4 Best Men's Sweaters for Frigid Temperatures

4 Best Men's Sweaters for Frigid Temperatures

As holidays arrive and the temperature drops, you need to combat the cold! While there are many cold-weather pieces to be worn, like men's gloves, snow boots, and winter hats, the men's sweater is a classic piece that every men's wardrobe needs. If you've used up an old sweater that stores no longer carry or if you've recently moved to a new location with a colder climate, you may be wondering how you choose a sweater—especially if it's going to get really cold. Good news! It's not hard, provided you know what to pay attention to.

When deciding between sweaters, particularly with an eye to warmth, you'll actually want to look at what the sweater is made of. Whether or not a sweater will keep you warm depends on its material. So, before you pick out your sweater style of choice, let's take a look at the materials a sweater might be made of and which are the warmest. Here are four of the best kinds of men's sweaters for frigid temperatures.

Sheep's Wool

This is widely known as one of the best materials for warm sweaters. Sheep's wool is thick and cozy, making the perfect cold-weather-fighting sweater. There are three main kinds of sheep's wool: adult sheep's wool, merino wool, and lambswool.

Adult sheep's wool is the typical wool you see in men's woolen sweaters. The warmth-trapping abilities make for an excellent sweater fabric, beating out men's cotton sweaters and other synthetic materials as the warmest fabric for a solid sweater.

Merino Wool is a specific breed of sheep called Merino sheep. They are from the mountains in Australia and New Zealand and many adult sheep wool sweaters are made of Merino wool. This wool is known for being incredibly absorbent and for being so soft. What makes the wool so soft is the low micron count of the wool strands. A micron count is how big the diameter of a single strand is. The lower the micron count, the softer the wool. However, the higher the micron count, the more air the wool can trap and the warmer you are.

Lambswool is the wool from a lamb's first shearing. Lambs, depending on exactly when they were born, are generally around seven months old at the time of their first shearing. Wool from lambs has a higher micron count, meaning the diameter of each strand is thicker than an adult sheep. This makes it the warmest of the sheep's wool categories. Consequently, the ideal (and most expensive) sheep's wool sweater is made of Merino lambswool.

Llama and Alpaca Wool

Did you know sweaters can also be made out of llama and alpaca wool? Llama wool is a little different from sheep's wool because the strands of hair on a llama are actually hollow. This means it traps more heat than sheep's wool of the same weight. Some llama wool has about the same micron count as sheep's wool, but if you were looking for a softer material, go with royal alpaca wool—it's actually finer than Merino wool! Maybe your next sweater will come from the Andes in Peru!


Everyone has heard of a cashmere sweater but did you know this is actually "wool" from goats? Not technically wool, cashmere is actually the underhairs of the Kashmir goat from the Kashmir region of the Himalayas. It's even finer than Merino wool and because the hairs are long, the material actually ends up being the warmest of any of the types of wool so far. While it does tend to be a little pricey, men's cashmere sweater wearers say it's worth it.

Angora Wool

Another animal surprise, Angora wool is made from the soft and fluffy fur of the Angora rabbit. Combining all of the benefits of the other wools with its long fine hollow hairs, Angora is the softest and warmest wool out there. It's also difficult to come by and you do pay for the privilege of wearing it, but get this: The other cool thing is this kind of wool is great for those allergic to typical wool products. Perhaps it merits a look or two.

Fleece Lining

While a fleece lining might push you a little into winter parka territory, there's no reason an extra layer of warmth should bother anyone—especially if you're just looking to keep warm. Certain sweaters come with a fleece lining which can offer additional protection against the cold.

Now that you know the difference between all of these types of wool and their resulting sweaters, you're ready to see which one fits you! How will you manage the three main features of sweaters: comfort, warmth, and price? Whatever balance of these three you strike, be confident in your sweater choice, and stay warm this winter!


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