Latex used to be the main material when it came to protective disposable gloves for different applications. Recently nitrile gloves have become a lot more popular in choice. Since the pandemic outbreak, personal protection such as face masks, visors and gloves are all becoming the norm in our day to day lives. When choosing these types of gloves it is important to assess the different needs, whether it is the comfort, protection level or durability that matters. We will break this down and make it a lot easier for you to make your choice.
What is latex?
Latex is derived from the organic sap of rubber tree. Until recently latex gloves have been the most commonly used disposable gloves on the market. Unfortunately allergies can occur with latex, mainly irritation on the skin from a reaction to the material. The FDA has even advised all medical suppliers to label gloves if they contain the material.
Latex has always provided a good level of tactile sensitivity and has been a good choice for intricate operative procedures. On top of this they are the best protective disposable gloves when it comes to protecting against viruses and bacteria.
What is Nitrile?
Nitrile is a strong, high quality synthetic rubber compound used as a disposable glove material. It is clear of allergens which means it provides less harm to the skin of people using this glove. Although it has been around for a while, the affordability has become much better over the years. It doesn’t protect as well against bacteria and viruses like latex, however it is still adequate and resistant enough to be used for cleaning, food and medical industries.
The fact that nitrile contains less harmful properties, it is the glove of choice for people suffering from latex allergies. A lot of hospitals have replaced latex with nitrile gloves now that the cost isn’t as high to purchase. Nitrile has a unique memory membrane unlike latex which has no sizing memory; this feature increases the comfort for users and reduces slipping and sticking. Nitrile also has better chemical resistance which makes it a far more superior product than its counterparts, especially when it comes to cleaning.
So, Nitrile or Latex, which is better?
If worn and fitted correctly, latex gloves can provide a very high protection against viruses, bacteria, alkalis, acids and other contaminants, however nitrile gloves still provide adequate protection. Nitrile gloves offer a far better protection against chemicals as mentioned above, but also much better puncture protection. Latex wouldn’t protect your skin in tasks where there is a risk of your glove being snagged by sharp objects – the resistance provided by nitrile gloves is by far the best.
When you take into consideration the low allergy risk, better comfort, improved fit and universal protection, nitrile gloves are far superior on all counts. With costs also being reasonable they are definitely the best choice for a disposable glove at time of writing.