Choosing the Right Centrifuge Tube for Your Lab Experiments

Choosing the Right Centrifuge Tube for Your Lab Experiments


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 09 Sep,2023

The correct centrifuge tube for your laboratory is important to the success and precision of your experiments. Numerous factors, such as the sort of centrifuge tubes you have, the intended application, the materials you’ll use, and your budget, must be taken into account when choosing this alternative. These final recommendations will help you sort through the options and come to a wise selection.

Centrifuge tube material:

Centrifuge tubes are usually made of a variety of materials, each suitable for different uses:

  1. Polypropylene (PP):Common and adaptable, used in numerous applications including the separation of proteins, DNA, and RNA.
  2. Polyethylene (PE): Chemical resistant and suitable for some organic solvents.
  3. Polycarbonate (PC): Transparent and heat-resistant, ideal for applications requiring visibility and high temperatures.
  4. Glass: Used for high-speed applications and applications involving aggressive chemicals.
  5. Stainless Steel: Used for ultracentrifugation applications.

Centrifuge tube Size and Capacity:

Centrifuge tubes come in various sizes, typically measured in millilitres (mL). Consider the volume of your samples and the rotor capacity of your centrifuge when choosing tube size. Common sizes of centrifuge tubes include 1.5 mL centrifuge tubes, 2 mL centrifuge tubes, 15 mL centrifuge tubes, and 50 ml centrifuge tubes,

Centrifuge tube Type:

Select the appropriate tube type based on your specific needs:

  1. Microcentrifuge Tubes: Used for small-volume samples and fit in microcentrifuge rotors.
  2. Conical Tubes: These have a tapered bottom and are suitable for pelleting applications.
  3. Screw-Cap Tubes: Ideal for secure sealing and long-term storage.
  4. Snap-Cap Tubes: Easy to open and close for quick access to samples.

Also read:

10 suggestions for purchasing ideal centrifuge tubes

Rotor Compatibility:

Ensure that the centrifuge tubes you choose are compatible with your centrifuge’s rotor. Some centrifuges require specialised adapters or rotor types.

Temperature Resistance:

Consider the temperature range required for your experiments. Polypropylene and polyethylene tubes are suitable for most applications, but if you need high-temperature resistance, opt for materials like polycarbonate.

Chemical Compatibility:

Choose tubes that are chemically compatible with your samples. Verify if the materials are resistant to acids, bases, organic solvents, or specific chemicals used in your experiments.


For biological or sensitive samples, opt for sterile tubes to minimise the risk of contamination.

Graduations and Labels:

Some tubes come with volume graduations, which can be useful for accurate sample measurement. Consider whether you need labelled or unlabeled tubes.

Closure Mechanism:

Select a closure mechanism (e.g., screw caps, snap caps, or plug seals) that suits your application, including storage and long-term stability.


Keep your budget in mind when selecting centrifuge tubes. There are options available at various price points, but prioritise quality and compatibility over cost savings when necessary.

Specialised Centrifuge tubes:

For specific applications, such as DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, or ultracentrifugation, you may need specialised tubes designed for those purposes.

Disposable vs. Reusable:

Decide whether disposable or reusable tubes are more suitable for your lab’s needs, taking into account factors like cost, contamination risks, and sustainability.

Brand and Quality:

Choose reputable brands known for producing high-quality centrifuge tubes to ensure reliable results.


In summary, selecting the right centrifuge tubes for your lab requires careful consideration of material, size, type, compatibility, temperature resistance, chemical resistance, sterility, graduations, closure mechanism, budget, and specific application requirements. By thoroughly assessing these factors, you can make informed choices that will optimise your lab’s centrifugation processes and experiments.

FAQs on Centrifuge tubes

Which tubes need to be centrifuged?

The tubes marked ORANGE, LT GREEN, and PEARL can be centrifuged right away. To ensure that the anticoagulant stops the blood from clotting, invert the LT GREEN & PEARL tubes 8–10 times after collecting. 5 times invert the ORANGE & GOLD tubes to combine the blood and clot activator.

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