If you wear a bathrobe, then you know that few things are more comforting than waking up with a robe on, and nothing’s cozier than slipping into one at the end of the day. It’s also probably the garment on your body most often, which means it’s worth knowing which brands are making the best versions — not an easy feat when there’s a variety of different weaves (flannel, terry, velour, waffle) and a surprisingly wide range of cuts (shawl collar, kimono, hooded) to choose from. So we asked a few women who would know, including spa owners and staffers, and makers of bath products and apparel.
The best classic robe
Frette is technically a textiles company, but it’s more accurate to call it a luxury company. Founded in France in the 1800s and currently operating out of Italy, Frette makes high-end sheets, towels, and crucially, bathrobes. These are the kinds of soft, oversize robes that swaddle you. They can run up to $500, but that’s not necessary: Dinah Cooke, who directs social media for the Joanna Vargas spa in New York and Los Angeles, swears by her simple shawl-collar Frette. “I’m absolutely in love with mine. It’s luxurious yet simple,” she says. “I wear it after taking a long bath or while I’m sheet-masking.”
The best organic robe
Since founding Pursoma, a line of fancy bath soaks, Shannon Vaughn has become one of the leaders of the bath-evangelist movement. “I consider it the most sacred part of the day,” says Vaughn, who’s adding robes to her product line in the fall. In the meantime, she’s a fan of the heavyweight washed-linen robe from Northern California–based Coyuchi, which also makes organic sheets. For Vaughn, the brand’s commitment to organic products is the main draw. “I want everything that touches my skin to be as close to nature as possible,” she says. After a soak, Vaughn recommends wrapping yourself in one for 30 minutes, then promptly heading straight to bed. “You’ll sleep like a baby,” she says.
Another organic option: Coyuchi also makes a waffle robe that’s considerably less, at $100.
The best lightweight bamboo robe
Ask any spa professional, and they’ll likely talk your ear off about bamboo cotton fiber, a relatively new textile that boasts moisture-wicking and odor-elimination properties (two qualities that come in handy if you plan on using your robe in a steam or sauna, or just for an extra few days between laundry cycles). Rescue Spa, the Philadelphia and New York spa that inspires mad loyalty among customers, sources the kimono-cut versions it uses from Agatinia, a brand that hand-makes ecoconscious lingerie and robe products in Poland.
This robe from Natori doesn’t use bamboo fibers (which aren’t that prevalent quite yet), but Natori is a tried-and-true staple for bathwear, and this robe cuts a very similar silhouette.
The best thick bamboo robe
The staff at Higher Dose, the New York infrared-sauna spa chain, swears by a fluffier, shawl-collar bamboo-fiber option from Australian sauna manufacturer Sunlighten. “The small management team here and myself all use them. They’re the best because they’re soft, ecofriendly, and affordable,” says Richelle Oslinker, director of customer experience at Higher Dose. “I love using mine after the sauna or at home after a shower.”
If you’ve seen or heard of bamboo robes, it might be because of Cariloha, the other brand currently making plush, thicker robes out of bamboo. Cariloha also makes sheet and T-shirts and other homewares, but this robe feels like the most luxurious way to wear its bamboo.
The best robe with a hood
The 130-year-old Swiss company Hanro is mostly known for its second-skin underwear (Strat has written about Hanro’s long underwear before), but also makes buttery-soft bathrobes made from a cotton-poly blend. These are one of the brand’s better-kept secrets. Melody McCloskey, founder of spa booking service StyleSeat, recommends this one and says “it makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in a cloud.”
Hanro also makes some classic robe styles with shawl collars instead of the hood.
The best kimono
Jane Diokas, co-owner of bath product line Jane, Inc., stocks up on cotton kimono robes from Etsy shop Susana, Inc. “Perhaps because we live across the Bay from San Francisco, we’ve been inspired by Japanese design,” Diokas says. “I like kimonos and yukatas because they’re elegant while still being comfortable and washable. You won’t mind getting caught in your robe while wearing one.”
The best robes from start-ups
The Strategist loves Parachute’s plush mattress topper, and the direct-to-consumer bedding company also makes a bathrobe out of Turkish cotton that’s Oeko-Tex certified (meaning it’s free of harmful bleach or dye). “It’s not the thickest robe I’ve ever tried, but it’s somehow the warmest,” says Heather Pearson, founder of Portland vegan apparel company Dande and the Lion. “And, the fit is perfect. I wear a size small and the sleeve length is so perfect, it’s almost as if I had it custom-made. It hits right below my knees.” It’s been something of a viral hit: At its peak, Parachute’s waiting list for the bathrobe was 1,900 people long. But it’s available now, for a cool $99.
Snowe, another bedding upstart that has gotten a shout-out here for its excellent sheets, makes a hypoallergenic and quick-drying robe. According to its manufacturers, it’s four times as durable as traditional towels. Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder of Chillhouse spa on the Lower East Side, is such a fan of Snowe’s that she owns two. “I wear mine after I shower every day,” she says. “The price is palatable, and I hate when I wear a robe at a hotel that doesn’t actually dry me off — this one does.”
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