massage oil, tea candles, lavender and a towel laid out on a tablemassage oil, tea candles, lavender and a towel laid out on a table

What Are the Best Gloves for Massages?

As a professional in the massage therapy industry, you understand the importance of providing a safe and hygienic experience for your clients. The AMTA reported that in 2021 44% of clients asked their massage therapist about the sanitation standards at their office. With this huge spike in clients who are concerned about safety and sanitation we thought we'd take some time to review why gloves are needed for massage therapy, the importance of finding the correct gloves, the different types of disposable gloves available and tips for proper glove usage.

Why use gloves for massages?

While not all massage treatments may require disposable gloves it's important to have disposable gloves on hand for sanitation and safety. 54% of massage clients in 2021 reported that their last massage was for health or wellness reasons. With this increase in health-conscious consumers many expect their massage therapist to wear clean disposable gloves as a basic protection. Let's review the reasons you should be using disposable gloves at your massage practice.

Protection from Bacteria

The first reason, protection from bacteria might seem a little obvious, but it's too important not to point out. Disposable gloves are used in massage therapy is to protect both the client and the massage therapist from bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms. When a massage therapist comes in contact with a client, they are also coming in contact with many invisible microbes the client may be carrying on their skin.

Gloves provide a physical barrier that can prevent the spread of these harmful microorganisms. If you're in a medical setting where there is a chance you may come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids we recommend you go for a medical exam grade glove for added protection.

Prevent Cross-Contamination

Gloves are also used to prevent cross-contamination with other objects around the room or office. During a massage therapy session, the massage therapist may come in contact with bodily fluids, chemicals such as lotions or oils, cloths, towels and more. By wearing gloves, the therapist can avoid transferring lingering substances from the objects they or previous clients may have touched.

Protect the Skin

Massage therapists may also choose to wear gloves to protect their own skin. Frequent hand washing and exposure to massage products can cause dryness, irritation, and even allergic reactions. Wearing gloves can provide a layer of protection and prevent skin damage for the user. If you are sensitive to dry skin or allergies we recommend avoiding latex gloves as they are a common allergen.

Professional Appearance

Many industries have an unspoken dress code, and message therapy is no different. In addition to providing practical benefits, disposable gloves can also enhance the professionalism of a massage therapy practice. Clients will feel reassured, confident and safe when they see their masseuse wearing clean disposable gloves. While some people may not properly take in how clean the room is even though you did extensive cleaning between clients, the disposable gloves are a standout visual that the therapist's hygiene practices are top notch.

Top gloves for massage therapy

With so many types of disposable gloves out there it can hard to be choose. One of the most important aspects of proper glove usage is choosing the right size and material. Gloves that are too small or too big can cause discomfort, reduce dexterity, and may even tear during use. It's essential to choose a glove that fits snugly but doesn't restrict movement. If you aren't sure what size of gloves you need you can refer to our handy sizing chart. Additionally, choosing the right material is crucial to ensure that the glove provides the appropriate level of protection.

Glove Materials for massage therapy

Finding the perfect gloves for your massage shop or spa can be tricky. With all of the options out there it can be hard to choose what's best for you and your staff. In this section we'll break down the three types of material we recommend for massage therapy use.

Nitrile Gloves are a popular choice for massage therapy professionals. They are latex-free, making them an excellent option for clients with latex allergies or sensitivities. Nitrile gloves are also resistant to punctures, tears, and chemicals, making them an ideal choice for massage therapists who frequently use oils and lotions. Additionally, nitrile gloves offer a high level of sensitivity and dexterity, making them a good option for intricate massage techniques. In fact, our top recommendation for massage therapy is a nitrile glove called the Grape Grip. This is a medical grade glove that's low-protein and accelerator-free, making it the best option to prevent skin irritation and allergic reactions. You can find all of our nitrile gloves here.

Vinyl Gloves are another popular choice for massage therapy professionals. They are latex-free and offer excellent protection against contamination and infection. Vinyl gloves are also a cost-effective option, making them ideal for massage therapists on a budget. However, vinyl gloves are not as durable as nitrile gloves and may not provide the same level of sensitivity and dexterity. If this sounds like the option for you check out our Vinyl Gloves Collection.

Latex Gloves have been a go-to option in the healthcare industry for many years. They offer excellent protection against contamination and infection and are known for their superior fit and comfort. Latex gloves also provide a high level of sensitivity and dexterity, making them ideal for intricate massage techniques. However, latex gloves are not suitable for clients with latex allergies or sensitivities. Check out our collection of latex gloves to see the many options we offer.

Tips for using gloves in massage therapy

Proper glove usage is crucial to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and ensure that both you and your clients stay safe and healthy.

Wash Your Hands Before and After Use

Washing your hands before and after glove usage is crucial to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before putting on gloves, and again after removing them. This will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination and ensure that both you and your client stay healthy.

Change Gloves Between Clients

Changing gloves between clients is essential to prevent cross-contamination. Even if you've only used the gloves for a short period, it's essential to change them before moving on to your next client. Make sure to dispose of used gloves in a designated waste bin and wash your hands before putting on a new pair.

Don't Reuse Gloves

Reusing gloves is a big no-no in the massage therapy industry. Gloves are designed to be used once and then disposed of, as they can become contaminated with harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. Reusing gloves can also cause them to tear, reducing their effectiveness in protecting against contamination and infection. If your glove budget is getting out of hand instead of reusing gloves try a more cost-effective option like switching to vinyl gloves.

Don't Touch Your Face or Other Surfaces

When wearing gloves, it's important to avoid touching your face or other surfaces that may be contaminated. This includes phones, tablets, and other devices that may have come into contact with bacteria. Touching your face or other surfaces can transfer harmful microorganisms from the gloves to these areas, increasing the risk of infection. So while you're wearing your gloves keep your hands to yourself (and your client).


We hope this little guide has helped you narrow down what you need to run a clean and sanitary massage therapy practice or spa. If you have any questions about anything in this article, or if you need a bit more help to find the perfect glove reach out to our expert customer service team.