly potent inside and outside and will keep your hands both comfortable and well-protected from heat sources.
These mitts are made out of a recycled cotton infill that is wrapped in a durable cotton shell. On the inside is made out of terrycloth lining, which is quite rare for cooking gloves these days. Not only will that lining keep your hands comfortable and dry but it also has surprisingly good thermal capabilities. Overall, the gloves can insulate well enough up to 480 degrees (Fahrenheit). Unfortunately, they aren’t water-resistant and don’t do well with stains and scents. They do clean rather easily, though, and can also be put in the washing machine.
While these mitts lack a full silicone layer, they do have silicone strips that do a good job at improving your grip. Style-wise, they do come in 6 color options and they are also great for people with larger hands, although they might feel a bit bulky if your hands are small.
You can also get this set of oven mitts with a pot holder which features the same great material quality and comfort, as well as a unique big design that allows you to grab onto larger things. Unfortunately, the set is priced a bit too high than most of its competition, making it a worse value for your money than just these two mitts with an additional pot holder. The length also isn’t quite there at 12 inches, as some premium models have it at 15-16 which is far better for wrist protection. Still, if you’re looking for a premium and super comfortable set of mitts, this has got to be it!
- Premium materials
- Great build quality
- Insulate up to 480 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- 6 color options
- Machine washable
- Terrycloth lining
- Not water-resistant
- Not stain- and scent-resistant
- No full silicone layer
Best for Large Hands – Koroda Oven Mitts and Pot Holders Set
People with large hands often need oven mitts that are slightly wider and longer and also not as bulky as other gloves. Thanks to their patented lining, the Koroda Oven Mitt set is capable of reducing the thickness of their mitts and pot holders without sacrificing thermal resistance. Not only they aren’t sacrificing any thermal resistance but they are, in fact, one of the most heat-resistant gloves on this list. They are rated to be able to protect against temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to that koroda lining. That doesn’t compromise the softness and flexibility of the mitt itself, which is achieved thanks to the organic cotton infill.
While the mitts lack an external silicone layer, they do have BPA-free silicone lining around their grabbing surface. The hot pads also have those silicone lines on one of their sides. On the other, they have a pocket that lets you slide your hand in. These won’t insulate as good as the mitts against hot items but are good enough for a quick grab. The mitts themselves offer 13 inches of length which is good enough to protect most people’s wrists against scolding or burns.
In this set, you get 2 oven mitts, 2 pot holders, and 2 kitchen towels, all with a great matching design. However, you don’t have any color options to choose from, which is a downside, especially considering most of the competitors let you choose between multiple style options. All the items in this set have hanging loops and are machine washable which is a good advantage to have since they do stain relatively easily. In conclusion, this set is perfect for its price and offers you all that you need to keep your hands protected.
- Excellent price
- Protects the wrists
- The set also includes 2 towels
- Heat-resistant up to 550 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- Very soft and comfortable
- Fairly durable
- They stain easily
- No full silicone layer
- Bulky for people with small hands
Best for Small Hands – OkindoLife Mini Oven Mitts
Contrary to the previous model, certain people want oven mitts that aren’t going to feel bulky on the hand. That’s why half oven gloves (or mini pinch mitts) exist. The OkindoLife Mini Oven Mitts is the perfect set for people with small hands and is a premium choice both inside and out for a surprisingly affordable price.
On the inside, these mitts offer a cotton lining that is very comfortable and has decent thermal insulation. To help with that same heat resistance, the exterior of the mitts has a silicone layer. The silicone features a non-slip pattern that easily lets you handle slippery things. One of the main features of these mitts is that they are small and short. Granted, they won’t protect your wrists as some other 13-15 inches long mitts but are going to fit perfectly to people with either small or larger hands. A few convenience features are the hanging loops and the fact that these mitts are machine-washable. They can even be put in the dishwasher and will be perfectly fine after that. If there is any type of staining or scents embedded into the lining, you can turn it inside out to clean it better.
The gloves come in four different color options, including red, grey, light blue, and black. They are also priced quite competitively, especially if you put them side to side with a real-sized oven mitt. As a whole, they are perfect for people with small hands or people that want something minimal that will get the job done without burning a hole through their pocket.
- Perfect for people with small hands
- Very comfortable lining
- Silicone outer layer
- 4 color options
- Machine washable
- Do not protect wrists
- Not great for scolding
Best With Fingers – Geekhom Grilling Gloves
Fingered gloves aren’t common in the kitchen. Rather, they are used for grilling and BBQs. Still, the Geekhom Gloves are one of your best options if you are tired of using oven mitts and want something with far more flexibility and practicality. Not only do these gloves give you an all-in-one type of performance, but they are also decently resistant to heat and are quite comfortable and easy to clean.
The gloves themselves have a two-layer design. On the outside, you have a fully contoured silicone layer that has excellent anti-slip properties. This textured surface also makes the gloves incredibly grippy for pots and pans too. The silicone itself is non-toxic and BPA-free. Also, it doesn’t accumulate scents or stains over time. The inside of the glove has a cotton lining made out of breathable fibers that are both flexible and soft to the touch. This additional cotton layer also improves thermal resistance, making the gloves heat-resistant up to 450 degrees. The gloves are also waterproof and will protect against boiling water thanks to their longer cuffs.
When it comes to washing these gloves, they are machine washable. Moreover, they can be put in the dishwasher and be washed with the rest of your kitchenware. The brand also offers a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, making them easy to try out for people that aren’t sure whether this will be a good fit for them. Speaking of fit, there are no size options available and they are notoriously tight for people with larger hands. However, you do have 5 color options to choose from. As a whole, the price is great, the level of durability and insulation isn’t bad either, so these gloves offer good well-rounded performance and have a decent value.
- Good value for the money
- All-in-one performance
- Great for cooking all types of foods
- BPA-free silicone
- Can be washed in the dishwasher
- Wrist protection
- Not great for people with large hands
- No size options
- The lining doesn’t tolerate water well
Best Budget – WinChange Oven Mitts and Potholders
Budget sets are hard to come by these days, especially ones that are actually worth trying. Being last and maybe least, The WinChange Oven Mitts and potholders offer a decent alternative between a low price tag and decent practicality. However, they do lack in certain departments such as build quality and heat-resistance. Out of all their low-priced competitors, however, they do stand out by being the ones that are made the best, especially if you have small hands.
The way these mitts are built is just what you’d expect from a model that just has to check all the boxes. They are adequately sized for people with small hands but if you put them side to side with a premium oven mitt, there will be a difference of more than 5 inches in length. This means that these mitts won’t protect your wrists well. Additionally, the cotton shell with cotton fill is quite thick but it still fails to protect your hands at temperatures that exceed 400 degrees (Fahrenheit).
One of the best things about this set is that it comes in a wide range of interesting colors and patterns. You can choose between more than 10 different style options, making them quite diverse and interesting for people that want to bring color into their kitchen. The gloves and potholders also come with a hanging loop, further adding to their practicality. In summary, this is the perfect set if you are on a tight budget and want something that will keep your hands safe and will do a good enough job in the kitchen.
- Cheap price
- Hanging loops
- Come in tons of colors and patterns
- Breathable and soft lining
- Great for people with small hands
- Only rated safe up to 392 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- The build quality isn’t stellar
- Not good for large hands
- No silicone layer for extra protection
Oven Mitts and Pot Holders Buyer’s Guide
Now that we’re done going over the top models for 2021, let’s do a deep dive into all of the important features that oven mitts or pot holders might possess in order to make them truly stand out. Before we get into those features, however, let’s discuss the various types of oven mitts out there and see which one might be best suited for your kitchen habits…
Types of Oven Mitts
Based on the materials of which the mitt is made, you can have the following variations:
- Silicone oven mitts
- Cotton oven mitts
- Polyester/cotton blends
- Neoprene mitts
- Synthetic rubber mitts
- Mitts with aramid fibers
One thing to note here is that all of these gloves will do a fairly good job at protecting you from the sudden change of temperature when you grab something hot. However, the main difference between each of those materials is for how long they can keep your hand protected. Let’s dive deeper into each material now and see what are its specific pros and cons.
Silicone oven mitts
Maybe one of the most common materials used in thermal protection gear is silicone. The reason for that is because it can withstand relatively high temperatures without transferring them to your hand. Moreover, silicone is lightweight, somewhat cheap to manufacture, and very comfortable on the hands. More expensive silicone models can have another layer or lining that goes either inside or outside the original silicone mold. This will further increase the protection and will arguably make the glove even more comfortable.
Silicone, like rubber, also has another advantage up its sleeve – it is very grippy. It won’t slip if you’re dealing with a greasy situation. Moreover, it also doesn’t absorb liquids so it’s safe for your hand even if you accidentally pour hot water over it. These gloves are also very easy to clean and some are even dishwasher-safe, which is a huge advantage over the other variations.
Cotton oven mitts
Cotton mitts are some of the most comfortable ones out there. They are soft and often very nice to the touch. For cooks with sensitive and delicate hands, these are a must-have. Another benefit to cotton mitts and pot handles is that they are cheap and have tons of available styles. Some more expensive models, however, take advantage of other materials for their outer surface. The reason for that is because cotton itself is terrible at heat dissipation, meaning it won’t do a great job at protecting your hands from getting burned. To achieve any type of insulation, manufacturers make super thick gloves that often deprive you of almost all sensations of your hand and you start feeling rather clumsy in the kitchen. Cotton gloves with lower profiles almost always have a rubber or silicone layer on their grabbing surface.
As I already mentioned, cotton mittens are often mixed with other materials to improve their qualities a bit. For instance, polyurethane lining in a cotton glove will not only add durability but will also make the glove tear-resistant and more heat-resistant. This is why more manufacturers prefer making cotton blends with different types of synthetic materials. This typically doesn’t bring the cost up as much and improves the features of the glove significantly.
Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber that is used in all sorts of applications throughout a ton of industries. In the kitchen, it isn’t a common sight to see a neoprene glove but more and more companies start using this material for their kitchen mitts. It is an incredibly tough material that is tear- and cut-resistant in most cases, especially if it is mixed with aramid fibers. Neoprene is also fairly breathable and super comfortable. It has a decent stretch to it so it makes for a good fit on most hands.
Synthetic rubber mitts
As we discussed, synthetic materials are quickly becoming prevalent in the world of kitchen apparel. From polyurethane to polyester, these materials check all the boxes for an oven mitt. Well, almost all boxes. One of their major disadvantages is that they aren’t very breathable so they tend to make your hands sweat rather fast, especially if you grab onto hot surfaces with them all the time. However, synthetic gloves are cheap, lightweight, very easy to clean, and don’t hold onto stains and scents easily.
Now, mix that with an additional layer of rubber and you have the perfect kitchen mitt. It will have all of the above-mentioned qualities and will be great at insulating your hand from hot surfaces.
Mitts with aramid fibers
Last but definitely not least are the oven mitts which are mixed with different types of reinforced fibers. Aramid fibers such as Kevlar, Nomex, or others, have incredible properties when it comes to cut resistance and tear resistance. They are practically indestructible by kitchen knives and other sharp surfaces. Moreover, they don’t have to be very thick or bulky in order to insulate from heat well. Still, most manufacturers mix them with silicone or rubber pads. This achieves the ultimate combination of durability and heat insulation. Unfortunately, these types of gloves are also the most expensive out there and can easily cost 5-10 times as much as the others on this list, making them a less-than-ideal option for people on a tighter budget.
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While simple at first glance, most oven mitts and pot holders are lined with special types of materials and have all sorts of additional features that contribute to their practicality. Some of the most important aspects you need to be looking at when cross-shopping are:
- Additional features
- Price & Warranty
As you might’ve already seen, the material from which the oven mitt is made is rather important. In fact, it might very well be its most important characteristic. From cotton to polyester, through Kevlar and silicone, there is no right choice when it comes to heat insulation. Almost all models on the market currently will insulate your hands well for a quick grab. However, the more expensive gloves are the ones that are typically less bulky, much more comfortable, and far more durable. Moreover, they will allow you to not only grab a hot surface for a moment but also to hold it.
With materials, it almost always boils down to your budget. Cheaper gloves are predominantly made out of synthetic materials with a cotton layer and maybe a rubberized grabbing surface. More expensive models are either a mix of cotton and silicone or have aramid fibers and other reinforced insulating layers.
While the overall dimensions of the mitt and pot holder are important, nothing is more important than the thickness of the padding, especially if you’re dealing with unprotected cotton mitts. These will have to be quite thick in order to provide the same heat insulation as a slimmer silicone or aramid glove.
Unfortunately, thickness comes with one major disadvantage – it limits your hand’s sensitivity and finger movements. Mits are notorious for not being very precise and having a thicker mitt is going to make this even worse. This is why some silicone gloves offer fingered designs to improve your grip and feel.
How comfortable an oven mitt is is, without a doubt, subjective. Still, certain factors do contribute to the overall convenience and comfort of any model. For instance, having wrist guards/cuffs on your mitt is amazing since it will protect your hand from burns and steam scalds that happen further up on the arm. Most budget gloves are often short and do not cover as much area. Another factor is the inside lining. Cotton-lined gloves are very soft and feel amazing no matter the conditions in which you are cooking.
There are a few things that are worth demanding from your oven mitts and pot holders. In terms of the mitt, an absolute must of an additional feature is for it to be machine washable. Washing these by hard is hard since they accumulate lots of scents and stains from the kitchen. Some silicone and rubber models (as well as models with aramid fibers) are even dishwasher-safe which makes them extremely easy to clean and maintain. Cotton mitts are notoriously hard to clean and absorb a ton of scents, making them smell bad in just a few cooking sessions.
Look for mitts that have textured grips as that will improve how they handle slippery surfaces. As I already mentioned, extra-long cuffs are going to protect your wrists better. Lastly, look for gloves that are also rated to be steam-resistant. Some models that have a high-temperature insulation rating aren’t steam-resistant and can scold your arm if you aren’t very careful.
How durable an oven mitt is primarily depends on its build quality and materials. As we discussed, some materials are leaps and bounds ahead of others in this department. For instance, Kevlar gloves or neoprene gloves with aramid fibers are far more superior to basic cotton gloves with a rubberized grabbing surface. Silicone mitts are also surprisingly durable and last a while before they start showing signs of wear and tear.
Another commonly overlooked aspect of both oven mitts and pot holders is their stitching. Reinforced stitches are a must if you’re looking for a premium set that will last you a long while. If you are planning on washing the mitts and holders in a washing machine, the stitching is one of the weakest links and often starts breaking. Ultimately, this leads to the mitt being unusable and can even be dangerous if the damaged stitches open a hole through which you get burned or scolded by steam.
Since these mitts and holders will be in direct contact with heated-up surfaces that most likely have food stains on them, chances are that they will absorb a lot of scents over time. Silicone mitts are relatively resistant to staining and are even more resistant to absorbing unpleasant scents. Cotton mitts and holders, on the other hand, are prone to both of those things big time. Newer models are almost all universally dishwasher-safe, although for some rubber, silicone, or neoprene models you won’t have to put them in the washing machine. Rather, a quick rinse will remove most of what you’re worried about. Furthermore, some silicone and rubber models are even rated to be dishwasher-safe.
If you aren’t sure whether your oven mitts and pot holders are safe to wash in a machine or not, I would advise handwashing them. That is always the safest approach and you won’t risk damaging their materials or discolor them. On the topic of discoloring, avoid using harsh detergents, as that might make them look pale over time.
Perhaps the biggest difference between all oven mitts on the market is their style. From quilted gloves to ones that pretty much look armored, mitts and pot holders can come in all shades of the color spectrum. While this feature is fairly subjective, it will never hurt color-matching your mitt/holder set to the rest of your kitchen. Having it contrast the kitchen is also a good way to always know exactly where you put your mitts (red on black/grey). You get additional style points if you match the mitts to your chef apparel!
Price & Warranty
In terms of the price, most mitts come in sets to reduce your overall costs. These sets rarely exceed 20-30 dollars, although some premium models might push into the 50-100 dollar category. Buying single mitts is a good choice if you find a great deal and you want a special pot holder set bought separately. Warranty-wise, most mitts come with a limited 1-2 year warranty that covers any defects in the fabric or anything else that could’ve been wrong from the get-go (manufacturer issues).
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are silicone oven mitts better?
Typically, fabric gloves have some sort of heat-resistant lining that helps them insulate heat better. However, silicone by itself is heat resistant up to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a cheaper and better option than most basic fabric kitchen gloves.
Why do chefs use towels instead of pot holders?
There are a few good and maybe that many more bad reasons for using a towel in a kitchen, especially if it’s replacing a pot holder. While they can catch fire much more easily and rapidly, professional chefs tend to be quite aware of their kitchen surroundings and can use the towel any time they need it. In most cases, that towel is tucked in their apron and can be used any time they need it, unlike pot holders which typically have a set location in the kitchen.
What kind of towels do chefs use?
When it comes to kitchen towels, professional chefs use tightly woven models that are designed for heavy use in the kitchen. Not only are those types of towels way more durable but they are also lint-free. Towels that are loosely woven tend to shed all over the place after a few wash cycles, making them unsuitable for professional cooking.
Is it okay to wash your oven mitts and pot holders with bath towels?
It is generally okay to wash all types of kitchen towels and mitts along with the other towels from the household. However, in order to kill all the germs and remove any stains and residue, you have to use higher-temperature programs. Also, make sure you use plenty of detergents and a softener if you don’t want to lose your towel’s absorption ability.
Finding the best oven mitts and pot holders on today’s market will be a challenging task and will require a lot of cross-shopping. The main differentiating factor between most models is the material from which they’re made. Look at gloves with silicone or rubber surfaces as those tend to insulate the best. If you want to spend a few extra bucks, look for mitts that have some sort of aramid fibers (like Kevlar) stitched into them. These will be superior both in terms of heat resistance and in terms of long-term durability!