Pharmaceutical, food-production, manufacturing — there are many industries that rely on a form of protective clothing. A clean work-station and environment are often paramount to creating the best product possible. In order to do that, lab coats, alongside many other types of protective clothing, are a necessary tool to use.

However, two types of lab coats exist — disposable and reusable — so which one works best?

Disposable vs Reusable

Often depicted in pop-culture as being the item of choice by medical and lab professionals, fabric lab coats are a staple of many industries. This lab coat material is especially popular in the food-service industry, thanks largely to its easy-to-wash properties. While they can come in a variety of fabric types, cotton or polyester are the most common options.

As the name suggests, disposable lab coats are one-time-use protective garments typically made of plastic. An alternative to fabric that’s quickly becoming the material of choice, plastic lab coats solve several issues that plague their fabric counterparts. From improved cleanliness to enhanced affordability, there are many reasons to consider plastic lab coats for your business.

Why buy disposable

1. Prevent contamination

One aspect of plastic that trumps fabric lab coats is the ability to dispose of the contaminated coat easily and safely. Being designed with disposability in mind, plastic coats do not run the risk of holding onto contamination from substances being handled by the wearer — something fabric coats have long struggled with. Instead of needing to sterilize, wash, and recirculate a coat, simply remove and dispose it in the designated fashion.

Simple, easy, and safe.

2. Cost-effective

While fabric lab coats can run anywhere between $25-45 each, disposable lab coats are sold at a fraction of the price. Depending on the vendor, plastic lab coats can be purchased for cents on the dollar when compared to fabric. This ensures that making the switch to plastic is as cost-effective as it is seamless.

3. Reusable(?)

Yes, you read that right. Plastic lab coats CAN be reusable. Much like fabric alternates, plastic can be cleaned and sterilized for re-use in order to get every dollar spent out of your stock. While unconventional, it’s an option that can provide further savings where needed.


Convinced that plastic lab coats are a clear choice for your business? Contact a Crawford Packaging Specialist today and start spending smarter.

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