Compare the pair. Different types of Gloves required in the laboratory

Nitrile Gloves

Compare the pair. Different types of Gloves required in the laboratory

Posted on the 10th of Feb 2022 by Westlab

Nobody considers exactly what gloves the scientists in the movies wear, but is a glove really just a glove? Short answer, no. Gloves are a staple part of PPE. They are predominantly used to protect wearers from exposure to hazards like pathogens and chemicals, prevent cross-contamination and promote hygiene. There are a wide range of gloves on the market for laboratories, manufacturing and food industries, but what makes gloves different?


Nitrile gloves are the most common gloves sold to laboratories and workplaces. There are many benefits to nitrile gloves. They are comfortable, breathable and powder-free. Nitrile gloves are great for people with latex allergies. Nitrile Gloves are commonly worn by workers in the medical, scientific and industrial industries. Despite the common myth, nitrile gloves do not cost significantly more compared to latex gloves due to increases in the supply chain and ever-growing demand.

Nitrile gloves are very diverse and protect wearers from a wide range of hazards – chemicals and pathogens – and are the preferred choice for workers in healthcare, medical and laboratory settings.


Made from latex produced by rubber trees. Latex gloves are a cheaper alternative to nitrile gloves. Latex gloves are comfortable and have been used in medical grade and food handling settings. The main thing to consider with latex gloves is some people do have allergies and cannot wear these gloves. In the past decades, nitrile gloves have taken precedent over latex but there is still a demand for these gloves.

Long cuff

Long cuff gloves are pretty much the same as regular gloves but with longer cuffs, they cover the wrists and prevent the wearer from exposing more skin. Long cuffs are always worn over laboratory gowns and never under. Long cuff gloves are predominately used in microbiology, forensics and other laboratories with strict contamination and hygiene protocols.

Note: Although some workplaces use long cuff gloves to prevent contamination, they are not sterile unless specified by the manufacturer.


Like nitrile, vinyl gloves were originally produced as a latex-free alternative for people with latex allergies. Despite their comparisons to nitrile, vinyl gloves are commonplace in the food industry, and popular among painters. Because of their anti-static nature, vinyl gloves are also used by electricians when working with wires and cords. They are a cheaper option compared to latex and nitrile but they also have a looser fit. Ultimately, vinyl gloves are best for short use and low-risk of contamination activities.

Polyethylene clear

Polyethylene gloves are the preferred choice in the food industry. Think butchers, delis and where food production takes place. They are economical and designed for single-use and short-term food handling. Because these gloves are predominately designed for food handling, they require certification from different mobs than the other gloves. 

Heat resistant 

First your hot, then your cold. Westlab’s heat resistant gloves will protect your staff from life-threatening burns caused by heated equipment like ovens, coolants and burners. Heat resistant gloves have very thick soles to absorb the heat. Made of premium high-quality linings, they can withstand temperatures of up to 500°C. Westlab's heat resistant gloves provide mobility and flexibility without compromising safety.

Ice thermal

Human skin is not designed to be exposed to the extreme cold which brings us to ice thermal resistant gloves. These gloves primarily used for safety instead of hygiene unlike other gloves in this article by preventing frostbite. Thermal gloves have extra layers of lining to keep your hands warm. Ice thermal gloves are perfect for laboratories and facilities that handle dry ice and work in freezing conditions. These gloves are suitable for -50°C contact temperature. Scientific Equipment Suppliers are designed to keep users safe without hindering their dexterity with fit gloves.

How to buy Gloves

Still confused about which gloves to buy? Our specialised consultants can offer advice on the best gloves for you and your team. Contact Westlab today.

2022-02-10 13:16:00
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