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Comparing The Gloves: Nitrile Vs Vinyl Vs Latex Gloves

Comparing The Gloves: Nitrile Vs Vinyl Vs Latex Gloves
Shweta Chaubey

If anything, Covid has taught us the importance of gloves, masks, and sanitizers. It has made all of us realize that infection-control products are as essential as groceries. Gloves help caregivers, and medical practitioners help keep themselves and their patients safe from infections while treating or caring for them.  

When choosing the right disposable gloves for various tasks, the options can be overwhelming. Gloves are mostly made of materials such as nitrile, vinyl, and latex, with each having its unique set of advantages and considerations. But how different are these from one another, and which ones are the best for you? 

This article will help you understand the difference between nitrile, vinyl, and latex gloves.  

Comparison Table – Nitrile Vs. Vinyl Vs. Latex Gloves

Comparison Table – Nitrile Vs. Vinyl Vs. Latex Gloves

Latex Gloves 

Latex gloves have been around for decades and need no introduction. According to Wikipedia, Caroline Hampton was the first nurse to have used latex gloves at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, in 1883. Since then, these gloves have gotten more popular due to their cost-effectiveness and multifold benefits.  

However, as the popularity increased, the cases of allergic reactions to latex also started coming to light, making way for nitrile and vinyl gloves to come into the picture.   

Latex gloves offer protection against bloodborne pathogens in medical facilities. They are made from thin latex rubber and are flexible, malleable, and have impeccable touch sensitivity.   

What are latex gloves used for? 

  • Salons and spas 
  • Cleaning and sanitation 
  • Hospitals and care homes 
  • Food preparation 

Nitrile gloves 

Nitrile gloves were first recognized in the 1990s as an alternative to latex gloves. These are also known as medical-grade gloves due to their high quality and the protection they provide during medical procedures. 

Nitrile gloves have a higher tolerance to biohazards such as medical waste, bodily fluids, and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and solvents, to name a few. Additionally, these gloves also reduce the chances of allergic reactions in individuals with latex allergies.  

What are nitrile gloves used for? 

Nitrile gloves are used in -  

  • Labs 
  • Hospitals 
  • Care homes 
  • Warehouses 
  • Beauty salons 
  • Chemical and manufacturing factories 

Vinyl gloves 

Vinyl gloves are the most lightweight disposable gloves available on the market. These are made from polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, and are ideal for basic cleaning to prevent infections. Generally, these gloves are not as snug fit as latex or nitrile gloves.   

Vinyl gloves are cost-effective but are not as durable as the other two types of gloves. When these gloves are stretched or flexed too much, they get compromised as the individual molecules separate.  

What are vinyl gloves used for? 

  • Cleaning  
  • Food preparation 
  • Painting and other DIY 
  • Electrical work 

The Difference Between Nitrile, Vinyl, and Latex Gloves 

The difference between the three types of gloves boils down to a few things. These are -  

1. Comfort  

Nitrile and latex gloves are considered more comfortable than vinyl ones. These offer a snug fit and almost feel like a second skin.  

2. Durability  

Vinyl breaks down faster than latex or nitrile and offers less durability when compared with nitrile and latex gloves.  

3. Protection  

Latex and nitrile gloves are waterproof and resistant to tears and punctures. This makes them a preferred choice for certain jobs, including using chemicals or biohazards.  

4. Sensitivity 

There is no doubt that the latex gloves offer impeccable touch and feel compared to the other two options.  

5. Functionality 

Vinyl gloves are best suited for estheticians, food preparation, and cleaning. At the same time, latex and nitrile gloves are ideal for medical and industrial use.  

6. Cost-effectiveness 

Vinyl and latex gloves are considered more economical and easy options for temporary protection for low-risk jobs.  

7. Latex Free 

If you are allergic to latex and require gloves to do menial tasks like cleaning, vinyl gloves can be your best bet. Similarly, if you want a pair of gloves that offer optimum protection without triggering an allergic reaction, consider going for nitrile gloves. 

When are these types of gloves used? 

Using nitrile, vinyl, and latex gloves largely depends on the degree of protection one needs. For instance: 

  • When handling chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, one needs optimum protection; nitrile gloves are the best option due to their ability to offer protection against biohazards and chemicals. 
  • Similarly, when preparing food, the use of vinyl gloves is appropriate. That is because latex or nitrile gloves may result in overkill. 
  • Additionally, latex gloves should be used to do infection control and sanitization.  

Where can I find these types of gloves? 

HPFY has been your health and wellness partner since 2002. We offer a wide range of medical supplies, including medical gloves of all types. Explore our catalog today and find the products that suit your needs the best. 

Best Medical Gloves At HPFY 


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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