All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The best beanies check two crucial boxes: they must be both ultra-stylish and supremely cozy. The right beanie is the gloriously steezy accessory that keeps your ears toasty and your head warm (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 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 Beanie, Period
Here’s what you want in a beanie: warmth, softness, a length that’s neither clownishly slouchy nor impishly short, and a little visible luxury for good measure. That’s exactly what this Industry of All Nations number delivers in spades. It’s crafted from sustainably-sourced Bolivian alpaca wool, which feels like a newborn kitten against your skin, will keep your noggin toastier than a fresh mug of cocoa, and simply looks well-made and expensive. At $80, it’s not the cheapest beanie out there. But for a material that is rarer than cashmere and just as soft, it’s a worthy upgrade from the big box brands.
The Best Budget 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. While we’re sad that their formidable and affordable cashmere beanies have gone away for the season, their all-cotton ribbed beanies are just as great and even more wearable year-round. The cotton is smooth, soft, and breathable (a godsend for those of us with sensitive skin), and they come in a great range of neutral tones that pair easily with any color palette. And for just $15, you could grab a few to have on hand when you inevitiably leave one in the back of an Uber.
The Best Beanie to Splurge On
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, $506 beanies. What are you getting for all that dough? 100% of the finest of the fine cashmere anywhere, all hand-dyed in a swirly vibrant blue palette. Laidback never looked so luxe.
The Best Recycled Beanie
Recycling is good for the planet and your fits. This no-brainer beanie from Patagonia uses a fully-recycled blend of cotton and polyester to keep your noggin toasty but not suffocated.
The Best Non-Wool 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 Throwback Beanie
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. RoToTo’s traditional fisherman beanies are knit from a tough-as-nails acrylic blend, and will look best paired with a peacoat, some ruddy cheeks, and an overall gruff attitude.
The Best Buy-in-Every-Color Beanie
Looking for a rock-solid basic beanie—thick rib 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 cable 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.
23 More Beanies We Love
Eckhaus Latta Stop alpaca and cotton beanie
Domes come in all different sizes and shapes—this adjustable beanie accounts for that.
Nicholas Daley hand-knit beanie
A reminder that beanies can (and should!) add a ton of texture to your outfit.
Jil Sander silk beanie
Maybe you won’t dye your hair any time soon, but you can always play with the idea of slime green hair even just for the day.
Brain Dead Prehistoric Logo beanie
When you’re layered up and can’t show off your favorite graphic tee, cap off your fit with this drippy beanie instead.
Kiko Kostadinovknit Stretton beanie
Based off retro ski cap shapes, Kiko Kostadinov’s eye-catching beanie is surprisingly fresh in today’s saturated beanie market.
Ashley Williams Mushroom beanie
These mushrooms won’t send you to the hospital, but they will make you feel totally sick.
Drake’s Donegal ribbed merino beanie
A scientifically perfect beanie with just the right shape and texture.
Norse Projects Top Tech beanie
Like a literal thermostat for your head, Norse Projects’ beanie seems pretty plain at first. But embedded in its knit are a fine-tuned balance of synthetic fibers that work to keep your dome at the dome perfect temperature, no matter the weather.
Beams Plus wool watch hat
Truly like a sweater for your head, this premium wool beanie is made in England and will have all your sweaters mad jealous.
Arc’teryx Bird Head toque
Yes, a scaled-up pre-historic bird fossil look on a beanie looks just as sick as it sounds.
L.L. Bean Ridge Runner reversible beanie
When you’re having a particularly bad hair day, wear this camo beanie to fade into the background.
Everlane organic cotton chunky beanie
Again, wool may not be for everyone. Same goes for synthetic materials. This super soft organic cotton beanie from Everlane will keep your head toasty without the irritation.
Chamula double cuff cap
Hand-knit by Mexican natives using locally bred merino sheep, this chunky beanie brings some fresh spring colors to an otherwise cold-weather-ready beanie.
Belstaff wool watch hat
We’re not saying the key to Steph’s handles lies in his cover story hat, but we’re not not saying that, either.
Nadaam double layer cashmere beanie
Double down on cashmere now and your dome will thank you when the temperature dips.
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.
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.)
Neff Daily beanie
Likely the only way you’ll get a beanie softer than this is if you pony up for some cashmere.