What is the difference between Sterile Gloves and Non-sterile Gloves

When it comes to choosing gloves, you may consider sterile and non-sterile options. It will depend on the tasks you wish to perform.

Whether you want to know the packaging, manufacturing, price, or quality specifications requirements, all the information you are looking for about sterile and non-sterile gloves is right here.

What are Sterile Gloves?

 Sterile Gloves
Sterile Gloves

Sterile gloves undergo a series of disinfection and sterilization protocols to destroy the microbes. Sterile gloves undergo different techniques like being treated with ethylene oxide and gamma radiation. This process ensures sterile gloves are safe for use.

These types of gloves are usually wrapped individually and go through a sterilization process to protect the health workers from getting infections.

Sterilize gloves have been designed to perform unique functions:

Infection control and prevention– They reduce any possibility of spreading or promoting infection build-up. Therefore, you can easily control the possible spread of any infections.

What is Non-sterile Gloves?

Non-sterile Latex Gloves
Non-sterile Latex Gloves

Non-sterile gloves act as a barrier for germs and help to prevent any kind of pathogen on a patient from transmitting between individuals. They are mainly used to give infections and perform medical examinations.

That is, the gloves have not been subjected to very strict procedures to remove any possible micro-organisms or molecules.

Difference between Sterile Gloves and Non-sterile Gloves

· Mode of Packaging

Sterile gloves are usually packed carefully to ensure their safety and avoid any terminations. To ensure this process is done correctly individual packaging is done while non-sterile gloves do not require individual packaging.

Price of Sterile Glove and Non-sterile Gloves

Sterile gloves undergo different procedures making them more expensive. On the other hand, non-sterile gloves do not go through many manufacturing processes thus making them affordable.

For example, 100 pairs of non-sterilized gloves may cost about 5U SD. On the other hand, 25 pairs of sterilized gloves can cost as much as 30 USD.

Note: These are just price estimates. The cost may vary depending on where you are buying these gloves from.

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) for Sterile vs. Non-sterile Gloves

The AQL is another distinguishing factor when comparing sterile and non-sterile gloves. This is quite evident in the surgical gloves which are examples of sterile gloves.

In most cases, you will find that the AQL in surgical gloves is extremely low compared to the non-sterile gloves. For example, the AQL in sterile gloves ranges from 1.0 to 1.5. On the other hand, non-sterile gloves have an AQL ranging between 1.5 and 2.5.

Common Areas of Use

Where to use sterile or non-sterile gloves varies broadly. Remember, sterile gloves are costlier, there you must use them only when necessary.

Where to Use Sterile Gloves

Sterile Gloves in Surgical Operations
Sterile Gloves in Surgical Operations

· Surgical Procedures

Sterile gloves are used in the medical environment during surgical procedures to avoid contamination. During surgery, the increased risk of infection is usually high. Therefore, you need gloves that can block even the tiniest microorganisms from spreading.

· Scientific Research

You need sterilized gloves to get accurate data during scientific research. Remember, during R&D, you may be exposed to tiny molecules that can easily contaminate your research work.

Any slight contamination may completely distort or change your research findings.

Where to use Non-sterile Gloves

On the other hand, non-sterile gloves are used for medical procedures that do not pose the high-risk threat of infections. They are some of the most common disposable gloves available.

Of course, they may also act as medical-grade gloves which you can use in clinics or hospitals. They are perfect for performing general procedures such as:

  • Non-invasive procedures
  • Blood tests
  • General checkups
  • Bedside care, just to mention a few.

Apart from hospitals, you can use these gloves in food processing plants, mechanics shops, restaurants, or farms. They help to maintain the recommended hygiene levels during such processes.

Recommended Approval

There are strict regulatory approvals for sterile gloves. For instance, the Food Drug and Administration (FDA) subjects sterile gloves to strict quality testing and verification.

Although The FDA ensures that non-sterile gloves are safe for use, the quality verification process is not as strict as in the case of sterile gloves.


Sterile gloves are free from any germs or microorganisms and they are subjected to strict sterilization procedures are recommended by the FDA. This is the main distinguishing factor between sterile gloves and non-sterile gloves.

Of course, it is this fundamental aspect that determines their use and price.

If you are looking for FDA-compliant medical gloves, AIBON is your trusted sterile gloves manufacturer in China – contact us now.

More Resources:

How to Measure Glove Sizes – Source: AIBON

Medical Gloves – Source: FDA

Types of Gloves – Source: AIBON

Medical Gloves Guidance Manual – Source: FDA

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