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Nitrile Exam Gloves / Non-Latex Gloves

Nitrile gloves are a popular option for individuals looking for non latex gloves. With nitrile exam gloves, professionals can treat patients properly without compromising on cleanliness. Read more...

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There are many kinds of disposable nitrile gloves; read through this guide to discover the differences and decide which type is best for your needs. But first, let’s discuss the basics about nitrile exam gloves.

What are Nitrile Gloves Made of?

Disposable nitrile gloves are comprised of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber, a fuel- and oil-resistant, synthetic rubber material. Nitrile is an extremely durable, puncture-resistant rubber that offers protection from chemicals and viruses.

Is Nitrile Latex?

No. While both latex and nitrile gloves contain rubber, nitrile is a synthetic form of rubber while latex is a natural rubber.

Are Nitrile Gloves Latex Free?

Nitrile exam gloves are usually latex-free, but not always. Check the list of ingredients to confirm that the nitrile gloves you are looking at are latex-free. 

Since nitrile gloves can be, and are usually, latex-free, they are therefore a common choice of non latex gloves among medical professionals with latex allergies. 

Up to 17% of healthcare professionals today are reported to have latex allergies. Medical professionals often develop this allergy after repeated use of latex products. Latex free gloves such as nitrile exam gloves are very popular among these individuals. In fact, in an article for Infection Control Today, Kathy Nix states that, “Nitrile is the preferred synthetic option in exam gloves because the material it is made out of is more durable, it has more strength, and it is more resistant to chemicals (2006).”

Nitrile vs Latex Gloves

Nitrile exam gloves are even more durable than latex gloves. They are more affordable, and offer more chemical protection that Latex gloves do. They are also more durable, and three times as puncture resistant as Latex. They are a better choice than vinyl gloves, since vinyl gloves have much less of a stretch and are less comfortable. If you can’t wear latex gloves, so you’re looking for something similar, or if you want something stronger than latex, nitrile gloves are the best answer for your needs. 

What are Nitrile Gloves Used for?

Nitrile exam gloves are not only used by those with latex allergies as an alternative to latex gloves. They’re also utilized by individuals who prefer thicker, more durable, puncture-resistant gloves that offer more protection. 

Types of Nitrile Exam Gloves

Long Cuff Nitrile Gloves

Long nitrile gloves feature extended cuffs for extra hand protection. The long cuffs stay in place more reliably and provide improved coverage, which makes these gloves more convenient and more sanitary than standard gloves. In some cases, such as during sensitive medical procedures, long cuffs which go over the scrub sleeves may be required, while other times long cuffs are simply a question of comfort or personal preference.

Thick Nitrile Gloves

One of the biggest advantages of nitrile exam gloves is that they can be much thicker than other kinds of gloves. This makes them more resistant to tearing and punctures, and more durable overall. Heavy duty nitrile gloves are often used in the automobile and janitorial industries.

There are different thicknesses of nitrile exam gloves. The difference in thickness is measured in mils. (A mil is one-thousandth of an inch, or about 0.025 millimeters. A mil is not the same as a millimeter.) 

Here are a few examples of the thickness of mil measurements. 

  • 3 mil nitrile gloves: 3 mil gloves are quite thin; their thickness is about the same as that of a plastic grocery bag, and provide high dexterity and tactile sensitivity (sensitivity to touch).
  • 4 mil nitrile gloves: This is the standard thickness for general purpose non latex gloves. It’s almost as thick as a dollar bill. 
  • 5 mil nitrile gloves: These are a bit thicker than a dollar bill.
  • 6 mil nitrile gloves: 6 mil protects against punctures. It’s about as thick as a standard plastic sheeting roll.

If you’re looking for extremely thick, heavy duty nitrile gloves, you can choose from our nitrile examination gloves that are up to about 8 mils thick. You can even find heavy duty latex gloves up to 18 mil thick.

Powder Free Nitrile Gloves 

Powder free nitrile gloves are perfect for those with sensitive skin or allergies. They are either chlorinated or lined with gel/silicone particles so that although they are not powdered, they’re still relatively easy to don and remove. While some people prefer chlorinated gloves because they have no particles at all, others prefer non-powdered, non-chlorinated gloves because of their neutral odor.

Powdered Nitrile Gloves

Powdered nitrile gloves are very easy to put on and take off. However, they may contain allergens. Therefore, one should check the product details and see what the powder is made of before use. Additionally, some prefer not to use these types of gloves because of the slight residue they leave on users’ hands.

Nitrile Glove Sizes

Nitrile non latex gloves are available in several sizes. Choose from small nitrile gloves, medium ones, large nitrile gloves, and XL nitrile gloves. 

Colors of Nitrile Gloves

There are several different colored nitrile gloves. Blue nitrile gloves are the most common option in the medical world, and white nitrile gloves are quite popular too as they allow healthcare professionals to quickly recognize and remove gloves that become contaminated. Pink nitrile gloves are often worn to promote breast cancer awareness, and purple nitrile gloves such as the Kimberly-Clark purple nitrile gloves are a good alternative to black and may be cleared for use in chemotherapy. Black plastic gloves or orange nitrile gloves are extremely visible, and therefore good choices as the underlayer when double gloving, so it’s easy to spot tears before contamination has a chance to reach the skin.

Popular Disposable Nitrile Glove Choices

Three very popular choices of disposable nitrile gloves among our customers are the Kimberly Clark Nitrile Gloves, the Ambitex Nitrile Gloves, and the Venom Nitrile Gloves.

The Kimberly Clark Nitrile Gloves are easy to put on and remove. They're resistant to tearing, and are powder- and latex-free. Textured fingertips allow for easy gripping.

The Ambitex Nitrile Gloves are comfortable, lightweight, and durable. They are puncture-resistant so that you don’t need to keep changing gloves. They feature a textured surface for easy gripping. Ambitex Nitrile Gloves are well-priced, yet high quality.

Venom Nitrile Gloves are extremely heavy duty work gloves. They are not as lightweight as other disposable nitrile gloves, since they are so tough, but they are remarkably puncture resistant. The Venom gloves are very popular for certain professionals, including tattoo artists.

Other Non-Latex Gloves

Another type of synthetic gloves that people use is neoprene disposable gloves. The McKesson Confiderm Synthetic Gloves, for example, is latex-free with its combination material of polyisoprene and neoprene, while still offering some of the most important features for medical professionals:


If you’re looking for latex free disposable gloves, a pair of hardy nitrile gloves or neoprene gloves may be just what you need. Check out AvaCare Medical’s full selection of sterile nitrile gloves, and find the best nitrile gloves for you! Whether it’s bulk nitrile gloves for cheap, or a case of nitrile gloves that are the best around, we have what you need. 

Reference

Dix, K. (2006, March 01). The New View on Latex Allergies. Retrieved from https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/hand-hygiene/new-view-latex-allergies