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The beanie is an endlessly versatile winter accessory loved by people from all walks of life, from grizzled North Sea fishermen to trend-setting catwalk models. Traditionally, beanies were made from knitted wool, although these days, acrylic yarn is a popular alternative. Styles range from the standard skull-cap fit to beanies with earflaps, built-in visors or fashionable pom-poms. In this article, we look at a few of the best options for each category, including styles to suit both men and women.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Cable Knit Beanie by Tough Headwear
A popular option, the Cable Knit Beanie by Tough Headwear receives consistently great reviews for combining an affordable price tag with exceptional quality and is meant to be worn by both men and women. The chunky, cable knit design makes a definite fashion statement, giving the beanie the appearance of having a thick cuff without the bulky fold. It’s a versatile option that looks just as good on the ski slopes as it does on an urban high street.
Made from premium acrylic yarn, it’s suitable for sensitive skin and those that suffer from wool allergies. Unlike traditional cable knit beanies, the fabric feels soft rather than scratchy but still keeps your head surprisingly warm. Choose from 10 different colors including army green, dark gray and pink. Best of all, you can rest easy knowing that your purchase is protected by the brand’s lifetime warranty.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: LETHMIK Knit Skull Cap Beanie
Designed to fit closely to your head, the LETHMIK Knit Skull Cap Beanie is the perfect choice for those who prefer a simpler, sleeker look. The waffle knit, cuff-less style is wonderfully lightweight, making this hat suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Although the beanie feels cool enough to wear for summer, it’s unlikely to provide sufficient warmth for especially cold climates.
The 100 percent acrylic material is soft and stretchy, enabling the beanie to fit most head sizes comfortably. A stylish leather label adds the final touch to the hat’s fashionable stonewashed look, with available colors including rustic green, gray, navy and red. To keep your beanie looking brand new for longer, the manufacturer recommends hand-washing to prevent pilling.
Best for Warmth: SIGGI Wool Peruvian Earflap Beanie and Neck Warmer
If warmth is a priority, consider purchasing the SIGGI Wool Peruvian Earflap Beanie and Neck Warmer. Made from extra thick synthetic wool, the beanie offers all of the warmth and comfort of natural wool with none of the skin irritation. It’s cable knit for added thickness and covers your ears for full protection from biting winter winds.
The inside of the beanie is fleece-lined, making it exceptionally cozy. Your purchase also includes a matching fleece-lined, neckwarmer. Both pieces have a fleecy trim that adds an element of style to your winter outings, while available colors include gray, navy, red, and beige.
Best Bluetooth: Qshell Outdoor Bluetooth Music Beanie
The acrylic, double-knitted Qshell Outdoor Bluetooth Music Beanie includes Bluetooth headphones that allow you to listen to any Bluetooth-enabled music device within a 33-foot or 10-meter range. Its clever design affords unparalleled freedom of movement for outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, and jogging. It also promotes personal safety, as a lack of visible headphones makes you less of a target for pickpockets.
Operating buttons allow you to skip backward and forward through your playlist, as well as answer and hang up phone calls. The built-in rechargeable battery provides six hours of uninterrupted talking or playing time. Your purchase includes a USB charging cable, while the hat itself comes in a wide range of colors to best match your wardrobe.
Best with Earflaps: The North Face Fuzzy Earflap Beanie
Made entirely from soft, stretchy acrylic yarn, The North Face Fuzzy Earflap Beanie offers complete protection for chilly ears. Its pilot-style earflaps can be secured under the chin using the pom-pom adorned cords or left loose to frame your face (thereby achieving effortless winter style). The beanie is as much a fashion accessory as it is a way to keep warm, featuring a chunky cable knit and a playful pom-pom on top.
With unusual, dual-tone colors, choose from cool shades including spiced coral, juniper teal and coastal fjord blue; or keep it neutral with timeless black or vintage white. Although the beanie is intended for women, the darker colors could easily be worn by men as well.
Best Brimmed: SIGGI Unisex Cable Knit Visor Beanie
The SIGGI Unisex Cable Knit Visor Beanie includes a built-in brim, perfect for keeping the snow, rain and even bright sunshine out of your eyes. It’s a practical solution for skiers and snowboarders; and a solid casual fashion choice for those that like to stand out from the regular beanie-wearing crowd.
Made from a blend of acrylic, wool and nylon, the beanie is double layered for extra warmth. A thick cuff adds structure and can be rolled down to cover your ears on especially cold days. There are five neutral colors to choose from, including black, gray, coffee, camel and navy. Select a medium or large size for a stretchy, comfortable fit.
Best Slouch: C.C. Oversized Cable Knit Slouchy Beanie
Another Amazon blockbuster, the C.C. Oversized Cable Knit Slouchy Beanie offers a one-size-fits-most solution for fans of the laid-back slouch-style hat. Measuring 10” in length, it’s also the ideal choice for those with thick or elaborate hairstyles. The beanie is made from 100 percent acrylic yarn, with a crocheted cable knit design that features distinctive ridges and a thick, cozy-looking cuff. An extra element of style comes from the high-quality leather C.C. label. Choose from a wide range of dual-tone (and sometimes triple-tone) colors, including strawberry, oatmeal and charcoal.
Best with Pom-Pom: Pom-Pom Beanie Hat by REDESS
Also slightly slouchy, the Pom-Pom Beanie Hat by REDRESS features an oversized pom-pom that transforms it from a standard beanie into an instant style hit. There are two designs available - one with a yarn pom-pom, the other with a cruelty-free faux fur pom-pom. The hat’s leather label and thick cuff also help it to stand out from the crowd. Colors range from statement-making wine red to soft khaki and gray, while some shades are flecked with other colors to add to the hat’s overall interest. With a cable knit outer layer and a soft fleece lining, this beanie is also incredibly warm.
Best for Babies: Sumolux Baby Earflap Beanie
The Sumolux Baby Earflap Beanie is available in three sizes: 3 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months and 1 to 2 years. Made from thickly knitted wool, it keeps your little one’s head and ears fully covered and can be secured under the chin for extra protection on windy days. A soft inner lining prevents the wool from irritating baby’s sensitive skin. There are several adorable animal-themed designs to choose from, including stylized bears, hippos, foxes and cats. With the addition of knitted or pom-pom ears, the beanie also makes the perfect prop for infant photo shoots.