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How Do I Choose the Right Apron for Me?

Style … Protection … Weight … Size


Stylish choices + certified safety: Pulse protective garments are incredibly comfortable — with lightweight and non-leaded options and plenty of styles and designs to choose from.


Do you need protection only in the front (common in the OR, ER and Radiology), or do you need protection in the front and back (Cath Lab, IR, EP)? Some front aprons come with elastic in the back for additional support, but they all weigh the same depending on size and amount of protection. (See apron styles for further descriptions.)

There are variations of the two-piece apron, with some styles being slightly lighter (in descending weight order, heaviest to lightest – maybe one pound):

  • Standard two-piece vest with close in the front
  • Overlap vest with close all the way from one side to the other
  • Slot Stretchy Back vest with solid front and elastic in the back


The standard of protection for years has been to have a barrier between the operator and the source of fluoro that provides equivalent protection to a piece of pure lead .5mm thick if the kVP is at 100. The back in a full-protection apron needs half that (.25mm Pb. equiv.) amount of protection. Some feel that their badge readings are fine and that they can operate with less protection (.35 mm Pb equiv.). This will result in a lighter, less expensive apron with less protection, which may be adequate for your situation. (Click here for more information on understanding lead and lead equivalency.)

See the Transmission % for Scatter chart for the protection variance for different lead equivalencies. Determine the percentage of transmission that is acceptable to you in your work environment. This will determine the lead equivalency and the approximate weight of the apron.


The weight of an apron is the focus by many in what apron to purchase. But keep in mind there is no miracle protection that reduces the weight of an apron. A non-leaded apron under direct beam provides the same protection that a leaded one does at kVPs ranging between 75 and 120. The only way this apron can be made lighter is to reduce the protection, choose a different style or make it smaller.

See the Weights of Frontal Aprons and Weights of Two-Piece Aprons charts to get an idea of the approximate apron weight depending on the style and amount of protection.


Properly worn, a lead apron can protect up to 80% of the active blood-forming organs in the body. But it all starts with a proper fit — one that optimizes protection while maximizing comfort and mobility. When purchasing a Lead Apron from Pulse, you have three options:

  1. Use our sizing guide (click here) to see the measurements for our standard aprons, then order one online in our Lead Apron Shop.
  2. Call a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-342-5973 x1382 or 706-632-1370 x1382 to order a custom-tailored lead apron at no additional charge. Download our measuring form here.
  3. Request an in-person fitting from one of our knowledgeable in-the-field Sales Representatives. Call Pulse or complete the form below to see if we have a Sales Rep in your area who can measure you.

Custom Apron Fitting Contact Form

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