Cotton is a fantastic material for shirts, but there are plenty of benefits to be found in other materials out there–for example, merino wool. That’s why the Merino wool shirt is a fall and winter staple for many men across the globe.
Merino wool is an incredibly robust fabric that offers a ton of natural benefits while making you look sharp in the process. The best merino wool shirts are moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and can even regulate temperature. It’s simple things like these that make your life so much easier when you throw on a Merino wool shirt. Not to mention, wool is an incredibly comfortable and classy material when used in any article of clothing.
So if you’re looking to add a merino wool shirt to your collection, what should you look for? This list provides the answers to that very question, breaking down the best options on the market. Whether you want a long-sleeved shirt to wear every day or a simple travel tee, you can find it all right here.
So let’s get to business and break down the best merino wool shirts to buy in 2023.
To find the best merino wool shirts around, I sorted through dozens of options available on the market today, funneling the roster down to these 8 picks.
The three most important factors to consider in this search were style, weight, and care. Overall, the best Merino wool shirt on this list is the Proof 72-Hour Merino T-Shirt. It’s a versatile, lightweight tee with modern features offered in a ton of varieties. The Neem London ZQ Merino Neem T-Shirt is another great option.
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Why it’s great: Proof is a brand well known for making apparel with antimicrobial properties, thus reducing the need for frequent washes. This 72-hour Merino T-Shirt features temperature regulation and UPF 30+ sun protection for outdoor wear. To top it all off, this shirt is also available in a ton of colors and a classic cut if you’re working on your dad bod.
How to wear it: This shirt is primarily made of merino wool but also has a blend of nylon, making it comfortable for active or casual wear. Throw it on with some shorts in the summer or some slacks and a shacket during the fall.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The biggest con of this shirt is that the fabric is light and a bit see-through. However, this also means it’s breathable and lightweight for extended periods of wear.
Material: 87% Micron Merino Wool, 13% Nylon | Sizes Available: XS-3XL | Colors: 18 | Fit: Performance or Classic
Why it’s great: The sheer comfort and versatility you get from this lightweight t-shirt is excellent for the price. It’s made of 100% merino wool, offering an excellent “warmth-to-weight” ratio for cooler days. The wool itself is also odor resistant and biodegradable so you can wear it without worrying about your smell or the environment.
How to wear it: Since this shirt is primarily built to serve as a base layer, you can pair it with a jacket or overshirt to complete the fit. However, you can also throw it on by itself if you’re looking to go for a minimalistic, black tee aesthetic.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: While this shirt follows standard sizing metrics, offering up to an XXL, some reviewers have claimed it’s not the best for tall men. The cut might be a bit short, but if this is layered with another shirt it likely won’t be much of an issue for you.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors: 7 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: This Aurélien knitted shirt exudes an unparalleled sense of luxury. The “Cashwool” fabric is spun in Italy and acts as a hybrid between merino wool and cashmere. Not to mention, the collar offers a distinguished look that sets it apart from many other merino wool shirts out there.
How to wear it: This shirt is meant to be worn on its own and would be great for a classy dinner or night out on the town. It falls into a European aesthetic which makes it an excellent choice if you ever find yourself walking the streets of Italy or Greece.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The only downside of this shirt is the hefty price tag, but that’s to be expected for a piece of this quality. If you have the money to invest, this is an excellent option to hang in the wardrobe.
Material: 100% Extrafine Merino Wool | Sizes Available: S-XXXL | Colors: 7 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: This super soft Meriwool thermal wicks moisture, resists odor and regulates temperature according to your body. The fitted cut makes for a slim silhouette. However, this shirt is also offered in plenty of sizes, including big and tall, to accommodate all body types.
How to wear it: This thermal is great for building up a heavy winter outfit or doing some light layering for spring–layers are your friend here.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As previously mentioned, this is a shirt built to be worn with other pieces, so it likely isn’t the best option for those who want a shirt to wear on its own.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sizes Available: S-XXL Big & Tall | Colors: 8 | Fit: Fitted/Slim
Why it’s great: The simple design of this sweater makes it incredibly versatile for casual and formal occasions. The wool is spun ultra-fine using a rare Bentley Machine, which makes this sweater incredibly soft. The selection of muted colors also means this is a sweater you can pair with pretty much anything.
How to wear it: This sweater is the perfect weight to wear at the start of spring or even in the middle of winter. Throw it on and roll up the sleeves for warm weather or layer it with a dress shirt and jacket for cooler days.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This is one of the only options on this list that must be hand-washed. While this may be a slight inconvenience, it ensures this sweater will last as long as possible.
Material: 100% Extra-Fine Merino Wool | Sizes Available: XXS-XXL | Colors: 7 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: The ZQ merino wool for this Neem London Shirt is ethically sourced and fully traceable to farms in New Zealand. The shirt itself is crafted in Italy, featuring a slim, tailored fit. The high-quality materials and construction make this an incredibly comfortable and durable choice for travel.
How to wear it: This shirt can be paired with a classy outer layer, like a blazer or sport coat, but can be worn on its own just as easily.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The only downside to this shirt is that it’s offered in limited sizes and colors when compared to other options on this list. However, if you fall somewhere between small and extra large, and you like green, this could be the new travel shirt for you.
Material: 100% ZQ Merino Wool | Sizes Available: S-XL | Colors: 1 | Fit: Slim
Why it’s great: No Bull is an athletic wear brand that offers everything from shoes to shirts. This blended wool tee is lightweight and super stretchy for hours of strenuous activity. In addition, the No Bull branding on the shirt is also reflective to provide high visibility on those late-night runs.
How to wear it: This wool tee can be worn by itself during an intense workout or it can be layered with a track jacket as well.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Despite being listed as a regular fit, this shirt does tend to run on the smaller side. It’s also prone to shrink, so avoid drying it too much and you should be okay.
Material: 67% Tencel, 29% Merino Wool, 4% Spandex | Sizes Available: S-XXXL | Colors: 4 | Fit: Regular
Why it’s great: The Kuiu 120 LT LS Shirt is UPF 50+ and odor-resistant for long outdoor days. The proprietary “Nuyarn” blend is extremely lightweight yet durable for your toughest adventures. The flatlock seams also ensure that your skin is never irritated, even if you’re living in this shirt for a multi-day camping trip.
How to wear it: This shirt can be worn on its own in warm weather or used as a base layer in cooler climates. It also easily accommodates the wear of outdoor gear like an arrow quiver or climbing harness.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This is another shirt that may run smaller than anticipated, so it might be a good idea to order a size up from your standard size.
Material: 70% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon | Sizes Available: S-3XL | Colors: 6 | Fit: Regular
Buying Considerations For The Best Merino Wool Shirts
When buying a merino wool shirt, they’re are plenty of style options to choose from. You have short sleeves or long sleeves, crew neck or v-neck, and the overall cut as well. Most merino wool shirts are a regular fit but there are also slim and performance fits too.
All of these styles determine how you can wear your merino wool shirt. It ultimately depends if you want something that stands out, or if you just want to rock a classic white t-shirt with some added comfort.
Merino wool shirts can vary a lot in weight as well. Thicker shirts will naturally resemble sweaters, whereas thinner options may feel more like performance wear.
Since merino wool is naturally temperature regulating, both thin and thick shirts can be worn comfortably most of the year. However, thicker offerings will obviously have better insulation for especially frigid temperatures.
The care required for a Merino wool shirt will likely be a bit more important than some other t-shirts in your wardrobe. It’s very easy to mistakenly ruin a perfectly good shirt if it’s machine-washed or dried at a high temperature.
I made sure most of the options on this list are machine washable, yet hand washing may be required. The same goes for drying–some options can be tumble dried on low heat and others must be air dried depending on the brand.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a writer at FashionBeans, I’ve done my fair share of research into men’s attire and style trends. I’ve also been putting these principles into practice for over a decade, trying out different brands and determining what’s best.
Merino wool is found in some of the most comfortable articles of clothing–especially shirts. So, I made sure to include only the very best on this list, narrowing down dozens of options in the process. Hopefully, these recommendations can inform you of what to expect when searching for the best merino wool shirts.
At the end of the day, if you want the best merino wool shirt around, you really can’t beat the 72-Hour Shirt from Proof. It’s a comfortable, lightweight merino t-shirt that will quickly become a go-to for you. The Neem London ZQ Merino Neem T-Shirt is another high-quality piece offering similar benefits.
Different merino wool shirts require special care depending on the blend of materials. Typically, shirts that are primarily (or entirely) made of merino wool must be hand-washed and air-dried. However, if you have a shirt that features a blend of materials, it can likely be machine-washed on a delicate cycle and dried at low heat. Coming from someone who has accidentally ruined a merino wool shirt, it pays to read the label carefully before washing.
Merino wool shirts can definitely shrink if dried at high heat. If you have a merino wool shirt that can be tumble-dried, you should always do so at the lowest setting possible to prevent shrinkage. On the other hand, merino wool shirts can also stretch out significantly, so you make sure to follow exactly what the instructions say to do.