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Latex vs Nitrile vs Vinyl Gloves…Which to Choose?

When deciding between latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves…it can be a little confusing trying to determine which type of glove is the ideal choice.    Let’s take a closer look at the attributes and benefits of each type of glove.

Latex Gloves

Latex GlovesLatex gloves are natural material, made out of rubber.  They are a popular choice of protective glove for medical or industrial use.  The primary reason people would choose an alternative to latex is because many people suffer from latex allergies.  When allergy is not a concern, latex does have a slight advantage with comfort and dexterity over nitrile gloves.

Attributes include:

  • Fit like a second skin
  • Have a high level of touch sensitivity
  • Are good for wearing for an extended amount of time
  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material
  • Are cost-effective
  • Are lightly powdered, making it easier to put on
  • Are very elastic and strong
  • Are biodegradable

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile GlovesNitrile gloves are made out of a synthetic rubber, and are an ideal alternative when latex allergies are of concern.   Nitrile gloves are the superior glove when it comes to puncture resistance.  Nitrile gloves are often referred to as “medical grade.”  Before gloves can be marketed to hospitals and medical institutions, they must undergo a series of tests conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their durability.

Attributes include:

  • Latex-free
  • Are most puncture resistant
  • Have a high level of sensitivity
  • Mold to your hand for a great fit
  • Are good for wearing an extended amount of time
  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material
  • Resist many chemicals
  • Have a long shelf life
  • Are available in blue or black to help identify if the glove has been punctured

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl GlovesVinyl gloves are a popular choice for the food industry and situations where high levels of durability and protection are less of a priority.  While they may be less durable, they are the less expensive option.

Attributes include:

  • Latex-free
  • Have a looser fit
  • Are good for short-term, low-risk tasks
  • Are the most economic option
  • Have anti-static properties
  • Are best for use with non-hazardous materials
  • Are lightly powdered to make it easier to put on

So, when it comes time to decide which type of protective glove is the right choice for you, the most important thing to consider is….how much protection do you need?

photo credit: Flооd via photopin cc

7 Responses to Latex vs Nitrile vs Vinyl Gloves…Which to Choose?

  1. William Tomlinson September 25, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    Thank y’all for getting these 3 products all in the same comparison article! It is a good report. WT

  2. Matt Reineman February 27, 2016 at 12:48 am #

    Great article, but you left out the fourth type: neoprene gloves.

  3. Alain July 29, 2016 at 5:31 am #

    Does it adhere with thinner? because I think latex expose to thinner leave thinner to anything it touches.

  4. elliott fisher August 20, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    can you please do a section on polyethelyne glove as well?

  5. Stan Kaplan September 27, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    I have been trying to find either glove, Latex or Nitrile for average shop work and having a rather large hand I have been trying to locate gloves that come in a large size. The statement ( Fits all ) is very deceptive and I have tried many non of which are large enough to provide comfort, durability and acceptable size. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

  6. hardik March 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    very good explanation and very helpful.

  7. Ed October 15, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Thanks I use to wear nitrile gloves they felt better and I could do a lot more and they fit great. Our company doesnt use nitrile gloves anymore. Excuses are only if were helping a cancer care person or coming in contact with blood. Wrong its the expense right.

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