Best Scrubs for Women

Updated May 2021
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best scrubs for women

When you work in the medical field, you face daily challenges, from grueling 12-hour shifts to stressful patient loads. But your work can be even more difficult if you’re stuck in uncomfortable scrubs all day. 

Scrubs are special tops and pants worn by doctors, nurses, and other workers in hospitals and medical offices. They’re designed to be easy to clean, affordable when replacements are necessary and even sterile for use in operating rooms or surgical suites. Scrubs for women are cut to fit a woman’s body for a more comfortable and flattering fit, but they should be loose enough that you can move freely and bend and twist as your duties require. 

Choosing scrubs for women can be difficult because there are so many options on the market. With our buying guide, you get all the tips you need to find the best scrubs for your next shift.

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Some women find it more comfortable to wear a T-shirt or tank beneath their scrubs top.

Key considerations

Fabric

As with any clothing item, the fabric that scrubs are made of plays a significant role in how comfortable the garments are. With scrubs in particular, you should also choose a material that’s easy to clean and holds up well to repeated washings. Some of the most common fabric options for women’s scrubs include the following:

Cotton: This is a popular choice for many types of clothing, but it’s especially ideal for scrubs, which is why many high-end scrubs have a higher cotton content. They’re extremely comfortable, allowing for a full range of motion. They help keep you cool and dry, and they’re less likely to cause irritation or itching, making them ideal for sensitive skin. Cotton also washes well for easy cleaning. 

Polyester: Polyester is a highly durable synthetic fabric, so it’s an excellent material for scrubs. It washes and wears incredibly well and resists wrinkles, so you can wear polyester scrubs straight out of the dryer. Polyester isn’t as breathable or lightweight as cotton, so it’s better to choose scrubs that have a polyester blend rather than 100% polyester. 

Spandex or rayon blends: Spandex is another synthetic fabric that works well for scrubs. It’s lightweight, sweat-resistant, and stretchy for a comfortable fit. Scrubs made with a spandex blend also wash well and are comfortable to wear for long shifts. Rayon is a breathable and soft fabric similar to cotton. It’s often combined with cotton or polyester to make it more comfortable to wear, but scrubs with a higher rayon content may require more careful washing.

Fit

Scrubs for women are designed to fit a woman’s body for a comfortable and flattering look. They’re available in several different fit styles, depending on your preferences. 

Junior: These scrubs offer a more fitted design and shorter sleeves. The top has a slimmer fit, while the pants typically sit below the natural waistline and have slim-cut legs. 

Missy: These scrubs have tops with slightly longer sleeves and a longer hemline for more coverage when you’re bending and stretching. The pants have a higher waistline and relaxed-fit legs. 

Athletic: These scrubs are designed for high activity, so they’re cut to move with the body. Some also have mesh to improve breathability and stretch panels for more flexibility. The pants usually have an elastic waistband that’s very comfortable and allows for easy movement. 

Unisex: These scrubs offer a classic fit, though they’re not cut specifically for a woman’s body. As such, they usually have a looser, more comfortable fit for women. The top has longer sleeves and a straight, roomy fit through the torso. The pants are relaxed through the legs and have a waistline that sits below the natural waist. 

Maternity: These scrubs are cut to fit and expand with a growing belly, so you don’t have to keep buying new scrubs throughout your pregnancy

Size

When choosing a specific size, you’ll need to compare your measurements with the manufacturer’s sizing chart. Measure your chest, waist, hips, and inseam to determine the proper size. 

There are also a few general size categories that you can choose from: 

Regular scrubs generally fit women who aren’t particularly short or tall and wear clothing sizes between 0 and 12. 

Petite scrubs are for women who are 5′4″ and shorter

Plus-size scrubs are usually for women who wear clothing sizes 12 and up. 

Some people like to pretreat new scrubs in a mixture of cold water and vinegar to prevent fading over time.

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Features

Specialty fabrics

In addition to choosing the right fabric for your scrubs, you might want to look for options with special qualities for added comfort and convenience. 

Moisture-wicking: Some scrubs move moisture away from the body. That can be a welcome feature if you perspire or come into contact with other fluids while working. Scrubs with a high polyester content are usually the most efficient at this, but some materials are treated with chemicals to keep moisture away from the skin. 

Moisture repellant: You can also find scrubs that repel liquids, which are similar to moisture-wicking options, but the fabric is treated with a water-repellent coating that causes most liquids to bead up on the fabric and fall off before they soak in. The downside to liquid-repellent scrubs is that they’re not very breathable, so they may make you warmer over the course of the day.

Antimicrobial: Some manufacturers offer antimicrobial scrubs, which are chemically treated with triclosan or other chemicals to prevent bacteria from growing on the fabric. The scrubs can lose their antimicrobial properties with repeated washings, however. 

Components

Wrap top: Some women’s scrubs tops have a faux-wrap design, so the top looks like it’s wrapped around your body the way a robe or belted coat might be. This type of top helps give shape to the body in a way that some women prefer. The tops don’t have any ties, however, so you don’t have to worry about extra fabric getting snagged while you’re working.

Shape: Some women’s scrubs have carefully placed seams that help give the body shape. Many styles have princess seams, which are long, curved seams down the torso that closely follow the body’s contours. You can also find some styles with an empire waist, with a seam beneath the bust that provides a tighter fit in the chest and a looser fit below the seam. 

Waistband: While some women’s scrub pants have an elastic waistband, many feature some type of fastener at the waist. Drawstring waistbands are typically the most popular because they allow you to adjust the fit. They also do a better job of holding the weight of items you might have clipped to your pants or in the pockets. 

Pockets: When you work in the medical field, it helps to have pockets to carry items that you might need throughout the day. Some pockets are large enough to hold notepads and gloves, while others work better for smaller items like pens. Most scrubs have some type of pockets, but the number and placement vary from style to style. 

Most women prefer having pockets on both their tops and pants. Many tops have a breast pocket on one side, but some have pockets on both sides. You can even find tops with side waist pockets. Scrubs pants can have either side, front, or back pockets. A few manufacturers make cargo-style scrub pants with pockets down the legs. 

Side slits: Many women’s scrubs have side slits in the hem of the top. These slits help improve breathability and allow for a greater range of motion while you’re working. 

Colors and prints

These days, you can find women’s scrubs in an incredibly wide range of colors and patterns. Some hospitals or medical offices may have specific requirements regarding the color(s) you can wear, but if you don’t need a particular color, choose whatever shade or print you like.

Blue and green are typically the most common colors for scrubs, but you can find them in every color in the rainbow. Dark colors are usually a safer bet because they hide stains more readily than lighter shades.

Patterned scrubs can be a fun option, too. You can find scrubs with prints in various patterns, such as flowers, polka dots, hearts, stars, animals, and more.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Check your scrubs for any loose threads or holes after you wash them. Trim the threads and sew the holes to prevent further damage.
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Women’s scrubs prices

Scrubs for women vary in price based on the material, style, features, and whether you purchase a set or separate pieces. Most sets cost between $15 and $73.

Inexpensive: The most affordable scrubs for women are cotton, polyester, or cotton-polyester blends. They usually have pockets for added convenience, but they aren’t treated with specialty chemicals for water-repellent or antimicrobial properties. These scrubs typically don’t have any seams or styling details either. You’ll pay between $15 and $27 for these sets.

Mid-range: These scrubs for women are usually cotton-spandex or cotton-rayon blends. They have pockets and may be treated with water-repellent or antimicrobial chemicals. They also have seams and other styling details for a more flattering fit. You’ll usually pay between $25 and $42 for these scrub sets.

Expensive: The most expensive scrubs for women are typically poly-spandex, poly-rayon, or poly-spandex-rayon blends. They have plenty of pockets and usually have water-repellent or antimicrobial properties. They often have flattering seams and styling details, too. You’ll generally pay between $43 and $73 for these sets. 

If you don’t want to wash your scrubs after every shift, make sure you have at least three sets.

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Tips

  • Avoid washing your scrubs with other laundry. You could spread contaminants from the scrubs to your regular clothing if you wash them together. 
  • Treat any stains before washing. When you work in a medical setting, stains are inevitable. Use a color-safe stain remover to treat any stains on your scrubs before washing them. 
  • Turn your scrubs inside out before washing them. That helps prevent the colors from fading. 
  • Avoid wearing your scrubs outside of a work setting. If you can change at work, place your worn scrubs in a plastic bag before taking them home to avoid spreading any germs. 
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Scrubs aren’t just for doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other personnel at hospitals and medical offices. Dentists, dental assistants, veterinarians, and veterinary assistants also wear scrubs.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my scrubs? 

A. Always check the care instruction label on your scrubs for the proper cleaning procedure. Many scrubs can be washed in cold water in your washer and tossed in the dryer without shrinking, but some may require more careful cleaning.   

Q. How long do scrubs usually last? 

A. It depends on the quality of the scrubs and how often you wear them. Lower-quality scrubs worn daily usually require replacing every three to four months, but higher-quality scrubs can often go a year or longer without needing to be replaced. 

Q. Is it better to buy a set or separate pieces? 

A. Women’s scrubs sets are usually a better value, so many people prefer to purchase them in a set. However, if you wear different sizes on the top and bottom, you might be better off buying your tops and pants separately.

 

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