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Best Yarn for Socks – A Complete Guide for Yarn Selection (2022)

Choosing the right sock yarn isn’t always an easy task and for this reason, I have written a little guide for making your task easier.

Let me know your favorite sock yarns in the comment section below!

1. Fiber content

Yarns that are specifically labeled “sock” yarn aren’t always a good choice since sometimes the word sock on the label refers to the thickness of the yarn. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check the fiber content of the yarn.

A good example of this kind of yarn is the Malabrico Sock. It’s 100% merino wool yarn and so soft that you end up having holes in your socks pretty fast. That’s why it’s better suited for shawls for instance.

1.1 Wool with Reinforcement is the Best Material for Socks

I prefer making my socks with wool and nylon blend yarn because wool absorbs moisture away from the skin and is insulating but also breathes which makes it a perfect material to keep your feet warm during the winter and dry during the summer. Wool is also elastic so your socks will adapt well to the shape of your foot and after stretching it will always go back to its original shape.

Wool alone, however, wears out quite quickly so it needs to have some reinforcement if you are going to wear your socks in shoes for instance. Most commonly the reinforcement is nylon (also known as polyamide) but if you prefer non-plastic sock yarns there are ones that are reinforced with Tencel, mohair or silk.

If you have sensitive skin you can use soft wool such as merino but I recommend something a bit more rustic because merino pills and is not as durable as the “woolly” wools. In the end, this is a matter of taste: if you prefer softness over durability then by all means use merino wool.

I use thin wool socks in the summer as well but if you find pure wool socks too warm for summer I recommend that you try fingering weight wool and bamboo blend yarn. Read more about good yarn options for summer socks here.

1.2 Good Plant Based Alternatives for Wool

If you for some reason cannot or don’t want to use wool there are also many good plant-based options such as cotton and bamboo blend yarns. With plant-based fibers you just need to remember that they are not as elastic as wool and you might have to buy an elastic thread.

At the end of this post I have listed plant based sock yarns that do not require an elastic thread.

1.3 Avoid Acrylic

My personal opinion is that acrylic yarn is not a good choice for knitted socks because it holds the moisture next to your skin and does not breathe. What happens is that your feet get easily sweaty and because the moisture stays next to your skin your socks start to feel uncomfortably wet.

2. Thickness and construction of the yarn

  • If you want to wear your socks in shoes pick fingering weight yarn (also known as sock weight yarn or 4ply yarn).
  • If your shoes are loose fitting you can pick a little bit thicker sport or light DK weight yarn.
  • For boot socks select DK or worsted weight yarn.
  • For home or sleep socks you can use also chunky yarn such as the Novita Isoveli. They knit up super quickly.

Typically a sock yarn is made of multiple plies that are twisted around each other. The tighter the twist and the more there are plies the stronger the yarn is. There are even some sock yarns that have no reinforcement at all because they are so tightly spun. A good rule of thumb here is that a single-ply yarn is not going to be the best yarn for knitting socks.

3. Aftercare

The last thing to consider before buying a skein of sock yarn is aftercare. Check the label to see if you are required to hand wash your socks or can you machine wash them. If a wool yarn is machine washable it’s often treated with the superwash method that prevents it from felting.

Non-superwash wools need to be hand-washed but the good news is that wool is naturally dirt-resistant so it does not require washing as often as other fibers.

Best Fingering Weight Sock Yarns

In my opinion, for a basic pair of knitted socks, the best yarn is a superwash wool and nylon blend yarn with a tight twist. Below I have listed a few yarns that meet the criteria.

KnitPicks Stroll

A super-soft, affordable, washable treat for your feet. The rich solid colors of this high-grade Merino wool and nylon blend show off texture, lace, and cables without distraction.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 75% Fine Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
  • Care: Machine wash
© KnitPicks

Regia 4Ply

Four single plies are twisted together to create the ideal weight and durability for hand-knit socks. 

Regia is not as soft as Stroll but as I already mentioned before rougher wools are more durable than softer wools.

You can select your favorite between solid and many self-striping colors.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Wool 25% Polyamide
  • Care: Machine wash
© LoveCrafts

Hobbii Atlas Happy Feet

Atlas is spun with quality wool with long fibres, which makes it much more durable.

The yarn is OEKO-TEX® certified which means that no harmful chemicals or substances are used in the manufacturing process.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Wool 25% Polyamide
  • Care: Machine wash
© Hobbii

Best DK Weight Sock Yarns

DK weight yarn is a little bit thicker than fingering weight yarn but still thin enough to be worn in shoes. DK weight socks knit up faster and are a bit more durable because the yarn is thicker.

Novita Nalle

Nalle is rustic and durable sock yarn that has a beautiful stitch definition. It’s a little bit thicker than the previously mentioned yarns and thus it knits up faster. However, the sock is still thin enough to be worn in shoes.

Nice yarn for cables and colorwork and I have used it for mittens and hats as well. There are both solid colors and self-patterning options.

For standard adult socks you need 1-2 skeins.

  • Weight: Light DK
  • Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Wool 25% Polyamide
  • Care: Machine wash
© NovitaKnits

Rainbow Sock Wool 8-ply

Nice and thick sock yarn in the colors of the rainbow. The thick yarn is perfect for warm and durable socks.

The yarn is OEKO-TEX® certified which means that no harmful chemicals or substances are used in the manufacturing process.

  • Weight: DK
  • Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Wool 25% Polyamide
  • Care: Machine wash
© Hobbii

Best Worsted Weight Sock Yarns

Worsted weight yarns are a perfect choice for boot or house socks.

Novita 7 Veljestä

One could say that Novita 7 Veljestä is some kind of national sock yarn of Finland and here you can find it in almost every grocery store. This is the yarn that my grandmothers exclusively used to knit the socks for the family.

The yarn is Aran weight so it knits up super fast and it’s perfect for boot or house socks.

  • Weight: Aran
  • Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Wool 25% Polyamide
  • Care: Machine wash
© NovitaKnits

Navia Sock Yarn

Navia collects its Faroese wool from the country’s local farmers.

Navia Sock Yarn is spun from 3 strands, and if you intend to make a couple of cozy socks in this yarn, you’ll need two skeins.

  • Weight: Worsted
  • Fiber Content: 70% Superwash Wool 30% Polyamide
  • Care: Hand wash
© Hobbii

Best Luxury Sock Yarns

If you are looking for a special yarn for your next project consider one of the options below.

Hobbii Unicorn

The gorgeous shades make this yarn luxurious. Each hank of Hobbii Unicorn is unique because the yarn is hand-dyed.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
  • Care: Hand wash
Hobbii Unicorn Hand dyed sock yarn
© Hobbii

Regia 4 Ply Merino Yak

Merino Yak has a very special mélange effect, created by the natural brown color of undyed yak fibers. Yak wool has particularly fine fibers for enjoyable, soft wearing comfort and it is also very warm but also lightweight.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 58% Wool, 28% Polyamide, 14% Yak
  • Care: Machine wash
© LoveCrafts

KnitPicks Capretta Superwash

This cushiony soft yarn is sure to be love at first stitch; blending Merino and cashmere together with a touch of nylon for strength.

Great choice for luxorious sleep socks.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 80% Fine Superwash Merino Wool, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon
  • Care: Machine wash
© KnitPicks

Cascade Heritage Silk

Super-soft yet robust enough for socks. Heritage Silk has a lovely drape and subtle sheen.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 85% Merino Wool, 15% Silk
  • Care: Machine wash
Cascade Heritage Silk
© LoveCrafts

Best Non-Wool Sock Yarns

If you for some reason cannot or don’t want to use wool checkout my recommendations below.

Regia Cotton Tutti Frutti

Delicious fruity colors! This multi-colored sock yarn is bursting with its own kind of flavor.

The yarn is bouncy and pleasant to knit.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 72% Cotton, 18% Polyamide, 10% Polyester
  • Care: Machine wash
© LoveCrafts

HiKoo CoBaSi

This clever yarn has been specially created for socks though you can use it for lots of projects. The coolness of the cotton and bamboo fibers blends perfectly with the softness of the silk.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 55% Cotton, 21% Nylon, 16% Bamboo, 8% Silk
  • Care: Machine wash
© LoveCrafts

Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop Sock

Stretchy, vibrant, and colorful, self-patterning Bamboo Pop Sock is great for cheerful socks.

Comes in a vibrant range of color schemes.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 55% Bamboo, 37% Cotton, 8% PBT
  • Care: Machine wash
© LoveCrafts

Knitting Patterns You Might Like

More free knitting patterns you can find here.

2 thoughts on “Best Yarn for Socks – A Complete Guide for Yarn Selection (2022)”

  1. Your blog is very informative and the information is laid out very well.

    The blue yarn that is shown in the sock on this website is beautiful. Can you please tell me what yarn it is along with the name of the colorway.

    1. Hi Ellen! Thanks for your comment. This picture is one of the very few on my page that I haven’t taken my self so unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to your question.

      -Ida

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