A comfortable, easy-to-clean white lab coat is a must for any medical student. And given the choice, we would all like to wear something that is cut appropriately and fits our frame.
Thankfully there’s a ton of options available. However, choosing the right coat in terms of size, cut and design can be tricky. Sizes vary between manufacturers (you’ll find a medium for one brand is large for another for example).
There’s also the question of whether you opt for a more universal unisex option, or buy a coat specific to your gender.
You should also consider the type of fabric that has been used for the coat. The mix of polyester and cotton will have an impact on the thickness of the garment, as well as its breathability.
The fact you will be wearing the medical coat over your normal clothes generally means the thinner the material the better. You wouldn’t want to overheat as you work.
The type, size, and style of pockets are also a factor. The general approach is to have two large pockets at the waist and a small breast pocket for your pens.
However, coats do vary in the style of these pockets, and in the case of the Dr. James Unisex Lab Coat, the pockets have been designed to securely hold a tablet and a smartphone.
Essentially, there are a number of attributes that go towards creating a medical coat that is suitable for the job. We have taken all of these into account and selected what we believe to be the best white coats for medical students currently available.
White Coats for Medical Students: The Reviews
1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Natural Uniforms, Unisex 40″ Lab Coat (White)
My top choice white coat for medical students for 2021 is this simple yet affordable option from Natural Uniforms.
It features everything you need from your student attire when on the ward. The coat is professional looking and provides a loose fit for both men and women, meaning it will drape over your clothes for the day without issue.
That being said, the coat in relation to the stated size does run a bit small, so it is advised that you opt for a size up from your normal choice.
Even then, you may find the coat wider on the shoulders (due to the unisex nature and needing to fit both men and woman), so it is my opinion this is not the most stylish white coat around in terms of cut.
(If that bothers you I have highlighted some options below that meet the grade in terms of a better cut and style).
The stitching and overall construction of the coat from Natural Uniforms is very good.
Made from a 65/35 mixture of polyester and cotton this is a durable lab coat that is easy to clean.
Two side pockets and one breast pocket adorn the coat and these are deep enough to be useful and can be accessed with ease.
The 40” length is the standard you will find for medical schools and hospital wards across the USA, so you will have no issues there.
As a current online bestseller, this unisex option from Natural Uniforms has been a go-to option for students and medical / laboratory staff for a long time. Highly recommended.
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2. Meta Unisex 40″ Lab Coat
Another 40” unisex white coat recommended for medical students is this offering from Meta Labwear.
There’s a couple of nice features with this coat that helped it make my top 7 choices for 2021.
First is the fact it has an inside pocket. On many of the lower-priced lab coats, you do not get this.
An inside pocket is especially useful for storing important/valuable items that you do not necessarily need access to all the time, but feel better having with you.
As a medical student that could be everything from your cell phone (on silent please) – keys or other personal belonging of value.
It also has the usual 3 pockets on the outside, as well as side slits on the coat for easy access to the pockets of your pants.
The other main feature that impressed me with this coat is the swing belt around the waist.
The benefit of this addition will depend on individual taste to a degree, however, I have always liked the option of tying the coat close to my body for certain situations.
The construction of the coat is okay; however, it is not the most durable option in my top 7 as they have used thinner fabric material. The sleeves are also on the short side.
A silver lining is that the coat is comfortable in the hot, summer months.
There are some great features on this white lab coat from Meta Labwear. An inside pocket along with 3 outside pockets, plus a swing belt are all things you will not find on the majority of medical student coats at this price point. Another worthy addition to my top 7.
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3. BEST PREMIUM OPTION: (Women’s) FIGS Aurora Premium Lab Coat
It was touch and go for me on whether to award the FIGS Aurora medical lab coat my top premium pick for 2021.
This category shouldn’t automatically go to the most expensive option. The product has to deliver at that price too.
And while I still believe that FIG has priced this coat too high, there is no getting away from it, for women looking for a tailored look to their medical student coat, (and have enough money to burn on such potential triviality); this is the one to go for.
The attention to detail and overall design quality is very evident in this medical coat.
Featuring a fully-lined inside complete with sophisticated sewing details (they’ve even added a distinct princess seam for heaven’s sake), you will be the envy of your peers if you end up wearing the Aurora at medical school.
The coat also has a back vent and a clean, nicely tailored collarless neckline. The high-quality construction continues with the tailored three-piece sleeve.
The end result is a white, medical student coat that is extremely flattering yet easy to maneuver in. Your performance will not suffer, even while you look so good.
Practicality issues are taken care of with 3 deep pockets. 2 adorn the front and have deep welts. There’s also a hidden inner patch pocket.
The material used is also superior to anything else in my top 7, (or most available medical coats on the market).
The coat is engineered with FIGS’ signature FIONTechnology. The lightweight fabric features anti-wrinkle, stain, odor, and water repellent properties.
Overall the Aurora Premium Lab Coat provides a clean and tailored solution to your medical coat needs. If you have the budget for it, you’re basically looking at the highest quality white coat currently available. Essentially, I want one.
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4. Utopia Wear Professional Men’s Lab Coat
The Utopia is one of my favorite men’s lab coat options.
I say this because one of my colleagues (Mark, if you ever end up reading this 🙂 ) has a really good fitting white coat that looks great.
When asked about it he also had nothing but positive things to say about it.
That is the benefit of opting for a sex-specific coat, however. The design here is made specifically for the male frame, and the way it hangs is definitely more appealing.
Conducting the research after hearing such good things about the coat and I discovered that it is made from an optimum blend of polyester and cotton. The combination is durable and easy to manage as far as stains etc.
That being said, the trade-off is that the coat is relatively thick. Depending on what you wear underneath, (and where you live) you could find yourself running quite hot in the summer months.
My friend Mark has never complained of this, however, due in most part to the fact we live in Oregon.
The pockets are quite standard. There are 3 of them and they are deep to be secure while being easy to access too.
Another nice feature generally reserved for better-tailored options is the slit on each side so that you can reach your pant pockets too.
One complaint I picked up on reading customer reviews is that the buttons do tend to pop off during normal use. A bit of a problem that Utopia should really try to mend.
Overall the Utopia professional men’s lab coat is a great option for male medical students. Maybe avoid if you’re running around in… insert hot US State here. You will get hot wearing this thing in too high a clime.
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5. BEST BUDGET OPTION: Dickies Everyday Scrubs Unisex 40″ Lab Coat
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, unisex medical student coat that actually looks pretty good, the Dickies Everyday Scrubs is my recommendation for you.
Being rare among the unisex options in that the fit really is quite universal, the coat fits both men and women in a way that doesn’t resemble an oversized white trash bag.
That being said, the manufacturers have opted for a longer fit on this one. Despite the 40” specification this has been stated to run pretty low on shorter people.
The popular 65 to 35 polyester/cotton blend is the choice made here on the material.
It is easy to see why, cheap, comfortable, and easy to clean this also offers one of the most breathable fabric combinations you can expect on a low-priced lab coat.
That being said, the material does end up being on the thin side, and without the sort of lining and tailoring you get on more premium lab coats, it can be prone to tearing.
Keeping to the standard way of doing things there are also the 3 deep pockets on the front of the Dickie’s Everyday.
I like the fact they have also included the side slits. Girl or boy, having access to your pant pockets is never a bad thing.
From a styling and budget point of view, it is difficult to beat the Dickies Everyday.
If you’re looking for a simple option at a great price this is the coat to go for. However, the lack of durability will probably mean this will not live out your studies.
6. Cherokee 40-Inch Unisex Lab Coat
Sticking with the Unisex options (and again fitting that standard 40” requirement) we have the Cherokee lab coat.
This is another well-priced option for medical students that is easy to clean and actually somewhat durable
The material here is a 55% Cotton/45% Polyester mix which means it can be thrown in the washing machine without any problems at all.
The buttons on this are solid and provide a simple way of pulling the coat closed. Add that to the notched lapels and you have a coat that has some nice tailoring details overall.
The pocket design is exactly what we have come to expect. Featuring a single chest pocket and two deep patch pockets at the waist, you’ll have no issue keeping your important medical items at close hand.
There’s also the center-back vent that will allow you easy access to your pant pockets.
Overall the Cherokee is another good unisex medical student white coat to make my top 7. There are no real standout features here, it’s just generally well made with a nice design.
If you opt for this you will not be disappointed.
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7. BEST POCKET DESIGN: Dr. James Professionally Designed Unisex Lab Coat
The DJ James unisex lab coat has an okay fit overall and will fit both men and women.
Some customers have stated that it runs a bit large so you should consider this before choosing your size.
The standard 65/35 blend of polyester and cotton is used here. As I have mentioned in the previous reviews, this does combination does provide a durable and easy-to-wash construction for the coat, however, it is thicker than other fabric blends.
Another small complaint is the fact that the seaming here is prone to unraveling. Those loose threads need to be taken care of if you want the coat to last.
So after all this, why did it make the top 7?
Well, the positive feature here is the unusual pocket design. And when I say unusual, I actually mean great!
The guys at Dr. James have actually spared a thought on what today’s nursing students need.
The pockets are designed to comfortably house a tablet. There’s also a smaller pocket stitched into the front that can securely hold a smartphone.
If you are a student in 2021 learning nursing in a way that involves access to tech in the ward, you are going to need a white medical coat of this nature.
In total there are 4 pockets; two large ones at the waist (with a 3rd, phone-sized pocket attached here too) and then a breast pocket for your pens.
The coat is also tailored in a way to enable you to reach your pants pockets too.
Overall the Dr. James lab coat made my top 7 because I love the pocket design. Today’s medical students are becoming more reliant on tech, and having easy access to it is essential. This white coat does exactly that.