Pot holders aren't just any kitchen accessory — they protect your skin from scalding hot items, and for that reason, quality is important. If you're on the prowl for the best pot holders, there are two main things you should look for.
The first and most important quality is heat resistance. Contrary to popular belief, most pot holders are heat resistant, not heatproof. That means different options offer different levels of protection. Generally speaking, the higher the temperature rating, the safer your hands will be. All of the picks on my list offer heat resistance up to at least 400 degrees (and one option goes as high as 500 degrees).
The other big thing to consider is the material. The most popular options are usually cotton, silicone, or a combination of the two. Silicone has a high heat resistance and also offers better grip. Additionally, it's waterproof, and the non-porous nature makes it less prone to picking up odors. Cotton, on the other hand, is only heat-resistant when combined with some type of protective coating, and it doesn't protect you when it's wet. The upside, however, is that it's soft and breathable, which is why it can be nice to have a pot holder that features both materials.
Other than that, think about what style you prefer. Flat pot holders are smaller and more space-saving, while pocketed holders provide greater protection. To help you make a decision, I've made a list of the best pot holders in a variety of sizes and styles.