Can’t deal with the cold? Check out these cozy cardigans

Woman wearing a cozy beige cardigan drinking tea and reading a book
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Which cozy cardigans are best?

You may love cardigans because you’re a huge Taylor Swift fan, but cardigans are more than a fall pop-bop. Cardigans are extremely versatile and are great for layering in the fall and winter. 

Cardigans differ from other sweaters because they can be left open in the front. They are most often long-sleeved and sometimes come with buttons to fasten down the front. 

If you’re looking for a charming, warm and cozy cardigan, the Open-Front Cardigan from Macy’s JM Collection is the top choice.  

What to know before you buy a cozy cardigan 

Cardigans come in many colors and patterns and can be made from a wide array of materials. Popular styles of cardigans include baggy, wrap, button-up and relaxed-fit.  


Cardigans vary in their style, fit and what material they are made from. From button-down to knitted, there are several kinds of cardigans. 

  • Pattern: Some cardigans are knit and come in a variety of patterns, such as cable knit and chunky knit. 
  • Thickness: Most cardigans are a bit thicker, but some are lightweight.   
  • Neckline: From V-neck to open front, cardigans can have a few different necklines, especially if they can be buttoned down the front — although not all cardigans can be buttoned. Most men’s cardigans will come with buttons.   


Cardigans come in a few lengths. Some are longer and cover the rear end — some are so long, they cover the back of the knees. Some cardigans hit right before the hip bones, while others are categorized as “oversized.” These are generally long enough to just cover the rear and hit the front around the upper thigh. 


Most cardigans have pockets or buttons, while others have neither and just open in the front.   

What to look for in a quality cozy cardigan 


A cardigan’s quality is largely dependent on the material it is made from. Materials for producing a cozy cardigan include cotton, cashmere and wool.  


When shopping for a cardigan, look for a known, reputable brand. Department stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s are great places to look to buy basic cardigans for your wardrobe.  


Any details or accents should be consistent. If the pattern looks off or asymmetrical, it may be a sign of bigger issues in the long run. 


A good cardigan will typically have visible seams, most likely around the sleeve cuffs, shoulders or bottom. The seams should be even and smooth.  

How much can you expect to spend on a cozy cardigan? 

A quality cozy cardigan can cost around $35-$99. 

Tips for purchasing a cozy cardigan

  • Style: Before purchasing, determine why you want the sweater. Are you looking for a grab-and-go cardigan? Opt for a neutral color. Looking for a statement piece? Choose a bolder color or a patterned cardigan. 
  • Seams: Checking a cardigan’s seams is a good way to determine its quality. Loose threads or rough edges suggest a poorly made sweater.
  • Material: Wool, cashmere and cotton are safe choices when looking for a quality cardigan.  
  • Source: If you’re interested in a guilt-free buy, check to see if the material of a cardigan has been sustainably sourced. 
  • Size: Check the lengths of the sleeves of the cardigans to make sure your entire arm will be covered. Consider chest size, too. when buying a button-up cardigan  
  • Buttons: If your cardigan comes with buttons, check the product description to see if it comes with additional buttons and thread for at-home repair. 

Cozy cardigan FAQ  

What do I wear with a cozy cardigan?

A. Because of their versatility, cardigans can be worn with many outfit combinations.

  • Outfit pairing suggestions for women: For a formal event, a neutral cardigan is great paired with a cocktail dress. For a more laid-back outfit, throw a cardigan over your favorite tank top and pair it with a pair of jeans and boots for an effortless fall look. 
  • Outfit pairing suggestions for men: If you’re looking for a classy, yet dressy outfit to wear your cardigan with, consider wearing dress pants and a button-up and then layer a button-up cardigan over top. For a casual look, a plain T-shirt and a pair of jeans pair great with an open cardigan. 

Can I button up my cozy cardigan?

A. Some cardigans come with buttons. Depending on your desired look, you can button your cardigan for a cohesive sweater look, or leave the front open with a tank top or shirt underneath for a layer-inspired outfit. 

I like my cardigans baggy. What size should I order? 

A. Size up at least one size. For instance, if you typically wear a medium but prefer a loose cardigan, size up and purchase a large. 

What’s the best cozy cardigan to buy?

Top cozy cardigan

Open-Front Cardigan from Macy’s JM Collection

Open-Front Cardigan from Macy’s JM Collection 

What you need to know: Featuring small button cuffs and front pockets, the cardigan hits at the thigh and comes in four different colors: black, red, blue and gray.  

What you’ll love: The cardigan is lightweight, yet warm and is machine washable. 

What you need to know: The sizing is generous; the product description says if you’re in between sizes you should consider sizing down. 

Where to buy: Sold at Macy’s 

Top cozy cardigan for the money

Men’s Xray Basic Cardigan Sweater

Men’s Xray Basic Cardigan Sweater

What you need to know: The long-sleeve cardigan is made from soft cotton and can button down the front. 

What you’ll love: It is made from cotton.   

What you need to know: The cardigan should be dry cleaned.  

Where to buy: Sold at Kohl’s 

Worth checking out

Goodthreads Women’s Oversized Boucle Shaker Stitch Cardigan Sweater

Goodthreads Women’s Oversized Boucle Shaker Stitch Cardigan Sweater

What you need to know: The straight hemmed cardigan hits mid-thigh and features two front patch pockets.  

What you’ll love: The cardigan is extra cozy because it is made from boucle sweater yarn, composed of at least two strands of looped yarn.   

What you need to know: It must be hand-washed only. 

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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Audrey Nakagawa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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