Updated April 2023: Panties and hipsters and thongs, oh my! If you are looking to upgrade your panties, you’ve come to the right place. Merino wool is the champion of underwear material. In fact, it’s undie-feated. Let’s take a look at some of the best Merino wool underwear for women.
We’ll certainly have more lame undie puns for you too!
Disclaimer: To maintain genuineness and authenticity, Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products. Yet as an Amazon Associate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Quick Merino Wool Underwear Buying Guide
Before we get into our reviews, you must gain a quick understanding of women’s Merino wool underwear. You should be looking for specific factors that not only fit your taste but also ensure that you thoroughly enjoy your new pair of panties.
The first – and most important – rule is that your underwear should never bother you. Basically, you shouldn’t even notice you are wearing underwear in the first place! Also, you must check each company’s sizing charts before purchasing since Merino wool sizing can vary widely.
Let’s take a look at a few more buying considerations.
You want your pants to be like Goldilocks: not too loose or tight, but just right. While Merino wool is super soft, you’ll want to ensure the cut and style of underwear best fits your needs.
Unlike synthetics that can be foul-smelling after a brief jog on the treadmill, Merino wool underwear has great antimicrobial benefits. However, these benefits decrease over time with each wash.
Merino wool underwear works in a three-tier breathability system: moisture-wicking, maximum airflow, and moisture dispersion. The thinner the fabric (<150 GSM), the better the moisture control.
Pure Merino can often be delicate, but no need to get your panties in a bunch. Search for Merino underwear blended with polyester or nylon to improve longevity.
Editor’s Note: If you are looking for a bra to match with your Merino underwear, take a look at our comprehensive review of the 12 Best Merino Wool Bras for Maximum Comfort!
Best Overall Merino Wool Women’s Underwear
83% Merino, 12% Nylon, 5% Elastane | 150 gsm | True fit | Unique hip cut | $$$$
Pros: Excellent 360 coverage | Soft & comfortable | Versatile design
Cons: Style not for everyone | Waistband durability | Expensive
One of our favorite Merino wool brands, Icebreaker, has crafted a quality, versatile, comfortable pair of underwear for women with the Siren Hipkini Briefs. Unlike traditional bikini underwear, the Hipkini has a unique cut that provides more fabric around the hips, so you don’t bunch up or ride up as you go about your day.
The extra hip coverage is not the only element of this underwear that provide extra comfort. The seam construction is barely noticeable and won’t irritate your skin in the slightest. Plus, the super-soft, New Zealand-sourced Merino wool is supportive but not too restrictive. It will feel like you aren’t even wearing anything, and that’s the point of quality underwear.
As you with most Merino clothing, the Siren Hipkini Briefs have excellent breathability and odor resistance. The thinner 150 GSM (classified as lightweight by Icebreaker) offers more airflow than thicker underwear. If you are a heavy sweater – as many of us are – you won’t have to worry about that dreaded wet legging imprint.
As with all of our reviews, we are not trying to sell you on a specific product. But instead, provide an objective perspective for your research purposes. So, we’ve got to cover the cons as well. While we’ve experienced limited issues with the Siren Hipkini, the unique cut is not for everyone. We suggest ensuring that you purchase the proper size so that you can avoid fit problems. Also, users have reported that the elastic used in the spandex does not appear too durable.
Finally, the Icebreaker Siren Hipkini Briefs are on the expensive end of the spectrum for women’s Merino underwear. But, if you want a quality pair of undies that you can wear around the house, at the office, or in the woods, then these are your best bet.
Best Merino Wool Thong
86% Merino, 12% Nylon, 2% Spandex | 150 gsm | Slim fit | Performance stretch | $$$
Pros: Exceptional comfort | Hugs all the right places | Supportive yet non-restrictive
Cons: Sizing runs small | Could use more front coverage | Sometimes viewed as a granny thong
Whether you’re a daily thong enthusiast or just the occasional wearer under leggings, you’ll love the comfort of the Woolx Kylie Thong. In fact, they are so comfortable that you may even forget you are wearing any underwear, and that’s the point of a good thong, right?
The performance stretch hybrid Merino/Nylon/Spandex material hugs your hips in all the right places and is perfect for any activity. Want to wear the Kylie Thong under a cocktail dress? You can do that. Want to wear it while hiking in the woods? You can do that too. In other words, the versatility and comfort of this Merino wool underwear are genuinely second to none.
As we always do, we also have to report the downsides of the WoolX Kylie Thong. Nothing is perfect – except Betty White – and some users believe that this underwear is more fit for our favorite Golden Girl than for the younger crowd. We have not experienced this issue, but our job is to inform you of what others may say.
We have experienced one issue, though: the thong is really slim-fitting, and the sizing runs about two-sizes small. It’s not that big of a deal, but if you’re a 4, order a 6 to be safe.
Overall, we love the Woolx Kylie Thong, and it’s our favorite Merino wool thong on the market. You’ll stay comfortable, dry, and odor-free all day long.
Best Ultralight Women’s Underwear for Travel
95% Merino Wool, 5% Elastane | 150 gsm | 17.5 microns | Sizing runs large | $$
Pros: Soft on skin | Super ultralight | Versatile with any clothing
Cons: Runs a bit large | Questionable durability | Does not fit all body types
If you are frequently on-the-go for work or merely an avid traveler, these bikini briefs by Woolly may be best for you. They are designed with your comfort in mind.
The Merino is 17.5 microns, which is the softest available on the market. They are super lightweight and perfectly fit into any carry-on. They contain zero tags and have flatlock seams, so the only part of this underwear that will touch your skin is the soft Merino. The elastic construction also allows for a supportive yet body-shaping fit to prevent ride up.
Although, since these bikini briefs are ultralight and composed of 95% merino wool, they appear to be a bit delicate. We gave them a 65/100 on the durability scale due to our past experiences, but honestly, we have not had any issues with the pair we own. Some other customer complaints are that the sizing runs a bit large. Also, the bikini brief cut may not be ideal for everyone.
Overall though, the ultralight bikini brief by Woolly is our top choice for travelers. They are not only soft and comfortable, but pair well with any outfit in your suitcase.
Best Women’s Underwear for Hiking
84% Merino, 12% Nylon, 4% Spandex | 145 gsm | 17.5 microns | True fit | 1″ inseam | $$$$
Pros: Excellent moisture control | Anti-chafe flatlock seams | Machine wash & dry
Cons: Rides up with heavy activity | Lacks versatility | Limited colors
If you dread butt floss and seek the coveted butt coverage from a pair of panties, then the Minus33 Wolverino Boyshort may be best for you. Not only are they great on long outdoor adventures, but they pair well with any skirt or loose-fitting clothing.
These boyshorts have excellent breathability, as the 145 GSM will keep you sweat-free and smelling fresh no matter the activity. Many times, these lower thickness garments tend to be frail and prone to tears, but not with Minus33’s Woolverino technology. They spin wool around an inner nylon core to improve overall durability, sort of like a spring.
When it comes to comfort, there are both good and bad aspects. We’ll start with the positives. These boyshorts are super-soft, crafted with 17.5-micron Merino, which makes a perfect next-to-skin garment. Also, they come with anti-lock seams so you won’t chafe when your hiking through the woods. Now, the negatives.
Unfortunately, the 1″ inseam of these boyshorts is not entirely sufficient if you’ve got a little more junk in-the-trunk than usual. If you got more backside, try a bit longer inseam to prevent any ride-up. Also, since Minus33 crafted these Merino wool boyshorts for outdoor lovers, they are not as versatile as many of the other pairs of panties on this list.
Overall though, if you are a hiking enthusiast with a thirst for adventure, the Minus33 Woolverino Micro Weight Boyshort may be the best Merino underwear for you.
Best Merino Wool Bikini Underwear
87% Merino, 13% Nylon core | 150 gsm | Fits slim-to-small | Flatlock seams | $$
Pros: Great Merino quality | Excellent temperature regulation | Versatile
Cons: Sizing runs small | Waistband elasticity issues | Reported durability issues
Modest yet sexy. Soft yet durable. Lightweight yet supportive. The Smartwool Merino 150 Bikini is an ultra-versatile pair of underwear for any occasion. They are perfect for any outdoor adventure, board meeting, or even when you are performing obscene amounts of glute bridges at the gym.
The fabric consists of 87% Merino with 13% corespun nylon, a perfect combination of comfort and durability. The 150 GSM offers plenty of breathability and odor control, too. Thus, even when you’re finished with your butt exercises, these Smartwool panties should not sweat through your leggings.
The overall coverage of this underwear is exceptional. The front is simple, offering plenty of range, while the back gives your cheeks just enough room to breathe without going overboard. These Smartwool panties are some of the softest on the market and come with flatlock stitching, which hides any seams that may irritate your skin.
Although there have been a few negatives that users have reported. They say that the sizing runs a bit smalls; therefore, the elastic may seem a bit tight. We suggest checking out their sizing charts before you buy.
It seems as if there have been some reported manufacturing defects for some customers regarding the stitching and elastic. While that’s never a good sign, you should imagine that there may be a few mistakes with a large company like Smartwool. However, since they genuinely care about their product’s quality and customer’s happiness, they offer a fantastic return and refund policy.
So, if you are looking for a versatile, lightweight, breathable pair of panties with even a hint of luxury, then look no further. These Smartwool 150 Bikini underwear should be yours!
Full Women’s Merino Wool Underwear Buying Guide
We’re sure you got it by now: Merino is the panty-dropper of panty materials. Yet, it’s essential that you fully understand these underwear buying considerations before purchasing. It would be best if you always did research to know what you’re buying. As L’Oreal says, “Maybe it’s Merino.” No, no, that’s Maybelline. Oh, that’s right! You’re worth it!
The four Merino underwear buying considerations (and any underwear for that matter) are comfort, odor resistance, moisture control, and durability. Let’s dive right in!
You should never forget that your next-to-skin garments are just as important as your outerwear. If you feel the discomfort of your underwear bunching up all the time, it doesn’t matter how good you look: it feels like pure hell.
The comfort you experience from the soft, low-micron fabric of Merino wool will help you stay comfortable all day long. They shouldn’t pinch your skin or cause any irritation from the seams. Also, they shouldn’t be too loose or too tight.
Merino Wool is the Goldilocks of underwear: they fit just right.
Comfort Buying Consideration
Still, fabric alone will not save you if your Merino wool underwear’s cut and fit are off. We understand that each of the below cuts is about personal preference. However, you should still consider each type’s top comfort quality.
|Style||Top Buying Consideration||Best To Wear|
|Bikinis||Fit below hips, preferably seamless||Everyday wear|
|Boy Shorts||Seam length||High-rise pants, loose skirts, or during high-activity|
|Briefs||Front-to-back coverage ratio||With most types of pants and suitable for athletics|
|G-Strings||Durability||Reduced panty lines with tight-fitting clothes|
|Hipsters||Figure-flattening, modest coverage||Pants or low-rise jeans|
|Thongs||Sufficient front coverage||Form-fitting clothing & everyday wear|
Whether you are going to work, working out, or just lounging around the house, your underwear should not smell. You want your nether region to smell as fresh as a field of daisies or as close as possible.
With typical underwear fabrics like cotton, polyester, or nylon, unwanted bacteria can make a home in your underwear. Don’t worry; it’s not your fault. Your downstairs’s warmth is the ideal environment for microorganisms to munch on fats and proteins in your natural bodily secretion.
We know it sounds disgusting, but it’s the truth. Thus, the only way to control foul-smelling odors is to prevent the growth of bacteria. That’s where Merino wool comes in.
Naturally, Merino wool contains a waxy substance called lanolin, which protects the sheep from infection. Some of it washes out in the manufacturing process, yet much of the lanolin remains trapped in the fabric fibers. Basically, the lanolin does not give bacteria a substrate to adhere and multiply.
Odor Resistance Buying Consideration
When it comes to Merino wool underwear, the higher the Merino percentage, the better the odor control. If you have questions about a specific pair of panties’ odor-resistance, check out some of the odor reviews on Youtube. Or you can ask us. We’ll wear them for a couple of days and let you know!
Let’s face it: no one likes wet panties. Even typing that sentence made me cringe. Unnecessary moisture in your nether region can not only lead to the aforementioned nasty odors. Still, it can lead to inflammation, itching, and even yeast infections. Merino wool is one of the top underwear fabrics due to its moisture-wicking and breathable properties.
Merino works in three ways to achieve maximum moisture control: wicking sweat from the skin, excellent airflow, and fabric moisture dispersion. Let’s look at each one.
1. Moisture Wicking
While many companies use “wicking” as a buzzword, they genuinely don’t mean it. Every fabric is technically wicking, just as paper towels wick away liquid spills. However, Merino wool not only wicks away liquid but vapor as well. Therefore, the fabric pulls water vapor off your skin, keeping you dry before you even sweat.
2. Excellent Airflow
If you remember anything from middle school science class, water evaporates more with better airflow. Merino wool’s structure has tiny pockets that allow air to travel through and moisture to escape.
3. Moisture Dispersion
What good is moisture-wicking if all the water just gets trapped in your underwear? Merino wool’s best breathability property is that moisture on the outside of the fabric quickly disperses into the atmosphere. Thus, allowing for more surface area for water to evaporate into the atmosphere.
Moisture Control Buying Consideration
As most Merino wool underwear has similar moisture controllability, the only variable that truly matters is the fabric thickness. Basically, the thicker the fabric, the less airflow and the more moisture retention. For everyday use, look for 150 GSM fabric density (about two sheets of paper thick). If you are venturing into colder climates and don’t need to worry about moisture control as much, look for 180+ GSM.
If you are spending your hard-earned money on underwear, you should be damn sure that it will last you a long time. However, Merino wool is not the most durable fabric by itself and is prone to snags and tears. Polyester and nylon perform much better in the durability department. But don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet.
Durability Buying Consideration
Many Merino companies understand the lack of durability when it comes to their underwear. They often blend the wool with a synthetic or use “corespun” technology to improve the overall durability without limiting Merino wool’s other benefits. It’s best to look for Merino wool underwear, with about 5-25% of synthetic material. That way, you get the best benefits of Merino with the durability of synthetics.
Tips to Make Your Merino Wool Underwear Last Longer
- Wash Merino wool less often than other fabrics
- Occasionally wash with rough fabrics like denim
- Avoid the dryer (unless specified by the manufacturer)
- Flat dry underwear on a towel
- Never stretch when wet
To learn how to wash Merino wool and other care techniques, check out our Ultimate Merino Wool Care Guide.
Final Thoughts About Women’s Merino Underwear
Let’s be brief: from hipsters to thongs, boyshorts to bikinis, we’ve covered everything there is to know about women’s Merino wool underwear. Oh, and let’s not forget about the excessive use of puns. We did all the leg work (we promise that’s the last pantie pun)…
Now, the decision is up to you.
Whichever pair of Merino wool underwear you purchase, remember that it should be the best fit for your lifestyle. Above all, you should want to look fresh and feel fresh. That’s why we love Merino wool.
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