Person wearing black nitrile gloves and slicing a tomatoPerson wearing black widow nitrile gloves and slicing a tomato

Terms Every Disposable Glove Enthusiast Should Know

Finding the right glove for your needs can be tricky, especially when trying to identify glove features that are beneficial to the task at hand. We’ve laid out a list of terms that are frequently used to describe gloves to help make glove shopping a breeze. Consider this your guide to finding just the right glove for you on GloveNation.

Medical/Exam Grade:

Medical grade gloves are approved for use in hospital, nursing home, or laboratory locations and are generally used for non-surgical procedures such as medical examinations.

Food Grade/Food Service:

Food service gloves are approved for use for food applications such as preparing food in restaurants or delis, or for use in food production facilities.

Low Proteins:

During glove manufacturing glove powder can absorb some proteins. Contact with these proteins can cause allergies, but new technologies can now reduce the amount of proteins in gloves. This helps to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and makes workplaces safer for those that are sensitive to the protein particles. Latex low protein gloves are available, and it is important to note than powder-free gloves contain fewer proteins than powdered gloves and that not all powder-free gloves have low levels of proteins.

Low Allergens:

This refers to low latex protein levels present in gloves that could potentially cause allergies.


We use mils (millimeters) to measure the thickness of our gloves. 1 mil is equal to one thousandth of an inch or 0.001”. Our gloves measure between 0.2 and 13.0 mils in thickness to suit a variety of food service or medical needs.


Used with regards to the strength or durability of the glove. Tensile strength refers to how stretched the gloves can become without ripping or tearing.

Color Coded:

Color coding gloves can be an easy way to remember which type of glove is suitable for what task, and to ensure that disposable gloves are removed and replaced appropriately. For example, remembering that purple Nitrile Grape Grip gloves are approved to use with chemotherapy, and clear Vinyl Verge-Med gloves are designed for use during medical examinations.

Powdered and Powder Free

Lightly Powdered: Refers to lower levels of powder in gloves.

Powdered: Powdered gloves have cornstarch added to help absorb perspiration. They are generally easier to put on than powder-free gloves but their powdered design has been known to cause some allergies.

Powder-Free: Powder-free gloves go through a process known as chlorination. They are treated with a chlorine solution, rinsed, and dried to get rid of the powdered residue. They are an ideal option for those that have allergies or sensitivities to powdered gloves.

USDA Approved:

This means the gloves have been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture as safe for food handling.

Accelerator Free:

Nitrile Grape Grip gloves are accelerator free. Allergies to non-latex gloves are thought to be due to accelerators used during the manufacturing of gloves, or chemicals. Accelerator free gloves have been approved as another non-allergic option.

Style-related terms

Beaded Cuff: Refers to a rolled cuff style.

Flock Lined: Neptune Flocked Lined gloves have this feature. A flocked lining refers to a lining on the inside of the glove that makes them more comfortable to wear.

Embossed: Refers to a texture on the glove that allows for a firmer grip.

Textured: The finish on the glove designed to allow for a tighter and firmer grip to prevent slipping when handling wet objects.