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Understanding the Different Types of Medical Gloves

Understanding the Different Types of Medical Gloves

Medical gloves are a vital part of any physical interaction between a patient and a medical professional, as they provide a protective barrier that prevents any contagious disease from spreading. As a result, medical gloves are used ubiquitously in all aspects of healthcare and other occupations to keep people safe from infection and injury.

There are three main types of medical gloves: latex, vinyl, and nitrile. They each vary slightly due to durability, material, and even their preferred use. Below is a guide to understanding the different types of medical gloves.


Latex is the most common type of medical glove you’ll see in healthcare, as it offers the best fit and durability. But latex allergies are becoming more common, so some professionals must opt for non-latex gloves like vinyl and nitrile.

Created from rubber, latex gloves provide a tight fit that makes them ideal for stopping infections from viruses and bacteria. They also work well against chemicals, but vinyl or nitrile would be more effective options in those cases. Latex is thin enough to offer tactile sensitivity but durable enough to be worn for long periods. However, they can be challenging to pull off due to their tight fit.


Of the two synthetic material gloves, vinyl is the cheapest and offers better protection against chemicals than latex gloves. Created from a plastic combination of ethylene and chlorine, vinyl gloves are used often by food service workers. However, as they are loose-fitting, medical professionals typically choose nitrile over vinyl.


Medical professionals with latex allergies usually opt for nitrile gloves rather than vinyl. Nitrile is a highly durable medical glove made from another synthetic combination of plastics. Nitrile gloves are very elastic and resistant to punctures and provide a successful barrier to chemicals and infectious diseases. They are used in many different applications outside of healthcare, with gardening and maintenance being some of the primary uses.

Understanding the different types of medical gloves allows you to decide which works best for you. Order disposable gloves online for your medical practice, food handling services, or maintenance tasks with Quick Supplies Online.

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