I Finally Found the Perfect Potholder. And It’s Blue Suede, of All Things!

published May 13, 2014
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Item: Suede Mitt from Jane Domestic
Price: $29
Overall Impression: Surprisingly practical and a really great potholder!

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble with oven mitts, hot pads, potholders — whatever you want to call them. These are essential and heavily used in my kitchen, but I’ve never been able to get comfortable with one.

Until now. I finally found my all-time perfect, practical, ovenproof potholder, and — bonus! — it’s beautiful too. And yet it’s made out of the most surprising material.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Before I tell you about the solution to my problem, though, let’s talk about the problem. I have the worst time finding good potholders. They’re either too thick and stiff, poking their way into the side of your cake or casserole. (Don’t even get me started on silicone oven mitts — no good!) Others, like the inexpensive potholders from IKEA that I stock up on since they’re so cheap, let the heat right through. I can’t hold anything truly hot with one of those potholders for more than a few seconds!

And then there are a few rare good and pretty potholders that I’ve bought in the past that got dirty and ripped up so fast they just didn’t last.

Why is it so hard to make a good potholder? It has to just do a few things: Protect your hand, be flexible enough to wrap around a dish, and be cleaned easily.

It seems easy enough but is weirdly difficult to find. So I was a little skeptical when Jane DePaolo, the founder of Jane Domestic, emailed me to tell me about her new Suede Mitt. Jane was a wardrobe stylist who got an idea from an old suede potholder she had years ago. She says, “I’d used that hot pad for over ten years and loved it, but I couldn’t find one to replace it. I decided to make one myself, and then thought, ‘I should sell this!'”

I was dubious about suede — it seemed very pretty, but how would I clean it? Those concerns went out the window though the first time I used it. I pulled a blazing hot cast iron skillet out of the oven and didn’t feel more than a pleasant warmth. It is thin and flexible, yet very sturdy. I love how it has pockets on both sides of the mitt so it’s easy to slip it on wherever you grab it.

And cleaning? Again, surprisingly easy! If it gets food on it I just scrub it quickly with a damp kitchen cloth. Jane says that it will eventually develop a patina like regular leather.

So far so good — it has been my dream potholder. The only drawback is the cost, but if it lasts ten years, like Jane’s original, then I think it’s worth it!

Find It! Suede Mitt, $29 at Jane Domestic. Comes in Navy, Gray, Tan, and Burnt Orange.

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.