There is no doubt that disposable single use gloves are standard equipment in the medical, food preparation, and cleaning industries. They are an inexpensive means of protecting hands against harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, dirt, and other health threats. Disposable gloves are not just for professionals. Make sure you always have a box of them on hand at home to keep your hands germ-free when performing routine household tasks, such as cleaning and gardening.
In this guide, we will break down the shopping considerations to help you find the best disposable single gloves for your needs.
Types of disposable gloves
The disposable gloves are made of four basic materials, each of which is suitable for a specific application. The material determines the gloves’ protection level and the task for which they are best suited. Disposable gloves are all designed to offer some protection against germs, stains, and harsh chemicals.
It is a versatile material made of natural rubber. Latex gloves offer the maximum degree of comfort, flexibility, fit, and tactile sensitivity. They are an excellent choice for those who wish to wear gloves that fit as a second skin. In addition to offering protection against microorganisms, they are also favored for gardening and first aid tasks.
The biggest downside to latex is that some people are allergic to it, and wearing a pair of latex gloves can cause them to break out in a rash. The latex material is not resistant to all chemicals, but it can withstand most acids, bases, chlorine, iodine, and formaldehyde. As a biodegradable material derived from renewable resources, it won’t sit in landfills for decades.
The most versatile material used in disposable gloves is nitrile. It comes in varying thicknesses and is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for people with latex allergies.
A Nitrile glove is resistant to most household chemicals, and it is durable, flexible, and is capable of resisting bacteria and viruses. It is also resistant to punctures and tears. Nitrile gloves are flexible, durable, and can be used for tasks that involve sharp objects, such as cleaning up glass shards.
Various colors of nitrile gloves indicate their uses and degrees of protection, such as blue nitrile gloves in the medical industry and black nitrile gloves in the automotive industry.
Vinyl gloves are best suited for low-risk tasks such as food preparation, cooking, serving, and housekeeping. Vinyl is naturally anti-static, an advantage when you are handling wires and cords.
There is little chemical resistance in vinyl gloves, but they are an excellent low-cost option for low-risk tasks that require gloves for a short period of time.
Often oversized and not offering a tight, close fit, poly or polyethylene gloves are an inexpensive solution for tasks requiring low dexterity, such as food preparation.
It is convenient to use poly gloves for household tasks that require frequent changes of gloves, such as food prepping, because of their ease of removal. However, they are not suitable for medical purposes or chemical contact. Vinyl gloves are primarily used for food handling or light-duty tasks. They are hypoallergenic and powder-free. They are the cheapest disposable glove available.
What to Consider When Buying Disposable Gloves
A disposable glove’s level of protection is determined by a number of factors in addition to its material type. When selecting the best disposable gloves, keep the following factors in mind. These include thickness, durability, size, and fit.
When selecting disposable gloves, the type of material you choose affects the durability and thickness of the gloves to a lesser extent. For specific tasks around the house, you may want to purchase different types of gloves, such as nitrile gloves for cleaning the bathroom and vinyl gloves for preparing food, when shopping for single-use gloves.
Consider whether the tasks you plan to wear them for carry a risk of coming in contact with harmful microorganisms, in which case latex gloves or nitrile gloves would be a better choice. Conversely, vinyl and poly gloves should be sufficient if you wish to keep your hands free of dirt, grime, and other low-risk substances.
Durability & Thickness
Disposable gloves come in a range of thicknesses measured in mils. A mil is one thousandth of an inch of thickness, or gauge. Most disposable gloves for household use have a gauge of between 2 and 8 mils. Gloves with a thinner gauge—between 2 and 4 mils—provide greater dexterity and flexibility, but are less durable. Gloves with a thicker gauge—6 mils and higher—provide greater protection.
A properly fitted glove will provide you with great gripping power and reduce hand fatigue. Materials such as latex and nitrile offer more flexibility in hand movement than vinyl or poly.
Disposable gloves come in a variety of sizes, ranging from extra small to extra large. To determine the appropriate size, wrap a tape measure around your hand at its widest point and measure in inches. This will assist you in determining the size of glove you require. Common glove sizings are:
- XS: 7 inches
- S: 7-1/2 to 8 inches
- M: 8-1/2 to 9 inches
- L: 9-1/2 to 10 inches
- XL: 10-1/2 to 11 inches
Powder-Free vs. Powdered
In some disposable latex, nitrile, and vinyl gloves, cornstarch powder is added, which makes them easier to apply and prevents them from sticking to you. These gloves are sometimes referred to as powdered gloves.
The removal of powder-free gloves is more difficult, and it can be difficult to grasp small items with a powder-free glove. Powder-free gloves are generally more expensive than powdered gloves. Additionally, powder-free gloves tend to be more resistant to chemicals, water, and oil.
Typically, disposable gloves are designed to fit snugly against the skin, which can result in skin irritation or allergic reactions. Latex gloves are more likely to cause skin irritation than other materials because some people are allergic to latex. In contrast, nitrile, vinyl, poly, and neoprene are less likely to irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions.
You may also experience irritation from powdered gloves, but there are a number of non-powdered disposable gloves available. If you suffer from sensitive skin, you should use non-powdered disposable gloves in vinyl or nitrile.
Our Top Picks
It is important to note that disposable gloves are rated for industrial, medical, and food use. The recommendations below are an overview of some of the best disposable single-use gloves available in each category.
Our Best Disposable Single Use Glove Reviews
1. Infi-Touch Nitrile Gloves
Some disposable gloves barely cover your wrists, making it hard to keep liquids from entering while you work. Infi-Touch’s nitrile gloves offer ample wrist coverage to ensure your hands and wrists are protected. In addition to the powder-free liner, these gloves also have an acrylic liner which prevents skin from coming into contact with the nitrile layer, making them easy to wear and remove.
The gloves feature micro-textured fingertips for maximum gripping power. They are strong and puncture-resistant with a thickness of 6 mil. In addition to being a budget-friendly product, these gloves are suitable for many household tasks, including cleaning, painting, and food preparation. A box containing 100 pairs is available in small, medium, and large sizes.
2. GlovePlus AMMEX Industrial Clear Vinyl Gloves
This box of 1,000 pairs of vinyl gloves by GlovePlus represents a great savings when you purchase in bulk. If you need to change your gloves frequently, these vinyl gloves by GlovePlus are an economical choice. This pair of AMMEX gloves provides ample coverage and offers a looser fit with a smooth, comfortable feel. Made of lightweight, 4-mil vinyl, they are both durable and hypoallergenic, offering exceptional performance and value.
Although vinyl gloves do offer some dexterity, they are not well-suited to tasks that require high precision and control. While the cuffs of these gloves are loose for comfort, they will not keep out liquids. They are suitable for light cleaning tasks and food handling and are resistant to many common household chemicals, in addition to being useful for beauty tasks such as nail painting and hair dyeing. Since the AMMEX Industrial Clear Vinyl Gloves have a loose design, they may be able to accommodate individuals with larger hands.
3. MedPride Nitrile Exam Gloves
The versatile nitrile gloves from Medpride are designed to be used for a variety of applications and offer a great balance between performance and cost. Designed for medical use, these gloves are also suitable for household tasks. At 3.5 mils thick, these gloves are classified as light-duty gloves.
The MedPride gloves have a high puncture resistance, offer chemical, liquid, and gas protection, and provide tactile sensitivity for handling household chemicals, cleaning, food preparation, and first aid.
4. Chef’s Star Disposable Latex Gloves
These latex gloves from Chef’s Star feel like a second skin; they are made from natural rubber and are durable, flexible, and comfortable. The main advantage of latex gloves is their tactile quality, and these gloves are no exception to that rule. Although these gloves are not very chemically resistant and there is a possibility of an allergic reaction, they offer excellent tear-and-cut resistance, making them suitable for both professional cooks and home cooks.
You can use Chef’s Star Disposable Latex Gloves to prepare food and perform light cleaning tasks. These gloves would also make an excellent addition to your first aid kit at home. Given that they are powder-free, they are offered at an affordable price. Only the medium size is available in a box of 100.
5. Medpride Medical Vinyl Examination Gloves
It is comfortable to wear and offers adequate protection when handling most chemicals. It is not as flexible as gloves made from nitrile or latex, but it is a more budget-friendly alternative. These MedPride gloves are manufactured for medical use, but they can also be used in the home as well. In terms of strength, this glove is in the mid-duty range, as it is 4 mil thick.
These Medpride gloves are best suited for low-risk activities such as food preparation, pet care, and other low-risk activities without harsh chemicals due to vinyl’s low chemical resistance rating. As vinyl is naturally antistatic, these gloves can be used in electrical tasks. They are available in a box of 100 and are available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. Compared to other vinyl gloves on the list, Medpride gloves are the least expensive per pair. They are particularly useful for frequent glove changes.
6. Brandon-super Disposable Food Prep Gloves
In case you are tired of smelling garlic and onions after cooking or need to frequently wash your hands while cooking for individuals with food sensitivities and allergies, these prep gloves may be of assistance. These Brandon-super poly gloves are suitable for quick tasks that require frequent glove changes.
These poly food prep gloves are made to fit loosely, so you can whip them on and off with ease. The gloves are not suitable for tasks requiring dexterity and precision, nor are they chemical or heat-resistant. They are best suited to light tasks such as food handling and cleaning counters. Despite not being watertight, these gloves are an economical and convenient choice if you need to exchange gloves to prevent cross-contamination while cooking.
7. Clean Ones Disposable HDPE Poly Gloves
The clean one’s poly gloves are the best choice for commercial kitchens. They are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to put on and remove within seconds. For tasks that require frequent glove changes, these poly gloves by Clean Ones will only cost three cents.
A longer cuff length prevents food debris from entering your glove while you work, while strong seams and an angled cuff ensure a comfortable fit for most users. Poly gloves tend to run large. They are one-size-fits-most, so they may not be appropriate for people with smaller hands. These gloves also have a textured surface for extra grip.