Vinyl vs Latex Gloves - Know the Difference

 vinyl vs latex gloves

Vinyl vs latex gloves - which are better? What is the difference between latex and vinyl gloves? 

What are vinyl gloves used for? What do vinyl gloves protect against? What is the powder in latex gloves and is it safe? Should latex gloves be worn when handling chemicals? Can I have an allergic reaction to latex gloves on hands?

Get all the answers to your vinyl gloves vs latex gloves concerns before you make your next purchase.

What Are the Best Disposable Gloves?

You may regularly stock up on single-use disposable gloves, but do you really know the purpose of each material and what is best for food preparation vs cleaning use? While many disposable gloves may look similar, they are often made from different materials.

What Are Disposable Gloves?

Disposable gloves are an essential item in any healthcare environment. They are often used in situations where the potential for cross-contamination is high. Most commonly, they are utilized to protect the hands of healthcare personnel who come into contact with infectious patients. But they also are handy to use around the home for anything from diaper changing to dishwashing. Disposable gloves are made to remove and throw away after a one-time use.

What Are the Different Types of Disposable Gloves?

Generally, disposable gloves are made from one of three materials: nitrile, latex, or vinyl. Each type has pros and cons, so it is important to understand the difference before making a purchase. The level of protection, comfort, durability and more all vary between the different types of gloves. 

What Are the Best Gloves for Your Hands?

In this article, we will dive into what is the right choice for you and compare latex vs vinyl gloves.

The following is a quick comparison of vinyl gloves vs latex, including the differences in design and their unique benefits.

What Are Vinyl Gloves?

Vinyl gloves are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a petroleum-based film, and plasticizers. For decades, they have been used by hospitals and other industries as one of the first synthetic rubber materials on the market. Also, they were the first synthetic alternative available to the consumer, offering an allergy free option to latex.  Because they do not pose the same allergy risk as latex or natural rubber alternatives, this makes them an attractive option for food prep and employee safety. 

Disposable vinyl gloves are inexpensive but highly susceptible to tears and punctures, which leads to a greater risk of contamination. However, they can ensure a level of safety if the thickness of the product is adequate. Usually, they are the cheapest latex-free glove option. 

What are the Environmental Concerns?

Vinyl disposable gloves have also raised a red flag in terms of their environmental impact. This has been noted by Health and Safety International due to their low cost and low protection levels. Vinyl hand protection is commonly used in non-hazardous and low-infection environments.

What are the Benefits of Vinyl Gloves?

Since vinyl exam gloves are synthetic and non-biodegradable, they have a longer shelf life than latex gloves, which often start to break down over time.

Advantages include: 

  • Latex-free making them great for people with latex allergies
  • Have a looser fit 
  • Good for short-term, low-risk tasks 
  • Affordable and the most economic option 
  • Contain anti-static properties 
  • Are best for use with non-hazardous materials 
  • Lightly powdered option makes them easier to put on

What are the Disadvantages of Vinyl Gloves?

  • Susceptible to punctures
  • Not biodegradable 
  • Not form fitting 
  • Little to no protection against chemicals and biohazards

So, when it comes time to decide which type of protective glove is the right choice for you, the most important thing to consider is how much protection is needed.

Vinyl Disposable Glove Uses:

  • Light medical tasks
  • Food handling
  • Painting
  • Cleaning

The affordability paired with protection against cross-contamination in low-risk, short-term tasks make them ideal housekeeping, maintenance, and food preparation.

What Are Latex Gloves?

Latex is a natural rubber material which has been sourced from tree sap and latex trees for countless centuries. Natural rubber latex is a processed plant product that has long been the traditional material for disposable exam gloves.

What are the Benefits of Latex Gloves?

Latex gloves are often preferred by healthcare providers since they provide the best service when it comes to elasticity, comfort and fit. Janitorial latex gloves offer a unique blend of comfort and protection. Resistant to puncturing, these gloves serve as an optimal barrier against biological contaminants. Disposable latex gloves offer good protection in a wide range of applications and have good resistance to many chemicals. They also have strong elastic properties and are a reliable chemical and biological barrier against infection and contamination.

Advantages include:

  • Fits like a second skin 
  • High level of touch sensitivity and flexibility 
  • Good for wearing at an extended amount of time 
  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material 
  • Cost-effective 
  • Lightly powdered option makes them easier to put on 
  • Very elastic and strong 
  • Biodegradable
  • All natural trusted material 
  • Protects against infection and contamination 

What are the Disadvantages of Latex Gloves?

  • 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 Disposable Glove Uses: 

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

The wearer has a great deal of dexterity, tactility, and comfort making this type of glove perfect for medical, auto repair, and food service applications.

What are the Benefits of Powdered Gloves?

Gloves that are powdered, often with cornstarch, enhance ease of donning due to the powder. Disposable latex gloves are primarily made from powdered latex, which is known for its elasticity and sensitivity. This type of glove is particularly popular because it provides users with a firm grip on items and has proven resistant to cracking.

What are the Risks of Using Powdered Gloves?

People have reported having allergic reactions to the cornstarch based powder in the powdered and lightly powdered gloves. The powder can be a carrier for the latex protein that can cause health issues. This is something to consider for anyone who may come in contact with the powder directly, in the air, and on surfaces.

What are the Benefits of Powder-Free Gloves?

Gloves that are powder-free reduce the cause of allergies by lowering protein and chemical content. Particle free gloves help to avoid allergic reactions caused by soluble proteins. 

Gloves with the powder coating removed have a reduced allergic reaction and are cleaner to use.

If you choose to use gloves that are powder-free, you will need to decide if you want to use chlorinated or non-chlorinated gloves.

What are Chlorinated Gloves?

For those who don’t want to use powdered gloves but still want the advantages, chlorinated gloves are powder-free gloves treated with chlorine. Powder-free gloves that are treated with chlorine are easy to don or put on.

What are the Differences Between Chlorine and Non-Chlorinated Gloves?

Non-chlorinated gloves are closer in color to regular exam gloves and contain no chlorine odor. The downside of chlorine-treated gloves is a limited shelf life. They may last only about a year or less if exposed to heat.

What is the Most Popular Glove Material?

The most popular glove material is latex. It is a biodegradable material originating from the latex ducts of rubber trees. Despite the development of synthetic materials, it is still the most elastic, resilient and form fitting material for gloves.

What is the Biggest Difference Between Latex and Vinyl gloves?

Latex and vinyl gloves are very similar in that they offer different levels of protection to users. However, what makes them different is the type of material they are made out of. Latex gloves are natural rubber whereas vinyl gloves are synthetic. Latex allergy sufferers will want to stick with vinyl gloves because they are latex-free.

Latex Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves - What's the Difference?

Disposable latex gloves have superior resistance to tears and punctures. They are also more waterproof because it is easier to control the level of microholes. This makes them safer for high-risk jobs involving biological material. 

Disposable vinyl gloves, being devoid of natural proteins, are best to be used by people allergic to latex proteins. They are more suited for short-term, low risk tasks. Latex hand coverings are biodegradable while vinyl are not, and must be disposed of carefully as the PVC may create dioxin.

What is the Glove Buying Process?

There are many choices when it comes to disposable gloves. The most common ones include latex and vinyl. Both of these products offer their own benefits and drawbacks, so the best option is to choose the one most relevant to your particular job or tasks.

What Disposable Glove Material is Best For You?

The best disposable gloves are those that have the lowest risk of exposure to harmful chemicals and diseases. Neither of these products are completely risk free, but latex gloves have the least worries and are suitable for all low-risk tasks. However, people who work with latex are more likely to develop an allergy. They are definitely not suitable for anyone allergic to latex.

The cost of different types of disposable gloves can vary drastically. Vinyl and vinyl-equivalent gloves tend to be the most cost-effective. They are generally a more economical choice for most individuals and the best choice for avoiding latex allergies.

What are the Best Gloves for My Hands?

Remember to choose a glove that is the correct size for your hand, which will not only provide the most comfortable fit but will keep the gloves from falling off your hands, reducing the chance of accidentally damaging the glove itself.

Vinyl Gloves vs Latex Gloves Guide

Understanding the differences between vinyl vs latex medical gloves is the best way to make an informed decision on which material is best for your needs before buying. 

By the way, did you know that we carry both disposable vinyl gloves and latex gloves at the lowest prices? Save both time and money while ensuring the highest level of personal safety.

For more information about latex glove allergies, be sure to read this latex gloves allergy guide.