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Which Affordable Beanie Is Worth Your Money?

12 options under $20.


In the throes of winter, it is important to keep your head warm for optimal comfort and performance — even if that just means sanity. Assuming you have your other extremities covered with frostbite insurance, you’ll want to consider a well-made beanie to keep that crown covered. But not everyone enjoys spending a ton on a beanie, no matter how nice it is.

If you appreciate affordable umbrellas — they’re just going to get lost in a restaurant or left on the train, right? — or cheap sunglasses when the sun comes back to work, there are a number of affordable, functional beanies worth checking out. To aid your decision, we compared some of the most popular cheap beanies on the market so you know which one to grab.

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Our pick
Knit Cuffed Beanie

As one of Amazon’s most popular beanies, Carhartt’s Knit Cuffed Beanie (aka the Watch Cap) is on the heads of everyone from construction workers to college students. It’s the most similar to the Ben Davis beanie (below) — not only for the square logo but also for the 100% acrylic material and similar knit — but a touch thinner and softer. This option’s better for people with larger heads. 

an upgrade
Pendleton Beanie

Pendleton sells a sub-$20 beanie? They sure do, but this isn't the woolen kind you'll find at their flagship stores. This version is made from 100-percent acrylic — but it's still plenty nice, especially if you're not looking to spend $75 dollars on a damn beanie.

an affordable alternative
Knit Block Beanie

It's hard to call any one of these beanies the most affordable. They're all right around $20 bucks. But Urban Outfitters' Knit Block Beanie often goes on sale — or gets listed for a steal like like two for $30. It comes in four colors and is made from 100-percent acrylic. 

U.S.N. Wool Watch Cap

You’ll find these navy-approved watch caps at your local surplus store (or on Amazon). They’re cheap and reliable — it’s hard to find any other all-wool beanie for this price. That said, if you have sensitive skin, this might not be for you, especially because of its tighter knit.

Cuffed Beanie
Ben Davis

The feel of Ben Davis’s Logo Knit Beanie is ultra-smooth, but also dry. Aside from having a hip appearance, the workwear brand’s cap is a tight-fitting beanie. That being said, the thing is warm. If you don’t mind a second skin hugging your skull — or have a small-to-mid-sized head — these are actually the best bang for your buck.

Core Basic Beanie

Vans' Core Basic Beanie is short. Not quite fisherman-style — have you seen the ones that hit above the ear? — but they won't cover your entire ear if you have a big head. That being said, these are soft and trustworthy.

Organic Cotton Beanie

Gap's Beanie isn't the warmest, but it is soft and made from 60-percent organic cotton. Plus, it comes in over a dozen colors.

Free Beanie
The North Face

Despite the name, no this beanie is not free — but it's damn close to it. For just $18 you get a stretchy, soft acrylic beanie in bright orange.

Kactusbunch Beanie

Burton's been making gear beloved by snowboarders for decades. This slouchy beanie is no exception. It has a long top so it folds over on smaller heads or covers the entire noggin for those with bigger ones. It'll be a bit oversized if you're right in the middle. 

Knit Beanie

Levi's doesn't just make jeans. The SF-born brand also makes a bunch of basics — like this Knit Beanie. It comes in gray or green and has a fleece lining.

Rib Knit Beanie
Lands' End

Lands' End's Knit Beanie is stretchy without being slouchy. It's constructed from a blend of materials — acrylic, nylon and spandex — that ensure durability and shape retention.

Elmer Beanie

Herschel's easy to wear Elmer Beanie comes in 32 different colors. And at a flat $20 dollars, you can get a few for what you would've spent on just one "luxury" beanie. 

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