Best Yarn For Socks You’ll Love to Knit, Gift & Wear

IN THIS GUIDE

If you’re a knitter, sometimes you just want a small, satisfying project that you can complete quickly.  Knitting a pair of socks is the perfect answer to a portable, quick to finish project.

If sock knitting is on your list, you’ll want to find the best yarn for socks to make the snuggliest, most comfortable, and cutest socks you can.

Handknit socks are an amazing gift you can create to show your family and friends that you love them.  

If you’ve never knit socks before, how do you know how to choose the best sock yarn?  It’s not hard when you have all the details laid out for you in this article, so you’ll know what’s the best type of yarn, what weight works best, and more.

Now let’s have a look…

Our Top 10 Choices for the Best Sock Yarn for Snuggly, Soft Socks

We took a look at tons of different sock yarn to sort out the best ones for your sock making projects. Our top three picks are below. Make sure to read about how to choose the best yarn for socks so you’ll end up with the perfect yarn for your projects.

This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.

#1 Knit Picks Merino Sock Yarn

Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Merino Sock Yarn (Koi Pond)
  • Fingering Weight; 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon; 462 yards/100 gram hank
  • This Merino sock yarn is a super-soft, washable treat for your feet, hand painted with bold variegation and multicolor pattern; dyed by hand, exact colors may vary from skein to skein
  • Specially made for super soft socks, Stroll also makes for soft and colorful hats, mittens, and shawls, and is even gentle and hardy enough for children’s garments
  • Koi Pond is a gorgeous combination of complementary oranges and blues, with a soft teal, aqua, a bright sky blue, a rich, dark blue-green and a vibrant red-orange and golden orange
  • GAUGE: Knit, 7 – 8 sts = 1″ on US 1 – 3 needles (2.25 mm – 3.25 mm); Crochet, 21 – 32 sc = 4” on B – E hooks (2.25 mm – 3.5 mm). CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Machine Wash Gentle/Tumble Dry Low; for best results, turn garments inside out before washing

All the Details

  • Brand: Knit Picks
  • Type: Hand-painted merino sock yarn
  • Material: 75% superwash merino wool/25% nylon
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash gentle/tumble dry low
  • Weight: #1, 4 ply
  • Yardage: 462 yds/100 g hank
  • Knitting Gauge: 7-8 st = 1″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 1 – 3 (2.25 mm- 3.25 mm)

What We Like

  • Gorgeous hand-painted colors make for unique socks
  • Easy to work with
  • Makes soft socks

What We Don’t Like

  • Colors can bleed slightly with first wash

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for gorgeous yarn for super soft socks this is a great choice for the best yarn for socks. Launder carefully for the first wash, but this yarn would make a lovely pair of socks to give as a gift for someone you love, or to keep for yourself.

#2 Valley Yarns Huntington Sock Yarn

Valley Yarns Huntington, Fingering/Sock Weight Yarn, 75% Superwash Merino Wool/25% Nylon – 24 Mustard
  • FIBER CONTENT: 75% Superwash Merino Wool/25% Nylon
  • YARN STYLE: Fingering, Sock
  • GAUGE: 7-8 sts = 1″ on US 2-3
  • WEIGHT/YARDAGE: 50g/218yds
  • CARE: Machine Wash Regular

All the Details

  • Brand: Valley Yarns
  • Type: Huntington
  • Material: 75% superwash merino wool/25% nylon
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash regular cycle
  • Weight: #1 Fingering/Sock weight, 3-ply
  • Yardage: 218 yds/50 g hank
  • Knitting Gauge: 7-8 sts = 1″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 2-3

What We Like

  • Great quality yarn
  • Solid colors are great for sock patterns with more intricate designs

What We Don’t Like

  • You’ll need two skeins to complete a pair of socks so make sure your dye lots match

Our Verdict

Peruvian yarn is great for sock knitting, but you can also make hats and other knitted items. It comes in lots of great solid colors and can be machine washed. This yarn is a great choice for sock knitting.

#3 Premier Yarns Wool-Free Sock Yarn

Premier Yarns Cottage Garden Wool-Free Sock Yarn
  • PREMIER YARNS: Wool-Free Sock Yarn. No scratchy wool? No problem
  • Wool-free sock is a self-patterning acrylic-based sock yarn plied with a strand of strengthening put which helps make your socks last
  • With deep saturated color and a fun-to-knit striping pattern this soft-to-the-touch yarn will add spring to the step in your socks
  • Weight category: 2
  • Content: 93Percent acrylic 7Percent put

All the Details

  • Brand: Premier
  • Type: Wool-free Sock Yarn
  • Material: 93% Acrylic/7% PBT
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash/tumble dry
  • Weight: #2
  • Yardage: 235 yd/50g
  • Knitting Gauge: 32st and 42 r = 4′”
  • Suggested Needle Size: US-2 (2.75mm)

What We Like

  • Self-striping yarn makes for really cute socks
  • Wool-free if you’re knitting for someone who is irritated by wool

What We Don’t Like

  • You’ll need two skeins to complete a pair of socks so make sure your dye lots match

Our Verdict

For a wool-free yarn, this is soft and washes up well. It’s a great choice for anyone who can’t have wool close to their skin. It comes in a range of pretty self-striping colors.

#4 Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dyed Yarn

Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye Sock Yarn (Goddess)
  • FINGERING WEIGHT: One single hank of Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dyed Yarn in fingering weight; 80% Fine Superwash Highland Wool and 20% Polyamide, 100 grams for 357 yards total
  • MULTICOLOR: A beautiful sock yarn filled with subtle variations in tone that add depth to each colorway
  • ALL PURPOSE YARN: With a high twist for durability, this yarn is wonderfully sturdy with a bounce and resiliency perfect for socks, shawls, sweaters and more
  • GAUGE SIZE: For knitting, 7-8 sts = 1″ on US 1-3 needles (2.25-3.25mm); For crochet, 21-32 sc = 4″ on B-E hooks (2.25-3.5mm)
  • CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Machine wash gentle and tumble dry low; for best results turn garments inside out before washing

All the Details

  • Brand: Knit Picks
  • Type: Hawthorne Kettle Dyed Sock Yarn
  • Material: 80% fine superwash highland wool/20% polyamide
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash gentle/tumble dry low/turn inside out
  • Weight: #1 Fingering, 4-ply
  • Yardage: 357 yd/100 g hank
  • Knitting Gauge: 7-8 sts = 1″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 1-3 needles (2.25-3.25mm)

What We Like

  • Vibrant colors
  • Kettle dyed yarn has gorgeous subtle tone and depth variations

What We Don’t Like

  • Darker colors can bleed the first time they’re washed, so be careful

Our Verdict

Knit picks makes great quality yarn at a good price. The colors available are beautiful, and the kettle dyed process gives a lot of interesting depth to the finished projects. This yarn is a great choice if your’re looking for the best sock yarn for your next project.

#5 Patons Kroy Sock Yarn

Patons Kroy Socks Yarn, Summer Moss Jacquard
  • Ideal for socks
  • 75-percent washable wool, 25-percent nylon
  • Wool and nylon combination allows for washability and durability
  • Needle size 3 or hook size D-3
  • Machine wash, tumble dry

All the Details

  • Brand: Patons
  • Type: Kroy
  • Material: 75% washable wool/25% nylon
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash/tumble dry
  • Weight: #1
  • Yardage: 166yd/60 g ball
  • Knitting Gauge: Knit: 28sts and 36r = 4″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 3 (3.25mm)

What We Like

  • Comes in lots of solids, stripes and jacquard patterns for fun socks
  • Finished socks hold up well to multiple washings

What We Don’t Like

  • Feels a little scratchy
  • You’ll need two balls to knit a pair of socks so make sure your dye lots match

Our Verdict

This may not be the softest yarn, but it comes in so many colors and patterns that it made our list of the best yarn for socks. Washes well time after time so if you know your socks will be getting a lot of use, this may be the best choice for you.

#6 Drops Delight Superwash Sock Wool

Superwash Sock Wool Blend Gradient Yarn Drops Delight, Superfine, Fingering Weight, 4 ply, 1.8 oz 191 Yards per Ball (11 Lilac/Green)
  • Content: 75% Wool, 25% Polyamide
  • Yarn Weight: 2 or Fine / Fingering / 4 ply (recommended needle size: US 4 / 3,5 mm)
  • Weight/Yardage: 1.8 oz = approx 191 yards (50 g = approx 175 m)
  • NOTE Please be aware that the colors shown may vary from screen to screen.
  • DROPS Delight is a single stranded yarn, made with superwash treated wool and strengthened with polyamide. An exciting and machine washable yarn that you can use for much more than just socks! Try it on larger projects like cardigans, jumpers, scarves and accessories.

All the Details

  • Brand: Drops
  • Type: Delight
  • Material: 75% Wool, 25% Polyamide
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash gentle/dry flat
  • Weight: #2, 4 ply
  • Yardage: 191 yds/50 g
  • Knitting Gauge: 23 st and 30 r = 4″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 4 (3.5 mm)

What We Like

  • Handspun texture has some thickness variations
  • Easy to work with
  • Great color selection

What We Don’t Like

  • Finished socks should be dried flat after washing
  • You’ll need two balls to knit a pair of socks so make sure your dye lots match

Our Verdict

This yarn is easy to work with and comes in lots of great colorways. You’ll need two balls for a pair of socks, but this yarn is very well priced, so it cancels out that drawback. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best yarn for socks.

#7 Opal Sock Yarn

Opal Sock Yarn Solid Colors (1990 – Green)
  • Opal 4-ply Sock Yarn – Fingering Weight
  • 100 grams, 425 meters
  • 75% superwash virgin wool, 25% polyamid
  • Made in Germany

All the Details

  • Brand: Opal
  • Type: Solid
  • Material: 75% superwash virgin wool, 25% polyamide
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash gentle/tumble dry
  • Weight: #1 Fingering, 4-ply
  • Yardage: 425 meters/100 g
  • Knitting Gauge: 8 sts = 1″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 1-2 (2.25 – 2.75mm)

What We Like

  • Comes in 21 solid colors for a wide range of tastes
  • Holds up well to washing and wearing

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s not as widely available as some other sock yarns

Our Verdict

This yarn is easy to work with and the colors are rich. If you can find a colorway you like, it’s a great choice for the best sock yarn for a project with intricate designs you want to show off.

#8 Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn

Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn – SAPPHIRE
  • Not only perfect for socks, but awesome for shawls and light weight garments. Even wonderful for baby!
  • Size: [1] Fingering. Fiber: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
  • Wt/Yds: 100 gr. (3.5oz). Approx. 437 yards. Skein put-up: hanks
  • Knitting Needle Size: US 1.5-3 (2.0-3.25mm). Knitting Gauge: Knitting Gauge: 28 – 32 sts = 4″ (10 cm). Crochet Hook Size: C – E (2.75 – 3.50 mm). Crochet Gauge: 22 – 25 scs = 4″ (10 cm)
  • Care: Machine Wash Cold. Tumble Dry Cool. Or Dry Flat.

All the Details

  • Brand: Cascade Yarns
  • Type: Heritage
  • Material: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
  • Care Instructions: Machine Wash Cold/Tumble Dry Cool Or Dry Flat
  • Weight: #1, 4-ply
  • Yardage: 437 yds/100 g
  • Knitting Gauge: 28 – 32 sts = 4″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 1.5-3 (2.0-3.25mm)

What We Like

  • Easy to knit with
  • Comes in some super vibrant color choices

What We Don’t Like

  • Must be dried flat instead of tumble dried

Our Verdict

This yarn comes in a huge selection of great colors. It knits up easily and is easy to handle. The 100 g hanks are enough for a pair of socks so you won’t have to buy more than one.

#9 Malabrigo Sock Yarn Self-Striping

Malabrigo Sock Yarn (850 – Archangel)
  • Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool; Net Weight: 100 g / 3.5
  • Yarn Weight: 1 – Super Fine/Sock; Length: 402 m / 440 yards
  • Needle Size: 1-3 US / 2.25-3.25 mm ; Gauge: 32 sts = 10 cm / 4″
  • Texture: Plied; Care: Machine washable
  • Disclaimer: we do not accept discrepancies in yarn hue as a subject for claims. Almost everybody sees and describes colors differently. The colors are named by the manufacturer, not by us. Our pictures are as accurate as possible. Please keep in mind: yarn color swatches are rendered differently based on your monitor. The best way to be sure you are finding the desired color is to visit your local yarn store.

All the Details

  • Brand: Malabrigo
  • Type: Sock Yarn
  • Material: 100% Superwash Merino
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash, dry flat
  • Weight: #1, plied
  • Yardage: 440 yds/100 g
  • Knitting Gauge: 8 st = 1″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 1-3 needles (2.25-3.25mm)

What We Like

  • Comes in lots of vibrant colorways
  • Can be used for other knit projects like scarves and shawls

What We Don’t Like

  • Every skein is different so it can be harder to match for larger projects
  • Finished projects be dried flat

Our Verdict

Malabrigo makes quality yarn and this sock yarn is no exception. The beautiful vibrant colors would make gorgeous socks to keep for yourself or give as a gift.

#10 Lion Brand Sock-Ease Yarn

Lion Brand Yarn 240-178G Sock-Ease Yarn, Snow Cone
  • A traditional fingering-weight sock yarn designed to produce flowing color patterns in a sophisticated palette
  • 75-Percent Wool, 25-Percent Nylon
  • Great for socks, scarves and other accessories, Sock-Ease is finished with aloe vera to soften your hands as you knit or crochet
  • Machine wash; Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F
  • 1 Super Fine: Sock, Fingering, Baby Yarn; 3-1/20-Ounce (100 g), 438 yd (400 m); Each skein measures approximately 7 by 3 by 3-Inch

All the Details

  • Brand: Lion
  • Type: Sock-Ease
  • Material: 75% Wool/24% Nylon
  • Care Instructions: Machine Wash/tumble dry
  • Weight: #1
  • Yardage: 438 yds/100g
  • Knitting Gauge: 30 sts and 40 = 4″
  • Suggested Needle Size: US 2 2.75mm)

What We Like

  • The yarn is finished with aloe vera so your hands don’t dry out as you knit.
  • This yarn knits up nicely and is softer than expected at this price

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be a bit scratchy if you have sensitive skin

Our Verdict

Lion Brand makes good quality, reasonably priced yarns and this choice for best yarn for socks is no exception. It’s a great budget yarn to start with as you hone your knitting skills if you’re not ready to invest in more expensive yarn.

If you're looking for the best yarn for socks, you'll need to think about who you're knitting for and how the socks will be used. The best sock yarn can be bulky, worsted, DK or even sock yarn weight.

What is Sock Yarn?

Sock yarn is any kind of yarn that you can use to knit up a pair of socks. (No kidding, right?)

The term “sock yarn” is a term that refers to both a kind of yarn and a category of yarn.  

As far as gauge, yarns labeled “sock yarn” fall into the #1 super fine weight category and are made to be knit on smaller US size 1-3 (2.25 – 3.25 mm) needles.

Most sock yarn is made to be washable which makes sense because who wouldn’t want to wash something that spends hours on feet.

Superwash yarn is wool yarn that is made to be machine washable, and therefore, won’t felt when wet.  Felting happens when the fibers in a strand of yarn bind together, and that’s just a bummer.

For long-wearing durability, the best yarn for socks is usually wool with a synthetic blended together.

Different Types of Yarn For Socks

The best sock yarn for your project may not actually be “sock yarn”.  The best yarn for socks is actually the weight that you’ll need for a particular sock pattern.  

Great socks can be knit from all of the following weights of yarn:

  • Sock Yarn
  • Worsted
  • DK
  • Bulky

If you want to make a cozy pair of thick socks to wear to bed on a cold night, you might want to knit up a pair in a bulky weight yarn.  

One year for Christmas, I knit up a pair of Very Pink Knits Bulky Sleep Socks.  They were definitely a hit made in a superwash bulky weight yarn.

Very Pink Knits has a handy table of sock patterns sorted by skill level, yarn weight and needle size.

Important Features To Look For in Sock Yarn

Before deciding on the best sock yarn for your project, take a look at these important features.

Weight

There are great sock patterns in a variety of yarn weights.  Before you choose the best yarn for socks, decide if you’ll be using bulky, DK, sock yarn or worsted weight yarn.

Bulky weight yarns are great for bed socks, and slouchy socks to wear around the house to keep your feet off the cold floor in the winter.

Sock yarns make a thinner sock that fits well in shoes.

DK and Worsted weight yarns can make great socks for hiking, etc. 

Washability

Washing socks is a given.  Decide if you’re willing to hand wash your socks. Will you want to be able to throw your socks in the washer and dryer?  If so, make sure you choose superwash yarn. If you’re making socks as a gift, make sure to include care instructions.

Yarn Fiber

Choosing the right fiber can make a big difference in how your socks turn out.  Socks with a blend of wool and synthetic fiber are usually more durable, machine washable and spring back better than cotton or silk yarn.

Yarns that are 100% synthetic can make your feet sweat, so wool blends usually make the best socks. 

If you don’t want to use a wool blend, try a cotton/nylon blend for the best results.  

Sock Recipient

Socks for babies require a soft, non-irritating yarn.  The best yarn for baby blankets can also be used to knit baby socks and booties.  

If you’re making socks for yourself, choose the yarn you love.  If you’re knitting for a friend or family member, you may want to ask them about skin sensitivities, their favorite colors etc.  

Design

For intricate sock patterns, solid color yarn will show off your design better.

For simple socks, self-striping yarn makes fun, colorful socks.  You can find self-striping yarn in many color ranges to suit almost anyone on your sock making list.  

Skill Level

If you’re a beginner sock knitter, you may want to start with a larger yarn like worsted weight, on larger needles and then move on to sock yarn on smaller needles once you feel confident.

How much Yarn Do I Need For Socks?

For a pair of adult size socks, if you’re knitting with sock yarn (fingering weight), you’ll generally need 2 balls of 50 g, or one 100 g ball.  

If you’re knitting from a pattern, it should specify the weight and amount of yarn needed for the finished pair.  

Jimmy Beans Wool has a handy online wool calculator.  You just input your project type, size, and gauge and it will estimate how much yarn you’ll need to buy.

What Kind of Needles Do I Need To Knit Socks?

Once you’ve chosen your pattern and the best yarn for socks, you’ll need needles.

Socks can be knit in several ways, on several types of needles.

DPNs (double pointed needles) 

6” is a good length for most sock projects.  DPNS are sold in sets of five.

Magic Loop

For knitting in the round without DPNs, you’ll need a long circular needle. 

Two Socks at a Time

Using this method, you’ll ensure that both socks have the same number of rows and you won’t have to worry about running out of yarn on your second sock.  This is a bit more complicated, and you can find instructions for both two socks on one long circular or two socks on two long circulars.

Flexible Double Points

These are pretty new in the knitting world.  They are made specifically for socks and other small circumference projects.   I really like them and they seem easier for me to use than standard DPNs, and less confusing the magic loop.

Tips for Using Sock Yarn

Just as with any knitting project, there’s more to a satisfying project than just picking the best yarn for socks.   Here are some tips for success with your sock knitting projects.

  • Always check your gauge to make sure you don’t end up with gigantic, or teeny socks at the end.
  • If you’re a beginner, start with bulky weight or worsted weight yarn and once you get the hang of the sock making process, move on to sock yarn.
  • Think about who will be wearing the socks:  choose a yarn that will be comfortable for the wearer.
  • Choose a superwash blend if you know you’ll want to machine wash your socks.
  • Choose solid colors to show off intricate patterns
  • Try to avoid the dreaded one-sock problem by knitting two socks at a time on circulars, or starting your second sock as soon as you finish your first.

Summary:  Our Top Picks For The Best Yarn For Socks You’ll Love to Knit and Gift

Here’s a recap of our favorite choices for the best sock yarn that you can easily find online.

The Takeaway:  Which Is the Best Sock Yarn For My Project?

Take a look at the following when you’re making the final decision on the best sock yarn for your project:

  • Your knitting skill level
  • Who will be wearing the socks?
  • How will you wash them?
  • What pattern did you choose?

If you consider the above, you’re sure to choose the best yarn for socks you’ll love to wear and give to people you care about.

Happy creating!

This helpful guide will walk you through the best sock yarn for your project. If you're looking for the best yarn for socks, you'll need to think about who you're knitting for and how the socks will be used. The best sock yarn can be bulky, worsted, DK or even sock yarn weight.