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4 Winter Hat Trends That Fight the Cold Weather

Two women wearing knit pom pom toques

With the approaching cold weather, customers may be looking for ways to stay warm as temperatures drop. Winter hats are a popular accessory for preventing heat loss. These are the trendy winter hats businesses should have available this season. 

Table of Contents
Growth of the winter hat market
Winter hat trends for cold weather
Opportunities in winter hats

Growth of the winter hat market

The global winter hats market was valued at USD 25.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% between 2022 to 2030. 

Changing environmental conditions are resulting in lower temperatures across many countries in the world, which is driving the rising adoption of winter hats. Major brands in the industry are increasingly focused on offering a variety of winter hats in different colors, designs, and sizes to respond to consumer demand. 

Winter snow hats are commonly made from wool and cotton, which are materials used to retain heat and keep the head warm during the winter season. 

Winter hat trends for cold weather

Knit beanies

Woman in knitted winter bobble hat
Woman wearing black slouchy beanie

With a revenue share of over 40.0% in 2021, beanies dominated the market for winter weather hats. A beanie is a small, close-fitting, brimless hat worn on the back of the head. Some beanie hats may sit further back on the forehead for a slouchy beanie or oversized look.

Beanie hats are generally made from an itch-free acrylic, cotton, fleece, or wool material that is stretchy so the hat can fit everyone’s head. Beanies are frequently constructed from ribbed knit with a cuffed design. They may come with a fleece inner lining for extra warmth or a satin inner lining for more comfort. A beanie hat can also incorporate a logo, embroidery, patch, or pompom for added style.

As beanies become increasingly perceived as fashionwear instead of simply a necessity, winter beanies manufactured in a wide range of colors will become more common. The wool material segment of the winter hats industry gained a market share of around 55% in 2021 partly because of how easily wool can be dyed in various colors.

Fisherman beanies

Man wearing black short beanie with logo
Man in dark green knitted fisherman hat

Fisherman beanies are short beanies with shallow crowns that leave the ears exposed. These types of beanies originally allowed fishermen to keep their heads warm while still allowing them to hear and communicate with their workmates. 

A fisherman beanie is typically designed as a close-fitting ribbed knit cuffed toque in a single color. The beanie is generally given a hand knit quality with rougher raw materials like wool. Wool is a suitable material for this type of hat because it is an easily accessible natural fabric that is durable, breathable, warm, and absorbent.

These short cuffed beanies can also be made from polyester yarn that is itch-free and comfortable against the skin, particularly for men with shorter hairstyles. The smaller shape and size of fisherman beanies give them the added benefit of being lightweight and easier to carry in a pocket.

Balaclava ski masks

Man in orange one hole balaclava mask
Man wearing gray knit ski mask

Balaclava ski masks combine the functionality of a hat, earmuffs, and scarf. They are a close-fitting accessory that covers the whole head and neck while leaving parts of the face exposed. Balaclava masks are commonly used as a face covering by skiers and snowboarders to protect their face from the winter cold. 

A combination of the eyes and mouth can be exposed through designs with one hole, two holes, or three holes. Balaclavas can be made from a variety of warm materials, including wool, fleece, and sherpa. They may also come with a warm and soft insulated inner lining to protect the face from itchy material. 

Some balaclava hoods can even be rolled up to be worn as a beanie when moving from outdoor to indoor spaces or to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. Balaclava hoods can include built-in adjustable drawstrings with toggles around the chin to ensure the right fit. For ease of use, a balaclava may also come with a Velcro closure around the neck.

Bucket hats

Woman wearing white fluffy bucket hat
Woman in green winter bucket hat

For customers interested in a unique hat to add to their winter wardrobe, bucket hats may be an appealing trend. A bucket hat, also known as a fisherman’s hat, is a hat with a narrow or wide downward-sloping brim. 

The sloped brim of a bucket hat was originally designed to protect fishermen and farmers from rain. Nowadays, winter bucket hats can be worn to shield the eyes from falling snow. Although cotton, denim, or canvas bucket hats are commonly used for warmer seasons, cold weather versions of the hat can be made from thicker materials such as wool, felt, corduroy, bouclé, faux fur, or crochet knit with waterproof qualities.

Winter bucket hats can be made in many different colors and patterns with logos, patches, embroidery, and appliques added to the hat for extra style. Some bucket hats can even be designed as a reversible hat with different colors or patterns on each side.

Opportunities in winter hats


Hats come in a few winter styles that are suitable for cold weather. The knit beanie is a staple when it comes to winter hats, as well as the balaclava ski mask, which is designed to protect the entire head and neck. For trendier options, fisherman beanies and bucket hats are becoming popular for their unique style.

Prominent brands within the industry are focusing on offering a variety of cozy winter hats in different colors, designs, styles, and sizes. Businesses selling warm hats have an opportunity to explore multiple hat shapes for the winter and are advised to provide distinctive products that can set them apart from the crowd.

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