Types of disposable gloves – which is right for you?

Types of disposable gloves – which is right for you?

When it comes to buying disposable gloves, there are many different options available to choose from which suit a variety of different needs. With so many choices available to buy the decision can get overwhelming, so in this article we break it down to help make the process of choosing gloves much simpler.

The most common types of disposable gloves are latex gloves, nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves. Each glove is meant to serve specific tasks while protecting the skin and preventing cross-contamination but the level of protection, comfort, and durability can vary vastly between the different types of gloves.

Nitrile Gloves
Nitrile gloves became popular in the 1990s as a leading alternative to latex gloves. They are the preferred type of disposable gloves used within the medical industry as they eliminate the risk of latex allergy reactions and are also exceptionally durable, which minimises the risk of the gloves puncturing whilst in use.
Find out more about our OptiPro Nitrile Examination Gloves here.

Latex Gloves
Latex gloves are made from a natural material, rubber latex. In terms of quality, durability and flexibility they are an ideal solution and many users find them comfortable to wear over long periods of time. Despite their advantages, latex gloves have become an issue for many health professionals due to the increasing rate of latex allergies, and instead choose to go with non-latex glove options such as Nitrile gloves instead.

Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl gloves are are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a petroleum-based film. They are typically used as a cheap, latex-free alternative to Nitrile gloves. However, despite the lower cost, usually Vinyl gloves are less durable than latex and nitrile and only offer limited protection against chemical or biomedical exposure. Due to their low cost and low protection levels, vinyl gloves are commonly used in non-hazardous environments where the risk of infection is low.

Powder or Non-Powder?
Powdered gloves are commonly coated with cornstarch, which makes them easier to put on. Despite this, powdered gloves are not without their faults, as they often leave a residue which can compromise the sterility of surfaces and equipment. The cornstarch coating is also known to impede healing when coming in to contact with human tissue, and because of this, powdered gloves are not commonly used within the medical industry.

In contrast to this, powder-free gloves are offer more versatility than powdered gloves thanks to their oil, chemical and water resistance. They are kinder to skin compared to powdered gloves and reduce the risk of allergies by lowering protein and chemical content. However, they can be more expensive to source due to the process that needs to be done to remove the powder coating from the glove.

OptiPro Nitrile Examination Gloves

Our OptiPro Nitrile Examination Gloves are available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, ensuring a snug fit which does not compromise user dexterity. They adhere to EN:455 and come with an AQL of 1.5, meaning that you can work with the risk of contamination minimised. Find out more here.

Browse our Infection Control range

In addition to our OptiPro Nitrile Examination Gloves, Optimum Medical provides a wide range of high-quality Infection Control products including hand sanitiser, face shields and a variety of FFP3 face masks. Find out more here.