Merino wool t-shirts are always a good purchase, and frequent travellers know why. They don’t absorb moisture, they don’t retain odors and they are incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. A single merino wool shirt can easily replace three cotton ones, and free up a lot of space in your luggage.
But how do you know which shirts are the real deal, and which are just average? Well, I already did the research; all you have to do is read on, and you will see what the absolute best merino wool t-shirts for men and women are!
BEST MEN'S SHORT SLEEVE
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BEST MEN'S LONG SLEEVE
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BEST WOMEN'S SHORT SLEEVE
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Let’s kick things off strong, with an awesome, 100% merino wool t-shirt that does not contain any synthetic materials. The thing I love about this short sleeve shirt is the color variety. You will soon see that most merino wool t-shirts are available in really boring colors. This is actually a rare t-shirt that comes in colors other than black, blue, and grey – if you like fun and colorful tops, there’s no need to look any further.
And this is also one of the few merino wool t-shirts that are made from merino fibers with 17.5 microns, meaning that it is super soft, smooth, and comfortable. As shirt with fibers of 17.5 microns is actually defined as an ultrafine merino t-shirt, which is the finest merino wool in the world.
This is a standard fit shirt, but it is a little on the slimmer side. If you want it to fit loosely, I recommend you go a size up. If you can, that is, since this merino wool t-shirt is only available in sizes ranging from S to XL.
You also get a pair of merino compression socks for free when you buy this ultrafine merino shirt, which is actually pretty cool. I did an entire post on compression socks for travellers a while back – the bottom line is they are excellent for frequent flyers because they keep your feet from swelling like giant sausages.
Overall, this is the best merino wool t-shirt in the short sleeve range.
If you want a comfortable fitting merino wool t-shirt, the Smartwool one is a good option for you. It is available in a good variety of colors, with seven very different options. The size variety is also okay; this t-shirt comes in sizes ranging from S to XXL. Unfortunately, there’s no information about the exact number of microns in the fibers, so I can’t tell you exactly how soft and smooth this t-shirt is going to be.
The shirt does run a little small – if you want it to fit really comfortably, you should go a size up.
It’s a good merino wool t-shirt, but it is very pricey for a top that’s not even made from pure merino wool. With 13% nylon content, this is actually one of the few t-shirts that are made from a mixture of merino and synthetic materials. Which is not what you would expect with such a high price point.
There are some good things about the nylon though – for one thing, the durability of the shirt is increased. Merino is a biodegradable material, and it is not known for its exceptional durability. The addition of nylon fibers helps increase the durability of the t-shirt, meaning you will be able to wear it for a longer time.
But if you’re not keen on spending upwards of $70 on a men’s merino wool t-shirt that’s not even pure merino, I completely understand that. And at least you get a lot of other options, which actually are 100% wool!
Obviously, I have to include some long-sleeve options since it’s wintertime and everyone’s looking to stay warm at the moment. And I love the Meriwool t-shirt – it is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL, so there are plenty of options for everyone. This shirt is made from 100% merino wool, and it features a classic crew neck.
This merino wool t-shirt also comes in seven different colors – six solids and one striped print that I don’t like that much. I’m of the opinion that horizontal stripes look good only on supermodels, and I avoid wearing them. But if you actually like the print, you’ll be glad to know that you can a striped merino wool shirt.
This shirt features 18.5-micron fibers, which are very soft and comfortable to wear. It is not itchy at all, and it is super lightweight. This makes the shirt an excellent under-layer, something you can wear beneath a hoodie or a sweater, and not feel like you are wearing multiple layers of clothing.
This is a slim-fitting merino wool t-shirt, so it does fit quite tight on your body. You can go for a size up if you want it to be looser, but then you’ll just have to deal with long sleeves and a loose neckline. If you’re not looking for a slim-fitting shirt, you will see plenty of other options in the rest of this review.
Looking for a long-sleeve shirt that you don’t have to layer under hoodies and sweaters? This one is a great option! The Woolly Clothing shirt is made from 17.5-micron merino wool, which is very smooth and soft. It feels super comfortable against your skin, meaning that you can wear this shirt without anything underneath and you won’t feel itchy at all.
This merino wool t-shirt is available in only four colors, so there’s not really a lot of variety. The size variety is also not the best, since you can get the shirt in only four sizes, ranging from S to XL. But you can get it in the size that you normally wear since this shirt generally fits true to size. It is a standard fitting, so it should not be tight at all – this shirt is actually on the loose side.
I like this merino wool t-shirt because it is kind of unique – I didn’t manage to find a lot of v-necks, and definitely none that were better than this one. And, even though the color of variety could be significantly improved, the existing colors of this shirt are actually pretty interesting and not something I’ve seen anywhere else.
I also love that the interior of the shirt is tagless. If you have sensitive skin, I’m willing to bet you’re like me and the first thing you do with new shirts is cut off the tags. And honestly, the fact that this shirt does not have any internal tags is reason enough to buy it, at least for me.
If you’re specifically looking for a shirt to wear under sweaters and hoodies, this is the best one you can get. It’s long-sleeve underwear, which you can wear under anything you want and feel very comfortable. It goes under hoodies, shirts and sweaters, and it helps regulate your body temperature while keeping you dry and fresh.
Obviously, this is a very tight crew neck shirt. It is supposed to fit really tight on your body because it’s meant to be worn as an undershirt and not an actual merino wool shirt. You can get in a variety of different sizes, ranging from S to XXL. But since it is so tight, I recommend going a size up from what you normally wear, especially if your idea of a six-pack includes a bottle opener.
The top is made from pure 18.5-micron merino wool. It is incredibly soft and light, making it the perfect base layer of any outfit. And it has ribbed cuffs, which will lock in your body heat and ensure that you always stay warm.
One thing I don’t like a lot about this top is its thickness. It is an undershirt, so it makes sense that this is a really thin top. But, merino wool tops do deteriorate over time, and a really thin top will last you much shorter than a proper t-shirt.
If you want a warm shirt you can wear under itchy sweater, this is probably the best one to get. The crewneck underlayer is made from 17.5-micron merino wool, so it is very soft and comfortable. This long-sleeve merino wool shirt is pretty tight, so it’s not a great option if you want something loose-fitting.
You can go a size up if you don’t want this top to be too tight, but there aren’t that many size options. The shirt is available only in sizes ranging from XS to L, and only in the color black, which is honestly a little disappointing.
But, this also might be exactly what you’re looking for – a lightweight, black undershirt that will keep you warm during winter adventures. The ribbed cuffs are actually one of my favorite things about this top, as they lock in your body heat and ensure that the cold doesn’t sneak into the sleeves.
You can wear this shirt on its own, with a jacket or a vest, but only when it’s not too cold outside. Keep in mind that this is supposed to be a base layer; it’s a pretty thin shirt, which is means to help regulate your body temperature under heavier layers. On its own, it won’t do a lot, in terms of keeping you warm in sub-zero temperatures.
The Woolly Clothing Co. T-shirt is an excellent option for ladies that want a classic t-shirt. This top is made from 95% merino wool and 5% elastane, which is okay if you actually prefer the tight, stretchy shirts. But if you were looking for a pure merino wool t-shirt, I recommend you skip to the next one.
Because of the elastane, this t-shirt is very stretchy and it will hug your body curves. It’s also not as good as repelling moisture and odors as a pure merino shirt, so bear that in mind.
The size variety of this merino wool shirt is a little bit disappointing – you can get it only in sizes ranging from S to XL. But it is a stretchy top, and those always fit differently. And the size variety is definitely not as disappointing as the color variety – you can get this top in only two colors, and both of them are really bright and fun.
Which is okay if you want a colorful merino wool shirt you can wear all spring. But very disappointing if you were just looking for a classic merino t-shirt to pair with everything.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the merino wool used in this shirt has 17.5 microns. That’s ultrafine merino wool that is super soft and smooth, so even though the merino wool t-shirt is not pure merino, it still feels very luxe and comfy on you. Especially since the interior of the top is tagless, and you don’t have to worry about anything scratching your skin.
If you want a proper, merino t-shirt with long sleeves, I really think you will love this one. For one thing, it is available in a wide variety of different colors, so it’s super easy to get a top that you can wear with pretty much anything in your closet.
The top is made from pure merino wool with 17.5 microns, meaning that it is super soft and smooth. It is a thin and lightweight shirt, which you can wear on its own, or under bulkier layers. And I love that it is entirely tagless; if you usually remove all those scratchy tags from your shirts, you will really like this merino top.
This is a slim-fitting shirt, but it’s not as tight as the other long-sleeve shirt I’ve showed you so far. In fact, this particular top actually runs a little large. If you would prefer it to be a tight fit, you might want to go a size down. And if you get the top in your usual size, expect it to be a bit loose at the sides.
The top is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL, so there’s enough variety for people with standard body types. Especially since this is not a very tight top.
One thing I’m not a huge fan of is the price point of the Woolx Remi shirt. It is a little expensive for a thin long-sleeve shirt, but it’s still not the priciest out of all the shirts I’ve showed you.
This is literally like a short-sleeve version of the previous top. It’s made by the same company, it is available in the same fun colors, and it is made from the same 17.5-micron merino wool. Meaning that it is equally soft, comfortable and tagless as the previous Woolx shirt.
It’s a slim-fitting merino t-shirt, but it’s more of a relaxed fit than a really tight fit. Which means that this is going to be comfortable on your body, as long as you get it in a size that fits your body well. And there are plenty of sizes to choose from, ranging from XS to XXL. It is also worth noting that the top is a little longer than traditional t-shirts, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Additionally, this t-shirt is made from pure merino wool, and it does not contain any synthetic materials. Which means that you get full benefits of merino wool, like the temperature regulation and moisture wicking features.
Another upside of this top is that certain sizes and colors are cheaper than others. You can get the shirt for as little as $30, which is absolutely insane for a top that’s made from pure merino wool. I would recommend checking the prices of your sizes in every single color, and going for the best deal you find.
This is another great option is you want a long-sleeve top that works both as a shirt and as a base layer. It’s a little thicker than most other tops I’ve showed you, but it is still made from pure, ultrafine merino wool. Which means that it’s soft, smooth and very comfortable to wear.
One thing to note is that the exact number of microns in the fibers is not specified. But, Smartwool does state that this top is made from ‘ultrafine merino wool’, which refers to wool with 17.5 microns or less. Merino wool with 17.6-18.5 microns is categorized as ‘superfine wool’.
Since this is mostly meant as a base layer, it is pretty tight. The shirt will hug the contours of your body, and it mostly fits true to size. But, if you don’t want it to be super tight, I recommend going a size up.
That should be easy to do, since the top is available in sizes ranging from XS to XL. And what I like even more is the color variety. This top comes in 13 different colors, including both the basics like black and navy blue, as well as some really fun colors like mint and bright pink.
The downside of the top is the price point. This is a very expensive merino t-shirt, especially for a base layer. Some colors and sizes are cheaper than others, but even the cheapest version of this merino t-shirt is well above $60.
Packing is the worst part of any trip. Deciding what you need to bring, ironing your clothes for hours and trying to delicately fold them so you can fit way too many items in a suitcase that’s too small. You can make this tedious process a little bit easier if you start wearing merino wool shirts.
There are so many benefits to switching out cotton t-shirts for merino wool t-shirts. For one thing, merino wool shirts are naturally moisture-wicking and antibacterial. Which means that they don’t absorb sweat, and they don’t retain any odors. You could technically wear one merino t-shirt for a week, and you wouldn’t stink.
Why is this great for travel? Well, because you can pack one merino wool t-shirt instead of three cotton ones and you would be fine. You could wear it for multiple days, and it would still be a pretty fresh shirt. Just think about the amount of space you could save in your luggage if you swapped out all your cotton t-shirts for merino wool ones!
In addition to that, merino wool has really good temperature regulation properties, just ask a Merino sheep! It will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which is exactly what a good merino t-shirt should do. This is also why merino wool t-shirts are the go-to choice for many hikers and backpackers – not only do they last a long time, but they also help with temperature regulation in all sorts of conditions.
Merino wool is the softest type of wool that exists, meaning that all merino wool t-shirts are super soft and comfortable to wear. They’re not itchy at all, so you can wear them without undershirts. On top of that, these t-shirts are very lightweight and feel really good on your body.
The exact softness of the merino t-shirts depends on the microns. A micron is a measurement that is used to express the diameter of a wool fiber. And the lower the number of microns in wool fiber, the softer and pricier the shirt is.
I’ve indicated the number of microns in the fibers in the product infoboxes, so be sure to check those.
Obviously, you should think about how you want this merino t-shirt to fit you. I’ve shown you some slim-fitting shirts and some loose t-shirts, so there should be plenty of options for everyone.
And I hope there are enough options for different people size-wise. Not all of the shirts featured here are available in plus sizes, and I’ve always indicated that in the cons boxes. Be sure to check those, to see if a t-shirt is available in your usual size.
Merino wool is a high-quality material that costs a pretty penny. The t-shirts I showed you here are not cheap – on average, they cost anywhere between $40 and $140. Which is a lot of money for a shirt.
But I think they are definitely worth it. Merino wool is truly a premium material, and it feels incredibly against your skin. These t-shirts will make your travels so much easier since they don’t retain moisture and odors, so you can wear them more than once.
Most of the shirts I showed you here are around the $60 price point. That’s the standard for merino shirts; whenever I say that a shirt is pricey or expensive, that basically means that it costs more than $60
Merino t-shirts are great because you can wear them for ages before they start to smell. So, you can go a really long time without washing them.
However, the big downside of merino t-shirts is that they’re not easy to wash. You have to be really careful when washing them since wool does not respond well to high heat. If you wash a merino t-shirt in really hot water, there’s a good chance that it will shrink and become unwearable.
This doesn’t mean you can’t throw them in the washing machine – most merino shirts are machine washable, as long as you use the wool cycle. You can even put them in a dryer, just make sure that you use the low tumble dry setting. I would recommend hanging them to dry though, just to be on the safe side.
If you properly take care of your merino shirts, you will be able to wear them for at least a year, depending on how often you wear and wash them. I have shirts that I’ve worn for 5-6 years straight, and they are still in really good condition – I attribute that to being very careful when washing them.
Not quite sure which top you should pick? That’s fine – go with one of our top choices and you’ll be getting a premium merino wool shirt!
Let’s start with the gents. My favorite long sleeve merino shirt for men is the Meriwool Base Layer Shirt. It’s made from pure merino wool with fibers that have 18.5 microns, so it is very soft and comfortable. This is a slim-fitting shirt that’s going to be pretty tight on your body, so you will get full benefits of merino wool if you wear this as a bottom layer. The top is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL, and your usual size should fit you just fine.
If you’re more interested in a classic t-shirt, go with the Merino.tech tee. It’s lightweight, affordable and made from pure 17.5-micron merino wool. This is a standard fitting shirt that’s on the slimmer side, but it is not too tight. And it comes with a free pair of merino socks, so you’re getting pretty good value for your money. The only thing that might be an issue is the size range – the shirt is available only in sizes ranging from S to XL.
And now we’re moving on to women’s shirts. If you want a good base layer for the colder months, go with Woolx Remi long sleeve shirt. It is made from pure, 17.5-micron merino wool, so it is very smooth and soft. It has ribbed cuffs that lock in your body heat, as well as an entirely smooth and tagless interior. On top of all that, both the color and size variety are excellent, and there are a lot of options for everyone.
Maybe you’re looking for a simple merino wool t-shirt? In that case, I recommend the Woolx Addie tee. It is very similar to their long sleeve shirt I talked about previously but in a good way. It is made from the same soft merino wool, and it is available in a lot of different sizes and colors. Virtually the only differences are that this is a short-sleeve shirt and that it is a little bit looser than the long sleeve version.
That’s it when it comes to our favorite merino wool shirts. But you are okay getting any one of the shirts featured in this review – they are all made by really good brands, and are rated very highly.
Check out our related posts, for ideas on other merino clothing every traveler should have! After all, Icebreaker from New Zealand might be expensive, but it’s also worth checking out.