Whether you’re looking for a chic addition to your hospital bag or something warm and snuggly to wear around the house, our round-up of the best maternity robes has got you covered.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all robes were created equal, but many women find that their usual dressing gown becomes less comfortable as their body changes during pregnancy. So for that reason, a specialist maternity robe is as smart of an investment as a well-fitting maternity bra or a pair of stretchy maternity pjs.
“The main difference between standard and maternity is that our dressing gowns & robes are specifically cut for pregnancy,” explains Chelsey Olivier, Creative and Brand Director at Seraphine. “They’re more generous at the front to keep the bump covered without gaping open. The ties are also designed to sit at the empire waist, which is much more comfortable (and flattering!) for pregnant & new mums.”
“You never quite know what you’ll get with labour, so it pays to be prepared,” continues Chelsey Oliver. “I recommend a super-soft, lightweight dressing gown for the hospital bag, not so much for keeping warm (hospital wards tend to be quite warm anyway) but more as a cover up. There might be a lot of waiting around or some pacing of the corridors. Either way, I’ve always found it’s nice to have the option of feeling a bit more covered.”
The open shape of a maternity robe lends itself well to breastfeeding as well, so it’ll come in handy long after the birth.
How to choose the best maternity robe
Fit: A growing bump means tying your maternity robe at the waist is likely to no longer be a viable option, so it’s important to choose a style with a higher waistband. Fastening above your bump should be comfortable enough, but if you’re finding that a bit much, simply wear your gown loose over your favourite pyjamas. When it comes to sizing, sticking to your regular one is a safe bet, as maternity wear has been carefully cut to accommodate your changing figure. If you’re shopping outside of the maternity department, go just one size bigger than normal – especially if it’s a floaty design. Go too large and it’ll be redundant as soon as your little one arrives.
Shape: As a general rule, maternity robes tend to be shorter in length than dressing gowns, finishing on or just below the knee. Sleeve lengths can vary, from long to mid-length. We’d recommend shorter sleeves (or rolling longer ones up) once the baby is here to prevent them from getting in the way when changing or feeding. The wrap design of a robe gives you the choice of two ways to wear: crossed over and secured with the bow for extra warmth and modesty, or open layered over underwear or pyjamas for a more relaxed feel on hot days.
Fabric: Fabric plays a big part when it comes to finding a maternity robe, and the softer the better. Also bear in mind that your temperature naturally rises during pregnancy, so it’ll need to be lightweight too. For that reason we’d recommend steering towards natural fabrics like cotton blended with a dash of spandex or elastane to provide stretch.
The best maternity robes 2021
To bring you a reliable round-up of the best maternity robes 2021, we enlisted the help of four testers, all at different stages of their pregnancies. We asked them to wear their robes around the house and when lounging on the sofa. They popped them on a spin cycle too, to see how the fabrics held up (a factor that will become increasingly important once the baby arrives!). Their reviews are a reflection of the fit and quality of each robe, helping you to decide which is the right one for you.
1. Seraphine Maternity Dressing Gown Kimono
RRP: £42 | Sizes: XS-XL | Material: 100% viscose
A lightweight robe that’s great for throwing on in a hurry. The kimono shape is super flattering, with wide sleeves and a narrow belt that can be fastened above your bump during pregnancy, and on your waist postpartum. It has pockets too, earning extra brownie points for practicality. “This robe is super soft and covers well, even with a bigger bump,” says Nuala White, who is 28 weeks pregnant. The pattern is not only pretty, but will hide a multitude of potential spills and stains once the baby arrives too. Win-win.
2. Lily & Ribbon Grey Maternity & Nursing Dressing Gown
RRP: £39 | Sizes: S/M-L/XL | Material: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
If you’re not familiar with the Lily & Ribbon brand, allow us to fill you in. It was launched by mum of two Tanya, after feeling frumpy in the maternity wear on offer, and this robe is a great example of a basic piece done well. The knee-skimming length is both practical and conservative, while the full-length sleeves keep you warm. It’s loose fitting without being baggy, skimming your frame instead of clinging to it. “It’s super soft and washed really nicely,” says Nuala. The subtle lace trim to the neckline, cuffs and pockets adds a feminine touch.
3. JoJo Maman Bébé Navy Stripe Maternity & Nursing Robe
RRP: £29 | Sizes: S-L | Material: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
The best thing about a maternity robe is that it will grow with you, as the wrap-around shape slowly shifts to accommodate your changing shape. They make for easy access for nursing too. This one is a real bargain, made from soft, quality fabric in a timeless stripe print. The contrasting waist belt is not only flattering, but held in place by loops to ensure it won’t become a trip hazard. “This robe is incredibly soft and comfy,” says Jen Owen, who is 36 weeks pregnant. “I loved everything about it, but would have liked the addition of pockets.”
4. Gap Maternity Lace Trim Robe
RRP: £44.95 | Sizes: XS-XL | Material: 89% modal, 11% spandex
Bring a touch of elegance to your pregnancy loungewear with this luxe black maternity robe. The key features are three-quarter length sleeves, a mid-thigh length and pockets at the hips. “I absolutely loved this robe,” says Emma Jones, who is 35 weeks pregnant. “The material was really soft and comfortable and it fits so well. I also love that the sleeves are not too long, as it means nappy changing will be easy once the baby arrives. Black is always a winner in my books too as it’s really slimming.”
5. Cake Maternity Gateau Robe
RRP: £69 | Sizes: S-XL | Material: 45% viscose, 25% polyester, 20% nylon, 5% wool, 5% acrylic
The fuzziest of our edit, this robe is a little bit cosier than the rest, thanks to the chunky knit and a dash of wool. It’s so substantial that it could easily pass as a cardigan too, helping you to make the most of your new purchase. It’s relatively short, finishing around mid-thigh, and can be fastened using the silky satin tie. “I thought this robe was perfect and fitted around my bump nicely,” says Sarah Ellis, who is 40 weeks pregnant. “The fabric was a little too warm for me during the summer and as my pregnancy progressed, but think it would be perfect for the winter.”
6. Seraphine Pink Maternity & Nursing Nightwear Set
RRP: £69 | Sizes: XS-XL | Material: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
This robe comes as part of a matching set, with a strappy nightie in tow. The night dress has a front flap for easy nursing access, and when worn with the dressing gown, makes for a great outfit when people are visiting both pre and post birth. “It’s nice to have a matching set,” says Nuala. “Both are supersoft and lovely to wear. They really helped me to keep cool on warmer days. It’s great size wise, and I feel like I’ll be wearing my set to the very end of my pregnancy and beyond.”