Scrub jackets come in handy in nearly every hospital setting. Hospitals and operating rooms are usually cooler than you’d like, but it’s for good reason. Keeping cool spaces can reduce moisture from forming on equipment and the floor, which could lead to a malfunction or falling hazard.
Keeping the hospital at a cooler temp also helps prevent bacteria from building up and machines from overheating. While frigid conditions are necessary, it often means chilly workdays for medical staff. No wonder scrub jackets are so important for nurses and other healthcare workers. What’s more, scrub tops tend to have short sleeves, so finding a layering jacket (or two) is a must.
To help you find the perfect scrub jacket, we’re breaking down the top features you want to keep in mind. From a comfy neckline, convenient closure, and ample pockets to high-quality materials, special details, and color and size selection, consider this your checklist for picking your next workwear layering piece.
Identify Which Type of Neckline You Want
Scrub jackets come in a variety of necklines. Some have a collarless V-neck (like this one from Cherokee WorkWear Professionals) while others have a round crewneck. When choosing a neckline, consider whether you want to fully bundle up around your neck with a rounded neck or prefer a more layered look with a V-neck.
Collars are nice when you want that extra warmth from a zippered front like this Dickies Essence zip-front jacket. Just remember that these types of scrub jackets could potentially get in the way of your stethoscope or badge.
Snaps, Zippers, or Buttons?
Compared to traditional lab coats, scrub jackets offer more options when it comes to snaps, zippers, or buttons. (Although this lab coat from Grey’s Anatomy Signature is super cute.)
Zip-front scrub jackets are popular thanks to how easy they are to zip up and down. With a zip-front jacket, you don’t have to worry with lining buttons or snaps up correctly. However, if you prefer the look and function of a snap-front or button-front jacket, there are plenty of options available, like this Dickies EDS Essentials women’s scrub jacket.
If you’re looking for a pullover instead of something that you have to zip all the way down, Keswi’s premium hoodie is a cozy option. This hoodie has a curved neck and a removable drawstring on the hood in case you don’t want it hanging down over your central line dressing change.
Look for Plenty of Pockets
You can never have too many pockets with your medical scrubs and the same goes for scrub jackets. After all, the last thing you want is to constantly zip or unbutton your jacket to grab your alcohol pads or penlight out of your scrub top.
Finding a scrub jacket with the right amount of storage is key. Some scrub jackets have front pockets similar to scrub tops or more traditional jacket pockets that are angled to the side. This Cherokee Workwear scrub jacket has two front pockets, plus an ID badge loop to keep your ID visible.
Skechers has a warming scrub jacket with two convenient front pockets and a chest pocket. This Healing Hands scrub jacket not only has tons of storage space, but it also has side slits for a better fit and easier access to your scrub pants.
Keswi’s hoodie has a large kangaroo pocket in the front, a double pen pocket on the sleeve, and a convenient ID badge holder, so you don’t have to dig for your badge under your hoodie when clocking in.
Don’t Skimp on Fabric Quality
The fabric of your scrub jacket can make the difference between comfort and restriction. Jackets made of breathable materials like cotton or rayon are best if you like a more athletic feel to your jacket with lightweight warmth. Choosing the right material to match your preference for warmth and weight will ensure you find a scrub jacket you enjoy no matter what season it feels like in the hospital.
Polyester jackets are durable and ideal when you’re looking for something to keep you warm during those long night shifts. Spandex can be helpful to give extra stretch so you don’t feel confined by your warmer layers.
Wonderwink has a snap-front warm up jacket from their WonderFLEX line that moves with you. Fleece is also nice for those chilly night shifts — Koi Lite has a cozy fleece jacket with two inner and two outer pockets for storage. Stretch knit panels can also add flexibility to a scrub jacket and are often on the sides, like with this Cherokee iflex jacket.
Keswi premium scrubs are made from a polyester, rayon, and spandex blend, providing durable yet moisture-wicking comfort underneath your scrub jacket. Keswi scrubs also have four-way stretch and a micro-peached finish making them the most comfortable and softest scrubs around. Looking for scrub jackets made from these fabrics means you’ll have a comfortable, durable, and breathable top layer.
Find Special Details
Fashion and function often come down to the details. Scrub jackets come in a variety of colors and materials – but some jackets have unique details to add a little flair or boost functionality.
Many scrub jackets have cuffed sleeves, like this Purple Label scrub jacket. Cuffed sleeves keep your sleeves out of the water when washing your hands and are also easy to cover with sterile gloves as opposed to relaxed sleeves. WonderWink’s WonderTech scrub jacket has an inner sleeve lining, allowing you to move the sleeves where you need them.
This Barco One 2 Pocket Warm Up Jacket has subtle ruching details on the back and front to add a feminie touch and shape. If you prefer a more unisex style, Carhartt has a sporty black ripstop jacket option.
Many hospital regulations don’t allow clothing with hoods – but if your workplace happens to allow this feature (or you just want a jacket to wear from your car to the clinic), Heartsoul has a fun zippered jacket with a hood.
If you prefer a more cozy cardigan versus a lab jacket, Koi has an extra-soft cardigan button-down V-neck sweater. And if you want extra warmth without the sleeves, check out this Cherokee Workwear Revolution three-pocket vest.
Grey’s Anatomy has an asymmetrical zippered jacket to add extra style to your medical uniform layers. If you like the traditional lab coat look but don’t want to wear white, Dickies Xtreme Stretch has a sleek black contemporary lab coat with a notched collar and button front.
Scrub Jacket Color and Sizes
Scrub jackets come in a variety of colors – both solid and print scrub jackets. You can pair your solid scrub jacket with solid scrub pants and top or add a pop of color like this UA patterned scrub jacket over a solid color scrub set.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how cute or functional your scrub jacket is if it doesn’t fit properly. Take into account if you prefer a more relaxed or fitted jacket over your scrub top. Also, if you already layer your scrub top over an underscrub top, make sure your scrub jacket isn’t too tight. You might want to go up one size for a little extra wiggle room.
Along with Tooniforms and floral patterns, warm-up jackets with block colors create a fun, urbane appearance like this Cherokee Infinity scrub jacket. Another example is Dickies Dynamix Melange jacket with a solid core and detailed sleeves.
Finding the Best Scrub Jackets: It’s All in the Details
Scrub jackets are a staple for many nurses and healthcare workers thanks to the cool temp in the hospital and varying levels of activities throughout those 12-hour shifts. If you’re looking for a warm-up scrub jacket or just something to temper the chill, scrub jackets offer plenty of versatility to your medical uniform.
Consider neckline style, pocket placement, and front openings, and don’t forget to choose quality materials with key features you can’t live without. With some key tips in mind, your online shopping adventure will be seamless from browsing all the way through the checkout page.