12 best dressing gowns for women - soft and cosy nightwear you'll want to live in

Our pick of the best dressing gowns for women have cosiness, comfort and style in equal measure

three of the best dressing gowns for women
(Image credit: Joules, Bamford, Boux Avenue)

Slipping into one of the best dressing gowns for women is exactly what you need after a nice hot bath, or when the morning chill bites as soon as you step out of bed. In fact, in our opinion nothing quite beats that feeling of instant snugness. 

When it comes to selecting the best ladies dressing gowns, fit, fabric, and warmth should all be considered as a priority. Whether you want to pretend you’re swanning around a fancy spa in a waffle robe or want to fully cocoon yourself in a fluffy blanket-style gown, the best designs have lounging potential that has no bounds. A lazy day wardrobe essential, you can throw one on over your best pyjamas, or a leggings and t-shirt loungewear combo, just add in slippers and you've got the ideal ensemble for a Netflix binge on the sofa. 

Before shopping for a dressing gown, consider your own microclimate to avoid costly mistakes. While we automatically think of dressing gowns as being big fluffy affairs, if your home is particularly warm, or you usually wear the best pyjamas for night sweats, you might want something lighter, crafted from silk or cotton. If you're looking for ways to add warmth for when you're at home, fluffier designs, with looped fabrications that trap heat, or that are blended with cashmere or wool will help you to stay snuggly. Silk and satin dressing gowns can feel particularly opulent if you’re looking for something high-end with a touch of nostalgic, Hollywood glam; and a luxurious bathrobe makes a crowd-pleasing gift too, so certainly one to consider if you’re after the best gifts for her.

The best dressing gowns for women chosen by our fashion team

Which is the warmest dressing gown?

The warmest dressing gown is made from fleece fabric, as this fabric traps the air, and is heavier than cotton or waffle iterations. Fleece fabrics tend to be synthetic and aren't quite as breathable, so if you would prefer a more breathable design that still keeps you warm, look for designs with wool or cashmere, although these may require dry cleaning. 

But remember to always consider personal circumstances and micro climate. Fashion writer, Jayne Cherrington Cooke explains: "For me, a dressing gown needs to be made of natural material such as cotton or silk. Synthetic fabric is not great if you're peri-menopausal and no one wants a hot sweat in their dressing gown. Length-wise, I like it to be knee length so it keeps you decent, and while I love wide sleeves, they're not the most practical - so speaks someone who has experienced sleeves in their cornflakes one too many times. It's getting the perfect balance between practicality and style that's the hardest. Many dressing gowns are a bit mumsy so I tend to steer clear of florals and instead choose fun prints or block colours for a chic look".

How do I choose a dressing gown?

When selecting a dressing gown consider the fabric and fit as the upmost important factors. Consider the functionality you want from your dressing gown. Those looking for a post-bath style will naturally lean towards fluffing and absorbent terry towelling styles, while those who want supreme warmth should consider a fleece design or the new quilted styles that are becoming prevalent on the market. 

Want an extra layer that covers your pjs but doesn't necessarily provide the same warmth as say your best jumpers? Then a waffle fabric design is likely to be sufficient. If however your microclimate is pretty warm and you're after something a bit more slinky, silk and satin designs are light but feel a little more luxurious.

Light, short-dressing gowns in linen or lightweight cotton are great as poolside and beach cover-ups, or for packing for long weekends away. They keep pyjamas or swimwear hidden but still feel expensive and elegant. 

Essentially, while many of the best dressing gowns for women might appear similar, the finer nuances of weight and fabric are where you need to focus your energies to get a design that fits with your layering needs. 

You may also want to factor in ease of care, if you plan to wear your dressing gown fairly heavily, particularly in winter, make sure you are happy with the care instructions of the garment, as some, might be dry clean only. 

Are dressing gowns worth it?

If you're a homebody who likes to whip off your jeans and get into loungewear or pyjamas as soon as you walk through the door then a dressing gown is certainly a good investment. Perfect for lazing about it, sitting on the sofa or slipping on after a shower, a dressing gown adds an extra layer or warmth and a feeling of overall relaxation. The one major caveat to this is the temperature of your home. If you constantly have the temperature turned up high then you might find you don't need a dressing gown, or get too warm. Although a cosy dressing gown will mean you can drop that thermostat by a few degrees - making a cost saving in the long run. Think about your usage levels of your dressing gown and fabric to ensure you choose one that fits into your lifestyle.

What's the best dressing gown after a shower?

If you're primarily looking for one of the best dressing gowns for women to wear after a shower, then you'll want a design made from towelling material. This is because, and the name of the fabric is a bit of a giveaway, towelling fabric, just like the towel you would usually use to dry yourself post-shower is used to make these styles of dressing gown and offer excellent absorbency, so you can wrap up and let your robe do most of the hard work for you.

 Jayne Cherrington-Cook
Jayne Cherrington-Cooke

With over 22 years’ experience in journalism, Jayne’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing new season trends as she is writing about Pokémon! She spent the start of her writing career within the world of film, pinching herself while she got paid to interview Hollywood stars, attend premieres and lust after red carpet outfits. She then moved into fashion, launching websites for big magazines such as Look, Woman’s Own and Wedding and working with top fashion brands such as Westfield, LK Bennett and Hunter. 

Charlie Bell

Charlie is the Deputy Fashion Editor at Future plc across multiple women’s magazines including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own.

She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Stylist, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys.

With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.