Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl Gloves: What's Right for You?


When it comes to choosing gloves, it can be an overwhelming decision. Afterall, if your profession requires you wear them daily, you'll want the best for your hands.

There are many options for glove material. Do you go with nitrile, latex, or vinyl? Are there even major differences between them?

There are many things to consider, and it's important that your gloves are durable, comfortable, and safe--for the environment, yourself, and anyone you might be around.

In this article, we'll dive into what's the right choice and compare Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl. By the end of this read, you'll be able to select the best glove for your business, your clients, and yourself. Let's get started.

What Are My Options?

The marketplace in the 21st century has something for everyone, which is great if you like options, but also overwhelming when you're trying to find the best of the best.

We found that it's always best to have a lot of options in the back in case someone has an allergy to either kind! Let's dive into the three most popular glove materials on the market today: nitrile, latex, and vinyl.

Pros and Cons: Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl

With any product, there are pros and cons to everything. As you read on, consider which attributes are most important for your place of work.

Nitrile Gloves

The newest option on the market is Nitrile gloves, or also known as Buna-N, Perbunan, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, or NBR, to scientists. Nitrile gloves are a synthetic rubber copolymer that mimics the feel and fit of latex, without using natural resources.

Nitrile Disposable Gloves Pros:

  • Synthetic polymer
  • Protein-free and allergy-free
  • Durable and flexible
  • High resistance to punctures and chemicals
  • Provides added protection against petroleum-based products


  • More expensive
  • Not biodegradable

Nitrile Gloves Ideal Uses:

  • Medical industry
  • Janitorial industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Industrial industry

It seems that nitrile gloves have it all, and then you get to the price. Depending on what's important to you, another option could fit your budget better.

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves have been around since in 1894 when William Stewart Halsted, the first surgeon in chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, developed them to protect his staff from surgical chemicals. Since then, they are the most popular choice of gloves in the healthcare industry.

Latex Disposable Gloves Pros:

  • All natural trusted material
  • Biodegradable
  • Fits like a second skin
  • Flexible fit
  • Reliable performance: protects against infection and contamination


  • Not suitable for people with latex allergies
  • Does not provide protection against petroleum-based products
  • Lower resistance to punctures and chemicals
  • Costs fluctuate based on natural resources

Latex Gloves Ideal Uses:

  • Medical industry
  • Janitorial industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Industrial industry

Latex is a great option for personal use if you know you aren't allergic to latex---yet. As long as you steer clear of petroleum-based products, latex gloves are a great choice.

Vinyl Gloves

One of the first synthetic rubber materials on the market was PVC or vinyl. Vinyl gloves became an alternate option for people with latex allergies in the healthcare and industrial industry. Since then, vinyl gloves have been a quality choice. They provide great protection for a low price and are great in low-risk environments.

Vinyl Disposable Gloves Pros:

  • Synthetic polymer
  • Allergy-free
  • Economical


  • Doesn't fit as well as latex or nitrile
  • Susceptible to punctures. Therefore, these gloves are not advised for use in high-infection environments
  • Harmful to the environment if disposed of incorrectly

Vinyl Gloves Ideal Uses:

  • Food preparation
  • Beauty industry
  • Janitorial industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Industrial industry

Now that we've broken down each of the glove materials let's find out which one is best for you.

What Dispoable Glove Material is Best For Me?

When buying gloves there's a lot to consider: client allergies, fit, high/ low-risk jobs, powdered/unpowdered, shelf life, costs, environmental impact. Let's explore what glove choice is best for each scenario.

Best Choice for Allergies

If someone's life is at risk, then there's no better option for gloves than synthetic. Made in a lab, both nitrile and vinyl gloves provide allergy-free glove protection.

About 1 to 6 percent of people in the U.S. have a latex allergy, but the statistic gets scary when you consider that you can develop the allergy at any time. People who work with latex the most are in the healthcare industry. When we look at those numbers, we see that about 8-12 percent of health care workers will get a latex allergy.

Best Choice for Budget

When analyzing the bottom line, vinyl gloves are the most economical option available today. PVC has been around for many years, and costs of production are low.

This glove material is a great choice for every day in low-risk tasks. If you're looking for a cheap, simple barrier between your hands and the environment, vinyl gloves are a great option for you.

Best Choice for High Risk Tasks

If you are working in an infectious environment, you are going to want the strongest, most reliable barrier for your body. The best choices for you are nitrile or latex.

If there's a chance of you encountering petroleum-based products in your line of work, opt for nitrile gloves to be safe. Your health is in your own hands.

Now that we've compared the three most popular glove materials, there's only one question left to ask. Which gloves will you choose?

Which Disposable Gloves Will You Choose?

Congratulations, you are now a glove expert. After pitting nitrile vs latex vs vinyl gloves against each other, you now have everything you need to order the perfect gloves for you and your place of work.

If you still have questions or need help deciding, don't hesitate to contact us at My Glove Depot, for all your glove needs.


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