What are the best medical scrubs for sale?

The Covid-19 pandemic means more and more industries are turning to scrubs as their uniform of choice. Traditionally worn by surgeons, scrubs are now being worn by nurses, care workers, beauticians and other workers in the private healthcare sector.

With so many newcomers to medical scrubs, UK’s top supplier Alexandra has put together this guide that will answer your most frequently asked questions about them.

Surgeon in theatreSurgeon in theatre
Surgeon in theatre

What are scrubs?

Scrubs were originally only used by NHS Trusts and private hospitals. Since Covid-19, all healthcare industry workers are being asked to wear them.

Worn in medical settings and now the wider healthcare sector, scrubs are a kind of clothing designed to help prevent the spread of infection. They do this by forming a barrier between the wearer and infectious substances to reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination.

Scrubs are loose-fitting and don’t restrict movement, so they’re designed to be easy to wear by all kinds of clinicians. They are also washable at high temperatures to keep them clean from any bacteria or viruses that may be present on them after a shift.

Scrub TunicScrub Tunic
Scrub Tunic

Who wears scrubs?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), many more roles are being asked to wear scrubs to keep them protected:

  • Theatre Staff – The staple of theatre staff uniforms for decades. Scrubs are easy to change out of between patients and are loose enough to not restrict the precise movements of surgery. 
  • Nurses – Providing nurses the same benefits as they do theatre staff, scrubs can be worn as an alternative to traditional nursing uniforms.
  • Patients – In some areas, they can be used as patient wear to help with dignity; they can be worn as pyjamas instead of traditional gowns.
  • Beauticians – To help slow the spread of the virus, beauticians are now wearing scrubs in their business colours to keep themselves safer.
  • Care workers – With a greater focus on infection control, carers are being encouraged to swap to scrubs from tunics and polos to help combat Covid-19.

All NHS Trusts, private hospitals, care homes and businesses have their own uniform guidelines they will expect their staff to adhere to. Check your workplace uniform guidelines before buying any workwear.

What are the different kinds of medical scrubs?

Since 2002 scrubs have grown in popularity in the UK and are now available in a range of styles for clinical and non-clinical roles. 

All of Alexandra’s scrubs featured below are washable up to 60ºC inline with infection prevention and control guidelines and are available in a range of colours.

Clinical scrub styles

Scrub Separates

A separate tunic and scrub trousers that can be mixed and matched. These are a great choice for all healthcare situations, whether you need to be in one solid colour all over, or need the tunic and trousers to be different colours to match your workplace’s branding.

Scrub Tunic by AlexandraScrub Tunic by Alexandra
Scrub Tunic
Contrast Trim Scrubs by AlexandraContrast Trim Scrubs by Alexandra
Contrast Trim Scrubs

Contrast Trim Scrubs

These contrast trim scrubs are a great alternative to the traditional nursing tunics.  Made in both male and female cuts, their trim is available in a range of colours that can be used to denote a person’s role – great for hospital wards or healthcare businesses.

What are the top scrubs for care workers and beauticians?

The following uniforms are a great option for non-medical roles in the healthcare sector, such as beauty parlours, where close contact with people is part of the roie.

Women's Scrub Tunic

A fitted women’s scrub tunic is ideal for use in beauty parlours and hair salons. Made of lightweight material and featuring side vents, this top is designed to keep you cool throughout your shift.

Lightweight Scrub Tunic by AlexandraLightweight Scrub Tunic by Alexandra
Lightweight Scrub Tunic
Men's Contrast Trim Tunic by AlexandraMen's Contrast Trim Tunic by Alexandra
Men's Contrast Trim Tunic

Unisex Contrast Trim Tunic

A V-neck style finishes off this classic scrub cut. This tunic looks smart and professional while remaining easy to wear over long shifts.

What are scrub uniforms made from?

Alexandra’s scrubs are made from polycotton, a 65% polyester to 35% cotton material. The mix of man-made and natural fibres maintains the benefits of both and makes for a very strong, comfortable and safe scrubs material:

  • Strong: in polycotton, the plastic polyester serves to strengthen the natural wool to form a much more durable material without sacrificing comfort.
  • Comfortable: polyester is strong but it isn’t a very breathable material. Cotton is weaker but allows for a better transfer of heat. By combining the two, you get the perfect material for scrubs.
  • Washable to 60ºC: polycotton can withstand high enough temperatures to make sure the risk of infection and contamination is eliminated through the washing process.

What do the different colours of scrubs mean?

Every NHS Trust and private hospital has its own uniform guidelines, so there is no correct answer to this. Many hospitals use the different colours of scrubs to denote different roles with each one using its own colour hierarchy. 

There are general principles, however, that most hospitals stick to:

Surgical scrubs are almost always a solid colour, either light grey, light green, light blue or a light green-blue shade.

Non-surgical scrubs come in a large variety of colours, designs and fits. These are the style you’ll often see ward nurses wearing on the shift in hospitals.

To find out what each colour of scrubs means in a given hospital, you should check out that hospital’s website for more information.

Unisex Lightweight Scrub Tunic by AlexandraUnisex Lightweight Scrub Tunic by Alexandra
Unisex Lightweight Scrub Tunic

Why are hospital scrubs green?

During the 1940s, surgeons tended to wear white drapes and gowns in operating theatres. During this time, the white would be too reflective and dazzle surgeons under the bright theatre lights so their fabric changed to green. This switch stopped the dazzling and provided a high-contrast to the blood of surgery so surgeons found they could concentrate better on the operation. 

How should scrubs be washed?

Every NHS Trust and private hospital has different policies for the washing of uniforms. Scrubs that are worn in theatre will always be washed by the hospital themselves, as the risk of contamination is too great for staff to take them home. 

Scrubs worn by nurses on wards may be washed by the nurses themselves depending on a workplace’s policy..

For workplaces where non-surgical nurses wash their own scrubs, they should be:

  • Washed with a high-quality detergent after every shift.
  • Washed in a machine capable of getting up to the right temperature.
  • Cleaned at 60ºC for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Washed separately from all other clothing to avoid contamination.

Before washing your own scrubs, ensure you are permitted to and that you’re doing it correctly as per your workplace’s uniform guidelines.

Where can I buy medical scrubs near me?

Alexandra is the best place to buy scrubs clothing. An online shop delivering right to you, we’re the UK’s most-trusted supplier of medical workwear including nurse scrubs and accessories.

With all of our clothing, we offer:

  • A two-year guarantee from the date of delivery.
  • A personal fitting service by our team of expert fitters.
  • Personalisation options, such as the ability to add your name or company logo to your uniform.

You can check out Alexandra’s full range of medical scrubs here.

Scrub FAQs infographicScrub FAQs infographic