Latex-Free Glove Comparison

Latex free exam gloves are being used more frequently than ever.  The challenge is finding a good latex free glove that performs similarly to a traditional latex glove.  The main features of a latex glove that have made them so popular throughout the years are their softness, strength, and elasticity, or stretchiness.  The most common latex free alternatives on the market are vinyl and nitrile gloves; their comfort, elasticity and strength are very different and are compared below.

The strongest latex free glove offered by Protective Medical Products is our nitrile gloves.  It has superior resistance to punctures over latex or vinyl gloves.  Latex and nitrile gloves have a tensile strength of 3000 psi or better, and vinyl gloves have a tensile strength of 2000 psi or a little lower.

Latex gloves have a high elasticity and memory, which allows the glove to retain its original shape easier.  Latex free nitrile gloves are an excellent alternative when comparing elasticity; while they typically have a lower elongation limit than latex, nitrile glove manufacturers continue to improve this trait in nitrile gloves.  Vinyl gloves have the lowest amount of elasticity and memory, but still provide a very good latex free glove option.

Nitrile gloves provide a very good latex free alternative when it comes to comfort as well. It should be noted that it is common to need to choose a larger size of nitrile glove in comparison to latex gloves for a similar level of comfort.  Vinyl gloves have a much looser fit around the cuff than nitrile or latex gloves.

Compressive force is pressure that squeezes together parts of the body.  Higher compression can result in greater hand fatigue over longer periods of time; latex gloves have a much higher compressive force than nitrile and vinyl glove alternatives.

Vinyl gloves are typically a lower-cost latex free glove option and are best for shorter procedures.  Nitrile gloves are much closer in many aspects to a latex glove and provide a higher level of protection than vinyl gloves. Nitrile and Vinyl gloves are 100% latex free materials because they are made with synthetically created polymers.