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6 Best Cooking Aprons for Men in 2024: Mess No More

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Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Mar 25, 2024
9 min read
Best Cooking Aprons for Men Handsome Man Preparing Vegatables Wearing Cooking Apron

You’re working hard to prepare an unforgettable meal for guests. There are ingredients all over the place: butter, oil, and messy sauces. The last thing you need is a stubborn oil stain on your favorite pair of jeans.

If you think aprons are for professional chefs or pottery class, think again. We put together a list of the best ones to keep you covered during even the most chaotic prep work.

Before I was a white-collar desk jockey, I worked in restaurants of all kinds.

Sub shops, corporate chains, and local dive bars. 

Sometimes I loathe myself as I fasten the top button of my dress shirt before tucking it into my pants. Take me back to when it was tying my apron behind a ripped band tee. 

I loved my aprons. They got me through some shifts that would make even Gordon Ramsay crack under pressure. But not all aprons are the same. 

If you’ve had it with soiled clothing after cooking, you’ll surely find a new grub guard that suits your needs on this list. 

6 Best Men’s Cooking Aprons in 2023

Best Overall: HexClad Apron

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Think aprons are just fabric and straps? HexClad’s isn’t, and that’s why I love it.

It has major ‘tactical’ vibes, with storage every chef craves. The deep front pockets can fit big grill spatulas, saving them from dirty surfaces. 

It’s made of a thick, water-resistant canvas that repels messy ingredients such as oil and sauces. The hexagonal rivets add a dash of branded flavor, too. 

hexclad apron

Any cook worth their weight in caviar has a rag on them at all times, so the HexClad Apron’s accessory loop gets a nod from me. I used to sling mine over the shoulder, which inevitably stained my shirts. 

If I had this during my line cook days, I’d have been dishing out prime rib dinners at twice the speed. 

Even if you’re just getting the hang of dicing an onion, HexClad’s got you covered. This apron has a conversion chart and QR code linking to top recipes printed on the back.

Grandma’s apron can’t do all of that.

What I Like

  • The two front pockets and small bib pocket provide plenty of storage without feeling bulky.
  • Side loop gives you quick access to a towel or other utensil of your choice.
  • A conversion table and QR code that links to recipes come printed on the back (I’ve been cooking for years and still double-check my conversions).
  • Since it’s made of a thick, water-resistant canvas, there’s no spill this apron can’t handle.
  • The hexagonal rivets add a unique branded touch. .

What I Don’t Like

  • The neck strap is uncomfortable at first, requiring a few weeks to soften up.
  • It’s susceptible to permanent staining from common household cleaners.
  • It might be too pricey for the casual cook.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers of the HexClad Apron share one common theme: It’s the most convenient apron they’ve used. 

The top-notch material quality was mentioned many times, especially amongst the professional cooks who bought it. If this apron can keep up with them, I expect many evenings to come wearing mine. 

HexClad’s reviews get some love in the style department, too. Users like the unique design and branded elements such as the custom hexagonal rivets and bib pocket.

The Verdict

This list reveals that HexClad has a surprising amount of competition in the apron world. 

As an amateur foodie with experience working in kitchens, I love that their products give at-home cooks the functionality that professionals need. Things like ample storage, towel loop, and a conversion chart are helpful no matter how experienced you are. 

The durable canvas provides much needed strength to a garment that receives a lot of abuse. At over $100, it’s the most premium apron on this list, but it will serve you well for years.

Aside from the functionality, the HexClad Apron looks good. Both the Black and Cream options have subtle hexagonal accents and give off a “head chef” vibe—perfect for the man who thinks he’s just like Gordon in the kitchen.

If you need a durable apron for sauce defense that keeps tools by your side, HexClad’s has you covered. 

Best Overall
HexClad Apron

As an amateur foodie with experience working in kitchens, I love that HexClad gives at-home cooks the functionality that professionals need. Things like ample storage, towel loop, and a conversion chart are helpful no matter how experienced you are.

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Best Linen: Caraway Linen Apron

Caraway has become a trusted authority for kitchen accessories, so it’s no surprise that their Linen Apron earned a spot on this list.

Comfort is a must for cooking. Aprons can make it uncomfortable to do common tasks like tossing a skillet, reaching under cupboards, and scrubbing pans.

The soft texture of Caraway’s linen makes summoning a family meal less hectic. Two front pockets allow just enough room for your most used tools, and the adjustable neck strap lets you get the perfect fit. 

It’s a solid value-based choice for a blend of comfort and features. If you want a dash of personal style, you can choose from three different colors.

What I Like

  • The apron and its straps, made from 100% cotton linen, are comfortable straight out of the packaging.
  • The three available colors match Caraway’s other soft goods if you like matching textiles.
  • Two front pockets are just enough for basic kitchen tools.
  • Machine washable fabric makes for easy cleanup.

What I Don’t Like

  • The two front pockets might lack the storage you need if you’re an experienced cook.
  • The linen fibers frayed a bit after one wash.
  • Compared to other aprons I’ve tested, the linen is more absorbent.

What Other Reviewers Say

Customers who purchased the Linen Apron expressed their satisfaction with the luxurious, smooth feel of the fabric. Some shared that it shrunk slightly after a wash, but the adjustable neck and waist tie made it a non-issue. 

Several reviewers got this apron because of shipping issues with other brands. While it doesn’t say much about the garment itself, it says a lot about Caraway and their customer service.

The Verdict

Depending on who you’re feeding, cooking can be stressful. Don’t let an uncomfortable apron make you boil over. 

While it’s not the most functional, the soft linen and adjustable straps make this apron an easy choice if you cook simply for pleasure. If the guy in your life just wants good protection from stains while not caring about the looks, this is a great pick.

Caraway’s Linen Apron is also available in a linen set—a solid choice for housewarmings or registries.

Best Linen
Caraway Linen Apron

While it’s not the most functional apron, the soft linen and adjustable straps make it an easy choice if you cook simply for pleasure. If the guy in your life just wants good protection from stains while not caring about the looks, this is a great pick.The Caraway Linen Apron is also available in their Linen Set—a solid choice for housewarmings or registries.

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Most Durable: Carhartt Firm Duck Apron

I like my aprons tough, not my steak. 

Famous for their long-lasting workwear, Carhartt took the durable fabric that makes their apparel a favorite among construction workers and made an apron out of it. 

The Carhartt Firm Duck Apron is designed for cooks, carpenters, and mechanics that need serious utility and protection. The workwear staple has elevated this apron with multiple pockets, heavy-duty canvas, and crisscross straps for added support. 

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Maybe you don’t need such a robust apron, but at its price, it’ll be hard to find a cheaper apron with the quality and features this one has.

What I Like

  • Crossed back straps provide weight control and a supportive fit, which is especially useful if you’re loaded up with tools or utensils.
  • Carhartt’s apron has the most pockets on this list, and it’s the only one with a secure zippered pocket.
  • It’s multi-functional, so it’ll cover you whether you’re deep frying a turkey or performing a full-on engine swap.
  • The firm duck canvas is strong and doesn’t absorb runny ingredients.
  • Available under $50, this kind of quality and durability is hard to beat at this price point.

What I Don’t Like

  • The stacked pocket design feels bulky when you’re carrying multiple objects.
  • While the duck canvas feels bulletproof, it takes over a month of consistent use to become flexible.

What Other Reviewers Say

At the time of writing, the Carhartt Firm Duck Apron boasts a 4.8-star average. The resilient duck canvas gets lots of praise from those who bought this for work, and the additional rear straps put less strain on the neck during long shifts. 

Some of the negative comments relay my opinion of the fabric being too stiff at first. It is the “firm” duck apron after all. One reviewer added that washing it a few times speeds up the break in process. 

The Verdict

Knowing Carhartt, nobody’s surprised that their apron reigns as the most durable. 

If you’re someone who needs more than a silly souvenir apron from Rome, the firm duck canvas has the durability to feed an army. 

The versatility is the main thing I dig about Carhartt’s apron. Even if you’re still figuring out how to fry an egg, there are plenty of other tasks around the house that can use full-frontal protection.

And, what could be more iconic for men than rocking Carhartt?

Most Durable
Carhartt Firm Duck Apron

Knowing Carhartt, nobody’s surprised that their apron reigns as the most durable. If you’re someone who needs more than a silly souvenir apron from Rome, the Firm Duck Canvas has the durability to feed an army.

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Most Stylish: Hedley & Bennett Essential Apron

Cooking in its highest form is self expression, so dressing for it doesn’t have to be bland. 

Hedley & Bennett blasts a colorful tornado through the sea of boring, black and white aprons.

The Essential Apron caters to all palates. Available in a spectrum of 25 vibrant colors and nine prints, there’s an apron to match any guy’s flair. That’s not all. You can choose from 33 collaborative designs, such as Star Wars, The Grateful Dead, and NASA. That’s quite the menu. 

To top it all off, Hedley & Bennett offers monogramming and text embroidery for $20 each. 

Looks aside, the Essential Apron boasts 10oz cotton canvas fabric, four pockets, and adjustable neck and back straps. 

For almost $100, flaunting your distinct style with a practical apron seems like a good deal, especially with the included lifetime guarantee.

What I Like

  • Unbeatable personalization with over 67 styles to choose from and optional embroidery.
  • Four pockets and a towel loop provide ample storage.
  • The lifetime guarantee takes the worry out of long-term use.
  • Adjustable straps make it suitable for most body types.

What I Don’t Like

  • 10oz cotton canvas is very stiff at first and takes a long time to soften.
  • The 33-inch length seemed long on me, especially since other aprons I’ve tested are a similar size.
  • Printed design faded after just one wash.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Essential Apron boasts a 4.9-star average across almost 3,000 reviews at the time of writing. Evidently, they love being able to craft an apron that is uniquely their own. Durability, useful pocket space, and fun designs are a few areas of acclaim.

A surprising amount of buyers had their printed details come off after a few washes, which is a huge bummer. Shorter customers found the apron too big despite shortening the neck strap as well. 

The Verdict

Customization is fun, and Hedley & Bennett bring that into the kitchen. 

I’ll admit that I geeked out over the Boba Fett Star Wars design, but clearly I need to be more careful with washing it. Even if it shows signs of wear, the apron itself has all the functionality I like.

Since it costs almost $100, I suggest going with one of the solid-colored aprons to avoid disappointment. Besides that, it’s a well-rounded, premium apron that outshines regular white rags. 

Most Stylish
Hedley & Bennett Essential Apron

Customization is fun, and Hedley & Bennett bring that into the kitchen. I’ll admit that I geeked out over the Boba Fett Star Wars design, but clearly I need to be more careful with washing it. Even if it shows signs of wear, the apron itself has all the functionality I like.

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Best on a Budget: Chef Works Rockford Bib Apron

Maybe you need a tester before diving into high-end aprons. Since the 1960s, Chef Works has outfitted countless professionals in hospitality, and their uniforms are a staple in the industry. 

Believe it or not, this was my first apron at the restaurant I worked at during high school.

I like the thinner fabric it’s made of. When you’re marching around the kitchen all day, the easier movement is a huge plus. It’s 100% cotton too, so it can handle weekly washes. 

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It doesn’t have plentiful pockets like other aprons, but that’s a given based on the price. Since they’re budget-friendly, you can purchase multiple to have on standby if the Rockford Apron wins you over. 

Chances are someone wearing a Chef Works apron has served you a gourmet meal.

Why? They take the abuse of the pros to the chin. Easily available under $50, the Rockford Bib Apron is an all-star beater apron that won’t have you on a ramen-only diet. 

What I Like

  • It’s inexpensive, but it isn’t just a piece of fabric with ties.
  • The metal hardware is durable and adjusts easily.
  • High-quality stitching feels strong and won’t fray in the wash.
  • The thinner fabric moves with your body and doesn’t feel restrictive.

What I Don’t Like

  • The chest pockets are small and might not fit larger tools.
  • The waist strap is very long and gets in the way.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviews of the Rockford Bib Apron are positive, mainly highlighting its thoughtful design and durability. One chef even said it’s the only one he rocks thanks to its spot-on length and well-placed pockets for all his tools. 

Some reviewers wished the apron came in different lengths, and shorter buyers found it to fall lower on them. 

The Verdict

This apron from Chef Works doesn’t have the features that other options bring to the table. But for the price, it’ll keep gross food stains away without tedious care. 

If you like the minimalist design but want more storage, the options from HexClad or Carhartt might suit you better. 

Not all of us can be Bobby Flay. For a simple, hassle-free bib, Chef Works’ is a winner.

Best on a Budget
Chef Works Rockford Bib Apron

This apron from Chef Works doesn’t have extra features like other options. But for the price, it’ll keep gross food stains away without tedious care. If you like the minimalist design but want more storage, the options from HexClad or Carhartt might suit you better. 

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Best Denim: Levi’s Rigid Denim Apron

You know what you’re getting when buying something from Levi’s. The brand is synonymous with quality denim. 

But how does that fare on an apron? Is denim any good on an apron?

Indeed, it is. The Rigid Denim Apron finds the happy medium between soft linen and stiff canvas. Plus, the dark wash of the denim hides any obvious stains that inevitably happen. 

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Levi’s added a subtle hit of branding, too. The leather patch and red tab are the same ones used on their iconic jeans, and both score major coolness points. 

If you’re turned off by the thick straps from other contenders on this list, you’ll like the thinner design holding this one up. 

What I Like

  • The familiar texture of denim is comfortable and hides stains well.
  • Branded details like brass rivets and a leather patch increase the perceived value of the apron.
  • Thinner straps don’t feel cumbersome or constantly “there”.
  • Large front pockets will fit common kitchen utensils.
  • You can wash it just as you do with any other denim jean.

What I Don’t Like

  • The neck strap isn’t adjustable.
  • Heavyweight denim traps heat more than other fabrics.
  • Like all jeans do, it needs a few washes to move around easier.

What Other Reviewers Say

When buying a denim apron from Levi’s, you can expect a certain level of craftsmanship from the OGs themselves. 

Customers love the premium feel of the Rigid Denim Apron. Cooks, barbers, and potters enjoy the unique patina that results from repeated use, and the pocket placement feels natural. 

It is denim, though. A few reviews said it gets warm. On a muggy summer evening, you can expect a sweaty mess if you’re grilling burgers over some hot coals. The fixed neck strap wasn’t met with enthusiasm either.

The Verdict

It’s neat to see a brand create a spinoff product featuring their signature details, and the Rigid Denim Apron is a great example. 

If you have a taste for rad accessories, this is the apron for you. Denim is a commonly used fabric for aprons, but Levi’s execution is fresh, yet timeless. 

Not all denim is created equal, and that’s why Levi’s wins this round. The top-notch denim they’re known for is perfect for an apron like this. 

The saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”. 

That might be especially true in this apron. If you frequently cook over an open flame, something more breathable like the Caraway Linen Apron might suit you better. 

Best Denim
Levi’s Rigid Denim Apron

It’s neat to see a brand create a spinoff product featuring their signature details, and the Rigid Denim Apron is a great example. If you have a taste for rad accessories, this is the apron for you. Denim is a commonly used fabric for aprons, but Levi’s execution is fresh, yet timeless.

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Three Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Cooking Apron

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If you’re thinking about investing in an apron for the first time, take a second to think about the following before you hit “add to cart”. 

Consider the complexity of your meals. If it rarely gets crazier than roasting vegetables, you might not need water-resistant fabrics or a dozen pockets. 

Do you have a small kitchen? If so, it probably gets warm when using the burner. A lighter fabric such as linen or lightweight cotton will keep you cooler than duck canvas or denim. 

Finally, can your other hobbies benefit from an apron? If so, paying more for a feature-rich apron might be worthwhile. Durability, extra storage, and premium hardware make a big difference when it’s getting daily use.

Let’s Get Cracking 

There’s no shame in tossing on an apron before everything is mise-en-place. 

Whether you’re a culinary master or cook-in-training, the HexClad Apron is our recommendation for your first line of defense.

Our Top Pick
HexClad Apron

As an amateur foodie with experience working in kitchens, I love that HexClad gives at-home cooks the functionality that professionals need. Things like ample storage, towel loop, and a conversion chart are helpful no matter how experienced you are.

Check Price

Maybe you value comfort but aren’t ready for the high-end stuff yet. If so, Caraway’s Linen Apron is smoother than oil and easier on the wallet. 

Equipped with the Carhartt Firm Duck Apron, you won’t blink twice working a double in Hell’s Kitchen.

With your knives sharpened and sleeves rolled up, which do you choose to throw down in the kitchen? 

FAQs

What is the best material for a kitchen apron?

A thick cotton canvas is the best material for aprons. The heavyweight fabric protects against friction and doesn’t absorb liquid easily. Since it’s a natural fiber, they’re also easier to clean using a regular washing machine.

What is the best color for a kitchen apron?

Dark colors are the best option for aprons since stains won’t be as visible. However, chemicals such as bleach can leave permanent stains that will contrast the dye.

What is the difference between a chef apron and a bib apron?

Nothing! They’re the same thing.

What are the different types of cooking apron?

A chef or bib apron is the most popular type of apron. They’re fastened around the neck and waist, and typically have pockets and loops to hold tools. 

Waist aprons are less common. They have pockets for tools and utensils, but only cover the waist and below. 

Should you wear an apron while cooking?

Whether you need an apron depends on the ingredients and how you’re cooking them. 

For things like tomato sauce, oil, and red wine, an apron is recommended as these stain easily. If you’re pairing boiled vegetables with last night’s pork chops, the protection isn’t needed. 

Grilling is a perfect example of when you should use an apron. Sizzling meats and charred surfaces can leave unwanted blemishes on your clothes. Wearing one will keep things tidy while also providing a pocket for tongs or spatulas.