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Medical scrubs have to do it all, especially when you consider the type of work environment where they’re a necessity.
They have to be comfortable, yes, but also functional and have to stand up to the rigors of a healthcare workplace that’s often intense, fast-paced, and messy.In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
We’ll review our picks for the top men’s scrubs, discuss the various types of scrubs, and how to wear them. Let’s start with some things to keep in mind when buying men’s medical scrubs.
|Figs Leon Scrub Top For Men||Check on Amazon|
|Cherokee Men’s Workwear Scrub Set||Check on Amazon|
|Figs Cairo Cargo Scrub Pants For Men||Check on Amazon|
|Dress A Med Men’s Classic Scrubs 2-Piece Set||Check on Amazon|
|Dickies Men's Signature V-Neck Scrubs Shirt||Check on Amazon|
|Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Multi-Pocket Scrub Top||Check on Amazon|
|Dagacci Unisex Scrubs||Check on Amazon|
Before you buy: 4 Things to consider when purchasing scrubs
Anyone who works in the medical field understands how important it is to find scrubs that are seen but not heard, i.e., they fit and function so well that the wearer may forget that they’re wearing them. That’s ideal.
Finding the right scrubs for you usually entails checking off the boxes in the following categories:
Scrubs consist of a variety of materials depending on the brand. Cotton is common and the preferred material of many healthcare workers, because of its overall comfort and breathability.
Cotton’s downside, however, is that it’s not as durable as other materials – which may include polyester and synthetic blends. Others consist of a blend of natural and synthetic materials.
Choosing the right material for you is a matter of personal preference. If it feels comfortable, breathes well, and isn’t too rigid – to you – then there’s no reason not to choose that material.
Utility is another important factor to consider when buying scrubs for men, and the number of pockets a particular scrub has is of primary concern. The pants should have, at the least, two pockets on the side, while a chest pocket is another plus.
Fit and comfort work hand in hand and may be the deciding factors in why you choose a particular pair of scrubs over another. Here are some things to consider:
- Baggy isn’t necessarily better
One school of thought regarding fit suggests that the best fit for scrubs is one that’s bigger than normal, i.e., you should buy them one size larger than your normal size, but baggy scrubs present other issues.
For example, having to pull up your pants constantly or extra material that interferes with your duties – that influence overall comfort.
- Stretchy is nice
The best fit, then, is one that presents a happy medium between too tight and too baggy, not unlike how you want your regular clothes to fit. Scrubs made from stretchy material often help you achieve a “perfect” fit – or as perfect as anything can be,.
- Wear scrubs made for men
Yes, it sounds overly obvious, but men should wear scrubs made for men. While men’s and women’s scrubs look the same, they don’t fit the same for many reasons: men have broader shoulders, women have thinner waists and wider hips, etc.
The good news is that there are plenty of unisex scrubs available today that work well for both men and women.
4. The look
Functionality and fit rank above style and appearance, and you should choose your scrubs accordingly. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t look good while at work.
Appearance often is determined by a particular workplace’s standards; many places require scrubs of a certain color, while others say it’s OK to wear multi-colored or patterned scrubs.
No matter what your workplace allows – or your fashion sense – a scrub’s appearance should never be more important than its functionality, however.
Next, let’s take a look at the best scrubs.
The 7 best scrubs for men
Working in a medical facility often means you’re on the move and over-stressed. But there’s no reason you shouldn’t look your best.
The FIGS Leon Scrub Top is fully functional and able to meet the demands of the job but also presents a professional appearance thanks to a modern, tailored fit.
The design features reinforced double-needle stitching and consists of a four-way stretch fabric that helps provide a comfortable fit.
FIGS’ scrubs also feature anti-wrinkle technology that helps to keep you looking your best even during long hours on the job, as well as moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry and comfortable.
Reviewers appreciate that the Leon Scrub Top is of a length that allows you to wear it tucked or untucked. And it comes with two pockets that don’t sag.
- Helps to present a professional appearance.
- Comfortable, soft fit.
- It’s built to last a long time.
- More expensive than some other scrubs.
You’ll look your best without sacrificing functionality with the FIGS Leon Scrub Top. It has a stylish, professional appearance that looks better than hospital-issued scrubs.
California-based Cherokee is another brand known for its quality workwear, including its healthcare apparel. Their men’s Workwear Scrub Set is an excellent all-around product, and we like it for many reasons.
The Cherokee top consists of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, while the pants have more cotton than polyester. In both pieces, the material is durable and made to stand up to workday rigors.
They’re also thinner than many other scrubs we researched; combined with their stretchiness, it makes for a workwear set that enhances rather than hinders movement, even when performing physically intensive tasks.
Functionality comes from a chest pocket on the V-neck (unisex) top, while the pants feature regular hand pockets, back pockets, and a cargo pocket. You have all the storage you need for the things you carry with you in the workplace.
The Cherokee Workwear Scrub Set is easy to wash and won’t shrink or wear out with repeated washings.
- Pockets offer plenty of storage space
- Very durable
- Stretchy and thin enough to move around comfortably
- More expensive than many other scrubs
The Cherokee Workwear Scrub Set offers everything you require if you work in the medical field. They offer excellent ease of movement and the kind of functionality you need.
Figs has another item we like in its Cairo Cargo Scrub Pants for Men, and they’re ideal for any man who works in a medical setting.
It’s hard to beat how they feel for starters, with one reviewer saying they felt like “pajamas,” and they have a simple, stylish design that looks good and is fully functional.
One of the best features of the Cairo Scrub Pants is a comfortable elastic waistband that makes it easy to get the perfect fit. They also feature a four-way stretch that maintains the ultimate in flexibility.
You don’t have to worry about storage, either, because they come with nine pockets, including a deep side pocket with a zippered closure.
The Cairo Scrubs include Figs’s Fiontechnology that has moisture-wicking qualities, repels liquids, and helps keep them wrinkle-free. It’s also anti-microbial.
- Comfortable four-way stretch fabric
- Liquid repellent
- Plenty of pocket storage space
- Some reviewers say the pants run a little long
The Cairo Cargo scrub pants present a professional appearance with enhanced comfort and functionality.
The durable Dress A Med scrubs feature double stitching that prevents them from falling apart after repeated use (and repeated washings). They’re also lightweight and comfortable and have plenty of storage space, thanks to six total pockets.
These scrubs consist of a blend of polyester and cotton that’s wrinkle-free after one cycle in the dryer. Additionally, it has a masculine style that looks good while conforming to hospital uniform requirements. The fabric is liquid repellent.
The standard V-neck top has one chest pocket and a pen slot. The pants include a full drawstring, five pockets, and an additional pen slot.
They also provide plenty of room without looking too loose or slouchy. That extra bit of room is important for maintaining mobility during long shifts in a high-paced medical environment.
Another thing we like about these scrubs is that they’re pre-shrunk, while their color doesn’t fade after even hundreds of washings (they even come with a color lock guarantee).
And, again, Dress A Med’s double-stitching design helps you to get years of use from these scrubs.
Customers also appreciate Dress A Med’s 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Lightweight & Comfortable
- Some wearers say the pants fit too loosely and that you need to size accordingly
Dress A Med’s scrubs are made for men, both in style and functionality. They’re also made to last, so your original investment will feel like a bargain in the long run.
Dickies is a well-loved brand, with a reputation for combining style with practicality. Their signature V-Neck Scrubs Shirt is a perfect example of this: booth great looking and high performing.
Practically speaking, there is a pocket with a specially designed pencil slot, and it will blend in any medical environment.
But then there is the design: not only is it unisex – making it extra versatile – it’s also extremely well-constructed, with a beautiful blend of cotton (55%) and polyester(45%) that is gentle on the skin and feels light.
On top of that, it comes in a huge range of colors, so you’ll be able to choose exactly the style you’re going for. Plus it’s machine washable.
It’s durable, comfortable and the fit on most men is great. It is worth checking the sizing though because the occasional review does suggest the fit isn’t for everyone.
- Machine washable
- Many different colors to choose from
- Check the sizes – some men find the fit a little unusual
A stylish unisex scrub top with plenty of colors to choose from.
Carhartt is a company known for producing workwear that can stand up to even the most physical of tasks. It’s no surprise that their medical scrubs provide the same kind of durability and toughness – but without sacrificing comfort.
Their men’s Ripstop Utility Scrub Top features a V-neck design with a chest pocket and incorporates Carhartt’s reinforced stitching for greater durability.
The reinforced threads are lightly sanded on the inside to provide maximum softness – which is a feature unique to Carhartt’s ripstop line.
Further comfort comes from a bi-swing at the back yoke (the rear part of the shirt, including at the shoulders and hips), as well as side vents. The result is a properly-fitting scrub top that allows for the kind of easy movement required for a healthcare environment.
Carhartt understands that nurses and doctors often work long shifts in which comfort and durability are crucial in what they wear.
The Ripstop Scrub consists of 55% cotton and 45% polyester and is machine washable. The chest pocket includes an angled pen slot in Carhartt’s unique Tradesman design.
Meanwhile, the top has tag-less labels, which eliminates the potential scratchiness and irritation caused by standard labels.
While Carhartt’s reputation includes a strong foundation for producing superior blue-collar, the company expanded its manufacturing to include other lines of work, including medical professions.
Their Ripstop Multi-Pocket Scrub Top ranks among the best scrubs for men.
- Built to last
- Comfortable fit
- Tag-less labels
- More expensive than some other scrub brands
Comfort, durability, and functionality help make this among the best men’s medical scrub tops available today. Plus, you’ll benefit from the durability common to all types of Carhartt workwear.
Dagacci makes scrubs that won’t break the bank or your budget. That’s good news.
The even better news is that its unisex scrubs don’t sacrifice anything regarding function and quality despite their relatively lower price tag.
The classic V-neck top features two patch pockets and a chest pocket with a reinforced pen slot top.
The cargo pants have a straight-leg style and a waistband that’s a mixture of both elastic and drawstring that makes it easy to get a good fit without worrying about your pants sliding off of your behind.
The pants feature five pockets, as you’d expect from cargo-style pants; all in all they offer you all the storage space you need.
The scrubs consist of a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester, which make them a comfortable everyday scrub.
- Unisex design makes them suitable for men and women
- Plenty of pocket and storage space
- Comfortable blend of cotton and polyester
- Their range of motion is slightly less than on some other scrub sets
Dagacci’s affordable scrubs don’t sacrifice quality, and they work well for men and women. Plus, they offer 24 colors from which to choose.
Tips for properly wearing your scrubs
While scrubs aren’t meant to be a fashion statement, there’s no reason you can’t look your best – and professional – in your workplace. Here are some suggestions for how to wear scrubs appropriately.
First, why wear scrubs at all?
We’ll take a brief look at the history of scrubs in the following section, but the bottom line for the “why” of wearing scrubs is patient and health practitioner safety. They also prevent personal clothing from being ruined in a healthcare setting.
- It’s easier to identify contaminants when wearing scrubs
Wearing scrubs of a solid color – which is mandatory in many medical facilities – makes it easier to identify contaminants, body waste, and other fluids or chemicals.
- Scrubs are cleaner than regular clothes
Many healthcare facilities clean their healthcare professionals’ scrubs while using special cleaning chemicals and high-temperature machines.
This type of harsher cleaning – which might ruin other types of clothing – ensures a thorough cleaning that removes contaminants.
- Scrubs are less expensive than regular clothing
You shouldn’t have a problem finding an affordable pair of scrubs. Because they’re inexpensive, they’re also more disposable, which makes for less concern that they may be ruined under harsh cleaning circumstances.
- Scrubs offer excellent functionality
We’ve discussed it in our reviews of the best scrubs for men, but it’s worth repeating: medical scrubs offer a lot of pocket space that makes it easier for doctors, nurses, and other practitioners to carry their tools and equipment.
- Scrubs help identify medical personnel
Scrubs help patients and coworkers to identify nurses, doctors, and other healthcare personnel easily. The same principle applies to firefighters and police officers, who wear similar clothing that makes them more identifiable.
Scrubs also help give healthcare organizations a more uniform and professional appearance.
The basic, but necessary, rules for wearing scrubs the right way
What to wear underneath?
It’s up to you whether you want to wear regular pants under your scrubs. Many medical professionals choose not to, because regular pants can get too warm when worn under scrub pants.
“The more breathable, the better” is a general rule of thumb for wearing scrubs. That said, however, you may want to wear thermal pants under your scrubs during the colder months, especially if you live in a region that experiences harsh winters.
You also may choose to wear another shirt under your scrub’s top, and a simple t-shirt is sufficient. However, your scrubs should conceal any additional clothing worn underneath.
If you choose to wear a t-shirt or collared shirt under your scrubs, make sure it fits snugly but not too tight. You want to maintain the freedom of movement that scrubs provide.
Another thing to keep in mind about wearing clothing underneath your scrubs is that it should serve a purpose but not draw attention to itself.
While you can wear a regular t-shirt under your scrub top, you also can buy a scrub t-shirt – either short-sleeved or long-sleeved – such as this one by Cherokee workwear.
When not to wear regular clothing under scrubs
You won’t be allowed to wear any regular clothing under your scrubs if you work in an operating room. The reason why is to prevent contamination through the spread of pathogens.
Note: short-sleeved, V-neck scrub tops and cotton or polyester blend drawstring scrub pants generally work best in operating room settings.
Make sure the colors truly match
Unlike with regular clothing, scrubs are unique in that the tops and bottoms are often of the same color.
You don’t have to worry about the colors matching if you purchase a two-piece scrub set, but some medical professionals prefer to buy scrub tops and pants separately.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure the two pieces are of identical color – and colors may vary slightly from one brand to the next. You don’t want to risk wearing an outfit that’s just a little “off” and draws unwanted attention to yourself.
Pay attention to the depth of the neckline
V-necked scrub tops provide excellent comfort and movement, but be careful not to choose tops in which the V-neck plunges a bit too deeply.
Over-exposure isn’t always a good thing, especially if you aren’t wearing a T-shirt or other type of clothing under your scrub’s top.
The fit is everything
As we discussed earlier, a common stereotype for wearing scrubs is that baggy is best, but scrubs that are too large pose other issues regarding comfort and freedom of movement.
While your scrubs shouldn’t be too tight that they’re constrictive, they shouldn’t be overly loose, either.
Scrubs as everyday wear
There’s a lot to like about scrubs: they’re comfortable, convenient, available in a variety of colors and prints, and more, and that’s why many people, not just medical professionals, use them as everyday wear.
In general, wear scrubs as single pieces and not as a full set for casual use. Most people choose to wear scrub tops with regular pants, although no rule says you can’t pair scrub pants with a regular shirt (especially with a lightweight top of some kind).
Medical scrubs vs. Surgical scrubs vs. all the rest
Let’s get to the point: medical scrubs are different from surgical scrubs. That’s probably no surprise to anyone who works in the healthcare field, but it’s worth exploring a little bit.
Let’s take a look at scrub, in general, as well as the differences between medical scrubs and surgical scrubs. But, first, a bit of history:
- Uniforms are nothing new to nurses, who’ve worn them – including medical scrubs – since, well, a long, long time ago. Surgeons, meanwhile, simply donned their everyday clothes in the operating room – even into the 20th century. They didn’t even wear gauze masks. A shirt and tie? Yes. But everything changed, thanks, in part, to the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, which raised awareness about the spread of infection and prompted surgeons to start wearing masks when on the job.
- Starting in the 1940s, surgeons began to wear white uniforms, which eventually changed to various shades of green, because the combination of white apparel and the brightness of operating lights caused eye strain.
- Today, almost everyone involved with patient care wears some type of scrub, whether they work in hospitals, clinics, a general physicians practice, and even in dental and veterinary offices.
The biggest, and most obvious, difference between surgical scrubs and all the rest is that surgical scrubs are disposable. Among the reasons for this are the chemicals and bodily fluids that surgeons (and their assistants) get exposed to during surgical procedures.
Surgical scrubs usually consist of lighter material, are sterile, and are comfortably loose to provide the surgeon with plenty of freedom of movement. On the other hand, they shouldn’t be so loose that they interfere with surgery.
Surgical scrubs also are easy to remove in case the surgeon or surgical assistant needs to change into a new pair during surgery.
Most operating rooms forbid exposed clothing of any kind, including a t-shirt worn beneath the scrubs. Outside clothing increases the chances of introducing unwanted pathogens into the surgical room. Surgical scrubs also serve to protect the skin during long surgeries.
As mentioned previously, scrubs are worn by medical workers in a variety of settings, not just hospitals. Non-surgical scrubs, which aren’t meant to be disposable, are worn by the majority of healthcare workers and support staff.
In many hospitals, the color of scrubs helps distinguish between patient care departments, such as an emergency room, pediatrics, and labor and delivery.
- Male nursing scrub – Male nursing scrubs have masculine styling and coloring, wider shoulders – even a slightly different placement of pockets. The quality and functionality of modern unisex scrubs are high, but most men prefer wearing scrubs that are ideal for a male’s body shape, which provide comfort accordingly.
- Female nursing scrub – Female scrubs come in feminine styles, often with the waist cinched in to help emphasize the female figure. They’re also narrower in the shoulders than scrubs designed for men, while they’re trimmer in the waist and wider in the hips.
Lab coats also fall under the medical scrub category, albeit with obvious differences. They’re common wear for doctors conducting tests or consulting with clients. Most lab coats have long sleeves, are white, and are not meant to be heavy duty.
How we chose the best men’s scrubs
The best scrubs aren’t just comfortable or functional, they’re a combination of both, i.e., they have to fit properly while providing the practicality medical professionals need in their daily work lives. Our reviews included only those scrubs that could provide both.
We also considered the type of fabric, its durability, and – as always – the reviews of others, particularly those who work in the medical field.
Of course, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. What brand of medical scrub do you wear? Have you worn any of those listed here? We’d love to hear from you.