Whether you're looking for something to keep you warm on a chilly night run or you're needing to revamp your winter wardrobe, a thermal shirt is an essential piece for your year-round closet. A thermal shirt is made of a material that's insulating yet thin enough not to be bulky. This versatility means you can wear it by itself or under another layer of clothes.
We looked for the best thermal shirts for women and came up with a top 10 list of the best ones. Topping our curated list is Uniqlo's HeatTech Thermal Shirt, which packs a lot of heating power thanks to its unique blend of fabric. It also has anti-microbial and anti-static features! Give the rest of our top picks a look and don't forget to read our buying guide while you're at it.
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Table of Contents
A thermal shirt's fit, its material, and its extra features all work together to keep you warm and dry. Consider these factors when choosing one.
The fit of a thermal shirt has an effect on how much warmth it provides. A fitted thermal shirt will trap in your body heat, keeping you warm mainly using your own body’s temperature. A tighter shirt is also easy to layer over since it won’t crease under your top layer. Its thin material will give you a base layer that’s insulating but not bulky.
A thermal shirt with a loose fit won’t trap as much heat, making it a more comfortable alternative for temperatures that are cool but not exactly freezing. But if you plan on wearing a fitted top layer, then a loose thermal shirt might show creases under your outer layer, so it may be better to wear as a standalone top.
Trapped moisture can lead to the growth of odor-causing bacteria, clogged pores, and even fungal infections. A thermal shirt with moisture-wicking features will keep you warm while also working to prevent sweat from getting trapped inside.
Cotton is soft against the skin, absorbs sweat rather than wicking it away. However, some cotton fabrics are coated with an anti-bacterial finish that makes them counter bacterial growth.
A thermal shirt made of a blend that consists of some cotton and other fabrics with moisture-wicking properties would make a comfortable loungewear top.
Wool, on the other hand, is a great insulator that also has moisture-wicking properties. Though its natural thickness can make it a bit bulky and maybe even a bit too stuffy for weather that isn’t very cold, it’s great at keeping you warm and snug.
Fleece is lightweight and has moisture-wicking properties. It’s also a good insulator. Many thermal shirts have an inner fleece lining that feels soft against your skin.
Blended synthetics are extra stretchable and are great for keeping warm in damp or wet environments. Whether it’s a nylon and spandex blend or a polypropylene blend, synthetic fabric allows you to move around freely. This makes synthetic fabrics ideal for thermal shirts used for exercising and outdoor activities.
Some thermal shirts come with full neck coverage to keep your neck extra warm in cold weather by sealing in extra body heat. Other thermal shirts come with a crew neck collar, which is good for moderately cool temperatures where you don't really need to be covered from head to toe.
A button or zip-up collar allows you to adjust your neck coverage according to the temperature, which makes a shirt more versatile. Other thermal shirts have a lower neckline, which makes them more subtle when wearing an outer layer with a low-hanging neckline.
Air ventilation fabrics have mesh spots with tiny holes that allow just enough air to circulate, preventing sweat build-up in areas such as your underarms.
Wrist cuffs keep extra body heat from escaping while thumb holes give your palms insulation and prevent your sleeves from bunching up when you put on another layer. Pockets can hold a few items while you're out or even serve as an extra warm place to stuff your hands in when it gets too cold.
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HeatTech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt
A Thermal Shirt That's Got All the Coolest Features
Thermal Underwear Shirt
A Subtle Thermal Shirt That Offers Support, Versatility, and Comfort
Midweight Thermal Shirt
A Breathable Thermal Base Layer
Long Sleeve Thermal Henley Top
A Sultry Thermal Shirt With a Split-Neck Collar
Fleece Lined Compression Base Layer
An Anti-Abrasion Compression Thermal Shirt
Fleece Thermal Running Shirt
A Versatile Thermal Shirt for Sports Activities
ColdGear Compression Shirt
Compression Shirt Designed to Circulate Your Body Heat
Compression Base Layer Top｜2 Pack
A Set of Two Moisture-Wicking Thermal Shirts
Heat Scoop Neck Thermal Top
A Subtle Thermal Base Shirt With a Low Neckline
Heavyweight Double-Layer Thermal Shirt
A Two-Layered Thermal Shirt With Anti-Microbial Fabric
Uniqlo's HeatTech thermal shirt may look thin, but it's actually a heavyweight when it comes to thermal retention. Its fabric blend is designed to use the moisture-wicking feature as a way to generate heat. It's also got anti-microbial and anti-static qualities.
Reviewers raved about how comfy this shirt is, saying it makes a great loungewear piece. Though the material is thin, people said that it's really warm. Reviewers used it both as a standalone and a base layer.
This crew neck thermal shirt by Thermajane is lightweight and comfortable on your skin, especially because of the tagless design and fabric woven with argan oil. Its polyester and spandex blend is moisture-wicking, stretchy, and equipped with an extra-insulating inner fleece lining.
Some reviewers complained that the top part of the shirt, particularly the crew neck, is too tight. Others found the shirt too short. However, on the bright side, many reviewers liked that it's easy to layer over. Reviewers also liked that the fabric allows them to move around freely.
Meriwool's thermal shirt with a crew neck is made of Merino wool, which is insulating, moisture-wicking, and soft. This shirt's fabric is knitted in such a way that makes it extra breathable, making it useful not only for the winter but also for the summer!
Some reviewers found the material itchy. However, many reviewers said that it becomes softer after washing. Others said that it keeps them warm as a base layer or middle layer. People also liked that the fabric is breathable.
This thermal knitted shirt by Socialite has a split-neck collar that's low-lying. It's pretty versatile since it can be used as a standalone piece or as a base layer for a top piece that has a low collar as well.
Some reviewers didn't like the shirt's material, saying it's too thin, uncomfortable, and is easily damaged or pills. However, others really loved the fit of this shirt. They say it's flattering but not constricting. Others were fans of the low V-neck.
This polyester and spandex blend thermal shirt by Tesla Gears won't scratch against your skin. Instead, it will provide you with warmth while giving you the freedom to move. It's equipped with an inner fleece lining.
Some reviewers found the shirt too tight, but it is meant to provide compression. A few also said that the sleeves can be a bit short. On the other hand, satisfied customers said that the shirt is warm. Many reviewers used it for running. People also said that it's comfortable and that it makes a great base layer since it's thin.
Fulbelle's thermal shirt is designed with a polyester and spandex blend that's stretchable and moisture-wicking and a fleece-lined interior. Its seams are flat so that they don't rub against your skin. The mock neck collar gives you more upper body coverage, and it comes with thumbhole cuffs.
Some reviewers complained about the tight fit and recommend ordering a size up. However, many said that the shirt is great for exercising outdoors on cold days. Others said that it's warm and stretchy.
Under Armour's compression shirt is designed with a brushback-knit fabric that circulates your body heat while letting you move around. It's moisture-wicking and has an anti-odor feature too. The shirt is designed with a mock neck collar for extra warmth.
Some reviewers complained about the unpleasant smell of the fabric, with some saying that it wouldn't go away even after washing. Others said it's not very warming. However, reviewers liked the fit of this shirt. Others said it makes a great base layer. Some people recommended ordering a size up, though.
These thermal shirts by Devops are made of a stretchy polyester and spandex blend. Lined with fleece and moisture-wicking, they're soft, with compression for a form-fitting look and feel.
Some reviewers complained about the material being too thin and the fit being too small. Some said that the sleeves are too short. However, people said that the inner lining is soft and comfortable. People liked that these shirts are made of a material that stretches well.
If you're looking for a subtle thermal top, this one by 32 Degrees has a low neckline, so it's not likely to peek out from under your top layer. It's made of a blend of stretchable fabrics that will hug your figure.
Some reviewers said that the fabric is too thin, which lead a few to question its thermal status. A few also said that the sizes run small. However, others appreciated that the fabric is lightweight and not bulky, saying it's the perfect base layer.
This Duofold thermal shirt has two layers, making it extra insulating. Its polyester and spandex blend is moisture-wicking as well as soft. It's also anti-microbial! This shirt has other features that make it comfortable, too, like flatlock seams and no tags that rub against your skin.
Some reviewers said it's tight and that it isn't very warm. Others say the size chart is off and recommend sizing up. However, people liked that despite the snug fit, this thermal shirt still allows for mobility. Others said that the thin material makes this shirt a great base to layer over.
It's important to stay warm and dry when it's cold. One of these might be what your winter closet is missing!
No. 1: Uniqlo｜HeatTech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt
No. 2: Thermajane｜Thermal Underwear Shirt
No. 3: Meriwool｜Midweight Thermal Shirt
No. 4: Socialite｜Long Sleeve Thermal Henley Top
No. 5: Tesla Gears｜Fleece Lined Compression Base Layer
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