Glove boxes are specialty enclosures that allow tight control over experimental conditions. Sizes range from less than five to several hundred cubic feet. Glove boxes maintain temperature, humidity, and process gas while protecting the experiment from operators, or vice versa, depending on the application. They also allow the introduction or removal of equipment and samples.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Glove Box

1. What applications are you using the glove box for? This will determine exactly what you will need in a glove box, such as an oxygen-free atmosphere, etc.

2. Are the incubation and processing separated in order to prevent contamination? This is important if you will be using the glove box for cell culture.

3. How much will the glove box cost to acquire and maintain? Are warranties offered? Custom glove boxes are the most expensive, so if a standard model can fit your needs that is probably the better way to go. Making small customizations to an off-the-shelf model is also another less costly option than a fully-custom unit.

4. What are your future needs? This will help determine if the smallest unit is really the best option or if a larger option which can accommodate future expansion would make more sense.

5. What sort of safety features does the glove box have? These are especially important if you are working with very hazardous materials.

Three Fast Facts on Glove Boxes

• Not surprisingly, most glove boxes are found in biology and medical laboratories as well as in many chemistry labs. This is reflected in how glove boxes are used: 41 percent of respondents in a recent Lab Manager Magazine survey indicated that they used glove boxes for materials that were either dangerous or sensitive to air, moisture, or both. Twenty- two percent of respondents used glove boxes for culturing cells or bacteria. Nine percent, each, of applications involved storage of chemicals or working with delicate electronic components (e.g., sensors or microchips).

• The largest percentage (61 percent) of labs tend to have one or two glove boxes. The numbers fall off rapidly, but 16 percent of those who responded maintain five or more glove boxes in their facility.

• Glove boxes are considered laboratory “furniture” and are expected to have very low operating budgets. More than half of the respondents indicated that they expected to spend “less than $1,000” on annual repair, maintenance, and related supplies. Price was cited as the main factor (44 percent) entering into purchase decisions for a glove box, followed by ease of use (41 percent), safety (33 percent), and low maintenance/ operating costs (31 percent).

Recently Released Glove Boxes

Bactrox Hypoxia Chamber
• Offers precise oxygen and carbon dioxide control from 1-20%
• Preserves optimal application conditions not only during incubation but also in the chamber work station
• Advanced atmospheric controller allows for the use of a highly accurate and long-lasting zirconium dioxide oxygen sensor
• Also has a standalone 300 plate incubator


LABstar Workstation
• Ready to operate—includes a large main antechamber, vacuum pump and PLC controller
• Comes standard with an automatic regenerable oxygen and moisture single purifier unit (MB 10G compact)
• Purifier unit can attain purity levels of less than one part per million oxygen and moisture
• Uses standard power supply


Purair Flex Film Isolator
• Provides more working volume than comparable products
• Double O-ring design allows users to quickly and easily change gloves
• Easy to set up and provides increased stability
• Safety options include HEPA filter availability, bag-in / bagout port, and optional nitrogen purge inlet connections

Air Science USA

Captair Pyramid
• Assembled in a few seconds, the Pyramid can be used anywhere
• Slanted shape of the enclosure provides an ergonomic working position for the user
• Light, mobile and disposable, it is an ideal protection tool which can suit many requirements in the laboratory or in the field
• Each Pyramid is factory-tested to ensure an air-tight seal



Glove Box Manufacturers

Air Science USA
Coy Labs
Innovative Technology