Hoodies are some of the most versatile and comfortable items in your wardrobe. With a hoodie, you stay cozy and casual while looking stylish. One of the most important considerations when shopping for a hoodie is the material. The fabric greatly impacts the comfort, durability, and look of the hoodie. So, how do you determine what hoodie material is right for you? Here’s a guide to the common types of materials used to make hoodies and how to select the best option.
Cotton is by far the most popular fabric used to construct hoodies. The reasons for cotton’s popularity are plentiful. For starters, cotton has a soft, breathable feel that provides next-to-skin comfort. Cotton effectively absorbs moisture from your body and allows ventilation for superior comfort. 100% cotton hoodies have a casual, laidback look that seamlessly pairs with jeans, joggers, or shorts.
Cotton hoodies are also extremely durable. The natural fibers resist shrinking and hold up well during machine washing and drying. Standard cotton hoodies tend to fit true-to-size even after many wears and washes. If cared for properly, expect years of wear from a trusty cotton hoodie.
Types of Cotton Hoodies
There are a few main types of cotton hoodies:
- Fleece Cotton – Made from a napped cotton lining, fleece cotton hoodies have a soft, fuzzy handfeel. Fleece also provides incredible warmth and insulation without compromising breathability.
- Jersey Cotton – Jersey cotton has a smooth face and exceptional drape. Jersey cotton hoodies tend to be lighter/thinner while remaining cozy and comfortable thanks to the natural breathability of cotton.
- Terry Cotton – Terry lining is woven into cotton to create a distinctively textured surface of soft loops. It’s absorbent, easy to clean, and extra durable. The inside lining of many hoodies feature terry cotton.
For hoodies that are wrinkle-resistant, quick to dry, and machine washable, polyester is the material of choice. Modern polyester fabrics feel smooth like cotton but shed moisture better while maintaining shape. As an added perk, polyester hoodies resist fading and shrinkage over time.
Performance hoodies made for the gym or outdoor activities like hiking and camping contain polyester blends. For example, cotton may be blended with 12-15% polyester to add stretch and enhance mobility. For even greater flexibility, look for spandex/elastane blended with polyester.
Benefits of Polyester Hoodies
- Dries quickly – ideal for workouts and wet weather
- Wrinkle and shrink resistant
- Retains color vibrancy
- Matches the softness of cotton while stronger and smoother
The main drawback of polyester hoodies is they can feel overly warm. To counteract heat retention, look for thin, lightweight poly-blend hoodies. Opt for at least 50% cotton content to help airflow.
Fleece hoodies provide unrivaled softness and heat retention. The plush lining instantly makes you feel pampered while keeping you toasty. Fleece is most commonly made from polyester fibers. But you can also find cotton fleece blends for the comfort of cotton with added warmth.
The full nap of a fleece traps body heat without adding much weight. Fleece hoodies come in a range of densities from a light dusting to a thick sherpa pile. Lightweight options work year-round for chilly offices or evenings. Save the ultra-plush fleece for the depth of winter.
For super soft eco-friendly hoodies, bamboo is the latest fabric innovation. Bamboo fabric contains bamboo cellulose fibers spun into yarn then woven into fabric. Bamboo hoodies are silky smooth, breathable, and exceptionally comfortable to wear. The moisture wicking and cooling effect also helps regulate body temperature.
Benefits of Bamboo Hoodies
- Ultra soft with a luxe feel
- Eco-friendly & sustainable
- Moisture-wicking and odor resistant
- Breathable and temperature regulating
- Durable, wrinkle-free, anti-static
The benefits of bamboo clothing also extend to easy care. Bamboo hoodies hold vibrant dyes for rich color. They rarely pill or fade over time. Compared to cotton, bamboo hoodies are more durable and sustain their softness. Combining bamboo with cotton or spandex ensures maximum comfort that maintains shape.
Choosing the Best Hoodies by Weather
Now that you know about the fabrics available, here’s a quick cheat sheet for selecting hoodies by weather condition:
- Spring & Fall – Lightweight cotton or cotton blends
- Summer – Thin cotton jersey
- Winter – Fleece and sherpa linings or thick terry cotton
- Year-Round – Midweight cotton or performance polyester blends
- Cold Work Environments – Fleece and polyester blends
Consider the climate you live in along with the environments where you’ll wear the hoodie most. For example, warm weather climates call for breezy, moisture-wicking hoodies. Colder northern regions do better with thick insulating and heat trapping fleece. Adjust weight and fabrics fit for purpose.
Match Hoodie Fabric to Use Case
Beyond weather, also factor in the main use case for your hoodie. Ask yourself:
- Is this a lounge-around-the-house hoodie?
- Do I need performance wear for the gym?
- How often will I machine wash and dry it?
Matching fabric to your lifestyle ensures you select a hoodie with appropriate care requirements.consider the following examples:
Loungewear – Focus exclusively on softness and comfort rather than durability. Fabrics like fleece and bamboo blends work for relaxing without activity.
Activewear – Seek out moisture-wicking technical fabrics with stretch. Polyester blends allow freedom of movement along with easy wash and wear maintenance.
Frequent washing – Choose durable all-cotton fabrics unless you intend to air dry polyester or delicate blends. Triple gusset reinforced seams also prevent tears over time.
With so many hoodie styles and fabrics available, deciding on “the one” means prioritizing your needs. Seek out trusted fabric blends that provide the comfort, performance, and care requirements for how you’ll use the hoodie most. Finding that perfect balance ensures you’ll love wearing your chosen hoodie for many seasons ahead.