In the sweater world, Merino wool is king. Unlike traditional wool, Merino offers a soft, luxurious feel while offering the same warmth and protection. Yet, finding the perfect Merino wool sweater to fit your ever-changing needs can be challenging. That’s where we come in. We’ve curated a list of the 14 best Merino wool sweaters for men to help you find the one that best fits your lifestyle.
From classic crew necks to stylish knitwear, hopefully, you can discover your ideal Merino wool sweater. And who knows? You may learn a thing or two along the way!
- Best Overall: Unbound Merino Heritage Knit
- Editor’s Pick: Smartwool Sparwood Crew
- Editor’s Pick: Pendleton Original Westerly
- Best Everyday: Helly Hansen Carv
- Best V-Neck: Icebreaker Shearer
- Best Cardigan: Backcountry Textured Cardigan
- Best Cable Knit: West End Knitwear Aran Sweater
- Best 1/4 Zip: Dale of Norway Hovden
- Best Sweater Vest: Woolx Stowe Vest
- Best Turtleneck: Minus33 Kinsman
- Best For Travel: Proof 72-Hour Crewneck
- Best For Summer: Calvin Klein Merino Sweater
- Best For Winter: Filson Guide Sweater
- Best Value: Goodthreads Lightweight Sweater
- Final Note About the Best Merino Wool Sweaters For Men
Disclosure: Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products to maintain our genuineness and authenticity. However, as an affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Men’s Merino Wool Sweater Buying Considerations
Before diving into our favorite men’s Merino wool sweaters, we want to ensure you have all the information you need. So, we’ve put together some buying criteria that you should look out for when scanning each sweater.
Remember that each consideration is based on your personal preference. So, please don’t get too stuck on the numbers themselves. And if you still have questions, reach out to us!
As Merino wool lovers, we love classifying gear based on its wool percentage. And we hate to say it, but more wool does not always mean better. For example, 100% Merino wool sweaters may be softer, but less durable. On the other hand, a wool-synthetic bland may be easier to care for and retain its shape longer.
Overall, wool composition plays a role in a sweater’s warmth, next-to-skin feel, durability, fit, and care. Since these are mainly based on personal preference, you should understand how the Merino wool percentage plays a role in each. Click below if you’re interested in learning more.
Learn More About Wool Composition
Warmth & Feel
We like to think that the more Merino, the warmer the sweater. While fabric weight is more of a defining factor for warmth, Merino wool composition still plays a minor role due to its moisture management properties.
Also, Merino is finer than traditional wool, so it shouldn’t itch or scratch against your skin. So, as a rule of thumb, go pure Merino if you’re looking for pure coziness.
100% Merino wool sweaters are often delicate and prone to snagging or tearing. So, if you want something a little more heavy-duty, look for sweaters blended with synthetic material for added strength. Also, heavyweight fabrics tend to last longer than lighter ones.
Fit & Care
As you may know, Merino wool sweaters are often challenging to care for. Some are “dry-clean only,” while others have specific laundry instructions (that you should always follow).
Regarding wool composition, higher ones typically require more detailed care instructions. However, this varies on a sweater-to-sweater basis.
Unlike how we classify some of our other favorite Merino Wool gear – like base layers – it’s hard to judge the exact thickness of knitwear. Based on the table below and our experience with Merino wool, we’ve developed a Merino wool sweater weight classification system.
Now, this is no exact science, as we aren’t comparing apples to apples. But it should give you a better idea of how thick & warm each sweater may be. And if you want to know more about how we came up with these numbers, continue reading below.
Learn more about Fabric Weight
Fabric Weight (gsm)
Although we typically classify jersey fabrics in grams per square centimeter (gsm), for Merino wool sweaters, it is challenging to rank them based on the knit style. Yet as a comparative measure, it’s still important to quantify.
The knit gauge is determined by the number of stitches per inch. While the overall number is helpful to understand, it doesn’t give the complete picture, as factors like needle size, tension, and yarn weight play a role.
You can expect a heavier, puffier Merino wool sweater with lower knit gauges. On the flip side, higher knit gauges provide a smoother, lighter garment.
Comfort Lower Limit
For other types of Merino wool gear, we like to provide an upper and lower temperature range based on activity level. However, since you’re probably wearing your sweater during more sedentary activities, only offering a lower limit is better.
These comfort limits are based on years of experience in the Merino wool industry, as well as some other expert analysis.
Style & Fit
Pullovers, cardigans, turtlenecks, oh my!
Finding the right sweater style to match your style can take time and effort. Should I go with zippers or buttons? V-neck or crew? Ribbed cuffs or none? And honestly, we can’t give you a straight answer.
Luckily, many of these sweaters have “brothers.” In other words, one factor, like the neckline or closure type, may be altered, but everything else between them is the same. So, if you are being nitpicky, still make sure to check out the complete collection.
In terms of fit, we denote it in three classes: slim, standard, and relaxed. A slim fit may be your best choice if you are looking for a standalone sweater. Yet if you are looking at something to layer overtop, consider a relaxed fit for more room.
One of the disadvantages of Merino wool is that it’s expensive. You know this, and we know this. It’s not a shocker to anyone. While we provide some value options, most Merino wool sweaters will cost you a pretty penny. However, in our experience, the price tag isn’t the only “True Price” factor to consider.
Other factors like longevity and usage play a significant role. So, be sure to understand how often and for how long you plan on wearing your sweater when checking out the price.
Who knows? You may even find an heirloom piece you can pass on for generations. I mean, everybody loves the dad with the cool sweaters.
Best Overall Merino Wool Sweater For Men
Unbound Merino Heritage Knit Sweater
100% Merino wool | Heavyweight | Relaxed fit | 5 Colors | Price: $$$
Pros: Cozy, luxurious feel | Timeless style | Sustainably sourced
Cons: Not as heavy as you may expect | Limited size availability
If you’ve read our reviews before, you’ll know that we are huge fans of Unbound Merino. They design their clothing to withstand the rigors and discomfort of travel. And, with a classic style and comfortable feel, their Heritage Knit sweater is our favorite Merino wool men’s sweater.
What we love most about this Merino wool sweater is the wool itself. It has a soft and luxurious next-to-skin feel without any itch. That’s because Unbound Merino uses 100% extra fine Italian Merino wool sourced from the best growers. In fact, the yarn they use is certified by several outside agencies as being sustainable for the environment and ethical for the sheep. And when sheep are happy, they produce better quality wool!
As for the sweater thickness, we classify it as heavyweight due to the 10-gauge knit, but it’s lighter than you would expect. Yet, due to Merino’s natural loft and thermal regulation properties, you still get the warmth of a heavyweight sweater without the added bulk.
Since the Unbound Merino Heritage Knit sweater is so popular, there is often limited size and color availability. So, if you like it, you should get one before they sell out. Or, grab a bundle of two instead to save a little money!
Editor’s Pick: Sweater
Smartwool Sparwood Crew Sweater
30% Merino (70% Polyester/Nylon) | Lightweight | Regular fit | 7 colors | Price: $$
Pros: Good price-to-quality ratio | Breathable yet warm | Vibrant color selection
Cons: Not as soft as other sweaters | Pilling to be expected
You may know Smartwool from their selection of high-performing socks and outdoor wear. However, they don’t just offer clothes for hiker fashion week. Their Sparwood Crew Sweater is my pick because of its style and, best of all, affordability.
In terms of style, this Merino wool sweater has a casual vibe. There’s nothing too flashy or upscale, just a good sweater that pairs well with jeans, khakis, or chinos. The ribbed hem and cuffs provide the classic sweater look and add some warmth. Plus, the lightweight single-knit jersey is breathable. I’d consider it only a three-season sweater, so you may want to look for something heavier for winter.
When it comes to the price, you honestly can’t get much better at this level of quality. Smartwool does an excellent job blending synthetics for added strength without losing Merino wool’s desirable properties. And while this 2:1 synthetic-wool blend isn’t as soft as some of the other sweaters we’ll mention, it still gets the job done. Moreover, the synthetics help retain the shape longer, even if you experience some pilling after the first wash.
Overall, I really dig this Sparwood sweater. It comes in vibrant, unique colors like purples, reds, and oranges, which fit my personal style nicely. So as the editor, I’m giving it my stamp of approval (not like it really means anything, anyway)!
Editor’s Pick: Cardigan
Pendleton Original Westerly Sweater
100% Lambswool | Mid-to-heavyweight | Relaxed fit | 3 colors | Price: $$$$
Pros: Iconic style | High-quality craftsmanship | Zipper improves versatility
Cons: Dry clean only | Relatively expensive
I wouldn’t consider myself a massive fan of The Big Lebowski (although I have been to this Lebowski Bar in Iceland). Still, it doesn’t take a big fan to recognize this iconic Pendleton Westerly sweater from the movie. And while it’s made of Lambswool, not Merino, the dude still abides.
Apart from this zip-up cardigan’s place in Hollywood folklore, it’s a darn comfy and stylish piece. And that’s just not me saying it. Celebrities like Jon Hamm and Aaron Rodgers have all been spotted rocking The Dude’s sweater. Something about it just really ties their outfits together.
The only downside to this sweater (other than the price) is that it’s dry cleaned only. For some of you, that might not be an issue. But I tend to be messy, so I’m careful to wear mine if there are any beverages around.
Finally, I know what you’re thinking: “Did this guy add this sweater to quote The Big Lebowski?” Wow, just take it easy, man! This wool sweater is legit, not just a replica of a movie prop. Pendleton is a name you can trust in the world of wool. And if The Dude abides, you should too!
Best Everyday Merino Wool Sweater
Helly Hansen Carv Knitted Sweater
65% Merino / 35% Polyamide | Lightweight | Slim fit | 3 colors | Price: $$$
Pros: Après-Ski style & fit | Lightweight yet durable | Added comfort features
Cons: Not the most formal sweater | Large arm-patch logo
After a long day out on the mountain, you may gather in the lodge with friends for a few drinks. Or, head out into the town for some. Either way, you want to avoid packing an extra change of clothes. So, Helly Hansen created this Carv sweater to be worn before and after carving down the slopes. The style is called après-ski, French for “after ski.” Basically, it’s another term for call mountain casual, so we wouldn’t suggest it as a formal sweater. It was designed to be worn under your ski jacket but looks good when you’re a few beers in at the resort bar.
Although it is meant to be a ski sweater, we’ve found that it’s also our favorite everyday Merino wool sweater. This is because it’s lightweight and warm, meaning you can layer something heavier on top in the winter months. Also, the wool-synthetic blend strengthens the fabric, so it won’t be prone to snags and tears like other 100% Merino wool sweaters.
The only thing we’d really change is the large logo patch on the sleeve. But it’s not a deal breaker by any means. Anyways, if you’re looking for a stylish, comfortable sweater for daily use, the Carv knitted sweater should be one of your top choices. And, if you like the overall style but the sweater itself, check out some of these Helly Hansen wool sweaters.
Best V-Neck Merino Wool Sweater
Icebreaker Shearer V-Neck Sweater
100% Merino wool | Lightweight | Regular fit | 4 colors | Price: $$$
Pros: Classic no-frills v-neck | High-quality material | Formal enough for work
Cons: Sizing may run large | Must launder with care
When it comes to Merino wool brands, Icebreaker reigns supreme. We’ve reviewed dozens of their products and genuinely have nothing but praise, and their Shearer v-neck sweater is no different.
Icebreaker’s gear typically has a casual outdoor style, but with this v-neck Merino wool sweater, you get more of a formal indoor feel. The no-frills design works well layered over a collared shirt or as a standalone piece. The fit is regular, but some users have reported that it runs large. So, consult Icebreaker’s sizing charts & FAQs if you need clarification.
And as with all Icebreaker gear, the fabric is top-notch. The 100% Merino wool construction feels cozy and warm. Moreover, the ribbed cuffs, hem, and neckline keep the sweater in place, reducing discomfort. Although it is pure wool, you’ll want to launder it carefully. You can follow Merino wool care tips to keep your sweater soft and comfortable for years to come.
Finally, if you’re not a v-neck guy, Icebreaker makes their Shearer sweater in a crew neck, too. But if you like to rock the v-neck every so often, check out the button below!
Best Men’s Merino Wool Cardigan
Backcountry Textured Cardigan Sweater
55% Merino / 45% Cotton | Mid-to-heavyweight | Relaxed fit | 1 color | Price: $$$$
Pros: Soft wool-cotton blend | Functional front pockets | Made with sustainable materials
Cons: Possible care concerns | Relatively expensive
You may know Backcountry as an outdoor gear marketplace. However, they also make several high-quality products of their own. And one of our favorites is this textured wool-cotton cardigan. It has such a good winter vibe and can be worn whether you’re in the backcountry or not!
The feature we love most about this cardigan is the material itself. The combination of Merino wool and cotton has a luxurious next-to-skin feel. Moreover, Backcountry uses sustainable materials. Both the wool and cotton in this cardigan come from recycled materials. So, it feels good on your skin and on your conscious.
In terms of style, it has a unique vibe. I mean, who else would rock a sweater with reindeer on it? And it has pockets! Sure, it may seem a little hipster-ish. But, you have to admit, it’s not the most common of sweater designs. Still, who cares when you’re super warm and cozy?
Finally, this Merino wool cardigan is new, so only one color option is available, and we can’t vouch for its long-term durability. However, knowing Backcountry as a brand, it will probably last for years with proper care. Grab yours today (before they become mainstream)!
Best Merino Wool Cable Knit Sweater
West end Knitwear Aran Merino Wool Sweater
100% Merino wool | Heavyweight | Relaxed fit | 2 colors | Price: $$
Pros: Contemporary knit design | Warm yet breathable | Relatively inexpensive
Cons: Must launder with care | May experience initial itchiness
As we mentioned before, we’re no knitting experts. Although, we do know a solid sweater when we see one. And this Merino wool Aran sweater is solid. Not only is the chunky cable-knit warm and cozy, but compared to our other sweater entries, it’s uber affordable.
The overall style of this wool cardigan is known as Aran. Aptly named after an island chain off the coast of Ireland, this wool cardigan style has been popular for centuries. And this 100% Irish Merino wool Aran jumper is a nice mix of traditional and contemporary styles without sacrificing quality. In other words, this cardigan gives you the classic professor look.
The style and quality of this sweater may make you think it’s expensive. However, it’s unusually affordable. Chunky knit sweaters like this one requires less processing. Moreover, Irish Merino sheep produce coarser wool than Australian Merino as the sheep face harsher, rainier conditions. Thus, the raw material costs less, and those savings get passed on to you!
Still, even with the lower price point, this Aran Merino wool sweater is of the utmost quality. West End Knitwear has been operating for over a half-a-century, so you know you’re getting generations of knowledge with just one sweater. And this Merino wool Aran jumper’s timeless style is a testament to their longevity and success.
Best Men’s 1/4 Zip Merino Wool Sweater
Dale of Norway Hovden Sweater
100% Merino wool | Midweight | Slim fit | 6 colors | Price: $$$$
Pros: High-quality craftsmanship | Modern Nordic pattern | Designed for winter athletes
Cons: Sizing discrepancies | A bit pricey
The Norwegians have it figured out when it comes to outdoor winter style. For centuries, Scandinavians have been knitting beautiful sweaters to withstand the dark, frigid winter months. Yet, with new fabric comes new opportunities. Traditionally, these sweaters have a similar floral-like pattern and are sourced with local Norwegian wool. And when you combine this multigenerational expertise with the power of Merino wool, you get the Dale of Norway Hovden 1/4 zip.
This cozy, stylish Hovden sweater is Dale of Norway’s lightweight version of their famous Vail sweater designed for the 2006-2007 USA Ski & Snowboard team. While the Vail sweater is made with hardier Norwegian wool, the Hovden uses a 100% Merino wool construction. Thus, you get a softer, airier feel without sacrificing warmth.
And as we mentioned, Dale of Norway’s apparel is designed for, and tested by, the best winter athletes in the world. So, you know you’ll get a high-quality sweater that can withstand most arctic conditions. Moreover, you get the coziness and contentment that the Norwegians have become so famous for. Make sure to grab one today!
Best Merino Wool Sweater Vest
Woolx Stowe Vest
80% Merino / 20% Polyamide | Heavyweight | Regular fit | 3 colors | Price: $$$
Pros: Versatile style & design | Warmth without bulk | Moisture-repellent knit style
Cons: Dry clean only | More casual than formal
If you live in a moderate climate, you understand how essential a vest is to your wardrobe. It provides the added versatility you may need as the temperature changes throughout the day without having to pack a heavy jacket. And our favorite gear that provides this warmth and versatility – Merino wool or not – is the Woolx Stowe Vest.
The overall design of this vest is one of the best. It’s like Woolx thought of everything. The 340 gsm heavyweight fabric is thick and warm yet surprisingly breathable. Also, the unique bouclé knit construction allows the vest to repel moisture. On top of that, you get three zipper pockets, a stay-put collar, and a supersoft feel! What more could you ask for in a sweater vest?
The Stowe vest’s only downside is that it’s “dry clean only.” Again, not a deal breaker by any means. However, it’s essential to mention. And although we’ve been known to skirt the care instructions, you should follow them, so you don’t void Woolx’s comprehensive warranty.
Also, we get it; this is more of an outdoor vest than your traditional sweater vest. Although, it’s high-quality enough to wear in any business casual setting. When heading to the office, consider throwing it over your dress shirt. Or, if you’re still working from home, it makes a great layering piece even if you’re still in your pajamas!
Best Men’s Merino Wool Turtleneck
Minus33 Kinsman Midweight Turtleneck
100% Merino wool | Midweight | Regular fit | 2 colors | Price: $$
Pros: Top-notch warmth-to-weight ratio | Neck doesn’t constrict | Versatile wear
Cons: Not the best standalone piece | Sizing inconsistencies
In general, I’m not the biggest fan of turtlenecks. They can feel somewhat restricting around my neck (I’d rather wear a Merino wool buff instead). However, I understand those who love rocking the turtleneck look. And in terms of Merino wool turtlenecks, the Minus33 Kinsman is king.
The one aspect that sets the Kinsman apart from other Merino wool turtlenecks is the warmth-to-weight ratio. With a thickness of only 235 gsm (midweight), you still get tons of warmth. And as I mentioned before, some turtlenecks may feel restrictive around your neck. However, Minus33 knows this and designs the Kinsman with a looser-fitting neckline and no tags. In other words, it won’t choke you!
In terms of style, I’d say the Kinsman turtleneck is more of a base layer piece to be worn under something else.
As a standalone piece, it could be better, as the seam construction makes it more casual than formal. Still, it gets the job done if you’re going for the Steve Jobs look.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a comfy, low-profile Merino wool turtleneck, the Minus33 Kinsman is your best bet. It’s not only comfortable and simple but super warm. That may be why it shares a name with one of the northeast’s coldest mountain ranges. Anyways, check this Merino wool turtleneck out for yourself!
Best Merino Wool Sweater For Travel
Proof 72-Hour Crewneck Sweater
80% Merino / 20% Nylon | Lightweight | Slim fit | 4 colors | Price: $$$
Pros: Comfy waffle knit design | Seamless construction | Easily layered
Cons: Somewhat boring color options | Shrinks with improper care
Packing light will improve your adventure, whether on a road trip or traveling overseas. The less you carry, the less to worry about, and the further you can go! So, your travel clothing should be versatile, comfortable, stylish, and odorless after wearing it for three days. And with the Proof 72-Hour Crewneck sweater, that’s what you get!
Aptly named after Merino wool’s odor-proof properties, the 72-hour sweater is excellent for weekend escapes or multi-week getaways. Not only does it pack small, but you can dress it up or down. And while some of the color options are a bit basic, they pair well with nearly any pair of pants.
While this looks like a simple waffle-knit shirt at first glance, Proof uses enhanced design techniques for the utmost comfort. It’s constructed using a particular knitting machine, creating a seamless sweater that reduces irritation. The elbows are articulated, allowing for better mobility. Moreover, the ribbed waist and cuffs add to this sweater’s insane amount of comfort.
Finally, this Merino wool sweater is just one piece in Proof’s complete 72-Hour travel collection. There are also tees, henleys, polos, in more. You could even fill your whole suitcase if you want!
Best Merino Wool Sweater For Summer
Calvin Klein Merino Sweater
100% Merino wool | Lightweight | Slim fit | 12+ colors | Price: $$
Pros: Extra-fine, breathable material | Striped & multicolor options available | Relatively inexpensive
Cons: Longevity concerns | Size & color inconsistencies
Merino wool sweaters aren’t just for the cold. Due to its unique moisture-wicking properties, wearing Merino wool gear can keep you cool during the summer (and warm when the office AC is too chilly). Still, you want to avoid being bogged down in a heavy-knit sweater if it’s sweltering outside. Instead, you’ll want a lightweight, breezy sweater. And a great option for these hot days is this Calvin Klein Merino Sweater.
While Calvin Klein isn’t the usual brand you see in these reviews, they have an extensive Merino wool collection. Moreover, since they are on the pulse of fashion, they always have many colors and styles available. For example, this crewneck sweater comes in various stripe patterns and multi-color designs. More options are released each season, too!
Where does this lightweight Merino wool sweater stand in terms of quality? Probably the middle of the pack. It does feel really soft, but the fabric is more delicate than some of the other sweaters we’ve tried. It’s more prone to snags and tears, so we question its long-term durability. But for the affordable price, you can’t beat it. And if you properly take care of it, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Best Merino Wool Sweater For Winter
Filson Crewneck Guide Sweater
100% Merino wool | Heavyweight | Regular fit | 1 color | Price: $$$$$
Pros: Heavy-duty knit construction | Perfect for cold & wet conditions | Trusted outdoor brand
Cons: Only for cold-weather use| Most expensive sweater on the list
This Merino wool sweater from Filson is an absolute unit. It’s hard to classify the actual thickness, but we can say it’s the warmest Merino wool sweater on this list. The heavyweight fabric is super warm. Like, really warm. It’s the best cold-weather sweater, Merino wool or not.
In addition to feeling cozy and warm, the Filson Guide sweater will keep you dry. The dense, tightly woven knit makes the material waterproof. And, even if it does wet out in a downpour, you won’t start to freeze. Merino wool maintains its insulative properties even when wet, which is perfect for Filson’s testing grounds in the Pacific Northwest.
The USA-sourced wool fibers are packed so deeply together that it makes the material waterproof. Moreover, this knit pattern improves the durability and longevity of the sweater, as it shouldn’t pill. This Filson Guide sweater is crafted so well that it will probably outlast you!
Ultimately, to say this sweater is expensive may be an understatement. It’s nearly twice the price of some of the more high-end Merino wool sweaters. However, we feel it’s priced accurately based on Filson’s unmatched quality and expertise. The fabric shouldn’t pill or tear over time as it’s created with best-in-industry craftsmanship. It should last for life with proper care, making it one of the most valuable Merino sweaters we can think of!
Best Value Merino Wool Sweater For Men
Goodthreads Lightweight Merino Wool Sweater
100% Merino wool | Lightweight | Regular fit | 16+ colors | Price: $
Pros: Extremely affordable | Simple, lightweight design | Lots of unique color options
Cons: Longterm durability concerns | Quality inconsistency
Listen, we get it: Merino wool is expensive. While we consider it the price for comfort and performance, it can still be overwhelming. Luckily, several cheaper options on the market have decent quality. And with this Goodthreads Lightweight Merino wool sweater, you may not be getting the best of the best, but you may be getting the best for your buck.
This sweater is priced affordably because the material doesn’t have that buttery, silky feel like other Merino wool sweaters. That’s not to say it isn’t soft (because it is), but you can tell a higher fiber thickness is used. Again, you shouldn’t be itchy if you wear it, but know there are finer options.
Still, from an objective perspective, this Goodthreads sweater has plenty of solid features. The fit is tapered and flattering without feeling constrictive. And, since it comes in nearly every cover you can think of, there’s bound to be one to match your style.
In terms of value, you’re not going to find a better Merino wool sweater than Goodthreads. And yes, it’s prone to snags, tears, and laundry mishaps. We understand. Yet, if you take proper care of it, you should have a simple, stylish Merino wool pullover that lasts for years.
Final Note About the Best Merino Wool Sweaters For Men
And there you have it! Our 14 favorite Merino wool sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, v-necks, and more!
Hopefully, you found a style and color that works best for you! However, if you need a different option, you can always contact us, and we’d be happy to work with you to find your ideal Merino wool sweater.
And, if you loved these cozy sweaters, you may love the rest of our Merino wool reviews. Follow us on any of the socials below for the latest deals and discounts on your favorite Merino wool gear. Or, you can sign up for our newsletter if you want to be the first to read new reviews and round-ups!