Best Alternatives to Latex Gloves

Back to Blog

Best Alternatives to Latex Gloves

Latex gloves provide effective protection against biohazards, bodily fluids, some chemicals and detergents, however, disposable latex gloves do have a couple of downsides; they are the more expensive variety of disposable gloves, plus about 6% of the population are believed to be allergic to latex.   


Latex Gloves and Allergies

Historically, latex gloves have been around since the 1900s. Since then, they have been the primary choice in disposable gloves used across a vast range of industries for medical to food preparations. However, in 1984 latex allergies were discovered and reports of allergies become more popular. Now more than 10 unique proteins are recognised as major latex allergens.  Therefore, if you are allergic, or you have direct skin to skin contact with patients (or other people) that could potentially be allergic to latex, you should be choosing an alternative to disposable latex gloves to ensure you aren’t responsible for any allergic reactions.  Allergic reactions can appear as hives, itchy skin or a runny nose, more serious symptoms like increased blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing. 


Best Alternatives to Latex Gloves

There are a few non-allergic alternatives to using latex gloves – depending on what the intended use is.  These options boil down to two different options; vinyl gloves and nitrile gloves. 

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are by far the cheapest disposable gloves at often more than half the price of latex gloves. They are comfortable to wear but the elasticity is poor and they don’t have a high resistance to chemicals.  In addition, they aren’t the best for the environment as they have low biodegradability.  Vinyl gloves are most commonly used for food handling and some short healthcare tasks (excluding surgery).  



  • Vinyl gloves are cheap 
  • Available in medical-grade
  • Poor resistance to chemicals 
  • Non-allergic although some people do feel an irritation 
  • Low biodegradability 
  • Used for food handling and healthcare 
  • Poor elasticity 
  • Good for short tasks 




Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves have a high puncture resistance so they are a great alternative to latex gloves. They are often blue in colour so you can see punctures clearly. Nitrile is a man-made material that is very flexible while also being very tough so they are quite versatile in terms of usage.  Nitrile gloves can be used in many industries and are popular for usage in healthcare and working with chemicals.  Reusable nitrile gloves are also available, these gloves are better for the environment but not suitable for all industries depending on what certification the task requires. Ansell gloves are a great reusable nitrile product. 


  • Extremely strong 
  • Durable and puncture-resistant 
  • Snug fit so good for tasks that require precision 
  • They are not biodegradable as they are man-made 
  • Used in healthcare and chemical industries amongst many others 
  • 1% of users are still allergic 
  • Available in medical-grade 





Shop for disposable gloves and save up to 85% on PPE…

Share this post

Back to Blog
You've just added this product to the cart:

Subscribe to get 15% off your next order!

Your e-mail address is only used to send you our newsletter and information about the activities of Genuine PPE. You can use the unsubscribe link included in the newsletter to unsubscribe at any time.