Vinyl Vs Nitrile Vs Latex Gloves: How Do They Differ?

Vinyl Vs Nitrile Vs Latex Gloves: How Do They Differ? | HealthSoul

Choosing disposable gloves can be an overwhelming decision. That’s because disposable gloves have evolved throughout the years resulting in many options available on the market. There are three main types of disposable gloves used in many countries: vinyl, nitrile, or latex. So, which one should you go for?  

Of course, you’ll want the best gloves for your hands, especially if wearing them every day is a must in your line of work. However, while the three main types of disposable gloves look very similar, each of them has unique qualities that you have to understand. This guide will help you figure out the primary differences between vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves, helping you make a wise decision.

The Differences Between Vinyl, Nitrile, and Latex Gloves 

There are several vital differences between the three main types of disposable gloves that may affect your decision when you’re shopping for one. Below, we’ll break down how latex, nitrile, and vinyl gloves differ from each other.

  • Type of material

The three main types of disposable gloves differ from each other in terms of the material used to make them. Latex gloves come from natural rubber, nitrile ones use synthetic rubber, while vinyl gloves are made of Polyvinyl chloride.

  • Fit

Fit is one of the most important characteristics of a disposable glove. Here’s how latex, nitrile, and vinyl gloves differ in terms of fit:

  • Latex gloves fit like a second skin. Thanks to its fit quality, it has become the healthcare industry’s trusted option. It also offers excellent dexterity and comfort. Also, because of their elasticity, one can expect a high strength level from latex gloves.
  • Nitrile gloves also provide close-fitting. In fact, similar to latex, they mold to the user’s hands. This type of gloves is often used as a latex alternative in different applications and workplaces because of its latex-like fit. 
  • Vinyl gloves, on the other hand, are usually loose. This means that they don’t have the second-skin quality you’ll find in nitrile or latex. Vinyl gloves, though, can still be good alternatives to latex or nitrile.
  • Durability and Performance 

Vinyl, nitrile, and latex also differ in terms of their durability and performance. Take a closer look at this aspect below. 

  • Latex gloves have a high strength level, allowing them to provide a good level of protection against bacteria/viruses and some chemicals. Their reliable performance against infection and contamination made them popular with healthcare professionals. They’re especially popular among surgeons because they’re on top in terms of touch and tactile sensitivity. Latex gloves, however, have lower resistance to chemicals than nitrile gloves.
  • Nitrile gloves are the most durable. Among the three types of disposable gloves, the nitrile ones are also the most puncture-resistant. They’re also long-lasting and can be worn more than once or for a longer period. Being synthetic, they have a long-life shelf, too. It’s also essential to note that besides offering a superior barrier to keep away many chemicals, nitrile gloves provide the user with added protection against petroleum-based products. 
  • Vinyl gloves are softer but are less durable than latex and nitrile. They also offer the least protection against infection, chemicals, and other hazardous substances. Their not-so-good durability means that they’re susceptible to punctures. That’s why they’re not advised for use in environments where there’s a high probability of infection and contamination unless the gloves are really considered as high-quality ones. Vinyl gloves are, instead, popular in industries where hazardous substances aren’t commonly found, such as the food industry.
  • Glove Allergies

Some people develop an allergic reaction when using disposable gloves. Most glove allergies are associated with the latex material, so latex gloves aren’t suitable for people with a latex allergy. For someone who’s allergic to latex, alternatives are both nitrile and vinyl.

  • Cost/Pricing

The cost of latex gloves fluctuates based on the availability of natural resources, but they’re still generally cost-effective. Nitrile ones, on the other hand, are more expensive to produce, hence it’s priced higher. 

The most economical option is vinyl gloves. Despite being a less expensive choice, vinyl gloves still provide adequate protection in settings where high durability and protection levels are less of a priority.

Final Thoughts 

The most suitable disposable gloves for you depend on how you intend to use them. Ask yourself what’s your purpose for using gloves and do your research to make the correct decision.

Note that allergies will also be a factor in your choice of gloves. Fit, durability, performance, and cost are things to consider, too. Hopefully, the enumeration of the differences between vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves above can help you choose the perfect pair for your line of work or industry.