Which winter hat is best?
While you only lose 10% of your body heat through your head, you still want to cover up your noggin while temperatures are on the colder side. Even if you think you have all the winter hats you need, you might find something that piques your interest here.
The beanie is the most popular type of winter hat, but there are several other styles to add to your winter wardrobe. For a classic that never goes out of style, the Carhartt Knit Cuffed Beanie is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a winter hat
Here are the most popular styles of winter hats:
- Beanie: The beanie is a cold-weather staple. Unisex and simple, you can wear it with any casual outfit. It pulls close to your head, making it of the warmest options, especially if you invest in one made of wool or fleece.
- Bobble beanie: Bobble hats feature a ball of yarn or fur attached to the top, also known as a pom-pom. Some bobble hats feature a tassel. The bobble is decorative, and this casual style is popular with kids and adults alike.
- Flat caps: The flat cap is an outdoorsy but dressy hat that features a small, stiff bill. It is also called a newsboy or golf cap. It comes in traditional materials, such as wool tweed.
- Warm baseball hat: If you can’t part with your baseball cap in the winter, consider one made of materials that will trap heat, like tweed, flannel, corduroy or wool. These warmer materials elevate your look while still being sporty.
- Trapper or aviator hat: Possibly the warmest winter hat available, the trapper or aviator hat features earflaps that secure under your chin with straps. They’re typically lined with fur, sherpa or flannel for extra warmth. The shell can be made from a range of materials such as cotton, polyester, flannel, fur or leather.
The biggest factor of warmth in a hat is the material used.
- Cotton is an inexpensive, lightweight and breathable material. However, it’s not insulating enough for freezing weather and doesn’t repel moisture.
- Acrylic is an affordable alternative to wool and is often used in beanies. The synthetic material is soft and easy to clean, but it’s not as warm as wool.
- Quilted nylon or polyester are more water-resistant than natural materials and are often used in the shells of winter hats.
- Wool is a naturally insulating, warm material that also has moisture-wicking and water-repellent properties. It’s not as easy to clean as cotton or acrylic hats.
- Felt is used in more fashionable styles of winter hats. You’ll typically find it in hats that have brims. Felt is made from pressed fibers, either wool or synthetic.
- Fur is used in traditional, trapper-style hats or cossack hats, which are all-fur hats without ear flaps. Real fur is warm, but it requires professional cleaning. You can find faux fur alternatives that are easier to clean and less expensive.
- Fleece is either made from wool or synthetic fibers and features a thick pile that’s soft and stretchy. Fleece is warm, retains body heat and is relatively easy to clean.
What to look for in a quality winter hat
Lining serves as an extra layer that can provide added insulation to retain body heat. Depending on the material, a lining can also wick sweat away from the body. Plush, cozy lining, such as sherpa, provides extra comfort.
Lined ear flaps are a feature found on all aviator and trapper-style hats. They provide warmth and protection from the elements. Most ear flaps flip up and attach to the hat when not in use, or you can fasten them under your chin to keep out the wind.
Beanie-style hats can come with a cuff that folds up for extra warmth around your ears. They can also be uncuffed for a slouchier appearance. Some cuffed beanies are sewn in place and are less versatile.
Winter hats vary in texture from smooth felt to chunky knits. Beanies are often ribbed, though you can find cable-knit ones. Tweed and corduroy hats have distinct textures. Fur and faux fur hats are fluffy and soft.
How much you can expect to spend on a winter hat
Pricing entirely depends on the material, style and brand name. For example, an off-brand beanie will be cheaper than a name-brand fur cap. More affordable winter hats start at $7, but they can cost upwards of $70.
Winter hat FAQ
What kind of hat will keep me warm throughout in the winter?
A. A wool or felt fedora hat can keep your head toasty in mild winter weather. Bucket hats made from sherpa or quilted nylon are a winter-friendly variation of the typically warm-weather style. Both these hats feature brims to keep the sun out of your eyes, too.
Do winter hats come in different sizes?
A. Typically, beanies come in one size for adults. Some winter hats are designed for men or women, and sizing may vary. It’s always best to check the measurements of a hat before purchasing.
What’s the best winter hat to buy?
Top winter hat
What you need to know: This cult favorite beanie is durable and attractive — and comes in a wide range of colors.
What you’ll love: You can fold the extra-long length (around 12 inches) up into a thick cuff to keep your ears warm. The cotton material is thick, high quality and doesn’t make you itch. If you live in a particularly cold climate, you’re sure to stay warm all winter wearing this beanie.
What you should consider: The hat is hand-wash only.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top winter hat for the money
What you need to know: A basic beanie that fits snuggly and is comfy.
What you’ll love: The length is not too long, not too short: 8 inches when cuffed. The color options are attractive. The acrylic material is thick, quality and comfortable.
What you should consider: The beanie runs small and may be more fitting for women.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This trapper hat goes above and beyond with its windproof face mask.
What you’ll love: The faux-fur lining keeps users warm in subzero weather. The face mask is removable and washable. The plus faux-fur lining feels very cozy and soft on your skin.
What you should consider: The one-size-fits-all is too large for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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