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Men’s underwear is serious. It’s the first thing we put on, the last thing we take off and the sole caretaker of our most sensitive bits. Sadly, men’s underwear doesn’t always get the attention it deserves; many dudes opt for the same cheap multi-pack year after year. But, if you’re willing to branch out, you’ll be rewarded: the best men’s underwear can deliver premium comfort, athletic potential and elevated style.
Over the past decade or so (perhaps beginning with Mark Wahlberg’s Calvin Klein campaign), men’s underwear has been getting better. The best men’s underwear brands of today are utilizing high-quality fabrics that keep everything cool and dry, while also solving old design issues such as bunching and chafing. Basically, whether you prefer boxers, briefs or boxer briefs, you can likely find a pair of skivvies to upgrade your current underwear drawer.
How to Shop Men’s Underwear
We’ve all bought underwear before, but taking the time to find the best men’s underwear requires a bit of know-how. Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping.
Type: There are three main types of men’s underwear: boxer briefs, boxers and briefs. Boxer briefs are the most popular option with a mid-thigh length and a tight fit. This gives boxer briefs a flattering look and a secure feel, making them great for working out or daily wear.
Boxers are baggy, hit the mid-thigh and offer an extra airy, breathable feel. Although they’re less popular for daily wear than boxer briefs, we think every guy should have a pair of boxers for hot weather, lounging and sleeping.
Briefs are the old-school pick. They stop at the upper thigh, only covering the essential bits. Some guys swear by briefs, citing a streamlined fit and less material to get tangled or bunched.
Usage: The best men’s underwear will stay comfortable all day through sweaty commutes, sitting at a desk and sleeping or relaxing in bed. However, we think it’s best to have a variety of underwear for different uses. Pick up a couple pairs of workout underwear, some everyday go-tos and a pair for lounging.
Materials: Always look for premium materials with a bit of stretch and, ideally, moisture-wicking or odor-control powers. Also, be aware that the best underwear materials depends on the intended usage and type of underwear (i.e. workout boxer briefs shouldn’t have any cotton but loungy boxers should be crisp cotton).
Best Boxer Briefs
1. Rhone Essentials Active Boxer Brief
Rhone is a relatively new brand (founded in 2014) that’s been stealing our attention with premium basics and activewear. As the name suggests, these Essentials Active Boxer Briefs bring the utility of activewear to everyday underwear. They do this with a soft, sweat-wicking fabric that features a bit of stretch compression for a secure feel. Other clever additions include a no-roll waistband and a unique “comfort pouch” that keeps the private bits slightly away from the body.
2. Calvin Klein Men’s Boxer Briefs
Without Calvin Klein, men’s underwear would most likely be the dreary, un-sexy experience it used to be before the Wahlberg ads. CK created the enduring trend of flattering men’s underwear with tweaks like a lower cut, and the brand is still making some of the best men’s underwear around. These boxer briefs are the modern iteration of their famous piece with a cotton-spandex fabric for soft stretchiness, the iconic logo waistband and a great fit overall.
3. Nike Dri-FIT Everyday Performance Boxer Briefs
These Nike Dri-FIT boxer briefs are one of a select few pairs that can seamlessly transition from daily life to the gym. They’re made of a cotton-elastane blend that includes Nike’s beloved Dri-FIT moisture-wicking technology, keeping everything dry without the tightness of some workout underwear. This versatility makes the boxer briefs ideal for activities like traveling or commuting where you need both comfort and sweat-wicking performance. Of course, they’re also great for working out as well.
4. Saxx Vibe Boxer Brief
We’re big fans of underwear that have some fun. These Vibe boxer briefs from Saxx do just that with a plethora of unique patterns from Kong vs Godzilla to fried eggs. But they’re not all fun and games: the boxer briefs are made of a soft, four-way stretch material that wicks away sweat and controls odor. They also boast features like Saxx’s Ballpark Pouch which essentially creates a separate compartment to keep you extra comfortable.
5. Hanes Men’s Comfort Flex Fit Total Support
Don’t let Hanes’ affordability fool you: they make some advanced undies that stand toe to toe with more expensive options. These Comfort Flex boxer briefs are a great example of the brand’s long-standing expertise. They feel soft and stretchy thanks to a polyester material with added lyocell and spandex. You also get a mesh Total Support Pouch which keeps everything away from the body for a cooler, more comfortable day.
6. Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Boxer Briefs
High-tech undies are great, but sometimes no-frills cotton underwear is the best. These boxer briefs from Polo Ralph Lauren prove just that with a soft, high-quality 100 percent cotton build. Although they’re not meant for exercise, the underwear’s fabric can wick the inevitable sweat of day-to-day life. With a “classic” fit they’re slightly more roomy than most boxer briefs, making them great for sleeping and lounging as well as daily wear.
7. Under Armour Men’s Tech 9-inch Boxerjock
Dedicated workout underwear can make a big difference – whether you’re running, lifting or playing a sport. These Under Armour Boxerjocks are a good pick if you’re in need of some workout undies. They use a polyester-elastane fabric that provides four-way stretch (for full movement) and serious sweat-wicking capabilities to stay dry. The design is also geared towards comfortable performance with no seams on the sides or back and a 9-inch length for extra coverage.
8. J. Crew Printed boxers
One of the best uses for boxers is lounging — something these J. Crew boxers do exceptionally well. They’re made of a crisp, high-quality cotton and feature a brushed waistband that’s gentle on the skin. Add an array of fun, unique prints, such as squirrels at the beach or fries working out, and you’ve got underwear you’ll never want to take off.
9. Mack Weldon 18-Hour Boxer
Mack Weldon is one of a few menswear brands improving everyday basics. So it’s no surprise that their 18-Hour boxers are some of the best men’s underwear around. With a buttery soft jersey-knit cotton-blend and a tailored fit, the boxers provide all-day comfort whether you’re wearing them under your clothes or solo around the house. The fabric also covers the waistband, solving the old issue of boxer marks from elastic waistbands.
10. Sunspel Boxer Short
British label Sunspel has been pioneering luxury basics for well over a century. And they’ve still got it. Case-in-point are these boxer shorts. They’re made of premium poplin cotton which uses a tight plain weave to achieve an ultra-soft feel. This fabric — together with a boxy fit and a classic look — makes the shorts ideal for lounging on hot days, although they feel good under clothes too.
11. MeUndies Men’s Brief
When done right, briefs can be a nice change of pace from boxers and boxer briefs. Good examples, such as these MeUndies, provide roominess where necessary without any excess fabric to risk bunching or overheating the legs. We like these MeUndies because they solve a few common issues with briefs: the back lays flat to avoid wedgies, a sturdy pouch cradles the goods and a no-roll waistband stays securely in place. MeUndies also offers a ton of color options in three categories: classics (black, gray and more), bold (brighter colors) and adventurous (such as the Gryffindor undies below).
12. Tom Ford Stretch-Cotton Briefs
If you really like briefs, grab this pair from Tom Ford. The undies are made in Italy using a premium cotton-elastane blend that’s equal parts soft and breathable. The real star of the undies: the simple Tom Ford logo across the front of the waistband.