Best Material for Underwear: Men & Women

 A man wearing black trunks stands in a field of hemp plants and holds a hemp leaf up in front of his crotch.

Underwear is a staple item in most people’s wardrobes. A comfy pair of undies is the base for a good outfit, after all. So, what is the best material for underwear? Which material allows for maximum all-day comfort and protection. Hang tight and I’ll tell you all about it!

Why do we wear underwear in the first place? To provide a barrier between our privates and the bacteria swimming all around us, of course. That’s why a great pair of underwear is one made from sustainable fabrics and low impact dyes. You don’t want any toxins or moisture-trapping fabrics around your most sensitive parts!

Alongside the main course (a guide to the best fabric for underwear), I’ll share with you all the factors that make a pair of undies great and other tips for keeping your downstairs happy and healthy. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll never have to complain about annoying, suffocating underwear ever again!


A woman with long brown hair wearing purple underwear looks out of a window at a city view.

The best underwear fabrics are breathable, soft on the skin, and durable! However,the functionality of each type of fabric is different. Consider these personal factors before choosing the best fabric for underwear:

  • Your Activity Levels: How much do you exercise or move around? You should definitely have different styles of underwear for different occasions but, if you’re an active person, you might favor a fabric that’s friendlier to an active lifestyle.
  • Your Body Shape: I’m all for wearing whatever you want at all times regardless of trends or fashion advice but your body is always worth listening to. Body shape may be a deciding factor when it comes to underwear fabric because certain fabrics may not move with you the way you need them to. 
  • Your Skin Sensitivities: Certain fabrics (most often synthetic) can cause skin irritation, especially when paired with excessive sweating or moisture. If you have sensitive skin, choose your underwear fabric accordingly. 
  • Your Preferences: Simply put, everyone likes different things, and underwear shopping is not a universal experience. Picking the right underwear fabric for you, specifically, might be a trial-and-error experience of just finding what feels right. This experience and the requirements for a good pair of undies, may also be vastly different between men and women. 


A woman with long nails wearing a white crop top and black boy shorts stands in a kitchen with her hands on her stomach
  • Fit: A good fit is really important when it comes to underwear. Different fabrics will fit differently on your body. You always want to look for something that is not too tight but still forms to your body. We don’t want any sagging in the front or back and definitely nothing that digs into our skin. 
  • Style: Many women have a go-to underwear style. Some prefer thongs and others swear by high-waisted granny panties. There may not be an option available for each style in every fabric we discuss which may limit your choices. 
  • Breathability: No one wants a sweaty vagina. Period. Your underwear should move with your body while providing enough breathability to keep things fresh. We want our coochies to be on a beach vacation with a tropical breeze not in a humid, musty lagoon. 

Let’s face it, women are programmed to care more about underwear than men. The best everyday option for women’s underwear is a simple style made of hemp or organic cotton. If you choose to experiment with different lingerie options (like lace or mesh, etc.) make sure that those undies have a cotton gusset (the lining on the underwear that comes in direct contact with your kitty). It helps keep you well-ventilated even if the rest of the panty is made with synthetic fabric. 


Back view of a man wearing green briefs kneeling against a mossy hill.
  • Support: Since you boys have some extra goods down there, your underwear needs to be strong enough to keep your penis and balls secure. Fabric  like modal might not be for you if you’re looking for heavy-duty sports underwear because it’s too buttery and light. It’s a perfect choice if you want some breezy boxers, though!
  • Stretch: If you’re opting for tight underwear, like boxer briefs or trunks, they need to be stretchy enough to move with your body. No one wants to feel confined in their underwear. 
  • Breathability: Sweaty balls? Um, no thanks. While underwear is not the only cause of excessive genital sweating, it is a pretty big one. It’s important to find underwear that balances being tight enough to provide support with the ability to create airflow for your big guy (and his testicle friends) to breathe. 

With all of those qualities in mind, the most practical, sustainable choice for men’s underwear fabric is something like hemp or recycled synthetic fabrics. Both of those options provide a good amount of support. Hemp is a natural fiber and will provide breathability. Recycled nylon or polyester still has some downsides but it’s a fine alternative to fast fashion if you really need that stretch and support.


A man wearing a gray shirt and black briefs stands in front of a cream wall.

Why natural? Well, fabrics like hemp and cotton make for naturally breathable underwear which is an essential quality in good underwear. The truth is we all sweat, everywhere, and when we wear clothing that’s not designed to promote airflow things can get a bit...swampy. Gross. Sustainably harvested, natural fabrics simply work the best with your body. Bonus points for the whole “not destroying the environment during their production thing.” 

The fact that polyester and nylon underwear are touted as the best workout underwear makes me cringe a little. Yes, they have the ability to wick away moisture when blended with other materials. However, in their original state, these fabrics are neither breathable nor moisture wicking and the underwear made from them tends to be really tight. Big yikes all around.

On the other end of the spectrum, the antibacterial properties of hemp and other natural fibers are perfect qualities for underwear material. For example, the vagina produces several types of healthy bacteria naturally, but with a few missteps, it can easily become a breeding ground for bad bacteria.

That’s why practicing good hygiene and avoiding tight underwear are crucial steps to take to keep your genitals healthy. This applies to everyone, boys, not just us vagina owners! Of course, housing your genitals in the best underwear material is another important step to take, so let’s finally find out what that is!


A woman with tattoos wearing a black bralette and black underwear lounges on a bed with white sheets.

Here we have it folks, a list of the best material for underwear! Most of these options for underwear fabrics are natural and sustainable because I care about our gorgeous planet and the health and happiness of your gorgeous butts. Not all these fabrics have the same properties, so I’ll divulge all the info you need to pick the best choice for you and your lifestyle!


I’ll be honest before I tried WAMA Underwear, I didn’t really care about what kind of underwear I wore. Now, I am an absolute hemp fan girl. I could go on and on about hemp clothing benefits but the most important thing is that hemp underwear is so comfortable and way more durable than the polyester nonsense I used to wear (which on serval occasions disintegrated right off my body in the middle of the day). 

Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers, having even been used to make hemp rope for many centuries, and it’s perfectly suited for an item that sees as much heavy use as underwear. A pair of hemp undies is sure to last a long time without losing its shape. Not to mention, hemp is antibacterial and antimicrobial so it’s also the healthiest option for your private bits.

A woman with arm tattoos and green hair wearing a black bralette and black underwear poses with her arms behind her head


Cotton is generally considered the best fabric option for underwear. I prefer organic cotton to traditional because the production process of organic cotton has less environmental impact, but either is a good option in a pinch. 

Cotton is lightweight and breathable and absorbent. It won’t trap any sweat or moisture and allows for good airflow. Since your undies protect a warm spot where a lot of bacteria can easily form, those are some great qualities for them to have. 


Modal is a natural fabric recently made popular by small brands and businesses. It is made from cellulose tree pulp and its production process is not harmful to the planet.

Undies made from this fabric will resemble cotton but feel a lot more like silk. This fabric is an awesome option for those looking for something light and airy, especially for underwear to sleep in. It may not, however, be the best choice for men looking for extra support down there.

A tattooed woman wearing a brown bralette and matching underwear lays on her stomach with her feet kicked up on a bed with a colorful sheet.


This option is for my fancy boys and girlies. Silk is definitely not a great fabric option for everyday underwear. (Well, unless you’re a Kardashian, I guess). But I say everyone deserves a little treat and a pair or two of silk panties (or boxers) in your drawer is a good thing to have. 

Silk is a natural fiber and it’s very lightweight. It’s breathable as heck and naturally moisture-wicking. It is, however, very delicate (aka: complicated to wash!). Real silk undies are also not on the cheaper end of the spectrum. 


If you’re really into the tight fit and support of traditional synthetic sports underwear then there are eco-friendly (well, friendlier) options out there. Several underwear brands on the market offer options using at least some amount of recycled fabric. 

This option still has the same downsides regarding breathability and skin sensitivity issues, but I know that some people find synthetic underwear to be more comfortable for working out. At least there are semi-green options out there!


A woman with curly brown and blond hair wearing a black bralette poses with her hands on her chest in front of a white and green shower curtain

My boobilicious friends know how hard it is to find a bra that is both supportive and comfortable. In fact, those two concepts seem mutually exclusive when it comes to bra shopping. 

Even some of the fabrics that make for the best underwear just don’t have what it takes to provide the right support us modern ladies need for our chests. Here are the fabrics that can stand up to the test and make for bras that anybody can wear!


Did I mention there are studies that prove hemp stronger than steel? Yeah, this magic fabric is well equipped to handle your titties, big or small. Especially if you opt for a racerback bralette. This style of bralette provides a good amount of support thanks to the strong elastic at the bottom and the hemp fabric which is exceptional at holding its shape. 


Since cotton is a pretty standard material for bras, there are luckily lots of options in organic cotton available on the market. This goes for bralettes as well as traditional underwire bras. Sometimes, it’s worth sticking by the most common option. 


Yup, this “kinda green” option also applies to bras and bralettes.  There’s even a popular brand making bralettes out of recycled water bottles! A semi-synthetic or recycled lining helps to provide the extra support that natural fabrics can’t offer. This option is best for those looking for a bra for high impact workouts. 


 A woman with brown hair wearing a gray tank top and black underwear lounges on her stomach on a bed with white sheets and a wooden headboard.

With the popularity of sustainable clothing rising, many clothing brands are now motivated to claim sustainability. But you can’t always trust what they say because they may just be greenwashing (or falsely claiming certain sustainability and ethical standards). So it’s really important to do your research:

  • Wash with unscented soap: The best thing you can use for healthy bits is a hypoallergenic, unscented bar soap. Boys, always wash your penis and testicles thoroughly. Ladies, be gentle, and don’t overwash or put soap directly up your vagina. 
  • Dry thoroughly: The best way to avoid a humidity party in your underpants? Start completely dry. There’s no need to aggressively rub your skin down or any such thing. Patting yourself completely dry will do the job. 
  • Wear loose clothing made of natural materials: Even if you’re wearing the best material for underwear, its benefits will be dampened if you trap it under tight, synthetic pants. Wearing clothing made of light, natural fabrics is important too!
  • Keep a healthy diet: Yup, your genital health is tied directly to what you eat. Overly processed food can cause changes in sweat levels and odor. If you notice any such shifts, it might do you well to consider some healthier swaps
  • Change your underwear daily: My hope is that you already do this. If you have access to it, a clean pair of underwear every day is the easiest way to maintain good hygiene.
  • Wash your underwear in delicate detergents: Learning how to hand wash underwear is a great idea. It will allow you to control how delicately your underwear is treated which is both good for your body and prolongs the life of your undies.


A woman with black hair wearing a green bralette and green boyshorts poses with a hand on her chest in front of a window with a red and black curtain.

Everyone wears underwear (unless you’re super dedicated to freeballing…you do you). And everyone has their own style and comfort preferences. The fabrics I mentioned today are the best for your butts, bits, and the planet.

If you swear by synthetic undies, there’s no shame! Everyone should do what suits their lifestyles best, but I hope you’re inspired to try one of the greener choices we discussed. You never know, you might end up with a new favorite!

What is your personal best material for underwear? Is it one of the ones I mentioned or something else entirely? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Underwear Blog | Hemp Blog | WAMA