When purchasing gloves, there are four main things you need to know. Let’s get into them: ,
What Material You Need
The three main types of disposable gloves are latex, nitrile and vinyl.
Latex is a natural material that is made from rubber. Because of the rubber-like material, latex gloves have high elasticity and fit like a second skin so they give you a great deal of dexterity, tactility and comfort.
Nitrile gloves are ideal for those with a latex allergy because they are made from a synthetic rubber that is latex-free. Nitrile is the superior option for puncture resistance and general durability.
Vinyl gloves are loose-fitting and are generally used for short-term, low risk tasks where cost is a factor. Since vinyl is the most affordable glove material, they are a great cost-conscious disposable glove option.
Learn more about the pros and cons of each glove type, here!
What’s the Difference Between Powder and Powder-free
The powder vs. powder-free conversation refers to the inside composition of the gloves and how easy they are to put on.
Powdered gloves have cornstarch added to prevent the material from sticking together. Powder-free gloves go through a chlorination process or are coated with another material like polymer to get the same effect without the powder.
While they may be harder to put on or remove, powder-free gloves are the preferred option for medical use because there is no risk of spreading loose powder around.
Learn more about the benefits of powder-free gloves, here!
What Size Fits
When choosing gloves, the width and length are two of the most important factors. Your gloves should fit like a “second skin” to ensure you have the best tactility. However, if your gloves are too small, the tightness can cause fatigue and decrease your dexterity.
Learn how to measure your hand to find the right glove size here!
What Thickness you Need
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 assume the manufacturer is measuring the palm area.
Disposable gloves are usually 4-8 mils thick. If you need more heavy-duty gloves, choose a pair that is 8 mils or thicker. A glove’s thickness is not a direct indicator of its strength, quality or puncture and chemical resistance. However, it’s something to consider.
Learn more about the pros and cons of glove thickness here!
Things to Remember
- You never know who has a latex allergy
- Wash your hands before and after you wear gloves, especially if they are powdered
- When measuring your hand, round up to the nearest half-inch
- Thickness doesn’t ensure quality, but it’s important
- There are certain gloves that are rated for chemotherapy and for fentanyl exposure. It’s not every single glove of a specific type of material
- Your gloves’ qualifications should match their intended use
For quick shopping, head to buyemp.com and search the name or item number for the gloves that match what you need!
For more information, check out these resources:
- How to Choose the Right Glove Material (Blog)
- How to Choose Between Powder and Powder-Free Gloves (Blog)
- How to Choose the Right Glove Size (Blog)
- How to Choose the Right Glove Thickness (Blog)
- Purchasing Gloves – What You Need to Know (eBook)
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.