Never has an article titled The Best Wool Sweaters for Men are Dead been written. That’s because it has never happened and will never happen. That’s a bold claim. If the wool sweater has proved so popular throughout the years, then which is the best men’s wool sweater available right now? That’s the premise of this incredibly pro-wool article.
There are a number of reasons the wool sweater is one of the most steadfast pieces in the modern male’s autumn/winter wardrobe. Wool is a magical material sourced conventionally from sheep, though other mammals across the planet also produce wool. We’ll get to that. Scientists have tried and failed to synthetically reproduce the most ancient and natural of fibers. Dumb scientists.
Essentially, it’s a keratin-based fiber, and its list of natural attributes is about as long as mohair fiber. Biodegradable, highly insulating, absorbs water while also water resistant, anti-odorous, anti-bacterial, durable, and even flame retardant. Just think about the last time you saw a sheep in a field on fire. It doesn’t happen.
The men’s wool sweater is a perfect winter compadre not only for the practicality just pointed out but for the versatility and stylishness, it brings. Either as lightweight knitwear, a cardigan, a sleeveless sweater-vest, a thick knit, or some fluffy graphics, the men’s wool sweater is the ultimate winter choice (when done right).
We’re here to show you how to do it right. With these best men’s wool sweaters, you’re just one wool sweater away from peak winter style.
The best men’s wool sweater is constructed from high-quality or considered materials. Take the soft, insulating pure Scottish lambswool crew neck by Sunspel. Or the durable blend of alpaca, wool, polyamide, and cotton, as in the case of our Toast selection. You also want a piece that is both versatile and achingly stylish. We believe the Axel Arigato Team Sweater fulfills all these promises, making it the crowned best men’s wool sweater.
Our Top Picks
Material: 80% Lambswool, 20% Nylon | Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 3 | Care: Hand Wash Only
What is the best men’s wool sweater? For this article, I’d suggest it’s something that can do it all. Casual, smart, warm, lightweight, stylish, and versatile. The boiled wool material gives it a compact and quite unique feel you may not have experienced before. The boiling process tightens the fibers, adding a little heft and ensuring better wind-proofing than conventional wool.
Secondly, this sweater comes in three extremely versatile colors. A sharp blue, a creamy tone, and this grey melange. Each one will be endlessly applicable to casual, smart-casual and even touching into the formal range if worn with tailoring.
Lastly, the simple collegiate-branded style with a simple “A” at the chest brings a slight point of difference that blends conventional cotton sweater style with knitwear. So, in answer to the question: which is the best men’s wool sweater overall? This is it.
Material: 100% Extra-Fine Merino Wool | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: 4 | Care: Hand Wash Cold
I recently went away on a three-night trip to The Lake District, a notoriously cold part of England. I own a Paul Smith blue/brown chunky knit, which effectively makes me look like a large sheep. I thought this would be perfect for the trip. But, it was awful for packing. I barely had space for other clothes, let alone books, toiletries, chargers, a laptop, etc.
This ISTO sweater is made from extra-fine, lightweight merino wool. The fabric is extremely soft, has luster, and aids temperature regulation in both the heat (a sweaty Pendolino train) and the cold (the wind-whipping mountains in the Lakes). If I was a thoughtful traveler, this is the wool sweater I should have packed.
Material: 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 3 | Care: Machine Wash Inside Out At 40°C Wool Cycle Using Mild Detergent
The subtle pressed collar and metal half zip take this sweater away from being a functional warming device to being a Fresh Prince of Debonair.
Instead of a real shirt, opt for this merino wool sweater. It’s perfect for the office—adaptable to warm climates (office heating) but also cold climates (no office heating). It’s breathable. It comes in three formal color variations. Plus, it has anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties, meaning you won’t be that stinky guy next to the water cooler. (Do they have water coolers anymore?)
Material: 53% Wool, 47% Cotton | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 2 | Care: Hand Wash or Dry Clean
A “rib knit” is not a little parasite that gets stuck in your ribs. It’s a traditional knitting method that retains a classic and handsome aesthetic. Closed has opted for a cotton-wool blend in only black and white. The addition of cotton lends extra durability and lessens the stretch and malleability of the sweater over time. This ensures the sweater stays the way it was when you first bought it.
The two-tone color choices and linear style mean this sweater can achieve a wonderful smart-casual aesthetic with smart black trousers, a long overcoat, and black derby shoes.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 3 | Care: Hand Wash
Merino wool is a material with great attributes (natural, flame-retardant, breathable, insulating, and anti-bacterial). But in some circumstances, it can be a somewhat run-of-the-mill design. Thankfully, with just a little imagination and some slight deviations from the norm, merino wool can be made cool again.
Material: 100% Lambswool | Sizes: S-XXL | Colors: Cream | Care: Hand Wash Only
Cable knit sweaters have a long history of keeping people warm. Traditionally, the intricate patterns or stitches on a cable knit sweater had meaning specifically to the family (all the way back to Aran Islands in Ireland), now it’s just a sign of warmth and good taste.
If you’re looking for a classic look with a higher neck then look no further than Wills take on the classic Aran cable sweater. If you like the style but want something less all-encompassing, they also make the sweater in a crew and cardigan version. Either way, you’re going to look great and make it through any storm.
Material: Lambswool 77%, Polyamide 15%, Yak Wool 8% | Sizes: S-XXXL | Colors: 1 | Care: Hand Wash Cold
Can’t decide what sweater you want to wear? How about wearing a sweater constructed from every single other sweater in the world? With this Gant patchwork cable knit sweater, you can have every color, weave, pattern, and style all in one. How practical. But this isn’t purely about pragmatism.
Of course, it’s not about pragmatism. Just look at the thing; this is all about pure sweater-y stylishness. It has a nonchalant oversized fit and a decorous neckline guaranteed to make knitwear aficionados swoon and pass out. Style with beige or off-white cotton twill trousers, ecru jeans, and Timberland boat shoes for a powerful autumn or spring look.
Material: 100% Lambswool Outer, 100% Cotton Flannel Lining | Sizes: S-XXXL | Colors: 4 | Care: Hand Wash
There is nothing like the warm hug of a flannel-lined Bean sweater. If the best men’s wool sweater is all about comfort and soul-soothing warmth, this is flying high up there. The thick insulation comes from the outer knitted lambswool and tartan flannel inner lining. It’s rare for a sweater to come with extra insulation, but L.L. Bean isn’t taking any chances.
To be frank, it isn’t the coolest wool sweater you’re going to own or lay eyes upon, but it’s not bad by any stretch. It’ll bring a smile to your face and joy to your body. It’s important to note it’ll be bulky, so don’t try to attempt too many layers.
Material: 70% Wool, 30% Cashmere | Sizes: M-XL | Colors: 2 | Care: Dry Clean Only
You know when everyone’s like, “Lionel Messi is the GOAT,” or “ Serena Williams is the GOAT,” or “Michael Jordan is the GOAT?” People think it’s because it means Greatest Of All Time, but you know it actually refers to the cashmere goat, right? Cashmere is the most luxurious, most expensive, softest, and most insulating wool fabric. That, my friends, is why people say: the goat.
Okay, so maybe the theory needs some work, but this Rhude sweater needs no work whatsoever. Its easy draping style, super-soft fabric blend, and fashionable vintage graphics make it the GOAT… I mean, the goat.
Material: 43% Polyamide, 30% Mohair, 27% Wool | Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 2 | Care: Dry Clean
“Mohair, please,” is what I say when I see my hairline in the mirror and when I’m in COS purchasing my winter essentials. This sweater is the highway by which you shall take to elevate your winter outfits. Even though it’s furry and fuzzy, it has enough panache to bring formality to your smart-casual evening outfits. COS uses a blend of traceable wool and mohair, plus a recycled polyamide. Meaning you get wool’s properties and mohair’s blur and verve, but it comes at nylon’s price point.
Material: 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 3 | Care: Hand Wash Only
Here’s a little curveball for the “best men’s wool sweater” title race. This is knitwear but in the style and shape of a blazer.
I can vouch for the material excellence of the
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: 17 | Care: Gentle Wash at 30 Degrees C
This sweater has been delicately designed to bring about air-light softness. Plus, it’s infused with the love of Scotland. The lightweight lambswool yarn has been sheared from the lamb’s first coat when the wool is at its softest. Then made into yarn by one of the world’s oldest spinners in Fife, Scotland. Finally, it’s knitted and washed in the mineral-rich water of Scottish springs.
The material is a little sheer, so be wary of t-shirt logos worn underneath. I recommend wearing it without anything underneath. The fabric feels incredible on the skin, plus lambswool has anti-bacterial properties, so there’s no need to worry about odors. I wore this very sweater in Ecru with loose green pants, off-white socks, cream/green/purple Adidas, and a beige wale cord jacket. And it looked good… if I do say so myself.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sizes: XS-XXXL | Colors: 6 | Care: Machine Washable
This Merino men’s wool sweater drips with smart-casual panache. It has a chic polo neck finish, but what’s lovely about this sweater is its thin construction and sensual soft feel. I have worn my Charles Tyrwhitt polo sweater while perusing the streets of Porto. It was perfect for a climate that fluctuated from cool to warm at a moment’s notice.
Plus, it’s one of the few items on this list that is machine washable, making it practical. Being merino wool, it should last, but if it doesn’t? You’ve got a six-month quality guarantee, so no sweat (because it’s merino…right?).
Style with a puffer jacket, smart trousers, and a pair of chunky derbies.
Material: 61% Mohair, 16% Nylon, 13% Polyamide, 10% Wool | Sizes: M-XL | Colors: 1 | Care: Hand Wash
Sweaters don’t get much more in your face than this. They also don’t get much more glorious than this. Paul Smith created a sweater that’s a work of artistic design. And it has function thanks to the insulating properties of its mohair, nylon, polyamide, and wool blend. But screw practicality when there are red, orange, cream, and black electric zig-zags firing across it. It’s ludicrous.
Despite that, you can see how the fibers of the mohair give it a calming blur to the harsh geometry. Pair with black trousers, chunky black leather shoes, and a black jacket or coat if you’re going to need the thermal aid. Most of all, put this sweater on display and let the wacky design do the shouting.
Material: 35% Wool, 30% Alpaca Wool, 25% Cotton, 10% Polyamide | Sizes: S-XL | Colors: 1 | Care: Hand Wash Only
Toast is a wonderful British brand providing rustic workwear. They use some of the most durable, quality materials in intriguing ways. This raglan sweater is a great example.
Native South American alpaca wool is luxurious due to the fine diameter of the fiber. This makes it soft, insulating, tough, and better than sheep’s wool at water resistance. Here, Toast uses alpaca wool in conjunction with cotton, wool, and polyamide. This creates a super-blend of softness, strength, durability, and insulation. The melange Steel Blue color of this sweater is a one-of-a-kind, rarely-seen tone and style. So, if it’s individuality you’re going for, this is your wool sweater.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Wool Sweaters For Men
The weight of the material is going to affect how you style it, use it, and its general aesthetic. Thin wool sweaters make for excellent layering pieces and have a simpler look. Thick wool sweaters (my personal favorites) see a more exciting aesthetic and can be the centerpiece of an outfit. Plus, they warm up your very cockles through their weight. Obviously, different wools have different attributes, so read below in the FAQs section.
Sometimes I wished I only dressed in black, it would be easier. But it would also make my job extremely boring. So, color is going to dictate with which other clothes you style it. Just know that a plain Merino wool is going to give a strong color, compared to a softer tone of shaggy mohair, just owing to the length and fuzziness of fibers. Sunspel gives a great color variation on their sweaters.
Consider the neckline. Crewneck is conventional, stylish, and easy to style. V-neck can be formal, or if it comes with a thick neckline, quite vintage feeling. Then there’s the folded collar, funnel neck, or roll neck. Next, consider fit.
Oversized is bad for layering and great for style. The regular fit is great for layering; it doesn’t necessarily need to be that cool. Consider, too, whether you want sleeves or no sleeves. As for fastening, your choices are a button-up, pullover, cardigan, or zip-up. Each with its own quirk.
We’ve all done it. Shrunk one of our favorite sweaters to the point of destruction. It’s a self-loathing experience. There is a simple remedy: DO NOT THROW IT IN WITH THE REST OF YOUR WASHING. You just have to remember. Be mindful of your sweaters; they are different. And so they deserve to be treated differently. As a delicate natural material, wool reacts to hot water badly. Stick to cold hand wash and check the label or the manufacturer to see if it’ll take dry cleaning or a cold machine wash. Follow these rules, and you will never lose a beautiful wool sweater again.
There is genuinely no correct way. Because of the diverse nature of wool sweater styles, it has equally as many ways to style it. Cardigan? With some wale cords. An ultra-thin merino sweater? Try chinos. It’s important to note the formality of the piece, the weight of the material (if it can be layered), and finally, the color of the piece. Most of all, dig deep within that hidden fashionista soul of yours—find the joy of dressing and have fun experimenting.
Merino: The wool of Merino sheep. It is thin, soft, almost silken, and odorless. As such, it is great as natural performance wear too.
Cashmere: The wool of the Cashmere goat. It is combed from the undercoat of the cashmere goat. This means it is very fine (soft) and highly insulating. But because of its low yield, it is expensive.
Lambswool (or Virgin Wool): This is shorn when the lamb is around seven months. It generally is the first sheering (“virgin wool” is definitively the first sheering), and its coat is the softest it will ever be. It also possesses hypoallergenic properties.
Mohair: Wool of the extremely cool-looking and shaggy Angora Goat. The fibers are thick, long, lustrous, and very soft, giving them a fuzzy look.
Yak: Fibers from the soft long hairs of the underbelly of the domesticated Himilayan bovine.
Alpaca: Fibers taken from alpaca. It is a soft, light, and warm material.