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The Best Medical Gloves for Everyday Use

a closeup of a person in a lab coat checking someone's pulse with blue medical gloves on

Despite their name, medical gloves (also known as examination gloves) aren’t solely limited to medical professionals. It is true that they are widely used at labs, clinics, and workplaces everywhere. But no matter who you are or what your profession might be, medical gloves will offer your hands protection in a large variety of everyday tasks, professional and recreational alike. Whether you’re examining patients, handling or processing food at work, cleaning with skin-irritating chemicals, or chopping jalapeños to cook a meal at home, medical gloves can help protect your hands and skin from harmful bacteria, germs, and chemicals. Note that regardless of how you plan to use your medical gloves, they are single-use and should always be safely disposed of after you’ve completed your task. With so many different options available on the market today, finding the perfect ones for your needs can be difficult. Here are a few medical gloves we recommend.

Shopping for Medical Gloves

Here are some things to consider when buying disposable gloves:

  • Material: Material is important, as vinyl, latex, and nitrile gloves each have their benefits and drawbacks. Vinyl gloves are flexible and inexpensive but are much less durable and aren’t considered environmentally friendly. Obviously, if you have a latex allergy, you’ll want to not only avoid latex gloves but ensure that you buy medical gloves that are completely latex-free. If allergies aren’t an issue, latex gloves are flexible but not flimsy, touch-sensitive, and comfortable to wear. Nitrile gloves are less flexible and elastic but provide greater protection against chemicals and accidental punctures. Ultimately, the best material for you will likely be determined by the tasks you will use the gloves for and your personal preference.
  • Size: Size is also worth considering since you will want your new medical gloves to fit snugly and comfortably. This is especially true if you’ll be handling dangerous chemicals or other toxic materials; you don’t want to leave any space for harmful substances to sneak in and come into contact with your skin. And gloves that are too small are prone to tearing during use. Fortunately, medical gloves come in several different sizes ranging from extra small to double extra large. Many brands and varieties offer the same gloves in more than one size, so you should be able to find the gloves with the features you want that also fit your hands properly.
  • Protection: Finally, the level of protection offered by your gloves will come into play, so be sure to choose gloves that meet your unique requirements. Some medical gloves will be thicker than others, which offers better protection overall, especially against punctures and tears. Others are waterproof and/or oilproof or are designed to protect against chemicals, solvents, and/or grease. Some will have beaded cuffs that reduce your risk of tearing, especially when you’re putting on the gloves. Consider what protective features might be most beneficial to your intended tasks and choose your medical gloves accordingly.

Top Choice: Dre Health Powder Free Disposable Medical Gloves

a hand putting on a blue stretchy glove

A set of strong, sapphire blue medical gloves that are perfect for medical facilities, home or commercial kitchens, and a number of other environments. They’re made out of Niterek, a blend of synthetic nitrile elastomers, which are both strong and thick (4 milliliters thick, weighing in at around 5 grams on average) yet offer a good stretch. The fingertips of each glove are textured, sensitive enough to operate many touchscreen phones and devices, which ensures better friction and thus a superior grip than similar, smoother models. They’re also food-safe, have beaded cuffs to prevent accidental tears, and each glove is ambidextrous, suitable for both your right and left hand. These medical gloves are also free of rubber latex and powders, so you don’t need to worry about touching clients or patients with latex allergies while wearing them. They’re available in four different sizes, small, medium, large, and extra-large. There are 100 total gloves per box, regardless of size choice.

Top Choice

Dre Health Synthetic Nitrile Disposable Gloves Large -100 Pack -Latex Free Medical Gloves

A box of 100 food-safe and latex-free gloves that don't sacrifice strength for stretchiness.

Best Vinyl Gloves: Care Plus Disposable Vinyl Gloves

a box of vinyl powder-free medium-sized gloves

If you prefer the flexibility and cost efficiency of vinyl medical gloves over any other material, consider these versatile, transparent gloves. They’re latex-free, safe for any environment where a latex allergy might raise cause for concern. They’re also powder-free, which makes them easier to slide on and off without getting stuck, and they won’t leave an uncomfortable powdery feeling behind on your hands after use. These gloves are non-sterile and food-safe, ideal for delis, sandwich shops, grocery stores, and any other commercial kitchen. Each glove is ambidextrous so you never have to worry about running low or right- or left-handed gloves at any time. And the perforated storage box dispenses only one glove at a time, ensuring no extra gloves spill out only the floor or counter and become contaminated, so none of them accidentally go to waste. These gloves come in packs of 100 or 1,000 and are available in four different sizes.

Best Vinyl Gloves

Best Latex Gloves: LANON Latex Disposable Gloves

a white box of disposable gloves and one glove displayed outside of the box

If you and the people you work with don’t have any latex allergies to worry about, you may prefer the comfort and flexibility provided by latex gloves. These powder-free, ambidextrous medical gloves are a great option, as they are both comfortable and extremely protective. If you wash a lot of dishes, color or dye your own hair, or clean with powerful chemicals, these gloves are especially ideal. They are waterproof, highly chemical-resistant, and hold up against low-concentration oil grease and light solvents like household detergent or stain removers. They’re also fully textured to provide you with a better grip, even when you’re handling wet or greasy items. They can be used to operate touchscreens and have a beaded cuff to reduce the risk of tearing when donning a new pair. The premium latex material will conform to the contour of your hand for an improved, comfier fit that is odorless, recyclable, and eco-friendly to boot. You can buy them in boxes of 100 at a time, in two different shades of white, and in small, medium, or large sizes (see sizing chart for a more detailed fit).

Best Latex Gloves

LANON 5 mil Latex Disposable Gloves, Food-Contact Grade, Powder-Free, Fully Textured, White, Medium

Premium, disposable latex gloves that protect against many different substances.

Best Nitrile Gloves: Membrane Solutions Nitrile Gloves

a box of blue disposable nitrile gloves; one glove is displayed on a hand outside of the box

These are thick, firm-fitting nitrile medical gloves made of premium material that will protect your hands from a wide range of substances and dangers. They’re 4 milligrams thick and weigh about 4 grams, free of not only powder and latex but oxidants, silicone oil, and are saline contained, so you shouldn’t ever have to worry about these gloves irritating your skin or causing a reaction even when worn for an extended period of time. The thick material protects against punctures, while the beaded cuffs reduce the risk of tearing and provide a snugger fit to keep harmful substances out. They’re waterproof and oil-resistant and will protect your hands against most liquids and chemicals. Tactile and precise despite their thick, protective surface, these gloves are also textured to ensure a firmer grip even when wet. The nitrile material is food-grade, so you can safely prepare and handle food in home and commercial kitchens alike.

Best Nitrile Gloves

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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