The best men’s underwear brands make up the foundations of every well-rounded wardrobe. But unless you’re really desperate for a fleeting serotonin hit, shopping for underwear isn’t all that fun. The underwear business isn’t exactly trend-oriented, which makes the process of hunting down a new pair mercifully straightforward—if not especially exciting.
The Best Men’s Underwear Brands Shopping Guide
- The GOAT Undies: Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch Boxer Brief (3-Pack), $43
- The Cheap and Cheerful Undies: Hanes Tagless Boxer (6-pack), $24
- The Confidence-Boosting Undies: CDLP Boxer Briefs, $30
- The Indie Undies: Hanro Sporty Mercerised Cotton Boxer Shorts, $80
- The Sporty Undies: Saxx Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs (2-pack), $92
- The Tricked-Out Undies: Mack Weldon AIRKNITˣ Trunk, $30
- The Ultra-Classic Undies: Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Cotton Woven Boxers (3-pack), $53
- The Top-Shelf Undies: Sunspel Cotton Boxer Shorts, $55
- The Light-As-Air Undies: Tommy John Second Skin Trunk with Contour Pouch (3-Pack), $102
- The Gym-Ready Undies: Lululemon Always In Motion Boxer 5″ (3-Pack), $74
But it’s one worth taking seriously, especially for a day-to-day garment made to handle your most precious of jewels. The market is crowded with choices, from wily upstarts promising to solve all your chafing problems to heritage labels touting anti-bunching formulas they’ve perfected over decades of rigorous trial and error. Looking for a classic pair of supima cotton boxer shorts, or a stretchy pair of moisture-wicking, spandex-enhanced boxer briefs? You won’t have to look far. Intrigued by lofty-sounding fabrics like micromodal or breathable elastane blends? There’s plenty of brands that’d be thrilled to hear it.
What We’re Looking For
Finding your ideal set of skivvies is a very personal journey. Yet, even with our very individual tastes and unique bodies, there’s a common goal in the search for The One. The best underwear, regardless of underwear style, should feel soft and comfortable. Be it organic cotton or a poly blend, the fabric should feel smooth to the touch and also last a long time without pilling. Your balls hang away from you for a reason—they need to keep cool. So, a good pair of underwear should be breathable and wick away moisture so your gems won’t overheat. For the brief-enjoyers, boxer briefs and trunks should have pouch that keeps your balls in place without smothering them. Boxer briefs and trunks should also be constructed with flat seams that won’t press into your skin.
We know that this can easily get overwhelming. So to help you make sense of the mind-boggling array of options, we went deep on all the underwear worth your time—from high-end versions you’ll genuinely consider hand washing to ultra-cheap undies you can order in bulk when the laundry machine threatens to go kaput. No matter your preferences, the best men’s underwear brands are up to the task. If you’re eager to replenish your supply—or overhaul your underwear drawer entirely—these are the only names you need to know.
The first name in designer underwear didn’t start out that way. Before Calvin Klein was a billboard-dominating global superbrand, it was an upstart American label credited as the first to slap its name on a pair of briefs, setting off a seismic shift in the men’s underwear market in the process. After all these years, buying a pair of boxers stamped with that iconic Futura font still feels like a small luxury, an indulgence only you, your underwear drawer, and a select few others will ever be privy to. If you’re looking for undergarments with a bona fide cultural pedigree, Calvin Klein is the place to start. CK’s most popular men’s boxer briefs come in a cotton blend that balances breathability with a hint of stretch, but their 100% cotton underwear alternative is also a great option if you want to minimize synthetic materials in your daily fashion diet.
Not too many brands boast a century-long history of expertise in their given field, let alone in the underwear arena. But Hanes isn’t just any old brand. First established in the early 1900s, Hanes has enjoyed the type of prolonged relevance lesser brands struggle mightily to approximate. The company has since expanded into other categories—you might swear by their famously tagless T-shirts—but underwear remains the crown jewel of the empire. It’s almost ironic that Hanes undies tend to be sold in bulk, because they’re apt to last long after you’ve come down with a hankering for a new pack.
The right pair of underwear should go above and beyond mere function; they should be comfortable, they should be supportive, but they should also make you feel, well, hot. CDLP’s slinky, stretchy briefs fall firmly into that category—they’re a straight-up confidence booster, designed to hug your figure in all the right ways so you can look in the mirror and dig the guy staring back at you. (Even when you can’t see ‘em.) While other brands stake their claim on organic cotton or merino wool, CDLP’s whole range is made using lyocell, a natural alternative to silk that’s even smoother, even more breathable, and also wicks away moisture so you can reliably stay cool while feeling your hottest. The supremely sultry underwear comes in a variety of styles and inseam lengths so you can choose just how sexy you want to feel.
If you’re looking for high-quality underwear made by a master of the form, Hanro’s got you covered. The Swiss brand has been churning out decadent loungewear for the world’s most discerning dressers for close to 150 years, and its stellar selection of undies is no exception. Touting the craftsmanship of a humble pair of boxer briefs might sound ludicrous (they’re boxers, for god’s sake!) but slip on a pair from Hanro and you’ll immediately feel the difference. The brand’s serious design chops coupled with a legacy of technical innovation means these are not-so-basics actually worth investing in.
Prefer your underwear built to the exacting specifications of a NASA spacesuit? Saxx is the brand for you. Every pair the company makes comes tricked out with its proprietary BallPark Pouch technology, the (slightly cringe-inducing) term Saxx Underwear uses to refer to the hammock-shaped pocket that lends its undies their signature support. Breathable mesh panels and an ergonomic nine-panel construction guarantee all-day comfort, while flat-lock seams promise to eliminate chafing and that telltale shimmy we’ve all had to do when something gets caught where it shouldn’t.
Mack Weldon, a relatively new entrant in the underwear arena, built a business by overthinking the details—in the best way possible. In theory, that could be a recipe for disaster. But in practice, that means quick-drying, odor-fighting trunks that won’t quit on you when you need ’em most, whether you’re halfway through a grueling workout or an equally grueling workday. Posted up at home on a frigid winter weekend? You’ll never feel bummed that your underwear is overqualified for the job—even if the day’s agenda just involves six hours of smooth-brain Netflix and trying not to sprinkle Cheetos dust all over the couch.
Ever wondered what could possibly prompt someone to love a brand so much they refuse to wear anything not stamped with its name? You’ve clearly never met a real ‘Lo Head. Ralph Lauren engenders so much adoration among its most ardent fans that depriving them of the chance to rep the brand in underwear form would be almost cruel. Even if you don’t know your Purple Label from your P Wing, the brand’s briefs are a great introduction to what it does best. If you picture a pair of classic boxers, Ralph’s are most likely the image that pops in your head. They’re super soft all-cotton woven boxers that come in a grip of great, non-cheesy patterns and colorways that won’t make your underwear drawer look juvenile. But don’t sleep on Ralph’s other more modern undergarments like the modal-infused briefs that can keep pace with the best performance boxer briefs on the menswear market.
Sure, undies are about as basic as it gets, but that doesn’t mean the entire genre has to feel so, well, basic. Why entrust the care of precious jewels to just any ol’ underwear brand? Whether you’ve got a hankering for the finer things in life or are looking to upgrade from those flimsy multi-pack options you cop by the dozen, Sunspel’s decidedly luxe underpinnings will pamper your most sensitive parts in a manner befitting of their station. The British label has been in the boxer biz for over 150 years, and what it offers—on top of excellent construction—is access to some of the ritziest materials on the planet. Thought ultra-fine, indulgent Sea Island cotton was the sole domain of the plushest sweaters in your arsenal? You’ve clearly never slipped on a pair of these before. Fair warning, though: once you do, it’s hard to go back.
Tommy John seems to fly under the radar in the underwear world, especially compared to the stalwarts and marketing gurus at DTC labels. But one day with the Tommy John Second Skin boxer briefs will put the brand top of mind indefinitely. Thanks to the generous use of micromodal fibers, they’re cut with an impossibly silky feel with just the right amount of stretch. And the well-designed contour pouch coddles your boys without suffocating them. Tommy John’s skivvies are certainly pricier than other brands, but it’s impossible to argue with the level of quality and comfort that the extra cash gets you. If you ask us, that’s a sound investment.
No surprise here: The brand that made leggings (leggings!) a staple of offices around the world also cuts a killer pair of briefs. An ergonomic design and a quick-drying mesh-modal fabric means Lululemon’s primo skivvies are equally suited to squeezing in a workout between Zooms or hitting the town for a big night out once you’ve signed off for good. Its performance boxers are among the most comfortable pairs out there and offer unparalleled sweat-wicking and support without diminishing your range of motion so you can hit your goals on the squat rack and the yoga mat unhindered.