Powdered Vs Powder-Free Gloves: The Facts

Thursday, 28 November 2019  |  Sean

dHere at SafetyGloves.co.uk we get a lot of questions regarding powdered and powder-free gloves. In this guide, we give you the ins and outs of powdered and powder-free gloves, discussing the best for your industry, your task and even skin health.

What Is the Difference?

It can be difficult to know the difference between powdered and powder-free gloves. Below, we briefly explain the difference between the two:

  • Powdered Gloves:
    • ​What Are Powdered Gloves? Powdered gloves generally include a type of cornstarch, which is designed to improve grip, fast donning and can be used to reduce sweat. They are popular within the healthcare industries due to their simple fast and efficient use.
    • Can All Disposable Gloves be Powdered? Yes, here at SafetyGloves.co.uk, we sell nitrile, latex and vinyl powdered gloves.
    • Where is the Powder? The powder is inside the gloves. It can reduce sweating and makes the gloves far easier to don.
    • Where Can I Buy Powdered Gloves? You can purchase powdered gloves in our Powdered Gloves section.
  • Powder-Free Gloves:
    • What Are Powder-Free Gloves? Non-powdered gloves simply do not include cornstarch. This makes them more skin-friendly, far stronger and a lot more versatile. Non-powdered gloves are better suited to the food and mechanics industries.
    • Can All Disposable Gloves by Powder-Free? As with powdered gloves, we sell nitrile, vinyl and latex powder-free gloves.
    • Where Can I Buy Powder-Free Gloves? You can purchase powder-free gloves in our Powder-Free section.

Powdered vs Powder-Free: The Pros and Cons

Powdered Gloves

UniGloves Powdered Disposable Gloves

The Pros of Powdered Gloves?

 Powdered design makes donning far easier
 More affordable than their powder-free counterparts
 More comfortable especially on a hot day
 You expect to have to replace your gloves regularly
 Reduce sweating as powder soaks up the starch

The Cons: When to Buy Powder-Free Gloves Instead

 You work with food or in mechanics
 You require stronger disposable gloves
 You require gloves that might need double gloving
 You require gloves with wet, oil and chemical resistance

Top Uses for Powdered Gloves

 Busy and fast environment (See the Busy and Fast Paced Powdered range)
 Hospital and medical industries, except for during surgery or when tending patient wounds (See the Hospital and Medical Powdered range)
 Cleaning industries (See the Cleaning Industries range)

Editor's Verdict: Powdered gloves are popular within healthcare and fast paced industries because they are comfortable, reduce sweating and are easy to don. If you want something a bit stronger and with resilience to things such as water, oil and chemicals, then we would recommend choosing powder-free instead.

Our Top 4 Powdered Gloves

To make your decision easier, we've ranked our top 4 powdered gloves below. We've taken steps to ensure that we provide a selection of colours and gloves from a variety of industries.

Unicare Latex Examination Gloves

Unicare Latex Powdered Gloves

Supertouch Blue Powdered Vinyl Gloves

Supertouch Blue Powdered Gloves

Hand Safe GN52 Powdered Vinyl Gloves

Hand Safe Clear Vinyl Gloves

Pro Blu Mamba Disposable Latex Gloves BX-PLB

Pro Blu Mamba Latex Gloves

  • Thin gloves offer fantastic dexterity
  • Designed to improve donning in fast environments
  • Feature a non-textured surface for comfort
  • Can improve hygiene and contamination risk
  • Free from corn starch, therefore better for skin health
  • Beaded cuff prevents debris for hygiene improvement
  • PVC gloves for easy donning and reduced sweating
  • Soft finish improves comfort during extended wear
  • Certified for the medical industries
  • Heavy duty disposable gloves with super strength
  • Textured for improving grip
  • Offer resistance to chemicals

Powder-Free Gloves

Black Mamba Powder-Free Gloves

The Pros of Powder-Free Gloves

 Super strong and durable for tougher industries
 More versatile with food, chemical, oil and water resistance
 Powder-free design reduces contamination risk (ideal for food use!)
 More skin friendly than powdered gloves
 High level of grip and dexterity for handling and tricky work

The Cons: When to Buy Powdered Instead

 You work in fast paced sweaty environments
 You want to cut costs
 You suffer from sweat related problems
 You value comfort over anything

Top Uses for Powder-Free Gloves

 Food, catering and processing industries (See the Food Powder-Free range)
 Lab and scientific industries (See the Lab and Scientific Powder-Free range)
 Hair and beauty industries (See the Hair and Beauty Powder-Free range)
 Mechanics industries (See the Mechanics Powder-Free range)

Editor's Verdict: Powder-free gloves are super strong offering more versatility than powdered gloves thanks to their oil, chemical and water resistance. They are more skin friendly than powdered gloves, however you might find more discomfort as they can cause you to sweat during the day.

Our Top 4 Powder-free Gloves

To make your decision easier, we've ranked our top 4 powder-free gloves below. We've taken steps to ensure that we provide a selection of colours and gloves from a variety of industries.

Black Mamba Disposable Nitrile Gloves BX-BMG

Black Mamba Disposable Nitrile Gloves BX-BMG

Aurelia Robust Medical Grade Nitrile Gloves

Aurelia Robust Medical Grade Nitrile Gloves 93895-9

Hand Safe GN66 Powder-Free Vinyl Gloves

Hand Safe GN66 Powder-Free Vinyl Gloves

Polyco GL880 Bodyguard Original Latex Disposable Gloves

Polyco GL880 Bodyguard Original Latex Gloves

  • Among the toughest powder-free disposable gloves available
  • Resistant to oil, water and chemicals
  • High grip supported by low risk mechanical protection
  • Highly popular within the healthcare and medical industries
  • Premium quality nitrile for extra strength
  • Beaded cuff prevents liquid from entering the gloves 
  • Tend to be far stretchier than most powder-free gloves
  • Certified for use in medical industries
  • Ambidextrous for versatility during use
  • Double chlorinated for smooth finish
  • Provide maximum dexterity, sensitivity and flexibility
  • Hardwearing for extended use

Powdered vs Powder-Free Gloves: By Industry

To make things as simple as possible we've narrowed it down to the top industry for each type of glove.

Powdered Gloves

Powdered gloves on the other hand are easier to don, therefore suitable for fast paced and busy industries. They are cheaper and more affordable and don't cause sweating, which makes them popular within the health care and cleaning sectors as long as you don't expect to have to come into contact with a patient during surgery or when tending open wounds. Their top industries can be found below:

  1. Health Care Powdered Gloves
  2. Cleaning Powdered Gloves

Powder-Free Gloves

Powder-free gloves tend to be stronger, which makes them well suited to mechanics and the manufacturing industries. They are also suitable for use with food (unlike powdered gloves), more resilient against oil, chemicals and water and are therefore recommended for the health and beauty and scientific industries. The top industries can be found below:

  1. Food Safe Powder-Free Gloves
  2. Mechanics Powder-Free Gloves
  3. Hair and Beauty Powder-Free Gloves
  4. Lab and Science Powder-Free Gloves

Powdered vs Powder-Free: Still Undecided?

If you are still unsure about which gloves to buy, then we've created this handy little guide below. Simply find the factor that you are most concerned about, read what score we rank it out of five and choose based on your factors results.


Powdered Gloves

Powder-Free Gloves




Easy Donning









Skin Health









Chemical, Water or Oil Use



The Full Verdict

Powdered Gloves and Powder Free Gloves can be found in our Vinyl, Nitrile and Latex categories. Both can be certified to the same standards (whether it be EN 455 or EN 374) and both can be found in hospitals, garages and factories across the UK. But before your make your purchase, there are a few differences which are worth noting.

Powdered gloves tend to be easier to don, with the cornstarch underneath the surface helping to reduce discomfort and reduce sweating. They are fantastic in fast paced industries, making them well suited to hair and beauty, cleaning and hospital use (only when you aren't coming into contact with open wounds). They are a little more affordable too, making them ideal for any person looking to cut a few costs.

Alternatively, powder-free gloves tend to be ideal for Sensitive Skin, and their stronger design proves perfect for more mechanical industries such as engineering and mechanics. As powder-free gloves come with a reduced contamination risk, they are popular within the food industries too. Finally, powder-free gloves usually come with better resistance to chemicals, water and oil.

The Full Range

If you have decided that you want to go ahead and buy some disposable powdered or powder-free gloves then you're in the right place. Check out our wide range of Powdered and Powder-Free Gloves on our site.

If you have any questions, you can either comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!