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If you’re reaching for folded up dish towels to handle the hot stuff in your kitchen, it’s time to consider new and safer options. You need better gear to protect yourself from molten hot pizza stones, fajita-sizzling cast iron, scorching splashes of boiling pasta water, and chili-filled Dutch ovens that weigh a ton. There’s a pot holder or oven mitt out there that will match your kitchen, feel comfortable in your hand, and keep you free from burns. Here are the best ones.
Best Overall Oven Mitts: HOMWE Extra Long Professional Silicone Oven Mitt
Many modern oven mitts incorporate silicone into their design. This can result in thick, bulky, and hard-to-maneuver mitts. These mitts, on the other hand, are thinner and more flexible than you’d expect. They give you all the dexterity you want in the kitchen. They’re lightweight and stand up to heavy use.
The lightly patterned surface makes them exceptionally grippy. The design offers ample coverage to protect your arms as well as your hands from the heat of the oven and hot pots and pans. If you’re in camp mitt, this pair is sure to exceed your expectations.
Best Overall Pot Holders: Ritz Royale Collection 100% Cotton Terry Cloth Pot Holder
The trend in pot holders and oven mitts alike has been toward higher-tech materials and novel designs in recent years, but traditionalists will love this old-school pot holder. It will likely remind you of the ones your grandmother has used since before you were born.
Fluffy terry cloth provides better heat protection than flat fabrics. It conforms easily to pot handles when you grab them, leaving heavy, hot items feeling secure in your grasp. Yet, it isn’t flimsy—the terry cloth can stand up to cast iron skillets that have been roasting in a 500-degree oven. When this pot holder gets grimy, just toss it in the washer and dryer. Another bonus? The timeless, no-frill square will also double as a trivet.
Best Silicone: OXO Good Grips Silicone Pot Holder
This pot holder is more comfortable to hold than many others made from silicone. It’s also surprisingly agile in your hand. A silicone ring is attached for easy hanging, and although you can’t toss it in the washing machine, it wipes up very easily after splatters or spills.
The OXO Good Grips Silicone Pot Holder is available in neutral white and black as well as cherry red, should you want a pop of color for your kitchen. Like other pot holders of this style, it can serve as a trivet at the table.
Best Hybrid Pot Holder/Oven Mitt: Ritz Royale Terry Cloth Mitz
Can’t decide between pot holders and oven mitts? This design offers a best-of-both-worlds quality, straddling the oven mitt/pot holder divide. It's easier to maneuver than the typical oven mitt, yet it offers more coverage than your standard pot holder. It's also a snap to put on and off. Made from sturdy cotton and terry cloth, it can go into your washer and dryer.
Best for Large Hands: Big Red House Oven Mitts
These mitts fit comfortably over big hands thanks to a spacious interior. They were designed by a chef who knows what home cooks want in their oven mitts. Even though there’s plenty of space for meaty paws, they are also comfortable for smaller hands as well, making them a good choice in multi-cook households.
They have a good combo of silicone and cotton, so they're easy to maneuver while still being great for grabbing hot items, like steamy dinner casseroles. The terry cloth lining makes them comfy to wear and even more heat resistant.
Best With Fingers: Grill Armor Gloves Extreme Heat Resistant Oven Gloves
Thick and sturdy, but lightweight, these oven gloves will let your fingers feel free. The surface is trimmed with silicone grips to keep pot handles and utensils firmly in hand. You can confidently reach into your hot oven and move things around without worrying about burns.
The cuff means your wrists will be protected as well. If you’ve ever felt like a traditional oven mitt hinders your freedom of movement and ability to grab hot cookware, these are just what you’ve been looking for. Remember, like most oven mitts and pot holders, these aren’t waterproof, and if they get wet, you’re more likely to get burned.
If you're in the market for an oven mitt, we recommend the HOMWE Extra Long Professional Silicone Oven Mitt because it's lightweight and flexible, but stands up to heat and heavy use. As for a pot holder, the Ritz Royale Collection 100 Percent Cotton Terry Cloth Pot Holder is a nostalgic, machine-washable option that ensures better heat protection than flat fabrics.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of "Almost Meatless" and "Stuff Every Cook Should Know."