The Difference Between Nitrile vs Latex Gloves: Which One is Better?
Updated September 16, 2021
Nitrile vs latex gloves? Why do you need to use any of these gloves?
Gloves can give a line of protection from abrasions, scrapes, cuts, and from various chemicals that needs to be disposed of correctly.
Disposable gloves are single-use material that is part of the personal protective equipment used in health facilities, medical settings, food industries, and manufacturing industries thus choosing what’s best in terms of protection, durability, comfort, and more will be a great concern to the wearer.
There are different kinds of disposable gloves for a particular job and picking out the right one will depend on the environment, work to be accomplished, and the user.
This article will provide information as to the uses and differences between nitrile and latex gloves in particular that will allow you to decide which one is a good choice based on your needs.
Uses of Gloves
Whether you use a special kind of gloves like nitrile and latex gloves or any kind of rubber gloves, it all serves the purpose of protecting your hands from getting bacteria, viruses, potential injuries like cuts and abrasions.
Gloves also prevent the wearer from exposure to harmful substances and cross-contamination of any food products. Depending on what industries you work for, choosing the right kind of gloves will ensure to help you to get the job done efficiently and safely.
Disposable gloves can protect you from the following:
- Chemical and bio-hazards
- Cuts, punctures, and abrasions hazards
- Impact injuries
- Severe weather and high temperature
Although disposable gloves will keep you safe, it is not an effective way to prevent you from getting sick. It is important to remember that prevention is better than cure.
Always wash and sanitize your hands before and after the use of disposable gloves.
Watch this guide on how to wear and discard your gloves the right way and other bits of information about best practices for gloves.
What are Nitrile and Latex Gloves?
Latex and Nitrile gloves are the two most commonly utilized disposable gloves that are suitable to use depending on what tasks are at hand.
Choosing between latex vs. nitrile has stirred quite a debate, however, each has unique attributes aside from protecting your hands. It’s best that you learn what each is good at so you can decide which ones are better according to your needs.
What are Nitrile Gloves?
Nitrile gloves have been around for quite some time now but lately, it’s gaining more popularity in the medical, food, and cleaning industries because of their versatility and comfortability.
Nitrile gloves are made from rubber synthetic derived from acrylonitrile-butadiene which is remarkable in being resistant to oil, fuel, and other chemicals that make them superior in strength, therefore, puncture-resistant but lesser in flexibility.
This material also provides enhanced tactile sensitivity which means it will allow you to pick up screws and needles more precisely.
Nitrile gloves also were designed and developed to answer the call of skin allergy issues with the use of latex gloves. It has then gained popularity.
Nitrile gloves aren’t that quite elastic or flexible like the latex but it is chemical-resistant. They can hold up to pure durability better than latex. That’s why its application is more ideal for industrial use, health applications, and medical conditions.
Where are Nitrile Gloves Used?
Nitrile gloves are waterproof, greaseproof, and oil proof making them suitable for works in automobiles, beauty salons, tattoo shops, food handling, and general industrial tasks.
Since nitrile gloves are chemically resistant to a wide range of common chemicals and substances, it is highly used by health workers in laboratory works and handling.
Nitrile glove’s high punctured resistance and strengths make it ideal to use in the medical field.
Advantages of Nitrile Gloves
- Higher chemical resistance
- Superb puncture resistance
- Long-lasting durability and flexibility
- Can be worn longer
- Considered hypoallergenic
- Lightweight and breathable material
- Best to use in handling infectious material
What are Latex gloves?
Latex gloves on the other hand are made of natural rubber derived from coconut sap. Since latex gloves are made from natural materials, some people may tend to be allergic to them but these are just mild, treatable, and preventable.
Since latex gloves offer further precision with high tactile sensitivity, comfort, and fit, they are mostly preferred by healthcare providers such as surgeons in doing operations, doctors for examining patients, and laboratory technicians in handling infectious substances.
Despite the advantages of using latex gloves in the medical field, most health care workers are bothered by the increasing case of allergies in using latex gloves. It took some time for manufacturers to figure out a workaround in the form of nitrile gloves.
Now, many of them opted to use non-latex gloves like nitrile and vinyl instead.
Types of latex gloves
There are types of latex gloves that some manufacturers produced to address the issue of allergies with latex gloves.
- Lightly powdered latex gloves – these are designed to have food-grade cornstarch so they can be put on much easier especially when hands are wet. This kind of latex gloves has replaced the use of talc and lycopodium powder which was found to cause skin irritation. Nevertheless, even cornstarch can still hamper healing when in contact with skin tissue.
- Powder-free latex gloves – they go through the process of chlorinating the gloves to remove the coating powder and it can be expensive due to this process. However, they are cleaner since they won’t leave residue on clothes and other surfaces. The best part is they don’t cause any skin allergy which is more preferable to use than powdered gloves.
- Polymer coated latex gloves – It provides an additional barrier to prevent latex proteins from touching the skin. It also gives a powder-free finish without going through the chlorination process. Polymer-coated gloves offer excellent comfort, fit, dexterity, and tactile sensitivity while drawing obstacles in harmful substances.
Uses of Latex gloves
Latex gloves are versatile and their benefits are used in a wide range of industries. Latex gloves balance a price with performance and are much cheaper than nitrile gloves.
They are the most popular choice in both industrial and medical industries and it’s used in wide applications such as medical and dental industries, foodservice and food processing, janitorial and sanitation, automotive and manufacturing industries.
It can also be used in light-duty house cleaning, painting, intricate parts handling, laboratory analysis, and technical works, and minor clean-up, and non-medical maintenance.
Nitrile vs Latex Gloves: What’s the difference?
Latex is a good choice if you want elasticity and comfort. Although there is a pressing issue on allergies, you can decide whether you and your household can use powder-free latex gloves as an option.
While nitrile gloves are durable, puncture-resistant, and chemical resistant, the price is much higher than latex gloves.
Both nitrile and latex are versatile and are great choices for different applications.
So nitrile vs latex gloves, which one is better?
At the end of the day, it will depend on how you intend to use them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is better nitrile vs latex gloves?
Both are versatile and work on different applications. It depends on how you intend to use them.
2. What are nitrile and latex used for?
Both of them serve the same basic purpose which is to protect your hands from bacteria, viruses, and harmful chemicals. They are lightweight and stretchy hand coverings that shield the wearer from whatever they may touch.
3. Why are nitrile gloves preferred over latex gloves?
Nitrile gloves are preferred because of allergy issues over latex gloves. But you can use powdered-free latex gloves for cleaner use that does not cause any allergic reaction to the skin.
Biodegradable kitchen dishwashing gloves (5PK)
- ✔️ Functional design: Sturdy gloves with good grip
- ✔️ Multi-purpose rubber gloves: Can be used for many cleaning tasks
- ✔️ Made in Vietnam: High-quality product
It’s not as expensive as nitrile gloves but it’s comparable in durability.