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What is the difference between latex and nitrile gloves?

Disposable gloves are an essential tool used throughout various industries such as hospitality, healthcare, and automotive services. In more medical and hospitality settings, disposable gloves tend to be made of latex or nitrile.

There are many similarities between these two materials, but there are also a few significant differences. Sometimes it can be confusing when trying to decide which type of glove is appropriate for you and your requirements. In this blog we will help break down the differences between these gloves.



What are latex gloves made of?

What are latex gloves made of?

Latex is an all-natural and biodegradable product that is made from latex ducts of rubber trees. Latex gloves are used for multiple external uses throughout different industrial sectors. It is commonly used in medical facilities such as medical and dental fields where dexterity and protection from biological hazards is crucial, however it can cause allergic reactions in some people.



What are nitrile gloves made of?

What are nitrile gloves made of?

Nitrile is a durable, synthetic material made form nitrile butadiene rubber, and is a great alternative to consider for people who suffer from latex allergies. Although it is synthetically made, Nitrile gloves come in varying thicknesses, and are sometimes powdered.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of latex and nitrile gloves?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of latex and nitrile gloves?






  • High in demand making them affordable
  • Easy application and comfortable to wear for longer periods
  • Provides dexterity
  • A barrier against light irritants such as biological hazards and water-based chemicals (for example: common cleaning products and alcohols)
  • Waterproof
  • Moulds to the wearer providing a firm and comfortable fit
  • Elastic and flexibile
  • Latex is an allergen which contains proteins that can trigger mild to severe allergic reactions (hives, skin rashes, runny nose, itchy eyes, and anaphylactic shock)
  • Offers little chemical protection which means certain chemicals can weaken the glove 
  • Disguises punctures and concealing breach which makes it harder to detect that the glove is damaged 


  • Temperature and water resistance
  • More resistant to oils, fats, chemicals, and solvents
  • Higher puncture and rips resistance in comparison to latex
  • Good durability, safe to use for a long period
  • Longer shelf life than latex
  • Able to exhibit obvious damage once punctured, alerting the person that they are using PPE unsafely
  • Available in various colours to suit different preferences and uses
  • Hypoallergenic, ideal for emergency situations when the treated person’s allergies are unknown
  • Synthetic nitrile rubber polymer is not as cheap to produce compared to other materials
  • Less tactile sensitivity





Why are nitrile gloves essential in infection control?

Why are nitrile gloves essential in infection control?

When purchasing personal protective equipment, it is important to consider what offers maximum protection against certain chemicals, hazardous substances, and bacteria.

Latex and Nitrile gloves help reduce the risk of cross contamination and eliminating the possible spread of infections, though nitrile gloves are preferred within the medical field. This is because they are hypoallergenic, more resistant to chemicals and solvents, and stronger than latex gloves. Another advantage of using nitrile gloves is the clear display of damage once punctured, further avoiding the risk of germ transmission.

At Steroplast we stock a range of premium quality nitrile gloves that are suitable for environments and workplaces that require infection control.

Reduce the spread of germs, viruses, and cross contamination by also checking out our Infection Control & PPE page.


If you want more information about our range of disposable gloves, be sure to fill out the form below and one of our experts will be back in touch shortly.