There are many factors to consider when selecting a disposable glove. After choosing the right glove type and glove material for the task, good fit ranks high on the list. A properly fitted glove is critical to performing procedures correctly. A glove that fits properly conforms to the hand, and does not feel too tight or too stiff. Consider some glove physical characteristics that influence fit.
1. Glove Length
Glove length is measured from the tip of the middle finger to the cuff. Exam gloves are typically a minimum of 9” in length, while surgical gloves and some cleanroom gloves are 12” in length to provide more protection.
2. Glove Width
The width of a glove is one of the most important considerations for proper glove fit. Gloves are manufactured to specific ASTM glove standards, including palm width. But there is a fairly wide range within each size. A medium exam glove, for instance, can vary from 85mm to 105mm in width. And there is room for overlap, so one manufacturer’s “medium” exam glove could be another manufacturer’s “large” glove.
3. Finger Length and Width
Finger lengths and widths also vary between product lines from one manufacturer to another. The finger length and width is largely determined by the formers used on the manufacturing line. However, the glove material affects the amount of stretch, which affects finger fit. A super stretchy, low protein latex glove works with the widest range of finger sizes, and could be a good choice for individuals with shorter fingers. When it comes to nitrile gloves, the formulations range from “some stretch” to “very stretchy,” which affects finger fit.
4. Glove Material
Glove thickness and stretchability also influences overall glove fit when donned. If you are accustomed to wearing a “medium” glove in one brand, you may need to try a “small” or a “large” glove in another brand. If you are trying a very thin glove, you may need to try a smaller size in order to get the proper fit.
5. Finger Contour
Hand specific gloves with contoured fingers and a natural thumb position are most commonly found in surgical glove lines. While offering the best fit, these gloves cost more than an examination glove. Fortunately, ambidextrous nitrile exam gloves (gloves that can be worn on the left or right hand) made from newer, thinner nitrile material, allows the glove to warm and follow the contours of the hand, fingers and thumb to enhance comfort, improve tactile sensitivity, and reduce hand fatigue.
Finding a good fitting glove is essential. A tight fitting glove can negatively affect fine motor skills, irritate the skin, and lead to hand fatigue. On the other hand, a glove that fits too loose can cause a person to execute movements awkwardly, and potentially lead to exposure to bloodborne pathogens or hazardous chemicals. Evaluating a glove’s ability to contour to the hand, and properly fit the width of the hand is key to finding a good fitting glove that you will enjoy wearing.
[note]Each of our HandPRO Exam Gloves offers a unique fit and stretch due to their different compounds.
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