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Which wool cardigans are best?

Wool has a long and beautiful history in clothing, spanning thousands of years. It is a durable, insulating fiber that can be woven, spun or knit into various patterns. Wool can also be very sustainable when done well. 

If you are interested in a stylish and traditional garment that will keep you warm and cozy during cold months, consider buying a wool cardigan. The 100 Percent Irish Merino Wool Aran Button Men’s Sweater by West End Knitwear is your best bet.

What to know before you buy a wool cardigan

Itch factor

Some people are sensitive to wool. This means that when you wear it against your skin, it will make you itch. It might even cause little red bumps from the irritation. Of course, not everyone is affected in this way, but if you have noticed something like this before, it’s worth factoring into your decision to buy a wool cardigan. It doesn’t mean you can never wear wool unless you have a proper wool allergy. But it does mean you’ll want to be mindful of what kind of wool cardigan you get. Luckily, now there are many different options for wool that are softer and less likely to be itchy.


Pure wool garments generally need more specialized care than cotton or synthetic garments. They’re more likely to shrink when exposed to heat, and the fibers will wear out over time if you wash them in a machine too frequently. Ideally, you should wash them only when necessary and do so by hand with special wool-friendly detergent using lukewarm water and dry gently with clean towels.


People have been making cardigan-like garments from wool for thousands of years. Wool is warm and insulating, and there are many ways to take raw wool and turn it into clothing. Every culture that herds sheep and creates wool has its own methods and traditional styles. If you’re thinking of getting a wool cardigan, consider looking at specific cultural sweaters, as they are labors of love and represent long, beautiful histories.

What to look for in a quality wool cardigan


Not all wool cardigans are pure wool, and not all wool is the same. If you have sensitive skin, you may not want a pure wool cardigan. A blend of wool and other fibers might suit you better. Or you might feel more comfortable wearing a softer type of wool, like merino. If you haven’t tried wool before or aren’t sure if your skin is sensitive, consider starting with a blend or softer wool to be on the safe side.


Since wool is a very insulating material, factor in the fit when deciding what kind of wool cardigan to get. If you are the type to get warm very easily, consider an oversized cardigan, so your body has room to breathe. On the other hand, if you are more prone to cold, get a more fitted style or a smaller size. Wool can be an excellent fiber to wear, but it can still take a bit of looking to find the right fit and style for you.


Wool cardigans, especially ones made in a traditional style, often come in different knitted patterns. They might have cabling or other textured patterns. Or they’ll have different colors woven in. For some people, this is part of their appeal. However, if you want something more minimal, you should look at more modern styles rather than traditional ones.

How much you can expect to spend on a wool cardigan

A wool cardigan can cost from $40-$150, depending on the quality of the wool and where it was made.

Wool cardigan FAQ

Can I make a wool cardigan less itchy?

A. Not really. If you are sensitive to wool, there’s not much you can do to make your skin less sensitive. It’s best to wear your cardigan over another garment so at least it doesn’t touch your skin directly.

Is it possible to unshrink a wool cardigan that’s been through the wash?

A. It depends on the level of shrinkage. If it’s only shrunk slightly, you can probably stretch it back out by wearing it. In contrast, if it’s shrunk more than one or two sizes, you can’t stretch it back out without compromising the integrity of the fibers.

What are the best wool cardigans to buy?

Top wool cardigan

100 Percent Irish Merino Wool Aran Button Men's Sweater by West End Knitwear

100 Percent Irish Merino Wool Aran Button Men’s Sweater by West End Knitwear

What you need to know: Westend makes beautiful traditional Irish wool sweaters like this one that are warm and comfortable.

What you’ll love: Featuring a shawl collar that will keep your neck warm against a biting wind, this cardigan can easily fit a little oversized if you prefer. It’s made of 100 percent pure merino wool and has lovely traditional cabling.

What you should consider: It only goes up to size 2XL and only comes in two colors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top wool cardigan for the money

Kallspin Men’s Cardigan Sweater Cashmere Wool Blend

Kallspin Men’s Cardigan Sweater Cashmere Wool Blend

What you need to know: This wool-blend cardigan is soft and minimal, perfect for a modern wardrobe.

What you’ll love: Blended to be soft and comfortable without being too warm, this cardigan is a stylish piece for chilly weather. It can be machine-washed in cold wash and tumble dried on low or hung to dry. 

What you should consider: It goes up to size 4XL and might be too thin for those looking for a cozy warm wool sweater.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Aran Woollen Mills Irish Aran Cardigan Sweater for Women

Aran Woollen Mills Irish Aran Cardigan Sweater for Women

What you need to know: Featuring a high neckline, this cardigan is cozy and comfortable and meant to fit close.

What you’ll love: Made of pure merino wool, this sweater is soft and inspired by classic Irish Aran knitwear. It has charming small cable patterns all over and pockets at the hips. The thick ribbing at the collar and cuffs will keep out the cold.

What you should consider: It only goes up to size XXL and may be itchy for those with sensitive skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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