What would you think if we told you that a good men’s thermal shirt is the next thing you need to build a stylish and practical wardrobe?
Right off the bat, you might raise your eyebrows and imagine those old-fashioned long johns (both top and bottom) that your mom made you wear during your elementary school days. We get it, wearing a men’s thermal shirt might make you feel like you are wearing an extra undergarment – but truthfully, you know that there is nothing better to keep you warm during the most brutal winter days.
Thermal shirts for men are not only functional for providing warmth and wicking sweat, but they work great as a closet staple that you will keep reaching for, for more occasions than you’d expect. Comfortable and breathable, men’s thermal shirts make a great layering piece or can even be worn standalone as a simple, basic piece to pair with any bottoms you have in your closet.
Whether you are looking for a new base layer to wear under your puffer jacket, or you’re on the hunt for something to replace your favorite cozy sweatshirt for the upcoming spring, we’ve got you covered. No need to look further – these are the best men’s thermal shirts in the market right now.
The Best Men’s Thermal Shirts for Every Occassion
Uniqlo’s Men Heattech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve T-Shirt works best for the everyday guy with a simple wardrobe. The great thing about this men’s thermal shirt is that it is light enough to be worn as a base layer and polished enough to be worn on its own.
Uniqlo is one of the global giants providing quality, basic essentials. Their Heattech collection is one that continues to have a loyal following. This thermal long-sleeve t-shirt from their Heattech collection has been updated with a smoother fabric with their signature DRY technology. It offers endless technical functions like moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and odor control, just to name a few.
The basic t-shirt design makes this men’s thermal shirt perfect for daily wear and the neutral colors offered (white, gray, black, & navy) allow this shirt to become a core essential for all men, easy to style with whatever your wardrobe has to offer.
Material: 39% Polyester, 32% Acrylic, 21% Rayon, 8% Spandex | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle | Fit: Regular
- The high-performance fabric has numerous functional elements like bio-warming, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, anti-static, odor control, and even deodorizing features.
- The t-shirt fabric is soft and stretchy with a silky smooth feel, allowing this thermal shirt to be comfortably worn alone.
- This men’s thermal shirt is made of manufactured synthetic fabric. Although it’s highly functional, this will not be for those keen to wear only cotton or organic cotton products
If you are an old-school guy or someone who just wants to keep things as classic as possible, Fruit of the Loom’s Men’s Recycled Waffle Thermal Crew Top is the best option for you. This men’s thermal shirt will take you back in time to your younger era, but with an upgraded feel.
Fruit of the Loom has been making undergarments and essentials for Americans for over 160 years. As one of America’s oldest brands – they even predate the invention of light bulbs, cars, and telephones. Without making their product feel dated, Fruit of the Loom is best at creating essentials with a classic, old-school vibe that all Americans will continue to ‘feel good’ in.
The unique cotton and recycled polyester blend fabric makes this thermal shirt perfectly moisture-wicking and provides optimal heat retention. The slim fit and mini waffle texture allow this men’s thermal shirt to become the perfect base layer to be worn underneath button-down shirts, jackets, and sweaters.
Material: 52% Cotton, 48% Recycled Polyester | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Slim
- The natural stretch from the cotton and recycled polyester blend fabric gives a comfortable fit that hugs your upper body without restricting movement.
- The tag-free neck label is a thoughtful touch that provides all-day comfort for the wearer.
- The sizing runs small and fits slim, so make sure to go up one or two sizes than your usual for a more comfortable fit.
Best for skaters and working men alike (or workwear enthusiasts) are Carhartt’s Men’s Base Force Midweight Classic Crew. This men’s thermal shirt is a great base layer to wear underneath hoodies for casual outdoor activities.
Carhartt has been making gear for hardworking men for 130 years, and over time, they have built-in the latest technology to offer smart necessities for men. The RuggedFlex technology provides ease of movement wherever you are and whatever you are doing. The FastDry feature wicks away sweat and fights odors, while the classic waffle knit traps heat for extra warmth. This thermal shirt also features smooth flatlock seams and tagless labels, providing all-around comfort.
Material: 100% Polyester | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Regular
- The thumb loops make it a breeze to put on another layer of this men’s thermal shirt without dealing with your sleeves rolling in. The loops are designed to be concealed when not being used – major bonus.
- The midweight fabric provides enough warmth while being light enough to wear under other layers.
- The printed ‘Base Force’ text logo on the sleeve hem feels unnecessary and is not aesthetically pleasing when shown underneath layers.
Fear of God ESSENTIALS’ Waffle-Knit Henley T-Shirt is best for the relaxed guy or neutral lovers. Cut for a slightly loose fit, this men’s thermal shirt provides the warmth that you need while also allowing you to achieve an effortlessly stylish look.
As the name suggests, the luxury label Fear of God’s affordable line, ESSENTIALS, is a great place to score some great basics that you need in your capsule wardrobe. This long-sleeve thermal t-shirt is a timeless classic in a soft, cotton-jersey fabric with a waffle-knit texture. Meanwhile, the drop shoulders, one-button henley neckline, and the appliqued designer emblem logo in the back make this men’s thermal shirt unique.
This ESSENTIALS henley t-shirt is sophisticated enough to be worn on its own for a casual, trans-seasonal look. It is ideal if this thermal is paired with the brand’s sweatpants (in a matching color) or your favorite pair of dark denim jeans.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Relaxed
- The drop shoulders on this thermal shirt give off a more relaxed, loose fit that looks and feels more comfortable.
- The signature muted gray color is easy to style with other neutral-toned pieces that you already have in your closet.
- It would’ve been nice if they eliminated the label tag at the neck like some other items on this list.
The best all-in-one men’s thermal shirt for the casual guy is Everlane’s Waffle Long-Sleeve Crew Tee. This is the perfect, simple tee for casual outdoor brunches or the office with a flexible dress code.
Everlane is highly renowned for its sustainable practices as well as high-quality essentials. This soft cotton waffle long-sleeve crew tee is warm and breathable while also locking in the heat when you put layers over it. The mid-weight waffle knit has an ultra-soft texture as well as a sleek appearance that your inner comfort craves.
The neutral tones make it a great piece that will seamlessly blend in with the rest of your wardrobe. The durable fabric and flatlock stitching down the sleeves make this a comfortable and attractive top worn over khakis or jeans.
Material: 100% cotton | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Fit: Slim
- The waffle knit fabric is the perfect mid-weight that feels slightly thicker than your average undergarment. It drapes beautifully on any figure and feels durable.
- Like all Everlane products, we love the sustainability and transparency behind their pricing. Isn’t it always nice to know exactly what you are paying for?
- The 100% cotton fabric does shrink up slightly in the dryer – keep this in mind and size up one size when purchasing or hang to dry.
Filson’s Waffle-Knit Thermal Crew is best for the outdoor sports enthusiast or someone who lives in a brutally cold climate. This thermal shirt is made with thick (but soft) Peruvian cotton, making it the perfect replacement for your favorite crewneck sweatshirt.
Filson is a brand with a cult following for the excellent craftsmanship and durability of its outdoor/ working gear. This waffle knit thermal crew is no exception – the rave reviews from loyal buyers are enough to prove the high-quality and fantastic fit for most men.
The Peruvian cotton fabric is heavyweight and sturdy to keep you insulated while keeping your skin fresh with enhanced breathability. This men’s thermal shirt is perfect to wear with your work pants or relaxed jeans for a chill, casual look.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Regular
- The rib-knit cuffs help the sleeves stay in place for easy layering and prevent any cold breeze from seeping in.
- The waffle knit texture is delicate and intricately patterned that it will feel like it’s barely there.
- The fabric is on the thicker side, so it will be warm when layered, but you may feel a bit of tightness when worn under smaller shirts or jackets. We recommend wearing this men’s thermal shirt with oversized jackets or as a standalone piece.
Faherty’s Legend Waffle Hoodie is best for the guy who is desperately looking for a hoodie upgrade. This thermal waffle knit hoodie feels warm and comfy like your favorite college hoodie but looks and feels much more sophisticated.
Faherty is known for its ultra-soft fabrics, and its waffle series is another hit. The unique Pima, Modal, and elastane blend feels velvety to the touch, like your cozy comforter that just came out of the warm tumble dryer. The elastane also makes the fabric stretchy, providing the ultimate comfort that you expect from a hoodie.
The Legend Waffle Hoodie is cut for a relaxed, straight fit through the body and features slightly tapered sleeves that nicely wrap around your forearms.
Material: 49% Pima, 49% Modal, 2% Elastane | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Hooded | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Fit: Straight
- The hood is extremely lightweight and flexible, which won’t strain your neck, and can easily be pulled out over jackets to create a casual, easygoing look.
- The fitted rib cuffs make it easy to layer jackets and sweaters over the hoodie.
- Though we love a comfy look, the nature of the hooded style makes this a super casual piece. Refrain from wearing this on interviews or first dates where you have to make an impression.
The best men’s thermal shirt for the preppy guy is the Lightweight Waffle Rugby from Bonobos. This polo collared version of the waffle knit is a great addition to your closet if you are looking for something semi-formal enough to wear to a golf round or a lovely Sunday Brunch.
Bonobos is the go-to store for many men who love well-fitting wardrobe staples that will never go out of style. Their collection of classic, iconic pieces with a hint of modern elements makes them a brand with numerous repeat customers. This lightweight waffle rugby top is the perfect new rendition of the good old men’s thermal shirt.
Designed to be suitable for both the scholar and the athlete, this polo shirt is soft and feels comfortable for every occasion. This fresh minty ‘Heather Jade’ color will instantly brighten up your mood and simultaneously elevate your look. The preppy details like the contrasting white polo collar with button placket add a crisp feel to make you look as sharp as ever.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Polo | Care: Machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry low | Fit: Regular
- We love the contrast polo collar detail – you really can’t find anything like this elsewhere.
- This men’s thermal shirt is 100% cotton and is lightweight, making it a great layering piece to be worn under blazers or cardigans for the ultimate smart casual look.
- The jade color is fantastic for a nice pop of color in the spring, but our basic side wishes it came in more standard colorways – maybe a nice heather gray?
Club Monaco’s Variegated Waffle Crewneck Shirt is the best option for those who want all the insulating benefits of a thermal without looking like you are wearing one. This refined take on the traditional waffle knit thermal is a great piece to add to your wardrobe for crisp, clean outfits.
We all know that Club Monaco offers an unbeatable selection of essentials with a modern twist. All their pieces are classic enough to stay timeless in your wardrobe while not looking too dull. This variegated waffle crewneck shirt is in a soft, cozy cotton fabric and is cut for an easy, comfortable fit through the body.
The texture of this waffle-knit is untraditional, with vertical striped patterns that will make you feel more dressed up than you actually are. If you are on the hunt for a men’s thermal shirt that will ‘secretly’ keep you warm without looking like you are bundled up in multiple layers, this one’s for you.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Regular
- The variegated pattern is subtle and is a unique twist to the usual waffle knit. The textures give this men’s thermal shirt a sophisticated feel that you won’t find in others.
- The ribbing is made of 3% elastane, making the fabric stretchy and comfortable while hugging you in all the right spots.
- Although it’s very subtle, the vertical stripes will have a slightly elongating effect.
For the gym addicts or athletes in general, Lululemon has developed its own version of a thermal with the Keep the Heat Thermal Long Sleeve Shirt. This wool-blend men’s thermal shirt is uniquely designed for running and training and can be worn out onto the streets for an effortless athleisure look.
Lululemon has done what they do best again with this thermal shirt – creating technical pieces that are perfectly functional for the gym and stylish and unsloppy enough to be worn as everyday clothing. Using their innovative SenseKnit technology, this thermal offers varying levels of support and breathability, which are seamlessly knit into the fabric.
The thermal long-sleeve is tight-fitting all over and will hug your shoulders, arms, and waist snugly, in a good way. The fabric will conform to your body; if you worked hard on sculpting your upper areas, why not show it off?
Material: 52% Wool, 45% Nylon, 3% Elastane | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash cold gentle, lay flat to dry | Fit: Tight
- The wool-blend fabric not only dries quickly but also regulates temperature and helps you stay warm even when wet with sweat or rain.
- The ribbed textures are thoughtfully mapped over the powerhouse muscles for a supportive feel overall.
- The wool-blend fabric will surely keep you warm during the coldest winter days, but it may start to feel a little stuffy when the weather warms up.
If you love the look of sweaters but have sensitive skin and hate the feeling of itchy sweaters, this Thermal V-Neck Long Sleeve Compression Shirt by TSLA is your solution. This men’s thermal shirt is super thin and has a micro-fleece inner, making it an ideal candidate for a base layer.
TSLA has been making progressive sports gear with highly technical aspects to meet the needs of athletes and cold climates. With a 4.7 star rating and numerous rave reviews, this lightweight thermal compression shirt has crowned itself to be a bestseller on Amazon.
The v-neck detail allows this men’s thermal shirt to hide seamlessly underneath most sweaters with any neckline. Not to mention the tight-fitting compression fabric, which will deceivingly suck in those unwanted love handles below your shirt.
Material: Polyester & Spandex blend | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: V-neck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Tight
- The 4-way stretch in the polyester and spandex blend fabric allows for 360 degrees of movement during vigorous activities and under multiple layers.
- The lightweight, the inner micro-fleece fabric feels extra soft to the touch and makes it ideal for sensitive skin types.
- The compression technology is meant to improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue. Still, you may feel too much of a tightening effect if you are not used to compression garments.
If you are an outdoorsy guy looking for a classy and practical alternative to a thermal shirt, opt for Icebreaker’s Merino 260 Tech Long Sleeve Half Zip Thermal Top. The merino wool fabric is the closest to a fine-knit sweater on this list, making it the most polished option.
Founded by Jeremy Moon in 1994, Icebreaker has developed a solid collection of merino wool-based products for decades. Starting with high-quality merino wool t-shirts, their selection has expanded to clothing, socks, gloves, and even underwear – items that will keep you warm all over.
The simple design of this black men’s thermal shirt is complemented by a half zip feature that makes it feel a bit more casual but also sporty at the same time. The midweight fabric is perfect for layering and will indeed become a go-to piece for winter layering and outdoor sports like skiing or hiking.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Half-zip | Care: Machine wash warm | Fit: Slim
- The merino wool fibers are soft to the touch and regulate body temperature in all weather conditions while also resisting odors.
- The half-zip mock neck provides extra warmth and flexibility in controlling body temperature as needed.
- Due to the nature of the merino wool being a knit-like fabric, you may end up with some lint and fuzz without proper care. Be sure to wash under delicate cycles and occasionally shave off any wool pilling.
The best option for the gym or extreme sports lovers is Patagonia’s Capilene Midweight Crew Top. This men’s thermal shirt is made of recycled polyester, making it the best piece for wicking sweat while drying quickly.
This midweight crewneck thermal top is a versatile base layer underneath fleece jackets or windbreakers for additional insulation. The technical fabric is lightweight, breathable, and warm, so you will be kept dry and warm all day.
This Capilene crew top is part of Patagonia’s ‘Responsible Collection’, which uses responsibly sourced recycled/ repurposed materials. Take part in this sustainable movement while investing in this highly practical men’s thermal shirt that will become a go-to for outdoor hikes, climbs, and hitting the slopes.
Material: 100% Recycled Polyester | Sleeve length: Long | Neckline: Crewneck | Care: Machine wash | Fit: Slim
- The diamond-grid lining wicks moisture and dries quickly while trapping warmth to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day.
- The HeiQ Fresh Tech treatment offers odor control to ensure longevity – you’ll grow to appreciate this additional supplement to your deodorant when working out.
- The nature of the recycled polyester fabric is exceptionally light and comfortable, but it does have a bit of a sheen to it, giving it a more sporty vibe. Although the technical properties make this the best option for sports occasions, this may not be the best option if you want to wear it outside the gym
What to look for in a men’s thermal shirt
The first thing that you should consider and decide on is the texture of the thermal shirt. As you saw, there are plenty of great options for waffle knits out there, as well as more technical moisture-wicking textures.
A waffle knit gives off a more casual and relaxed vibe that some men would prefer. However, if the waffle knit aesthetic feels too old-school or preppy for you, opt for other solid options like the Uniqlo long-sleeved t-shirt or an athletic version.
The material composition is also something that should not be overlooked when searching for the perfect men’s thermal shirt. The material determines the level of insulation, as well as serves as an indicator for other fabric qualities like sweat-wicking properties and stretch.
Wool will be your warmest option, followed by cotton blends that are generally warm. Other materials like polyester, elastane, and spandex will give the fabric some stretch, cooling effect, and moisture bouncing qualities.
Most men usually have a strong preference for their necklines when purchasing tops. You may be a crew neck kind of guy, but if you are looking to wear your thermal shirt as a base layer underneath sweaters, consider a v-neck too.
V-necks will give you more flexibility when styling since it is less likely to peep out under your sweater. If you are expecting to wear your thermal shirt as a standalone piece for transitional weather, a simple crew neck or hoodie will be the best option for you.