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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
110 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best women’s plus-size sweatshirts

Looking for something cozy to wear? Few garments are more comfortable than a women’s plus-size sweatshirt. Sweatshirts aren’t just for the gym anymore. Now they’re stylish fashion essentials. There are sporty sweatshirts that are ideal for working out or athleisure wear, as well as fashionable sweatshirts that can be dressed up or dressed down.

No matter which sweatshirt catches your eye, it’s important to consider other attributes to get the most bang for your buck. Fit, sizing, and materials are all essential features to compare. Not only do they make a difference in how cozy a sweatshirt is, they’re quite telling of its overall quality. And the better the quality, the longer the sweatshirt will last. Considering yours will be worn and washed often, good quality is non-negotiable.

To find the right women’s plus-size sweatshirt, take a look at our buying guide. We cover everything you need to know.

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Some hip-length and tunic sweatshirts are available with an open hem as opposed to a ribbed one. To some wearers, these are far more comfortable and provide a more flattering silhouette without the bulk on the bottom.

Key considerations

Fabric weight

Sweatshirts aren’t just worn when temperatures are plunging. In fact, there are many that can be worn in cool and even warm conditions. The key to enjoying a sweatshirt year-round is understanding the difference in weight. At one point, the vast majority of sweatshirts were thick, bulky, and extremely warm. Now there are medium-weight and lightweight sweatshirts on the market.

Medium-weight sweatshirts are generally recommended for cooler temperatures. Not only are these sweatshirts lighter than heavyweight ones, they’re slightly more breathable due to a looser weave in some styles.

Lightweight sweatshirts feel noticeably thinner and lighter than other sweatshirts. They’re often worn in warmer temperatures, plus they’re a popular choice for travel because they’re easy to layer and to pack.


According to many women, length can make or break their sweatshirt purchase. Here are the most common lengths you’ll come across when shopping for sweatshirts.

Cropped sweatshirts are cut a few inches above the waistline. They’ve grown in popularity recently as a top choice for stylish athleisure. However, some women find cropped sweatshirts to be somewhat bulky and unflattering, making them a bit of an acquired taste.

Waist-length sweatshirts fall at the natural waistline. This classic length is universally flattering. However, wearers who have a longer torso could find that a waist-length sweatshirt appears far too boxy on them.

Hip-length sweatshirts typically fall a few inches below the waist and offer a moderate amount of rear coverage. One of the pitfalls of this length is that if the sweatshirt doesn’t have notches on the sides, it’s prone to riding up when you walk.

Tunic-length sweatshirts fall approximately mid-thigh. These styles are a favorite to wear with leggings. Depending on the design, they either offer a more spacious fit or are tapered in the middle to create an hourglass silhouette. Unfortunately, tunic sweatshirts tend to be harder to find.


Generally speaking, most women’s plus-size sweatshirts are available in sizes 1X to 5X. Some clothing brands use numerical sizes, which typically run from 16 to 32.

When it comes to finding the best fit, it doesn’t necessarily mean buying a sweatshirt in your regular size. In fact, for women who intend to layer, it’s a good idea to go up by at least once size. For sweatshirts that are made with more than 50% cotton, it’s also recommended to size up since the sweatshirt may shrink in the wash.

If you’d like to embellish a plain sweatshirt, jazz it up with rhinestones or fabric paint. If the sweatshirt is white or a pastel color, you might be able to tie-dye it.




Most sweatshirts are either all cotton or cotton blends, which may include polyester, spandex, or Lycra. All these materials are soft and cozy, but some are more durable and breathable than others.

Cotton is by far the most breathable material choice, though it’s prone to shrinking with repeated washing.

Polyester-cotton blends are less prone to shrinking, though they can make some wearers feel too warm.

Spandex- or Lycra-cotton blends retain their shape incredibly well and are colorfast. However, the fibers deteriorate and the sweatshirts end up losing their shape.


The most common type of collar on women’s sweatshirts is the crewneck, which consists of a ribbed collar that falls at the bottom of the neck. There are also relaxed crewnecks, which are slightly wider or more oval-shaped for more room. Some sweatshirts have V-neck collars. Rather than ribbed detail, these typically have rolled seams. While V-neck styles remain popular, they change the entire look of the sweatshirt. According to some women, it gives the garment a dressier appearance, making it suitable for some business casual outfits.


A signature feature of sweatshirts is ribbing, which include the cuffs as well as the bottom hem. Given the design, ribbing offers considerable stretch and flexibility. While most ribbing snaps back into shape, it may become overstretched after repeated wearing.


Classic sweatshirts have a soft plush or fleece lining that makes them unbelievably cozy. It’s important to know that after a few cycles of washing and wearing, the lining ends up thinning or pilling. This happens rather quickly with poorly made sweatshirts, but it can take much longer before this happens to well-made sweatshirts.


In the past, if women wanted pockets they were limited to hoodies or the pockets on their jeans or pants. With the rise in popularity in pockets for all garments — even wedding dresses — it comes as no surprise that some sweatshirts now have pockets.

While they’re charming and convenient, it should be noted that putting items in pockets (like phones or keys) will weigh down the sweatshirt and cause it to sag. Pockets that are purely decorative are at risk of tearing open if used to hold anything heavier than hair ties or tissues.

Did You Know?
One way to keep colors bright is to turn garments inside out before placing them in the washing machine.

Women’s plus-size sweatshirt prices

Women’s plus-size sweatshirts range in price from $22 to $60, depending on the overall quality of the garment.

Inexpensive: Budget-friendly sweatshirts cost between $22 and $30. These designs are fairly basic in nature and in many cases are only available in limited colors. Quality is very hit or miss with these sweatshirts.

Mid-range: These sweatshirts cost between $30 and $45. There is quite a bit of variety in this range, including sweatshirts of various materials and lengths. As far as quality goes, these sweatshirts offer the most bang for the buck.

Expensive: The priciest sweatshirts push the $60 mark. Many of these are manufactured by name brands, including popular sportswear and athleisure companies. Construction and style are top tier with these sweatshirts.

While it’s fashionable to tie a sweatshirt around your waist, it ultimately stretches out the sleeves.



  • Use color-safe detergent. To preserve the bright color of your sweatshirt, only wash it with bleach-free, color-safe detergent.
  • Buy the same sweatshirt in different colors. If you love the fit of a particular sweatshirt, it’s a good idea to buy it in a few colors. That way, you can enjoy the same comfortable fit with virtually any outfit you wear it with.
  • Roll up your sleeves. When you’re doing chores, such as washing dishes, make sure to roll up the sleeves or they’ll end up absorbing water and may take a while to dry.
Give your sweatshirt a laundry-fresh scent by using wool dryer balls with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The dryer balls also help to eliminate static and wrinkles.


Q. How do I prevent my sweatshirt from shrinking?

A. The best way to prevent a sweatshirt from shrinking is to wash it in cold water and let it air-dry. If you’re not sold on hanging the sweatshirt to dry, another option is to place it in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.

Q. What is the most neutral color for a sweatshirt?

A. Gray and charcoal are considered the best options for a neutral, versatile sweatshirt. The hues are universally flattering to all skin tones, plus they’re less likely to appear faded after repeated washing. Navy and burgundy are also ideal options for neutral colors.

Q.  Are sweatshirts available in prints, patterns, or designs?

A. Yes. Animal and floral prints remain the most popular options. As far as designs go, one trend in sweatshirts is embroidery. Many of these sweatshirts have large embroidered images of flowers, animals, fruits, mythical beasts, or holiday themes.

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.

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