Boxer briefs vs. trunks: What’s the difference?

Paulina Kulczycki

At first glance, some may not even perceive a difference between boxer briefs and trunks. Both fall within the range of men’s underwear that lies somewhere between loose boxer shorts and slips. Both have a tighter fit that hugs the leg and both provide ultimate freedom of movement and flexibility. And yet there are key differences in functionality and comfort. At SANVT, we explain the features of boxer briefs vs. trunks.

No need to be a genius to figure out the most significant difference between boxer briefs and trunks: boxer briefs are longer while trunks are shorter. It’s really quite simple. Both styles are among the most popular underwear for men. So you can’t go far wrong with either minimalist trunks or boxer briefs. But beyond length and aesthetics, there are some other subtler differences that are crucial to comfort and practicality. When choosing your underwear, it’s not only the aesthetics that matter but also your body type and, most importantly, how active you are in your daily life and how much freedom of movement you require. So here’s our recommendation for boxer briefs vs. trunks:


Let’s start with our less favourite underwear model: trunks. Trunks are a comfortable choice if you don’t have to move around too much at work. With their square cut and shorter leg length, they are sometimes referred to as “low rise trunks”. What makes trunks practical is that they offer good support and can be worn under any trouser style – whether it’s suit trousers or skinny jeans. However, if you move around a lot at work or in your private life, trunks are rather sub-optimal. The short legs of the trunks slide up easily when you move and may cause discomfort. So if you want to avoid having to pull your underwear down and up all the time, we don’t recommend trunks.

However, if you do choose trunks because you have a job that involves a lot of sitting and you find the support and design of trunks just right, we recommend that you choose trunks made from a natural, breathable and flexible material. Organic cotton, bamboo or modal, for example, ensure that moisture is wicked away from the skin. This keeps your trunks hygienic and comfortable throughout the day. By the way, we recommend trunks more for a slim build and shorter legs, as the square cut and short length of the underwear model is particularly flattering for this physique.

Our perfect Boxer Briefs provide a perfect fit thanks to the computer-optimized sizes from SANVT.

Boxer briefs

If you are more active and spend most of the day on your feet, boxer briefs are more suitable because of their greater coverage and longer legs. Boxers combine the comfort of slips/trunks with the length and coverage of traditional loose boxer shorts. The longer leg means that boxer briefs sit about halfway up the thigh, which reduces contact, chafing and riding up between the legs. For this very reason, boxer briefs are a popular choice for men with longer legs, wider thighs or simply with a more active lifestyle.

Just like trunks, material is essential for boxer briefs. Although we have learned that synthetic fabrics are great for sportswear, they are not particularly good for underwear. They are neither moisture-absorbent nor really hygienic. Not to mention that they are anything but sustainable. Here, too, we recommend natural organic materials or mixed fabrics made of lyocell and cotton. This will not only keep your boxer briefs fresh and dry all day long, but also give you maximum freedom of movement and comfort without harming the environment.

Read more about the best material for boxer shorts here.

The boxer briefs by SANVT

At SANVT, we make sustainable and fair essentials. And what could be more essential than underwear? That’s why we designed the Perfect Boxer Briefs from a mix of TENCEL™ modal fibres and premium cotton. The innovative material – made from naturally grown beech wood from Austria – is obtained through an environmentally friendly pulp-fibre process. Our boxer shorts are completely biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly. Not only that, the fibres of the fabric absorb moisture more efficiently than conventional materials and support the body’s own heat regulation while increasing breathability. Furthermore, unique properties of the fabric guarantee shape retention and wrinkle resistance. The fitted boxer briefs with the flexible waistband are available in the computer-optimised sizes XS-XXL.

The Perfect Boxer Briefs by SANVT are produced climate neutrally, fairly and sustainably in Portuguese family-owned factories and guarantee a high-quality essential for every physique and lifestyle.

The perfect Boxer Briefs by SANVT: made from a fine blend of TENCEL™ Modal fibers and premium cotton.

Boxer briefs vs. trunks: conclusion

The decision between boxer briefs vs. trunks depends, as you can see, on multiple factors such as personal style, body type, lifestyle and taste. But if you ask us, boxer briefs are definitely more practical, functional and stylish. Especially in elegant colours like black or white and in minimalist designs, boxer briefs are a timeless classic.

To find out how boxer shorts should ideally fit, click here.