Written and reviewed by Lourdes Duah
A hospital stay can be difficult for a patient, both mentally and physically. Their treatment may be physically demanding, the environment can feel isolating, and they may have a difficult time adapting to their new surroundings. If you or a loved one has an upcoming or ongoing hospital visit, making the stay as comfortable as possible will go a long way toward boosting morale.
Making a hospital visit more comfortable can be as simple as the clothes on your back. With all the stress that can accompany a long stay at the hospital, take one stressor out of the picture by choosing the best, most comfortable gown you can find.
How to Find a Comfortable Hospital Gown
Single-use hospital gowns are definitely not the most comfortable option for the long term, so if you’re in for a longer stay, your caregiver may be able to give you other options. There are plenty of hospital gowns on the market, but there are also plenty of other garments that could work well as hospital gowns, and they aren’t always labelled as such. A few items on this list are labelled as nightgowns but have features that make them great for hospital and post-surgery wear. Again, double-check with your healthcare provider if you’re unsure whether a garment will be suitable for your treatment.
You might want to explore the world of adaptive fashion to find the best hospital gown. Adaptive fashion typically serves the needs of the elderly and those with disabilities, but people who are staying in hospitals or recovering from surgery or injury may find their needs met as well. This is especially true if your treatment, surgery, or injury will reduce your range of motion or make it difficult to move.
Adaptive features can help both patients and caregivers in a hospital setting. For example, open-backs allow for easy removal by the patient or by a caregiver. Caregivers can easily access the back area for treatment or help patients undress this way.
The best hospital gown for you will ultimately be determined by you and your situation. To get you started, we have recommendations to make your hospital stay a bit easier.
For a simple upgrade to the traditional blue hospital gown, try this comfy blue nightgown by JuneAdaptive. The nightgown is recommended for post-surgery or in-hospital wear, and it’s easy to see why. It’s designed as a nightgown first, which means it’s designed to prioritize comfort. The nylon and viscose blend fabric is soft to the touch and will not irritate sensitive skin. This gown also comes with a full back overlap that can be snapped on and off, giving caregivers or medical practitioners easy access. The gown accommodates those with lower arm mobility by avoiding pressure points. It comes in pink, red, navy, and royal blue.
Giftgowns sells fun and fashionable hospital gowns. The idea was inspired by the founder’s own hospital stay. She noticed how the standardized blue hospital gown could feel demoralizing to wear. After all, it is associated with sickness and hospitals, both of which can be very difficult to deal with. She also noticed that loved ones coming to visit hospital patients often brought well-intentioned gifts that the patient could not end up using effectively.
A Giftgown solves both problems. Instead of a standard blue hospital gown, Giftgowns provides a line of hospital gowns with fun slogans and cheerful designs to bring more joy to the hospital stay. The fun does not take away from the practicality either. The gowns come with snap buttons on the shoulders and back. It will not interfere with IVs, examinations, epidurals, or other medical procedures. It’s machine-washable and comes with convenient pockets for patients to use. One customer reported that the gowns helped with the psychological impact of hospitalization by letting patients feel more like themselves while wearing them.
If you don’t see any premade gowns you like, Giftgowns lets you design your own. Simply send a graphic for them to print on a gown in a colour of your choice. It makes a great customizable gift for yourself or your loved one to make a hospital stay or recovery a bit more enjoyable.
Continuing with fashionable hospital gowns, JuneAdaptive makes shorter-sleeve nightgowns with eye-catching prints in bold colours. They’re sure to brighten up what can otherwise be a stressful situation. Just like JuneAdaptive’s long-sleeve nightgowns, these gowns come with back overlaps for easy dressing and easy access for medical procedures. The open-back also keeps in mind those with lower mobility in their arms. This flannel nightgown is made of 100% cotton, providing breathability and comfort for your skin. The gown comes with three pattern options, so pick from your choice of flannel, dots, or three different colours of plaid.
One of the most common reasons to expect a hospital stay is for birth and postpartum recovery. While a new child can be incredibly joyful, the delivery day can be stressful and tough on the body. A stylish gown designed for labour can provide one less thing to worry about.
Baby Be Mine has specifically designed gowns with this purpose in mind. The company sells a wide range of products for delivery and post-partum hospital stays including gowns, robes, sleepwear, and cloths for newborns.
A gownie is perfect for getting you through the birthing process. Gownies come with a snap-open front panel and an easy to open back. This provides easy access for medical procedures like epidurals and IVs. The front panel also provides easy access for skin-to-skin contact after birth or for breastfeeding later on. The gownie lacks binding in the belly area. While this may make for a looser fit, this makes it easier on those recovering from a C-section. The lack of binding will reduce irritation around the area. Keep reading if you're looking for a more fitted suggestion from Baby Be Mine.
This nightgown comes from the adaptive fashion brand, Silverts. The brand suggests this gown for both self-dressers and assisted dressers. Like several gowns on this list, it comes with shoulder snaps for easy wear and removal. The fabric is soft enough to bring you comfort during recovery. It helps self-dressers with lower arm mobility by avoiding pressure points and comes with convenient pockets. Silverts recommends this gown for those recovering from shoulder surgery, heart bypass, spinal surgery, chemotherapy, and breast surgery.
The 3-in-1 Maternity Labour Nursing Gown is another great option from Baby Be Mine. It’s great if you’re looking for something more fitted than a gownie or you might be in for a longer hospital stay after labour. The adjustable empire waistline (a fitted waist that sits under the breast rather than the waist or hips) gives a better fit without impeding on upcoming medical examinations. It has a pull-down neckline with snap-on shoulders instead of a snap-open neckline. Both are great for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding while the snap-open shoulders provide easy epidural access.
This set has a matching robe that patients can quickly pop on for visitors. If the patient wants more comfort or modesty while breastfeeding, this robe provides that as well. The adjustable waists of both the dress and the robe help accommodate size changes before and after birth.
You have many options when it comes to hospital gowns. You can choose from simple, classic gowns to bold prints and stylish designs that can take you beyond the hospital. Do as much research as you need to get the gown that suits your body, your treatment, your needs, and your style throughout your hospital visit. If you’re thinking about a particular gown but are unsure, contact your healthcare provider and the company to make sure it will be suitable.