Merino wool is not just soft and cozy, it can actually help your baby regulate body temperature and sleep better. Learn what makes merino wool such a magic fabric and where to find the best merino wool baby clothes.
Preparing for a baby can be overwhelming, especially when you start looking at all of the lists of baby gear. We kept it minimal with our first child as we were moving internationally shortly after he was born. Now that we’re having our second baby, we’re still keeping it simple. But, there are a few things I wish I had known or had the first time around. Over the last few years, I’ve incorporated merino wool into my wardrobe, both for outdoor activities and every day. There are plenty of reasons merino wool is an amazing fabric for adults and children, but there are several qualities that make merino wool clothes exceptionally great for babies.
Why Merino Wool is Great for Everyone
First, these are the reasons why I started wearing merino wool.
Natural, sustainable and biodegradable – I try to look for ways to make my wardrobe more sustainable, and purchasing clothing made from natural, renewable fibers like wool is a great way to do that.
Durable – Wool is eight times stronger than cotton. Wool can easily bend and stretch without losing its shape, so wool clothes can be worn and washed often and still look great.
Soft and comfortable –Regular wool has a bad rap for being rough and itchy, but the fine threads of merino are silky soft and smooth.
Odor-resistant and naturally antimicrobial – The lanolin in wool repels bacteria that causes bad odors, which means merino wool clothing can be worn longer and washed less.
Why Merino Wool is Better for Babies
The qualities listed above are enough of a reason for me to wear merino wool, but these ones below are what makes wool both one of the most comfortable and safest fabrics a baby can wear.
Breathable – If you’ve ever worried about your baby overheating, dressing them in merino wool baby clothes can help them avoid getting too hot or too cold.
Moisture-wicking – Wool is great at pulling moisture away from your skin and keeping you dry. A merino wool sleep sack or onesie will pull moisture away from your baby so they don’t get damp from sweat when sleeping.
Helps regulate body temperature – Babies have to learn how to deal with to so many things in their new environment! Their little bodies are still learning how to adjust to temperature changes. A merino wool onesie or sleep sack can create a micro-climate around your baby that helps them maintain a more stable body temperature. When it’s colder, the natural crimp in the merino wool fibers trap the warmer air and provide insulation. When it’s warmer, the breathability and moisture-wicking qualities help your baby stay cool and dry.
Helps your baby get better sleep – Since a baby’s body temperature is more stable with merino wool, they’re less likely to wake up from being too hot or too cold. This helps them have a more relaxed, restful sleep as their bodies aren’t expending energy trying to regulate temperature. Studies have shown that babies sleeping in merino wool wake up less and sleep longer.
Naturally flame resistant – This is just one more thing to give you peace of mind. Wool needs a much higher temperature to ignite than most common fabrics and it never melts.
Good for sensitive skin – Soft, fine natural fibers of merino wool are good for sensitive skin. Studies have shown that wearing merino wool clothes even helps those with eczema.
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Merino Wool Baby Clothes
These are my favorite brands that make merino wool baby clothes. I love that these companies are so mission driven, not just to make high-quality merino wool clothing that’s comfortable for babies and children, but to make clothing using sustainable materials and processes. Most of these are small companies, often times started by mothers who couldn’t find what they wanted when they had their first baby. Some of them have found innovative ways to use scrap material, make clothing that stretches or has cuffs so they last longer, and eliminated plastics from their shipping process – all of which is better for you, your child, and our planet.
1 Nui Organics
Nui Organics is one of my favorite companies that makes high quality merino wool clothing for babies and kids; they even recently launched a women’s line which I love! The desire to respect both people and the planet guides their entire design process as they aim to minimize waste throughout the entire lifestyle of their clothes. Nui Organics sizing starts at newborn babies and goes to kids up to 14 years.
To get 15% off at Nui Organics, use code NOMAN15.
Merino wool thermal sets – these 100% merino wool sets are the absolute softest fabric I’ve felt. They’re great for everyday wear and sleeping for babies. This set has been enough to keep my baby warm during cooler weather (like a windy evening at the beach seen below), and also keep him cool on a warmer day. My baby wore this Nui Organics set on a recent hike in Maui where it was warm and humid — my cotton tee was soaked, but he still felt dry thanks to the amazing moisture-wicking properties of wool.
These cute wool clothes come in soft, earthy tones like bluestone, dusk and storm. They feature long cuffs to allow for growth and a knee patch to help them last longer for when baby starts to crawl.
Merino silk onesies and thermals – these onesies and thermal sets are made of 30% mulberry silk, 70% merino wool. The Merino Silk fabric has all of the benefits of merino wool, plus the extra strength of silk. The rib knit merino wool silk thermals have a few thoughtful design features that allow them to keep up with your growing child. The ribbed fabric gives the clothing a lot of sideways stretch, and cuffs on both the tops and the bottoms can be rolled down. The pants also feature a reinforced knee patch. My older son has a set of the Merino silk thermals that have fit for over a year thanks to cuffs and the stretch of the fabric.
➳ Shop Now at Nui Organics (And use code NOMAN15 for 15% off!)
2 Ella’s Wool
Founder Becca Johansen started Ella’s Wool when she couldn’t find the same high-quality merino wool layers for her kids she was used to in Norway when she moved to New York. Ella’s Wool makes merino wool clothes for babies, toddlers and kids. We’ve used the merino wool sets for a base layer during the winter, as pajamas, and especially love their thicker wool leggings called Tubes!
To get 10% off at Ella’s Wool, use code NOMAN10 or use the link here.
Merino wool onesies – Ella’s Wool makes super soft 100% merino wool onesies. You can get these in long sleeves or tank tops in marled grey, light blue, and light pink. They also sell merino wool leggings and footed pants to pair them with for a complete set.
Merino wool Tubes – These thicker ribbed knit pants made from merino wool are unique to Ella’s Wool. I love them because the extra stretchy rib knit is made to grow with your baby, making these merino wool pants a worthwhile investment that should last more than one season. They can be used as leggings on their own, and also make a great second layer due to the thicker and have enough stretch to go over a thinner, tighter base layer.
The extra long cuff can be rolled down as your baby’s legs get longer. The length also means they’re especially great for when babies are in a seated carrier; regular pants or leggings tend to ride up and expose their ankles, but you can roll the cuffs down on these to make sure baby is fully covered. Ella’s Wool Tubes come in a great selection of fun colors as well as stripes.
➳ Shop Now at Ella’s Wool (And use code NOMAN10 for 10% off!)
3 Simply Merino
Simply Merino is a small company based out of Vancouver, Canada that places a high priority on both the sustainability of its designs and supply chain. Simply Merino offers high-quality 100% merino wool baby clothes. Its clothing is made with RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified wool and they don’t use any chemicals in the manufacturing process. They focus on sustainability flows through the entire company, from minimizing waste by wool fabric scraps to create new products to shipping all of its merino wool clothing in plastic-free packaging.
Merino wool infant gown – These simple and cute baby gowns are one of the easiest and most practical things to dress your baby in at night. This infant gown easily opens with its drawstring bottom, so you don’t have to worry about pants or fiddling with snaps or zippers when you’re trying to change a diaper in the middle of the night. This gown is by far the best pajamas I’ve been using for our baby!
Merino Wool Pajama Sets – These may be called pajama sets, but these matching pants and shirt sets are great for day time too!
Merino wool baby hats – These little knit merino wool beanies are perfect to keep your baby’s head warm. They’re double layered and can be worn with a cuff or not, so it fits for a long time. They also have adorable pilot hats as well.
➳ Shop now at Simply Merino
4 Chasing Windmills
Like its name implies, Chasing Windmills’ merino wool designs evoke the playful, adventurous spirit of childhood. After having twins, husband and wife team Sarah and JP were inspired to create simple, soft, and long-lasting merino wool clothing for babies and children that make it easier to spend more time outdoors. The classic, neutral colors and patterns mean the Chasing Windmills’ long johns and short johns are perfect for passing down to younger siblings or friends, so they’re better for your budget and the environment.
All Chasing Windmills’ clothes are made with merino wool ethically sourced from New Zealand and Australia. Commitment to sustainability goes beyond how they source their materials; Chasing Windmills also purchases carbon offsets with the goal of complete carbon neutrality. Sizing starts at 3-6 months and goes up to size 10.
Merino Wool Long Johns – These merino wool thermals are perfect as pajamas, a base layer in the winter or the only layer in warmer months. The pants have double reinforced knees, a feature I look for when babies start to crawl. All long johns come in an ecru colored fabric with a whimsical windmill pattern.
Merino Wool Short Johns – The colorful striped short johns are made for sunny summer days. The breathable merino wool of these shorts and tank top sets will help keep your child comfortable on the warmest of days!
➳ Shop now at Chasing Windmills
Reima is a Finnish company established in 1944, selling mostly outerwear for kids to conquer the long and snowy Nordic winters. They’ve since expanded their line to include wool layers and thermals, and launched a US specific website a few years ago that makes ordering quick and easy on this side of the Atlantic. They even have a baby starter kit that includes all the clothing you baby will need for the first few months, including several merino wool items!
Babies’ wool all-in-one Lyhde – this thicker wool-blend romper is a warm winter layer and great for outdoor activities. For cooler weather it can be used as the main outer layer. The Lyhde also makes a great base or mid-layer under one of Reima’s extra warm down snowsuits if you’re planning a day out in the snow. These have the cutest matching pom-pom beanies!
Merino wool onesie – Reima’s wool onesies are great basics for everyday and come in blue, pink and grey. These onesies super soft, made from a 72% wool, 28% lyocell blend. Reima sizing runs a bit large, so just think of it as ordering a size up compared to US brands marked as the same size. Pair these with matching wool leggings.
Merino wool bodysuit – These all-in-one outfits with pants and long sleeves are perfect for keeping baby fully covered. They’re made with an 80/20 merino wool/polyester blend that’s soft and durable. With ribbed cuffs at the hands and feet that can be rolled up or down, these little wool suits last awhile.
➳ Shop now at Reima
Woolino makes the merino wool sleeping bags and clothing for babies and young kids.
Ultimate Woolino Merino Wool Sleep Sack – This wool sleep sack is perfect for all four seasons and will fit your baby for almost two years. They come in two sizes – for babies (from 2 months to 2 years) and for toddlers (from 2 to 4 years). While most traditional baby sleep sacks come in different weights for different warmth depending on the season, the magic of merino wool means that your baby will stay warmer in this little micro climate in winter, and cooler in the spring and summer months. Sleep sacks are safer than loose blankets, and perfect for when your baby may need another layer on top of their wool pajamas.
These merino wool sleep sacks have a few features that make them very practical. The adjustable shoulder snaps helps you get a snug but comfortable fit for up to two years. The bottom zipper makes nighttime diaper changes quick and easy, with no need to remove the sleep sack.
Merino wool baby gown – These wool infant gowns are perfect for layering with a wool sleep sack. Your baby will get all of the benefits of wool by using this as their next-to-skin- layer. The open elastic bottoms make these super easy for dressing and diaper changing.
➳ Shop now at Woolino (use code NOMANBEFORE10 for 10% off!)
Etsy is another place to find merino wool baby clothes. There are a lot of options on Etsy, but here are a few shops that have lots of consistent, positive reviews for their handmade wool clothes:
Menique – this small shop has a full range of merino wool clothes, including merino wool leggings and long-sleeve sets.
Myecobaby – This Etsy seller creates one-of-a-kind longies from recycled wool sweaters. These cute baby pants complement cloth diapers as they are extra absorbant, but they can be used over disposable diapers or just as wool leggings during the day as well.