Your Guide to Finding the Best Thimble


It's one inch tall, spends most of its time lost in a pocket, bin or drawer, and is your finger's only line of defense against the piercing tip of its arch nemesis, the needle. Have you guessed? We're talking about thimbles today. And not just any thimbles, I'm going to give you a rundown on my favorite and in general the best thimble you can strap on.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you might already know that I like to create hip and relevant posters about our sewing topics. (see: Universal Needles,  Fixing Fabric Bleeds, Choosing the Right Batting, etc...)

I have a whole new poster theme I have been focusing on: LITTLE THINGS. Well, really, just thimbles.

There are so many great quotes about small things already, that I found all I have to do is throw plagiarism to the wind, and replace the words “little things” with “thimbles.” Voila! A new motivational poster! Or… SEWtivational poster. If you will. I’ve been working on that one for a while, too.

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

Okay, so it doesn’t ALWAYS work, but you get the picture. Thimbles are a big deal if you’re going to hand sew anything, or try to live life in this crazy world. You’re going to need at least one. Or five. Do I have a favorite? You bet I do. My thimble and I have been through a lot of near-death experiences together. (Am I being dramatic? What? No! Me?!) But I’ll save my fave for last.

Nope, I can’t wait. I’m going to tell you now what the best thimble is...


The Best Thimble in the Whole Wide WORLD!

As much as possible, try to ignore my weathered, wrinkly hand in that picture. I've had these worn-out looking hands since middle school. I inherited them from my father. MOVING ON.

My VERY FAVORITE THIMBLE, making it the obvious BEST thimble, is this Clover Leather Thimble. It’s not shiny or fancy, but it does the job well. Because the leather molds to your finger over time, after a few hours of sewing, it will feel like a second skin.

No, I don't wear three thimbles at a time, but I do want to show you the progression of this amazing leather buddy. The one on the left is fresh from the package and the other two have been working hard for about 4 - 6 months. You can see that they don't last forever, unlike some of the metal thimbles we'll discuss below, but even still, I adore them.

The first time I purchased one I made the mistake of getting a size too large. Keep in mind that the leather will stretch a bit as it is broken in. I have pretty small hands, my husband actually calls them puppy paws...but anyway, the size Small fits me perfectly.

The Clover Leather Thimble may be my favorite, but there are some other thimbles out there that have great reputations. Let’s split them into categories, so you can know what’s on the market before you choose the best thimble for your style. 

The Best Grippy Thimble


Protect and Grip Thimble

You’ve seen a version of these before – maybe while sifting through your Mom’s old junk drawer, or playing Monopoly… metal thimbles are pretty common and standard in the sewing world. But have you seen the metal-rubber hybrid thimble? 

These are designed to maximize on the strength of the classic metal thimble, while still gripping your skin and providing more comfort. 

Before becoming a die-hard leather thimble gal, I purchased one of these because so many people seemed to recommend them. I think if I had stuck with it longer, I could have really liked it, however there is a learning curve to using this thimble and it would only work with certain stitches – ie. hand quilting and not whip-stitch binding.

Verdict: Try it out for yourself. You may be one of the many people who swear by this spacey, rubber thimble.

The Best Comfort Thimble

Soft Comfort Thimble

If we want to talk flexibility, these little guys have GOT it. They’re made out of a soft, pliable material that fits your finger like a glove… if gloves were made for just your fingertips. Fingertip gloves. I might patent that. 


The Best Medieval Shield Thimble


Metal Shield Thimble

So, I made up this category name myself, but I think it fits well. If your finger was a knight in shining armor, this would be its shield. This metal thimble will protect your finger from needles, and also from small jousting swords.

Below you can see that some times I like to combine thimbles depending on how long I've been sewing (ouch) and where I'm sewing.


The Best Beyoncé Thimble

Gold Tailor Thimble

Okay, I made up this category name, too. But if you like it, you better put a ring on it. These fancy, gold thimbles are like an engagement ring for you and your sewing project. It shows you’re committed.


Special Award


Not Even a Thimble Thimble:
Thimble Pad

It’s not a thimble… or is it? These thimble pads are like stick-on finger force fields, so you don’t even need a thimble.

My aim with a needle isn't good enough to use these tiny pads, however I have watched seasoned sewists use them with with Yoda-like accuracy and it is quite impressive.

As long as it protects your finger and feels natural, your thimble is doing it’s job. I love the feel of the leather thimble. What’s your favorite? What are you anxious to try?


Suzy Quilts

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25 thoughts on “Your Guide to Finding the Best Thimble

  1. Chris says:

    I believe I’ve tried all of these except the grippy thimble, and I can’t get used to any of them. I think I’d like the comfort thimble except mine’s a little too small.

  2. janequiltsslowly says:

    I alternate between a metal thimble similar to the jousting one in your post and a leather one made by Dritz. My metal thimble is not adjustable. It was fit like a ring size so some days it’s too big a slips off too easily. With your hand quilting have you ever used something on your fingertips to help pull the needle through?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Sometimes after multiple days of sewing my finger tips can get a bit tender. I usually just load them up with more thimbles. haha! Sadly, those sticky pads aren’t big enough for the way I sew. What I would really need is it to cover my entire finger pad. Know of a product like that?

      • janequiltsslowly says:

        I have seen a hint to use the old paper sorting rubber fingertips but have not tried it. I have used a little pair of pliers to pull the needle through when my fingers get really sore & tired.

        • Lorene says:

          Use a piece of rubber for pulling the needles through the fabric. I use the grippy type circles you can buy for opening jars or the straps that they use on your arm when drawing blood. They both work well and grip the needle enough to pull it through some of the toughest fabric.

        • Elle says:

          I use those rubber fingertips to pull the needle through and completely swear by them! I put that on my index finger and my metal thimble with a ridge around the top on my middle finger and I’m a happy girl! But I think for summer I’ll have to try some other of your suggestions, Suzy. I suspect the hybrid one would make me happy, though the Beyoncé is intriguing, too!

    • Terry says:

      I use a silicone needle gripper made by Clover that fits over my thumb and lets me pull the needle through with way less effort. Then I use a leather dot pad on my middle finger. I don’t know why it’s so hard to find the Clover gripper here in the US. I stocked up during a recent trip to Japan. The closest I found to it when checking just now was this:

      The Clover one is very flexible so it molds to your thumb and has an opening around the fingernail so it doesn’t get too hot.

      Good luck!

  3. Rosemary says:

    I don’t really care what a thimble is made from as long as it does “the job.” I have many metal thimbles of varying sizes but that’s because I bought them without trying them on. I seem to favor plastic one, as long as they fit. Fit is the most important thing to me as too large falls of and too small is uncomfortable. I would love to find one that I could use consistently.

  4. Steffe says:

    I’ve heard of people getting those moleskin pads that you use on blisters and cutting whatever size they need for their fingers. Maybe that could work?? I use the other leather clover thimble and I love it. I never thought to use two thimbles at a time… but that is a great idea!

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  6. Kerina says:

    I use the knight in shiny armor with a felt patch (under the metal) on the top of my finger for comfort, otherwise it seems to wear a little rough 😐 I’ve tried the rubber thimble but wasn’t a fan. I need to try the leather one, looks comfy.

  7. Brenda says:

    Thank you for the thimble post! I have tried many and currently use the Dritz leather thimble with the elastic. However, because I usually push the needle with the side of my middle finger, I often poke myself through the holes on the side of this thimble. I have tried the coin thimble, but it has seams that catch the thread. I have ordered your favorite thimble and hope that it will be perfect for me! I also use the Dritz LoRan Stay On needle puller on my index finger and find that really helps to lessen hand fatigue because I don’t have to grip the needle so hard. Thanks again for a great post!

  8. Jessica Rampelburg says:

    I tried a silicone thimble and just couldn’t get the feel of where the needle was. Made me really inaccurate. I’ve been using the stick in ones..

  9. Leanne N says:

    My favorite is the night in shining armor, a clover metal thimble. I guess I’m just a little too aggressive… when I tried the clover leather thimble I kept poking the head of the needle through the leather. 😒 I’ve used the sticky pads on my finger on the bottom of my quilt when my finger gets sore.

  10. lori says:

    Sure enjoy your writing…makes me laugh and learn all in one!
    I LOVE my clover leather thimble. They cost a little more, but I use my Joann’s coupons to purchase them.
    However, I have to keep them away from my chocolate lab, as she loves them too and will eat them!
    I want to try out the Protect & Grip, but I am a die hard Clover Leather gal.

  11. Xanthe says:

    Aaaall the sewing ladies, aaall the sewing ladies, aaall the sewing ladies, aaall the sewing ladies… I’ve got some of those little pads, although I think they’re plastic pads, not cork… I have also heard ladies rave about those plastic finger cover thingies that you buy from an office supplies store that people who work with paper use to flick through piles of paper… like when they’re counting how much paper they have. In their pile. That they’re working with. Aaaah, clarity is my strong suit. Fo’ shizzle.

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  15. Ann Simpson says:

    I’ve looked at and had so many people tell me about TJ Lane thimbles but for the life of me, I don’t think I can give $100 for a timble!!!!!

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