Last modified on December 23rd, 2020 at 11:26 am

Our List of the 8 Best Thermal Underwear for this Winter

Ready or not, the cold weather is here!  The temptation is there to hunker down and hibernate until the coming of spring.  Resist that temptation! There is so much you could miss out on if you let winter shut you in. 

You can continue your walking, running or hiking when you have the right protection against the cold. You can accomplish this with a good set of thermal underwear.   Even if you decide you want to be inside, looking out, you can save on heating costs by donning an added layer of insulation.

Some of us might think of thermal underwear as something that is worn by hunters, or those whose professions compel them  to work out of doors in the cold.

However, you might be surprised how warm and comfy a set of thermal underwear would be when you are running errands on a snowy morning.  Don’t forget that Fido will want to go for a walk, no matter the season or your reluctance to go outdoors. 

It used to be that the key to staying warm outdoors in the winter was to layer up.  Just like Randy in the movie, A Christmas Story, bundling up to keep warm out of doors made it impossible to move. 

Today’s thermals are nothing like the bulky insulated underwear, or long johns, of yesteryear. 

They are crafted to fit under your clothing and add insulation without adding bulk.  Lightweight and soft against the skin, today’s thermal underwear allows for ease of movement without restriction.

Thermal underwear is tightly and closely knitted, and this helps retain body heat. There are thermals that have a wicking quality that keeps sweat off of your skin, and those that control odors. 

There are brands of thermals that are made of different synthetics or wool fabrics and will both insulate and add breathability. 

When you do the traditional type of layering to keep warm, sweating is a common downfall. The sweat draws heat away from your body because of evaporative cooling.   When this happens, it makes your body temperature drop as a result of the evaporation. Layering can actually make you colder, not warmer. 

Depending on the weather you will be out in, choose the appropriate fabric in your thermals. 

Ultralight or microweight is ideal for mild to cool weather.  Lightweight thermals are suited for cool to moderately cold weather.  Choose midweight for moderately cold to cold weather. Lastly, choose a heavyweight thermal fabric for very cold or frigid weather. 

The fit of your thermals is also important.  The tighter the thermal is to your skin, the more it retains heat.  The looser the fit, the more allowance there is for air circulation which can help if you tend to overheat. 

With this information in mind, we have compiled our list of the best thermals for this winter season.



Thermajohn Men's Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

This set of thermal underwear has garnered 4.4 stars out of 5 stars in customer reviews. The one suggestion that was echoed throughout the reviews was to purchase one size up from what you would normally wear. 

Fruit of the Loom Men's Classic Midweight Waffle Thermal Underwear Crew Top

Overall Rating - 3.5/5

The crew top is designed for moderately cold to cold conditions. It has a waffle knit fabric that is great for trapping in heat.  The ribbed cuffs on the wrists also help keep the heat in. The top also employs moisture wicking technology to help keep you dry.

Carhartt Men's Force Midweight Classic Thermal Base Layer Long Sleeve Shirt

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Carhartt is a trusted name brand. The crew top features waffle knit fabric that traps your body's heat on those cold days. The flex fabric moves with you and fast dry technology wicks away sweat. The concealed thumb loops keep your sleeves in place when you put on another layer.

Women's Ultrasoft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

This set of women’s thermal underwear is relatively inexpensive, but received 4.5 stars out of 5 stars from the 2,354 customers who reviewed the product.  The reviewers said that they were lightweight, but warm and comfy.  

MANCYFIT Thermal Underwear for Women Long Johns Set Fleece Lined Ultra Soft

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Mancyfit also includes a sizing chart, for both top and bottoms, on their product page to aid in determining the size to order.  There are over ten colors to choose from and the sizes range from extra small to three X.

UNIQUEBELLA Men's Thermal Underwear Sets Top & Long Johns Fleece

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

This is a stylish set of thermals that don’t look anything like a pair of long johns!  They come in four different colors and have a 4.4 star out of 5 star rating from 1,003 customers who reviewed the product.

ClimateRight Long Sleeve Crew Stretch Fleece

Overall Rating - 4/5

This crew top is especially soft and comfy and lives up to cuddle duds name.  It comes in a variety of colors and a few sizes have patterned options.

Just Love Women's Thermal Underwear Set

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

This set comes in eleven different colors… that is a lot to choose from!  It is also reasonably priced for a set.




  • 2 Piece thermal set they are ultra soft, warm, comfortable and great to wear at home or add an extra layer of warmth under your clothes.

  • Made from Ultra-Soft polyester and spandex, the four way stretch material provides a comfortable fit.

  • Perfect for indoor/outdoor winter activities.

  • 2 Pieces: Top and Bottom Included. Available in Black, Navy, Grey & White


  • 60% Cotton/40% Polyester

  • Pull On

  • Machine Wash

  • Warm waffle thermal crew top for cold weather

  • Fits close to the body as a thermal layering piece under clothes

  • Wicks away moisture to keep you comfortable


  • 100% Polyester

  • No Closure closure

  • Machine Wash

  • Classic waffle knit traps heat

  • Fast dry wicks away sweat and fights odor

  • Rugged flex technology for ease of movement

  • Smooth flat lock seams and tagless label enhance comfort

  • Concealed thumb loops


  • This thermal underwear set for women is lightweight and fit snug against the skin. 

  • With their moisture wicking system, they wick away sweat to keep you dry.

  • Their poly-spandex material offers breathability allowing odor to escape. Their tagless design prevents irritation.

  • Flexibility is improved with the underwear’s stretch construction. This set’s flexible design won’t hold you back when it comes to body movement.


  • Made of Polyester (95%) and spandex (5%) blend fabric. The latest 4-way stretch material provides a breathable and comfortable fit.

  • Perfect for cold weather, comfy stretch software is lightly fleece lined, lightweight but warm, works excellently during your winter activities. 

  • These women's long johns thermal set consists of a long sleeve top and a pair of full length pants.

  • 30-day, full-money-back guarantee and can be returned or exchanged if you are unsatisfied with this item.


  • Designed with high quality fleece lining, the thermal underwear mens is windproof, it can keep you warm while running, cycling, hiking, jogging or walking the dog in the winter morning

  • Breathable and moisture wicking fabric is perfect to keep sweat away and dry fast.

  • Made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex. Flatlock stitching creates a flat seam to the garment to ensure maximum comfort and prevents chafing

  • This thermal underwear set definitely can be worn as an outdoor compression sports shirt.

  • This thermal underwear men for cold weather is idea gear for all kinds of activities, such as training, rash guard, running, weight training, cycling, yoga, soccer, skiing, snowboarding, indoor gym exercise, fitness body training


  • The long sleeve crew neck top with slightly textured fleece has stretch for ultimate warmth and comfort. 94% polyester 6% spandex.

  • The spandex gives this top the ultimate flexibility as it hugs your body and stretches to move with you

  • The added subtle texturing gives the fabric a fashion forward element.

  • Thumbholes in sleeves for easy layering.

  • Fabric Care Instructions: Machine wash cold gentle cycle with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach. Tumble dry low, remove promptly.


  • 60% Cotton/40% Polyester

  • Just Love’s women thermal underwear set is made using a poly-cotton blend that feels cozily soft.

  • This set is designed to keep you toasty without being too bulky. You can easily slip your daytime clothes or pajamas over the thermal base layer, with the tapered leg making it great for wearing under leggings with boots.

  • The long john pants and top combine the comfort of cotton with the durability of polyester. The inner thermal wear washes well in the machine without shrinking or running.

  • The thermal bottoms are fitted with an elastic waistband for added comfort.


According to the calendar, the official start of winter is December 21st.  I am not sure who ascertains that date or how it is determined, but I can categorically tell you that winter started weeks ago! 

Here in the state of Michigan, USA,  the cold arrived a while ago. There may not be any snow yet, but you can see your breath in the mornings and the sun goes down early enough that the ground has not had a chance to warm up during the day. 

Even with summer officially over, there is still plenty of yard work to be done.  Stubborn leaves have decided the best time to fall is when there is the shimmer of frost.  Strong fall winds drench the yard with sticks and branches.  

The flower beds have the sad skeletons of summers colors and need to be cleared out, to make it easier to push through in the spring. And yet, with all this work to be done, it is now cold outside!

I used to think of long johns as something as hunters and old men wore.  It is believed that the production of long johns began in the late 19th century to Matlock in Derbyshire.  

They were first manufactured at John Smedley’s Lea Mills and they were thought to have been named after boxer John Sullivan.  John would wear a very similar outfit whenever he fought in the ring. There is, however, not conclusive evidence to support this, but it makes for a good story. 

Again, long johns were once a utilitarian, unattractive piece of apparel.  Not anymore! Thermal underwear is a must have and has become a staple in most wardrobes. 

From ice fishing, skating, skiing, hunting, to snowboarding, hiking and even camping, thermal underwear has given us the ability to enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather.


  • Wash your zippered thermal underwear with the zippers closed to prevent damage to the garment

  • Do not use bleach or fabric softener on your thermals

  • Wear a base layer of fabrics with wicking abilities to prevent chafing

  • Cotton retains moisture, so don’t use a cotton under garment with high activity

  • Air dry your thermals to prevent shrinkage

  • There are thermals that have attached hoods to keep the sun off and heat in

  • If you will be both inside and out wearing your thermals, look for one that has a front zipper to allow instant cooling

  • It is important to have wicking fabric in your thermals as the risk of hypothermia is greater when the sweat is not removed from your body