Disposable gloves are a great way to add a barrier of protection between your hands and what you are handling. This blog (or video below if you prefer) will explain the different glove materials and the differences between them.
Most people are familiar with latex gloves since they have been around the longest. Latex gloves are:
- The most form fitting and tactile glove
- Puncture resistant
Heavy duty latex gloves are commonly used for industrial use. They are no longer used to handle food and are being replaced in the medical industry with nitrile gloves since some people are allergic to proteins in latex.
- Strong, with superior chemical and durability
- Offered in a range of colors, textures and thicknesses
We recommend them for all food handling longer than a minute or two. Nitrile gloves’ durability and comfort are why they are also commonly used throughout a range of industries.
We do not recommend vinyl gloves. They have:
- Inferior barrier protection
- Potentially hazardous chemicals in them
Vinyl gloves are made from PVC, which makes them rigid, inflexible, poor fitting - they rip and puncture easily compared to nitrile gloves. Vinyl gloves need to be changed frequently and are commonly used in the food industry due to their perceived cheap price point.
These gloves are extremely thin and loose fitting. They are a cheap glove option and commonly used for handling food for very short periods of time. There are a variety of PE glove types available that vary in quality and durability.
Glove Elasticity & Fit
- Latex gloves have superior elasticity which creates an excellent fit.
- Nitrile gloves offer excellent durability and with new tech manufacturing they are quickly closing the gap to rival latex’ elasticity.
- Vinyl gloves have very minimal elasticity and provide poor protection.
- Polyethylene gloves have inferior elasticity and fit compared to the other glove materials, and are not ideal for longer periods of use.
When it comes to chemical resistance nitrile is known to provide a good barrier, but it’s best to read the glove’s SDS sheet or verify with the supplier if the glove is appropriate for the chemicals being used. Vinyl gloves should not be used to handle chemicals.
If you have any questions, our team of glove experts are here to help. Contact us so we can help make sure you select the most suitable glove for your needs. Or you can look through our line of high-quality, ethically sourced nitrile gloves.
To help you get started, our:
- Derma2 and Sensitive nitrile gloves are LOW-DERMA enhanced and great for people with sensitive skin
- FineTOUGH nitrile gloves are our thinnest and most tactile glove
- STRETCHPoly and TPE Embossed are a flexible, cost-effective poly glove option