The 9 Best Scrubs, According to Healthcare Workers

Comfortable yet functional scrubs for medical professionals

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Nurse Doctor Hospital Scrubs

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First Look

Best Overall: Dagacci Scrubs Medical Uniform at Amazon

"These lightweight, breathable scrubs from Dagacci feature a comfortable elastic waistband and pockets on both the shirt and pants."

Best Budget: Just Love Women's Scrub Sets Six Pocket Medical Scrubs at Amazon

"Just Love sells scrubs in sets that are available in so many colors, you'll want to stock up on more than one pair."

Best With Pockets: Dickies GenFlex Cargo Scrubs Pant at Amazon

"These pocketed pants are a favorite among healthcare workers who need a little extra storage as they go about their shifts."

Best for Plus Size: Wonderwink Plus Size Scrubs at Amazon

"WonderWink’s flattering plus-size scrubs show off your figure, rather than hiding it."

Best During Pregnancy: Cherokee Maternity Mock Wrap Scrubs Shirt at Amazon

"These are perfect for any expecting mamas that need a little extra stretch to stay comfortable throughout their shifts."

Best for Men: Cherokee Originals Cargo Scrubs Pant at Amazon

"For many men, comfort is the biggest priority and these Cherokee cargo scrub pants provide them with that cozy fit."

Best Yoga-Style: ScrubStar Premium Collection Flexible Drawstring Scrub Pants at Amazon

"Its elastic waist with drawstrings provide maximum comfort while its enhanced stitching makes for a super stylish pair of pants."

Most Comfortable: HeartSoul Break On Through Scrub Jogger Pant at Amazon

"They're designed with a drawstring and a contemporary, low rise silhouette that will fit your body just right."

Most Stylish: FIGS Women's YOLA Tall Skinny Scrub Pants at Amazon

"Beyond the flattering design, these pants are also anti-wrinkle, liquid repellent, and lightweight."

Scrubs are basically a second skin for healthcare workers. A typical shift for a nurse can last at least 12 hours and more if you’re a doctor, which is why it’s so important to pick a pair of scrubs that satisfy all your needs. 

“As healthcare providers, we’re very busy and need scrubs that work as hard as we do,” says Kristen Schiefer, MSPA, PA-C, board-certified physician assistant in pediatric neurosurgery. “That’s why it’s so important to buy good quality, durable scrubs that are made to last.” 

Here are the best scrubs on the market today.

Best Overall: Dagacci Scrubs Medical Uniform

Dagacci Scrubs Medical Uniform

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Wide range of sizes

  • Affordable

  • Multiple pockets

Cons
  • Unisex sizing can make it hard to find the right size

  • Roomy fit may be unflattering 

Like with any piece of clothing, fit is crucial for scrubs. At the same time, you don’t want to overpay for exact sizing. These lightweight, breathable scrubs from Dagacci feature a comfortable elastic waistband and multiple pockets on both the shirt and pants so that you can keep any necessary supplies on your person at all times. They come in 22 colors and range x-small to 5X-large, giving healthcare workers plenty of options to choose from.

Material: 100% Polyester Cotton blend

Fit: Classic v-neck, loose, unisex 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash cold, tumble dry

Best Budget: Just Love Women's Scrub Sets Six Pocket Medical Scrubs

Pros
  • Functional drawstring waist

  • Several color options

  • Comfortable blended fabric

Cons
  • Fabric isn’t as durable as other brands

  • Runs large and baggy 

Depending on where you’re buying them from, scrubs can be pricey. The cost goes up when you have to buy tops separately from the bottoms. Luckily, Just Love sells scrubs in sets that are available in so many colors, you'll want to stock up on more than one pair.

Material:  55% Cotton, 45% Polyester

Fit: Classic v-neck, roomy 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash, tumble dry

I typically spend $15 to $18 per top and $20 to $22 per pant, which [is] pretty middle-of-the-road. I personally don't like the super inexpensive scrubs as they have a tendency to rip at the seams and seem to more readily absorb fluids, while the high-end scrubs tend to be fluid resistant and have antimicrobial properties, but don't withstand washing in hot water and drying on high heat. —Sarah Patterson, LVN, nurse from Southern California

Best With Pockets: Dickies GenFlex Cargo Scrubs Pant

Dickies Women's GenFlex Cargo Scrubs Pant

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Front, back, and cargo pockets

  • Stretchy material

  • Drawstring waist

Cons
  • Low-rise waist is not ideal for active jobs

  • Material attracts dust and lint

These pocketed pants are a favorite among healthcare workers who need a little extra storage as they go about their shifts.

“Pockets, pockets, pockets,” Registered Nurse Danielle Pobre at VCUHealth System says. “That’s the one thing we need. As nurses, we end up putting things in our pockets such as alcohol pads, saline flushes, and more. We need to have easy access to these supplies right away as opposed to going back and forth to the supply room.” 

Dickies GenFlex Cargo Scrubs have nine pockets for healthcare workers to utilize as they go about their shifts. They have a low-rise, drawstring waist to stay comfortably situated on your hips throughout the workday, and a stretchy polyester-Spandex blend to keep the fit flexible.

Material: 52% Cotton, 45% Polyester, 3% Spandex

Fit: Contemporary straight-leg 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash, tumble dry

Best for Plus Size: Wonderwink Plus Size Scrubs

WonderWink Plus-Size Wonderwork Pull-On Cargo Scrub Pant

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Extended sizes

  • Flattering, stretchy fit

  • High-rise waist with full coverage

Cons
  • Runs big

Scrubs tend to be boxy and straight, but there are options available with flexible fabrics. WonderWink’s flattering plus-size scrubs show off your figure instead of hiding it. The brand’s collection comes in petite and tall sizes ranging up to 5X-large and a variety of bright colors. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t celebrate your curves.

Material: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton

Fit: Classic women’s fit with straight-leg pant 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash, tumble dry

I look for tops with a little stretch as they are more comfortable [for] leaning, bending, and squatting without being loose enough that patients can see down my top as I'm providing care, and for pants I look for a drawstring because those stay up the best once I've loaded my pockets and started moving [around] for my shift. —Sarah Patterson, LVN, nurse from Southern California

Best During Pregnancy: Cherokee Maternity Mock Wrap Scrubs Shirt

Cherokee Maternity Mock Wrap Scrubs Shirt

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Breathable 

  • Drawstring top for adjustability through trimesters

  • Knit side panels

Cons
  • Tight-fitting in the chest

  • Fabric can be stiff or bulky

Making your way through the hospital for 12 hours can be challenging. Now imagine doing that with a baby on the way. To get you through a workday, you certainly need breathable scrubs that won’t weigh you down.

“I ended up with Cherokee maternity scrubs,” VCUHealth System Registered Nurse Taylor Russell said of her recent pregnancy. “The scrubs had a big stretchy band that went over my stomach and it was so comfortable. The top had a drawstring, so I could adjust it as I got bigger and it still had all the pockets that us nurses need to hold all the supplies we use regularly.” 

Cherokee Women’s Maternity Mock Wrap Scrubs Tops are perfect for any expecting mamas that need a little extra stretch to stay comfortable throughout their shifts. They're light and breathable, so you won't overheat, but provide enough coverage to protect your stomach throughout the workday.

Material: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton

Fit: Empire waist

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash, tumble dry

Best for Men: Cherokee Originals Cargo Scrubs Pant

Cherokee Originals Cargo Scrubs Pant

Courtesy of Scrubs and Beyond

Pros
  • Drawstring waist

  • Zippered fly

  • Cargo pockets

Cons
  • Inseam runs long

  • Baggier fit

For many men, comfort is the biggest priority—and these Cherokee cargo scrub pants provide them with that cozy fit. Just make sure you dry them at low temperatures to avoid any shrinkage issues.

“When I’m shopping for scrubs, I look for comfort and flexibility,” Mechanicsville-based CVS Pharmacy Lead Technician Will Vanags says. “I also avoid over-the-top patterns and prefer solid colors that complement my go-to neutral sneakers.”

Material: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton

Fit: Natural rise, straight-leg 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash, tumble dry low

We add a custom thread logo to all our scrub tops, so for me, quality is far more important than price: it doesn't make sense to save a few dollars on the scrubs if I have to pay to customize more when the cheaper ones fall apart. —Kathryn Hively, dental practice manager from South Jersey

Best Yoga-Style: ScrubStar Premium Collection Flexible Drawstring Scrub Pants

ScrubStar Women's Premium Collection Flexible Drawstring Scrub Pants

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Extra-soft fabric

  • Vented pant legs

  • Cozy and breathable

Cons
  • Runs large

Once you spend your shift rocking ScrubStar’s soft yoga-style scrubs, you’ll surprisingly never want to take them off. ScrubStar's elastic waist with drawstring tie provides maximum comfort while its enhanced stitching makes for a super stylish and eye-catching pair of pants.

“We do a lot of walking, bending, and sometimes even running at work,” VCUHealth System Registered Nurse Jawharah Tomawis said. “So, like these scrubs, it’s comfort all the way.”

Material: 77% Polyester, 20% Rayon, 3% Spandex

Fit: Straight-leg 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Most Comfortable: HeartSoul Break On Through Scrub Jogger Pant

HeartSoul Break On Through Low Rise Scrub Jogger Pant

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Sweatpants-style fit

  • Extended sizing for petite and tall

  • Rib-knit waistband

Cons
  • Run big

Who wouldn’t want scrubs that are basically like sweatpants? With the HeartSoul jogger pant scrubs, that’s exactly what you’d be getting. They're designed with a drawstring and a contemporary, low rise silhouette that will fit your body just right.

“I like my scrubs to be a little loose and I’m also kind of high maintenance, which is why I prefer trendy jogger scrubs,” Richmond-based Pharmacist Donny Preval said.

Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex

Fit: Low-rise jogger 

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Some [of our employees] prefer fitted tops, some prefer looser fit, some need longer pants, some need a petite cut. The blend of the material—the amount of stretch—seems to be a big consideration for them. —Kathryn Hively, dental practice manager from South Jersey


Most Stylish: FIGS Women's YOLA Tall Skinny Scrub Pants

Figs Yola Skinny Scrub Pants

Courtesy of Figs

Pros
  • Pants feature 11 pockets


  • Stylish

  • Drawstring elastic wasitband

Cons
  • On the more expensive end


Making scrubs look stylish may seem difficult, but it’s all about the fit. If you want your set to stand out, don’t waste your time on anything baggy. As soon as you see FIGS’ tailored skinny leg pants, you’ll immediately want multiple pairs. Beyond the flattering design, these pants are also anti-wrinkle, liquid repellent, and lightweight, so you’ll stay looking your best no matter what you come across at the hospital.

Material: 72% Polyester, 21% Rayon, 7% Spandex

Fit: Straight, slim leg

Wash Recommendations: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Final Verdict

You can’t put form over function—or vice versa—when it comes to buying scrubs: you’re going to spend all day wearing them and they need to be as comfortable as they are useful. The best scrubs are ones that fit you well, look stylish, and have multiple pockets to assist you as you go about your work. When choosing a pair, aim for material blends that are breathable and stretchy, easy to wash, and feel good on your skin.

It never hurts to have several rotating sets of scrubs. If you prefer something you can use more often, prioritize comfort and proper sizing, ultimately making the Dagacci Scrubs Medical Uniform or the WonderWink Plus Size Bravo Scrubs your best buys. 

What to Look for in Scrubs

Durability

Dealing with bodily fluids is a normal part of a healthcare provider’s job, so you need scrubs that will stand up to the rigors of caring for patients as well as the rigors of your washing machine.

“My scrubs experience many washes and I think the fabric itself is the most important in terms of longevity of the scrubs,” says Dr. Michael Cellini, D.O., an interventional radiology fellow in New York City. “Performance scrubs may cost a little more on average, but they tend to last longer than conventional scrubs.”

In other words, know what the care instructions are for the type of fabric used to make your scrubs; if it’s notorious for fading or wearing down quickly, your items may not be able to keep up with your necessarily messy lifestyle.

Functionality

Ask pretty much any healthcare provider what one feature they want to see most on their scrubs and we guarantee the answer will resoundingly be “pockets!” No one likes to spend their entire day on their feet without any place to store their most-used items, whether it’s a cell phone, pager, ID badge, stethoscope, or even a good old fashioned pen and pad. 

And not just any pockets will do, says Shiefer; there should be several of them, appropriately placed and sized so items fit well inside without falling out. Dr. Cellini agrees: “A number of pockets is a plus—I feel like I’m always carrying a lot of items on the job and the more pockets, the better!” 

Fit and Style

When you picture scrubs, you probably envision a boxy, loose-fitting, top and bottom set with a v-neck and drawstring waist. And while that is the classic scrubs look, many companies have been branching out to offer scrubs in different styles.

Slim fit, mandarin collar, button-up, cargo, jogger, crew neck, raglan sleeve—the list goes on, because scrubs manufacturers are catching on that healthcare professionals not only come in a variety of shapes, heights, and sizes, they also have widely different personal styles. 

For some professionals, finding a pair of scrubs that fits their personal aesthetic is one of their top concerns; Schiefer says that while she always prioritizes fabric over fit, she does ultimately want to look good in her scrubs and prefers pairs that fit well and are stylish. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should scrubs be cleaned?

    Ideally, after every shift—though that may not be necessary if you’re not coming into contact with patients. 

    Sarah Patterson, LVN, a nurse from Southern California, keeps her scrubs in a designated plastic hamper between wears, unless she knows she’s been in contact with a patient’s body fluids or in an isolation room. In those cases, she says, they go straight into the washing machine.

  • How many pairs of scrubs do you need?

    It depends on how many shifts you work per week, as well as your ability to launder your scrubs appropriately (and any other factors, like how often your scrubs may become contaminated between patients). 


    “I like to have enough for the work week plus two extra sets,” says Portia Wofford, LPN, former nurse manager in a skilled nursing facility. “When I worked three shifts per week, that meant five [sets in total]. 


    However, Wofford notes that each nurse has to decide what works best for them and whether they need backup sets of scrubs (and if so, how many).

  • Do colleges and hospitals provide scrubs for nurses?

    It seems to vary widely between individual colleges and hospitals. There’s no requirement to provide scrubs to students or employees, but some choose to anyway.


    “Some programs include scrubs as part of your tuition and fees,” says Wofford. “Others simply require nursing students to wear a specific color and you purchase your scrubs, independently.”


    The college that Rebecca Abraham, RN, founder of Acute on Chronic LLC, attended didn’t provide scrubs, but her last ICU job at a hospital did; it was a huge convenience, she says, as it improved her work/life balance to be given a pair of clean surgical scrubs at work to change into every shift. 


    Hospitals that don’t provide scrubs completely free to employees may also make it easier for nurses to purchase them or “earn” free pairs, says Wofford: “You may have to work for 90 days before you get a free set of scrubs...or you get a free set on your work anniversary.” 


    Some hospitals also sell scrubs in the gift shop, invite scrub companies to come on site to sell their items, and offer to deduct the cost of scrubs from their employees’ paychecks. 

  • Do different color scrubs have different meanings?

    Usually, yes, there is some kind of distinction between the scrubs that nurses wear and the ones other healthcare providers wear when you’re on-site at a hospital or larger medical facility.

    “This helps the patient identify who is who on their care team,” explains Abraham, “[and] usually nurses are assigned some variation of blue.”

    Wofford breaks down the various ways scrub colors can be used to distinguish between healthcare providers:

    • Nurses may wear different color scrubs than other on-site employees 
    • Nurses on certain units wear specific colors
    • Nurse managers or supervisors wear different colors than bedside nurses


    However, she also says it doesn’t work this way all the time—in some facilities, the color of your scrubs doesn’t matter at all.

  • What’s the best way to clean scrubs?

    The type of material your scrubs are made with might affect how you wash them, but generally, scrubs should be washed in hot water and then dried on high heat. 

    “They have to be removed from the dryer right away and folded or they wrinkle like crazy, and no one has time to iron scrubs,” says Kathryn Hively, a dental practice manager from South Jersey who orders scrubs for the staff in the office.

    As far as washing protocols, it depends on how dirty your scrubs are. Patterson says if she knows her scrubs are contaminated with a patient’s germs, she washes them on a sanitize setting using Tide with bleach and Lysol laundry sanitizer.

What the Experts Say

“As healthcare providers, we’re very busy and need scrubs that work as hard as we do. That’s why it’s so important to buy good quality, durable scrubs that are made to last.” —Kristen Schiefer, MSPA, PA-C, Georgia-based board-certified physician assistant in pediatric neurosurgery

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

Additional reporting to this story by Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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