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Latex Gloves Alternatives - Your Source for Appropriate Hand Protection

alternative to latex gloves

Disposable latex gloves are popular, but not everyone can wear them. Latex allergies are on the rise causing people to look into latex gloves alternatives. If you have a latex allergy, wouldn't it be nice if there were an alternative to latex gloves?

This is a great question, but don't worry! There are many safe options on the market today that are effective in protecting you from harmful bacteria and viruses.

Let's start with a brief overview of disposable latex gloves in order to compare it with other choices.

Features of Latex Gloves

Latex is the most widely used material in disposable gloves designed to protect health care workers from the risk of infection. Gloves made with latex conform to the shape of your hand more easily than those made with other synthetic or natural materials. They are comfortable and allow for a better grip.

Latex is a natural rubber that is derived from the sap of rubber trees. It is less expensive than other glove materials such as nitrile and PVC.

Pros of Latex Gloves

Disposable latex gloves are available as powdered gloves, powder free, textured, and textured with grip. Powder free gloves protect the wearer from the risk of becoming allergic to the powder associated with some glove brands. Textured or “ridge” gloves provide a firmer grip for handling objects. Textured with grip gloves have both features.

Additional Benefits:

  • Biodegradable
  • Strong and comfortable to wear over long periods of time (unless you have a latex allergy)
  • Offer a good fit, elasticity, and dexterity
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • Allergic reaction to latex

In healthcare settings, disposable latex gloves are usually worn over cloth or vinyl examination gloves for added protection. The FDA banned powdered latex medical gloves in 1996 due to the high risk of triggering allergic reactions for both patients and health care workers.

In 1996, there were a reported 8 million cases of latex allergies, up from 3 million in 1986 when latex allergies first came to public attention. It is understandable why so many people search for other options.

Most employers keep at least 2 different glove types available to accommodate allergies. Many have moved away from latex products completely. For safety reasons, most people are looking for the best alternative to latex gloves.

Available on the market today are two main products. They both have their pros and cons but offer a good solution in alternative materials.

The Best Alternatives to Latex Gloves 

If you are looking for a latex alternative, there are a few good choices. Nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves are some of the best substitutes to make your work easier and more comfortable.

Nitrile Disposable Gloves

Nitrile is a synthetic co-polymer that is made from combining acrylonitrile and butadiene. Natural rubber is used to turn them first into rubber latex. The next processing turns them into a nitrile compound material. All latex proteins are removed from these synthetic rubber gloves.

They are great gloves that help you maintain the feel of objects and have good flexibility. Nitrile gloves provide the best level of protection from punctures, which makes them the best choice for medical and safety situations. These tough, durable gloves are also frequently used in the auto and oil industries.

Pros of Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile is comfortable to wear, and they are resistant to punctures and chemicals making them great for most day-to-day jobs. They are not recommended for situations requiring a high level of precision like working with small objects.

Additional Benefits:

  • Latex free
  • FDA approved
  • Strong, durable, and molds to the hand for a good fit
  • Puncture resistant and resistant to many chemicals
  • High level of sensitivity and have a long shelf life
  • Come in blue or black colors to see punctures easier

Cons:

  • Non-biodegradable
  • Less elasticity and costs more than latex

Vinyl Disposable Gloves

Vinyl is a synthetic material (polyvinyl chloride or PVC) that is a plastic. Vinyl gloves are inexpensive but not as durable or offer a tight  fit. Restaurants, cafeterias, and hotels frequently use vinyl gloves.

Pros of Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are effective in protecting the wearer from the spread of disease and contamination from human skin. They are a good choice for light duty jobs like changing bed linens, food prep, and cleaning surfaces. The low cost makes them ideal for the food industry as well.

Additional Benefits:

  • Latex free and anti-static
  • Smooth, flexible, tear resistant, puncture resistant, and comfortable
  • Ideal for brief, light-to-medium duty applications, and low-risk tasks
  • Lower price alternative with a long shelf life
  • Less harmful in environmental impact

Cons:

  • Non-biodegradable
  • Weak elasticity
  • Can cause skin irritation
  • Less protection against infections
  • Poor chemical resistance
  • Meant for short time use
  • Fit loosely
  • Unsustainable production

Some people do have an allergic reaction to bisphenol and benzisothiazolinone in production. These added ingredients are used to soften the texture and can cause dermatitis.

What are the Best Latex Gloves Alternatives in Healthcare? 

If you work in healthcare or deal with patients on a daily basis, you are more susceptible to infections and diseases that pass through bodily fluids like blood, saliva, and even urine. So, should you choose nitrile or vinyl? When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, there's no reason to go without either one.

After considering all the pros mentioned above, we are recommending nitrile disposable gloves as a good alternative to latex gloves for healthcare use. Nitrile is superior in every way that matters. It is more comfortable, shields you from chemicals and bacteria, and is better at resisting punctures.

Keep in mind, both nitrile and vinyl work great for restaurants, beauty salons, and childcare facilities. 

Latex Gloves Alternatives Summary

In short, both nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves are excellent choices as an alternative to latex gloves. This is great news if you have a latex allergy! They are safe and effective in protecting you from harmful bacteria and viruses plus many other additional benefits.

One more thing, did you know we have a full selection of latex gloves, nitrile gloves, and vinyl gloves at unbeatable prices? We are your resource for the ultimate in savings and superior hand protection.

Now back to you, what is your favorite latex-free glove alternative?