• LAMs & Co.

What's the difference between Medical, Nitrile, Latex and Vinyl gloves?

Updated: Jun 21

Medical gloves are disposable and include examination gloves, surgical gloves, and medical gloves for handling chemotherapy agents (chemotherapy gloves). These gloves are regulated by the FDA as Class I reserved medical devices that require a 510(k) premarket notification. FDA reviews these devices to ensure that performance criteria such as leak resistance, tear resistance and biocompatibility are met. Medical gloves are examples of personal protective equipment that are used to protect the wearer and/or the patient from the spread of infection or illness during medical procedures and examinations. Medical gloves are one part of an infection-control strategy.



Nitrile gloves are made of nylon knitted glove and coated whole palm with Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR). This form of NBR is generally resistant to oil, fuel, and other chemicals. ... Widely used in the automotive industry to protect safety and skin of hands with very strong resistance against oil. Nitrile gloves which do not contain latex and is, therefore, safe for contact with people suffering from a latex allergy. These types of gloves have traditionally been less flexible than latex gloves and offered less sensitivity for the fingers and hands.



Latex is rubber. Typically, it is composed of about fifty-five percent water and around forty percent rubber material. Latex is the soft white substance found beneath the bark of a mature rubber tree. most popular glove material, latex is a biodegradable material made of material originating from the latex ducts of rubber trees and despite the development of synthetic materials, is still the most elastic, resilient and form fitting material for gloves.



Vinyl gloves are made from PVC, a petroleum-based film. The primary benefit of vinyl disposable gloves is that they're inexpensive to manufacture. That being said, they are less durable than latex and nitrile, and they offer limited protection against chemical or biomedical exposure.

Vinyl gloves offer a different option to latex and nitrile. They are looser fitting and generally used more in the food industry where durability and protection are not as important, they are also a less expensive option. Vinyl gloves are more suited for short-term, low risk tasks where cost is a factor.