Why Wool Might Be The Best Winter Hat Material–Period

Why Wool Might Be The Best Winter Hat Material–Period

Wool hats are breathable yet warm, weather resistant, and odor-resistant. A wool winter hat is a perfect choice for dropping temperatures, and it’s all thanks to an amazing natural material.

As the weather cools, you’re probably looking for ways to keep cozy this year. And whether you love tromping around in the snow or prefer to sip hot cocoa by the fire, warm winter hats are a necessity. Why? You can lose 10% of your body heat from your head. Not to mention that delicate skin like your ears are more susceptible to frostbite. And a wool winter hat is one the best ways to make sure you’re covered in cold conditions. Here’s why:

Wool hats are the ultimate insulator 

Did you know that wool is a better insulator than synthetic fibers like polyester? It’s true. Sometimes, nature knows best. Wool fibers have a unique, crimped structure that allows them to hold in heat better than other materials. The crimped fibers allow wool to trap warm air in little pockets. These pockets of warm air protect you from cold breezes and keep you toasty warm. And, because of this structure, wool can insulate better with less bulk. Other materials, like synthetic fibers, need to be thicker to keep your body heat in. But wools unique design means that it can insulate with only a thin layer. This means that you can toss on an attractive wool winter hat. And, it’ll keep you warmer than a thick synthetic beanie hat. Felted wool hats are particularly good at holding in heat thanks to their tightly knit material.

Your winter hat should regulate temperature (and wool does)

Many below-zero mornings turn into 50-degree days. In the winter, the ranging temperatures mean that you need a hat that can change with them.

Luckily, wool is excellent at temperature regulation. You know that crimped fiber we told you about? It traps in warm air. But it also allows for excess moisture to move through your hat and away from your skin. When you start to heat up and produce sweat, wool fiber pulls it away from your skin. Those crimped fibers allow the excess heat to exit your hat, keeping you cooler. Don’t worry- when the temperature drops again, your winter wool hat will trap in the heat you produce to keep you at a steady, comfortable temperature all day long. Pretty amazing, right? Wool is an “active fiber,” meaning that it reacts to changes in your body temperature.

Are wool hats waterproof?

Speaking of the weather, what happens when wool hats are subject to those winter snowstorms? You’ve probably experienced the heavy damp feeling when your beanie hat or baseball cap gets wet. And it’s not pleasant. Wool offers a water-resistant alternative that can easily be made fully waterproof.

In fact, wool is the only natural material that’s inherently water resistant. That’s because wool has a natural wax coating called lanolin. This coating helps keep sheep warm and dry in wet conditions, and it’s passed along to us when we wear wool winter hats.

The waxy lanolin in wool repels water. And when wool does get wet, it can absorb 30% of its weight in water before it feels damp. Unlike other fibers, wool will also continue to insulate you from the cold when it's wet. Then, thanks to its moisture-wicking properties, it’ll dry extremely quickly.

However, if you do want to fully waterproof your wool hat, simply coat it with a trustworthy waterproofing spray, like this one.

Did we mention that wool is odor-resistant?

That’s right. Say goodbye to that funky hat smell that comes after a few uses in cold, wet conditions. The natural lanolin that makes wool water-resistant has one more benefit. It kills the odor-causing bacteria in sweat. And, because wool wicks moisture extremely well, it’s already an unwelcome environment for moisture-loving microbes. With these two amazing properties, wool hats will stay fresh all winter long. And, you can safely store them when winter is over without fear of strange smells. Goodbye, musty odors!

Itchy? Not anymore!

Wool has been used for hundreds of years, and the wool hats you’ll find today are a far cry from the itchy wool sweaters of your childhood. In the past, wool felt itchy due to the natural scales that wool has. Now, finer types of wool, like merino wool, are more commonly used. Fine wool has fibers smaller than a human hair. Which offers a smooth feel against your skin. The wool felt that many winter wool hats are made of is soft and non-irritating. 

Winter wool hats vs. synthetic wool

Nowadays, there are plenty of so-called “wool” hats on the market that are made of acrylic, a synthetic fiber that looks much like wool. But don’t be fooled.

Synthetic wool does not have the insulating properties or the temperature-regulating properties of natural wool. Natural wool helps your body regulate as you heat up and cool down. Synthetic wool does not react to your body temperature. If you begin to heat up, it’s likely that you’ll need to take off your synthetic wool hat to cool down. And because synthetic wool is a plastic-based fiber, you won’t enjoy the softness of a natural wool hat. When it comes to odor, well, there’s not much a synthetic hat can do about it. 

Plus, natural wool is just that- a natural material. Wool is amazingly durable. But at the end of its life, wool is biodegradable. It’ll decompose without a trace, but synthetic wool leaves a mark. Because it’s a petroleum-based material, synthetic wool is not biodegradable. It can last for 200 years in landfills. And as it does break down, synthetic wool leaves behind harmful microplastics.

Whether it’s for environmental or purely for comfort reasons, natural wool is clearly a superior winter hat material.

So, is wool good for winter? 

Wool isn’t just good for winter wear. It’s one of the best-suited materials for it. Thanks to its ability to keep you warm (but never let you overheat), and the fact that it’s water-resistant and odor-resistant. When you’re looking for winter hats, it doesn’t get much better than wool.

Ready to enjoy cold weather with winter hats that keep you cozy? Explore the Conner Hats collection of cruelty-free, expertly crafted wool hats.

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