The three best types of medical gloves for your care home

As distributors of over 20 million medical gloves every month, we’ve developed an understanding of the pros and cons of each type. With options that include latex, vinyl and nitrile, here are the factors that matter when it comes to choosing which glove is the best fit for the task in hand.

Latex medical gloves

For: Best for fit

Against: Allergic reactions

Latex disposable exam gloves have been the glove of choice for the healthcare industry for over 100 years and for good reason. Durable and comfortable, they are unsurpassed when it comes to tactile sensitivity and fit.

The manufacturing process is straightforward, and the raw latex material is formulated with chemical compounds. This impacts the glove’s ultimate tensile strength and flexibility and plays a major role in determining the end quality.

We offer Cura, as it is one of the UK’s leading medical brands. They offer outstanding protection as well as a superior grip and have powdered or powder-free options.

The downside to medical gloves made of latex is the possibility of allergies: whilst 6% of the population have a latex allergy, it’s thought that somewhere between 8%-17% of healthcare workers are affected.

Vinyl medical gloves

For: Value for money

Against: Not suited to high-risk conditions

Vinyl gloves are made from the synthetic material polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and as they are latex-free, they are a good alternative to latex medical gloves for people who have allergies. 

While they’re comfortable to wear and provide standard barrier protection, they shouldn’t be used in high-risk or hazardous conditions, for example when handling chemotherapy drugs. However, they are suited to most scenarios within a hospital or care environment.

It is important to check the quality of vinyl gloves, as levels can vary. We stock Cura vinyl gloves, as they offer good value and versatility without compromising on quality.

Nitrile medical gloves

For: Resilient and latex-free

Against: Higher unit cost

Nitrile gloves are increasingly popular amongst members of the medical and care professions and are often the latex-free glove of choice.

Resilient and chemical resistant, these synthetic examination gloves are an effective barrier against blood-borne pathogens. They are also three times more puncture resistant than standard latex gloves.

However, not all nitrile gloves offer the same level of protection. There are variations in thickness and formulation, so check with the manufacturer before handling chemotherapy drugs. We offer Cura nitrile gloves as they are strong, supple and give excellent touch sensitivity and grip.

Final thoughts

There are a range of factors to take into consideration when deciding which are the best medical gloves for your care home. If you’re unsure of which ones to purchase, or want to find out more about our consultative services, get in touch with us. Alternatively, for the latest information in the care sector, head on over to our blog.


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