Dressing gowns have always been a key part of loungewear, but they’ve gained a new position in our wardrobes this year – that is, front and centre.
Who among us can say they have not spent the day working from home solidly ensconced in a cosy, comfortable dressing gown? Let them cast the first stone! But maybe don’t, because that’s just not very nice.
Choosing the right dressing gown or robe depends on your needs. If it’s warmth and cosiness you’re seeking, then a luxuriously fluffy robe will be your best friend as the temperature dips.
If you’re looking for something to wrap around you straight out of the shower, you can’t go wrong with a bathrobe that offers absorbency and softness for your skin.
Cotton dressing gowns are great for lounging and adding an extra, non-bulky layer on top of what you’re wearing, and can also come in a myriad of fabulous prints you’d be happy to answer the door in.
Silk and satin robes feel luxurious but may not keep you warm enough – but of course, this is down to personal preference.
Comfiness was the most important factor in our search for the perfect dressing gown, followed by practicality and style. We tested and chose robes based on material and fit, how they felt against bare skin and how cosy they kept us throughout the day.
So, whether you’re searching for something to add a bit of colour and luxury to your days at home, or something to keep the chill out, we’ve done the hard work for you.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
M&S fleece short dressing gown
This was the most cosy and comfortable dressing gown our testers tried and loved, not least because it makes you feel like a big teddy – which is exactly what we need this winter. It’s fabulously soft and warm and feels great worn on bare skin or over a T-shirt or light jumper.
The hood gives it added cosiness, particularly if you like being a bit of a hermit crab at home. It is a short robe and ends above the knee, perfect for cosying up on the sofa. It’s also a bargain at £28. Sizes go up to XL (UK 26), but our testers found it runs quite large so if you’d like a true-to-size fit, order a size down.
Buy now £28.00, M&S
The White Company hooded velour robe
This robe has dual textures – pure cotton velour on the outside and absorbent towelling on the inside, making it a really lovely straight-out-the-bath robe to wear. The hood is especially great for helping wet hair dry without water dripping down your back. Our testers also love the look and structure of this robe, as it’s slightly slimmer fit makes for a flattering silhouette. It is primarily a towelling robe, but it’s also warm and cosy enough to wear all day if the desire so strikes you.
Buy now £70.00, The White Company
John Lewis & Partners spa waffle robe
One of the best things about staying in a nice hotel is stepping out of a shower and straight into the hotel bathrobe – but who said you can’t get that feeling at home? Get that hotel feeling with this soft and comfortable waffle robe, which keeps you in that post-shower warmth for longer while you go about your usual routine. It slips on easily over damp skin, and is just absorbent enough to dry you off without getting sodden. It ends just below the knee and features a shawl collar and two roomy pockets in the front. Simple and luxurious.
Buy now £59.00, John Lewis & Partners
Desmond & Dempsey soleia print cream robe
The amazing, vibrant print on this dressing gown is bound to put a smile on your face. It’s so tropical, but with a softness, making it just vibrant enough to brighten up a grey, wet day. It is very luxurious, made with 100 per cent cotton that is very soft to touch but this knee-length robe still has structure and style. It is admittedly very pricey, but it’s so beautiful it might just be worth it, our testers would be glad to answer the door dressed in this. Sizes go up to L (UK 14) and the robe is true to size.
Buy now £188.00, Desmond & Dempsey
Fable & Eve Kensington midnight navy long dressing gown
A very classy-looking number that feels silky against the skin, this robe lends an air of elegance. Our testers love the white trim against the dark navy colour, and the sheen of the fabric looks sophisticated. It is made from a mix of cotton and modal, but feels and looks more like satin. For our shorter tester, who stands at just 5’3”, this robe ends at the ankles, which may be a touch too long for some people. However, we love how great it is for swishing around the house and pretending you’re regal. Sizes go up to UK 18 and is true to size.
Buy now £80.00, Fable & Eve
Yawn bums and roses organic cotton robe
Made from soft organic cotton, this dressing gown is lightweight but feels cosy on the skin. The pretty painted pattern, which is designed in London, gives it a holiday feel and it has a relaxed silhouette with nice large pockets. The waist tie is attached to the back of the robe which our testers think is a nice touch, as it means you don’t have to faff around with adjusting it or worry about losing it to the washing machine or dryer. Sizes go up to XL (UK 18) and are true to size.
Buy now £89.00, Yawn
Toast sera print kimono gown
Our testers love the autumnal colours of this traditional kimono-style robe, which transports you somewhere new, even if just momentarily. The wide, swishy sleeves feel very elegant and finish at the wrist bone – this means they stay well out of the way when you have to busy your hands with washing dishes or cooking. The structure of the robe, which cinches at the waist with a wide belt without digging, is lovely and the softness of the cotton feels good against the skin.
Buy now £135.00, Toast
JIMJAM The Label personalised super soft robe
This super soft robe really is just that, and is a lovely customisable option that would make a great gift for someone this Christmas. It’s cosy and the collar is big, giving your shoulders and neck an added layer of warmth. The only thing our testers must warn is that the pink colour shown on the website it not the true colour of the robe – we were very surprised to open up the packaging and find a shock of pink. Closer to highlighter pink, so we’d recommend this robe for the pink-lover in your life.
Buy now £27.00, JIMJAM The Label
The verdict: Women’s dressing gowns
The Marks & Spencer short fleece dressing gown is a winner for sheer comfort and warmth, but the Desmond & Dempsey soleia print robe is a a beautiful, luxurious treat. We also highly recommend The White Company hooded velour robe for a great towelling robe that can be worn any time of the day.