Ask the Experts

Which Disposable Glove Material Should I Choose?

Friday, 3 April 2020

We always recommend that you don't dive in to buy the first work gloves that you see. That's true for all work gloves, but it is especially true for disposable gloves. Usually, disposable gloves are made from either latex, nitrile or vinyl, but you can also find polyethylene and other materials out there on the market.

Different glove materials provide different qualities during use
Different glove materials provide different qualities during use

If you're after buying your first pack of disposable gloves, then we advise that you do your research on the three main types of material before purchase. In this short guide, we outline the differences between them, helping you to make your choice more easily.

Latex vs Nitrile vs Vinyl

Latex Gloves: Latex gloves are probably the oldest type of gloves available. They are strong, flexible and, best of all, reliable. It's not hard to see why they've dominated the market for so long, as latex disposable gloves are disposable gloves that you can trust.

Nitrile Gloves: Nitrile gloves are the biggest contender to latex. Although nitrile tends to be a little thicker than latex, therefore lacking the flexibility, nitrile has a big presence in dirty, oily and wet industries.

Vinyl Gloves: Vinyl gloves are more affordable than the others, and are best suited to low-risk work. They are typically suitable for use with food and in the hair and beauty industry because of their reliable, economical and flexible properties.

Head to Head

To make your decision easier, we've given each of the three materials a score out of 5 based on different qualities.

Strength

Durability

Sensitivity

  • Latex: 4/5
  • Nitrile: 5/5
  • Vinyl: 2/5
  • Latex: 5/5
  • Nitrile: 5/5
  • Vinyl: 1/5
  • Latex: 5/5
  • Nitrile: 3/5
  • Vinyl: 3/5

Flexibility

Comfort

Chemicals and Oil

  • Latex: 5/5
  • Nitrile: 4/5
  • Vinyl: 3/5
  • Latex: 4/5
  • Nitrile: 4/5
  • Vinyl: 5/5
  • Latex: 3/5
  • Nitrile: 5/5
  • Vinyl: 2/5

Contamination

Food Use

Cost

  • Latex: 5/5
  • Nitrile: 5/5
  • Vinyl: 4/5
  • Latex: 5/5
  • Nitrile: 5/5
  • Vinyl: 5/5
  • Latex: 4/5
  • Nitrile: 3/5
  • Vinyl: 5/5

Which Industry Is Best

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves offer exceptional unbeatable strength and flexibility, which has made them popular in the industrial, food and medical industries. In recent times nitrile has mounted a challenge on latex's dominance. However, the reliability of latex will continue to keep it at the top of the market.

Top Industries for Latex: Dentistry; laboratory; healthcare; automotive; industrial; food industry.

Nitrile Gloves

If you're working in oily environments that demand strength, puncture resistance and durability, then we'd recommend that you go for Nitrile Disposable Gloves. Nitrile lacks the flexibility of latex, but makes up for it in pure strength, making them ideal for mechanics and other industrial applications. That's not to say that they aren't just suited to dirty jobs though, as they can also prove useful in health and food industries.

Top Industries for Nitrile: Assembly, construction, care, mechanics, food, industrial, maintenance, tattoo artistry.

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl Gloves are reliable and affordable, and perfect for industries where you can expect to get through a lot of disposable gloves fast and want a minimum level of protection against contamination rather than dangerous hazards to your hands. They are extremely comfortable, making them well suited to food industries, hairdressing and other hair and beauty industries.

Top Industries for Vinyl: Health, medical, hairdressing, hair and beauty, food retail.

Make the Right Choice

We hope that this blog has made your decision a little easier. For our full range of either material, please see the links below:

If you have any questions or anything else to add, please leave a comment below or email our Customer Care Team at helpdesk@gloves.co.uk.

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