What To Wear to a Spa: A Calming Guide

Everybody likes a relaxing, luxurious spa day. But if you’ve never been to a spa before, it can seem like a bit of a tricky place to navigate. If the most exposure you’ve had to a spa is through movies, you might be wondering what the common protocol is––particularly when it comes to how you’re supposed to dress. But don’t worry; we’re here to tell you all you need to know about your spa trip.

While most spas operate on the general principle of rest and relaxation, it’s important to keep in mind that different places are likely to have slightly different guidelines. If you’re really unsure of what to expect, it’s a good idea to check ahead of time. Read the fine print while making your appointment, or call the reception desk anytime for a head’s up.

Without further ado, here’s our guide on what to wear when you go to the spa.

What Are the Benefits of Going to a Spa?

Spas offer a variety of different treatments. Some are focused on alleviating chronic pain, while others can have positive aesthetic results like healthier, more nourished skin. Even if you don’t have any particular ailment you want to be addressed, everyone can gain something from a soothing spa day. Popular treatments, like massage, have been shown to reduce stress and relieve tension.

The first written evidence of spas dates back thousands of years and has origins from different points of the globe. From curative Roman baths to hot springs in Japan, the restorative power of a spa experience is well appreciated around the world.

Do I Take My Own Robe to a Spa? 

While it is best to check with the particular spa you’re going to ahead of time, the general answer to this is no, you don’t have to bring your own robe. Most spas will provide a robe for you and don’t expect you to have your own handy. Many also have varying sizes. If you feel more comfortable bringing a robe from home, most spas will allow you to do so.

Do I Have To Get Undressed at a Spa? 

This is a common question and one that can cause a lot of people a bit of anxiety. Most spas will advise that their customers dress down to a level they are comfortable with. This can mean wearing underwear, swim shorts, or nothing at all. Certain treatments, like seaweed wraps, might require you to be in the nude. You will be given privacy to change and cover-up in between treatments.

What Do I Do if I’m Not Comfortable Being in the Nude? 

It’s important to remember that the idea of a spa is to give you a soothing, tranquil experience; so, if the idea of disrobing completely stresses you out, make it known to the specialist working at the spa. If you’re on the fence, however, rest assured––it’s their job to see people in the nude every day, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You will also likely be draped with a towel for modesty the whole time.

What Do I Wear to a Spa? 

While there is not usually a set of rules dictating what you can and can’t wear at a spa, there are some things to keep in mind if you want to make the most out of your experience. Loose, comfortable clothing with breathable material, like cotton, is usually your best bet. Not only can this be easily removed for different treatments, but it’s also the best clothing to step back into once your experience is over. Comfort is key, so wear what makes you feel most at ease.

What Shouldn’t I Bring to the Spa?

We all lead busy lives, so many of us like to carry a ton of stuff with us in our day-to-day. However, when you’re going to the spa, you might want to consider keeping it light. Keep your essentials in a handbag that you can store in a locker once you get there; you don’t want your relaxing session to be interrupted by your phone ringing. Uncomfortable clothing or excess accessories––such as high heels and jewelry––are best left behind.

What Should I Wear in Between Spa Treatments? 

While most spas will supply you with a robe to wear, you might have a little extra time to spare in between treatments. Perhaps the spa offers lunch or other facilities to spend time in. In this case, a comfortable shirt and shorts, along with a pair of handy flip-flops, are a safe bet. You can also go with a beach-style cover-up or tunic to throw on, 

What Should I Bring to a Spa? 

Most spas won’t require you to bring anything for basic treatments, but this may differ depending on the type of spa. Some places will offer gyms, swimming pools, and a host of other facilities. Especially if you’re at a spa retreat, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for these activities. Bring a small bag of gym clothes, sneakers, a swimsuit, and an extra towel just in case.

How Else Should I Prepare for Going to the Spa? 

There’s no need to break your head over a pre-spa routine––some people head to the spa whenever they feel like it. For the best time, however, consider eating a light meal before so you don’t go through the experience with a heavy stomach. 

Showering before a spa day is a good way to prep your skin for treatment, and also avoids having to rinse off all the beneficial oils and products you receive immediately after. Avoid wearing makeup, as this will likely come off anyway if you get a facial.

What Else Do I Need To Know Before Going to the Spa? 

If you’re curious about what else you should keep in mind before your spa experience, take a look at these tips.


  • Bring a hair tie. If you have long hair, something to pull it back will likely come in handy for facials, massages, and other treatments.
  • Bring a book. While this isn’t wholly necessary, you’ll never regret having extra reading material when you have some time to spare.
  • Show up 15-20 minutes early. Often spas will ask you to fill out a questionnaire before your session begins. Getting there early also allows you some time to just breathe and take in the scenery without having to rush.
  • Bring a change of clothes. This depends on what kind of spa experience you’re getting, but if it’s a long trip or involves multiple activities, it’s good to have something to change into. This also includes an extra swimsuit; a good rule is to have one one-piece, and one two-piece.
  • Shower or rinse beforehand. As mentioned before, it’s a good idea to show up as fresh as possible. Clean skin and an unscented body are the perfect blank canvas for your spa experience. It is also a courtesy to those who work there.
  • Schedule your appointments wisely. If you’re planning on working out, hitting the sauna, and getting a massage, for example, consider doing those activities in that order. Sweating at the gym after getting a cleansing facial wouldn’t make much sense.


  • Wear perfume or other overpowering fragrances. You can run the risk of these scents clashing with the scents at the spa.
  • Be late. You don’t want to end up cutting your time short or inconveniencing the staff and other guests. 
  • Worry too much. At the end of the day, you came to the spa for healthy stress relief. Remember to enjoy your stay as much as you can!

The Takeaway 

Going to the spa is exciting and relaxing. You will usually find that most of your accommodations will be met once you arrive. If you’re uncomfortable or unsure about something, let the person working at the spa know. After all, your treatment should be tailored to your personal comfort. Feel free to ask questions. That being said, remember to bring the essential items, relax, and have fun!



Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits | Mayo Clinic 

What To Expect On A Spa Day? A Guide For Beginners | Into the Blue

The History of Spas | Blog | Champneys Health Spa Resorts & Hotels