Whether you’re a professional automotive technician, a maintenance mechanic in a factory, or just a DIYer who likes to stay safe and protected in your workshop, you know how dirty your work can get. Instead of ruining every sweatshirt and pair of jeans you own, protect your clothes with the best coveralls.
Coveralls are the perfect protective gear for your clothes because they create a neck-to-ankle barrier. Donning a set of the best coveralls doesn’t just keep your threads clean—it can keep you safe. Many coveralls will also keep you warm or protect against job site hazards.
- BEST OVERALL FOR MEN: Dickies Men’s Twill Deluxe Long Sleeve Coverall
- BEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN: Dickies Womens Long Sleeve Cotton Twill Coverall
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amazon Essentials Men’s Short-Sleeve Coverall
- BEST DISPOSABLE: Tyvek Disposable Suit by Dupont with Hood
- BEST INSULATED: RefrigiWear Iron-Tuff Insulated Coveralls
- BEST HIGH-VISIBILITY: Red Kap Men’s Enhanced Visibility Twill Coverall
- BEST FIRE RESISTANT, MEN: Bulwark Men’s Flame Resistant Twill Deluxe Coverall
- BEST FIRE RESISTANT, WOMEN: Carhartt Flame Resistant Womens Rugged Flex Coverall
Types of Coveralls
Coveralls are essential workwear for professionals around the globe, from gas station mechanics to engineers who design and build the latest aerospace technology. It’s important to understand, however, that not all coveralls are the same. This section will explain the different types of coveralls so you’re able to determine which are the best coveralls for your needs.
For those who have jobs that tend to be dirty and greasy, a pair of basic protective coveralls are just the ticket to going home clean every day. Basic protective coveralls are made of durable materials like twill, nylon, polyester, and cotton. These materials resist rips and tears while protecting the wearer’s clothes against liquids, oils, and grease. These basic coveralls often have elastic waistbands that hug the hips so the coveralls don’t get caught on equipment. They also usually have zippers on the legs to allow them to slide easily over work boots.
When temperatures drop, look for basic coveralls with thick insulation that will trap body heat and keep the wind out. Some insulated coveralls are suitable in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some jobs are so dirty and unpleasant that it’s better to throw out a pair of coveralls after the project is done rather than bring them home to wash. For those kinds of projects, disposable coveralls are the way to go. They’re made with synthetic materials with pores so small that mold spores, asbestos fibers, chemicals, liquids, and other harmful substances can’t penetrate them.
Disposable coveralls also help keep contaminants that are on your skin or clothing from getting out. Server rooms, clean rooms, laboratories, and other settings can be incredibly sensitive environments, so trapping lint, body hair, and skin cells in a disposable coverall is essential.
Flame Resistant and Arc Rated
Tradespeople who find themselves in relatively dangerous positions might prefer a set of flame-resistant (FR) or arc-rated (AR) coveralls. Both of these types of coveralls protect the wearer’s skin from burns, but they aren’t quite the same. Manufacturers weave specialty, trademarked materials such as Nomex into the clothing to provide these protections.
Flame-resistant coveralls protect the wearer from flames, meaning they’re resistant to catching fire. While they don’t protect against dangerously hot environments, they will shield the wearer from sparks that arise during welding or grinding.
Arc-rated coveralls are another animal. They protect against the flashes caused by electrical arcs in industrial or heavy electrical settings. Arc-rated materials are also flame resistant, but flame-resistant materials aren’t necessarily arc rated.
Some work settings require being on the alert for safety’s sake. Whether it’s a construction site with lots of heavy equipment, a tow truck that’s pulled over on the side of the highway, or a search-and-rescue mission for a local volunteer group, high-visibility clothing helps the wearer stand out against their surroundings.
Many of the best high-visibility coveralls come in bright, safety-first colors like yellow, green, and orange. They also feature reflective strips that make the wearer even more visible in headlights or flashlights. These materials can alert equipment operators, motorists, and teammates to each other’s presence, which helps keep everyone on the job that much safer.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Coveralls
Before you start shopping for the best coveralls, remember that not everyone’s needs or work situations are the same. Here are a few things to think about when choosing the best coveralls for your needs and the type of work you do.
Size and Fit
One of the most important things to do when choosing the best coveralls is find a pair that fit properly. A set of tight-fitting coveralls can be restrictive, making it difficult to handle the task at hand. The reverse problem is also problematic; coveralls that are too loose can catch on machinery or cause falls, leading to injury in a split second. It can also be challenging to strap a tool belt around loose-fitting coveralls.
One-size-fits-all coveralls are not a good idea. The best way to avoid poor-fitting coveralls is to find a brand that makes their coveralls in several sizes. Many come in sizes ranging from extra small to XXL, so most workers are bound to find a good fit. Some coveralls come in different lengths for particularly tall or short people.
When it comes to finding overalls that offer the best fit, gender-specific sizing also helps. Women may find that women’s sizes fit them better and do a better job of protecting their clothes without baggy, dangerous, excess material. These coveralls have the same materials and protection as men’s coveralls but are cut with a woman’s body type in mind and have leg openings that are tailored to accommodate women’s work boots.
Level of Protection
Certain coveralls (specifically disposable coveralls) are rated according to the types of protection they offer. Choosing the right type for your needs can mean the difference between simply covering your clothes and actually staying safe.
- Type 1 – Gas tight
- Type 2 – Non-gas tight
- Type 3 – Liquid tight
- Type 4 – Spray tight
- Type 5 – Airborne particles
- Type 6 – Liquid chemical splashes
Some coveralls offer protection for more than one category. For example, if a set of coveralls protects against both chemical splashes and airborne particles, a manufacturer will label it as Type 5/6. Note that some types, such as Type 2, require additional apparatus such as air filters and pumps to be effective.
Not all disposable suits have a type. If a suit doesn’t have a type, the manufacturer will often describe the size of the particle that the suit will protect against. For example, a suit might protect against particles as small as 1 micron. In other cases, the manufacturer might include a chart or graph explaining the circumstances for which the suit is appropriate.
One disadvantage of wearing coveralls is that the wearer can’t access the pockets in the clothes underneath the coveralls. For that reason, it’s worth looking into coveralls that have ample storage pockets.
It’s important to be able to access personal items such as a wallet, safety glasses, phone, or keys while protecting and securing them from the job’s hazards, and with many of the best coveralls this is possible. Some of the best coveralls have front and rear pockets on the legs as well as zippered pockets on the chest. There are even coveralls with built-in hammer loops and utility pockets on the legs. Most of those who wear coveralls are eager to get out of them at the end of the day; just remember to collect your personal things from the pockets before washing them.
Ease of Cleaning
Coveralls’ main purpose is to be a buffer between dirt and grime and the pristine clothes you’re wearing underneath. It’s OK for these work clothes to get absolutely filthy—that’s to be expected. While ease of cleaning isn’t an issue for disposable coveralls, being able to wash a pair of traditional coveralls is essential.
One of the best features to look for as you shop for the best coveralls is whether they’re machine washable. Coveralls made of fabrics like polyester, nylon, twill, and cotton are easy to wash. They rarely require special treatments or detergents. Simply launder the load on the heavy-duty setting, add soap, and you’re good to go.
Our Top Picks
With this bit of background on the best coveralls, you’re ready to check out some of the top products. The following are some of the best coveralls you can buy for your work-related needs. Some might work better for your needs than others, so be sure to compare coveralls’ features carefully before you purchase a pair.
These long-sleeved twill coveralls from Dickies are a staple in the workforce, protecting clothes across several industries. These basic, traditional coveralls are made of a 65/35 polyester-and-cotton blend, making them durable, lightweight, and machine washable. They have a relaxed, roomy fit that’s comfortable without being baggy or causing on-the-job hazards. They come in several colors and sizes, including both tall and short lengths, for an optimal fit.
The design of these men’s coveralls is all about efficiency: two zippered front chest pockets conveniently secure a wallet or phone. Other handy features that set Dickies’ design apart from its competition include front and rear pants pockets, an elastic waistband, front closure snaps, and a built-in hammer loop for tool storage.
Just because a manufacturer designs a set of coveralls with women in mind doesn’t mean the togs aren’t tough and rugged. Women who want to keep clean while getting their hands dirty may want to check out these long-sleeved twill coveralls from Dickies. These basic coveralls are made of a 100 percent cotton blend that’s tough, soft, and machine washable, and they have an elastic cinched-back waistband that makes them comfortable and safe to wear. They’re available in sizes extra small to extra large, so finding a good fit shouldn’t be an issue.
There are plenty of other hardworking features that make these Dickies coveralls worth considering. They have a snap-front closure to make gearing up quick and easy, even with gloved hands. And they have front chest pockets, along with front and rear pants pockets, allowing wearers to stow a phone, small wallet, or tools.
It doesn’t always make sense to spend a lot of money on a work uniform that’s meant to get greasy and dirty. Amazon Essentials’ men’s coveralls are a no-frills, budget-friendly option that hold their own against competitors’ more expensive products. These coveralls’ fabric is a 65/35 polyester-and-cotton blend that comes in several colors as well as a variety of sizes and inseam lengths.
These coveralls are stain- and wrinkle-resistant and have chest pockets on either side of the snap-closure front opening. They also have front and rear pants pockets for storing a phone or cash. Like coveralls from other leading manufacturers, these also have an elastic waistband to provide a comfortable fit without a dangerously billowed silhouette.
Gearing up for particularly nasty jobs requires a disposable suit that’ll keep its wearer safe and clean, and the Tyvek disposable suit by Dupont fits the bill. It has a built-in hood and elastic at the wrists and ankles to help keep chemicals and airborne particles out. The coveralls’ reinforced seams and front zipper closure further seal out contaminants.
These disposable coveralls have a large zipper that makes it easy to put them on and take them off, which is especially important when the suit is soiled with particles or chemicals. Because it’s made of abrasion-resistant materials, the suit shouldn’t tear while you’re working. It’s available in five sizes, so finding a comfortable fit shouldn’t be an issue.
RefrigiWear’s Iron-Tuff insulated coveralls provide plenty of warmth and protection for those who work outdoors in frigid temperatures. These unisex, head-to-ankle insulated coveralls are so well insulated that they protect against temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit. They have brass rivets and are made from a water-repellent, abrasion-resistant nylon fabric that you can wash in warm water with a mild detergent.
These coveralls feature a zipper- and snap-front closure to keep out the cold, a fleece-lined hood, and zippers and snaps on the legs to make it easy to dress and undress. For added storage and comfort, there’s also a front chest pocket and two front handwarmer pockets.
These coveralls from Red Kap will protect your clothes but, more important, their reflective trim will make sure you’re visible in low-light or high-traffic job sites. These traditional coveralls have a zip front and a snap closure, keeping the garments underneath clean while preventing the zipper from scratching cars or machinery. Side vents at the waist allow you to access pockets or tools under the coveralls. These coveralls don’t require a lot of maintenance either: The 65/35 polyester-and-cotton blend is wrinkle resistant and machine washable.
What makes these Red Kap coveralls worth purchasing is the high-visibility striping sewn into the fabric across the chest, arms, back, and legs, offering plenty of reflective surfaces when it matters. They also offer plenty of places to tuck tools and belongings on your person, with pockets on the chest, front and back pockets on the pants, and even a pocket on the leg for tools or a flashlight.
For trades that require flame-resistant clothing, Bulwark’s deluxe twill coveralls offer that protection and much more. These 100 percent cotton coveralls are also arc rated and provide ample protection for most industrial settings. They can be cleaned in either home washing machines or by industrial laundry services, which makes their upkeep as easy as pie.
Bulwark’s coveralls have convenient side vents to release body heat and keep the wearer from overheating. This suit also has lots of pockets, including some on the chest, the front and back of the hip, the left sleeve, and a narrow one on the right leg.
More often than not, flame-resistant material is stiff and uncomfortable, but not so with the women’s flame-resistant coveralls from Carhartt. These flame-resistant coveralls are made of a blend of 87 percent cotton, 7 percent nylon, 5 percent polyester, and 1 percent Spandex, resulting in a lighter-weight twill fabric that has a bit of flex and stretch so you can move around easily.
These coveralls have plenty of cool detailing, including a zipper-and-button closure, zippered leg openings, and a stand-up collar for extra protection. There’s also plenty of storage, with pockets on the chest, rear, right leg, upper left arm as well as pass-through pockets that allow the wearer to reach inside the coveralls. These coveralls are machine washable.
FAQs About Coveralls
If you still have questions about the best coveralls, it might be because it’s hard to “cover all” the information at once. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best coveralls, so read on to see if your query is addressed below.
Q. Is there a difference between overalls and coveralls?
Coveralls protect from wrist-to-wrist and neck-to-ankle. Overalls only protect the wearer’s legs and torso.
Q. What do you wear under coveralls at work?
Depending on the conditions where you work, you can wear your regular street clothes underneath coveralls. If it gets too hot inside your coveralls, switch to moisture-wicking fabrics in order to stay comfortable.
Q. Should overalls be tight or loose?
They should be loose enough to allow a good range of motion but tight enough that they aren’t a hazard around machinery.
Q. How do I know what size coveralls I wear?
Most manufacturers offer size charts for their products. You might need a flexible tape measure to take your measurements, but you should be able to get a good fit by following the chart.