What are the best fabrics for surgical scrub caps?

Scrub caps, what are they made out of? There may be more options than you would think. So, what’s the difference? Is one kind of fabric for surgical scrub cab preferable over another?

Surgical scrub caps are more than just medical hair nets. Not only do they hold the hair back and keep it clean, but they also keep medical staff sterile and contaminants out of the operating room and other vulnerable work areas, which keeps patients safe. So, what is the best fabric for surgical scrub caps?


So soft and comfy… but not very durable. Rayon is a semi-synthetic material, made from cellulose fibers that are derived from wood pulp and chemicals. Rayon can shrink and stretch when wet, so it should be washed delicately in warm water, probably by hand.


Soft and easy to care for. Made from the fluffy and soft fiber, cotton is nearly pure cellulose. To wash and dry cotton, you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, it can usually be machine washed in warm water.


Spandex is great because of the stretch it adds to the scrub cap. It is also lightweight, yet pretty durable. Again, always check manufacturer’s direction, because how you wash and dry spandex scrub caps is going to depend on the ratio of spandex they are made with. Scrub caps that have up to 20% spandex can be washed in warm water, rinsed with cold, and dried at a low temperature.


Light, thin, strong, even wrinkle resistant, Linen-cotton scrub caps also retain heat better than linen alone. Must be a good choice, since they use this fabric for the ‘doctor’s scrub caps.’


Polyester! Oh, Polyester, come out and play! Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is derived from a chemical reaction that happens between petroleum, water and coal. It just might be the best fabric for surgical scrub caps as it is durable, easy to care for, quick to dry, and resistant to shrinking, stretching and wrinkles. Polyester can trap down sweat, instead of soaking it up like cotton, so you might feel a little moist, but it’s going to help keep the surgery room free of contaminants. Due to this high functionality, it is often used for scrub caps designed specifically for the surgery room.

Polyester scrub caps should be turned inside out to prevent pilling when washed, it can often be washed in warm water along with a little fabric softener and dried with a dryer sheet at a low temperature. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when caring for your surgical scrub caps.

Scrub caps last longer when well cared for, in the event of contamination, of course they can also be disposed of, always in a way that follows blood borne pathogens procedures. When working in a medical environment everything must be kept sanitary and sterile up to code for the safety and wellbeing of patients and practitioners.

There you have it, some of the best fabric for surgical scrub caps. Which one will you be putting on the next time you step into an operating room?