Nitrile gloves are supposed to protect our hands against harmful chemicals. However, wearing the wrong size can pose some risks.
Besides cutting off blood circulation, tight gloves can hinder the movements of our hands. When the gloves are loose, there will be an opening for contaminants to reach our hands. Plus, whatever we are holding may slip and slide.
This begs the question, “What size nitrile gloves do I need?” Measure your hand then consult the glove manufacturer’s size chart.
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How Do I Determine My Nitrile Glove Size?
1. Measure your hand first
Manufacturers normally provide instructions on how to properly measure your hand. As a rule of thumb, however, you can start by measuring your dominant hand with a tape measure.
To get the width, wrap the tape around the widest part of your hand, which should be near your knuckles as shown in this video by Ben Meadows Company.
If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can use a string following the instructions above. You can check AlaskaGranny’s demonstration on her Youtube. Get the length of the portion of the string that wrapped your hand by placing it on a ruler.
Be sure to write the measurements on a piece of paper or save it on a note-taking app on your smartphone. This way, you have them to refer to when you check the nitrile gloves size chart.
2. Check the glove supplier’s size chart
Once you have your hand measurements ready, go ahead and visit the manufacturer’s online or physical store. Normally, the glove’s packaging indicates the size in S, M, L, or XL with the corresponding width in inches or centimeters.
According to Sunline Supply, glove sizes are:
Glove sizes for men
Small: 7″ to 8″
Medium: 8″ to 9″
Large: 9″ to 10″
XL: 10″ to 11″
Glove sizes for women
Small: 6.5″ to 7″
Medium: 7″ to 7.5″
Large: 7.5″ to 8″
XL: 8″ to 8.5″
Some brands make only a unisex medical glove size but they offer an extra small size for hands that measure 6 inches.
Note: The nitrile glove sizing conventions differ slightly from one manufacturer to another. When switching brands, it is best that you do not assume you have the same size. If you are in-between sizes, round off to the nearest inch or centimeter.
How Can I Tell if the Gloves Are Loose or Too Tight?
Knowing the width and length of your hands is crucial. Whether you are looking at a latex gloves size chart or sterile gloves size chart, you can use the instructions I shared above.
As pointed out in this video by Mun Global, one sure way to determine if the gloves are too large for your hand is if you see excess material around the cuffs, palms, or fingers.
In contrast, you can tell that the gloves are too snug if the material is stretching, and moving your hands feels hindered. Also, you will feel tightness around the fingertips.
Why Is It Important to Get the Right Size?
Loose-fitting gloves will slide off your hands. Moreover, the gap between the glove material and your hand will allow bacteria, air, and harmful chemicals to enter. Not to mention, it will affect the way you hold and control your instruments.
On the flip side, wearing tight-fitting gloves will rip the material. Punctures will allow impurities to get into the gloves and onto your hands. As such, you will contaminate your patients or different surfaces in your workplace.
Because torn gloves need to be disposed of immediately, this also means wasting your supply. Furthermore, you will have to exert more effort as you move your hands, resulting in hand fatigue and difficulty in handling instruments.
What size nitrile gloves do I need?” is a question that comes up frequently and I hope that this article has provided you with clear answers. To summarize, take note that the nitrile glove size conventions may vary depending on the manufacturer. Most brands offer sizes that correspond to the width of your hand but some may require you to measure the length. Here are some tips to get the correct measurements:
- Always use your dominant hand when measuring
- Follow the specific instructions the manufacturer provides
- Round off the nearest inch or centimeter for in-between sizes
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.