The 11 Best Wool Sweaters to Keep Cozy Through 2023

The Athleta Alpine turtleneck sweater is soft as can be while providing maximum warmth.

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The 11 Best Wool Sweaters to Keep Cozy Through 2023 tout

InStyle / Reese Herrington

What are cozy winters without some thick, warm sweaters? As the temperatures drop, it’s likely you’re looking to turn to some sweaters that don’t just look cute but can insulate you as well. That's why we always recommend wool sweaters — with their thick yarns and naturally temperature-regulating properties, wool sweaters will require less layering in order to feel toasty.

To help you find the best of the best, we consulted a group of experts and tried a bunch of sweaters out ourselves. We took into consideration different wool blends and specific wool types (like merino wool) because wool can sometimes be a little itchy, so we checked to see if they have any other materials woven into the fabric, like cashmere, to soften out the fabric.

Overall, the Athleta Alpine Turtleneck Sweater wins across the board in softness, warmth, and style. The size-inclusive option is well-rated amongst people who have already purchased it as well. But most importantly, it can be washed and dried with the rest of your clothes - a feature that’s very uncommon for wool. If turtlenecks aren't really your spiel, we have a list of 10 more wool sweaters to suit every style and need.

Best Overall

Athleta Alpine Turtleneck Sweater

Alpine Turtleneck Sweater


What We Love: This can be thrown into the washer and dryer.

What We Don’t Love: It’s quite oversized, and a lot of people are suggesting to size down.

This wool turtleneck sweater has cashmere blended in to help soften the often itchy wool fabric. It will be just as breathable and even pull sweat away from the body to save you from accidentally overheating if you misjudge the temperature outside or happen to have an overheated office. And although you might think that will make it harder to care for, you can still machine wash (and dry!) this sweater, which we weren't expecting — no trips to the dry clean required.

We appreciate the relaxed fit of this sweater, too. The boxy fit with ribbed hems errs on the oversized side, naturally falling to your hips, while the long sleeves give a cozy effect as they cover your hands. If you wish for a more standard fit, however, it’s recommended to size down.  

Price at time of publish: $229

Material: Wool, cashmere | Size: XXS-3XL  | Length: Mid

Best Budget

Quince Baby Alpaca-Wool Diamond Stitch Crew

Baby Alpaca-Wool Diamond Stitch Crew


What We Love: It’s incredibly soft material has awarded this piece a near perfect five star rating.

What We Don’t Love:Some colors are a little see-through.

If you don’t know Quince by now, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the brand that creates quality pieces at an affordable price. After trying one of the brand's 100 percent cashmere sweaters for our cashmere story, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality for such a low price — and I definitely expect the same level of craftsmanship for this wool sweater, too. 

Made of baby alpaca wool, extra-fine merino wool, and nylon, this sweater is a lightweight option that feels incredibly soft. It comes in a crewneck cut with extra long sleeves and some room to move around. However, there are a few complaints that some versions are slightly see-through, particularly the lighter color options like ivory or light gray. You will need to wear a tee or camisole underneath to combat any sheerness (or just pick a very cute bra). 

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: Baby alpaca wool, extrafine merino wool, nylon | Size: XS-XL | Length: Mid

Best Splurge

Rosie Assoulin Thousand in One Ways Embroidered Cable-Knit Wool-Blend Sweater

net a porter ROSIE ASSOULIN

Net A Porter

What We Love: It’s a versatile piece that can be worn in more than one way.

What We Don’t Love:This sweater will require some coordination as it won’t go with just anything in your closet.

This piece comes highly recommended by stylist Sarah Toshiko West for its versatility. “You can wear the bolero off the shoulder to reveal the wool camisole underneath or tie around the neck or waist”. While the unique cut is definitely an eye-catcher, the floral embroidery is equally worth a mention, splattered across the cable knit white sweater. It’s composed of 55 percent wool, blended with some cotton and nylon for a softer feel on the skin. While it’s definitely not something that goes with everything, the unique design and embroidery come together to make a one-of-a-kind piece that’s worth splurging a little more on. 

Price at time of publish: $885

Material: Wool, cotton, nylon | Size: XS-L | Length: Short

Best Plus

dia & co GSTQ Snap Front Cardigan

dia & co GSTQ Snap Front Cardigan

Dia & Co

What We Love: It’s a versatile option with endless styling options.

What We Don’t Love: The snaps look a bit less timeless when open.

Cardigans allow for a little more versatility in an outfit because they can be used as an accent or simply just brought along only in case you get cold — they don’t need to be the moment, but rather complement a moment. That's partially why we recommend opting for something neutral, like this beige or dark gray option. This one comes with a snap closure front, leading to a hem that extends past your hips. Two slits can be found on either side of the sweater, as well as slit pockets for both your hands. The thick knit is made of a blend of cashmere, wool, nylon, and viscose, which makes it a well-balanced and warm piece that will have no trouble keeping you cozy and warm. We think buttons look a bit more timeless than snaps, especially when open, but on the bright side, snaps are significantly easier to close.

Price at time of publish: $298

Material: Cashmere, wool, viscose, nylon | Size: M-3XL | Length: Long

COS Slim-Fit Merino Wool Turtleneck Top

Cos Merino Wool Sweater

What We Love: The wool used in this sweater is certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard.

What We Don’t Love: You can't layer much underneath it.

As a slightly softer and thinner fiber than regular wool, merino wool feels better on the skin and less scratchy. Because of its thinness, merino wool also lends itself to lighter, more delicate silhouettes, like this turtleneck top from Cos, rather than the chunkier pieces you probably initially think of with wool sweaters. We appreciate that Cos took the extra step to have their wool certified by the Responsible Wool Standard, too, which helps to protect the welfare of sheep and their environment. Because of its finer texture and body-hugging fit, the sweater might be a bit challenging to layer shirts underneath it; however, you can easily pile pieces on top, such as an extra jacket or cardigan if needed.

Price at time of publish: $120

Material: Wool | Size: XS-L | Length: Mid

Best Crewneck

& Other Stories Relaxed Crewneck Wool Sweater

& Other Stories Relaxed Crewneck Wool Sweater

& Other Stories

What We Love: They are using responsible wool.

What We Don’t Love:There’s a possibility that this sweater is a little itchy.

& Other Stories is the first place I go to when I want a cozy knit — their pieces are always well-crafted and last for years. The relaxed, oversized fit of this sweater features straight and long arms, with ribbing around the neck, hem, and cuffs. Much like the Cos option, & Other Stories uses responsible wool to create this sweater, blended with a little bit of polyamide, mohair, and spandex. While I’m certain it will keep you very warm, I’m less convinced if it is scratch-free. I recently purchased this sweater, which is only 30 percent wool (compared to this one which is 60 percent), and it has a mild itch to it. Perhaps you would have to test and feel this fabric for yourself before committing to it.

Price at time of publish: $119

Material: Wool, polyamide, mohair, spandex | Size: XXS-XL | Length: Mid

Best Turtleneck

Verishop Anine Bing Sydney Sweater Camel

verishop Anine Bing Sydney Sweater Camel


What We Love: The alpaca helps soften the wool.

What We Don’t Love:The sweater runs a little large, so sizing down might be required.

Some turtlenecks leave drown your face and neck in fabric — but not with this sweater. The funnel turtleneck gently frames your visage, with a wide opening and a length that doesn’t fold over. I love the straight-line stitchings that make this sweater look sophisticated, and the dropped shoulders and oversized arms give it a relaxed appeal. The rest of the sweater is quite large, however – the model pictured here is five foot nine inches and wearing an extra small. It might serve you well to size down on this option. In terms of feel, Anine Bing blends alpaca and wool here, in which the alpaca fibers help make wool yarn feel softer, and is a great option for people who are sensitive to wool. 

Price at time of publish: $350

Material: Alpaca, wool, polyamide, polyacrylic | Size: XS-L | Length: Long

Best Oversized

Aritzia Babaton Popova Sweater

Aritzia Babaton Popova Sweater


What We Love: It’s extremely soft and warm.

What We Don’t Love: You can only hand wash this sweater.

I had the pleasure of trying out this wool sweater, thanks to the Aritzia team. Upon taking the sweater out of the box, I was happy to learn that it resembled exactly what is pictured here — long sleeves, long hem, and exaggerated dropped shoulders. I was further impressed after putting it on and learning that it doesn’t have any itch to it, thanks to the fact that it’s mostly made of extra-fine merino wool. I wore it during a literal snow blizzard in Mont Tremblant, Canada, and it was one of the few things that, when combined with my puffer, could keep me warm in six-degree temperatures. Needless to say, I absolutely love this sweater now — it’s soft, warm, and flattering — both in cut and color. However, I’m reluctant to wear it as often, since hand washing it has been a little tedious for me. 

Price at time of publish: $178

Material: Extra fine merino wool, polyamide, yak | Size: 2XS-XL  | Length: Long

Best Cashmere Blend

Laligne Mini Marin Sweater

La Ligne Mini Marin Sweater

La Ligne

What We Love: You can add a monogram with up to three initials.

What We Don’t Love: The crop might be too short on longer torsos.

This sweater is made of 30 percent cashmere and 70 percent wool, which feels like the perfect blend for optimal comfort and warmth. On top of the makeup, the chunky knit feels extra thick and cozy thanks to its seven-ply knit. And while the long sleeves and slightly cropped hem make this sweater look very cute, it’s the ability to add a personalized monogram on the sleeve that sets it apart. That, and the fact that there are fifteen stripe color combinations to choose from, as well as length options. If you want a striped sweater, it’s unlikely you’ll find another store that offers as much variety as La Ligne. 

Price at time of publish: $275

Material: Cashmere, wool | Size: XS-XL | Length: Short

Best Cable Knit

banana republic Calda sweater tunic

banana republic Calda sweater tunic

Banana Republic

What We Love: It’s made of recycled wool.

What We Don’t Love: The white version is $20 more expensive.

It looks like we found the perfect cable knit sweater: this Calda sweater tunic from Banana Republic. The crewneck cut features the classic braided knit down the front, alongside dropped shoulders that lead into folded sleeves. It has a bit of that borrowed-from-the-boys cut – relaxed, oversized, and extra long. 

We’re happy to report that it’s mostly made of recycled materials, including recycled wool, recycled nylon, and recycled cashmere. Although for reasons I cannot comprehend, the brown version is $20 cheaper than the white version. The makeup of the material looks to be the same, so I’m not sure why this is the case. It’s likely to do with the inventory they have on hand, but we felt it was necessary to point this out in case it influences your shopping decisions. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Material: Recycled wool, recycled nylon, lenzing ecovero, recycled cashmere | Size: XXS-XXL | Length: Long

What to Keep in Mind


As a natural fiber commonly sourced from sheep, alpacas, goats, and even camels, wool traps air pockets which helps insulate you better. Model Kendra Austin prefers “wool to cotton during the winter, because it’s warmer and more durable while still being of high quality." Particularly if you opt for thick wool, “it adds structure and volume, compared to cotton or cashmere,” explains fashion blogger Rosey Beeme

Aside from providing warmth, wool is also naturally fire-resistant and wrinkle-resistant, due to its ability to absorb moisture at its core. And yet, it sometimes comes with a bad rep for being a little itchy. The scratchy sensation that comes in certain wool sweaters is a direct result of how large the diameter of the wool strands is. Typically, this can be balanced if combined with softer materials, like cashmere or cotton, like in the La Ligne Mini Marin Sweater. Otherwise, you want to look for labels that say extra-fine wool or merino wool, like in the Quince Baby Alpaca Wool Diamond Stitch Crew and the Aritzia Babaton Popova Sweater, where the fibers are thinner and therefore softer. 


You’ll find that most of the sweaters are rarely 100 percent wool, but rather a combination of several different materials, such as synthetic fibers, which we call wool blends, or cashmere. This should not be considered as “lesser” than pure wool – quite to the contrary. Combining different characteristics of yarns can actually create stronger materials. It also helps combat some of the itchiness that can come with pure wool. When mixed with cashmere, for example, wool can lean on the soft properties of this fiber while still providing you with thick and warm characteristics of its own.

Your Questions, Answered

What is Merino Wool?

Merino wool comes from a specific breed of sheep, giving us thinner and thereby softer wool, which makes it more comfortable to wear directly on the skin. “At 16.5-19.5 microns, the fine wool fibers are so thin that they are well below the human itching threshold of 25 microns”, explains Ortovox, an outdoor equipment company. Its lightweight characteristics make it a great choice for summer and athletic apparel, as it works like a natural temperature regulator, absorbing and evaporating sweat when it’s hot. If you are looking for thick and warm wool sweaters, it’s better to opt for traditional wool found in the & Other Stories Relaxed Crewneck Wool Sweater. But if you want something a little softer, then the Cos Slim-Fit Merino Wool Turtleneck Top makes for a better option. 

Does Wool Shrink?

The short answer to this is yes, wool does shrink. Its natural ability to absorb moisture and heat cause it to contract, so it’s important to avoid washers and dryers unless it specifically states that it is safe to wash (like in the Athleta Alpine Turtleneck Sweater). “I typically turn my wool sweater inside out before washing with cold water and a mild detergent,” explains stylist Sarah Toshiko West. “Wool is naturally antibacterial so you don’t need to wash them often,” she continues. Luckily, if you do find yourself mistakenly throwing it in the dryer, there are some steps you can take to get your wool sweater to expand again. First, fill your sink with lukewarm water and pour a generous amount of conditioner in. Lay your wool sweater into the tub and let it soak for some time. Without rubbing or twisting, rinse the wool sweater thoroughly, then place on a towel flat. After an hour or so, replace the towel with another dry towel, and repeat until the sweater is dry again.  

How to style wool sweaters

Given its warm properties, wool makes for a wonderful layering piece in the winter. “I personally love to pair the cozy with the sexy, so I’ll go with a long satin skirt, maybe something patterned to make it funky,” recommends Austin. “A wool cardigan (like the GSTQ Snap Front Cardigan or the La Semaine Betty Sweater) with a cropped graphic tank, baggy distressed jeans/cargos and a cool sneaker is also an everyday vibe,” she continues. Beeme loves “an oversized wool crewneck pullover tucked into a faux-leather mini skirt with some sheer black tights and loafers”. Think Aritzia Babaton Popova Sweater with your favorite skirt and a coat. If you’re working with a wool turtleneck sweater, like the Anine Bing Sydney Sweater or the Athleta Alpine Turtleneck Sweater, Julia Fox’s stylist Briana Andalore love to combine with “big silver jewelry, micro miniskirts, tights, and fun chunky boots”. Whatever look you go for, you’re guaranteed to stay warm and comfortable looking your cutest.

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer for InStyle with two years of experience covering fashion and lifestyle products. In order to write this article, she consulted numerous experts, including stylist Sarah Toshiko West, Briana Andalore, and Rosey Beeme, as well as tested out some of the mentioned sweaters herself to get a better understanding of the warmth, feel, and cut.

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