A disposable item critical during medical procedures, medical sterile gloves are primarily meant to obstruct cross-contamination between patients and healthcare professionals. Sterile gloves come in a wide range of materials such as rubber, vinyl, neoprene, and latex. Sterile gloves are often powdered with cornstarch to lubricate them, making them easier to wear. The two main types of medical sterile gloves are surgical and exam gloves. Surgical gloves must be manufactured to a higher standard and be more precise, in terms of size and sensitivity, while exam gloves can either be sterile or non-sterile. Surgical gloves are always of the sterile type.

COVID-19 like pandemics benefit global medical sterile gloves market

The rising prevalence of global pandemics such as COVID-19, along with a greater concern on tackling them effectively is the key growth factor in the medical sterile gloves market. There has been a long-recognized need for medical sterile gloves on a global level as they have served an indispensable role with respect to improving medical safety, hygiene measures, and minimizing infection. In recent days, there has also been a reported rise in skin infections, especially in the industrial sector necessitating immediate treatment.

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Carbon footprint of rubber disposal impacts sterile gloves market

Nonetheless, certain barriers restrict the rise of the worldwide medical sterile gloves market. The market is characterized by cutthroat competition among manufacturers, benefiting consumers in the short run, but not an ideal scenario in the long run. Furthermore, some medical sterile gloves can result in a noxious reaction. Lastly, the environmental footprint of producing natural rubber and its disposal in the environment dominating conversations leads to negative coverage of the medical sterile gloves market. 

Low cost, low demand for vinyl – safety triumphs cost in medical sterile gloves market

Rubber consists of a major portion of the medical sterile gloves market during the decade studied as it is highly elastic and offers chemical resistance during the handling of reactive substances. Rubber is particularly relevant in cleanroom and laboratory applications in handling volatile chemicals. Rubber nitrile is expected to demonstrate faster growth in the medical sterile gloves market on account of its frictionless, and puncture-resistance properties. It also has a longer shelf life when compared to latex. Even though vinyl benefits from its lower cost when compared to rivals in the medical sterile gloves market, its low durability has limited its use to only those industries where protection is accorded low priority. 

Europe sandwiched between North America and APAC, but not for long

At present, North America is the largest regional contributor to the global medical sterile gloves market and should so over the decade analyzed. The US has a booming healthcare industry, stringent medical regulations mandating standards of the highest level, and insurance companies that reimburse medical expenses. Europe follows North America in the medical sterile gloves market but APAC is gaining rapidly and it is only a matter of when and not if it goes ahead of Europe. The APAC region has witnessed explosive economic growth, especially in the giants China and India, improving their healthcare infrastructure and thereby the awareness of maintaining good hygiene. Asian companies making their presence felt in the medical sterile gloves market helps accelerate this shift.

Six of the major companies actively involved in the medical sterile gloves market have been sampled in this informative report. They are Ansell Healthcare, Hartalega Holdings, Supermax Corporation Berhad, Kossan Rubber Products, and Rubberex, and Top Glove Corporation.

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Production hiccups and stockpiling hurting sterile glove demand – is recovery a long way off?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on medical sterile gloves, largely because of measures to contain the scourge in a country producing a bulk of global rubber – Malaysia. The country’s glove-making association – whose members manufacture 60% of gloves globally – have ominously warned of a ‘chronic shortage’ as plants in the Southeast nation had either downsized or stopped production entirely. Top Glove Corp, the largest producer, stated that demand from Europe and the US far outstrips supply and order fulfillment is as much as four months behind schedule. Countries have begun massive stockpiling and current demand is abnormal as hospitals are running out of medical sterile gloves almost immediately as soon as they acquire them. Unless manufacturers can put the pedal to the metal, the medical sterile gloves market may fall far short of its true potential.


  • What is the market size and growth rate of the global and regional markets by various segments?
  • What is the market size and growth rate of the market for selective countries?
  • Which region or sub-segment is expected to drive the market during the forecast period?
  • What factors are anticipated to impact demand and supply trends in the market during the forecast period? 
  • What factors are likely to drive market revenue growth during the forecast period?
  • What are the key technology and other trends shaping the market?
  • What are the key opportunities in the market?
  • What are some of the strategies implemented by key companies operating in the market?
  • What is the COVID-19 impact on the market?


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