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Are Wool Hats a Good Winter Choice

By Taylor James


Updated on

At first thought, wool sounds like a good warm choice for a winter hat. After all, it keeps sheep warm in the winter. When it comes to hats we have no shortage of options so how does wool stack up as a winter hat choice.

Hats made from wool offer good protection in the winter. They have good insulation qualities, and the water-absorbing qualities of wool provide a degree of protection from moisture in the air. Wool is also a naturally breathable material.

Wool can be a great choice for winter wear but there are a number of factors to consider, such as the type of wool a hat is made from and how comfortable it is for active use. Read on to find out more.

Woman wearing a winter beanie in the snow

What to look for when choosing a wool hat for winter wear

Merino wool is one of the premium wools ideal for winter wear. Sourced from the Merino sheep it is finer and softer than other wool types. This makes it more comfortable and less itchy than many alternatives. The natural fibers act as excellent insulators and trap warm air.

Even in winter hats can become uncomfortable if they are not breathable. We want to trap warm air, but we also want breathable materials that allow air to flow and moisture to escape. Wool is naturally porous so is ideal for regulating body temperature. Don’t forget sheep need to keep warm in winter but not overheat at the same time.

Meriwool offer great unisex merino wool beanies ideal or winter wear. The sweat-wicking qualities of Merino wool also make it ideal for people who want protection from the cold but also want to keep active in winter months.

Check out these popular Meriwool merino wool beanies on Amazon.

Do wool hats offer protection from the rain?

Wool can absorb a surprising amount of water before it becomes saturated. While wool is certainly not waterproof, it is water-resistant. In fact, the saturation point of wool is about 30%. That means a wool hat can absorb a substantial amount of moisture before it feels wet to the user.

So, wool hats do offer good insulation from moisture in the air but will become saturated in heavy rain. This insulation will help you feel warm and comfortable for longer in damp conditions compared to other fabrics.

Do other types of yarn offer better protection from the cold?

Cashmere, sourced from Cashmere goats, offer many of the same qualities as high quality wools such as Merino. Cashmere is even softer to the touch and very comfortable, but it does come at a higher price point. That said, it is a great option.

If you do want to spend a bit more then these 100% winter cashmere beanies are a fantastic choice (Amazon). Made in Scotland, they have excellent thermal properties making them a very popular choice for winter wear.

Final thoughts

Wool is a great choice for winter hats, especially high quality wools like Merino. Compared to other common fabrics such as cotton they offer better insulation and more protection from moisture.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.