14 Wintery Sweaters That Will Never, Ever Itch or Irritate Your Skin

Photo: Getty Images/ filadendron
Let's be real: Buying a sweater that feels supremely soft and cozy in the store only to end up feeling itchy and irritated when you get home is one of the most frustrating feelings. Like kittens, it's easy to be fooled by a cute sweater before it scratches you (or makes you scratch all over). Since layering for the winter chill and having to walk around like the Michelin Man all day is enough of a drag, picking a sweater (or two) to wear to protect against the cold shouldn't have to be, too. Keep on scrolling to shop the  best irritation-free sweaters and learn how to take care of your favorites that sometimes do make you itch so they can keep being your faves for years to come.

The best irritation and itch-free sweaters

paloma wool
Paloma Wool Anita Sweater — $167.00

“But it’s wool,” you might be thinking. And you’re right! It is wool. But it’s the softest wool you’ll ever touch, and it’s got the perfect amount of stretch to give you that extra comfort (our senior commerce editor wore it while traveling across the country, and kept repeating how she felt like she was wrapped in a cloud). Perfectly chunky and a little artsy, you’re bound to stand out with this soft statement sweater.

Summersalt The Coziest Cashmere Crew — $155.00

Reviewers say this sweater “comfortable, classy, and unique,” and we agree. It’s just one of those sweaters you don’t want to ever take off, and that’s thanks to its soft material and perfect fit. Plus, the bright blue cashmere blend wool stands out in a crowd of other neutral styles in your closet (although Summersalt offers various colors).

jenni kayne
Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan — $445.00

Behold: The Jenni Kayne cashmere Cocoon cardigan that never fails to constantly sell out. We’ve written (aka, raved) about it, and it’s one of the most popular sweaters W+G readers buy every week. For good reason: It’s made of 100 percent Mongolian cashmere, feels like your wrapped in whipped cream, is lightweight but still keeps you toasty, and it looks amazing on. Sure, it’s pricey. But is it worth every penny? Absolutely.

Experts In This Article
  • Harold Lancer, MD, board-certified dermatologist, fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, founder of Lancer Glow.

Holiday The Label Knit Sweater — $240.00

Take a trip to the tropics this winter without leaving your home. This tropical-inspired sweater comes in four unique prints and colors, and is just-the-way-we-like-it soft.

Mongolian Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater — $65.00

Quince, the brand known for making luxury goods more affordable without losing the quality component, offers up a lovely cashmere turtleneck that’s easy on the wallet, and looks great in the wardrobe (and on you). Made of 100 percent Grade A Mongolian cashmere, this wintery piece comes in a wide variety of gorgeous colors.

Madewell Demylee Zaida Turtleneck — $159.00

This finely spun sweater is warm while still feeling breathable, so there’s no fear of sweat drying on your limbs, making you itch. The shrunken look also makes it perfect to pair with your favorite pair of high-rise jeans or leggings.

ASTR the Label Safford Sweater — $98.00

Mix up your classic turtleneck look with this collared number. The unique design makes it perfect to dress up or down to wear out running errands, or for a fancy dinner and the loose knit makes it light on your skin.

Naked Cashmere Yasmin Sweater — $425.00

Made with 568 grams of 100 percent cashmere in a 5-gauge knit, this cozy sweater is perfect for layering. Wear a turtleneck underneath for a daytime look or pair it with a cute bralette for a night out on the town.

Faherty Altitude Cashmere Poncho — $398.00

Looking for something casual, yet still sleek and makes you look effortlessly put together? We like to imagine ourselves wearing this in a cozy beach house in Maine as we drink a cold, crisp glass of pink wine by the fire—that’s the kind of vibe this cashmere poncho gives off. It fits perfectly (we love a nice, relaxed fit that looks cute with jeans or leggings), and comes in a pretty grey or jade.

Falconeri Oversize Ultrasoft Cashmere Sweater with Slits — $367.00

With 15 unique shades to choose from, this cashmere sweater comes in a color to fit in any wardrobe. The loose fit makes it easy to wear a long sleeved top or turtleneck underneath, and the V-neck will even show off a little skin or a fun layered necklace.

Rebecca Minkoff Pixi Sweater — $198.00

Struggling with eczema? This sweater is here to save the day with puffed sleeves that won’t rub against your already itchy and raw skin. The boat neckline makes the sweater the perfect combination of saucy and warm.

Asket The Cashmere Sweater — $220.00

You can never have too many basics. This classic grey sweater is durable, warm, and very soft (it is cashmere, after all), and an impossibly cozy closet staple.

WVN Ribbed Oversized Cardigan — $158.00

Perfect to throw over everything from pajamas to an LBD, this draping, oversized knit cardigan uses a wide knit cotton and wool blend to make sure that your effortless look won’t cause any itchiness.

Musier Paris Giovana Sweater — $107.00

If you’re looking for something a little different to pair with jeans or leather pants on a night out, this sweater shirt has your name written all over it. The strappy look is very on-trend while the tie closure makes it easy to adjust to your liking.

How to take care of sweaters

While classic wool and alpaca fibers may feel like the itchiest of the lot, acrylic, polyester, nylon, and rayon fabrics are the worst when it comes to sensitive skin, because they are all synthetic. According to Harold Lancer, MD, FAAD, Los Angeles-based dermatologist, if you find your skin, red, irritated, or itchy when you're wearing a sweater, "it's possible you're allergic to one or more natural fibers," he explains. Dr. Lancer recommends steering clear of buying sweaters made with the above materials, since that could be a sign that you have textile or clothing dermatitis—a form of contact dermatitis. "Smooth, soft, natural fabrics, such as fine cotton and silk, feel best worn next to the skin...If you love your sweater I recommend wearing a base layer such as a long-sleeved polypropylene undershirt, especially in the winter. The polypropylene wicks away moisture from your skin and keeps you dry," Dr. Lancer adds.

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