Disposable or Reusable PPE: Which One Wins?

As the pandemic took hold, safety supplies were rapidly in high demand and price gouging became a problem. To make matters worse, manufacturers of disposable equipment are based largely in China and India, which were dealing with their own economic and health issues.


By early spring, supply lines were cut off and the critical situation led to a number of innovative solutions to keep healthcare providers safe, PPE shortages and cost speculations urged both practitioners and suppliers to turn to old-school methods, particularly reusable protective equipment.


Disposable equipment is only meant to be used once before being thrown out. But the pandemic caused a global disruption in the supply chain of disposable PPE, so health-care workers have had to extend the use of what they have. With that being said, let’s evaluate and compare reusable equipment with disposable one and determine if the effectiveness is the same in both cases.


A huge advantage of disposable products is the fact that they are lighter in weight than the reusable version, and this can be more comfortable for the wearer. Additionally, disposable PPE is much cheaper than the reusable one. So, if you don’t use it that often, this is certainly something to think about.


A product that can be disposed of after use is not only cheaper because of the lower purchase price, but also because there are no maintenance costs. Unlike reusable PPE, disposable items do not need to be cleaned, which also saves a lot of time.


Furthermore, disposable PPE can be safer and more efficient. After all, you put on a new mask, gloves, and face shield as soon as it has been in contact with an infected patient. With reusable clothing, if stored after use, you could transfer chemicals to your environment or even your skin, with all the consequences that entails.


However, there are a few disadvantages of disposable PPE: they are usually more harmful to the environment and are mechanically less strong. Reusable PPE is designed to be more durable, especially if you often need protective gear, but, if you have to dispose of these types of products regularly because they get damaged or dirty, the benefits are fewer.




No cleaning necessary


Mechanically strong



Mechanically less strong

Harmful to the environment

Less effective

More risk of infection


Working Hard to Alleviate the Shortage of Medical Face Masks

At We Shield we are currently sourcing and distributing the highest-quality PPE throughout the U.S. at a competitive price and time, we import our safety supplies via private cargo planes multiple times a week and have the experience, certifications, and connections to expedite the process and make it as affordable as possible to support the immediate safety goals of our clients.