Nitrile gloves are protective gloves constructed using synthetic rubber. They are known to be perfect substitutes to latex that serve their purpose in case you are allergic to the latter material. The superiority of the best nitrile disposable gloves can actually be attributed to their high puncture-resistant rating.

Nitrile material is already around for quite some time. However, it has only become more affordable lately, which is the main reason behind its increased popularity nowadays in various industries, including cleaning, food, and the medical industry.

Most people love and enjoy the latex-free and strong comfort offered by the nitrile material. Nitrile gloves are actually gain the most popularity in the medical industry as this is where they quickly replaced protective gloves made of latex.

Still, you can expect nitrile to provide similar protection from a number of things, like chemicals, cuts, and punctures. The only difference between nitrile and latex is that the former relieves possible allergic reactions often caused by latex-based gloves.

It is highly recommend taking extra care in picking one that fits your size properly so you can start enjoying all the strengths and favorable things that this nitrile glove can offer.

How Does It Work

Nitrile gloves can be expected to work and function through its high level of tear- and puncture-resistance. It is also preferred by many over latex because of its strong chemical-resistance. It is because nitrile material is capable of standing up to oil more effectively, making it perfect if you plan to handle small oily components and metal stamping.

It also works well when used in the food industry by preventing the issue associated with latex-related allergies. In addition, this type of glove is designed in a way that it rips visibly when punctured, allowing it to function by protecting you regardless of the industry you are in.

Types of Nitrile Gloves

When it comes to picking the most reliable nitrile glove that suits the purpose and application you have in mind, it is essential to spend time looking at the primary categories of it. The gloves are actually categorized into a couple of types depending on their grade. These are:

Industrial-grade – This specific type or category is ideal for applications that require you to deal with solvents and harsh chemicals. Among the industries and applications where the industrial-grade nitrile gloves can benefit are the janitorial and automotive industries as well as those that require safety from chemicals, including food service.

The most significant reason why the industrial-grade nitrile glove works in the mentioned applications and industries is that it has a strong resistance to chemicals. In addition, the material is also known for being puncture-resistant.

Medical-grade – The second type of nitrile glove that you have to be aware of is the medical-grade glove. Also called nitrile exam gloves, the medical-grade protective gloves made of nitrile material perfectly suit those industries that might expose you to environmental contaminants and blood-borne pathogens.

With this, you will most likely see the medical-grade or exam nitrile gloves in dental and medical offices, laboratories, and hospitals. It should be noted that this category requires rigorous testing. In fact, they need to meet the specific standards and guidelines set by the Food and Drugs Administration or FDA.

This is crucial in ensuring that they offer the kind of shield or protection, durability, and strength required for the mentioned applications. It is also famous in dental and medical offices since they get rid of the risk or potential for allergies.

Why Do You Need to Wear Nitrile Gloves

There are numerous reasons why wearing nitrile gloves in whatever job you hold or industry you are in can do you a lot of good. Here are just some of the positive things to look forward to when wearing nitrile gloves, making them great investments as far as your protection is concerned:

Hypoallergenic –

One reason behind the popularity of nitrile gloves and why some people prefer the material over latex is because it lessens the risk of experiencing allergic reactions. It prevents the development of allergies not only to the wearer but also to any client or patient that comes in direct contact with it.

Apart from being hypoallergenic, nitrile gloves, especially the exam-grade ones, are strong and durable. They can even withstand several safety hazards present in the medical field.

Extreme puncture-resistance –

Nitrile gloves are also amazing because they are naturally puncture-resistant. In fact, this resistance is around 3-5 times stronger compared to disposable latex gloves. This specific resistance is crucial, especially in the medical industry.

What is good about nitrile is that it also serves as a general barrier against all possible sources of harm. It is extremely durable, too. In most cases, you can choose to buy powder-free nitrile gloves to prevent dealing with the mess that is often associated with using powdered protective gloves.

Form-fitting –

Another reason why it is a wise move to use nitrile gloves is that they are naturally form-fitting. What is even better about wearing gloves that properly fit is that it can dramatically increase your level of comfort and dexterity.

Nitrile can offer such benefit since this material is known to naturally and easily conform to the actual shape of your hand while the natural heat of your body tries to warm them up. The same can be expected from thick nitrile gloves that belong to the industrial-grade category.

Excellent chemical-resistance –

The chemical-resistance of nitrile gloves is also amazing, making it truly a great investment for those who need a protective glove. It is designed to offer the highest level of resistance to oils, acids, and chemicals in comparison to latex and other natural rubber gloves.

High tactile sensitivity –

Nitrile-based protective gloves also continue to gain popularity lately because of their incredible touch or tactile sensitivity. With this, it is easier to move when you are working and doing your job.

The great tactile or touch sensitivity of nitrile gloves is also one reason why it is commonly used as surgical and exam gloves today.

Apart from the positive things already mentioned about nitrile-based gloves, their versatility is also impressive. Their versatility together with their other benefits shines clearly, especially once you see how they are appropriate to use on a wide range of industries.

In a number of industries, many prefer nitrile due to the many advantages that they can offer compared to vinyl, latex, and any other materials for several applications. It is even possible for you to wear nitrile gloves under other protective work gloves so you can make them even more waterproof.

Buying Guide

With the many things that nitrile gloves can offer, it no longer comes as a surprise why it continues to gain popularity as of the moment. It is durable and tough plus it has a long shelf-life. The durability of the glove also makes it possible for it to withstand even the harshest work environments.

However, you can’t expect to enjoy all the mentioned advantages if you choose one, which is not high-quality enough. Increase your chances of finding a pair of glove that showcases its great quality by spending time scrutinizing all these important factors and points:

Intended purpose or use –

Just like what has been discussed earlier, a nitrile glove can be categorized as either industrial-grade or medical-grade. You can make your choice between the two based on your intended purpose or use of the actual glove. That’s why you have to determine the specific purpose for the glove prior to buying.

You can go for the industrial-grade nitrile glove

if you intend to use the gear for certain activities that tend to expose you to harsh substances and chemicals. These are commonly visible in janitorial and automotive industries.

The exam or the medical-grade nitrile glove

on the other hand, can protect you from blood-borne or environmental pathogens commonly found in medical facilities. Find out the risks and threats you are frequently exposed to so you can pick the right type of nitrile glove for you.

Size and color –

Checking the size of the nitrile glove should also form an essential part of the entire selection process. Note that you will be in need of a glove that properly fits your hands. If possible, try on some samples prior to deciding to buy so you can really get the size that is right for you.

It is also essential to consider the color.

Note that the blue is the standard color used in a nitrile glove. It is primarily because this is the color used in differentiating the material from those constructed out of latex. It is also possible to use the color in distinguishing sizes of gloves and preventing cross contamination.

Glove thickness –

Nitrile glove also varies in thickness, which is measured in mil, the abbreviated version of millimeters. This glove’s thickness actually ranges from 4-8 mil. If possible, choose a glove, which has an additional thickness designed to provide the utmost protection from harsh substances and chemicals.

One thing that you have to remember is that the thickness of nitrile gloves also has a say on its level of dexterity. Thicker gloves also mean that they have less dexterity. If you are working in the food processing industry and planning to use the glove there for 8 hours daily, then it would be best to pick thinner work gloves.

It is because it means that you will enjoy more dexterity, preventing your hands from becoming too tired and sweaty. If you are a painter, tattoo artist, or hold any other similar job then you have to invest in thicker gloves. It is because your job might cause you to deal with more puncture threats.

Finish and texture –

It also helps to spend time scrutinizing the finish and texture of the nitrile glove before buying. If you think that you will be needing an improved grip then look for a pair of the glove with fingers and palm that have textured finish. This often comes in the pattern of a diamond.

Having this texture is a big help as it significantly increases the grip of the glove, which contributes a lot when using it in dry and wet situations. A chlorinated coating is also used as a finish for the nitrile glove in most cases. This specific coating is a big help in lessening the stickiness, thereby promoting ease in putting on and taking off the gloves.

Powder-free vs. powdered – You also have to decide whether you will be getting a nitrile glove with powder or the one that is free from it. It is because it is also two of the most common choices in this type of glove. If you go for powder-free then note that it makes use of a polymer or chlorinated finish.

What is great about this finish is that it promotes ease in donning and doffing the glove while preventing you from experiencing the mess of the powdered version. However, the powdered glove is also an advantage for those who deal with a lot of moisture on a regular basis.

It is because it is capable of absorbing excess moisture. This is also a huge advantage as it helps in conveniently putting on the nitrile glove. The only problem with this is that it also tends to leave some residues.

Care and Maintenance

Your nitrile gloves can be expected to last for quite a long time if you know exactly the basics of properly caring for them. In terms of caring for them, the first thing that you have to know is how to clean the gloves properly. It would be best to wash this type of glove in your sink with the help of mild dishwashing soap or laundry detergent.

Avoid using solvents or bleach as these two are known to be oxidizing agents that trigger discoloration. After washing, it is advisable to let the gloves air-dry naturally. Air-drying is highly recommended to prevent the material from shrinking.

It can also ensure that the actual and proper size will be retained after washing. Also, avoid drying it using your machine. You should not also expose it to a source of heat, which is different from indirect sunlight.

Also, it helps to inspect and check the present condition of the nitrile glove before using. This will show you right away whether it already has signs of damage or wear and tear that requires immediate replacement. In terms of storage, it is essential to look for an area, which is dark and cool.

Avoid storing your nitrile glove in a place that exposes them to UV light or ozone for an extremely long period of time. The storage area should also be far from sources of heat, such as steam pipes and radiators.

What are nitrile glove brands?

A number of nitrile glove brands is now gaining popularity in the market. Most workers trust some of these brands because of the quality of the gloves, their durability, and their ability to offer the kind of protection that they are wishing to receive. Among the most trusted nitrile glove brands are SAS Safety, AMMEX, Maxiflex, Venom, and Adenna.

What are nitrile gloves made of? How they are made?

Nitrile is constructed using synthetic rubber or latex – both of which are composed or made up of physical properties capable of resisting petroleum fuels and oils. One thing to remember is that the nitrile material does not have latex proteins.

The synthetic material used in constructing this glove also has thrice more puncture-resistance compared to latex. All the properties composing nitrile can also be expected to create an incredible protective glove that you can safely use in several industries, particularly food service and medical applications.

In terms of the manner through which nitrile gloves are made, take note that the process of manufacturing them takes place in an assembly line. This is where you can find the glove forms being dipped first in a solution containing calcium nitrate, which thickens the dipped forms.

This process contributes to how thick the final form of the glove is. After the calcium nitrate solution evenly dries into the glove form, it is dipped into the solution containing the nitrile material. This is the step involved in developing the nitrile glove. It cures into the form prior to creating the actual glove through a blow of direct and strong burst of air.

Are nitrile gloves safe?

Of course, nitrile gloves are safe to use. In fact, the material is popular for having less to zero toxic materials, making it truly safe to use even in food and medical industries. If you are wondering about the question “are nitrile gloves food-safe”, then you will also receive a resounding yes as an answer.

Nitrile gloves for food, however, should be of top-notch quality so you will be assured of their high level of safety. Make sure that you use the gloves correctly around foods, too. Keep in mind that there are nitrile gloves that are low in quality, causing them to contain some harmful chemicals that can adversely affect the wearer and can transfer to food.

It is also crucial to monitor the glove regularly so you can instantly avoid using it in case it is torn or ripped. One more thing that you have to remember is that disposable nitrile gloves have to be replaced at the right time. It is because some of them may get contaminated, causing the transfer of viruses and bacteria to foods.

With that in mind, remember that while most nitrile gloves, especially the high-quality ones, are food safe, it is still important to inspect them regularly and learn a lot of things about how to take good care of them.

Are nitrile gloves chemical-resistant and waterproof?

Yes, nitrile glove is both chemical-resistant and waterproof. Nitrile material has a high resistance to chemicals, thereby protecting you from some chemical-based threats, like acids, caustics, petroleum products, greases, oils, and chlorinated and aromatic solvents.

Since it is chemical-resistant, it is safe to assume that nitrile is also liquid-proof or waterproof. In fact, it is one of the strongest, waterproofed material used in numerous industries and applications.

Can nitrile gloves be used for food handling?

Yes, nitrile gloves can be used for handling and preparing foods because it is safe to use this material for the mentioned industries and applications. In fact, many consider it as the preferred choice in the food industry since it prevents allergic reactions that often happen when using latex material.

It is also more chemical-resistant compared to latex material. Just ensure that you go for the powder-free version when planning to use a nitrile glove for food handling and application to lower the risk of contamination.

Are nitrile gloves recyclable?

Yes, nitrile gloves are recyclable. In fact, you can find programs designed to help you in your nitrile glove recycling projects. All it takes is to find the kind of recycling project and program that perfectly suits you.

Also, take note that while you can recycle this type of glove, it is important to put it in a separate and special recycling bin, not your standard or typical recycling bin. This is important in protecting not only the hands of those around you but also the environment.

How to sterilize nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves can actually be sterilized to make them even safer to use, especially if you are handling or preparing foods. The first step involved in sterilizing the nitrile glove is to wipe the outer part using an antibacterial cloth or wipes. Make sure to soak the cloth or wipes in a disinfectant prior to using it to wipe the glove’s exteriors.

Avoid using alcohol in sanitizing or sterilizing as this might only increase the risk of the nitrile material for tearing. Once done, hang the glove to dry prior to reusing it. You can actually use this simple method as a substitute for washing the nitrile glove using warm water and soap.

How long do nitrile gloves last?

Nitrile gloves can actually be expected to last for quite a long time. However, just like other natural products, there is still a high chance for them to degrade eventually. To increase the chance of your glove to last its expected lifetime, ensure that you properly take care of it. If unused, store it away from heat and direct sunlight.

What size of nitrile gloves do I need?

The specific size of glove that you need is actually dependent on which one can significantly improve your performance and optimize your comfort level while you are at work. To determine the correct size, try to fit a few samples. Your chosen glove should have a snug fit on your hand. It should also mimic your hand’s natural shape and size.

Another sign that you are getting the correct size and fit if it does not have any additional material over your fingertips. It should make you feel comfortable. It should never make your hands feel extreme tiredness and fatigue once your workday ends.

In addition, it should give you exceptional dexterity, especially if your work requires the use of your finger. It should not also fit too loosely in the sense that it can already lead to skin irritation and chafing.

What threats can nitrile gloves protect me from?

One of the most important things about a nitrile glove is that it protects your hands each time you wear it at work. It makes use of nitrile, which is a material designed to keep your hands protected and safe from all forms of threat and contamination. It also prevents you from getting contaminated by the items or surfaces you are touching.

Nitrile also contains protective properties as it is oil-proof, grease-proof, and waterproof, among many other things. Most important, it is resistant to chemicals and substances. It also promotes dexterous strengths plus protects you from cuts and punctures, especially if you are working in the medical industry.

Are their nitrile gloves for mechanics?

Of course, you can find nitrile gloves designed for mechanics. The best nitrile gloves for mechanics are actually known for their strength. In fact, they are stronger than latex gloves plus they are known to offer more resistance to punctures and chemicals.

With that, it is safe to assume that they work for mechanics, too. Almost all mechanics actually need a dexterous, strong, and chemical-resistant work glove, all of which are qualities that can be met by nitrile gloves. This especially holds true if you choose the black nitrile gloves that are preferred by a lot of mechanics.


The best nitrile gloves offer numerous advantages to wearers, which is the reason why they continue to win the hearts of many. Their extreme versatility is one of their strengths, making them useful in almost all applications. In addition, they are sturdy and strong, allowing you to work in whatever industry with confidence.