- The perfect robe should fit well, feel comfortable, and last for years.
- The Parachute Classic Bathrobe has a secure, adjustable fit and it’s soft, fluffy, and absorbent.
- We also tested robes for lounging and relaxing, like waffle weave, silk, flannel, and linen options.
- See also: The best bath towels
Having a robe to slip on after a shower or cinch over your pajamas on a lazy weekend morning isn’t exactly a necessity, but it certainly makes daily life a little more enjoyable.
“It’s important to invest in a nice robe because it’s important to invest in yourself,” said Rosy Nuboer, the Romance Planning Manager at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino. “It is an excellent opportunity to remind yourself to relax and have a self-care day.”
Of course, there are still specific features to consider as you shop for the best robe, including style, fabric, breathability, and durability.
A kimono-style design is the standard. “Kimono robes offer a classic tailored fit, with wrist-length sleeves, and have a streamlined flat collar,” Nuboer said. In other words, you can personalize a kimono-style robe’s measurements via its waist tie, but you’ll still have enough freedom of movement for tasks like putting on makeup, brewing coffee, or picking up the morning paper.
When it comes to material, plush cotton terry allows you to skip toweling off post-shower, while less absorbent fabrics like waffle weave or silk require a pat-down first. The material also affects the warmth and breathability of a robe, as well as how it holds up over time.
To determine the best robes, we washed all of our contenders three times to evaluate durability and wore each robe while making coffee, washing dishes, reading on a couch, and working at a desk to determine overall feel and comfort. We also noted additional features like pockets and hanging loops. More on our methodology here.
A note on fit
Many of the picks on our list are designed to be unisex, but our picks from Kim + Ono and Natori follow traditional women’s sizing patterns. We believe that all bathrobes can be worn regardless of gender, but keep an eye on sizing charts when shopping to ensure you select the right size for you. You may find that bathrobes designed with traditional women’s sizing have shorter sleeves or hit higher on the leg.
Here are the best women’s bathrobes in 2021
- Best bathrobe overall: Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe
- Best waffle bathrobe: Coyuchi Organic Waffle Robe
- Best flannel bathrobe: L.L.Bean Scotch Plaid Flannel Robe
- Best linen bathrobe: Rough Linen St. Barts Robe
- Best silk bathrobe: Kim + Ono Silk Kiku Kimono Robe
- Best lightweight bathrobe: Natori Shangri-La Robe
- Best hotel bathrobe: Four Seasons Spa Robe
Here’s how we tested the bathrobes over a period of six months. Knowing that this is a fairly short amount of time, we’ll continue to follow these steps in the upcoming months and note any changes.
- Washed each robe three times and evaluated it for shrinkage, loose threads, color loss, and roughness.
- Wore each robe and noted overall feel and comfort, breathability, length, fit of sleeves, waist ties, and any additional features like pockets or hanging loops.
- Wore each robe while standing, sitting, and performing regular tasks like making breakfast and working at a desk to evaluate comfort, fit, and freedom of movement.
For sizing and fit reference, I am 5’6″ and a women’s size 8. If the robe was not one-size-fits-all, I chose a medium or medium/large.
The best robe overall
The Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe is the quintessential cotton bathrobe, featuring a soft, fluffy, and absorbent construction that doesn’t weigh you down. We’re fans of its secure waist tie, deep pockets, and well-fitting sleeves.
Pros: Not too heavy or light, can be worn right out of the shower, comes in multiple sizes, great fit
Cons: Sleeves are too slim to wear thick clothing underneath, shawl collar may be too thick for some people, may not be suitable for hot climates
The plush, white bathrobe is a perennial favorite for a reason. A clean and fresh style is exactly what you want to shrug on after you’ve showered away the day’s dirt and grime. Plus, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re living in a luxury hotel suite? Parachute’s iteration comes in more colors than white, but the effect still remains if you choose pink, light blue, gray: you’ll instantly feel comfortable and look put-together.
The Parachute bathrobe is not only the softest of all the 100% cotton robes we tried, but it’s also slightly fluffy and absorbent like a towel. It’s made from long-staple Turkish cotton, which is exceptionally durable, and it has a 400 GSM (grams per square meter, a measure of fabric weight). That’s a middle-of-the-road weight — not the most lightweight and cool, but not heavy and stifling, either. And if you’re not in the mood to towel off, you can put this robe on directly after a shower and it’ll do the same job.
In a size medium, the robe falls slightly below my knees (I’m 5’6″) and the sleeves hit my wrists. The sleeves aren’t wide and they fit closely to my arms, so the overall effect isn’t sloppy or loose. The downside is that you might not be able to wear, say, a sweater underneath. The robe fits best over bare skin or light PJs.
To make you feel extra snug and cozy, there’s a thick, fluffy shawl collar and substantial, secure waist tie. The front pockets are deep and spacious.
Since the robe isn’t especially heavy, you’ll be able to wrap up and get ready at your bathroom sink or do small tasks without any trouble. If you stain your robe with food or makeup, it should wash off easily in the washing machine. If you live in a hot or humid climate, I wouldn’t recommend this robe because it still has some weight to it, which will feel doubly apparent on a muggy day. On an uncharacteristically warm fall day in New Jersey, I wore the robe outside on my balcony and I didn’t feel like I could wear it for hours on end.
The best waffle robe
The spongy waffle weave of the Coyuchi Organic Waffle Robe feels soft and light against your skin. Sustainably produced with organic cotton, it’s an excellent choice for those who like to shop with their values.
Pros: Lightweight, comfortable texture, made with organic cotton
Cons: Shrinks after the first wash, pockets easily weighed down by heavy objects, wide sleeves may be impractical
If the first thing you do after checking into a hotel is hit the spa, then this waffle robe will transport you there. First, however, you’ll want the right fit. We recommend sizing up because this robe shrinks noticeably after the first wash. If you’re normally a size small, go for the Coyuchi small/medium. A medium should choose the Coyuchi medium/large, and so on. On me, the medium/large size hits a little below the knees.
The robe is made from 100% organic Turkish cotton that’s GOTS- and Made Safe-certified. A GOTS designation means that the fabric contains at least 95% certified organic fibers and meets environmental and social standards at every stage of processing and manufacturing, while Made Safe signifies that it’s free from harmful chemicals.
Together, the soft organic cotton and textured weave provide airy, cool, and non-slippery coverage. Your waist tie won’t come undone and there are large front pockets to hold small, light items like lip balm. Unfortunately, they’re not thick enough to carry smartphones without being dragged down by the weight. The sleeves are wide and can get in the way of tasks, but you can cuff them.
The robe is absorbent, though not as much as our cotton terry top pick, above. For those who run hot but still want to dry off, it’s a light, attractive, and comfortable alternative to a fluffy cotton robe.
The best flannel robe
The L.L.Bean Scotch Plaid Flannel Robe is surprisingly lightweight, considering its notable softness and warmth. It provides neck-to-calf coverage and is so comfortable you’ll want to wear it past the holidays.
Pros: Cozy feel, enveloping warmth, not too bulky, comes in many sizes
Cons: Picks up lint and pet hair easily
As dark winter mornings drag on and it becomes increasingly difficult to get out of your flannel sheets, it might be time to consider a flannel robe. It’s more than a Christmas morning standby; as long as you value warmth, softness, and coziness, a flannel robe, paired with your favorite hot drink, is appropriate.
L.L.Bean’s is an internet favorite thanks to its classic plaid prints, long-lasting cotton flannel fabric, and a relaxed fit that lets you wrap yourself up into a cozy bundle. Insider Reviews deputy editor Malarie Gokey has owned the robe for more than a year and loves it. As someone who runs cold, she appreciates not only the warmth but the fact that the fabric isn’t stiflingly thick (a common problem with winter robes).
The calf-length robe feels more like a long flannel shirt and it’s easy to move around in. It’s also worth noting that L.L.Bean offers a wider spectrum of sizes than the other brands in this guide, from regular and petite (both available in XS-XL) to plus (1X-3X).
It has long, wrist-length sleeves that you might need to cuff back for activities, and both interior and exterior ties to hold the robe together. The front pockets are deep and sturdy.
Like most flannel garments, the robe, unfortunately, is a magnet for stray bits of fuzz and pet hair, so cuddle with your dog at your own risk. Lint aside, however, L.L. Bean’s robe is a comfortable, well-fitting option that will get you through many brisk winter mornings.
The best linen robe
The Rough Linen St. Barts Robe is perfect for those who want a breathable warm weather robe with a casual, lived-in appeal.
Pros: Breathable, “dry” feeling, durable, midweight
Cons: Not as soft as other fabrics, shows wrinkles easily
Anything made from linen — be it sheets, pants, or a dress — instantly conjures the spirit of a warm summer night. In this linen robe, it’s easy to feel like you’re enjoying an island vacation, thanks to its simple style and comfortable, breathable construction.
Keep in mind that linen isn’t as soft as cotton. It’s more textured and has a “dry” consistency that doesn’t cling to your skin. Rough Linen’s robe feels crisp and cool and is tightly woven to withstand daily wear and frequent washes. It has a substantial, mid-weight feel that’s ideal for warmer climates.
The robe has relaxed, dropped shoulders, so you don’t feel restricted, as well as a waist tie that stays securely fastened and large, deep pockets. This was my favorite robe to wear while working and doing household tasks because it felt like the perfect middle ground — it wasn’t so luxurious that it enticed me to lay down in bed, but it wasn’t exactly something I’d wear in the outside world, either.
On me, a size medium fell to mid-shin and the sleeves hit my wrists. The sleeves weren’t too wide and didn’t get in my way, though the brand suggests you can always cuff them if they’re bothering you. Unlike robes made from more slippery fabrics like silk, this one’s sleeves stayed put when folded back.
Linen naturally wrinkles, and it’s especially apparent with lighter colors. If you’re not a fan of the rumpled look but still like the feel of linen, the robe is available in three darker shades (gray, navy, and black) that partially camouflage the wrinkles. It’s also best to take the robe out of the dryer while it’s still a little damp, so you can smooth out unwanted wrinkles by hand.
The best silk robe
The Kim + Ono Silk Kiku Kimono Robe is a beautiful and comfortable handcrafted garment you’ll treasure, although it does require some special care.
Pros: Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind artwork, lightweight, glossy feel
Cons: Dry clean only, wrinkles easily, one-size-fits-all style
Kim + Ono, a 30-year-old family-owned shop out of San Francisco’s Chinatown, pays beautiful and thoughtful tribute to silk kimonos, which originally come from Japanese and Chinese culture.
Each 100% silk robe from the brand features original, hand-drawn, and hand-painted artwork that is then printed onto the robe, making each piece distinct and unique. The robe I tried was a soothing jade color adorned with large orange chrysanthemum flowers, and I thought it was almost too pretty to wear. The site offers a large variety of other beautiful designs to choose from, including cherry blossoms and cranes.
After I stopped admiring the robe to actually put it on, it felt very cool, glossy, and slippery. In addition to an exterior waist tie, there’s a thin interior waist tie to help keep everything secure. The robe only comes in one size, and on me, it fell all the way to my ankles. If you’re petite, I’d recommend buying one of Kim + Ono’s short robes instead.
Though the robe was long, it did have side slits for ease of movement. The sleeves are short (hitting my mid-forearm), very wide, and airy. These open design features made the soft and smooth silk feel even better as I stood by a window or open door, where the breeze could move freely throughout the robe.
The downside of owning a silk robe is that it’s more difficult to take care of than your standard cotton terry option. All of Kim + Ono’s designs are dry clean only, and the silk creases and wrinkles easily; you’ll need to steam or iron your robe on the warm setting to maintain its sleek, pristine appearance. On the plus side, if you’re wearing a silk robe you’re probably not doing anything active enough to cause too many wrinkles. I use my Kim + Ono robe purely for lounging and relaxing — and it doesn’t even have pockets, so I feel even more inspired to leave my phone behind and unplug completely.
The best lightweight robe
If you’re looking for a robe with a closer fit, the modal-jersey blend Natori Shangri-La Robe is light, clingy, and stretchy with a flattering drape.
Pros: Lightweight, very soft, close fit
Cons: Draped and closely fitting fabric isn’t for everyone, belongings may fall out of side pockets
Although several of the robes on this list — waffle, linen, and silk — happen to be lightweight, Natori’s robe is hands-down the softest and most comfortable lightweight option we tried. If you don’t like the other specialty fabrics mentioned above, chances are modal jersey will win you over; the slightly stretchy material is commonly used to make underwear and loungewear.
Natori’s modal jersey is buttery soft, a little stretchy, and drapes close to the body. But it doesn’t cling in an annoying way or make you sweat. The collar is barely noticeable since it’s not thick, but it provides comfortable coverage.
This robe is long (about ankle-length on me), and there’s an interior waist tie to keep it together. The sleeves are flowy, but they only hit a little below my elbows, making it easy to do everyday tasks. Like L.L.Bean, Natori offers extended sizing, from XS-XXL and 1X-3X.
While the pockets are sizable, they’re located on the sides rather than the front, so bigger items like smartphones may fall out. If you stick to smaller belongings, you should be fine.
The pockets were the only feature I disliked. Otherwise, it was the perfect robe to wear in southern California, where it’s warm and pleasant year-round. If you’re lucky enough to live in a similar climate or want to switch out your fluffy robe for something more streamlined next spring, this is the robe you’re looking for.
The best hotel robe
While the Four Seasons Spa Robe is a splurge, its buttery smooth microsuede exterior and incredibly plush lining make it worth the investment. This is a robe that instantly envelops you in warm, cozy comfort.
Pros: Very warm, soft, two sets of waist tie loops for better fit, nice gift packaging
Cons: Less flattering, prone to overheating, expensive
The Four Seasons Spa Robe stands out as the most luxurious robe of the bunch, and you can feel the difference right away. The outside is made from microsuede, which feels like real suede, while the inside is lined with ultra-soft and fine microfiber terry. Wrapping yourself in this robe will instantly warm you up on a cold day, so it’s especially suitable for fall and winter.
This is the kind of robe you’ll want to lounge in — not only because of its opulent feel — but, practically speaking, you’ll overheat if you do anything else. I found that the Four Seasons Spa Robe was most comfortable when I was simply sitting or laying down. Wearing it while cooking or doing laundry made me start to sweat. That said, it’s the perfect robe when you want to embrace a lazy day or two and log a frighteningly low number of steps on your Fitbit.
This robe isn’t as form-fitting as the other options above, due to its thickness and double fabric layers, but it does have a secure waist tie, along with two sets of tie loops for a customizable fit. The Standard/Large size fell to mid-shin and the cuffed sleeves hit my wrists.
Despite the high-end feel, there aren’t any special care instructions to worry about. You can just wash it in a cold cycle and tumble dry on low.
The robe also feels like a pure treat because of its packaging. It comes in a Four Seasons box with a gift tie and it’s wrapped in tissue paper bound by a wax seal. Whether the recipient is a loved one or yourself, it’s a special and exciting gift to receive and open.
What else we tested
What else we recommend and why
Brooklinen Atlantic Robe: The modal-jersey construction is similar to Natori’s, meaning it’s smooth, stretchy, and lightweight. It’s shorter and only comes in two colors, but is still a solid and slightly more affordable option for a lightweight robe. We also love that the waist tie is attached to the back of the robe, so it’s always even on both sides and never slips off.
What we don’t recommend and why
Ettitude Bamboo Lyocell Robe: We liked the cool, slippery feel of this waffle weave robe, but it was a bit dense, and also shrunk significantly after the first wash. We also thought the sleeves were too wide.
Frette Shawl Collar Bathrobe: This soft and fluffy cotton bathrobe loved by luxury hotels was very comfortable, but you can get the same feel for half the price with Parachute’s robe.
Four Seasons Bath Robe: Similarly, the Four Seasons robe was comfortable and absorbent, plus the gift packaging was beautiful. Unlike the hotel’s Spa Robe, it has a cotton terry construction throughout and other classic features like a shawl collar and double belt loops. Comparatively, it felt less sumptuous and it didn’t offer enough distinctive or special features to warrant its price.
What we’re testing next
Brookstone n-a-p Bathrobe: This plush robe looks very soft and promising, and the price ($50, $40 for Beyond+ members) makes it even more appealing. If it can hold up to frequent use and washes, then we’ll be impressed with its value.
Riley Hooded Waffle Robe: Riley’s robe combines a bunch of features we like — waffle weave exterior, cotton terry interior, a hood, and stylish piping throughout. The question is whether it nails all of them.
Matouk Mateo Robe: This sophisticated, striped robe looks like it’s made from linen, but it’s actually 100% cotton. It comes in a good range of colors and sizes. We wonder if there’s enough distinction in its comfort and feel to justify its $185 price tag.
Check out our other bath guides