Best turtle neck sweater

Shirts & Tops

The nickname “turtle neck” originated in America due to its resemblance to a turtle’s neck. Before this nickname came about, it was called a polo neck, and it originated in Europe.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which turtle neck sweater is best?

A good turtle neck sweater is a staple clothing item for all occasions. It can be dressed up or dressed down for formal and casual events and provide necessary warmth in the fall and winter seasons. You can wear these versatile items in many places and in different ways. You can tuck in a turtle neck, wear a cropped turtle neck sweater with high-waisted jeans or leave it entirely untucked with leggings. There are various neck styles of turtle neck sweaters, and the possibilities are endless.

If you are looking for a turtle neck sweater with an adjustable neck that comes in multiple neutral colors and can be worn during both the fall and winter, the BB Dakota By Steve Madden Wing Commander Sweater is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a turtle neck sweater 

Occasion 

The occasion and season during which you’ll be wearing your turtle neck sweater will determine the color, material and style. Turtle neck sweaters are versatile, meaning they can almost always be dressed up or dressed down with accessories to fit any occasion. If you plan to wear a turtle neck sweater to a business event, consider tucking it into jeans and adding a belt and blazer. If you plan to style the top for a night out, consider leaving it untucked or purchasing a cropped turtle neck sweater to flatter the waistline. 

Material  

The tag located on the inside of the article of clothing will tell you the size of the item and the fabric used. With this description, users will know how stretchy and adjustable the garment will be. The breathability of an item is an important feature to consider if you plan to wear the item out or be active. If you are looking for a turtle neck sweater that provides warmth, consider a knit turtle neck with a foldable neck but does not use too much added fabric. The thickness of the material is vital to determine the best outfit for the temperature. If the item is cotton, polyester or nylon, it is more lightweight and can be worn on its own or as a layering piece.   

Type

Classic: These turtle necks will be fitted with a slim neckline. You can pair them with any style of pants, depending on the occasion. In the winter, you can layer them for added warmth. If you do not like oversized, baggy turtle necks, purchase a classic turtle neck.

Cowl neck: Unlike the classic turtle neck, a cowl neck sweater comes with a droopy, unstructured neckline. This type of turtle neck sweater is chunky and large, and while trendy can be irritating and constricting at times. It is not recommended to wear this style if you plan to be active. Cowl necks provided needed warmth in the winter months while being comfortable if the fabric is soft. 

Funnel/mock: These turtle neck sweaters do not reach the top of the neck. They rise to the middle of the neck and use less fabric than a cowl or a classic style item. This item is comfortable, can be worn to fit any event and season and is usually lightweight. 

What to look for in a quality turtle neck sweater

Comfort  

A quality turtle neck sweater will be comfortable because the fabric will be thick and soft, and the neck will not be restricting. Since the design of a turtle neck wraps the neck, consider purchasing a turtle neck that does not restrict your movement and one that you can roll down if needed. Some sweaters are itchy. It is essential to check the fabric for quality and be sure that you will be comfortable in a soft and sustainably sourced turtle neck sweater.  

Coverage 

Turtle neck sweaters are naturally modest and provide coverage by default, but some buyers complain that this style is too constrictive of the neck. Coverage does not have to be compromised to provide comfort. A mock neck turtle neck is made with less fabric around the neck while providing the same amount of coverage. Turtle neck sweaters can be a practical style in the cooler months because they are trendy and provide added warmth to any outfit.

Versatility 

Turtle necks come in many different styles. With simply layering, a good turtle neck can provide multiple outfits for multiple occasions and seasons. For example, this product is versatile enough to be worn alone with jeans for a casual look, under a blazer for a professional look and layered for added warmth to make it wearable through the fall and winter seasons. 

How much you can expect to spend on a turtle neck sweater

Turtle neck sweaters are very versatile and are available for many different prices. Cost-effective turtle neck sweaters with thin material will be available for $15-$30. Midrange items at $35-$50 provide durable fabric, softness and an adjustable neckline. The turtle sweaters with the best fabric and features are priced $55-$70.

Turtle neck sweater FAQ

Should you hang your turtle neck?

A. This depends on the fabric of the turtle neck sweater. If it is wool or cashmere, it will stretch if it is hung. Avoid handing items that use this material. If the item is knit, cotton, nylon or polyester, it should be hung. If you are worried about a turtle neck keeping its shape, folding the item is the safer option. 

How do you know what size is right for when buying online? 

A. When buying your turtle neck sweater online, check the customer reviews and photos, which will help you determine if the garment fits true to size and will flatter your specific body type.

What’s the best turtle neck sweater to buy?

Top turtle neck sweater 

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Wing Commander Sweater 

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Wing Commander Sweater 

What you need to know: This product has a foldover neckline, which is adjustable and uses non-constricting, soft fabric. 

What you’ll love: This turtle neck is uniquely styled with honeycomb knit panels for added warmth and texture and comes in multiple colors. It is light enough to wear in the fall and heavy enough to keep you warm in the winter. 

What you should consider: This product is shorter in person than it looks in pictures online. Some buyers would consider it more of a crop top sweater. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top turtle neck sweater for the money

Women’s Croft and Barrow Extra Soft Turtle Neck 

Women’s Croft and Barrow Extra Soft Turtle Neck 

What you need to know: The ribbed trim on this turtle neck ensures that the fabric is thick while flattering. This product is machine washable for added convenience. 

What you’ll love: This turtle neck is soft while lightweight enough to wear for multiple seasons. It comes in many colors and sizes, and you can wear it as a layering piece. 

What you should consider: The turtle neck is adjustable in length and can often move around when you are active. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Turtle neck sweater worth checking out

Free People Seasons Change Sweater 

Free People Seasons Change Sweater 

What you need to know: This item is made with rib-knit trim and is heavy enough to wear for extra warmth in the winter season. The cable knit fabric makes it soft and non-irritating to the skin. 

What you’ll love: This turtle neck sweater doesn’t pill, and the fabric itself is durable and long-lasting. The mock neck design is comfortable and non-constricting. 

What you should consider: The holes in this item are easy to snag.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.