Best Men’s Sweaters & Cardigans: Stay Comfy & Warm (2021 Review)

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Finding the right sweater can be tough for a lot of men.  Not only do they come in a variety of different styles, but also the material, closure, size, and of course, color are all key things you need to give a minute to think about before hitting that ‘buy now’ button.

In order to help make your choices a bit easier, we rounded up some of the best sweaters for men this season that will not only feel comfortable when worn but will also be able to withstand the daily demands that you go through every single day.

Here’s the list:

3 Tips on Buying a Sweater

1. Style

Sweaters will broadly fall into three categories.

  • Workwear: Both fit and material will allow the sweater to drape nicely on your body while also providing some warmth. Thinner fabrics are standard here.
  • Casual: Often crafted from cotton and will be much looser in their structure.
  • Cardigan: While cardigans can sometimes be associated with super casual to even grunge rock wear, they are also a fixture in business workplace settings. With a front button closure (typically five buttons), you can wear cardigans buttoned up or unbuttoned to suit your look.

2. Neck Style

  • Crewneck: This versatile style will never look out of place in a business boardroom meeting or playing some backyard football with the kids.
  • Henley: Offers complete coverage of your chest, negating any need for a decorative undershirt or dress shirt.
  • Turtleneck: Allowing for coverage up to your Adam’s apple, the turtleneck provides more warmth compared to other neck styles.
  • Quarter-Zip: Great for those men who like a bit more practical look to their style. The quarter-zip front also makes it easier to put on and take off the sweater.
  • Shawl Collar: A folded over piece of fabric that is fastened together (typically with a single button) to provide a lapel-like appearance. This oversized neck style also provides some functional utility as it can easily block cold crosswinds.
  • V-Neck: Almost always paired with a button-down shirt, this sweater allows you to layer your clothing for better insulation and appearance. For a shallow v-neck, consider wearing a crewneck undershirt.  This will help to increase comfort and insulation.

3. Material

Sweaters and cardigans come in four primary fabrics types:

  • Wool: Natural-moisture wicking and anti-microbial, wool is the ideal fabric of sweaters. However, wool is typically dry clean only, which can become quite expensive, and a hassle.
  • Cotton: Durable and lightweight, cotton is an affordable fiber that is also breathable. Suitable for an office setting or moderate climates.
  • Cashmere: Sourced from goats, cashmere has a soft and luxurious feeling. This material is expensive and is best for formal sweaters.
  • Artificial: Synthetic blends are often found on fleece sweaters and will provide excellent insulation properties. Price is significantly lower when compared to other fibers.

Best Sweaters for Men

1. Best Overall: Faherty Sconset Cotton & Cashmere Crew Sweater

One of the best sweaters for men that we came across during our research was the Sconset Crew by Faherty.

This marled and super soft blend of fabric makes for an incredibly soft and comfortable sweater.

Available in three conservative colors:

  • Navy Heather
  • Light Gray Heather
  • Black Heather

You have a textured-looking sweater that can easily be dressed up with a pair of good-fitting chinos, or down with a nice pair of skinny jeans.

In addition to the fabric and color choice of this pullover sweater, the small details are what really sets it apart from many others – most notably the athletic v-patch underneath the neck along with a ribbed collar, cuff, and hem that will wear nicely with time.

The slightly tailored fit to this sweater should also work on most men’s bodies without ever feeling too puffy or tight.  Faherty makes this sweater in six different sizes ranging from XS to XXL.

If it’s your first time ordering from Faherty, it’s good to know that shipping is free and that they offer a free 60-day return window.

Sweater Type: Crew Neck

Fabric: 95% Cotton, 5% Cashmere

2. Best Zip Sweater: Mizzen+Main Wooster Zip Sweater

Maker of fine non-iron dress shirts and blazers, they are quickly becoming one of the go-to brands for men who want professional clothing that offers both quality and performance.

While they are primarily known for their dress shirts and their 4-way stretch performance fabric, they carry this same technology over to their Best-Selling Wooster pullovers.

Comprised of a blend of cotton (55%), modal (40%), and polyester (5%), you have a sweater that offers a terrific level of movement, fabric that won’t pill with time, along with moisture-wicking properties to keep your skin feeling dry and comfortable.

Despite the lack of cashmere or wool within the fabric itself, the fabric has been treated in a way that is ultra-soft.

Best worn with a button-down underneath, this quarter-zip sweater comes in 4 conservative color choices that all present nicely.

One aspect about this sweater that we really liked was the size and fit options.  Available in sizes SM to XXL and in a trim fit – it will form to the natural contours of your body without being too restrictive in any area.

Sweater Type: Quarter-Zip Pullover

Fabric: 55% Cotton, 40% Modal, 5% Polyester

3. Best Merino Wool: Bonobos Merino Crew Neck Sweater

Merino wool is a natural fabric that is often sought after in sweaters given both its soft texture and its moisture-wicking properties. It will allow you to feel comfortable in any scenario or environment.

While the merino wool composition (100%) of this sweater is one of the reasons for its inclusion on this list – another is its ability to be washed.

Unlike so many other merino wool sweaters that, once washed, begin to lose their shape and shrink instantly, this sweater by Bonobos will resist such tendencies.  The care instructions are a slight bit more laborious when compared to cotton sweaters – you will need to put the sweater into cold water (with like colors) and then take it out after washing and then lay flat and reshape (suggested) to dry.

Should any wrinkles form on the surface during the drying process, a cool iron should be able to remove most of them.

Beyond the washable merino wool composition, other standout features of this sweater are both the color and fit options.

Available in ten different colors and come in slim or standard fits – you should have no problem finding a sweater that works for your body.

Furthermore, this sweater does come in sizes between XS and XXL.

Lastly, we think that this pullover merino wool sweater is a versatile pick that can be either dressed up or worn casually without ever looking out of place, given that it has a standard crew neck and ribbed closures on the cuffs and hem.

For those on the fence about Bonobos as a company, we would recommend that you check out our Bonobos review article, as we researched them at length.

Sweater Type: Crew Neck

Fabric: 100% Merino Wool

4. Best Affordable (Cheap): Amazon Essentials Crew Fleece Sweatshirt

Amazon has quickly made a splash in the men’s fashion world by offering quality clothes at rock bottom prices.  This couldn’t be more true than when taking a look at their crewneck fleece sweatshirt.

Available in a multitude of colors and patterns (we lost count at 20) – you should have no problem finding the right sweater to fit your needs.  Whether you are looking for one that is to be worn to a relaxed office environment, or you are simply looking for a sweater to wear on the weekends – the style options are wide.

In addition to the color and pattern picks available, Amazon does offer this sweater in six different sizes (X-SM to XX-L).

Given that this is a budget-friendly sweater, there are inevitably going to be a few compromises, most notably around the construction and composition of the sweater itself.

Relying on a blend of cotton (52%) and polyester (48%), it won’t be nearly as breathable as some of the other picks on our list, but still should be quite warm and comfortable.

Furthermore, there is no back yoke to allow for increased movement range – not a dealbreaker for most but is worth noting.

Sweater Type: Crew Neck

Fabric: 52% Cotton, 48% Polyester

5. Best V Neck: Atlas V-Neck Sweater by Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply is quickly becoming one of the emerging brands within the world of men’s fashion – and it is easy to see why.

Their Atlas V-Neck Sweater was designed with men in mind by delivering expert craftsmanship at an affordable price.

While there is a lot to talk about with this sweater, let’s first start with its construction:

  • Versatile V-Neck: Whether you are looking for a sweater for casual wear or to the office, the V-neck can pair nicely with a simple undershirt or button-down shirt. It doesn’t go too deep to where you would ever feel self-conscious about your chest hair showing.
  • Nylon Fabric Blend: Made from extra-fine nylon (100%) it provides unique properties not commonly found in sweaters such as moisture-wicking and improved durability.
  • Machine Washable: With the reliance on nylon, you can throw this sweater into the washer to get it clean. Just make sure that you lay it flat to dry.
  • Curved Back Yoke: Often found on more luxurious sweaters, the curved back yoke allows for a more comfortable fit that is also stylish.
  • Ventilation: One unique feature about this sweater that Ministry of Supply has added is the inclusion of ventilation areas throughout the sweater. This proprietary feature allows for this sweater to be worn year-round.

When reviewing the sweater and color options – they are a bit limited compared to some of the other sweater brands reviewed.

For colors, you only have a choice between Grey Static and Navy Static.  The sweater has a wide size variety and is available in sizes between XS and XXL – no big or tall options are available.

Sweater Type: Shallow V Neck

Fabric: 100% Polyester

6. Goodthreads Men’s Soft Cotton Shawl Cardigan

The Goodthread’s Men’s Soft Cotton Shawl cardigan is the perfect and affordable 100% cotton cardigan that you can effortlessly work into your winter wardrobe.  What we particularly liked about this cardigan is the versatility.  Able to be dressed up with a button-down dress shirt, or worn more casually with a t-shirt, the style options are limitless.

Featuring ribbed cuffs, a ribbed waistband, two front pockets, a shawl collar, and a standard 5-button front closure, its design is timeless. 

Beyond the style details in this cardigan sweater, the color and size options are terrific.  Available in 15 different colors and sizes ranging from XS to 3XL along with tall sizes, you should have no problem finding the right size for you.

Sweater Type: Shawl Collar Cardigan

Fabric: 100% Cotton

7. Best Cotton Sweater: Polo Ralph Lauren Sweater

This 100% pima cotton v-neck sweater by Polo Ralph Lauren is our pick for the best cotton sweater money can buy.

Made from 100% long-staple cotton, it offers a soft texture that is highly breathable.

Available in 24 different colors, you can find one that will work for your unique style.  For the neck, cuffs, and bottom hem, Polo Ralph Lauren used a rib-knit hem to make the cotton naturally elastic-like.  By not relying on any blend or other synthetic fabrics, you will have a sweater that will continue to carry its shape after several washes.

Speaking of washing instructions, unlike so many wool sweaters that need to be treated carefully, given that this is made from cotton, you can simply toss it into a washer and dryer (with like colors of course) in order to clean – no special trips to the dry cleaner here.

Lastly, for those men who like a bit of branding on their clothes, the signature Polo Ralph Lauren pony is embroidered on the left chest.

Sweater Type: V-Neck

Fabric: 100% Pima Cotton