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What’s Your Glove Type? The Difference Between Nitrile, Latex & Vinyl

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Gloves are one of the most common PPE (personal protective equipment) that are used in numerous places that require sanitary protection for the hands. Some may think that they are all the same, but there is actually a distinction between their strengths and weaknesses.

International Sanitization and Protection Suppliers (ISPS) is here to help with the confusion as we break down the characteristics of each one of these gloves below.


Considered as the gold standard especially in the healthcare industry, nitrile gloves are made out of synthetic rubber that gives a similar feel and fit to latex gloves but minus the possibility of giving the wearer an allergic reaction. They are durable and flexible meaning they can be worn in long periods of time plus they also boast a long shelf life.

These gloves are specifically designed to be highly puncture-resistant and capable of withstanding exposure to potentially hazardous microbes, corrosive chemicals, and various substances hence making them the most ideal personal protective equipment in medical environments and different business sectors. Also, a beneficial characteristic of the nitrile gloves is they provide easy identification of tears when the material gets ruptured.


Latex gloves are the leading eco-friendly alternative to nitrile gloves since the latter is a bit expensive. They are made of natural rubber that gives the perfect fit like a second skin to the wearer; the material is lightweight, comfortable, elastic, and has a high level of sensitivity. Sometimes, the gloves are even lightly powdered to make it easier to put on and take off.

However, this type of gloves carries a risk of causing a latex allergy or irritation. They also have low chemical resistance and little to no puncture detection. This is why they are more apt for usage in the food industry and caregiving situations as long as they don’t provide allergies to those receiving the service.

But despite those flaws, latex gloves are still a go-to protective equipment for many professionals in the medical field, given that they are not allergic, of course. They offer premium protection against infectious viruses, harmful bacteria and cross-contamination.


The most affordable of the three is the vinyl gloves which are made from PVC, a petroleum-based material. These gloves are hypoallergenic but are better suited in short-term, low-risk areas like in the food industry and are best for light-duty tasks such as house chores because they provide limited protection against chemical and microorganisms exposure.

The products are less durable as they have a looser fit and are prone to rips and tears when stretched, pulled, or flexed. They are also not environment-friendly due to being disposable and non-biodegradable.

While they may be all that, vinyl gloves are still popular for their convenience in terms of money and accessibility in the market. Since they are easy to mass produce, they are always readily available for consumers.

Knowing and understanding certain differences between these gloves should give you an advantage on deciding which ones offer the level of protection appropriate for your needs. ISPS gives you the freedom to choose by having all nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves available for purchase.

Contact us today or visit our website shop and e-commerce pages for more information:

Phone: 0917 305 8961


Website: ISPS Web Shop


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