The 12 Best Beanies of 2021

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Beanies are destined to be your go-to accessory in chillier months: They’re affordable, they cover up a bad hair day, and they look chic enough to be worn indoors so you don’t have to deal with hat hair in public. Beanies have basically reached peak ubiquity, but there are plenty of good ones to be found, with lots of cool beanies for women, men, and kids available at all price points. And no, you don’t have to be spending the winter in a cold place like Canada, traveling to Eastern Europe in December, or skiing in the Colorado Rockies to justify buying one—many go great with sweaters once your coat is off, too. 

We’ve rounded up the best beanies below.

The Rundown
Carhartt's unisex beanie is cozy and thin enough to pair with chunky winter jackets.
This top-rated affordable beanie is great for everyday use and light activity like taking a walk.
It's made from 70 percent recycled wool and 26 percent recycled nylon.
Goes perfectly with ski jackets, wool coats, and cozy knit sweaters.
This six-pack of beanies allows you to have a backup readily available on hand if your kids lose one.
It will keep your head warm when you need it and circulate air while you're moving.
It features a flatlock seam construction that sits flat under ski helmets and minimizes sweat.
It’s the perfect multi-functional casual beanie.
The slouchy cable knit hat is lined with soft fleece inside.
It’s not prone to overheating your head like some thicker wool or chunkier knit beanies do.

Best Overall: Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat A18

Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat A18

Carhartt’s known for its utilitarian workwear, but its classic acrylic beanies came back with a vengeance recently, and they’re sure to stick around. The unisex beanie is known for being cozy and affordable, and it’s thin enough to pair with both chunky winter jackets as well as thin knits and layers indoors. It comes in a whopping 21 shades, so you can start growing your collection as soon as the temperatures start to drop.

Best Budget: Goodthreads Marled Beanie

Goodthreads Men's Marled Beanie

It’s hard to find any hats for this price, let alone a top-rated, cozy, knit beanie. Made from a blend of cotton, nylon, and wool, it keeps your ears and head warm in cold temperatures. Technical fabric this is not, but for everyday use and light activity like taking a walk, it’s a great price point for something that’s a must when the days get cold. Plus, you can throw it in the washing machine when it needs a refresh.

Best Eco-Friendly: Patagonia Brodeo Beanie

Patagonia Brodeo Beanie

Patagonia’s cuffed Brodeo beanie is warm and cozy—and it goes great with quilted jackets, cable-knit sweaters, and chore jackets. Plus, we love a sustainable hat, and this Patagonia beanie is made from 70 percent recycled wool and 26 percent recycled nylon, meaning it can keep your head and your heart warm at the same time. If it’s a little tight after washing (yes, it’s machine washable) so just stretch it back out. Another perk about buying with Patagonia? The company’s policy is satisfaction guaranteed.

Best Style: Madewell Cuffed Beanie

Madewell Cuffed Beanie

This fisherman-style knit beanie goes perfectly with ski jackets, wool coats, and cozy knit sweaters. It comes in a great range of colors too, from mustard and dark olive to black, gray, and oatmeal—and at this price point, you might be able to spring for a second to make sure you have a hat in each color to cover your winter wardrobe’s potential.

Best for Kids: Yacht & Smith Kids Winter Beanie Hat

Yacht & Smith Kids Winter Beanie Hat

Perfect if you have a few little ones running around, this six-pack of beanies clocks is wildly cost efficient and includes shades of cobalt, bubblegum pink, charcoal, black, red, and navy blue. They keep kids’ heads warm during cooler months, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a color to go with every outfit their dressers can throw at you. Plus, should an accident befall one—as they are prone to do—you’ll be able to have a backup readily available on hand.

Best for Hiking: Bush Edge Cuff Beanie Hat

Bush Edge Cuff Beanie Hat

If you're hiking while it's chilly out, chances are you'll still work up a sweat. So you'll want what's topping your head to keep you warm when you need it and circulate air when you're moving. This 100 percent merino wool hat gets top marks for being great on its own or under a helmet, too. Plus, it has a UPF rating of 50+ built into the fabric to help keep your head protected from the sun’s rays, which are still beaming UV down at you even on colder days.

Best for Skiing: Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie

Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie

Smartwool’s made a name for itself with its technical wool performance gear for skiers, and this beanie is no exception. It has a flatlock seam construction that sits flat under ski helmets while moving sweat away from the scalp. To clean the hat, simply throw it in the washer when it gets a little funky after a week on the slopes.

Best Reversible: RAYMIS Reversible Knit Alpaca Wool Beanie

RAYMIS Reversible Knit Alpaca Wool Beanie

Two hats are better than one, right? Well, what about one hat that can function as two? That’s what you get with this reversible beanie from RAYMIS. It’s made from 100% Alpaca Wool (meaning it’s hypoallergenic, warm, and soft) and comes in four different color options to suit your taste. Reviewers raved about how it feels like cashmere but doesn’t have the price tag to go along with it. It’s the perfect multi-functional casual beanie.

Best Cable Knit: Plush Cable Knit Fleece Lined Beanie

Plush Cable Knit Fleece Lined Beanie

This double-layered cable knit beanie keeps you cozy on cold winter days, and it looks good enough to dress down for a day of errands or to pair with suede boots and a sweater dress for a weekend night out. The slouchy knit hat is made from acrylic, but the inside is lined with soft fleece. After all, why choose when you can have both?

Best Recycled: The North Face Dock Worker Recycled Beanie

The North Face Dock Worker Recycled Beanie

This beanie has a roll-up cuff that lets you switch between a tall or a deep fit, and wearers who don’t love a thick hat in the winter appreciate that the material is on the thin side. While it’s warm, it’s not prone to overheating your head like some thicker wool or chunkier knit beanies do. Plus, it comes with The North Face’s reputation for quality and workmanship, so you know this hat will be around for a several winters to come.

Best Splurge: Moncler Logo Patch Wool and Cashmere Beanie

Moncler Logo Patch Wool and Cashmere Beanie

Moncler is known for making some of the most coveted winter gear around; their pricey puffer coats are a mainstay on high-end ski slopes. So you know that when the brand makes a beanie, it’s going to be luxe all the way. This simple yet chic wool-and-cashmere one is perfect for keeping your head warm while running errands or shredding some powder. It features a classic cable design in a dark black color with an oversized cuff, complete with Moncler's iconic logo. It's easy to pair with every outfit while standing out a bit. Warmth and high fashion? You can’t ask for much more.

Best for Women: Barbour Saltburn Beanie

Barbour Saltburn Beanie

While both men and women can rock a pom-pom beanie, this one from Barbour featuring faux-fur adds a nice feminine touch. The construction is extremely durable thanks to the chunky chain knit, and your head will no doubt stay warm with the fold-over cuff that covers your ears. Bonus: it comes in several classic colorways, making the beanie extremely versatile. Functional and fashionable? Check and check.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a functional beanie that will get you through a long day of winter activities, the moisture-whisking Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie (view at Amazon) or Bush Edge Cuff Beanie Hat (view at Amazon) is the way to go. But if you want something to wear on and off the slopes that makes a bit of a statement, the Moncler Logo Patch Wool and Cashmere Beanie does the trick (view at SSENSE).

What to Look for in a Beanie

Material

Beanies come in everything from acrylic and cotton to fleece and wool. If you want something to keep you comfortable while participating in winter activities, opt for one made of merino wool. It keeps sweat away while holding on to heat. Fleece is another breathable material, but it tends to be thicker, which is something to consider if you’re wearing a helmet. Meanwhile, cotton is a much softer alternative to the sometimes itchy wool. Just keep in mind where you’ll be wearing the beanie most to determine which material is best. 

Size

Getting a beanie to fit right can be a bit tricky. Things to consider are the look you’re going for. If you want something sleek to wear to the office, opt for a hat that’s form-fitting to your head covering most of your ears. A more laidback stylish look will involve a larger baggy beanie. Read reviews to see what others said about the sizing as many brands will have one-size-fits-all options.

Care

Some beanies can be tossed into the wash like ones made of cotton or fleece, while others (like those made of wool or cashmere) will require special laundering. Consider how often you’ll be wearing it and in what circumstances. That will help determine how laborious the cleaning process will be. 

Why Trust TripSavvy

Author Jordi Lippe-McGraw has researched and written about travel and lifestyle products for nearly a decade. When making this list, she researched dozens of beanies, looking at key specs like material and sizing and the number of positive and negative reviews.

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