The Importance of Proper Glove Sizing and Fit for Optimal Protection

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Last week’s article discussed the glove industry’s standardized testing procedures. Included among the listed standards was ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D6319. This standard is specifically for nitrile gloves and as a disposable nitrile glove manufacturer, SW is deeply familiar with this testing standard. The standard lists the various specifications nitrile gloves must fulfill to qualify in obtaining testing clearance. To expand on some of the specifications, ASTM D6319 states disposable nitrile gloves must meet sterility requirements if they are labeled as sterile, the gloves must be free of holes, and the inner and outer glove surfaces must be free of talc. The gloves must be measured from the middle fingertip to the outer cuff edge with the length recorded in millimeters. The glove’s palm width must be measured from the index finger base and the thumb base with the length recorded in millimeters. The glove’s minimum thickness must be recorded in millimeters as well. Disposable nitrile gloves must meet designated tensile strength and ultimate elongation after aging or exposure to 70 degrees Celsius for 166 hours. Lastly, nitrile gloves must not exceed the maximum powder residue limit. This week’s blog article zeros in on the physical properties, particularly the sizing, of our disposable nitrile gloves in relation to the ASTM D6319 testing standard.


There are many hazards associated with wearing gloves that are not suited for one’s size. It may seem like a relatively small issue, however; improper glove sizing and fit can lead to shoulder muscle fatigue or discomfort. In-Gyu Yoo et al 2011 found that workers wearing improper glove sizing that did not fit their hand caused overuse of the shoulder muscles as there was less forearm muscle activation. Ultimately workers had less dexterity and experienced more shoulder pain from improper fitting gloves. Gloves that are sized smaller than one’s size decreases blood flow to the fingertips. Consequently, this can cause pain and numbness while constraining finger and hand movements. Wearing gloves that are too large for the user can instead lead to impairing a worker’s dexterity, making a worker’s hand slide around in the glove. These issues can further lead to workplace injuries if not just personal discomfort when wearing improperly fitted gloves. Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, even found that workers preferred to not don gloves in the workplace if there were none that properly fit them – instead choosing to sacrifice personal safety and health regulations in favor of more workplace productivity. BLS and OHS found that Seventy percent of workers who experience hand injuries are not wearing gloves when the injury occurs. They further quote that one million workers are sent to emergency rooms annually because of hand injuries. Therefore it’s imperative that workers have comfortable and form fitting gloves suited for working in their workplace environments. Another issue is that improperly sized gloves can result in an increased probability of tearing. A glove that is too tight is more prone to punctures and tears. Gloves that are too large in size can easily catch, snag, or tear on surfaces or tools in the workplace. This results in more occurrences in workplace accidents. Proper glove sizing and fit is optimal for workers’ personal protection.


For those wondering how to determine the optimal fit and size of disposable nitrile gloves, they can adhere to the criteria listed below. A properly fit and size glove should feel comfortably snug around one’s hands and with ample dexterity. The disposable glove should not feel like it’s restricting movement of the hand. One should be able to move their fingers around and flex their hand without noticeable stretching of the material. The most consistent method is to find the right size for the width of your palm as well as the length of your fingers. A disposable glove that is too large will have noticeable wrinkles around the palm. The fingertips will not reach the ends of the glove tips, leaving a sizable amount of material between the end of the glove to the wearer’s actual finger. There would usually be excess material bunched up at the wrist as well. When a glove is too small, there is usually some restriction of movement and the glove material will have noticeable stretch. The glove material may even become slightly transparent near the areas of stretch. Typically there is the most amount of stretch in the fingertips or wrist of the glove. Customers can be reassured that they can find properly fitting gloves when they purchase our products. SW’s disposable nitrile gloves are available in sizes extra small to triple extra large. The sizes follow and comply with ASTM 6319’s sizing standards. SW products are produced at the highest quality for our customers’ comfort and safety.