Anyone who has ever had to trek through frigid city wind tunnels in the dead of winter is probably familiar with the unsettling feeling (or lack thereof) that your ears may or may not still be attached. It's one of the many reasons why no ensemble is truly complete without a cute winter hat come this time of year. We know, we know, gloves and scarves are important too, but a cozy head topper is an undeniable chilly-weather staple. You'll want to look for one that's warm enough to keep your ears nice and toasty, comfy enough to be worn every day and adorable enough to earn a permanent spot in your winter wardrobe rotation—and we've found 17 that tick all the boxes.
17 Cute Winter Hats to Keep Your Ears From Falling Off When It’s Frigid Outside
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Meet the Expert
Ingrid Leo is the co-founder and editor of Style With Ingrid.
How to Wear a Winter Hat
Just because it’s (literally) freezing out doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for comfort. There are plenty of ways to bundle up and stay warm while absolutely slaying the style game. According to Ingrid Leo, co-founder and editor of the fashion blog Style with Ingrid, there are a few things you should keep in mind when styling a winter hat.
Experimenting with accessories and different colors can make all the difference in a winter ‘fit. One option to try? A singular color that matches your outerwear. “Neutral winter hats create a timeless aesthetic,” Leo says. “Opt for a simple, monochromatic look accented by neutral details and fundamental winter shades like black, burgundy, beige or white. They are the most versatile and you can create many stylish outfits.”
You can even take it up a notch with matching accessories. “Winter hats look great with a [matching] scarf or pair of gloves for extra warmth and color,” Leo adds.
If you're not into monochromes, you can alternately try making your hat the statement piece of your ensemble. “A pop of color can also add interest to an outfit, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different hues and combinations," she says.
Other tips to keep in mind when shopping for a cute winter hat? “Choose a style that flatters your face shape." Leo says. (That means no matter how cute that slouchy lieutenant's cap is, it won't look great if you're constantly having to adjust it so that it doesn't hang down over your eyes.)
Last but not least, material matters. Keep in mind where you’ll be wearing your cap most and what the temperature typically is there. “Wool is probably the most popular option because it’s both stylish and warm,” Leo explains. Looking for something a little lighter? She suggests opting for merino wool or cashmere. “[They’re] wonderfully lightweight yet exceptionally warm,” she adds.
The Best Winter Hats at a Glance
- Best Overall: The North Face Fleece Trapper
- Best on a Budget: Furtalk Knit Hat
- Best Neon Winter Hat: Carhartt Rib-Knit Beanie
- Best Cashmere Winter Hat: Jenni Kayne Cashmere Beanie
- Best Winter Hat With Pom Pom: Echo Fur Pom Hat
- Best Shearling Winter Hat: UGG Shearling Bucket Hat
- Best Beret: Braxton Wool Beret
- Best Soft Hat: Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Hat and Socks
- Best Merino Wool Hat: Patagonia Overlook Hat
- Best Slouchy Winter Hat: Quince Mongolian Cashmere Hat
- Best UGG Winter Hat: UGG Faux Shearling Trapper Hat
- Best Winter Hat With Visor: Hindawi Knit Hat
- Best Satin-Lined Hat: Lvaiz Satin-Lined Hat
- Best for Ponytails: C.C. Ponytail Hat
- Best Design: Livingston Double Pom Hat
- Best Winter Bucket Hat: Umeerpar Faux Fur Bucket Hat
- Best for Winter Sports: Purjoy Fleece Hat
The North Face
- Pros: Sustainable, extra insulation
- Cons: One size fits all
Crafted with 100 percent recycled fabric, this darling North Face fleece trapper offers everything you could ask for from a piece of winter headwear and then some. Not only is it insulated with the brand's own Heatseeker eco material for extra toastiness, but it also comes equipped with optional earflaps. Tie them up for a cozy look when the weather is mild or let ‘em down to keep your ears protected from the elements—just note this hat only comes in one size, so it may not be for you if you've got a smaller- or larger-than-average noggin.
- Pros: Affordable, just-right slouch factor, plenty of stretch
- Cons: Not machine washable
If you’re looking for an effortlessly stylish winter hat that checks the boxes of being both fashionable and functional, this adorable beanie belongs in your wardrobe. With a double-layered fleece and acrylic lining, this little number will be undoubtedly keep your ears from freezing. As one buyer wrote, "This hat really helped with warmth. I took several hats for my trip to Maine in December and this was by far the one I chose most often because I could tell the difference in how much warmer I felt."
The best part? At just $15, it’s available in an array of hues and its slouchy silhouette, which hits the back of the head just so, will have all your friends asking where they can snag one too.
- Pros: Budget-friendly, trusted brand, cool look
- Cons: Different material than original Carhartt hats
This popular Carhartt knit beanie lives up to the brand’s reputation for creating durable and high-quality products—at least as far as its more than 118,000 5-star Amazon reviewers are concerned. Wearers rave about how cozy it is, but more than that, it's just damn cute. Just ask our editors: “I can’t stop wearing this beanie. I love wearing the ultra-bright neon color in contrast with my mostly black wardrobe,” PureWow’s Wellness Director Sarah Stiefvater, says of the Brite Lime shade she owns. “It’s also super comfy and warm and just 20 bucks. A total no-brainer.”
Best Cashmere Winter Hat
- Pros: Super soft, breathable, 100 percent cashmere
- Cons: Pricey
With six gorgeous hues to choose from, this Jenni Kayne cashmere beanie is just begging to be paired with every coat in your closet. Its relaxed silhouette allows you to style it to your heart’s desire, whether that’s cuffed, as-is or rolled up. Plus, its cashmere material is known to be super soft and breathable while still providing plenty of warmth—which explains why so many reviewers have become repeat purchasers. “This is a [must-have] in the winter," wrote one happy buyer. I bought two last season and wore them almost daily."
Best Winter Hat With Pom Pom
- Pros: Cute pom pom detail, warm materials
- Cons: Pricey
This sweet little Echo hat boasts the cutest fur pom at the top and a classic cable-knit design that radiates all of the cozy vibes. Made of a super thick acrylic, wool and alpaca, it will also have you feeling confident that this stylish little number will be your BFF when the temps drop.
Best Shearling Hat
- Pros: Super snuggly shearling, versatile style, multiple sizes
- Cons: No color variation
This über-snuggly UGG shearling bucket hat will be well worth the splurge, as it harnesses the power to blend in with the rest of your winter attire. Its neutral chestnut color offers a subtle contrast in the form of its ivory shearling trim, too, making it an unquestionably versatile headwear option you’ll find yourself reaching for time and time again. We also love the fact that it comes in two different size options, allowing you to pick the one that fits you best.
- Pros: Unique style, warm, French-inspired
- Cons: On the smaller side, no elastic to keep it in place
For a quick and easy way to channel your inner Emily Cooper à la Emily in Paris, there's this gorgeous wool-blend beret. Crafted from a mix of angora wool, regular wool and acrylic, to name a few, it will do a whole lot more than make you a walking compliment magnet—it will actually keep you warm. “The beret is the perfect addition to any outfit, giving it a touch of style and sophistication,” Leo says. “It pairs wonderfully with a white shirt and jeans. Simply add a cardigan or blazer."
And if that doesn't do the trick? Leo says you can also try the beret with a knit dress, "to add some Parisian flair.”
Best Soft Hat
- Pros: Super soft, comes with socks, machine washable
- Cons: Limited colors
You know that Barefoot Dreams blanket that every celeb on the planet seemingly owns? Picture that, but for your ears. This attractive dove gray CozyChic beanie from Barefoot Dreams touts a classic slouch and is made with the brand's oh-so-soft, 100 percent polyester microfiber for a piece of headwear you’ll wish you bought eons ago. “I will never need another beanie again now that I have my BD version that is perfection!” wrote one reviewer. An added bonus? It comes with a pair of matching socks.
Best Merino Wool Hat
- Pros: Lightweight, moisture-wicking, anti-odor properties
- Cons: Not as warm as some
This Patagonia beanie is ideal for anyone looking for a lightweight option that will still provide warmth. It's also a fantastic choice for those who plan to wear it hiking, biking (it’s thin enough to fit under a helmet) and during other outdoor adventures. That's because Patagonia claims its wool blend is antimicrobial, naturally resists odor and helps to regulate body temperature, since it naturally wicks away moisture. It won't be your best bet in a squall, but for active movement outdoors, it will get the job done.
Best Slouchy Winter Hat
- Pros: Great value, super soft, sustainably and ethically sourced
- Cons: On the thinner side, not machine washable
This Quince mongolian cashmere beanie practically screams of luxury, only without the high price tag. With a 7-gauge knit, this gem is a lot less dense than other options, keeping you covered without the bulk. Quince claims its cashmere is sustainable, ethically sourced and three times as warm as wool. Based on the customer photos, it also offers the perfect slouch: Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself coming back to grab one in every color.
- Pros: Fully covers ears, multiple sizes
- Cons: Too warm for warmer days
You’ll never have to mutter the words, “I can’t feel my ears” again with this winter-ready UGG trapper hat. The sides of this pretty-yet-practical faux shearling pick will protect them from the elements, so you can leave your earmuffs at home. It’s basically a one-and-done solution when you’re rushing out the door.
- Pros: Great for sunny days, budget-friendly
- Cons: Not always size-consistent
Let’s set the scene: It’s the dead of winter, the sun is setting, you left your sunglasses at home and you’re about to be… well, “blinded by the light,” as they say. Enter: This stylish knit acrylic winter hat with a visor. It's fashion-forward, functional, and thanks to its faux fur lining, it will also feel luxurious against your head. Basically, it's a style overachiever for those days when it’s too cold for just a baseball cap but too sunny for a traditional beanie.
- Pros: Luxe lining, stretchy, prevents flyaways
- Cons: Could be better quality
We love the luxurious factor that this baby provides on account of its satin lining. It can be worn cuffed or pulled down over your ears for more coverage, but the best part just might be the company's claims that the silky-smooth fabric will also help prevent hair breakage and static (kind of like a satin pillowcase), so you can pull it on and take it off without battling an army of flyaways. While the cotton and acrylic exterior may not last a lifetime (it is $14, after all), you'll look plenty chic in it while it does.
- Pros: A hole for a ponytail or bun, plenty of stretch
- Cons: May not work for thicker ponies
Ponytail fans, rejoice! This beanie made specifically for those of us who don’t want to sacrifice the high (or low) pony we spent all morning perfecting just to warm our ears. Poke yours through the hole at the top of this ingenious design to have your cake and eat it too. It also provides plenty of stretch, so you can comfortably wear it all day long.
- Why We Love It: Unique style, budget-friendly
Why have one pom pom when you can have two? This statement-making beanie features a stretchy hem for ultimate comfort and two puffy balls at the top to give the illusion of ears. It's crafted with cotton and acrylic to provide you with plenty of warmth and comes in multiple colors; just note that it tends to run small and shrinks in the dryer.
- Pros: Trendy, textured, ultra-soft
- Cons: Fits larger heads best
This trendy faux fur bucket hat looks like it was pulled straight from the '90s, and given the era's massive resurgence, that's a very, very good thing. It also has the right zhuzh factor when you're looking for some extra texture (read: fuzzy warmth). It comes in roughly 48 (!) colors and patterns, including houndstooth, florals, animal prints, and more than a few of its 1,500 5-star reviewers called out how soft it is, too.
- Pros: Can be worn six ways, ultra-warm
- Cons: Larger fit
This fleece winter sports hat is ideal for hitting the slopes, then grabbing a hot chocolate right after. While you can wear it six different ways, ranging from a head wrap to a scarf, we're eyeing it as a full-coverage gator to shield you from your head to your neck (you can also opt to sport the gator or hat on its own). However you choose to sport it, its contrasting lining color will give you a cute little splash of color.
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Brittany Gibson is a NYC- and CT-based freelance writer with a background in SEO. She has bylines in BuzzFeed, Insider, Real Simple, Reader’s Digest and more. When she’s not writing about products, you’ll likely find her trying out new coffee shops, hanging with her Maltipoo, Mochi, listening to Taylor Swift or scouring the internet for new petite fashion finds to fill her already-crowded closet with. Follow her on Instagram @brigibson.