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Medical Scrub Uniforms – Why Are They So Comfortable?

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One of the funniest sitcoms on television today is the show titled Scrubs. In this show, a bunch of new and young doctors begin their careers with humorous follies and laughable mistakes. The cleverly written script exacerbates what life might be like as a doctor. Although the show is enjoyable, one can’t help but notice how comfortable everyone looks in their inexpensive looking medical scrubs. All of the characters spend practically the entire show in cheap medical scrubs. Even the nurses are observed wearing cheap nursing scrubs. Thirty minutes of watching characters move around the hospital set with ease and comfort will make a person want to go to medical school just for the uniform. Such admiration of the medical scrubs leaves the mind to wonder; what makes scrubs so comfortable?

Obviously, scrubs were not designed for the sole purpose of comfort. Medical scrubs first began to appear in the twentieth century as an effort to maintain sterile environments and decrease the rate of infection. Originally, scrub type wear was designed to protect the doctor from the patient’s illness more than to protect the patient from infection. As the movement for cleanliness in hospitals took over, more and more health professionals began wearing scrubs. Now, practically all medical professionals wear them. Cotton scrubs are so popular that lay people have begun to wear them as leisure clothing and pajamas.

One reason that medical scrubs attract comfort seekers could be due to the type of fabric used to make scrubs. Medical scrubs are available in fabrics like cotton, poplin and polyester. Most medical scrubs appear to derive from a blend of different fabrics. The greater the amount of the cotton in the blend, then the softer and more comfortable the scrub will feel. Scrubs, however, were not made exclusively for comfort but, instead, were developed for function. The function being, to reduce contamination and to maintain a healthy and sterile environment. For that reason, many scrub sets are made from fabrics that hide stains and absorb fluids. The durability of a scrub may also add to its appeal as leisurewear.

A second reason why scrubs are so comfortable could be due to the design of the outfit. Scrub designers focus on simplicity. Just by looking at the scrub uniform on a medical professional one can tell that it was designed for comfort. Nothing about scrubs is tight. The tops are generally loose and hang down to a comfortable length. The pants are baggy leaving room for the hips and thighs. The standard scrub set will consist of a square cut v-neck top and a basic drawstring pant Modern scrubs, however, are available in several different cuts. For example, scrub tops from Barco Scrubs are available in different wrap patterns. The wrap top adds some variety to the basic scrub tunic style. Medical professionals can also find scrub drawstring pants in a flared-leg design like the Cherokee Workwear Scrubs.

Whether it is the type of fabric or the design, medical scrubs are popular amongst not only doctors, but also the general public due to their comfort and design.


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