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Medical Swabs Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Cotton Tipped, Foam Tipped, Non-woven, and Others), By Application (Specimen Collection, Disinfection, and Others), By End User (Hospitals & Clinics, Laboratories & Diagnostic Centers, and Research Institutes), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: June 03, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103318



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The global medical swabs market size was USD 3.29 billion in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.51 billion in 2024 to USD 6.11 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period (2024-2032).

For decades, swabs have been used by the healthcare industry for sample collection during any research activities or during a diagnostic procedure. The application of cotton plugged stick has become user-friendly for the healthcare personnel while withdrawing samples from the patients by having minimum contact with the infected person.

This helped gain traction to the market value and is witnessing steady growth over the years. However, pandemics have exceptionally leveraged the market potential owing to demand a sterile and wide variety of products for conducting point-of-care testing procedures. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), public health emergency all over the world was announced in January 2020 due to the spread of coronavirus.

The pandemic crisis eventually led to a higher demand for medical supplies such as sterile swab, surgical masks, and diagnostic products. Therefore, higher sales of products, increasing prevalence of infectious disease, and advancements in the quality of products are likely to positively impact the market during the forecast period.

According to an article published by ScienceOpen in 2023, an estimated 5.0 million cases of severe illness will occur annually worldwide. As many as 650,000 deaths are attributed to seasonal influenza. Such a growing prevalence of infectious diseases is expected to propel the market growth.

Medical swab sales during the COVID-19 pandemic marked a positive increase, owing to the higher demand for rapid diagnostic testing. The increasing prevalence of coronavirus infections daily put pressure on hospitals and diagnostic centers to conduct tests using sterile medical supplies. This accelerated the production rate of these products. The growing prevalence of infectious diseases created multiple growth opportunities for manufacturers and is anticipated to help increase their revenue during the forecast period.

Medical Swabs Market Trends

Technological Advancements in the Production to Increase Market Potentiality

Advancements in any market are a positive approach in leveraging the market potentiality and market value. Though the market has a lower value attributed to its lesser sales and lower price value, a sudden occurrence of pandemics such as Influenza, COVID-19, and others has led to a tremendous demand for the products to collect samples. Similarly, to meet the shortage faced in such a crisis, researchers are developing strategies to multiply the manufacturing of swabs. For instance, in May 2021, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Massachusetts-based startup Rhinostics announced that the University’s sample collection swab and high-throughput automation technologies have been licensed to Rhinostics.

The division of 3D Clinical Applications at the University of South Florida’s (USF) Department of Radiology started observing the potential for creating a 3D printed alternative for the traditional flocked NP swab. This product has received manufacturing permission from the regulatory bodies. In collaboration with Form Labs, these products are being produced in Ohio and are likely to accelerate the production up to 100,000 per day. Therefore, innovations in the market are likely to surge the market value in the forecast period 2024-2032.

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Medical Swabs Market Growth Factors

Rise in Rapid Testing Procedures to Fuel Demand

The emergence of rapid testing procedures in the market has led to an increased demand for these products for specimen collection, disinfection, and other applications. For example, the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 witnessed a surge in rapid testing owing to a rise in coronavirus infections. Moreover, in June 2020, research was initiated to launch a self-swabbing test for COVID-19 diagnosis by the Stanford University of Medical.

Additionally, according to an article published by Healthline in 2021, about 200.0 million rapid tests were expected to be available to Americans each month as part of a drive to make community testing more widespread and accessible by December 2021. Therefore, the growing adoption of rapid testing by end users, is anticipated to promote the global medical swabs market growth during the forecast period.

Increasing Prevalence of Infectious Diseases is Augmenting Growth

A sudden rise in infectious diseases leading to a global pandemic (COVID-19) has resulted in high demand for diagnostic procedures and products. According to statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of new cases increased by 4.0% during the 28 days spanning from 11th December 2023 to 7th January 2024 compared to the previous 28-day period, with over 1.1 million new cases globally. Thus, the daily record of higher cases has led to a surge in the diagnostic tests to provide early treatment to the patients.

Moreover, the rise in coronavirus infections has also been recorded in the growing economies. For example, Brazil has recorded a total case of more than 12 lakh cases as of June 2020. This is likely to increase the sales of these products required for specimen collection of the samples.


Shortage of Resources to Tackle Infectious Diseases to Limit the Market Growth

Despite the strong demand for products for diagnostic procedures of infectious diseases, certain factors are expected to impact the growth of the market. The shortage of resources to diagnose and treat infectious diseases impacts the market growth prospects.

According to an article published by ScienceOpen in 2023, about 10,000 people have lost their lives to cholera since 2023. This is due to a global shortage in resources, including a lack of oral cholera vaccines. Furthermore, the ability to respond to multiple and simultaneous attacks remains limited. Therefore, limited medical supplies and resources subsequently restrict the growth rate of the market.

Medical Swabs Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Cost-Effectiveness to Drive Cotton Tipped Swabs Growth

On the basis of type, the market is categorized into cotton-tipped, foam tipped, non-woven, and others. Among these, the cotton tipped segment dominated the market in 2019 owing to its user-friendly approach during specimen collection. As these products are disposable, the demand for its continuous supply is higher, especially during pandemics.

The sales of these product increased during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak as these products are used for sample collection from the infected patients. Foam-tipped swabs also showcased a considerable market share owing to their advantage during the disinfection procedure. Significant product launches for this product category is expected to propel the segmental growth. For instance, in July 2022, SteriPack Group expanded its high-quality sample collection line with two new swab products. The expansion of their swab portfolio assists in SteriPack’s journey toward combating COVID-19 as well as other underserved disease states. Non-woven products are used for cleaning and healing wounds, are cost-effective, and a better alternative to traditional gauze. The sale of these products is likely to accelerate during the forecast period due to rise in infectious diseases coupled with increasing demand for high standard sterile products.

By Application Analysis

Growing Infectious Disease to Lead Specimen Collection Dominance

Based on application, the market is segmented into specimen collection, disinfection, and others. The higher prevalence of COVID-19 globally and increasing incidence of other infectious diseases among people are some of the major factors responsible for the dominance of the specimen collection in 2019. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of September 2021, more than 557 million tests were performed in the U.S. itself.

The disinfection segment is anticipated to project a significant CAGR during the forecast period owing to the increase in the number of surgical procedures in hospitals. Cotton-tipped sterile swabs are largely preferred for disinfecting an area, and as they are disposable, their continuous supply is demanded from manufacturers.

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By End User Analysis

Laboratories & Diagnostic Centers to Register Higher CAGR Owing to Demand in Diagnostic Procedures

In terms of end user, this market is segmented into hospitals & clinics, laboratories & diagnostic centers, and research institutes. The hospitals & clinics segment is expected to hold the dominant share in the market during the forecast period due to an increase in hospital stay of patients suffering from COVID infections. For instance, according to the Worldometer statistics, as of June 2020, there were more than 39 lakh coronavirus active cases in the world.

The laboratories & diagnostic centers are expected to grow at a higher CAGR due to the increase in the diagnostic procedures, coupled with the rise in the sale of sterile products required for sample collection in both developed and emerging countries. Moreover, research institutes will also register a comparatively higher CAGR due to the extensive research activities carried out to develop the COVID vaccine.


North America Medical Swabs Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The market size in North America stood at USD 1.36 billion in 2023. The dominance of this region is attributable as the prevalence of infectious disease is higher in the region, contributing for more IVD tests being performed in which medical swabs are used. Thus, the increasing diagnostics procedures in the region are boosting the demand for these products in the market. For instance, according to IHME Data, in 2019, 1.14 million people in the U.S. were suffering from infectious diseases. Thus, the increased prevalence of infectious diseases is boosting the growth of the market.

The medical swabs market in Europe is expected to grow at a significant CAGR owing to rising in-vitro diagnostic tests in which these products have major application. For instance, according to BIVAD, more than 900 million in-vitro diagnostics tests are carried out each year in the U.K. Thus, the increasing in-vitro diagnostics procedures in the region will boost the demand for medical swabs to collect samples from the patients.

The market in Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the rise in the sales of these products, coupled with the increasing number of coronavirus testing facilities. In addition to this, market players in this region are making heavy investments, which in turn will fuel the demand for sterile products. Latin America & the Middle East & Africa markets accounted for a comparatively lower share in the market owing to the lesser conductance of research activities that require specimen collection using a swab as well as lower conductance of diagnostic procedures.

List of Key Companies in Medical Swabs Market

Robust Portfolio and Supply Chain Strategy of Puritan Medical Products to Help Lead Market 

The global medical swabs market is highly fragmented owing to the presence of both large and small scale industry players. Puritan Medical Products leads the market with a higher share among them due to its robust product portfolio, including cotton-tipped, polyester, non-woven, and other products. The company is focusing on delivering high-quality standard products as stated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the company has a strong distribution channel boosting its sales all over the world.

Other key players, such as BD, Copan Diagnostics Inc., and 3M, successfully marked their presence in the global market. Delivering improvised products and maintaining a demand-supply balance is the key strategy adopted by the key industry players in the global market.



  • January 2023 - The University of South Florida (USF) was awarded the Patents for Humanity award by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its patent of the 3D-printed nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, created in the early part of the pandemic as a solution to the disrupted commercial production of standard flocked NP swabs critical in diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

  • February 2022 - Nexus Medical Labs collaborated with Rhinostics, Inc. to deliver high-quality diagnostic test results and rapid turnaround times for telehealth companies and others across the broader healthcare community. The agreement included the use of the RHINOstic Automated Nasal Swab from Rhinostics when processing COVID-19 and other swab-based samples at Nexus.

  • March 2021 - Roche Diagnostics launched a rapid antigen nasal test in the U.K. The latest addition to Roche's COVID-19 portfolio is the test to support healthcare systems in diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • February 2021 - P&G collaborated with iMFLUX to develop a novel fully injection-molded polypropylene nasal swab. It would help healthcare workers collect samples from the front of the nose rather than through the long cavity between the nose and the mouth.

  • April 2020 – The U.S. FDA approved a Q-tip type polyester swab produced by Cleveland Company U.S Cotton. The approval was granted to maximize the production of these products amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


An Infographic Representation of Medical Swabs Market

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The market research report provides a detailed SWOT analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market, current trends and forecast, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 7.2% over 2024-2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Cotton Tipped

  • Foam Tipped

  • Non-woven

  • Others

By Application

  • Specimen Collection

  • Disinfection

  • Others

By End User

  • Hospitals & Clinics

  • Laboratories & Diagnostics Centers

  • Research Institutes

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, By Application, By End User, and by Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application, By End User, and by Country/ Sub-Region)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Scandinavia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application, By End User, and by Country/Sub-Region)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Australia (By Application)

    • Southeast Asia (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application, By End User, and by Country/Sub-Region)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application, By End User, and By Country/Sub-Region)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

  • Rest of the Middle East & Africa & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 3.29 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 6.11 billion by 2032.

In 2023, the North America market value stood at USD 1.36 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 7.2%, the market will exhibit a steady growth over the forecast period (2024-2032).

The cotton tipped segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing prevalence of infectious diseases leading to the growing need for diagnostic procedures is driving the market.

Puritan Medical Products, BD, and Copan Diagnostics Inc. are major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2023.

The launch of higher standard quality and varied types of swabs are expected to drive the product adoption in the global market.

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