Latex Gloves

Latex is the traditional glove. Made from natural rubber, it ranks high in comfort, strength and tactile sensitivity. Latex gloves are made from natural rubber. They are cost effective, durable, elastic, and biodegradable.

Despite these benefits, latex gloves are not without their faults – the most common being latex allergies, which can cause uncomfortable skin reactions. As a naturally sourced material, prices in latex gloves can fluctuate. Furthermore, they are less durable and resistant to chemicals compared to their synthetic rubber counterpart, the nitrile glove.

Their comfortable “second skin” fit, coupled with elasticity and tactile sensitivity, offer more precision, making latex gloves the choice for surgeons and other medical applications

Nitrile Gloves

When latex allergies are a concern, nitrile disposable gloves are the most common alternative. Nitrile is a durable synthetic rubber technically known as acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber. It was developed due to latex allergies and to provide protection that latex gloves do not offer. Similar to latex gloves, nitrile offers high tactile sensitivity, a “molded-to-hand” fit, and basic puncture resistance. Nitrile gloves also have an often-overlooked advantage over latex – they tear when punctured. This feature allows the user to easily recognize a compromised glove whereas a latex glove will stay intact when punctured – an extremely advantageous feature when dealing with hazardous substances. While they are the most popular disposable glove, they are not biodegradable.

Nitrile gloves are extremely durable, have a long shelf life, and are a great choice for high-risk infectious situations due to their high chemical resistance.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves, like nitrile, are latex-free; that’s where the similarities end. The cheapest of the disposable gloves, vinyl gloves are a popular choice in the food industry and other situations where high levels of durability and protection are not a priority. Only to be used in nonhazardous environments, vinyl gloves are loose-fitting and lack elasticity, resulting in a glove that can be uncomfortable. The lack of ventilation can cause sweat and irritation for the user, and they are quite susceptible to tears and punctures.

Vinyl gloves are the product of choice in industries where a large volume of gloves will be worn and disposed of in a short period of time.