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For most of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the depths of winter with spring just out of reach. Naturally, we’ve swapped our fall favorites for winter essentials—namely, a collection of plush sweaters to pair with thick denim, wool coats, and weather-proof boots. It is sweater weather, after all.
If you’re attempting to freshen up cold-weather ensembles from past seasons, or simply looking to expand your current selection, you’re in luck, because we’ve rounded up the best sweaters for your every need.
Here are the best sweaters on the market this season.
Best Overall: Everlane Cashmere Crew
Everlane offers reliable cashmere basics at approachable prices and in an inclusive size range. For around $120, this crewneck style will serve you well when paired with fleece-lined leggings and layered with a T-shirt for outdoor dining on a crisp afternoon. They're worth buying in several colors so you can cover every wintery outfit.
Material: 100% cashmere body; 89% cashmere, 10% nylon, 1% elastane trimming | Colors: Black, Canvas, Charcoal | Size Range: XXS-XXXL
Best Budget: Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater
Uniqlo has been churning out well-made, urbanized basics for decades, with its designers inspired by various destinations they imagine shoppers will travel to and need to dress for. Their garments are not only sensible; they’re also economical, which is why the brand’s classic turtleneck tops this category. One of our tried-and-true favorites, its merino-wool composition makes this style light yet warm, so it’s easy to wear on its own or as a layering piece.
Material: 100% merino wool | Colors: Off White, Dark Gray, Black, Pink, Brown, Dark Brown, Blue, Navy | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Best Cashmere: Nili Lotan Boyfriend Cashmere Sweater
Sweaters have become stealthily expensive—like car-payment expensive—with the best ones mainly sitting above $100 and running upwards of $1,200. It’s an inflated market, to be sure, but unlike a pair of shoes that you’ll wear for trodding through muck or sunglasses you’ll risk misplacing due to their small size, sweaters can last forever. That said, Nili Lotan’s Boyfriend sweater is a timeless style; the slouchy silhouette is spun from super-soft cashmere and features dropped shoulders, a scoop neckline, and layers of ribbed trims at cuffs, hem, and neck. Since you can wear it in so many ways, like with matching track pants for a laid-back look or dressed up with tailored trousers, we think it’s a great value and worthy overall.
Material: 100% cashmere | Colors: White, Oatmeal, Camel, Chestnut, Rust, Ivory, Black, Navy, Arabian Sand | Size Range: XS-L
Best Splurge: Khaite Jo Cashmere-Blend Sweater
To break the monotony of classic crew and boatneck sweater styles, try a collared sweater, like this one by Khaite. It’s made from a cashmere blend with a bit of stretch and offers a relaxed shape so you’ll never look too buttoned-up. It's pricey, yes, but this is a timeless style you can keep in your closet forever.
Material: 95% cashmere, 5% elastane | Colors: Gray, Ecru, Sage Green | Size Range: XS-L
Best Cropped: Reformation Cropped Cashmere Turtle
Reformation sweaters are generally among our tried-and-true favorites, but the brand’s Cropped Cashmere Turtle is a real stand-out piece for its comfort and versatility. This long-sleeve turtleneck sweater is lightweight and relaxed in fit. A true cropped sweater, its unfinished hem is designed to sit at the top of the hips—perfect to pair with the high-waisted denim of your choice.
Material: 70% recycled cashmere, 30% cashmere | Colors: Black, Oatmeal, Mustard, Sycamore | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Duster: L.L.Bean Classic Cashmere Open Cardigan with Pocket
L.L.Bean’s duster is perfect for easygoing days when you can slip into something comfortable. It’s made from Mongolian cashmere and features open pockets and side slits for a super-relaxed fit. Reviewers love it for its wearability, and we appreciate the brand’s inclusive sizing.
Material: 100% cashmere | Colors: Bramble Berry, Classic Black, Classic Navy, Cream, Dusty Pine, Light Gray Heather, Saddle Heather, Twilight, Soft Cobalt, Vintage Lavender | Size Range: XS-XL (regular, petite), and 1X-3X (plus)
Best Quarter-Zip: Italic Cashmere Quarter-Zip Pullover
Quarter-zips are great for casual days, and this one by Italic is favored among influencers and editors alike for the fine details that make it such a chic basic. Made from 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, this sweater is produced in the same factory as clothing by Sandro and Maje, so you can expect super high quality at a lower price point.
Material: 100% 7-gauge Mongolian cashmere | Colors: Brown, Ivory | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Hoodie: Naadam The Essential Cashmere Hoodie
Elevate your sweats with this hoodie by Naadam. Crafted from cashmere, this pullover features a hip-length cut with a classic hood and seamed detailing. We’d love to throw this over a tank or bikini on a brisk day at the beach, or perhaps wear it with sleek trousers and leather sneakers for an urban lunch date.
Material: 100% Mongolian cashmere | Colors: Beige, Watermelon | Size Range: XXS-3X
Best High-Neck: Kule Cashmere Mockneck
A high-neck sweater is at the top of every fashion person’s list of fall must-haves because it’s equal parts functional and chic. Kule makes the ultimate boxy version that you’ll be inclined to wear for days on end. It has a mock neck, which offers a lower collar than a turtleneck that doesn’t fold over, and a relaxed fit for much comfort. It also features slits at the sleeves for the most effortless of appearances.
Material: 100% cashmere | Colors: Heather Grey | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Fringe: Jonathan Simkhai Kara Mouline Cable Knit Polo Sweater
To spice up a collection of basic sweaters, focus on the fringe, or equivalent details. We love the spread collar, drop shoulder seams, and hand-crocheted cable-knit motif on this cotton-wool blend sweater, but what packs a strong punch of playfulness is the fringe detail at the sleeves.
Material: 58% cotton, 42% wool | Colors: Tan Melange | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Cardigan: La Ligne Mini Marin Cardigan
Inspired by the brand’s Mini Marin style, a shrunken and cropped crew neck that rates well for comfort and versatility, this number by La Ligne is made from a blend of wool and cashmere, and it mimics a classic cardigan with a V-neck button front. We love that you can easily layer it over a tank top or wear it on its own and that it proportionately pairs well with any of our favorite high-waisted bottoms.
Material: 70% wool, 30% cashmere | Colors: Camel/Cream, Cream/Navy, Navy/Cream, Periwinkle/Blue, Lime/Brown, Peach/Pink, Black/Tan, Multi/Cream, Multi/Navy | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Wrap: COZeCO x ALVN Studio All Day Every Day Side Tie Cardigan Sweater
Whitney Port's COZeCO line has mastered the art of creating super-comfy basics that are far from boring, and this wrap cardigan is the perfect paradigm of such a feat. It’s made from a cotton/acrylic blend described as a "cloud-like soft yarn." In terms of design, it features folded cuffs and an adjustable side tie for ease of layering. It’s versatile, to be sure—a great option for sprucing up an office look or for at-home lounging.
Material: 60% BCI cotton, 40% acrylic | Colors: Silver Sage, Ink | Size Range: S-XL
Best Sweater Vest: Trina Turk Favored Vest
Sweater vests are the unsung heroes of transitional and cold-weather fashion—the pieces that address the dilemma of staying warm without becoming too hot. This soft V-neck one by Trina Turk embodies the charm, coziness, and versatility of any worthy sweater vest, as it wears well on its own or layered over crisp button-down shirts when temperatures drop further and you need something more substantial.
Material: 100% merino wool | Colors: Camel Neutral | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Boat Neck: Naadam Cashmere Boatneck Sweater
Naadam perfected the boat neck sweater that doubles as an off-the-shoulder sweater. Crafted wholly from Mongolian cashmere with details like rolled hems and ribbing at the cuffs, the piece is favored among reviewers for its softness and great fit. Other pluses: The brand promises minimal pilling and high breathability, so you can comfortably wear this piece over and over without worrying that it’s losing its luster.
Material: 100% Mongolian cashmere | Colors: Mink, Camel, Black, Smoke, Merlot, Bark Brown, Lavender | Size Range: XXS-3X
Best Striped: La Ligne Marin Sweater
La Ligne founders Valerie Macaulay, Meredith Melling, and Molly Howard are fans of stripes, which they say is a truly classic print. This crewneck style, which comes in either cotton or wool and cashmere, is cut for a relaxed, slouchy fit. (If you’re partial to a high neck or tighter fit, the brand offers cropped and turtleneck versions as well.) Wear any version of the style with trousers, jeans, or even leggings.
Material: 70% wool, 30% cashmere or 100% cotton | Colors: Cream/Navy, Navy/Cream, Periwinkle/Grey, Grey Rainbow, Cream/Rainbow, Camel/Cream, Multi/Cream, Black/Cream, Grey/Black, Red/Periwinkle +more | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Polo: JoosTricot Stripe Long Sleeve Polo Top
JoosTricot is known to be the "home of the perfect fitting sweater," and we must say we agree. Founded by writer and stylist Natalie Joos, the brand specializes in knitwear that transcends seasons—buy one of her sweaters and you'll find yourself incorporating it into your wardrobe all year long. We especially love this long sleeve polo top, with its bold colorway and eye-catching pointed polo collar.
Material: 56% cotton, 20% recycled lycra, 16% nylon, 8% silk | Colors: Tomato/Arctic Stripe | Size Range: XS-L | Care: Machine washable
Best Graphic: Christopher John Rogers Oversized Wool-Blend Sweater
This bold jacquard knit sweater is by none other than Christopher John Rogers, who has designed clothing for stars like Beyonce and Lizzo, and even Vice President Kamala Harris and former First Lady Michelle Obama. His voluminous pieces incorporate bright, happy colors that are made to stand out—and you can't go wrong with this oversized graphic sweater that marries polka dots and stripes so harmoniously.
Material: 31% wool, 25% nylon, 22% mohair, 21% alpaca, 1% spandex | Colors: Blue | Size Range: XS-XL
What to Look for When Buying Sweaters
Generally speaking, the best sweaters are made from several kinds of wool or cashmere. The first is a very eco-friendly fabric because it’s entirely biodegradable; plus, it uses 20-70 percent less energy and water than polyester and cotton in production, according to the Woolmark Co., which represents Australian woolgrowers. Tightly wound merino wool is strong yet soft—characteristics that make it favorable overall because it’s both comfortable and less likely to pill than fuzzy cashmere, a material made from delicate goat hair.
A lot can be said on why these materials can run the gamut price-wise, but to put it simply, how these materials are harvested seems to have much impact on a given sweater’s overall value. Longer fibers are known to come from traditional, labor-intensive harvesting methods, and they’re also stronger than shorter fibers that have been machine-sheared from farmed animals.
Budget-friendly wool and cashmere sweaters that are rated for suppleness or color options may have been treated with softeners, bleach, and other chemicals in production. This is perhaps something to consider in deciding which sweater is the better investment, as such chemicals can damage fibers and shorten the lifespan of the garment.
Shape and neckline
Cuts for sweaters vary greatly, and in choosing a new sweater, shoppers should consider their comfort and how they plan to wear it. If you’re more comfortable in fitted styles or if you like to layer, opt for a straight cut made with merino wool, like our Best Budget pick, which naturally lies closer to the body. Otherwise, if you’re in the market for roomier pieces to offset tight pants or leggings, then oversized styles will suit you best. High-waisted bottoms are best paired with cropped styles, while necklines are purely a matter of preference.
How should you store sweaters?
To keep sweaters from stretching at the shoulders, it’s best to fold sweaters, ideally on shelves with cedar blocks or planks to ward off moths. In the off-season, you may also vacuum seal sweaters to keep them safe while maximizing space at home.
How do you wash sweaters?
Care instructions for many cashmere and wool sweaters encourage dry cleaning, but we’ve found that washing on a delicate cycle is both effective and less expensive. Use a gentle detergent like Woolite that won’t cause fading, and to best maintain the shape, opt for line-drying over machine-drying. Wool and cashmere are naturally odor-, stain-, and wrinkle-resistant, so you can wash them less than your T-shirts, tank tops, and cotton sweaters.
What is the best way to remove pills on sweaters?
Pilling is a vexing cold-weather wardrobe issue that’s difficult to avoid altogether; however, there are ways to keep sweaters from appearing ragged due to yarn clumps known as pills. They form when yarn fibers in a garment become damaged or loose; when the ends of the fibers are exposed, they get tangled up. The internet is cluttered with ways to remove pills using products you might already have at home, like a disposable razor or sheet of sandpaper, but we’ve found that a fabric comb with steel mesh is very effective at scraping away the clumps and recommend it over anything else that’s not designed to remove pills, to avoid any mishaps. There are also pumice stones and electric shavers that sit at comparable price points with thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, though some experts say the latter damages the halo, or the yarn’s fluffiness, in the long run.
Why Trust Byrdie?
This shopping guide was written by Byrdie contributor Hayley Prokos. A seasoned commerce writer and editor, she’s constantly on the hunt for the best fashion finds of the season. Her work has appeared in SELF Magazine, Newsweek, and the daily Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, and she holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Northwestern University. For this roundup, she spent upwards of 10 hours trying on, virtually assessing, and otherwise researching the best sweaters on the market.