Updated November 2021
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best shop aprons

An apron is one of the most useful items you’ll find in a shop. Shop aprons are not just for mechanics, welders, and blacksmiths, either. Other people use them, too: butchers, bakers, beauticians, pet groomers, and artists, to name a few. If you want to avoid soiling, tearing, or otherwise damaging your clothing, a shop apron is an apt choice.

There are many benefits to wearing a shop apron. First off, they look cool — and they’re available in a range of materials, colors, and styles. If you’ll be working with multiple small tools, consider getting one with multiple pockets. If you’ll be working with caustic chemicals or hot liquids, invest in one to protect yourself and your clothing. There are many types of handiwork that call for a protective apron, especially if you anticipate getting your hands dirty.

Learn more about shop aprons and how to choose the best one for your purpose and pocketbook.

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Shop aprons are styled to come down to the knee. The lower leg remains unfettered so as to not restrict movement.

Key considerations

Apron type

Welding shop aprons: When welding, using a cutting torch, or performing other hazardous shop tasks, safety is paramount. A heat-resistant, flame-proof welding apron protects your clothing from slag, hot metal, sparks, and fire. This type of apron serves the needs of not only welders but also blacksmiths, lathe operators, and mechanics. Typically made from leather, a quality welding shop apron should provide years of service.

A full welding shop apron looks like a chef’s apron but provides extra coverage and protection over the shoulders, around the waist, and about the neck. These aprons are typically made of leather and are meant to protect your clothing and skin. Many choices feature deep side pockets for supplies, double-stitched seams for durability, and adjustable straps for comfort.

Rubber or vinyl shop aprons: Heavy-duty rubber or vinyl shop aprons are recommended when mixing farm or shop chemicals, when butchering, and when cleaning fish. Any other task that requires heavy-duty protection is a candidate for a rubber or vinyl apron, as well. These aprons are designed to keep your clothing dry and free from odorous debris.

Disposable shop aprons: Disposable shop aprons are ultra-thin and often individually wrapped. Designed for one-time use, these aprons are inexpensive yet often highly effective at protecting the wearer from liquids, grease, and oil. If your task does not require protection from sparks, caustic chemicals, or other hazards, a disposable shop apron may be all you need. For example, if you’re painting a room or cleaning the dog kennel, you might find a thin, disposable shop apron to be the most convenient choice.

Apron style

Bib apron: Bib aprons provide ample coverage for the full torso. A traditional design used around the world for centuries, the bib apron sports a loop around the neck and ties around the waist. For most, the apron falls just above the knee.

This style of apron provides excellent protection for anyone whose job or passion subjects them to messy or hazardous spills and splatters. This includes machinists, lab technicians, and animal caregivers.

Bib apron with suspenders: If you wear a bib apron with suspensers, you’ll have no loose ties to worry about. This style of apron typically features a three-slot chest pocket, reinforced suspender attachment points, and a rugged cotton canvas material that repels tough stains.

Bib aprons with suspenders have pockets on each side for tools and a locker loop behind the collar for hanging. They are hemmed to fall about the knee and designed to be durable and tear-resistant.

Waist aprons: Waist shop aprons, also known as half aprons, are not designed to provide full torso coverage; coverage is provided from waist to knee only. This type of apron sits well above the wearer’s knee, allowing for flexible leg movement. Waist aprons are perfect for persons that need to move about frequently and quickly. This is the style preferred by carpenters and craftsmen.

Waist aprons designed for the shop typically have a minimum of two front pockets for pens, supplies, and tools.

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Expert Tip
Disposable plastic shop aprons are the cheapest. Heavy-duty leather shop aprons are the most expensive. The apron that’s right for you depends on the tasks you need to complete.



Many shop aprons are of the “one size fits all” variety. However, there are some companies that make shop aprons for children and/or persons of exceptional girth. Most shop aprons can be folded over at the waistline to adjust the length of the apron. However, several brands offer custom sizing for a nominal cost. Custom-sized shop aprons are available from extra-small to 7XL: short to extra-tall.


For the sake of durability, a shop apron made with quality manufacturing techniques and materials is best. Look for double stitching, brass grommets, and brass rivets for strength. Apron pockets should be double-stitched and deep enough to accommodate your necessities. Apron ties should be securely attached, and a locker loop should be provided to keep your apron from falling off of a hook.


Shop aprons are manufactured from a broad range of materials including waxed canvas, denim, chrome-tanned leather (which is lighter than oil-tanned leather), oil-tanned split cowhide, rubber, and vinyl. The material you select should be based on function.

  • Canvas and denim are cooler to wear, but they do not offer the same protection as leather, rubber, and vinyl.
  • If you need protective gear, choose your shop apron based application. Leather is suitable if you’ll be working with grease, sparks, or flames. Rubber is suitable if you’ll be working with chemicals and liquids.
  • For shop jobs with water cleanup, you may wish to choose a washable shop apron.
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Expert Tip
Heavy-duty rubber or vinyl (PVC) shop aprons aren’t just for the shop. They’re also handy for washing the car, cleaning the pool, gutting fish, and bathing the dog.


If you’re taking on a dirty job that requires a shop apron, you may also need a few other items to protect yourself.

Safety goggles: YESWELDER True Color Welding Goggles
The best safety goggles provide eye protection while welding, cutting, brazing, sanding, or spraying. Offering good protection, these darkening welding glasses can be adjusted to your sensitivity. They will fit under a hard hat if needed.

Gloves: Leather Forge Welding Gloves
A handy pair grill gloves that does double-duty in the shop, these are great for tending the woodstove, welding, barbecuing, and ice fishing. They are double-insulated to protect hands in extreme heat and cold, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.

Shop apron prices


Inexpensive: If you are looking for a lightweight, waterproof cover to protect you from splats and splatters, you can find plenty of choices for between $10 and $15 that may be made of lightweight canvas, denim, or nylon. While these lighter aprons might provide protection from non-hazardous liquids, grease, and grime, they do not protect from corrosive chemical solvents, heat, sparks, or flame. Individually wrapped disposable shop aprons on the budget end may cost from $.07 to $.13 per apron.

Mid-range: In this price range, you can expect to find heavy-duty leather shop aprons of high quality in a diverse array of styles from reputable companies. A mid-range bib shop apron, the most popular design when arm and shoulder protection is not required, sells for approximately $20 to $30. Bib shop aprons of comparable quality crafted from canvas or denim may cost $20 to $38.

Expensive: Top-shelf bib aprons are often made of leather. Sold for anywhere from $40 to $90, many of these high-quality aprons can be expected to last a lifetime.

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Expert Tip
Leather welding aprons do double duty. You can use your apron for household chores, in the shop, at work, or when grilling.


  • Having a party? Hang a few lightweight cotton shop aprons in the panty or a nearby closet. Guests who stay after to help clean up can wear them to protect their clothing.
  • A lightweight vinyl or nylon shop apron proves handy in the kitchen for cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes. Keep yourself (and your clothing) dry and stain-free.
  • Are you a gardener? A denim or canvas shop apron with lots of pockets makes an afternoon of weeding (or other yard chores) easier.  Keep your shears, gloves, sunglasses, and other necessities at hand. These types of aprons tend to wash up easily, too.

Other products we considered

When you need a shop apron with plenty of storage for tools and supplies, the Holanton Work Apron with nine pockets is durable, comfortable, and an excellent value. Built to last, this apron features solid brass grommets and rivets, double-stitched hems, and double-stitched pockets with plenty of space. A handy headphone loop keeps headphones in place if you want to listen to tunes while working.

The sturdy QeeLink Leather Welding Apron resists heat and flames. Made from split cowhide leather, this extra-long apron is multifunctional and quite handsome. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Readywares Waxed Canvas Tool Apron is great for gardeners, mechanics, potters, and woodworkers. It’s made of tough and durable waxed canvas and has a whopping 12 pockets as well as two tool loops. Putting it on is no problem; the easy-to-close back buckle snaps quickly into place.

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Some shop aprons are more than functional; they are fashionable. Potters, artists, bartenders, and baristas enjoy a wide selection of colors, fabrics, and innovative designs available in the marketplace.


Q. Do rubber or vinyl shop aprons have cloth backing?
. It depends. While some brands make aprons for industrial purposes out of solid rubber, others use lightweight rubber or vinyl with a cloth backing. A shop apron with a cloth backing is much cooler to wear.

Q. I have to buy my own safety gear for work. Should I expect to spend a lot of money on a shop apron?
The price you pay depends on the quality of the product. How often you wear the apron is key. If you wear it for work, it sounds as though you might need an apron every day. A high-quality shop apron will provide years of daily service; many of these can be had for around $50, give or take a few dollars. A cheaper shop apron (under $20), worn daily, might need to be replaced sooner than later.

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