The debate of polyester vs. cotton has been around since the inception of polyester in the 1930s. A common misconception about modern-day polyester is that it is still the same thick heavy hot fabric of the 60s and 70s. While cotton usage and treatment processes haven’t changed much since then, polyester has moved forward in leaps and bounds. Let's start by looking at the pros and cons of the individual fabrics. Whether you are partial to polyester or swear by cotton, it is important to understand the benefits each can provide you.
When it comes to their uses in uniforms, you will usually see 4 main types. 100% Cotton, 100% Polyester, Cotton blend (meaning cotton is the largest component), or Polyester Blend (meaning polyester is the largest component). Due to the longevity, fade resistance, stain-resistance, and easy care nature of polyester, the fabric dominates the scrub market. That being said, there are certainly still uses for cotton in scrubs. The most common argument for cotton, is that it will generally help to keep you cooler in a warmer climate like we have in Australia, however, keep in mind that in 2023 most workplaces are more climate-controlled than they used to be meaning, this “benefit” is not as useful in a uniform anymore. The other key benefit of cotton for scrubs which cannot be replaced at this stage is industrial laundry. With its capability of handling higher wash temperatures, cotton scrubs are ideal in settings where scrubs need to be washed at very high temperatures.
So the question remains, which is best for you and which brands on The Scrub Store should you be buying? While our core recommendation is a polyester or polyester blend because of the superior benefits, it will always come down to personal choice. If you are after a cotton blend scrub, then Dickies EDS Signature should be your go to. With 55% cotton, it is our most cotton rich scrub on offer. The remaining brands are all a polyester blends that provide varying benefits for example recycled polyester (Barco One, Skechers by Barco and Grey’s Anatomy Evolve).