The calendar says it is officially spring. But if you are in the northern half of the country, chances are you are still wearing winter coats and boots and planning your move south. While you plan that move, keep yourself warm with our list of the best thermal underwear for women.
You might be asking yourself why you need thermal underwear. Shouldn’t your winter coat and cold weather accessories be enough to keep you warm? Thermal underwear is key to staying warm because it allows you to layer. For cold mornings, you can layer your clothes and outerwear over top of it, and then ditch some of that as the day gets warmer or as you are more active.
But, before we get to the list, let’s talk about what you should be looking for when shopping for thermal underwear (aka long johns).
How to Choose the Best Womens Base Layer
First, think about what kind of fabric you want. There are lots of options, like synthetics, merino wool, silks, or polyester. The best thermal underwear for women is stylish and keeps you warm and dry.
How cold it gets where you will be wearing this clothing should dictate your fabric choice. You should pick a wicking fabric, and stay away from 100% cotton, which just keeps moisture close to your skin. Many mid-priced base layers are made of polyester-synthetic blends. These are popular because the price is right, they dry quickly, and they don’t stretch out.
Merino wool is a favorite of cold weather experts, but it can be pricey. Wool feels great, doesn’t retain smells, feels warm when wet, and is easy to care for. The downside, though, is that it can stretch out and takes a long time to dry.
Beyond fabric type, you also need to think about the weight of the fabric. Fabric weights include microlight, lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight. Microweight and lightweight are typically used for summer days or mild days in the spring and fall. If you’re really looking for warmth, midweight and heavyweight will be the way to go. These pieces are meant for your cold winter days and especially outdoor winter sports. The best thermal underwear for extreme cold should be of a heavyweight material, and keep you dry.
Now that you have an idea of what material and weight you should be looking for, you need to decide on the style. The best women’s base layer is meant to fit like a glove, NOT be skin tight. You should be able to move in it yet feel comfortable adding additional layers on top of the thermals.
When picking your style, think about your body type.
Are you tall?
If so, you might want to think about focusing on styles that are a bit longer or come in a tall or long size. The ideal pair of long underwear should be a length that hits between your hips and butt. Stretchy fabric is another consideration.
Do you like your clothes to have a bit of stretch in them?
You might want to look for something that has four-way stretch if this is the case. You can also get fleece-lined thermals, which have a silky-soft layer of microfleece lining the top and bottoms.
Who wouldn’t want to feel soft, warm fleece on their skin all day?
One more thing to consider before we get to that list are the different features your long underwear might have. You could get thumb holes, a hood, hidden pockets, pockets to stash phones and earbuds, or UPF for sun protection. There are also options for necklines too. Zip, crew, v-neck–the possibilities are endless.
This sounds like a lot, right? It doesn’t have to be complicated though. I’ve already done the work for you, and below you will find a list of the ten best long underwear for women out there.
Top 10 Best Thermal Underwear for Women
This two-piece set is a polyester-spandex blend. They are super soft and are lined with fleece for warmth and comfort. These also come in a number of colors, from purple to basic black.
This is another two-piece set that is a polyester-cotton blend. These long johns are lightweight, but warm, and come in in over 15 different colors.
The top and the pants are sold separately, but Under Armour is on of the best long underwear for skiing, and consumers show it. This is one of the best thermals for women. These are a polyester-Elastane blend that allows for warmth and stretch.
These also have thermal grid fabric that traps heat in tiny pockets to keep you warm all day and it has thumb-holes.
This two-piece set is a polyester blend with four-way stretch and lined with silky soft fleece. The colors are pretty basic, but you can pick whether you want to buy the top or the bottoms only.
These thermal underwear are a midweight layer, made of a cotton-spandex blend. They are fleece lined and also come with some cute details, like a ruffle neckline, lace trim, and buttons.
These modal-spandex blend thermal underwear are fleece lined and moisture wicking. There are a variety of colors to choose from and this set is great for outdoor activities or just lounging around the house.
These viscose-Elastane-cotton blend thermal underwear are soft and smooth and come in pink, black, and gray.
These soft Tencel long johns, made of Elastane and Tencel lyocell, are super soft and maintains your body temperature to keep you warm. They also come in a gorgeous deep purple color.
These long underwear are a polyester-spandex microfleece blend. This is the warmest layer option from Cuddl Duds and is great for layering or wearing on their own. This brand makes some of the best thermal wear for winter, and certainly the most soft.
Last on our list is a set of silk long johns. This silky base layer is made of 100% mulberry silk knit that wicks moisture away from your skin and keeps you warm in the cold.