Disposable or reusable PPE? make the right choice!

22 May 2023

In a context where you need to ensure optimal protection, the choice between disposable and reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role. As it is essential to understand the differences between these two, we have written a blog to help you make the right decision, so that you can provide the best possible protection to your team!

What is a disposable PPE?

Disposable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is protective equipment worn or held by a worker to protect against health and safety risks. It is designed for single-use and then disposed of.

Common examples of disposable PPE include:

What is a reusable PPE?

A reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective equipment worn or held by a worker to protect against health and safety risks, intended to be washed and used multiple times.

Common examples of reusable PPE include:

  • Helmet
  • Safety shoes
  • Coverall
  • Ear defenders
  • Safety harness
  • High-visibility vest
  • Etc.

The advantages of disposable PPE

Optimal hygiene

The major advantage of disposable PPE is their effectiveness against cross-contamination, which is crucial in a hospital setting. After a single use, disposable PPE’s are immediately changed, avoiding any contact with other patients, hospital visitors, or medical staff.

Less expensive to purchase

Disposable PPE has a lower initial cost compared to reusable PPE, making them more affordable. Additionally, when purchased in large quantities, disposable PPE benefits from greater price discounts.

No maintenance required

Disposable PPE has the advantage of not requiring maintenance or washing. This simplifies the process and reduces logistical constraints. In addition to saving time, it eliminates maintenance costs.


Disposable PPE is lighter than reusable PPE, providing better comfort. Their thinness allows for improved tactile sensitivity and greater freedom of movement. Additionally, they are convenient to put on and remove quickly.

No wear and tear

Unlike washable PPE, which is used multiple times and needs to be cleaned after each use, disposable PPE is single-use. This ensures their effectiveness and protects them from gradual wear over time.

The advantages of reusable PPE

Amortization of the initial price

The reuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) can be advantageous when hygiene and protection are not paramount. Reusing PPE multiple times can, in the long run, offset the higher initial cost of reusable PPE.

Waste reduction

Reusable PPE offers the undeniable advantage of reducing the amount of waste generated. However, it’s worth noting that their cleaning process requires a significant consumption of water and electricity.

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Ultimately, the choice between disposable and washable PPE depends on your situation and the level of protection required. Each sector has its own requirements, but when the level of protection needs to be optimal, such as in the medical, pharmaceutical, and food industries, the use of disposable PPE is the preferred option.