10 Best Thermal Underwear For Women To Wear In The Extreme Cold

by Pratima Ati
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Thermals: the buzzword in winters.

Whether you are traveling to a colder country or live in one where white Christmas is a thing, you know that there’s only one way to enjoy the winter – by staying warm. With the polar vortex in full blast, outerwear doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to work your way from the inside to the outermost layer. So, we have listed out all the things you need to keep in mind while investing in good thermals and rounded up the best thermal underwear available on the market right now. Keep scrolling!

Thermajane Women's Thermal UnderwearCheck Price
Cuddl Duds Women’s Far-Infrared Enhance LeggingCheck Price
Icebreakers Zone Crewe Women’s Running TopCheck Price
Terramar Women’s Thermasilk PantsCheck Price
Minus33 Merina Wool Ossipee Women’s Midnight Crew ThermalsCheck Price

What Is The Best Way To Choose Thermals? – A Buying Guide

These are a few factors that you need to consider when buying thermals:

  • Material

This depends on where you are going, but the most common fabric is wool, for obvious reasons. Wool is the most viable, easily available, and easy-to-maintain fabric. There are other options too, like synthetic fabrics, but they are cheap-quality and tend to throw up a stink. Silk is another good choice but only in medium cold weather. It is expensive but feels great on the skin.

  • Fit

Thermals should fit snugly on your body without being skin-tight. Make sure you go one size smaller because they tend to expand with use and bulk up under your clothes, which can get extremely uncomfortable.

  • Comfort

Thermals are supposed to be as comfortable as possible. Ensure they are of good quality and brand. Avoid wool if you have sensitive skin as it can cause irritation. Always try out a few inexpensive pieces from a brand and see how they feel for a few days before investing in their more expensive thermals.

  • Breathability

Breathability is another vital factor you need to keep in mind. It refers to the garment’s ability to retain moist air between your skin and jacket without getting too saturated with moisture. A breathable garment helps you stay warmer for longer.

[ Read: Best Breathable Fabrics For Hot Weather – A Complete Guide ]

Now that you know what you need to keep in mind when buying thermals, here are the best ones that can get your hands on right now. Check them out!

10 Best Thermal Underwear For Cold Weather

1. Thermajane Women’s Thermal Underwear

The Thermajane Women’s Thermal Underwear is made of92% polyester and 8% spandex. Its squat-proof design stays in place and boosts your confidence. The 4-way stretch fabric is not see-through and comfortable to wear. The firm elastic waistband provides a slim fit look. This thermal underwear provides maximum breathability and does not cause any skin irritation. It is lightweight, soft, and enables flexible body movements.

2. Cuddl Duds Women’s Far-Infrared Enhance Legging

Cuddl Duds are the masters of layers and know how they need to be made. When it comes to keeping you warm, you can blindly trust them. Their Fra-Infrared Enhance Leggings are the perfect blend of warmth, wellness, and wicking material. They are high-waisted and rest comfortably on your belly button or any outer layers you want to wear them under. The ceramic fibers absorb moisture quickly, regulate the body’s heat, and reflect the far-infrared rays back to the skin to improve blood circulation.

3. Icebreakers Zone Crewe Women’s Running Top

Icebreakers Zone Crewe Running Thermals are made from 200 Merino wool, a naturally light and soft fabric that regulates body temperature while drawing away moisture from the body. This layer features an innovative heat dumping zone that offers insulation with ventilation. Its entire collection of thermal pants, tops, and base layers are some of the best in the market.

4. Uniqlo Heattech Jersey Leggings

Uniqlo Heattech Jersey Leggings can be worn while doing high-performance activities as well as when lounging around the house. They are made with a bio-warming, insulating, and moisture-retaining fabric. It is stretchy and has anti-static properties.

5. L.L Bean Lightweight Long Sleeve Crew Base Layer

L.L Bean Lightweight Long Sleeve Base Layer is designed for adventure with comfort. This lightweight base layer keeps you warm all day and is great for outdoor activities, like hiking and camping. It wicks moisture to keep you dry and odor-free and to keep bacteria at bay. Its recycled polyester blend fits snugly on your body.

[ Read: 10 Best Activewear Brands For Women ]

6. Terramar Women’s Thermasilk Pants

Terramar Women’s Thermasilk Pants are a luxurious but great alternative to base layer underwear. It thermo-regulates your body’s temperature and is ideal for layering while traveling as well as every day. Its fabric is incredibly soft, breathable, and warm enough for moderate to cold weather conditions. It stretches to take your body’s shape without bunching up under your clothes.

7. Minus33 Merina Wool Ossipee Women’s Midnight Crew Thermals

This thermal top is made from 100% merino wool. It is easy to wash, dry, and maintain. Its fabric is ultra soft on the skin but keeps you warm by regulating your body temperature. Its flatlock seams prevent chafing on thighs, and its unique built-in UPF 50 technology protects you from the sun.

8. Champion Duofold Originals Women’s Thermal Pants

Duofold’s Original Women’s Thermal Pants are a unique offering of Champion. The pure cotton fabric on the inside of these leggings is soft on the skin, while the merino wool and cotton blend on the outside takes care of insulation and warmth. It holds its shape well, is antimicrobial, and keeps the foul smell at bay with the help of its moisture-wicking technology. Its flatlock seams prevent chafing during outdoor activities.

9. Hot Chilly’s Women’s Micro-Elite Chamois Tights

The Micro-Elite Chamois Tights from Hot Chilly’s is one of their best-selling products since their inception in 1989. They are known to be the most reliable and durable base layer leggings that keep you warm and offer a four-way stretch and great moisture management. With a blend of polyester and spandex fibers, these high-performing tights will last you for years.

10. Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew

Lululemon’s Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew can be used as a stand-alone top for running or layering. With four-way stretch, thumb cuffs, patented Silverescent technology, and no side seams, it keeps you comfortable and stink-free.

You may have noticed that some of these products are called ‘thermals’ while others are named ‘base layers.’ If you were wondering if there’s any difference between the two, read the next section to clear any confusion.

[ Read: 10 Best Winter Jackets For Women – 2019 ]

Base Layers Vs. Thermals

Base Layers

A base layer is extremely tight and fits almost like second skin. Our bodies naturally sweat through our pores to maintain an average temperature, especially when we are fully covered with outerwear. The base layer, instead of your skin, absorbs sweat. Thus, wearing it in extremely cold conditions helps prevent evaporation of sweat into your clothes or body. In conclusion, a base layer is essentially a mechanism that prevents you from getting cold rather than keeping you warm. However, most brands give the best of both worlds – a base layer and thermals. Depending on the activity you will be involved in or your preference, you can go with either.


Thermals are garments you wear under your clothing. They are made with soft and breathable fabrics that keep you warm. They are snug and don’t feel bulky under your clothes. They, basically, act as a great additional layer in icy weather conditions.

Keeping yourself warm in extremely cold weather is important to prevent frostbite and maintain the health of your bones and joints. Try out some of the pieces listed above and let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Should thermals be tight or loose?

Thermals should be tight and snug because they are worn under your clothes. Loose thermals allow your body heat to escape and bulk up under your clothes, making you feel uncomfortable.

Should you wear underwear with thermals?

Yes, for hygiene purposes, you need to wear underwear under thermals. Thermals are only a layer for extra warmth and not a replacement for underwear.

Is silk warmer than wool?

No. Wool is much warmer than silk.

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After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, Pratima Ati jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing. She’s now a full-time Fashion & Lifestyle writer and has never looked back ever since. She sleeps early, reads often, and when she can't, she finally gives a closure to all the characters living in her drafts. Sometimes, they pass off as poetry too! That, and her training in Indian classical music and playing (learning) the veena keep her sane, civil, and bearable.