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Aprons have long been part of culinary traditions around the world to keep wearers protected from stains or injury. Whether you’re an avid home cook or an industry professional, there are many types of aprons available to protect and keep you clean while you work. We researched the top-rated aprons so you can stay protected indoors and outdoors and look great while doing it.
Ahead, the best aprons for baking, grilling, and more.
Best Overall: Syntus Adjustable Bib Apron
These aprons by Syntus are beloved by many for everyday use. The set comes with two knee-length aprons in 11 colorways. They're adjustable, breathable, and machine-washable. They have two convenient front pockets that are large enough to store your phone and kitchen tools, as well as extra-long tie strings for easy adjusting. To top it all off, these aprons are semi-waterproof, which makes keeping them clean super easy.
Best for Women: Maison d’Hermine Colmar Apron
While all aprons are unisex, the Maison d’Hermine Colmar apron comes in multiple stylish prints. It's made from 100 percent cotton to keep you cool while working. The delicate designs are inspired by a small region in France, Colmar, known for its charm and elegance. With extra-long waist ties and adjustable straps, this apron is made to fit anyone. Plus, there are matching oven mitts and kitchen towels that are sold separately.
“I like a simple apron; just a string long enough to wrap around my waist and a place to cinch a towel to. I like as few pockets as possible, and breathable but durable material that I don’t mind getting messy while I work.” — Vanessa Dora Lavorato, Founder of Marigold Sweets
Best for Men: Hudson Durable Goods Heavy Duty Waxed Canvas Work Apron
This rugged Hudson Durable Goods heavy-duty work apron comes in a variety of neutral colors and is adjustable for anyone who wears a size medium to an XXL. Made from waxed canvas material and having reinforced metal grommets, this apron is water-resistant and highly durable for a multitude of uses that can extend outside of the kitchen. The waxed material makes cleaning super easy, with no machine-washing necessary.
Best Printed: BespokeBinny African Print Apron
If you're looking for an apron that combines style, quality, and function, this unique African print apron by BespokeBinny definitely fits the bill. This handmade, vibrantly patterned apron is lined with thick cotton twill and is professionally overlocked to prevent fraying, so you know it's going to last. Plus, it has a conveniently placed pocket, also made of cotton twill, should you want to have somewhere to put your phone or kitchen utensils.
There are several colorful patterns to choose from, including Brown Diamond Balogan (pictured), Orange Nyamee, Red Brown Kente, and more. When cleaning, make sure to either wash by hand or in the washing machine with similar colors.
Best for Grilling: Hudson Durable Goods Professional Grade Chef Apron
Hudson Durable Goods makes the list again with its professional-grade chef apron. Rated the top pick for grilling by many users online, this apron is made from breathable cotton, which is sure to keep you cool while you stand over a hot grill. It features four pockets and a kitchen towel loop, which could also be used to hold your favorite pair of grilling tongs. The unisex apron comes in six colors and features an easy-to-use, quick-release buckle, as well as adjustable straps. It's a stylish and functional apron that's sure to be a hit at your next barbecue.
Best for Bakers: Kaoru Sanchez Rainbows Work Apron
Kaoru Sanchez, based out of San Francisco, originally got its start by creating gift cards. Five years later, it's moved on to other textiles, and its aprons are loved by home and professional bakers. The aprons come in a variety of unique patterns, colors, and lengths. Some are crossback and some are bistro-style, but all are adjustable and fit most people. They're lightweight, breathable, and made from 100 percent cotton and linen, and they are sure to keep your favorite baker cool near a hot oven.
No matter your need, there are a lot of great aprons to choose from. If you’re on a budget and just need something simple to get the job done, the two-pack of aprons from Syntec (available at Amazon) will definitely be the best bet. For something able to handle more rugged work, the Hudson Durable Goods professional-grade apron (available at Amazon) is perfect for grilling and other big cooking jobs.
What to Look for in an Apron
Level of Protection
In the kitchen, an apron mainly serves as an extra layer of fabric to protect you from soiling your clothing while cooking or baking, and a cotton or linen apron usually does the job. An apron that you wear during grilling should be a material such as denim or leather that is thick enough to also protect you from heat and sparks. More rugged or hazardous activities require an even more heavy-duty, extra-long apron made for your personal safety.
A plain unisex apron is mainly functional, whereas an apron that you wear in the kitchen can become a design statement, with oodles of styles and patterns to choose from.
For activities where you can easily get wet, the best protection is a water-resistant or waterproof apron.
Almost all aprons have a pocket for tucking away your phone, but to accommodate other items or tools that you want to keep within easy reach, select an apron with more pockets in sizes and locations that suit your needs. A zippered pocket keeps items safe during activities where you move around a lot.
When they are dirty, aprons made of cotton and other lightweight fabrics can just be tossed in the washing machine. Heavy-duty protective aprons are stiff and usually not washable; they are wiped instead.
What does an apron do?
An apron covers the front part of your body to protect you. In home cooking, the primary purpose of an apron is to keep your clothes clean. It other settings where you are exposed to hot or otherwise dangerous materials, an apron is a piece of personal safety gear.
What are the different types of aprons?
Aprons for cooking and serving food include bib aprons, waist aprons or half aprons, short server aprons, long bistro aprons, tuxedo aprons, and crossback aprons.
Is an apron for food safety?
An apron not only keeps your clothes clean when preparing food and cooking, it also improves hygiene and food safety because it prevents dirt, dust, lint, hair, and other things that might be on your clothing from getting into the food.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Amethyst Ganaway is a freelance food writer and restaurant veteran who’s worked nearly every position, from server and bartender to line cook and kitchen manager in the last decade. Whether she’s working in a busy restaurant or cooking at home, she uses her many different styles of aprons to stay neat and tidy. While researching for this guide, she got firsthand opinions and read through hundreds of reviews to make sure the best items were picked for each category.