The best fabric for boxer shorts

Paulina Kulczycki

Men and underwear… am I right?! While women regularly stock up on lingerie and new underwear, we men tend to attach less importance to what lies hidden behind our closed zippers. And whether our knickers have two or three holes, is of no great concern to us either. But if we want to upgrade our underwear collection and get more stylish boxers that are sustainable, comfortable and long-lasting, the question is, besides choosing the right model of course: what is the best fabric for boxer shorts? At SANVT, we’re dropping the covers and unravelling.

They say “you are what you wear”. And while clothes communicate who we are to the outside world, our underwear speaks more than a thousand words. They come in countless shapes, colours and materials. Varying colours and shapes is a matter of personal taste. When it comes to underwear comfort though, there should be a consensus over what’s cosy. Yet finding the best material for boxer shorts is not as easy as it seems. After all, our underwear should ideally feel light, breathable and comfortable without losing support and elasticity. For conscious consumers, it is also important that the material is durable and sustainable, so that the boxer shorts will serve for a long time without becoming holey and without harming the environment. At SANVT, we have researched the best fabrics for boxer shorts, from natural fibres to recycled synthetic fibres.

Here is a quick overview of the best fabrics for boxer shorts:

  • Organic cotton: The classic for sustainable underwear, although better suited as a blended fabric.
  • Recycled polyamide or polyester: Breathable and robust synthetic fibres, but not environmentally friendly
  • Lyocell and Modal: Sustainable, lightweight and functional, especially in combination with organic cotton.

Organic cotton

Organic cotton is probably the most common material you come across among sustainable boxer shorts. And while you might think that organic cotton meets all the criteria to be ideal for boxer shorts, the natural fibre’s ability to soak up moisture and form odours makes it rather suboptimal. Especially in summer at high temperatures or when doing sports, boxer shorts made from 100% cotton quickly become wet and sticky, which of course makes them very uncomfortable to wear. However, if organic cotton is used as a blended fabric with elastane and lyocell or recycled synthetic fibres, the material is very suitable for boxer shorts and underwear. It’s the right blend that matters!

Polyamide and polyester

Breathable and moisture-absorbing synthetic fibres are far less sustainable, but their practicality makes them very suitable for boxer shorts. Polyamide, for example – also better known as nylon – is extremely stretchy and resilient. Since nylon does not absorb water and is thus particularly breathable, the fabric is used especially often for sportswear and, thanks to its robust durability, even for parachutes or hot air balloons. This could make holey knickers a thing of the past! To name another synthetic fibre, polyester is a popular material for boxer shorts, especially in combination with cotton. It has also similar properties to polyamide: it is breathable, tear-resistant and adjusts well to the body.

However, polyamide and polyester are extremely harmful to the environment: polyamide is produced in a chemical process from carbon, water and air, while polyester is petroleum-based. So if you do choose boxer shorts made from these synthetic fibres, it’s important to at least look for recycled polyamide and polyester, and to use laundry bags when washing your boxers to avoid washing microplastics that will end up in our oceans. However, as we are generally against plastic fibres, whether recycled or not, it is not the best fabric for boxer shorts in our opinion.

Lyocell and Modal

Let’s now move on to one of our absolute favourite fabrics among all sustainable materials, namely TENCEL™ Modal, or Lyocell. Lyocell is a man-made but plant-based cellulose fibre made from natural, renewable raw materials. The lightweight cellulose fabric is made from wood (mostly beech wood or eucalyptus wood) from sustainable forestry and is 100% biodegradable. What makes Lyocell such an ideal material for boxer shorts is its antibacterial properties, its breathability and the fact that it is 50% more absorbent than cotton. In combination with organic cotton, the positive properties of both natural fibres complement each other and create a blended fabric that we personally find to be a great candidate for the best material for boxer shorts. Both in wearing comfort and in quality, sustainability and durability!

Find out more about TENCEL™ Lyocell here.

The perfect Boxer Briefs by SANVT – consisting of a mix of lyocell and premium cotton

The best fabric for boxer shorts by SANVT

And because we’re so fond of this blended fabric, we at SANVT have created the perfect boxer shorts from a mix of TENCEL™ modal fibres, premium cotton and elastane. The innovative material – made from naturally grown beech wood from Austria – is obtained through an environmentally friendly pulp-fibre process. Thanks to their moisture-absorbing properties, our boxer shorts support the body’s own heat regulation while increasing the breathability at the same time. The unique physical properties of this fabric also guarantee the highest skin tolerance, incredible softness and extra durability! Handmade in Portugal with closed water loops and neutralised CO2 emissions, our boxers are also sustainable, fair, carbon neutral and long lasting. It’s the full package (pun intended).