When you work hard as a nurse, you want a uniform that can be as flexible and tough as you.

For many nurses, scrubs are both a blessing and a curse due to their high costs.

There are good reasons behind the high price of scrubs and fortunately affordable alternatives.

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Why Are Scrubs Expensive?

Scrubs are priced high due to the amount of wear they will be expected to undergo, making manufacturers use higher-quality and expensive materials. In addition, there are no alternatives to scrubs, making competition very minimal between scrub-producing manufacturers.

How Much Do Scrubs Cost?

Scrubs on average cost between $13 to over $60 (for higher-end brands) for either a scrub top or a scrub pant.

Popular brands, such as Figs, might be priced higher than the usual scrubs you can find at your local Walmart.

However, these scrubs have several favorable qualities about them that nurses and doctors prefer and are willing to pay more for.

Reasons Scrubs Are Expensive

money in nurse scrub pocket

1. They Have Pockets

If you’ve worked at a hospital or clinic, you know just how important it is to have pockets to store everything from keys, your phone, pens, writing pads, gloves, trauma shears, you name it!

Unfortunately, it costs a fair amount in production costs to install pockets onto scrubs.

In fact, fashion students at Boston University are producing a new suit for women with more pockets, and have confirmed that cost is an issue.

Scrubs will continue to use their high amount of pockets as a selling point, but this will lead to higher prices.

Related: What Do You Wear Under Scrubs?

2. They Are More Durable

Unlike a business-casual blouse or shirt you can wear a couple of times in a row (if you really wanted to), scrubs must be washed after every single use.

This is because many germs can actually live on the outer layer of clothes, especially if you’re a nurse that has to handle soiled items, according to the NHS.

Scrub manufacturers know their scrubs will need to be able to stand up to repeated amounts of washes, wear and tear, and as such, use high-quality materials such as polyester and rayon that are durable but costly.

In addition, higher-end brands like Jaanuu incorporate Silvadur antimicrobial technology to add an extra layer of protection to their scrubs.

3. They Have Better Breathability

When you move around the hospital, your scrubs almost act like a second skin helping you deliver care quickly while keeping you comfortable.

This comfort comes at a cost, as most people will pay extra to have a unique-fitting, breathable, and flexible scrub top or pants.

Although you can buy more affordable scrubs that are loose-fitting and comfortable, they might look a bit bigger due to being designed as unisex.

Fitted scrub tops that are mildly stretchy and retain their shape while being breathable means the cost will be higher.

4. They Have Special Features

Some scrubs are more expensive due to special features certain brands have, such as being wrinkle-resistant or fade-resistant.

I would also include name brand as a special feature. Many nurses, doctors, and medical professionals are more than willing to pay up for scrubs because of their name-brand logo on display.

Busy nurses and doctors everywhere are willing to pay more for higher quality scrubs with these features than scrubs that wrinkle and are prone to losing their shape over time.

5. As a Healthcare Worker You Lack Options

If you work in a regular office, you have a plethora of options for proper work attire.

However, scrubs are a must-have when working at a hospital, and some clinics won’t even let you choose your own scrubs (it’s common for facilities to request specific scrub colors).

There simply is no way for you not to buy scrubs before coming in to work. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for scrub manufacturers to hike their prices up with no cheap alternatives being given to nurses…or so they think.

What If I Can’t Afford Scrubs?

If you can’t afford high-end expensive scrubs, don’t worry. You can find cheap alternatives online for full sets or at big-chain stores like Walmart for under $20 per top or blouse.

Although these scrubs might be less fitted and be made of lower-quality materials, you can easily tailor your scrubs and even wash them to make them softer.

You can also sew your own pockets onto a cheaper pair of scrubs, making them more versatile!

If you don’t have the time, you can shop at thrift stores for used scrubs or ask your hospital for loaners or reimbursement.

Remember, all money spent on scrubs and medical equipment may be a tax write-off! Check with your CPA to be sure.

Relate: 10 Best Budget Scrubs for Nurses

Key Takeaways

Yes, scrubs are expensive, but they are worth it!

You can tailor cheaper scrubs or shell out the money to buy high-end scrubs and possibly write it off during tax season.

Whatever you choose to do, once you put on your scrubs, you’ll be ready to tackle anything the hospital throws at you (bodily fluids included).

Comment below what your favorite scrub brand is or where you shop!

Have You Read These?

Frequently Asked Questions

You should expect to spend between $20 – $40 for a scrub top and $30 – $45 for scrub pants. How much you pay will depend on the quality and brand of the scrubs.

You can find cheap medical scrubs, but you can also find expensive scrubs depending on the quality of the scrubs and if you want name-brand scrubs.