How to Choose the Right Glove Thickness


When making a bed, you have a top sheet, a quilt and a comforter. Each layer has a different purpose. The top sheet is thin and easily washable. The quilt is pretty but not always very functional, and the
comforter is what actually provides the warmth you need during the colder months. Since each layer is made of different materials and intended for different uses, you would not compare their quality
based off their thickness. You could have an expensive satin top-sheet that is way better quality than the poorly sewn cotton comforter or vice versa.

The same goes for gloves. Thicker doesn’t always mean better. Glove thickness isn’t a direct indicator of its strength, quality or puncture and chemical resistance. However, it’s something to consider.

How to Measure Glove Thickness

Gloves are measured by “mils” which are a unit of measurement equal to one-thousandth of an inch (0.001”). When referring to a glove’s thickness, you can infer that the manufacturer is referencing the thickness of the glove’s palm. The palm is the standard place for measuring the thickness because it is in the middle of the glove.

How Thick are Most Gloves?

Disposable gloves generally range from 4-8 mils thick. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) suggests a thickness of 5 mil is the standard thickness for all gloves.

When choosing a glove thickness, consider what activities you will be doing while wearing the gloves.

Here are a few tips:

1. General-Use Gloves

For general purposes including food handling, hospitality, retail, automobile or janitorial/maintenance work, choose a glove that is 4-6 mils thick.

2. Exam Gloves

Those in the medical or dental fields, choose gloves that are at least 4 mil thick for examination purposes.

3. High-Risk Gloves

If you are in a harsh environment or around more hazardous materials, choose a glove that is 8 mils or thicker. Gloves that are 8 mil are considered heavy-duty and can provide an extra barrier of protection.

4. Thickness Presumptions

While not all gloves are made the same, there are a few presumptions that can be made about the thickness of gloves:

Before Purchasing

When you’re shopping for gloves, be sure to find out what their thickness is. It should be listed in the product details. Remember, palm thickness is the standard measurement.

For quick shopping, head to and filter by palm thickness!

This blog is meant for educational purposes about medical products, medical devices, and related subjects only. It contains only general information about medical products. It is not meant to be medical or clinical advice and should not be treated as such. The information contained in this blog is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties. Emergency Medical Products, Inc. (“EMP”) makes no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy of information, the products discussed, or advice given in connection with this blog. EMP is not a medical provider and is not engaged in providing medical or clinical advice. This blog may contain external links to EMP’s website where certain medical products and medical devices can be purchased from EMP.