The best beanies

  • If your winter coat is lacking a hood or if you want an extra layer to keep your head warm, a good beanie is your best bet.
  • The North Face Shinsky Beanie is the casual, warm, slouchy winter hat you've been waiting for. The best part? It's reversible, so it goes with everything in your wardrobe. You might not take it off until springtime.

I love beanies more than any other winter hat style. They give you that cool, casual hipster look sure, but most importantly they're usually pretty warm. Of course there is the issue of hat hair - a lot of beanies tend to be close-fitting so that they trap heat against your scalp and actually stay on your head.

But beanies are also stylish enough that you can just leave them on inside. Two birds, one stone, right?

The word "beanie" is kind of one of those catch-alls that encompasses a ton of different styles, from slouchy cuts to ultra-fitted ones with a variety of embellishments and fabric variations. The sheer number of options is overwhelming. After all, when you can buy a beanie anywhere, how do you narrow it down?

You could do a ton of research on the topic. Or you can read on for our top five favorite picks for men and women from around the Internet.

Here are the best beanies you can buy:

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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The best beanie overall

The best beanie overall
If you only buy one hat this winter, make it the Shinsky Beanie from The North Face. It's textured, reversible, and comes in tons of fun colors.

The North Face Shinksy Beanie is a winter hat you don't have to think about — attractive, warm, and reversible with two different knits on the exterior and interior sides. It has a hip, slouchy fit that looks good with just about every style of jacket from a puffer to a wool peacoat.

According to the brand's product description, this hat is "ideal for riding the park, or après at the lodge." Or, you know, commuting to work in below-freezing temperatures. Made of 100% acrylic, it's machine washable and comes with the brand's famous lifetime warranty attached.

The hat is highly rated by North Face shoppers, with a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the brand's website based on 276 reviews. "This hat is simply amazing. Very stylish and warm. I need to order myself about 3 more colors and I'll be set for winter. Definitely recommend," writes one reviewer.

"I can't think of anything negative to say about this beanie," says another. "It holds up well when washed, color did not fade, fits well, looks great on my head, keeps me warm."

Pros: Reversible, chunky knit, machine washable, slouchy fit, unisex

Cons: Might be too slouchy for smaller head sizes

The best affordable beanie

The best affordable beanie
The Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat is your ideal simple beanie that comes in every color under the sun — and it's incredibly affordable.

Carhartt, a brand that has been around for over a century, was originally known for its workwear. It still is, but in the last several years it has experienced a resurgence among fashion's it crowd. These beanies are an affordable way to stay warm while looking cool.

If you're anything like me, you lose at least one hat per winter. It doesn't really make sense to invest a lot of money in a beanie that will inevitably end up left behind in the back seat of a cab or dropped from your pocket on a crowded street.

The Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat seems like a great compromise. I can definitely afford to buy one or two each season, and I wouldn't lose too much sleep if it happens to go missing. Which, let's face it, it probably will.

This fold-over beanie comes in just about every color under the sun, including plain black and driftwood green. A small Carhartt logo patch in the front center adds visual interest, giving the hat a vintage look.

Pros: Affordable, lots of color options, snug fit, unisex

Cons: Hand wash only

The best cashmere beanie

The best cashmere beanie
If you're looking for a luxurious winter hat, the Signature Ribbed Cashmere Beanie by the brand Naadam is the perfect investment.

We're fans of Naadam's eco-friendly and affordable cashmere here at Insider Picks. The brand's Signature Ribbed Cashmere Beanie is the perfect luxury winter hat. Made of 100% Mongolian cashmere, it's medium-weight, soft, and breathable.

The hat is certainly an investment, but there are some special features that make the price tag seem more reasonable. It's wrinkle-free, odor-blocking (no more sweaty scalp smell collecting in the top of your hat), and designed for minimal pilling. You can fold it at the brim for a tighter fit or wear it loose.

The Signature Ribbed Cashmere Beanie comes in eight versatile colors and is one-size-fits-all, designed to fit both men and women. It boasts the same high-quality material as the brand's other wares and a "Heavenly Soft" designation. Gear Patrol rated it one of the best cashmere hats for men.

Pros: 100% Mongolian cashmere, eco-friendly, wrinkle-free and odor-resistant, unisex

Cons: Dry clean or hand wash only

The best pom-pom beanie

The best pom-pom beanie
Patagonia is best known for high-performance outerwear staples, and the pom-pom-trimmed Vintage Town Beanie is no exception.

If you like your beanies with more visual interest, the Patagonia Vintage Town Beanie is a great pick. It has a cool oversized pom-pom detail on the top and comes in a selection of subdued vintage-y color options and striped patterns.

Made of a soft, eco-friendly recycled wool and nylon blend, this pick is both warm and stylish. It's also a great option for shoppers who value transparency. You can actually read about the suppliers that helped make your hat via Patagonia's Footprint Chronicles website feature. The brand also provides information about the fabrics used in the production of the beanie.

I also happen to think this is one of the coolest looking hats on this list, thanks to the quirky pom-pom detail and the unique color options. As with all Patagonia merchandise, the hat comes with an Ironclad Guarantee that allows you to return items or get them repaired.

Insider Picks writer Amir Ismael has previously recommended the Vintage Town Beanie in a round-up of winter hats for men, though I'd consider this style (and really most beanies) to be unisex.

Pros: Made of recycled wool and nylon, Ironclad Guarantee

Cons: Pricey

The best high-tech beanie

The best high-tech beanie
The Tenergy Wireless Bluetooth Beanie Hat is not your average winter topper — inside the cable knit exterior is a Bluetooth headset that lets you make hands-free calls and listen to music.

The Tenergy Wireless Bluetooth Beanie Hat has a built-in Bluetooth headset that connects to your smartphone, so you can be that person who makes everyone on the street do a double-take trying to decide if you're talking on the phone or just talking.

The hat claims to have "a wireless range of up to 33 feet" and to run for up to six hours (you charge it with the USB cable that comes in every order), so you can make phone calls and listen to music on the go. It's also pretty stylish considering it houses headphones inside, with a chunky cable knit design that comes in six colors. The lining is polar fleece.

One of the cleverest details is the control panel, which takes the form of a leather patch on the brim of the hat. From a distance, it looks like any other vintage-look label, but up close you notice the volume buttons and play/pause button. Below that is the port for the USB charging cable.

Pros: Rechargeable, beanie is lined, comes with USB cable, 2-year extended warranty

Cons: Need to remove headphones before washing

Check out our other buying guides for cold weather gear

Check out our other buying guides for cold weather gear
The best mittens you can buy

Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, so if it's cold where you live, work, or play, slip a pair on and keep the chill out. Here are the best mittens to keep you warm.

The best snow pants for men, women, and kids

Make the most of that winter wonderland this year by keeping yourself warm and dry with well-made snow pants when you're skiing, sledding, or generally romping about in the snow. Here are the best snow pants.

The best places to buy winter hats for men, women, and children

Your body loses a significant portion of its heat through your head, so keep yourself warm this winter with a great winter hat. The winter hat makers we're featuring offer hats in myriad styles, so once you've narrowed down the type of winter cap you need, you should be able to find several fine options from each brand. Here are the best places to buy winter hats.

The best places to buy scarves online

Your choice of scarf can make or break your comfort level in the wintertime. Opt for one that's wooly and warm and you'll be toasty. Choose a too-thin fabric and you, well, won't. Scarves are also a great opportunity to infuse a bit of personality into your winter wardrobe. And when you get bored with your outerwear, you can always pick a new scarf to mix things up. Here are the best places to buy scarves online.

The best thermal gloves

A good pair of thermal gloves can make all the difference on a cold winter day. We did the research to find the best thermal gloves you can buy to keep your hands nice and toasty for the rest of this winter and for many more winters to come. Here are our picks for the best thermal gloves.

The best winter boots for women

To test these boots, we dunked them in a tub filled with icy water and tried to make them slip on patches of ice. We wore them on cold days to see how warm they were and stepped into deep puddles on rainy days to test water resistance. We walked for miles on snowy stretches of sidewalk in New York City and waded through snowbanks in Central Park to vet these boots. Here are the best women's winter boots.

The best winter coats for men

A good winter coat will keep you warm and dry even when the snow is falling and the wind is howling. A great winter coat will keep you warm, dry, and looking good, too. Here are the best winter coats for men.


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