We have recently heard a lot of discussions about the best gloves for tattooing, and whether a tattoo artist really needs to wear gloves. We decided that to put these topics to rest we needed to speak to some professional tattoo artists and find out what they thought about them.
The artist told us that wearing gloves is a must because it helps to keep things sanitary and clean. That made perfect sense to us. They also advised us on their favorite gloves to wear and what they looked for in a glove to wear while tattooing.
Top 5 Best Tattoo Artist Gloves
Our Top Pick
The 8 Best Tattoo Gloves For Tattoo Artist
#1. AMMEX Black Nitrile Exam Gloves
These are medical-grade nitrile gloves. They are constructed using 3-mil nitrile so they are lightweight. A textured grip has also been added so it is easier for you to control your tools without slipping or dropping. From the fingertip to the cuff of these gloves is 9.5”.
These gloves are recommended for non-sterile medical procedures and for jobs where you need a little protection from dirt, grime, or contaminants and yet you need to retain full dexterity and the ability to feel what your fingertips are touching.
These are latex-free gloves so people with latex allergies will not react when wearing or being touched by these gloves. They are perfect for household chores, tattooing, automotive detail work, cleaning, and food preparation and service.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Lightweight and not very hot
- Not slick
- You may lose some sensitivity when wearing these gloves
#2. MedPride Nitrile Exam Gloves
These gloves are perfect for anyone who has an allergic reaction to latex or rubber gloves. There is no powder in the glove to cause any complications and when wearing them you retain tactile sensitivity and complete dexterity. You can hold your tattooing equipment and feel everything you need to feel while working.
These gloves resist punctures. They are tough and durable and can stretch an extraordinary amount without tearing or becoming compromised. That makes them an excellent choice when working around needles and possible blood or bodily fluid exposure.
The gloves are a beautiful Iris blue in color. They have a smooth finish with a beaded cuff that makes the cuff more durable. They are great for physicians, tattoo artists, law enforcement professionals, food handlers, first responders, household use, and anywhere you need a little protection.
- Good for all hand sizes
- They do not cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin
- Flexible once they are on
- Protective and reliable
- The gloves are easily torn when putting them on or removing them.
#3. Microflex MK-296 Black Nitrile Gloves
These nitrile gloves are latex-free so they can be worn by people with latex allergies. They are powder-free and can be used for a wide variety of reasons such as tattoo artist protection, automotive, cleaning, medical procedures that do not require sterile gloves, and more. They are medical grade.
The black color on the gloves masks stains and dirt that you might not want your customer to see. The black color also provides high contrast so you can see tiny objects better.
They have textured fingertips so you can hold items with confidence even when the gloves get damp with ink or fluids. They are disposable and help to keep your work environment sanitary. They come in a wide range of sizes so everyone can find a glove that fits their hand perfectly.
- Does not cause undue irritation to sensitive skin
- Dark color does not show stains
- Easy to slip on
- Hypoallergenic but the gloves can still cause skin reactions for some people.
#4. New Star Tattoo & Piercing Gloves
These are nitrile gloves that have been designed with the tattoo artist and piercing specialist in mind. They are both latex and powder-free so people with allergies can wear them without issue. They allow you to maintain dexterity and sensitivity at your fingertips so you can do your work properly.
The gloves are black so inks and the occasional blood will not easily show. They are disposable so you throw them out after each client and you do not spread any germs or viruses from one client to another. They also keep the tattoo artist safe and protected from possible germs or injuries.
They are tough and not easy to tear. They are puncture-resistant and easy to put on and take off. Check out this article about the wireless tattoo machine, you will thank us later.
- Safe barriers from germs or contaminants
- Easy to wear
- Your hands may have a greater tendency to sweat while wearing these gloves.
#5. Heavy-Duty Nitrile Gloves by Infi-Touch
These heavy-duty nitrile gloves are capable of resisting damage when exposed to a higher level of chemicals than most nitrile gloves are. They are very tough and provide your hands with the best possible protection in a powder-free and latex-free glove.
These gloves are tough and durable., They can easily be worn while performing tattoo work, cleaning, and other jobs recovering gloved protection. They allow you to still retain feeling so you can do your job and they allow you to maintain your dexterity so you do not drop or spill things.
The fingertips of the gloves have a micro-texture that allows them to grab onto things and not slide off of things that are slick or damp. They can be used in wet or dry conditions and they are made with a smooth interior so they are easier to put on and remove.
- Creates a good grip
- Do not easily tear when being put on
- The gloves are thicker than most similar products which reduces your finger sensitivity.
#6. X3 Industrial Black Nitrile Gloves
These nitrile gloves are everything you want in a disposable protective glove. They are made of nitrile that is more puncture-resistant than latex or rubber. They are latex and rubber free so they do not bother people with allergies to latex. They are powder-free and easier to get on and take off. They have textured fingertips so you have a stable grip on things while wearing them and they are disposable.
The gloves are comfortable to wear and they provide all of the protection you need while applying a tattoo, working around your house, working around food, working in beauty salons with hair dye, piercing body parts, doing automotive detail work, and more. They protect your hands and they hide dirt and stains that you pick up while you are working so customers do not see them. They help you maintain a professional appearance while you work.
- Great for a multiple number of wearers
- Keeps your hands sanitary and protects your client
- Easy to pull on and take off
- These gloves may not fit larger hands accurately.
#7. ASAP Black Nitrile Powder Free Gloves
These ambidextrous gloves are convenient, easy to wear, comfortable, affordable, and durable. Wearing these gloves will protect you from many germs and contaminants that could make you sick or damage your skin.
They are latex and rubber free so they are good for people with allergies. They are powder-free and smooth on the inside so they are really easy to pull on and off. They are thin yet durable and they resist punctures and tears better than most latex gloves do.
They are dark in color and provide great contrast so you easily see tiny objects. They can be used for many household and professional reasons. Tattoo artists love them because they are disposable, and they leave them capable of feeling and handling things so they do not make slips or drops.
- The perfect thickness to allow you to keep dexterity
- Can be worn by people with latex allergies or sensitive skin
- Durable and strong
- These gloves may be constricting for people with larger hands and wrists.
#8. Blue Nitrile Gloves by Hizek
These disposable examination gloves are perfect for keeping your hands clean, keeping your hands from being exposed to harsh cleansers and chemicals, keeping germs you might come into contact with from being spread to other people or things.
These gloves are latex and rubber-free. Just about everyone can wear them, and they come in several sizes so you will be able to find the best for your hands. They are affordable so it makes sense to keep a large supply of them in your home and business.
Tattoo artists rave about these gloves because they can still have the sensitivity they need in their fingertips while wearing the gloves. The gloves are easy to put on and they do not easily tear or puncture. They protect the artist and the customer leaving everything looking professional and staying sanitary.
- Do not cause your hands to feel clammy
- Easy to apply
- Increases customer confidence
- You will need to order these gloves online so you have to plan ahead to make sure you do not run out.
How to Choose the Gloves for Tattooing
If you are going to be doing tattoo work for others you need to wear protective examination gloves while you work. The gloves keep germs and things from being transferred from one person to another. The gloves also keep inks from getting onto your hands so you do not always walk around with ink-stained fingers.
Before you rush out to buy gloves to work in there are a few things you should consider to make sure that you get the right gloves.
These disposable gloves usually come in sizes like small, medium, large and x-large. You want to read the dimensions of the gloves and pick the size that will easily slip onto your hand and will stay in position while you are working. The gloves should be snug and not loose on your hands.
You want gloves that are going to be very durable. The thing that makes gloves more durable is when they are designed from materials that are puncture and tear-resistant. You want the gloves to be able to stretch without tearing.
Gloves can be bought in materials such as latex, rubber, or nitrile. Latex is thinner than rubber so you retain more dexterity. A lot of people have reactions when they wear latex so nitrile is usually the best choice of examination glove material.
Thickness of Gloves
If the gloves are too thin then they are going to tear easily. If the gloves are too thick then you will lose sensitivity in your fingers. You need medical-grade gloves that are the right combination of thick enough for strength and thin enough for dexterity.
How to protect yourself when using disposable gloves
Disposable gloves are exceptional at protecting you from coming into contact with possible harmful items. They can keep chemicals like the ones in hair dye and cleaning agents from drying your skin and causing problems. They can keep germs from being transferred from one surface, or one person to another. They can keep your hands clean and stain-free when you are working with dyes and colors, and they can keep you from being exposed to blood or bodily fluids.
When you wear disposable gloves, you need to do a few things to protect yourself:
- Wear gloves that fit properly for the best protection. Do not wear loose gloves that can fall off or allow something to get inside them. Do not wear tight gloves that can be easily torn.
- Pay attention to not touch sharp objects like the ends of needles with the glove so that no possible puncture can occur.
- Wear a clean pair of glovers with each customer
- When you take a glove off for anything throw the glove away and replace it with a clean one
- Do not wear the gloves for extended lengths of time without taking them off and letting your skin have time to breath.
How to avoid fake gloves
Unfortunately, there are scam artists who will try to sell you fake examination gloves. The fake gloves will not protect you and will possibly put you at greater risk. To make sure you avoid fake gloves do the following things:
- Look for companies that have been in business for a long time and have a good reputation. You can check business out with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have ever been filed against them.
- If the price sounds too good to be true then be wary. If the price is too cheap the gloves are too.
- Be wary of people who say they will do immediate shipments from overseas locations.
- Watch the emails of the company and if they are not professional looking then do not continue.
- Read reviews and Google the company name to see what you can learn about them before you buy from them.
How important are tattoo gloves?
The tattoo artists must wear gloves when they are working. The gloves are their protection from a myriad of problems and any artist that does not wear gloves is putting their clients and themselves at risk of infections, disease, and more.
Wearing gloves stops the possibility that infections and germs that cause viruses and other illnesses will be transmitted from the skin of the client to the skin of the artist. Gloves make things more sanitary.
Gloves stop the artist from getting ink all over their hands while they work. This lets the hands of the artist remain cleaner and more sanitary.
FAQ for Tattoo Gloves
Why do tattoo artists use gloves?
Tattoo artists use gloves to protect themselves and their customers from any exposure to a germ or infection that could get them sick. They also wear gloves to keep their hands clean and sanitary.
Can you use vinyl gloves for tattooing?
Vinyl gloves are protective of the skin but they do not allow you to retain dexterity and freedom of movement while you work. Vinyl gloves are too restrictive and should never be considered by tattoo artists or piercing specialists. These gloves are better suited to cleaning.
What is better nitrile or vinyl gloves?
Nitrile gloves are hands down the better glove when compared to vinyl. Vinyl restricts movement of the hands and fingers while nitrile allows you to retain freedom of movement and sensitivity.
If you are considering a new glove for tattooing, we suggest you look at the AMMEX Black Nitrile Exam Gloves. They are medical grade, they are tough and durable, and they are thin enough to allow you to retain dexterity and sensitivity at your fingertips.
If you prefer a blue glove over a black glove, we suggest you look at the MedPride Nitrile Exam Gloves, Powder-Free. They are Iris blue, medical-grade, puncture-resistant, and powder-free.
Examination gloves will keep you safer while you work. Choosing the right glove is partially done according to personal preferences like color and material, and partially done by size and dimension considerations.