Nitrile gloves are a substitute for latex or vinyl gloves, becoming more popular (or mandatory in some labs and clinics) due to the increasing number of people who have or will develop a latex sensitivity or allergy.

Nitrile as a material is less elastic than latex, but moreso than vinyl. Nitrile gloves are opaque, and less tactile than their latex counterparts. Nitrile is initially more resistant to puncture, but tears more easily due to its brittle nature. Among the popular types of disposable gloves, nitrile, chloroprene/neoprene, latex and vinyl gloves, all have different chemical sensitivities, so it is beneficial to stock several types.

Nitrile gloves come in a wide assortment of colors, notably purple. Powdered, latex or cotton-lined, aloe-infused and extra-long are commercially available. They usually range in thickness from 4 to 25 mils (about 0.1-0.7 millimeters).

Nitrile gloves are also a lovely substitute for latex as a facilitator of safer sex with individuals who are sensitive to latex. Their smoothness and good sensitivity make them ideal candidates for internal exploration. They do not, however, work very well for the latex glove dental dam trick, as they are more likely to tear than stretch once they get a even small hole.

vuo says re nitrile gloves: These aren't all that great keeping acetone-like organic solvents away from the skin. They do help, but aren't "proof". Personal experience.)