Behind the Seams: The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Lab Coat

Undoubtedly, the medical and healthcare industry brings together a plethora of professionals and requires strict adherence to safety and health standards. Each staff member is constantly under a substantial amount of pressure to look and act professionally at all times and take care of patients’ well-being.

When you’re in a hectic and demanding atmosphere, you can’t afford to let your clothing get in the way. Any slip-up can have serious consequences, with even the seemingly harmless act of wearing the wrong attire impacting the professionalism and productivity in the workplace. As such, having comfy and breathable scrubs and lab coats becomes an integral part of any healthcare professional’s wardrobe.

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Lab Coat?

Much like any other practical workwear required to get the job done, having a lab coat or medical uniform that fits the specific needs and requirements of the profession plays a decisive role in your success. With that said, there are several factors that medical professionals should take into account when selecting the right lab coat.


Comfy and breathable lab coat

The way scrubs or lab coats are constructed and their material composition is essential to providing the highest level of protection for the wearer. It should be made from fabrics that are lightweight, breathable, and durable enough to withstand frequent washing without compromising on comfort.

One of the most common options used in lab coats is a poly-cotton blend which is known for its wrinkle-resistant and easy-care features. It also provides a neat and professional appearance, while still allowing the user to move freely.

Another popular material for lab coats is 100% polyester, which has excellent durability and can be washed at high temperatures without shrinking. This fabric is ideal for medical professionals who need to maintain a professional appearance while also needing to guard against possible spills or other messes that may occur on the job. Despite being a bit less breathable than the cotton-poly blend, it still provides a comfy fit that allows for maximum movement.

Size and Fit

Right size and fit lab coat

This is by far the most personalised aspect of choosing scrubs and lab coats. It is essential to get the right size and fit that suits your body type, as they should be able to move with you while still providing a neat and professional appearance.

When selecting your uniform, make sure that the lab coat is not too tight or loose, so that it does not restrict your movement and still allows you to perform tasks with ease. It should also be long enough to reach past your hips, ensuring maximum coverage while attending to patients.

Women could make use of fitted and shaped lab coats which are tailored specifically for their body shape, while men could go for the classic coat-style lab coats. The former has a more modern look, while the latter is generally considered to be more traditional.

Colour and Design

Lab coats are most commonly available in white for medical professionals, as this colour denotes cleanliness and sterility and can easily spot any stains or spills. However, there is also a range of other hues available, depending on the facility’s colour code.

In fact, there’s a very specific relation between the colour of the lab coat and its intended use. For instance, lighter-coloured coats are usually used for general medical purposes, while darker colours are more suitable for pathology or surgery. This is because darker colours are better at masking stains and wear signs, in addition to absorbing some of the bright light in the operation rooms.

Closure Type

The way the lab coat closes is just as important as its size and fit. Depending on the type of work you do, you can opt for either a zipper closure or a button-front design.

One of the main considerations when selecting your lab coat’s closure type is its level of ease when donning it and taking it off. Zippers can provide an easy and secure way to quickly put on the coat without having to bother with buttons, while button-front designs are definitely a more common and widely accepted option.

Pockets and Collars

Lab coat with pockets

When it comes to pockets, you need to ensure that they are spacious enough to easily store and access any items you may need on the job. Not only can this help you stay organised, but it also ensures that all of your most important items are easily accessible and within reach at all times.

The type of collar your lab coat has is also a vital factor to consider. They’re usually either mandarin or notched, with the former providing a more traditional and conservative look while the latter is considered to be a bit more modern and stylish.

Care and Maintenance

Taking proper care of your lab coats is essential to ensuring that they last for a long time and maintain their professional look. Regularly washing them with mild detergent and air-drying can help preserve the fabric’s integrity, while also making sure any stains or spills are quickly attended to. When you’ve finished using your coat, make sure to fold it and store it in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight.

Additionally, keep an eye out for any fraying or wear signs and make sure to replace your lab coat if it’s too worn out. If you notice any signs of discolouration or fading, take it to the dry cleaners as soon as possible or use a fabric whitener to restore its original colour.

Personalisation Options

Lab coats can also be personalised with various logos and design options. This is especially useful for healthcare professionals who wish to have their office or facility’s name and logo on their coats. Not only can this help to promote your practice, but it can also bring a sense of pride and professionalism to the workplace.

It is also possible to add embroidery detailing or designs on your lab coat, which can be used to showcase your achievements or specialisations. This is a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd and show off your accomplishments in a professional manner.