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Understanding the difference between Nitrile Gloves and Vinyl Gloves

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves - What are the differences between them?

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves

What makes humans different from other animals? Apart from the smartest brain, we are blessed to be bipedal with functional hands. Most of our daily tasks are dependent on our hands. It is especially true when we are talking about most job roles. In many industrial settings, hand gloves play a crucial role. Gloves often play the dual role of protection & hygiene. The attributes of hand gloves are heavily dependent on the material of construction. So it is vital to choose the right type of material. The article is all about Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves. You will find out which material is the best amongst both. 

Why are disposable hand gloves preferred?

Hand gloves can be classified into disposable & non-disposable ones. Disposable gloves are manufactured with one less constraint of reusability. It helps the manufacturer to concentrate on improving the other attributes of disposable gloves. Moreover, disposable gloves are mandatory in healthcare industries where hand gloves act as a barrier between healthcare professionals & patients. Here, gloves protect healthcare professionals & patients from pathogens, thus shielding them from infections. Disposable gloves can be tailor-made for different industrial requirements against various types of risks & hazards. As they are a one-time-use product, they also help in maintaining hygiene along with protecting hands.

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves

To make disposable hand gloves preferable, one needs to choose the appropriate material for construction and design. For companies, it would be a wiser choice if they take an expert opinion before deciding on the type of disposable gloves. Disposable gloves are mostly manufactured from nitrile or vinyl. In this article, we will be guiding you to choose between these top two materials (according to the industrial settings) which are used to manufacture disposable gloves.

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves

Before delving into the key differences between these two gloves, check out the details of them respectively.

Vinyl disposable hand gloves

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl is manufactured from PVC which is a petroleum-based polymer of vinyl chloride. Vinyl hand gloves quickly rose to prominence due to their brilliant functioning & inexpensive cost.  But, in today’s world of environmental concern, vinyl gloves have been called out by many organizations & individuals. When compared to nitrile gloves, they provide lesser protection against chemicals & bodily fluids. Also, using vinyl gloves for a longer duration (due to stretching) may reduce their protection level. Yet, vinyl gloves are widely used (due to their low cost) in industries where the level of risk is low or the infection transmission chances are low.

Nitrile disposable hand gloves                            

Nitrile Gloves

Before nitrile was used for manufacturing hand gloves, latex was widely used. But, the growing allergy cases due to the frequent use of latex gloves prompted a better alternative. Nitrile was found to be the best among all the other alternatives. These nitrile gloves get compromised on flexibility (compared to latex gloves), but instead, they provide more durability & chemical resistance. A fair trade to be really honest. They are considered an ideal choice when looking for protection against chemicals & bodily fluids. Moreover, nitrile gloves have additional puncture resistance along with lesser chances to develop any allergies. It makes them an ideal choice for healthcare professionals.

Curious souls can venture further to know more about safety gloves.

FAQ - Why should you know the differences between nitrile & vinyl gloves?

The best way to choose between two things is to compare them on their pros & cons. Going through the differences between these two gloves will help you choose the right one for your requirements.

What are the differences between nitrile & vinyl gloves?

Type of Material

Nitrile was modeled as a potential alternative to latex. Thus, nitrile is a synthetic alternative to latex. Hence, the properties of the material are quite similar to latex. Vinyl gloves are synthetic and made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). 

Durability & Elasticity

Nitrile gloves are much more durable than vinyl gloves. They are much more elastic, which offers higher mechanical resistance. 

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves

Abrasion & Chemical Resistance

Nitrile gloves again beat vinyl gloves in abrasion & chemical resistance. They are the best in class when dealing with poisonous, dangerous, hazardous, and corrosive chemicals, be they acidic, basic, or neutral. Moreover, nitrile gloves have better puncture resistance than vinyl gloves.

Resistance against oils, fats & petroleum products 

Nitrile gloves beat vinyl ones here too. Nitrile gloves are preferentially used when dealing with oils, fats & petroleum products.


Here, vinyl gloves get an edge over nitrile gloves. They are comparatively inexpensive and often are available in bulk at much cheaper rates.

Comfort, Flexibility & Dexterity

Here the opinion is divided among the masses. A large proportion of people feel that nitrile gloves provide better dexterity, while there is a sizeable group of people who feel much more comfortable wearing vinyl gloves. While it is true that nitrile gloves have a great sense of sensitivity. As nitrile is lightweight and is considered a breathable material, it is suitable for long working hours.


While both these gloves claim to have no allergic reactions, the presence of a few accelerators in nitrile may cause Type-IV hypersensitivity allergic reactions. Though the chances of an allergy to nitrile are low, a few individuals may develop an allergy to it. 

Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves


Nitrile gloves are employed when dealing with high-risk hazardous chemicals. They are also preferred in highly infectious zones, especially against bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens. Often you may spot a healthcare professional, workers in chemical factories, researchers, and lab technicians donning nitrile gloves. Vinyl gloves are used for handling less hazardous chemicals. They are also used by caterers & workers in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other places for serving food. 

Conclusion -  Nitrile Gloves vs Vinyl Gloves: Which gloves are the best?

Ask yourselves! Why do you need gloves? Are you a worker in a chemical industry surrounded by hazardous chemicals where you need hand protection from chemicals, punctures, cuts, and abrasions for long working hours? If yes, then go for nitrile gloves. The advantages of nitrile gloves will help you decide whether they weigh over their primary disadvantage i.e. cost. If you are looking for gloves for serving food or dealing with less hazardous chemicals, inexpensive vinyl gloves are the best choice. One can conclude that nitrile gloves are for high-risk tasks while vinyl gloves are for low-risk handling.

You can check our article for more information on choosing the correct safety gloves