Nitrile and vinyl gloves: What‘s the difference?
14 March 2022
Nitrile and vinyl gloves are some of the most popular disposable gloves, and each has its unique benefits from handling medicines and preparing food to work in the automotive sector and much more. Choosing the right glove depends on the industry and employee-related factors such as agility, comfort, and ease of use.
Thanks to our many years of experience, we know very well what our customers want, and we know that choosing the right glove means avoiding unnecessary hazards for employees and increasing productivity, reducing expenses, and the possible risks for end customers and buyers. Below, we outline the critical uses and benefits of nitrile gloves compared with vinyl gloves to help you select the suitable glove model for your application without compromising quality, comfort, or value.
Nitrile gloves and their uses
Nitrile is usually a synthetic rubber compound composed of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and carboxylic acid monomers. This material mix, developed by experts, is free of natural rubber latex (NRL for short), making it an excellent alternative to latex. It can also be used safely by people who suffer from latex allergies.
Nitrile gloves are often referred to as medical gloves or examination gloves. The monomers used in nitrile gloves offer high resistance to various hazards such as oil-based chemical substances, solvents, and biohazardous substances (including blood, viruses, and other infectious agents). Proper quality nitrile gloves are also strong and flexible, making them more puncture-resistant than latex or vinyl gloves.
The popularity of nitrile gloves has increased significantly recently due to innovations in production that have improved flexibility, comfort, and a high level of touch sensitivity. This means modern nitrile gloves feel more like latex in terms of grip and fit. This is especially important for tasks that require prolonged use. Nitrile gloves are being used more and more in areas where latex gloves have traditionally been dominant; this includes medical and hygienic rooms, including nursing and dentistry, and industries such as the automotive industry, tattoo artists, and piercers.
Nitrile gloves come in powdered or powder-free versions and several colors to make puncture detection easier. Another critical element of nitrile gloves compared to latex gloves is that the material tears rather than being punctured, making puncture detection even more accessible.
The properties of nitrile gloves include:
Chemical resistance to several hazardous chemical substances
– Long durability (compared to latex or vinyl gloves)
– Professional medical quality (by EN455 standard)
– Completely free of latex
– Protection against biohazards and infectious substances
– Best puncture resistance
– Perfect fit
– Available in powdered or powder-free variants
– Available in a variety of colors
Vinyl gloves and their uses
Vinyl gloves are disposable gloves made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These gloves are readily available, typically an affordable choice, and offer protection against a range of domestic and industrial hazards. Vinyl gloves generally are much less durable than latex or nitrile gloves and are suitable for short-term use. They are preferred in areas where a relaxed fit and ease of use are essential but where durability and protection are less critical. This includes the areas of food preparation, cleaning, care and maintenance, manufacturing and processing, printing, and dyeing.
The characteristics of vinyl gloves are:
– adaptable and convenient to use
– suitable for short-term, low-risk work
– have a very loose fit