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For many people, winter represents a lengthy, often-difficult journey in which staying warm is a high priority – if not the highest. That includes keeping one’s head warm as temperatures drop to frigid levels.
Beanie hats represent a great way to stay warm while also looking fashionable.In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
We’ll review Meriwool’s beanie and 10 others which we think are great products, and also look at the types of beanies and how to look your best one.
First, let’s look at some beanie buying tips.
|Meriwool Merino Wool Cuff Beanie Hat||Check on Amazon|
|Neff Men’s Daily Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|Carhartt Men’s Knit Hat With Visor||Check on Amazon|
|Tough Headwear Skull Cap Running Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|Timberland Men's Rib Shallow Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|Forbusite Slouchy Long Oversized Beanie Cap||Check on Amazon|
|The North Face Men’s Bones Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|Econscious 100% Organic Thin Rib Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|Grace Folly Slouch Beanie Cap||Check on Amazon|
|Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Reactor Elements Beanie||Check on Amazon|
|SoundBot SB210 Smart Beanie||Check on Amazon|
Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing a beanie
What you look for in a beanie may be different than someone else’s preferences. However, there are a few important categories to always keep in mind.
If nothing else, your beanie should keep you warm in the winter.
But how warm it needs to depend on the kind of weather with which you typically deal.
Is it moderately cold, or do temperatures frequently dip into the single digits, or below? Different materials are made for different environments, which leads us to our next category…
Common materials used to make beanies include cotton, acrylic, fleece, and wool.
Cotton is a natural fiber that’s durable, affordable, versatile, and machine-washable. Many beanies are made from acrylic and it’s a less expensive option than wool. It’s also easy to clean.
Fleece maintains warmth and wicks away moisture and comes in a nice range of thicknesses.
It’s also very breathable and durable.
Wool, meanwhile, is hard to beat for its ability to retain heat, and it’s static-resistant.
Other materials used in the construction of beanies include silk, rayon, nylon, polyester, Spandex, and more.
“Construction” covers a variety of features, including the type of knit – double-knit, ribbed, chunky, etc. – as well as items such as ear flaps and the type of material used in the beanie’s lining (fleece linings add softness and warmth).
Thickness relates to materials and construction but also depends on whether you plan to wear the beanie by itself or as an element of layering.
You may opt to go for a thinner hat if you wear the beanie under a hood or helmet.
The color you choose for your beanie is often a matter of taste, but it’s a good idea to wear brighter, neon, and more reflective colors if you take part in winter sports so that you’re found more easily should you get lost or injured.
Choose a beanie that best fits the size of our head. Many beanies tend to have a snug fit while holding warmth in, but a fit that’s too tight becomes uncomfortable quickly.
The 11 best beanies for men
- Made from soft, warm wool
- Controls odor
The best beanie for:
Men who participate in outdoor activities
Meriwool’s Wool Cuff Beanie hat isn’t just the best wool beanie, and easily among the best beanies for men, but also one of the best hats for men, period.
There’s just a lot to like about this beanie and why it’s an excellent choice for the winter months when temps take a nosedive.
It’s also a great choice for any man who stays active in the outdoors during the winter, whether it’s through skiing, snowboarding, or other sports.
We like it for a lot of other reasons, too.
For starters, it consists of Merino wool, which comes from Merino sheep who regrow a new, ultra-soft coat each winter – which makes it a fully-renewable resource.
It’s hard to beat the softness and breathability of Merino wool which helps Meriwool’s Wool Cuff Beanie rise above the competition.
It keeps your head warm in any winter weather.
Another cool thing about this beanie is that Merino wool has natural moisture-wicking qualities that keep you dry in any weather.
Moisture is pulled away from the skin, even as you sweat profusely during strenuous outdoor activity.
It also works to control odor as you sweat, and protects against the sun’s most harmful rays. Your head will remain warm, comfortable, dry, and protected.
- It features a unisex design that also makes it a great choice for women.
- The odor and moisture-wicking wool makes it an ideal beanie for participating in a variety of outdoor activities.
- Merino wool features natural insulation properties that keep the warmth in and colder air out.
- Some wearers say it rides up on the back of their heads.
The Meriwool Wool Cuff Beanie is the best wool beanie around and perhaps the best overall winter hat for men. There’s a lot to love about it.
- Maintains the right temperature
- Plenty of color options
The best beanie for:
Men who want a beanie that’s neither too hot nor too cold
Not all beanies strike a good temperature balance. Of course, you want your hat to keep your head warm when the temperatures become frigid, but you don’t want it to become as hot as a furnace, either.
Neff’s men’s beanie maintains the right balance between warm and cold, however.
It will keep your head more than warm enough in the winter, but it won’t overheat it, either.
That’s important if you wear it during outdoor sports and other activities in which you can work a sweat.
Made from 100% acrylic, the men’s Daily Beanie features a ribbed knit, and it’s also among the best-selling beanies.
It’s certainly popular on Amazon, where it has nearly 2,500 reviews.
You’ll also love its soft feel. And with over 20 color options from which to choose, you can find on that best fits your style, easily.
- Neff has sold millions of the Daily Beanie since 2002 and it keeps on selling.
- Its soft acrylic blend provides superior all-around comfort for any activity.
- It looks great on men and women thanks to its unisex design.
- Sizing may run large.
The Daily Beanie is a stylish-yet-practical hat that’s great for everyone and every outdoor adventure.
- Helps shade your eyes
- One size fits all
The best beanie for:
Any man who wants a beanie that’s more than just a beanie
It figures that Carhartt, makers of the iconic rugged workwear for men, would develop a hat designed to handle everything that winter demands.
Carhartt’s men’s knit hat not only keeps you warm and cozy when the temperatures plummet, but it also includes a visor and a brim with a fold-up cuff.
The result is a beanie that also helps to shield your eyes from bright sun and snow.
But there’s more – a lot more – to like about this beanie.
Made from 100% acrylic, it’s soft, smooth, lightweight and, above all else, comfortable.
The acrylic stretches easily and is very breathable while still keeping your head plenty warm.
And, hey, a beanie with a bill is an excellent concept, particularly if you’re worried about protecting your skin and vision on the brightest of bright winter days.
- It comes in a variety of colors, including black and army green, as well as brighter hues.
- It comes in one size and can fit most adult heads.
- The brim enables you to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Some reviewers say it fits somewhat snug.
You can count on Carhartt to create men’s wear that can handle the elements, and their men’s knit hat with visor is no exception.
- Wicks moisture
- Fits under helmets
The best beanie for:
Active men who want a beanie that serves many purposes
Men use skull caps for a lot of things, which make them among the most versatile beanie styles around – if not the most versatile.
Take Tough Headwear’s Skull Cap Running Beanie, for instance.
You can wear it on its own or under a helmet, and you can use it when you run, ski, snowboard, play football (particularly the American version), or just about any other activity you can name.
And, of course, it serves the very important purpose of keeping your head warm during cold weather.
The Skull Cap Running Beanie consists of a stretchy blend of 89% polyester and 11% spandex, and fits comfortably on heads of any size, including larger noggins (one size fits all).
It also offers excellent moisture-wicking to draw sweat away from the skin to help keep your head comfortable at all times.
It’s very lightweight, and many follicly-challenged men say it’s the best beanie for bald guys.
The latter group includes men who suffer from male pattern baldness, as well as men who suffered hair loss due to medically-related conditions, such as chemo treatments.
It also features a brushed thermal lining that retains heat while keeping your head and ears warm as you spend a lot of time outdoors.
As its name suggests, it’s an excellent choice for runners, and earns high marks from publications such as Runner’s World.
- Its breathable fabric wicks away sweat as you work out.
- It features a comfortable stretchy band that ensures a customized fit.
- It’s an excellent choice for any man but its unisex design makes it an ideal choice for women, too.
- Few, if any, although it may pucker in certain spots.
There’s a lot to love about Tough Headwear’s Skull Cap Running Beanie. It’s versatile, comfortable, and suitable for men and women.
- Very warm
- Looks good with leather logo
The best beanie for:
Looking cool while staying warm
Often, you have to make a decision: do I want to be practical, or do I want to look good.
Well, Timberland’s Rib Shallow Beanie solves that conundrum for you, by providing a very stylish, youthful beanie which is also super insulating and snug.
Made from 100% acrylic, this is a beanie designed to keep you warm without overheating your head: it’s soft and adjustable, with a fold up cuff and a nice range of sizes.
It’s very breathable, which is often not the case with thick hats that can get a little tiring to wear.
Most importantly though, it combines all this practicality with a really nice, classic aesthetic.
This is a beanie which is particularly popular with the younger crew, and you can see why: it’s understated and simple, with that nice leather logo tagged up front to give it a little something extra to stand out.
- The acrylic material is both breathable and soft whilst giving you the weight you need to stay warm
- Highly adjustable and keeps shape nicely
- Long lasting and durable
- Some struggle to find a size that’s perfect for them
A nice balance of style and warmth: great for the winter, but suitable any time of year!
- Soft dual layers
- Good for all seasons
- Comes in many colors
The best beanie hat for:
Men looking for a cool design that they can wear in a variety of ways
One of the best slouchy beanie styles around is Forbusite’s Slouchy Long Oversized Beanie Knit Cap. It’s billed as a beanie for all seasons, and features a loose, baggy style with a distinctive look.
Made from a blend of acrylic and polyester, it has a stretchy feel that makes for an easy fit on all head sizes.
It features a dual-layer design that’s thin, lightweight, and very comfortable.
Its polyester inner layer doesn’t make your head feel itchy or irritated even after long hours of use.
The Forbusite Slouchy Beanies comes in a variety of colors and patterns that make it easy to choose a hat that best fits your style and taste.
It pairs well with a variety of wardrobe options and it’s flexible enough that you can wear it in a variety of ways.
- You’ll like its lightweight design; it weighs less than four ounces and offers superior comfort.
- There are over 30 color options from which to choose.
- It provides excellent warmth but you can also wear it in milder temperatures if you like.
- Repeated machine-washing may affect its shape.
There are many slouchy beanie options available but we think Forbusite’s Beanie Knit Cap easily ranks among the best. It has an excellent feel and design.
- Exceptional warmth
The best beanie for:
Anyone who deals with the coldest temperatures regularly
North Face gets its name from the coldest side of the mountain and it’s no surprise that they pride themselves on creating beanies and other types of hats that can handle the lowest temperatures.
Their men’s Bones Beanie is perhaps the warmest beanie around, or close to it, and also earn high marks for comfort and style.
The Bones Beanie includes a microfleece inner ear band that helps keep you toasty as the cold winds and snow swirl around you.
It’s also very breathable, with several users giving it the thumbs up for keeping their head comfortable even as they sweat during outdoor activities.
We also like that is has a slim fit, that it’s durable, and that it’s lightweight. The synthetic fabric provides all the protection you need while not adding on extra layers of material.
- It requires little maintenance and is machine-washable.
- It’s breathability enables you to remain active without worrying about your head become over-heated.
- It’s a good all-around beanie that’s excellent for the great outdoors or for just checking out your favorite city.
- Fits a little snug for some.
North Face knows a thing or two about the outdoors and outdoor wear. Their Bones Beanie is ideal for many activities.
- Made from organic cotton
The best beanie for:
Men looking for a beanie that’s eco-friendly
Everyone is joining the eco-friendly charge these days, or so it seems.
That’s a good thing, and companies like econscious help move things into the future with excellent products.
Econscious’s Thin Rib Beanie consists of 100% organic cotton and adheres to the econscious mission of making hats, shirts, totes, and bags that are environmentally-friendly.
Additionally, a portion of every econsious apparel purchase helps to support non-profit environmental organizations.
We don’t include the Thin Rib Beanie in our reviews just because it helps the environment, however.
After all, it’s a quality beanie that’s lightweight, comfortable, and fits nicely on any list of cool beanies for guys.
It also keeps you warm – and it isn’t just for winter because you can wear it on the cooler days of late summer and fall – without becoming too hot. Its fabric is stretchy enough that you can pull it over your ears and wear it as a long beanie.
- Its organic cotton fabric is soft, lightweight, and very comfortable.
- The hat retains its shape even after you’ve been wearing it for a long time.
- Its colors are fade-resistant and hold up with multiple washings.
- The cotton can shrink a bit when washed.
The econscious Thin Rib Beanie keeps you warm and comfortable during cooler weather while also being eco-friendly.
- Cool design
- Retains its shape
The best beanie for:
Anyone shopping for cool winter hats for men
A beanie hat serves a lot of functions, not the least of which is that it keeps you warm.
But it can also make a fashion statement – which is what the folks at Grace Folly hope to accomplish with their Slouch Beanie Cap.
The latter features a hipster look that adds a bit of flair to your winter wardrobe while helping you to stay warm and comfortable.
This beanie consists of 100% acrylic that’s soft and lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time.
It also comes in one size that fits all, and it retains its shape without stretching out too much or shrinking in the wash (it’s machine-washable).
The hat’s knit style, along with the acrylic material, keeps the heat in during the coldest days, while its knit style helps ensure excellent airflow and overall breathability.
The Grace Folly Slouch Beanie Cap also comes in five colors and features a unisex design. Women also have maroon as a color option.
- It has enough stretchability without losing its shape after frequent wearings.
- It features solid construction and tough fabric that should give you years of use.
- It’s breathable and cool enough to wear even on warmer days.
- Perhaps a bit too baggy in the back.
The Grace Folly Beanie Cap has a cool design with a slouch that looks great on men and women. It’s also well-suited for chemo patients.
- Rain and snow repellent
- Wicks moisture
- Vents heat
The best beanie for:
Men who want a hat the combines comfort and functionality
No one quite does sportswear like Under Armour and it’s no surprise that they make hats which make the most of technology and innovation.
Their men’s ColdGear Reactor Elements Beanie is made for everyone, but it’s an excellent choice for men who lead an active outdoor lifestyle no matter the temperatures. And it has some cool features:
- It features a polyester shell exterior with Under Armour’s Storm finish that repels moisture. So, if it rains or snows you don’t have to worry about your head getting wet, or that you’re sacrificing breathability.
- Its UA fleece construction includes a smooth, quick-dry outer layer as well as a brushed inner layer that provides superior comfort.
- The ColdGear Reactor lining also adapts to your level of activity while enhances breathability and warmth whenever needed.
Another thing we like about this beanie is that it incorporates anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes. Plus, it comes with a raised heat seal UA logo.
- It features technology that maintains breathability while repelling moisture.
- ColdGear Reactor technology enables the beanie’s liner to adapt to your level of activity.
- It prevents odor from forming.
- Some reviewers report that it doesn’t cover the ears as well as it could.
The ColdGear Reactor Beanie lives up to Under Armour’s reputation for innovation and technology.
- Wireless technology
- Fits most head shapes
The best beanie for:
A man who wants a high-tech beanie
Who says you can’t have a warm, comfortable beanie with all the technology you need? Not Soundbot, makers of the SB210 Smart Beanie that features wireless technology, including a built-in stereo system.
Indeed, this beanie comes packed with innovative features, including:
- It allows you to listen to your favorite music thanks to an HD stereo system that features advanced digital sound.
- It includes Bluetooth v4.0 technology with forward/backward compatibility and connects to all Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets, iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc.
- It comes with a rechargeable battery that provides five hours of remote music streaming and seven hours of calling.
- It comes with a MicroUSB charging port and cable.
- The digital sound system includes a dynamic mid-range and balanced deep bass.
Other cool features that come with the SB210 Smart Beanie include intuitive control buttons and a built-in microphone that allows you to make and receive calls wirelessly.
With all its technology, it’s easy to forget that the SB210 is a hat. But it is, and it provides maximum comfort and warmth and features a soft double-knit design.
- You can stay warm during winter activities while also keeping yourself entertained.
- It comes in 13 styles and colors.
- It features a simple design despite all of the technology included with it.
- Some reviewers say the technology is sometimes unreliable.
If you want a hat that delivers more than comfort and warmth, or if you can’t stand to apart from all of the technology you desire, the SB210 is worthy of your attention.
5 Tips for wearing a beanie
Whether you’re wearing a beanie to keep your ears and head from freezing, or to give you a smart, fashionable look, as well, there are right and wrong ways to do it. And the rules for men are different than those for women.
1. Keep it simple
While there’s no rule against men wearing beanies with bold colors, patterns, and decorative items such as beads and sequins, it’s best to stick with a simpler style.
It’s OK to choose neon colors if you participate in outdoor sports and need to be as visible as possible.
2. Your beanie should complement your hair
There are times, such as periods of extreme cold, in which you’ll probably want to pull your beanie down over your head and ears.
However, it’s not a bad idea to let some of your hair show, especially if you have a healthy head of it that you’ve put plenty of time into to looking good.
The chances are, the beanie will mess up your hairstyle a bit, which is why it’s OK to let it cover the top of your head entirely.
But don’t be afraid to let some hair peek out from the sides and front of your beanie.
3. Roll it up
Rolling up the brim is a popular component of beanie style.
- A single roll represents the traditional way of wearing a beanie. Rolling the brim once to create a cuff of two to three inches is a good way to rock beanies of heavier knit material. Or, you can use a single roll for beanies of a lighter material that have a loose fit.
- A double roll thickens the cuff while revealing more of your hair. You can also wear the beanie farther back on your head to display more of your hair.
4. Let it stand
Positioning the beanie so that it stands straight up from your hair is a look that men can pull off easier than women. Most of the beanie’s fabric stands up on your head and presents a younger, more hipster look.
5. Your beanie and your hair type
The length of your hair can affect the way a beanie looks and vice-versa.
- Short hair – Men with short hair should avoid beanies that are too big or slouchy. Classic, close-fitting beanies look best if you have a shorter hairstyle.
- Long hair – Generally, slim-fitting beanies look best with longer hairstyles. Don’t be afraid to roll your beanie back to show more of your face.
- Curly hair – Men with curlier, thicker hair should choose beanies with a looser style and fit.
A beanie that’s too tight appears bulkier with longer hair, while slouchy and high-top beanies present a nice look.
It’s OK to let strands of long and curly hair fall loose at the sides and back.
6. Pairing beanies with clothes
Beanies are meant to be casual so it’s not a good idea to show up at your next corporate meeting while pairing your beanie with a business suit.
The casual look is easy to pull off with a beanie with relaxed styles and fabrics.
You don’t want to go overboard, however, and look sloppy, but a nice pair of jeans, boots, chinos, and even a bomber jacket help to create a smart streetwear look.
You can layer a bomber jacket with a printed tee and crew neck jumper; throw in a scarf and gloves and you’ll look great during the winter.
That’s not to say a beanie won’t complement a smart casual style, because it will.
Simple, knitted beanies in solid colors look good with wool trousers, turtlenecks, and stylish jackets.
A couple of other rules for wearing beanies: 1) tighter-fitting beanies present a more traditional look, clean look, and 2) a hipster beanie adds an individualistic and unique look to casual and smart casual outfits.
6 Types of beanies to consider
While beanie refers to a certain type of hat there are certain specific types within the genre. Here are some main types:
1. Slouchy beanie
You’ll know a slouchy beanie when you see one: it has plenty of body, covers most – if not all – of the ears – and has plenty of (slouchy) material in back.
The slouchy style pairs well with smart outfits, such as with fitted pants, V-neck t-shirts, an overcoat, black boots, etc., and it gives you a chance to show off some of your hair on your forehead.
2. Hipster beanie
Hipster beanies resemble slouchy beanies except that they have more structure. They’re meant to have a casual look, and letting some stray hair peek out the sides and front creates a cool hipster vibe.
3. Fisherman beanie
A fisherman beanie is a regular beanie in which the sides are turn up or inside out.
It somewhat mimics a traditional fisherman’s hat because the latter features turned-up sides that can store fishing hooks when not in use.
Fisherman beanies have a casual look and you should wear them accordingly.
They have a tight fit, which helps make it look great for men with chiseled faces, and it also looks good on shaved or bald heads.
4. Cuffed beanie
A cuffed beanie features a cuff around the edge that rests just on top of or slightly over your ears and around your forehead. They also feature extra material knitted into the hat’s bottom that allows you to fold it into a cuff.
The cuffed beanie is a simple design that pairs well with smart casual outfits.
5. Bobble beanie
Once considered a beanie for kids only, the bobble beanie has become popular in some adult circle thanks to pop culture and hipster fashion trends.
It features a pompon on its top and helps to create a nice winter vibe for any outfit.
6. High-top beanie
The high-top beanie represents a cool fashion statement that’s very popular these days.
To really nail the look, you should wear it as high on top of your head as possible without it falling off. Any excess material should poke out the back to help prevent it looking like you have a weird-shaped head.
While a high-top beanie won’t keep your head as warm as other beanies, you can wear in a lot of different ways and with a wide variety of clothing.
How we chose these beanie hats for our review
While many beanies may look the same, there are subtle differences – and more obvious ones – that help set them apart.
For us, a key factor for choosing the best beanies for men is the more obvious, i.e., their various types.
We wanted to include a sampling of the different beanie types, at least of those worthy of your attention and possible purchase. But performance was even more important. Does the beanie keep you warm and comfortable?
Does it include other features, such as moisture-wicking fabric?
Price was another consideration although any product’s price doesn’t necessarily reflect its overall worthiness. As always, we carefully researched the reviews of others, especially the reviews of customers.
Beanies combine function and style, particularly during the winter months.
They’re fashionable, warm, and versatile enough to wear during a variety of activities. If you’re in the market for a cool beanie, we think our reviews of the best beanies for men will help you decide among many options.
We’d love to hear from you, of course. Do you wear a beanie? If so, what style and brand? We always welcome your feedback.