The vast majority of mitts, gauntlets and double oven gloves come in cotton; a few come in silicone (very heat resistant but also very difficult to manipulate) and in other flameproof materials. Let’s stick with the cotton ones.
Most of the safety thinking has been done for you already, and you should therefore always look for British Standard mark on a product that you are considering buying. These lay down rules for thickness of material, dimensions, steam barriers, thermal insulation, safe ironing temperature etc. The standards are rigorous just to protect you.
In terms of practicality, your fingers should be able to operate within the mitt independently, for example, when the thumb needs to go below a casserole dish and the fingers above it, and the fit should be neither too loose not too tight. The protection should come a good distance up your arm, as one of the most common injuries is the one to the top of the wrist at the entrance to the oven.
Then there is the look. At Dexam, where all our gloves, gauntlets and mitts hold British Standard rating, (and the even more stringent European EN407 safety test) we subscribe whole-heartedly to the look good-feel good school of cooking. We coordinate gloves with aprons all the way from the traditional and professional Butchers Stripe to the ultra cool and stylish Mr Fox designs and via a whole range of fashionable looks in between. And, whilst we make loads of gorgeous Children’s Aprons’, for obvious reasons we don’t make oven gloves for them!