The 10 Best Kitchen Aprons, According to Chefs

Our top picks provide versatility, protection from spills and splatters, and lots of pockets.

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 The Best Kitchen Aprons, According to Chefs

Food and Wine / Alli Waataja

Chefs from all walks of life have a lot to say about aprons, which is why so many of the picks on our list were designed for or by chefs. At a functional level, the best aprons protect against spills and splatters in the kitchen and keep all your essential tools within easy reach while providing versatility, coverage, style, and lots of pockets. There's a lot to consider when purchasing an apron — especially for an investment piece that becomes part of your identity in the kitchen. It's important to select an apron that suits your body, style preferences, and — of course — the culinary task at hand.

We looked through our kitchens and talked to dozens of chefs to find out what makes their favorite aprons the very best. Below you’ll find our chef-approved list of the best aprons to dress for success in the kitchen.

Best Overall

Hedley & Bennett Waxman Apron

Hedley & Bennett Waxman Apron

Hedley & Bennett

Pros: This apron comes in a slew of stylish shades and orders larger than 25 can be customized down to the ties.  

Cons: As a whole, Hedley & Bennett aprons are on the pricier side, so they may not be the right pick for frugal home cooks or anyone who doesn’t wear an apron consistently.  

Hedley & Bennett aprons are universally adored by chefs. The Waxman apron featured on our list is coated in soy wax, uses 12.5 oz cotton, and has rugged leather straps. Like all Hedley & Bennett's aprons, it is readily customizable, and you can add embroidery and patches to yours.

Hedley & Bennett aprons come with lifetime guarantees, but pay attention to their care instructions. The Waxman apron should not be washed and should be treated to canvas wax after general wear and tear. It has a fair amount of storage – pen pockets up top and hip pockets. On the pricier side, these aprons certainly last practically forever, so a Hedley & Bennett apron is a good investment apron.

Mike and Eylonah Strauss of Mike's BBQ rave about Hedley & Bennett's aprons. "We love the Waxman Apron from Hedley & Bennett in Woodland Camo, as it's very heavy-duty and stain-resistant. It’s llightweight, durable, and easy to clean.”

Price at time of publish: $120

  • Size: One size
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: 100% Cotton, Soy Wax-Coated Heavyweight Fabric

Best Splurge

Tilit Contra Chef Apron

Tilit Contra Chef Apron

Sur La Table

Pros: A leather snap at the neck allows you to take this apron on and off with ease — and adds a dose of style. 

Cons: This apron doesn’t have a chest pocket, which many professionals find useful for holding pens or other small items. 

Having regular weekly cookouts for a hundred friends at a time? Deep-frying buckets of chicken? Pumping out loaves and loaves of baguettes? Consider Tilit's Contra Chef Apron. At 36 inches wide and 39 inches long, it boasts ample coverage, ensuring your garb stays clean no matter what you’re cooking up. The bib-style apron is made from heavyweight milled canvas, with an adjustable leather neck strap and long canvas straps for an easy and secure front tie. There are two generously sized pockets at the waist where you can store small utensils.

Polling a bunch of our chef friends involved sorting through their (many) rave reviews of Tilit's chef aprons. "I love the versatility and look of the Tilit apron,” said pastry chef Abby Dahan. “It's quality made, washes easily, and it looks great." Adds Jose Garces, "The Tilit Chef Apron is a definite standby for me when I am grilling at home for friends and company. The force of habit means I have at least one sharpie in my pocket, but I also use it for my instant-read meat thermometer and plating utensils."

Price at time of publish: $92

  • Size: One size (27 inches wide x 35 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Waxed Cotton

Best Value

Under NY Sky Work Apron

Under NY Sky Work Apron

Under NY Sky

Pros: This apron features a cross-back design, which may be a draw to cooks who are sensitive to ties around their necks.

Cons: To maintain the shape and integrity of this apron, it needs to be hung to dry after washing, which can pose an issue if you’re a cook or waiter with back-to-back shifts. 

Need pockets? Under NY Sky's Work Apron has them in spades. This midweight cross-back apron is constructed of 8-ounce cotton twill, with straps that are reinforced with leather patches and anti-rust brass hardware. Its many utility pockets are double-stitched for durability and are sized perfectly for holding all your kitchen tools. Its chest pocket stretches across the top of the apron, and the three lower pockets are a generous size. It's easy to clean, too — just pop it in the washing machine on cold and hang it to dry.

"I'm a big fan of Under NY sky for being so affordable and accessible,” says bar manager Brandon Thrash. “Their aprons are comfortable and are so well made. I stuff the pockets full with pens, a wine key, a beer bottle opener, tweezers, a lighter, Jolly Ranchers for snacking, and temporary tattoos for when you need that extra bit of street cred."

Price at time of publish: $29

  • Size: One size (25 inches wide x 33 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton Twill

Best Design

Chef Works Berkeley Bib Apron

Chef Works Berkeley Bib Apron


Pros: You can adjust or replace the suspender straps on this apron for a totally custom look.

Cons: The suspenders on this apron clip on and off, which makes them customizable, but can also lead to them falling off if tugged or pulled too hard. 

Chef Works' Berkeley Bib Apron puts durability at the forefront, with reinforced stress points and double-needle stitching. While this is not an apron that comes in a myriad of colors, it is super reliable, professional-looking, and well-designed. What sets this apron further apart from the rest are its elegant back suspenders that are attached with clips and can be easily switched out.

Keith Taylor, the President and CEO of Zachary's BBQ & Soul, loves this pick for its reliability and classic appeal. "This is hands down my ride-or-die apron. It has a very simple design with a couple of pockets in the right places. It ages well and only gets better after multiple washes. I am hooked on the design — instead of a neck strap, this apron has suspenders, which are flexible, stylish, and provide a comfort that other cross-back style aprons just can't touch."

Price at time of publish: $42

  • Size: One size (30 inches wide x 34 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton

Best For Home Cooks

Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Apron

Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Apron

Williams Sonoma

Pros: This apron is thin and especially lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about overheating in the kitchen. 

Cons: This apron does not have a top chest pocket, which may leave some chefs feeling short on storage. 

The Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe apron is a classic — and for good reason. Made of lightweight cotton, it boasts an adjustable neck strap with sturdy D-rings. It can be personalized with a name or logo and comes in a rainbow of colors and stripes. There's no pen pocket, so they may not be ideal for a restaurant cook who needs to tote around pens and spoons for easy access from the chest, but they're perfect for the home cook (and they have roomy double front pockets for small tools).

We’re not the only fans of this apron, either. Chef Amy Rivera Nassar of Amy's Pastelillos has run countless pop-ups for her brand of pastelillos and works every station serving in this apron, all while looking incredibly stylish. "My Williams Sonoma striped apron has been with me for years,” she says. “It's very sturdy, the fit is great for my height, and the pockets are large enough for my needs."

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Size: One size (27 inches wide x 36 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton

Best Pockets

Five Two Ultimate Apron With Built-In Pot Holders

Five Two Ultimate Apron with Built-In Pot Holders


Pros: This design is basically two kitchen items in one, providing an apron with built-in pot holders, along with pockets galore.

Cons: The included “pot holders” are an awesome addition, but shouldn’t be used with items straight out of the oven, so you’ll still have to reach for traditional pot holders for some things. 

Aprons are a classic foodie gift, and this do-it-all design from Food52 makes it so easy to outfit your favorite home cook in time-tested gear that will have them feeling (and cooking!) their best. The genius of this apron knows no bounds, from the extra-long waist ties and different coverage options to the handy conversion chart sewn into one of the pockets (so genius!).

That’s not even our favorite part, though. This apron has two hand-sized pockets sewn into the bottom-front corners, lined with cotton-terry fabric so they act as built-in pot holders (and can withstand temps of 250 degrees Fahrenheit). Choose from a variety of sweet and subtle shades, like Eucalyptus, Paprika, and Rhubarb. 

Price at time of publish: $45

  • Size: Short (30 inches wide x 29 inches long), Regular (32 inches wide x 35 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton

Best Linen Pinafore

Rough Linen The Original Linen Pinafore Apron

Rough Linen The Original Linen Pinafore Apron

Rough Linen

Pros: This apron is incredibly lightweight, making it the best option on our list for those that live in a hot climate or work in an especially warm kitchen

Cons: This apron does not have any adjustable elements so, in that sense, it's the least customizable on our list. 

Looking to live out all your cottagecore fantasies while cooking? Well, look no further than this chic linen pinafore apron from Rough Linen. Designed to slip seamlessly over your head (with no strap or adjustable parts), this design would look equally at home on the set of a Nancy Meyer’s flick as it will in your own kitchen.

Choose from three different sizes (petite, regular, and large), as well as a selection of 11 beautiful colors to find the style that best suits your chef alter-ego. This style also doubles as great gardening attire, thanks to the deep pockets and easy mobility. 

Price at time of publish: $97

  • Size: Petite (23 to 28 inches wide x 35 inches long), Regular (29 to 34 inches wide x 40 inches long), Large (35-plus inches wide x 35 inches long)
  • Fit: Flowy
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Linen

Best For Every Body

Hedley & Bennett The Big Apron

Hedley & Bennett The Big Apron

Hedley & Bennett

Pros: Hedley & Bennett offers lifelong strap repairs on all their pieces, so you can count on this durable piece holding its own in your kitchen for years to come. 

Cons: There are only three neutral hues to choose from with this Hedley & Bennett apron, so you miss out on some of the funky hues the brand is known for. 

If you’ve always wanted an apron that was a better fit for your body type — or just a bit roomier overall — then this Hedley & Bennett style is for you. Sized to be 7 inches wider and 6 inches longer than the brand’s standard cut, it's an inclusive take on every pro chef’s favorite gear.

“I love that Hedley and Bennet make big aprons that truly fit all of me,” says chef Dan Pelosi, author of the forthcoming cookbook Let’s Eat. “I am a big guy, and these aprons are a dream — they are durable, washable, colorful, and have straps and pockets in all the right places. I am especially in love with the strap on the side of the apron that I use to hold a kitchen towel. I am a total mess in the kitchen.”

Price at time of publish: $95

  • Size: One size (37 inches wide x 39.5 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton Canvas

Best For Pastry Chefs

Dusen Dusen Porcini Stripe Apron

Dusen Dusen Porcini Stripe Apron

Dusen Dusen

Pros: Two roomy and deep pockets offer plenty of room for stashing cooking tools.

Cons: The funky-fresh pattern on this apron is so fun, but may not be as welcome in a professional kitchen. 

Calling all pastry chefs: This Dusen Dusen apron is just as colorful and sweet as all your confections. It’s a favorite of The Dusky Kitchen chef Abi Balingit, who relied on it (and its myriad of roomy pockets) daily when developing and testing recipes for her new Filipino-American dessert cookbook, Mayumu.

“As someone who has lots of fun dressing up, I think the right apron can complete an outfit and give you a lot of self-confidence,” says Balingit. “I love the whimsical layering of the colors on this design, and how they differ between the main body, neck strap, and waist ties. The pockets in the front are so roomy, and they're perfect for storing random spatulas, as well as my phone, pen, and notepad to take notes during recipe testing. I even wore this bright apron for my cookbook shoot and it definitely stood out in the final photographs.”

Price at time of publish: $48

  • Size: One size (37 inches wide x 39.5 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton Canvas

Best for Gifting

Minted Personalized Apron

Minted Personalized Apron


Pros: You can choose from a variety of playful prints for your apron, including seasonal specialties and holiday designs. 

Cons: This apron is tailored more towards amateur cooks, so it doesn’t tout some of the bells and whistles of designs geared to professionals. 

The special home cook in your life will be completely moved by the thoughtful gift that is this Minted apron. Not only does it boast a charming stripe design (and there are dozens of others to choose from), but there’s a leather foil-pressed tag at the center of the chest that can be emblazoned with a name or phrase in your choice of font.

The rest of the design is equally simple and sweet, with an oversized belly pocket, tie waist, and adjustable neck. The best part? Minted will donate the profits of each apron sold to Every Mother Counts. 

Price at time of publish: $44

  • Size: One size (32 inches wide x 30 inches long)
  • Fit: Tailored
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Material: Cotton

Factors to Consider

Size Range

When shopping for the best kitchen apron for your needs, the fit should be at the forefront of your mind. That may sound silly — after all, aren’t all aprons adjustable? Well, yes — and no. Depending on the apron you select from our awarded picks above, you may be able to narrow in on your size even further, tailoring your pick to your specific height or weight for a chef’s apron that is going to have you feeling as comfortable as possible. When discussing sizing for aprons, the areas most impacted will be the width, which typically doesn’t include the waist ties, and length, which usually refers to the measurement from neckline to hem. 

Ease of Wear

Comfort is also key when it comes to shopping for a chef’s apron, especially if you’re a pro who plans on spending eight hours or more wearing said apron. Many different factors can impact how comfortable you’ll feel in a piece, from the exact type and weight of the material to the many ways it can tie around your body (including around the neck, cross-back, and more). Consider how mobile you’ll need to be in your gear and shop for an apron with those specifications in mind.

Thinner fabrics like linen or cotton will generally be more lightweight than things like leather, canvas, or waxed cotton, but they may not hold up as well against daily wear and tear, which is something you may have to weigh if you anticipate being tough on your gear. 


In their most pure form, aprons are a means of protecting your clothes from spills and splatters while cooking, and — though they have many perks beyond that — it’s good not to lose sight of that requirement while shopping for your favorite style. All of our picks above boast excellent coverage, but there are some still that leave you a bit more protected than others. If you tend to be messy while you cook, shop for a style that offers additional coverage, like a higher neckline or longer hem. 


When referring to an apron's style, the meaning is really twofold — there’s style in terms of aesthetics and style in terms of the actual type of apron. For the latter, you’ll find yourself faced with a few different cuts to choose from, such as bib-style aprons, waist aprons, cross-back aprons, and pinafore aprons (a Japanese-style design with two holes for the arms that drape over the head instead of tying on). Once you land on an actual cut of apron, you can then focus on the aesthetic side of the style coin. Whether you prefer loud patterns, bold colors, or calming neutrals, there’s a style out there for you — some can even brandish your logo.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best way to treat stains on an apron?

    How you treat stains on your apron will depend largely on both the type of material the design is made from and what the stain is (pasta sauce or wine are going to be a lot harder to get out than a little salad dressing). Start by reading the care requirements of your specific piece to determine the best way to wash it, then consider treating the stain with a chemical remover. Always do your research before committing to a stain removal method, though — some materials, such as waxed canvas or cotton, need to have stains buffed out rather than washed out.

  • How do you comfortably wear an apron?

    Ask any pro chef their favorite way to wear an apron and you’ll probably come back with dozens of different answers. At the end of the day, the best way to wear an apron is however is most comfortable to you. For some, this means tying the waist straps in the back; for others, it means wrapping the waist straps around twice and tying them in the front. For some, it’s choosing a cross-back style that eliminates the need for a tie around the neck; for others, it means doubling up the apron at the waist to raise the hem a bit. Just like cooking, rocking an apron has a very “you do you” ethos.

  • What is the best fabric for a kitchen apron?

    If you’re a home cook who occasionally wears an apron when whipping up something especially messy, you can likely get away with a simple cotton apron design. It’s the most lightweight, wearable, and easy to care for, so it won’t add a lot of complication to your cooking routine. However, chefs and restaurant workers (or anyone who fancies themselves at that level) may benefit from an apron made from more durable and professional-looking fabric, like waxed canvas or cotton canvas design, which will hold up better regular use, as well as maintain a crisp and clean look that many restaurant workers strive for.

Our Expertise

Kiki Aranita is a chef, food writer, and recipe developer. Having owned a food truck and restaurant, she has encountered every apron use that could possibly arise. She has dirtied and destroyed many an apron in the name of serving food inspired by her hometown of Honolulu (and afterward, washing the dishes used to make the food). She has tested products for major publications like USA Today in addition to Food & Wine. For this piece, she talked to several dozen food industry people she has encountered over the years, from chefs to fermenters.

Alyssa Longobucco is a freelance writer, editor, and stylist living in New York with over a decade of experience in the food, home, and lifestyle categories. When she's not diving into the latest trends and products, she's restoring an 1820s farmhouse in the Hudson Valley alongside her husband and children.

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