When it comes to choosing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you have to keep a few essentials in mind.
Along with your crucial inventory of face masks, face shields, and protective goggles, the list can’t get completed without reliable disposable gloves.
But that’s where it gets tricky.
With multiple PPE types available for your hands, it can be difficult to choose the right material that fits your critical needs. This especially holds true for popular variants such as nitrile gloves and vinyl gloves.
Here’s a direct comparison between nitrile gloves vs. vinyl gloves, their advantages, and their disadvantages to help you through the process. This helps you determine which material is better for your specific use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Are Nitrile Gloves?
Nitrile is a synthetic rubber developed with a combination of two copolymers, namely acrylonitrile and butadiene. Since the material is created with durability in mind, it is known for holding its own in high-pressure situations.
Apart from delivering long-lasting usage, nitrile’s strength shines through when puncture hazards, oils, and chemicals are involved. This also makes nitrile an excellent alternative to latex, especially in scenarios where latex-related allergies pose a threat.
They Come From an Exceptional Material That Serves Various Use Cases
Due to features such as chemical resistance, nitrile is widely used in a variety of disposable PPE for industrial use cases. When the material is utilized for making disposable gloves, it makes for exceptionally strong PPE for healthcare settings as well.
They Are Ideal for Surgical Settings and Close-contact Processes
Since nitrile is naturally resistant to oils, it offers optimal protection in surgical procedures and contact-sensitive processes. Where bodily fluids can degrade other common materials, these gloves remain strong against constant exposure to blood and body oils.
They Deliver Ideal Protection With Constant Usage
Nitrile’s extensive strength against consistent use also stands in front and center where viral infections are involved. This makes them an ideal fit for COVID-19 treatment rooms where even a single tear in the material can compromise healthcare staff.
They Are Easily Available in Large Quantities
In the coronavirus era, one of the most exceptional features for nitrile gloves comes in the form of accessibility. Since the material is widely available, healthcare professionals can count on reliable manufacturers to get their required supply of this critical PPE.
What are Vinyl Gloves?
Vinyl gloves are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a synthetic plastic polymer. The material is widely used in a variety of applications, including but not limited to construction, automotive, and industrial settings.
Despite their widespread usage, vinyl gloves do not have the same durability or puncture-resistance as many other gloves. With that being said, they are exceptionally easy and cheap to produce. This makes them widely accessible for various low-risk applications.
They Are Useful in a Variety of Scenarios
Since vinyl is easily accessible, it has become useful material in a slew of different applications. When utilized in disposable gloves, it provides a simpler alternative to latex. This can be helpful in healthcare settings where latex allergies present a cause for concern.
They Can Offer Protection Against Low-infection Settings
Vinyl gloves are sensitive to tears and punctures, making the wearer prone to infections in high-risk settings. But these gloves still deliver ideal usage in scenarios with a low risk of infections, where they can be used to handle simple processes.
They Deliver a More Comfortable Fit to the Wearer
While nitrile gloves boast of higher durability, vinyl gloves come with a looser fit. For some users, this makes them a preferable choice in low-risk settings. For instance, if you are handling non-hazardous materials or non-viral agents, you might like to go with the more comfortable fit that comes with vinyl gloves.
They Are Highly Affordable and Easy to Purchase
Out of all popular disposable glove types, vinyl gloves are perhaps the cheapest to manufacture. This also makes them cost-effective for the buyer. But given that they do not offer protection in viral settings such as COVID-19 treatment rooms, this affordability comes at the price of safety.
What is the Difference Between Them?
The factors outlined above clarify the main distinctions between nitrile and vinyl. But you must make a side-by-side comparison for further understanding. This helps you become more confident in your purchase decision, especially when taking this step for a healthcare facility.
Resistance to Chemicals
Nitrile is a chemical-resistant material, while vinyl doesn’t boast of this capability. At most, vinyl can only offer protection against a select list of chemicals. Combined with its puncture-resistance, this makes nitrile a better choice for handling hazardous substances.
Performance Against Viral Agents
With its tear-resistant protection in the face of body fluids, nitrile offers a better option for healthcare procedures. This includes processes such as performing surgeries and handling medical samples. It also makes nitrile a more suitable fit for viral settings.
Overall Comfort and Fit
Nitrile gloves have a stretchable feel to them and offer a snug fit. In comparison, vinyl gloves have a loose fit that often does not stick to your hands’ contours. This makes the vinyl more comfortable for some wearers, but that decision depends upon your personal preference and handling of tools.
Extended Protection for Healthcare Procedures
With its durability, oil-resistance, and puncture-resistance qualities, nitrile offers a more dependable PPE in settings such as COVID-19 treatment rooms. Even when you come in close contact with infected patients, you can reduce your exposure to the virus. On the other hand, vinyl does not offer the same level of protection.
Nitrile Rules Supreme in Terms of Protection
The most significant difference between nitrile and vinyl gloves is the safety level that they offer to the wearer. The former is the more durable choice, while the latter is the more affordable one.
If you are moving forward with purchasing it for a healthcare setting or even an industrial facility, this provides you with a clear suggestion to go with nitrile. But if you are making your purchase for a low-risk environment, you may also select vinyl as your preferred material.