Real talk: 100% wool sweaters can be itchy. Though impossibly warm and cozy-looking, the fabric can sometimes feel like you’re wearing a sweater made from a million tiny little daggers. However, wool isn’t the only culprit that can turn an unwitting winter closet staple into what feels like torture: The real reason a sweater can feel itchy is because it’s made from short fiber strands that poke out of the material just slightly — usually not enough for you to notice before you buy it, but enough that they’ll bother you because they’re not long enough to lay flat.
While some fibers like merino and cashmere are longer, stronger and made specifically to lock in warmth without irritation, synthetic fibers are also a great alternative to 100% sheep’s wool sweaters. Many of the most comfortable, non-itchy sweaters are made with at least a portion of material from polyester, rayon or even acrylic, which is made to be durable, warm and soft to the touch.
Since we’re clearly passionate about finding sweaters that don’t itch, we rounded up the softest and coziest sweaters on the market that we promise won’t itch or cause irritation, because we tried most ourselves.
This cotton-acrylic blend sweater is one of those pieces we keep on throwing on day after day. It’s also highly rated among customers for its comfort, and talk about a great price point.
Pair this cozy dusty rose open-back sweater with straight-leg jeans and leather boots for an instant outfit.
Made from a soft, slightly stretchy acrylic-poly blend, this sweater gained high marks among customers for its versatility and comfort.
H&M Rib-Knit Turtleneck Sweater ($29.99; hm.com)
This under-$30 sweater is made from a blend of polyester, acrylic and wool for a cozy — but never itchy — feel.
Made from 100% nylon, this super-soft butter-yellow V-neck can brighten up a drab winter look.
An under-$100 cropped cardigan that looks (and feels) like a cloud? You know we love it.
This wool sweater is made with soft, plush yarn, so it doesn’t itch the way traditionally sourced wool can.
Reviewers call this cropped, acrylic-nylon-blend sweater “so cute,” “comfy,” and “an amazing basic.” After wearing it for a few weeks now, we have to agree.
You may never feel another sweater as soft as this one from French label Sezane.
Layer this poly-cotton sweater vest atop a white button-down for a casual but on-trend look.
Good American knows good basics, and this viscose/nylon-blend sweater feels like cashmere to the touch.
This air-spun alpaca, Italian merino and recycled nylon-blend cardigan is as soft as it is chic.
Made from 100% super-soft cashmere, this mock neck is the perfect winter layer.
This cotton-tweed sweater is made from soft, drapey Turkish cotton and yarn that was spun in Italy.
Alpaca wool is notoriously softer than regular sheep’s wool, and here, it’s mixed with poly for an even more comfortable hand-feel.
Sandro Emilien Ribbed Cable-Knit Jumper ($259, originally $370; farfetch.com)
Don’t be fooled by this wool blend’s makeup: Its stretchy, ribbed pattern makes it softer than you’d expect.
Scandi brand Baum und Pferdgarten knows comfort — and warmth. Made from 100% cotton, this oversized sweater can add some much-needed color to your winter wardrobe.