Wearing a hat and garden gloves is second nature to most gardeners.
But what about gardening sleeves to protect your arms?
I have worn protective sleeves when I garden, golf, play tennis, or spend time in the sun since the 90’s.
I was living in Florida when my doctor sent me to a dermatologist. He removed several Dysplastic Nevus  from my forearms and told me I was lucky they were found in time.
For me, wearing sleeves is second nature as they protect me from
- Harmful UV rays
- Bites from mosquitoes or worse.
So yes, if you spend time in the sun in short sleeves, buy a pair of protection sleeves to keep you safe and comfortable.
Our skin loses some of its resilience to cuts as we age, and bruises form at the lightest of bumps. Arm sleeves protect your skin when you need it.
And no, they are not warm or uncomfortable. Quality sleeves are like a second layer of skin. You will not feel that you are wearing them.
My Pick: Best Overall Gardening Sleeves
Wearing sleeves is a no-brainer and protects against sunburn, UV radiation, scratches, cuts and insect bites.
And these sleeves from Farmer’s Defense tick all the boxes.
– UPF 50+ protection
– Scratch Resistant
– Anti-slide ensures a good fit
– Made from recycled materials
– Bold patterns may not suit everyone
Read my full review here: The Best Gardening Sleeves For Protection, Comfort & Safety
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- What Are Gardening Sleeves?
- Why Gardening Sleeves Are a Gardener's Best Friend
- How To Choose Gardening Sleeves
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Gardening Sleeves?
Gardening sleeves, also known as sleeves or gardening sleeve protectors, are designed to protect your arms when you garden.
Sleeves are made from various materials, including polyester and spandex, for durability and comfort.
Why Gardening Sleeves Are a Gardener’s Best Friend
Gardening is a fantastic hobby but can be tough on the skin. And especially on your arms when you prune, weed or work with large or dense growing plants.
The good news is that protective sleeves are inexpensive and will last a long time if you look after them properly.
Let’s dig in and explore everything there is to know about protective sleeves.
1. Say Goodbye to Sunburn
Gardening often involves long hours under the sun. And as I am sure you already know, UV rays can harm your skin.
There is, of course, the discomfort of sunburn but also potential long-term damage.
Quality sleeves deliver UPF 50 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to protect your arms from excessive exposure to the sun.
And it is much cheaper, easier and less messy than sunscreen and sprays.
2. Shield Against Scratches, Cuts & Rashes
If you have pruned a plant with thorns, you know everything about scratches and itchy arms.
Face it, gardening can get prickly, and even cucumber and eggplants can deliver a scratch or two if handled carelessly.
Sleeves are a second protective barrier to shield your arms from scratches, insect bites, and itchy rashes.
3. Moisture-wicking and Breathable
Sleeves are not warm or sweaty.
Gardening sleeves are designed from lightweight, breathable fabrics that help keep your arms cool and dry.
Their moisture-wicking properties ensure you stay comfortable, even on scorching hot and sweaty days in the garden.
Quality is key. Sleeves are inexpensive but do not automatically go for the cheapest possible.
Gardening can be tough on gear and equipment, and you want sleeves resistant to tears and wear.
I have had some of my sleeves for more than 5 years.
How To Choose Gardening Sleeves
Not all gardening sleeves are created equal. Here are 4 factors to consider when selecting the best gardening sleeves for your needs.
1. Size and Fit
Like any garment, it is important to get the right size. Avoid one size fits all and make sure they fit snugly but comfortably for maximum comfort, durability, and protection.
You will be uncomfortable if they are too small. But they are much more likely to get caught and tear if they are too big.
Take the time to measure the circumference of your forearm and choose a size that matches your measurement.
2. Material Matters
Pay a bit of attention to the fabric.
Why not look for sleeves made from recycled materials?
Eco-friendly alternatives should be the go-to for gardening tools and equipment. Here, Repreve®  is a good option as it transforms waste into quality materials.
Look for extra features, like thumb holes, elastic cuffs, or extra protection if it is important to you.
3. Easy to Wash
Sometimes, gardening gets messy. You know I am right.
Select sleeves that are easy to clean. Hand washing or using a mild detergent should do the trick.
Frequently Asked Questions
More questions? Read on, and I will share what I have learned over the years.
Are sleeves comfortable to wear?
Yes, you will not notice that you are wearing them; they are designed to provide comfort and protection.
Breathable fabrics such as polyester and spandex ensure comfort and flexibility.
The elastic cuffs offer a secure fit without sacrificing comfort. But measure your arms as elastic cuffs are at both ends of the sleeve.
Do sleeves offer enough protection?
They offer great protection, but it is hard to answer with a simple yes or no.
I am very pleased with my sleeves and would recommend them to anyone. They protect my arms from scratches, thorns, bug bites, and sun exposure. And with my history, protection against sun exposure is important.
What size should I choose?
The right size ensures optimal comfort, protection, and durability.
I do not like the one-size-fits-all models. Most quality alternatives come in different sizes to accommodate different arm sizes.
Are they made from UV-protective fabric?
Most quality products are made from UV-protective fabric and protect from harmful UV rays.
Are they easy to wash?
Yes, but always read the label for specific instructions before you wash them.
Hand-wash your sleeves if possible. If they are too dirty, machine wash them with mild detergent and air dry for best results.
Are gardening sleeves breathable?
Gardening sleeves are made from materials that allow air to circulate and keep your arms cool and comfortable.
Are there sleeves made from Eco-friendly materials?
Some are made from recycled materials like Repreve®, created from recycled plastic bottles.
Can I wear sleeves with garden gloves?
As you can see in the photos, I often wear mine with garden gloves. It is comfortable and keeps my hands and arms safe and clean.
Protect your arms when you garden outdoors, especially when gardening in the sun.
Sleeves for gardening deliver fantastic comfort, protection, and durability. There is no reason to put up with scratches, cuts, rashes, and sunburn
Remember, they are not an accessory; they will protect your arms in the garden.
- Quality gardening sleeves offer protection from the sun (UPF 50)
- They shield your arms from scratches, insect bites, and rashes.
- Look for the right size and fit when choosing gardening sleeves.
- Consider alternatives made from Eco-friendly materials like Repreve®.
- Features like thumb holes and elastic cuffs can enhance your gardening experience.
- Read the label and follow care instructions for durability
- Hand wash and air dry for maximum durability