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The best beanies check two crucial boxes: they must be both ultra-stylish and supremely cozy. The right beanie is the glorious cold-weather accessory that keeps your ears from freezing (well, depending on how you choose to wear it) while also making you look like a rugged L.L. Bean model. But don’t be mistaken: Not all beanies are created equal—and trust us when we say that a great beanie will be one of the most crucial pickups you can make this season. (So, yes, the right one is worth the splurging on.) To help you out, we’ve done the work of narrowing down the best beanies—in a variety of styles, fabrics, and colors—to ensure that your winter hat game will be second to none this year. Below are our picks for the best beanies on the market for every budget, plus a handful of others worth adding to your rotation.
The Best Budget Beanie
Uniqlo cashmere knitted beanie
When Uniqlo first landed stateside in 2007, the biggest draw to its sparkling NYC flagship was the towering wall of preposterously affordable cashmere sweaters. The supplest form of wool had never been so readily available in so many colors at such little cost. A dozen years later, Uniqlo’s still pumping out killer wallet-friendly cashmere goods, and our minds are still boggled. These beanies are no exception: as soft and toasty as anything, available in a wide spectrum of hues, all for a measly $30.
The Best Recycled Beanie
Patagonia Speedway beanie
Recycling is good for the planet and your fits. This no-brainer beanie from Patagonia uses a fully-recycled blend of merino and cashmere and is lined with fleece, pushing its cozy levels to the max.
The Best Non-Wool Beanie
Revony cotton cuffed beanie
Wool too itchy for your skin? Give an all-cotton joint a shot. They’re softer than most wool beanies and more breathable, too. If you run a little hot, this one’s all you.
The Best Beanie to Splurge On
The Elder Statesman Watchman tie-dye cashmere beanie
While brands like Uniqlo are busy democratizing cashmere, The Elder Statesman remains focused on using it in the most opulent ways possible. We’re talking $1,700 sweaters, $3,000 sweaters, and, yeah, $443 beanies. What are you getting for all that dough? 100% of the finest of the fine cashmere anywhere, all hand-dyed in a wavy hot pink and electric blue palette. Laidback never looked so luxe.
The Best Throwback Beanie
Beams Plus wool watch cap
As per usual, the best available version of a classically American thing—in this case, the old-school ribbed watch hats you’ve seen on WWII naval officers, Boston dock workers, and every third person in every Rocky movie—comes from Japan. Beams Plus’ traditional beanies are knit in England from tough-as-nails wool, and will look best paired with a peacoat, some ruddy cheeks, and an overall gruff attitude.
The Best Buy-in-Every-Color Beanie
Bricks & Wood heavy knit beanie
Looking for a rock-solid basic beanie—thick knit, comfy fit, logo-free—in a not-so-basic colorway? Head to Bricks & Wood, where you’ll find their $40 caps in every hue imaginable, from forest green to melon pink to the perfect shade of sky blue we put Tyler, The Creator in on the cover of GQ Style.
The Best Cable Knit Beanie
The U.K. knitwear savants behind our favorite chunky knit cardigan also apply their untouchable cable-knitting prowess to headwear. Chances are, if something is warm enough for a Scottish fisherman battling before-dawn winds on the North Sea, it’s warm enough for your 40-minute commute.
17 More Beanies We Love
Ben Davis acrylic cuffed beanie
Those Carhartt beanies that everybody has are still great, of course. But if you’re looking for an affordable workwear beanie that’s a little less commonplace, Ben Davis is the way to go.
Alex Mill striped cashmere beanie
Sailor stripes: not just for torsos anymore!
Nadaam signature ribbed cashmere beanie
Good, comfortable cashmere at a good, comfortable price.
Everlane Belgian-Waffle wool beanie
This is what happens when you take a thermal shirt and turn it into a beanie.
Inis Meáin ribbed donegal merino wool and cashmere-blend beanie
Born on an island where practically all they do is knit, this one’s got a precise blend of merino and cashmere with a light dusting of confetti-like flecks.
Colorful Standard merino wool beanie
A grip of great colors, each made from primo merino wool at a crazy low cost earns this beanie best-in-class honors from the JD Power and Associates of Jawnz. (That would be us.)
Carhartt Workcamo fleece hat
Pair this with some Realtree camo Crocs to achieve your fullest potential.
Cableami boa fleece hat
Coziness is really a state of mind.
END. x Folk Highlight beanie
The perfect beanie to check out a Monet retrospective.
Neff Daily beanie
Likely the only way you’ll get a beanie softer than this is if you pony up for some cashmere.
Skida dash knit cashmere pom beanie
Can you tell that we’ve been really into The Queen’s Gambit?
J.Press Shaggy Dog cuffed hat
Brushed shetland wool gives this dome cover its characteristic shaggy texture.
Chamula double cuff fair isle beanie
Not sure you could get more wintry if you tried.
Rototo cable indigo short watch
The knit cap of choice for indigo obsessives and members of the Blue Man Group.
Ralph Lauren unisex custom hat
Outdoor Research Transcendent down beanie
All down everything.
Maison Margiela casentino beanie
We like to call this fancy fleece, but “casentino” is cool too.