The combination of qualitative analysis with label-free quantification has greatly facilitated the throughput and flexibility of novel proteomic techniques. However, such methods rely heavily on robust and reproducible sample preparation procedures. Here, we benchmark a selection of in gel, on filter, and in solution digestion workflows for their application in label-free proteomics. Each procedure was associated with differing advantages and disadvantages. The in gel methods interrogated were cost effective, but were limited in throughput and digest efficiency. Filter-aided sample preparations facilitated reasonable processing times and yielded a balanced representation of membrane proteins, but led to a high signal variation in quantification experiments. Two in solution digest protocols, however, gave optimal performance for label-free proteomics. A protocol based on the detergent RapiGest led to the highest number of detected proteins at second-best signal stability, while a protocol based on acetonitrile-digestion, RapidACN, scored best in throughput and signal stability but came second in protein identification. In addition, we compared label-free data dependent (DDA) and data independent (SWATH) acquisition on a TripleTOF 5600 instrument. While largely similar in protein detection, SWATH outperformed DDA in quantification, reducing signal variation and markedly increasing the number of precisely quantified peptides.