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Glove Size Guide

Dec 11 2017, 17:14 PM

If you are unsure about your glove size then we will be able to help.

Glove sizes are generally displayed under two main formats.

Medical examination and disposable gloves
Extra small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), Extra Large (XL)

PPE Industrial / reusable and surgical gloves
5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 10.0, 11.0

The sizing is determined by the standard to which the glove complies with (EN455-2 for medical, disposable and surgical gloves, and EN420 for PPE protective industrial and reusable gloves). The main difference is that EN455 measures the lay-flat width across the palm of the hand, whilst EN420 measures the circumference of the palm. This is how the sizing works for each format:

EN455 letter format (medical examination and disposable gloves)

You should measure your hand across the widest point as depicted above

Extra Small: less than 80 mm
Small: approximately 80 mm (70 – 90 mm)
Medium: approximately 95 mm (85 – 105 mm)
Large: approximately 110 mm (100 – 120 mm)
Extra Large: greater than 110 mm

There is a wide range to allow for the stretch within the glove.

EN455 number format (surgical and procedure gloves)

You should measure your hand across the widest point as depicted above

5.0: approximately 67 mm (63 – 71 mm)
5.5: approximately 72 mm (68 – 76 mm)
6.0: approximately 77 mm (72 – 82 mm)
6.5: approximately 83 mm (78 – 88 mm)
7.0: approximately 89 mm (84 – 94 mm)
7.5: approximately 95 mm (90 – 100 mm)
8.0: approximately 102 mm (96 – 108 mm)
8.5: approximately 108 mm (102 – 114 mm)
9.0: approximately 114 mm (108 – 120 mm)
9.5: approximately 121 mm (115 – 127 mm)

There is a wide range to allow for the stretch within the glove.

EN 420 number format (PPE industrial and reusable gloves)

Measure around the full circumference of the palm

Hand Circumference:

6: 152mm
7: 178mm

8: 203mm
9: 229mm
10: 254mm
11: 279mm

The general guidance for combining number and letter on disposable gloves sizing only is as follows:

Extra Small

Small Medium Large Extra Large Extra Extra Large
5.5 6.5 7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5

For ease, why not download and print out glove size chart to measure your hand.

Download here


Issues with incorrect fitting gloves:

Depending on the intended use and construction of the glove, they can protect against the risks associated with microbiological, chemical, radioactive, electrical and physical hazards (mechanical, cold, heat, vibration).

Glove sizing and hand fit is important because if the glove is too tight then it will restrict blood flow and may result in irritation and overstretching of the film (this in turn can lead to stress on the glove film resulting in weakness and tearing). Conversely, if the glove is too loose then it may abrade the skin causing irritation, the dexterity at the fingertip may be affected and the cuff may not sit neatly at the wrist.


  • Disposable gloves are single use only and must never be reused or washed (including medical exam, surgical, sterile and PPE disposable gloves).
  • Always ensure hands are dried thoroughly before donning gloves.
  • Donning gloves – always inspect the glove prior to donning, align the fingers and thumb, do not over extend the cuff as excessive stretch can tear the film at the bead, ensure the glove fits neatly and securely at the fingers, palm and cuff.
  • Doffing gloves – when removing gloves, hold the outside of the wrist and carefully pull the glove over the palm and fingers (the glove will turn inside out), then repeat with the other hand but be careful not to touch the outside surface of the glove, so this time grasp the wrist film on the inside of the glove and pull over the palm and fingers (to prevent any possible contamination).
  • Always change disposable gloves immediately when the film is compromised (holes, tears) or contaminated (microbiological, chemical), between tasks /patients.
  • Follow usage and storage instructions to ensure optimum performance.
  • If in doubt regarding the suitability of the glove then please contact us and we will be pleased to guide and provide advice.

BSI Quality Management

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