Rubber gloves are one of the best things you can have around—whether you’re cleaning, handling food at a potluck, providing basic first aid, or doing messy tasks around the house. Based on our research, we discovered there are plenty of options that are disposable for easy use and protection against contamination. A few are even made to be reused to save money. Our top pick, the Gloveworks Black Disposable Nitrile Industrial Gloves, are thick enough to provide a barrier for a variety of needs. Plus, they’re affordable and work for most people, including those with latex sensitivities.
To get a little guidance on gloves, we spoke to Krissia Garcia, CEO of KrissKlean, an American House Cleaners Association Certified cleaning company. “Nitrile gloves are the best,” she explains. As a cleaning professional, Garcia says her staff wears gloves to clean ovens, stoves, toilets, and showers. It turns out nitrile gloves are known in the cleaning industry as having high levels of chemical and puncture resistance, which is especially comforting if you’re using heavy-duty chemicals.
After taking a close look at value, durability, fit, effectiveness, and feel, hands down, here are the best rubber gloves for cleaning.
Best Overall: Gloveworks Black Nitrile Industrial Gloves
Resists most chemicals
Good for grip
Can use Smartphone with gloves
May rip easily on jewelry or watches
These disposal gloves provide as much or more protection than many higher-cost and thicker alternatives. They are 5-millimeters thick and made of nitrile rubber resistant to common hazards, including oil, grease, gasoline, and many other chemicals. You can purchase them in bulk, if needed, as well as smaller quantities of 100 or 200.
They have a rough texture, which helps with grip. It also allows you to use the screen on your phone without taking the gloves off, although you might want to consider the possibility of contamination before doing so. These gloves are latex-free and powder-free on the inside, making them ideal for people with skin sensitivities or allergies.
Still, these gloves are a bit pricey and might be more protection than you need, especially if you aren’t going to use harsh cleaning chemicals. They can also rip easily if you wear jewelry or watches, particularly those with sharp edges or points. While they are cheaper per pair than reusable gloves, these are made to be disposable, and you’ll need to use a new pair after each use.
Price at time of publish: $18
Best Budget: Great Value BPA-Free Latex Multipurpose Reusable Household Gloves
3 sizes available
May feel hot to wear
Cotton lining can easily wear out
If you’re looking for sturdy latex gloves that won’t break the bank, Walmart has them. The best part? You can reuse these gloves, so you’ll only need to purchase one set. With a convenient measuring guide right on the package, these gloves come in three sizes, so you can find your perfect fit. The latex is thicker than rubber disposable gloves, and they have a cotton lining, making finding the right fit pretty important.
But while they can give you plenty of protection, they can also get warm if you use them to wash dishes in hot water. After prolonged use, the interior can start to wear, and the cotton lining may flake off, causing chafing.
Price at time of publish: $2
Best Value Pack: Care Plus Disposable Vinyl Gloves
Available in multiple sizes
Can order in bulk
Additional savings for subscribers
There are a lot of purchasing options for the Care Plus disposable vinyl gloves, making them one of the best values because you can customize your order. Available in four sizes, these gloves can be purchased in sets of 100, 200, or 1,000.
They are made with latex-free vinyl that makes them easy to put on. You can also take them off as soon as you are done. These gloves are thin and better suited for light tasks, such as cleaning up after a pet or picking up a diaper pail, rather than working with cleaning chemicals. They also won’t stretch like latex or nitrile can, which means they could break easily if you have bigger hands.
Price at time of publish: $9
Best Heavy-Duty: ThxToms Heavy Duty Latex Gloves
Thick and durable
3 lengths available
Only one size available
No comfort liner
On the other end of the spectrum are the ThxToms Heavy Duty gloves. These are made out of latex and have a bit of stretch. These gloves are thick enough to protect against anything, including oil and acid. They come in three lengths and the longest is designed to protect your arm up to your elbow. There is only one glove size, however, so if you have extremely small or large hands, you may find these hard to wear.
The interior is an orange liner made out of the same latex. This makes them easier to clean and care for but doesn’t provide much comfort. They’re also expensive for gloves. But if you need heavy-duty protection, these are a solid investment.
Price at time of publish: $10
Best Latex-Free: Mr. Clean Premium Latex-Free Gloves Bliss Medium Size
Great alternative to latex
If you are sensitive to latex, the Mr. Clean Bliss Premium Latex-Free Gloves are a great option. Not only are they latex-free, but they also are made with a soft lining that protects sensitive skin.
Latex alternatives, such as nitrile or vinyl, are often less soft and pliable, but these are every bit as flexible as traditional latex rubber gloves. They also have textured grip. While they can be expensive, even for reusable gloves, these are a good choice for washing dishes or cleaning. If you know that you’ll be working with harsh chemicals, you’ll likely need something a little more heavy duty.
Price at time of publish: $14
Best Disposable: MedPride Medical Vinyl Examination Gloves
Easy to order in bulk
Fits left and right hands
There’s a reason that you see MedPride exam gloves in so many medical practices. After all, medical professionals know and use disposable gloves multiple times per day. These gloves are affordable and come in four sizes for the best fit. You can also buy in bulk, making each purchase last longer so you don’t need to constantly reorder. Each glove can fit either the right or left hand so you never need to worry about keeping a matched pair together.
They are 4-millimeters thick and best suited for intricate tasks. You’ll find that your hands will be fully protected, but still maintain a good level of dexterity. These aren’t thick or heavy-duty gloves, so just know you shouldn’t be handling harsh chemicals or sharp objects when using them.
Price at time of publish: $9
Best Long Length: Yslon Rubber Cleaning Gloves
Contoured up to the cuff
Various sizes and lengths
Easy to clean
Set of 3 includes different sizes
If you need gloves to protect more than just your hands, the Yslon rubber gloves are great. Not only do they come in three sizes to fit your hand, each size also goes up slightly in length. They also have a contoured fit with a band on the upper end to keep them in place.
One drawback, though, is that the gloves don’t have a lining, which some people prefer. While they may not be as comfortable during the first few uses, they’ll also last longer without deteriorating and are easier to keep clean. The set comes with three sets of gloves, one in each size. This allows you to find the best fit, but that also means you might be left with the remaining pair that isn’t as comfortable.
Price at time of publish: $13
Best for Grilling: Kitchen Perfection Silicone Smoker Oven Gloves
Can use as a potholder
Can hang near the grill
Stops at wrist
Finding a glove that both protects from the heat and allows you to grip tools is key when it comes to grilling. The Kitchen Perfection silicone glove is a good mix of both. You can use them as a potholder and as a glove. Each glove has a fabric hook on the cuff to make hanging them near your grill easy. Plus, they come in 11 colors.
But, they stop right at the wrist, so your arm won’t be protected. Depending on the size and setup of your grill or smoker, this may not be an issue for you. They have cotton lining for comfort and even come with a lifetime warranty. If anything happens to your gloves, the company will replace them. This is a great feature, considering they are one of the most expensive gloves on our list.
Price at time of publish: $29
Our top pick is Gloveworks Black Disposable Nitrile Industrial Gloves. These extra durable gloves work for multiple uses around the home. Plus, they are 5-millimeters thick and made of nitrile rubber resistant to common hazards, such as oil, grease, and even gasoline. If you prefer a reusable glove, consider the Great Value BPA-Free Latex Multipurpose Reusable Household Gloves. Not only can you wash and reuse them, but these gloves are also budget-friendly.
What to Look for in Rubber Gloves
Rubber gloves come in natural rubber, vinyl, nitrile, and latex. Latex and natural rubber are often the most pliable, but some people have sensitivities to these materials. Vinyl and nitrile are firmer but can provide thicker protection. They also work for people who are allergic to latex.
Depending on the chore at hand, you may need to consider the cost of each material because changing out gloves on the regular is pretty essential to cleaning. “We need to change our gloves between different areas,” confirms Garcia. “You can’t use the same gloves after cleaning the shower to clean the toilet.” Make sure you do the math, and look at the price per glove, depending on the material you choose, especially if you are buying a bulk package.
One of the most important things to look for in a pair of rubber gloves is the right thickness and durability for the task. As our list shows, gloves can be very thin. Thin gloves are useful because they can be suitable to maintain dexterity while still providing a protective barrier for hands. Others are heavy duty and can provide plenty of protection against harsh cleaning chemicals, sharp objects, and scratches from animals. That's why for our overall best pick, we chose Gloveworks Black Disposable Nitrile Industrial Gloves, which are extra durable for a variety of projects around the home. Most gloves are somewhere in between these two extremes. As you shop, be sure to compare glove thickness to find the right protection for the job you are doing.
Size and length
Gloves can vary in size, which is based on the length and width of the wearer’s hand. Many gloves come in three or four different hand sizes. Some also have varying lengths, all the way from stopping at the wrist to extending above the elbow. For this reason, we love the Yslon Rubber Cleaning Gloves, which is available in three sizes, so that you can find the perfect fit. Plus, each size goes up in length. Even if you opt for a one-size-fits-all glove, it's a smart idea to always compare the measurements to your own. No one wants to spend money on rubber gloves, only to find out they won't fit!
How do you make rubber gloves last longer?
Some rubber gloves are meant to be disposed of after every use. If you have a pair of reusable rubber gloves, taking care of them is the key to making them last longer. Always wash the outside thoroughly after you are done. If they have a liner, try to clean it and make sure that it's dry.
You should also store your rubber gloves in a place where they can get air to prevent mold or mildew from forming. They should also stay out of harsh sunlight and extreme hot or cold temperatures to keep in the best shape. Also, store them away from knives or other sharp objects that may puncture them as you take other items in and out of the same drawer.
Can you wash rubber gloves?
Yes, you can hand wash your rubber gloves after every use. Use a solution of dish soap and warm water to clean the outside and inside of the gloves. But a note of caution: Do not put the gloves through the washing machine or the dishwasher cycle. The water can get too hot for the gloves and cause them to break down.
What do rubber gloves protect against?
Every pair is different and offers different layers of protection. The thinnest gloves provide a physical barrier between liquids, solids, and your skin. They’re great for protecting against spreading germs, too, which is why they’re used often in medical practices and food handling. Thicker gloves, on the other hand, can offer protection from abrasive chemicals, such as acids or ammonia. The thickest heavy-duty gloves can be resistant to punctures and protect from sharp objects, such as animal claws.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Melynn, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. She tested out reusable and disposable gloves while cleaning her home to find a good pair of rubber gloves, including ones that had good fit and durability.
Katie also talked to cleaning expert Krissia Garcia, CEO of KrissKlean. Garcia has over 11 years of cleaning experience and knows a thing or two about when it’s necessary to wear gloves while cleaning and what makes them comfortable and safe.