What are Surgical Gloves Made Of? All the Different Types of Surgical Gloves Explained

what are surgical gloves made of

Surgical gloves provide a crucial barrier against contamination, making this simple supply essential for the surgeon, patient, and the rest of the healthcare team’s safety alike.

But, what are surgical gloves made of – and which of the different types of surgical gloves is best for your facility? You have access to a range of materials like nitrile, latex, PVC, and neoprene, each with unique benefits.

Nitrile gloves are known for their strength and hypoallergenic properties, while latex offers superior elasticity and tactile sensitivity. PVC gloves provide a cost-effective solution with adequate protection, and neoprene stands out for its chemical resistance and durability.

Understanding your options is the first step to selecting the right surgical gloves types for your specific needs. But no matter which style you end up choosing, remember that PlastCare USA has a comprehensive range of high-quality bulk surgical gloves at wholesale prices.

Source your gloves through us to make sure you get the right fit, material, and price, empowering yourself to perform your best while protecting yourself and your patients simultaneously!

What are Surgical Gloves Made Of?

So, what are surgical gloves made of? As we briefly touched on above, there are a wide variety of materials you have at your disposal, each with its unique characteristics and considerations.

While the most common decision for surgeons is between latex vs nitrile gloves, PVC and neoprene gloves also have their place. Let’s unpack each below to show you which aligns with your specific needs.


Nitrile gloves are crafted from synthetic rubber, specifically acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber, which offers excellent resistance to a wide range of chemicals, including oils, acids, and other aggressive substances.

These gloves are known for their strength, which is especially important in healthcare settings for protecting against punctures, cuts, and abrasions. This is why they tend to be the glove of choice for high-risk environments.

But, what are nitrile gloves used for beyond their robust characteristics? They also offer exceptional flexibility, ensuring comfortable wear and a good fit that enhances dexterity. After all, surgeons need tactile sensitivity to perform their best in high-stakes situations. These gloves support you in even the tightest of areas, such as in oral surgery.

Another reason nitrile is preferred in the medical field is for its hypoallergenic properties, presenting a safe option for individuals allergic to latex proteins. You’ll find this type of surgical glove in emergency rooms, laboratories, and settings involving the handling of hazardous materials.

All that being said, it’s worth noting that nitrile gloves tend to be more expensive than their latex counterparts due to the complex manufacturing process. They are also less biodegradable, which can be of concern given how many pairs of gloves you go through on a daily basis.

This begs the question, how long do nitrile gloves last? When stored properly, you can expect at least 5 years of shelf-life from your surplus of nitrile gloves.

Despite these drawbacks, the unparalleled protection and allergy-safe composition make nitrile gloves a popular choice among healthcare professionals of all fields, from dental to surgery to veterinarian and more!


Latex gloves are sourced from the sap of rubber trees. They are highly valued in the healthcare sector for their unmatched elasticity and comfort, providing a ‘second-skin’ feel that enhances tactile sensitivity and manual dexterity. This makes them ideal for delicate procedures where precision is crucial.

This material is also naturally resistant to a wide range of biological hazards and low-grade chemicals, making it suitable for a wide array of medical tasks.

But, the elephant in the room is that many of your patients may have a latex allergy. This can lead to skin irritation, or in more serious reactions, severe allergic responses that necessitate emergency intervention.

Still, latex gloves continue to be widely used due to their high level of touch sensitivity, flexibility, and strength. For those procedures where tactile feel is of the utmost importance, choose latex.

These gloves are also more environmentally friendly compared to synthetic alternatives, as natural latex is a renewable resource and biodegradable. If you find yourself putting on latex gloves all day long, this may be what ultimately leads to you choosing this style.


PVC gloves are made from a synthetic thermoplastic polymer and are recognized for their utility in non-invasive and general medical procedures.

These gloves are a go-to option for activities requiring frequent changes, like routine patient examinations and minor clinical tasks. Their impermeability makes them suitable for handling basic laboratory samples or performing cleaning duties within medical facilities.

While PVC gloves are affordable and cost-effective for bulk use in healthcare settings, they fall short in durability and chemical resistance. They offer a very basic level of protection against bacteria and viruses but won’t align with the needs of environments with sharp tools or aggressive chemicals.

The main advantage of PVC gloves lies in their latex-free composition, reducing allergy risks, yet they offer less tactile sensitivity and dexterity compared to more elastic materials like latex or nitrile. This is why the former surgical gloves types we’ve covered are more commonplace – but we do still see some facilities relying on PVC to this day.


Last but not least on our list of the most common types of surgical gloves, we have neoprene. These gloves are created from chloroprene rubber, which leads to a strong structure suitable for a wide range of applications, including those requiring chemical and heat resistance.

These gloves are a dependable choice in surgical environments for their latex-like feel combined with superior chemical resilience, making them an excellent choice for procedures involving harsh sterilization chemicals or chemotherapy drugs.

In essence, they balance many of the good qualities of other surgical gloves types, offering the best of all worlds. This includes high elasticity and comfort without the risk of latex allergic reactions.

However, the cost factor and environmental considerations will deter most professionals from choosing these types of surgical gloves. They tend to be far more expensive and less eco-friendly than natural latex, or even nitrile for that matter.

Nevertheless, you can rely on this material for to ensure safety and efficacy in specific, high-risk healthcare operations.

Which of These Surgical Gloves Types is Best?

Now that you know what surgical gloves are made of, which style is right for your unique needs? Ultimately, that is something only you can answer as you know your facility best. That being said, we recommend the classic choices of either latex or nitrile.

Latex gloves’ unmatched tactile sensitivity and dexterity make them ideal for procedures requiring precise manual tasks. Their high elasticity and comfort fit provide a second-skin feel, enhancing the user’s ability to perform intricate tasks without compromise.

However, the risk of latex allergies is impossible to ignore. This is where nitrile gloves can offer peace of mind knowing you’re not putting your patients at risk, all while still maintaining exceptional usability and feel. Nitrile is also stronger, which offers further protection against contamination that could result from punctures.

Whether you choose bulk latex gloves at wholesale or bulk nitrile gloves at wholesale, Plastcare USA has the premium selection you need at unbeatable prices. More on that later. Let’s offer a bit of additional advice on choosing the right surgical gloves below before we wrap this guide up.

More Advice on Choosing the Right Types of Surgical Gloves For Your Facility

Something as simple as the gloves you wear throughout your workday is easy to overlook. But recognizing the role these play in keeping your operation safe and productive, it’s not something you can take lightly. So, here are some tips on choosing the right gloves regardless of your profession:

  • Quality Assurance: Look for stringent regulatory standards, such as FDA approval and adherence to ASTM and ISO guidelines, when shopping. Quality gloves should have consistent thickness, strength, and elasticity to ensure reliable performance during medical procedures.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: While quality should never be compromised for cost, finding a supplier who offers competitive pricing is important. Consider bulk purchasing options to achieve cost savings, but also assess the total value offered, including glove performance, durability, and user comfort. Remember that you often get what you pay for.
  • Glove Fit and Comfort: You need access to a wide range of sizes to accommodate different hand dimensions and personal preferences. Proper glove fit is crucial for dexterity and comfort, reducing hand fatigue and improving procedural precision.
  • Supplier Reliability: Before placing an order, evaluate the supplier’s reputation in terms of product availability, delivery consistency, and customer service. Reliable suppliers maintain sufficient stock to ensure timely fulfillment of orders and provide responsive support for any inquiries or issues.
  • Product Range: Beyond having various sizes, you should be able to choose from a range of materials, thicknesses, textures, and levels of protection to suit diverse medical tasks and environmental conditions.

While there’s a lot to consider in choosing a surgical glove supplier, you can put all this stress in the past by partnering with the professionals at Plastcare USA. Discover what has earned us a reputation as the #1 choice since 2015!

Source High-Quality Surgical Gloves in Bulk at Unbeatable Prices Through Plastcare USA!

Plastcare USA is proud to offer a premium selection of surgical gloves, with a wide variety of latex and nitrile gloves in a range of sizes, colors, and thicknesses to align with any needs your healthcare facility has.

Our latex gloves are designed for professionals who demand the highest level of tactile sensitivity and comfort. They provide an unparalleled fit and feel for intricate tasks in healthcare and dental procedures. The textured fingertips of these gloves enhance grip and precision for surgeries where control and accuracy are paramount.

On the other hand, our nitrile gloves are the go-to choice for strength and chemical resistance. These are ideal for individuals with latex allergies as a safe and robust alternative without sacrificing quality.

Their durability against punctures and chemicals makes them suitable for high-risk situations, ensuring comprehensive protection. They’re suitable for everything from medical and laboratory settings to food handling.

Whichever types of surgical gloves you choose, you can rest assured you’re getting exceptional quality at an affordable price through our wholesale program. Stocking up with us is how you stretch your budget further without compromising on performance or protection.

Plus, your entire shopping experience is backed by our world-renowned customer service team. Whether you need help choosing the right surgical gloves types or you experience the rare mishap with your order, we’re on standby ready to provide expert assistance.

Thousands of surgeons and other healthcare professionals around the world trust Plastcare USA for high-quality, dependable, and comfortable gloves at a fair price. You can too. So, request a quote to put the uncertainty of choosing your gloves in the past today!

Bringing Our Guide on the Types of Surgical Gloves

As you can see, there are a number of different types of surgical gloves you have at your disposal. So, what are surgical gloves made of? In summary, here are the most popular choices:

  • Nitrile Gloves: Durable and hypoallergenic, ideal for high-risk environments with exposure to chemicals and punctures.
  • Latex Gloves: Offer unmatched tactile sensitivity and flexibility, perfect for procedures requiring precise manual dexterity.
  • PVC Gloves: Economical and latex-free, best for low-risk tasks and general medical use where high tactile sensitivity is not required.
  • Neoprene Gloves: Chemical-resistant and strong, suitable for demanding medical conditions and individuals with latex allergies.

Hopefully, this comparison has left you with a clear understanding of which of these surgical gloves types is right for you. The only thing left to do now is stock up at Plastcare USA.

From bulk medical latex gloves to bulk latex mechanic gloves, we’ve got it all. So, invest in peace of mind knowing you’re getting the protection you, your patients, and the rest of your team deserve.

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