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13 Best Winter Thermals to Keep You Cozy When Temps Drop

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When the temperature drops and the snow flies, do you have what you need to keep out the cold and stay toasty warm? The best winter thermals, from underwear to boots, can keep the chill from penetrating — and keep you snug no matter how low brisk the air gets outside.

When you think of thermals, do you automatically think of underwear? Us too. But in fact, thermal wear has evolved far beyond long johns. The best thermal wear for winter includes anything that traps your body heat to provide an insulated layer that protects you from the cold. Thermals are the best base layer for extreme cold weather, and can help keep you warm from head to toe. In the dead of winter, having a collection of the best thermal clothing can be a lifesaver!

While you’re here, check out our other picks for the best cold weather outerwear:

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the best winter thermals for staying warm in the cold, or scroll on down to shop our picks!

What are the best winter thermals for cold weather? 

When we think of winter thermals, many of us think of the thermal underwear we wear under our clothes. But there are actually three different types of winter thermal wear. These can be broken down into three layers of clothing: the base layer, the insulating layer, and the outer shell layer. 

1. Base layer thermals. Designed to keep you dry, base layer thermals are the thermal clothing you wear closest to the skin — think classic long johns, like this cuddly soft set from Thermajane (Buy on Amazon, from $23.99).

2. Insulating thermals. Designed to keep you warm, insulating thermals are the pieces we wear to help trap warmth — think thermal tops and pants. Looking for one of the best thermal shirts to layer on top of your base thermals? We love this cute thermal jersey henley top (Buy on Eddie Bauer, $36).

3. Outer-shell thermals. Designed to protect you from the harsh winter elements, outer-shell thermals are the pieces we wear to keep the cold out — think thermal jackets, boots, and gloves. (Looking for the best winter coat for extreme cold? Shop our picks here!)

How to Choose Thermal Wear

Making sure you incorporate the best winter thermals into every layer of your clothing is not only important, it could be life-saving. Cold weather is no joke! If you go outside without proper clothing to protect you from extreme cold, you could be at risk of serious conditions like frostbite and hypothermia. So when the wind chill is below zero and you have to be exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time, you’ll want to layer up before you head out.

Look for a soft pair of thermal underwear that will feel great next to your skin and trap your body heat effectively. Pair that with a thermal shirt, pants, socks, and boots, and cover the whole thing up with a thermal jacket to keep the warmth in. Top it off with a hat, and you’re all set to brave the cold! Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best winter thermals that’ll keep you toasty warm all season long.

What are the best winter thermals for 2021?

Thermajane Women’s Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear

best base layer thermal for extreme cold
Thermajane best winter thermals
Amazon

Buy on Amazon (From $23.99)

Why we like it:

  • Moisture-wicking material keeps you dry
  • Made with a fleece material to hold heat
  • Wear as PJs or underneath clothes

There comes a point each winter when the weather gets so cold that a complete thermal set is the best option for getting through the day. Keep yourself warm and dry this season with this two-piece poly-spandex blend set from Thermajane. Soft and moisture-wicking, this mid-weight base layer is bound to become an essential part of his winter wardrobe. 

Promising review: These are amazing! Thin and comfy, but so nicely made and very, very warm. Perfect to wear as pajamas or under clothes to keep you warm. They feel like a second skin without binding anywhere. They’d be perfect under ski clothes! The outside is a smooth, lycra type fabric so it’s easy to slide other pants on top, (as long as they are jeans or pants that don’t fit as tight as leggings), and the inside is super soft, warm fleece.”

Ekouaer Women’s Long Thermal Underwear Fleece Lined Winter Base Layering Set

best affordable thermal underwear for women
Amazon

Buy on Amazon (From $22.99)

Why we like it:

  • Comes in 10 colors
  • Made of soft cotton material
  • Perfect as an extra layer or pajamas!

If a thermal set is what you’re looking for this winter, and you don’t want to break the bank, why not try this cozy cotton duo? Available in 10 different color options, this set makes a perfect base layer for those days when leaving the warmth of your bed seems like a monumental task. Best of all, they make the perfect pair of pajamas! 

Promising review: “I know these are going to take me through the winter. They were exactly what I was looking for. So soft, perfect amount of stretch, and somehow they don’t attract as much cat hair as I thought they might. Nice and cozy. I wear them as pajamas but then I often don’t change out of them until well into the next day because they feel so good.” 

Smartwool Merino Baselayer Zip Top

best thermal top for extreme cold
Backcountry best winter thermals
Backcountry

Buy on Backcountry ($115)

Why we like it:

  • Knit fabric blocks cold from entering
  • Wicks away any moisture
  • Made with a comfy cotton material

Protect yourself from the frigid winter chills and layer up with this toasty Smartwool Baselayer Top. Whether you’re sledding, skiing, or just going for a walk outdoors, having an extra layer to keep you warm during those chilly winter days is always best. Designed with a zip-neck for personalized ventilation and flat-lock seams to prevent chafing, wear this underneath your mid-layer or outer layer for the best insulation.

Promising review: I am so comfortable wearing this top, I can’t even express! I’m always so cold during the winter months that I always feel like I have a blanket on me. Usually I’m sensitive to wool against my skin (and I worried with it being a zip up to the neck), but seriously, I don’t think I ever want to take this off again.”

Myriad Thermal-Jersey Mix Henley

best insulating thermal top
Myraid best winter thermals
Eddie Bauer

Buy on Eddie Bauer ($36, originally $60)

Why we like it:

  • Comes in five shades
  • Made with jersey, cotton, and polyester thermal to keep you warm
  • Features a henley-inspired design

Who says thermals can’t be cute? Add this henley-inspired thermal to your wardrobe to keep warm in style. Made with a  thermal-knit cotton-polyester blend for added softness and if that’s not enough coziness for you, the side panels are also made with a jersey material for extra warmth. It even comes in five different colors so you can stock up on it.

Promising review: This top fits me perfectly! Great casual shirt to wear everyday alone or under a jacket. The flared hem hits mid-hip and covers up my tummy. I hope they get more colors in stock because I will order them all. 

Altitude Jacket – PFJ-3W

best winter thermal jacket
Stormtech best winter thermals
Stormtech

Buy on Stormtech ($130)

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Keeps you warm in weather as cold as 14 degrees.

While layering is always a go-to in the winter, the added bulkiness is a downside. For a lightweight option, this jacket will help insulate heat so you can stay warm in weather as cold as 14 degrees. Designed to be versatile and adaptive, this jacket is water repellent and features stabilized baffles to keep the down filling in place. The lightweight design helps make it easier to move around while maintaining consistent warmth.

Wantdo Women’s Hooded Ultra Light Weight Short Down Jacket

best waterproof winter thermal jacket
Wantdo best winter thermals
Amazon

Buy on Amazon (From $59.67)

Why we like it:

  • Come in 10 shades
  • Water repellent
  • Compact and packable

Bulky jackets are great for warmth but they’re hard to pack and take on-the-go. This jacket was designed to be compact and even includes a small pouch for traveling. Whether it’s snowing, drizzling, or just plain cold, this water repellent jacket offers a nice hard shell to keep you warm and dry during those snowy days.

Promising review: I wish I could give this more than 5 stars!!!! I live in Michigan and wanted to wear it through winter before I gave a review. Like others have said I thought there was no way this light thing could keep me warm….But boy was I wrong.”

Womens 5-Pack Thermal Winter Wool Socks 

Best Winter Thermal Women's Socks
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($13.99, originally $14.99)

Why we like it:

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Made from a mix of wool, cotton, polyester, and spandex

One of the simplest ways to bundle up this season is to invest in a couple of great pairs of thermal socks. This five pack from ProEtrade comes in a stylish array of colors and is made from a mixture of wool, cotton, polyester, and spandex, guaranteed to keep your feet warm, dry, and fresh no matter how cold it gets.

These are wonderful socks. Warm and ultra comfortable. They don’t make your feet sweat either, and even if your feet get wet through your boots if you’re walking through puddles they’ll keep them warm.”  

HEAT HOLDERS Thermal Socks

best high-performance winter thermal socks
Heat Holders best winter thermals
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($15.99)

Why we like it:

  • Designed with thermal yarn
  • Provides all-day comfort
  • Uses heat technology to hold in warmth

Avoid cold feet this winter season and slip on a pair of thick toasty socks. These thermal socks by Heat Holder were made with thermal yarn to help provide all day comfort. The heat technology helps contain warmth so that your feet stay comfortable even on the coldest days.

Promising review:The warmest and most comfortable socks I have ever experienced! They fit like they have elastic but loose enough to not struggle to pull up. They leave no indention when my legs swell. Will certainly buy more!

Polar Products Womens Winter Thermal Snow Boot

Best Winter Thermal Women's Boots
Amazon

Buy on Amazon (From $24.99)

Why we like it:

  • Knee-high length
  • Slip-resistant rubber sole
  • Thermal lining

Whether they’re for a Rocky Mountain getaway or for trudging through the slush on the streets of New York City, every woman needs a good pair of winter snow boots, like these thermal ones from Polar Products. This knee-high boot is waterproof and features a lace-up design with a warm, fully lined interior and slip resistant rubber sole, meaning that this winter you’ll look and feel your best.

Promising review: “I have been very happy with these boots so far. I wore them in ankle to calf deep snow for several hours today while hiking around on wooded trails and through some deep wet and muddy spots, and my feet stayed warm and dry. The knit cuff at the top kept the snow from falling down into my boots and the tread on the bottom grips well.”

Women’s Cascara Omni-Heat Boot

best women's thermal boots for extreme cold
Colombia best winter thermals
Colombia

Buy on Colombia ($59.98, originally $120)

Why we like it:

  • Come in two bright colors
  • Waterproof material
  • Locks heat in

Keep your feet snug this winter with a pair of boots that put the heat in Omni-Heat. These cute winter boots provide top-notch insulation featuring a waterproof design that traps heat, while keeping moisture out. Add a pop of color to your outfit with two vibrant color options: Bold pink or bright blue will inject some fun into your winter wardrobe.

Promising review: I am so glad that I purchased these boots. They are very warm and unbelievably comfortable. I’m buying a pair for my daughter and would highly recommend these boots to anyone that is looking for a winter boot that keeps your feat very warm and comfortable as well.”

Columbia Heavenly Slip II Omni-Heat Boot

best casual thermal winter boots
Colombia best winter thermals
Colombia

Buy on Amazon (From $78)

Why we like it:

  • Slip-proof sole
  • Breathable material
  • Comes in three casual colors

Trade those bulky boots for a pair of functional and stylish ones. These boots come in three casual colors including gray, white, and black so you can pair it with any outfit. For those icy days, the rubber sole will help keep you stable and avoid slipping. The breathable and waterproof material will also keep your feet dry and warm as you trudge through the snowy streets.

Promising review: So comfortable. I can wear it indoors and it doesn’t feel too warm. The Omni heat stuff is amazing for when it’s freezing outside and it’s waterproof which is great for walking through snow.

REDESS Thermal Winter Leather Gloves

Best winter thermal gloves for women
Amazon

Buy on Amazon (From $12.99)

Why we like it:

  • Both warm and stylish
  • Made with wool and fleece lining
  • Has a PU leather outer shell

Whoever said you have to sacrifice style for warmth clearly hasn’t seen this thermal pair of winter gloves from REDESS. Soft and cozy wool-fleece lines these gloves, as a high-quality PU leather forms the outer shell. Snow-proof and equipped with touch screen capability, these gloves are guaranteed to become every woman’s go-to pair this winter. 

One reviewer loves how functional they are saying, “These are great! They look cute and work really well on your phone and you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for function.

HEAT HOLDERS Thermal Winter Beanie Hat

best winter thermal hat
Heat Holder best winter thermals
Amazon

Buy on Amazon ($19.99)

Why we like it:

  • Comes in five colors
  • Features a cute pom pom
  • Designed to insulate heat

A quality hat provides comfort, style, and warmth and while there are a ton to choose from, they don’t always give you everything you may need. This hat though, adds a touch of color to your wardrobe while insulating heat to keep you warm as the temperature drops. This hat was made with a thick chunky cable knit yarn and fleece yarn lining to keep you head and ears warm as you tackle the cold.

Promising review: This hat is awesome! It fits my head perfectly and is nice and warm even on the coldest winter days.

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