What are the Best Men’s Briefs? I’ll Tell You!

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Author’s Note: I purchased with my own money the Mack Weldon, Separatec, Jockey, and Intimissimi underwear I review in this post. David Archy sent me the bamboo *boxer* briefs for free for review. Other than that and affiliate marketing, I did not receive any other compensation.

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Since abandoning briefs in high school due to peer pressure – boxer shorts ruled the early 2000s – I hadn’t worn briefs until 2020 when I purchased my first pair of adult briefs: my Mack Weldon AIRKNITx briefs. Although it initially felt weird to wear briefs as an adult, I slowly got used to them and have since added them to my collection of briefs.

Briefs are returning to the world of men’s underwear after being shunned for decades in favor of boxer shorts and then boxer briefs. More and more “cool” brands embrace briefs as part of their lineup. Like me, guys are talking more about wearing briefs and their love for shorter underwear styles (trunks – my favorite! – are also becoming the new boxer briefs for Americans). 

In this post, I’ll briefly discuss why guys should try out briefs if they aren’t wearing briefs. I’ll then detail some of the best briefs for men on the market to ensure your next experience wearing briefs is fantastic.

Why do guys wear briefs?

Last year, I wrote an article asking whether briefs are superior to boxer briefs (including photo evidence of Charlie Puth embracing briefs). It was a response to me wearing briefs for the first time since I was a kid, as I learned why briefs could be better than boxer briefs. I still wear boxer briefs and trunks, but briefs carved out a section of my underwear collection for several good reasons.

No underwear riding up on the legs

No riding up is so self-evident that you might not realize it. Briefs have no legs, so there is no material to ride up your legs, which is common with boxer briefs, and to a lesser extent, with trunks. Riding up isn’t an issue with the right pair of boxer briefs – high-quality boxer briefs that you wash and dry correctly. Yet if you want to eliminate the chance of riding up entirely, briefs will solve the “riding up” problem.

Raw sex appeal

A guy wearing plain black briefs is incredibly sexy to me (although black trunks are my absolute favorite). Briefs show off a lot more skin than boxer briefs, so briefs may appear sexier to you and your partner. Yet when I first started wearing briefs, I was embarrassed to walk around the house – even in front of my husband – because I was showing off too much skin. I soon overcame that stigma, and now I love walking around in briefs. 

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Last update on 2024-02-23 at 18:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Some guys may fear the “tighty-whitey” look, which for many guys, is the opposite of sex appeal (although some guys find tighty-whiteys hot, no shame in that!). I did not want to wear briefs as an adult that I wore as a kid, so I picked out modern styles. Modern style includes wearing Hip Cut briefs (not full-cut briefs), choosing darker colors, and selecting low-rise models that sit below your waist. You can look sexy in briefs regardless of what styles you and your partner prefer!

Me wearing my Tani Silk Cut Briefs in white
White modern hip briefs, like my Tani Silk Cut Briefs, can be fashionable.

What are visible boxer brief lines?

If you wear tight pants – especially thinner tight pants – and boxer briefs, chances are you will have boxer brief lines. These lines occur on the back of your thigh, where the leg bands are on your boxer briefs. When you have a thick leg band on your boxer briefs and thin pants covering it, the leg band will make an indentation on your pants. 

Boxer brief lines are especially notable with tight pants, as the pants cling to your leg and your underwear. Boxer brief lines also show themselves on your rear thigh as you walk, as at that moment, your pants are tight against the rear of your thigh. Guys may also experience this when wearing light-colored shorts with dark or black boxer briefs. The color difference may lend to the outline of your boxer briefs showing through your shorts.

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As a gay guy, I find boxer brief lines so hot! Yet many guys don’t want the outlines of their underwear showing through their pants. Briefs largely eliminate this problem because briefs don’t have leg bands, so there is nothing to show through your pants. However, that doesn’t mean visible brief lines aren’t an issue.

Brief lines occur under the same conditions as boxer brief lines: either wearing tight pants or shorts or pairing light-colored pants with dark briefs. However, men’s brief lines are less common than women’s visible panty lines. One reason is that most men’s briefs cover the full butt cheek, so the seam sits underneath the butt rather than on top of it with women’s panties. Another reason is that men’s shorts have pockets covering the butt, which hides a lot of would-be-visible lines.

Thus, wearing briefs will eliminate boxer brief lines. And as long as you aren’t wearing super tight pants or white pants with black briefs, you’ll also be able to avoid most brief lines.

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Last update on 2024-02-24 at 05:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Increased air circulation and cooling

As your legs and thighs are fully exposed when wearing briefs, your legs will be able to cool off naturally. Especially when wearing lighter shorts, I can feel the breeze on my legs much more with briefs than with boxer briefs – and I wear breathable boxer briefs! I love this airy feeling on my thighs and another plus to briefs.

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What do the best men’s briefs include?

There are millions of pairs of men’s briefs out there. But what sets the best briefs for men apart from the rest of the pack? 

Best Men’s Briefs Fabric

If you are exercising or outdoors a lot, you’ll want to get a moisture-wicking synthetic material, such as polyester, nylon, or polyamide. Note that to ensure the greatest comfort, you’ll want at least 10% elastane or Spandex content, but 15-20% elastane or Spandex content is what the best briefs contain.

Otherwise, stick with bamboo or modal briefs for the office, hanging out at home, and general everyday wear. They are far softer than cotton and more environmentally friendly. With modal and bamboo briefs, as little as 5% elastane or Spandex content works because of how soft bamboo and modal materials are. You can read all of my modal and bamboo underwear reviews here.

Colors and Patterns of the Best Men’s Briefs

Many guys shun the word “tighty-whiteys.” As a Millennial, hearing that word brings me back to school (although some guys love tighty-whiteys, which is perfectly fine!). Yet, the best briefs come in various colors and patterns to satisfy any guy’s fashion tastes. Choose the colors and patterns you love, although if you aren’t sure, dark colors such as dark blue, dark gray, and black will provide a modern sophistication to your briefs.

Last update on 2024-02-24 at 05:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OMG! I love these patterns from Jockey!

Differences of Men’s Briefs Styles: Hip Briefs vs. Briefs vs. Bikini/Tanga Briefs

To most guys, briefs are briefs. That isn’t true, though! Today, there is a wide variety of designs for men’s briefs. The three most common styles are full-cut briefs, hip-cut briefs, and bikini/tanga briefs. The differences are primarily in how much the briefs cover your hip’s front and side parts.

Hip briefs are the trendiest style right now and the most “modern” looking. As such, most pairs of men’s briefs will be variations of the hip brief design, such as Calvin Klein briefs. For full-cut briefs, you’ll most likely be looking at the big three American companies: Hanes, Jockey, and Fruit of the Loom. And for bikini or tanga briefs, you’ll go with some specialty companies or Jockey (I own Jockey’s bikini briefs).

Last update on 2024-02-23 at 17:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Notice almost all of the hips are covered by these Full-cut briefs from Hanes

Last update on 2024-02-23 at 13:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hip cut briefs, however, show a lot more of the hips and legs.

Last update on 2024-02-23 at 17:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bikini – or tanga – briefs have no hip coverage, leaving only the waistband connecting the front and back of the briefs.

When choosing the best briefs for you, you’ll want to consider other features such as fly design, pricing, and waistband logos. Yet, the fabric, style, color, and patterns available are the best place to start, as they’ll impact your comfort more than other qualities. Also, read my guide on Five Types of Men’s Underwear to Avoid to understand what not to buy.

Below I highlight a few brands that I believe make some of the best briefs for men. Take a moment to review all the options to understand what is available for men’s briefs.

What are the Best Men’s Briefs?

Mack Weldon – AIRKNITx (Hip Briefs)

It is no secret that I love Mack Weldon underwear and that my first pair of adult men’s briefs was Mack Weldon AIRKNITx briefs. AIRKNITx briefs are amazing for all situations, especially high-sweat situations, and are the best briefs in Mack Weldon’s collection. I believe that the AIRKNITx underwear collection is the best value of Mack Weldon’s underwear lineup, regardless of style. 

  • Fabric: AIRKNITx briefs are 50% polyamide, 33% polyester, and 17% elastane, while AIRKNITx HD briefs are 86% polyamide and 14% elastane. The 14-17% elastane content is around the sweet spot of 15-20% elastane content for synthetic briefs. I wear AIRKNITx underwear as everyday underwear, despite being designed for high-sweat activities such as workouts, outdoor activities, and traveling.
  • Style: I classify AIRKNITx as hip briefs, although they provide more hip coverage than other hip briefs. This length could be ideal for guys new to briefs who want a modern look with hip briefs yet appreciate more coverage.
  • Colors and Patterns: If you love variety and spice in your underwear, Mack Weldon has seven colors to choose from for its AIRKNITx briefs. I am disappointed that Mack Weldon stopped producing its patterned AIRKNITx briefs, like the ones I own. Nonetheless, still a great selection of colors that you won’t find elsewhere to keep your underwear fun yet sophisticated!
  • Fly: AIRKNITx briefs have no fly and no option for a fly.
  • Price: AIRKNITx briefs are on the higher end of men’s underwear, so not a surprise each pair costs $28 (as of December 2023). However, buying at least three pairs through Mack Weldon’s Pack Builder can get a multipack discount. Or if you are a US military member, doctor, nurse, or teacher, you may qualify for 15% off your first Mack Weldon purchase!
Me wearing my blue and red AIRKNITx briefs

Separatec Dual-Pouch Bamboo/Modal Briefs or David Archy Bamboo/Modal Briefs (Hip Briefs)

I own three Separatec Dual Pouch Bamboo briefs, which are lovely to wear daily, especially on the weekend around the house. The bamboo material is soft against my skin, and I love the hip-brief style for some sex appeal. And while I admit that Separatec’s Dual Pouch design may not be for everyone – if the tip of your penis is sensitive, the fabric sometimes rubs against it – I find it a cool ball pouch.

Separatec’s sister brand David Archy also sells bamboo and modal briefs. The main difference between the two brands is that all Separatec underwear has the Dual Pouch, while only some of David Archy’s underwear uses the Dual Pouch (the rest use a regular non-separated pouch, such as my David Archy bamboo boxer briefs). The second difference is that Separatec’s designs are more modern and outgoing, while David Archy’s are more conservative. Yet both brands offer some of the best briefs for men, and I love their underwear.

  • Fabric: 95% bamboo (or 95% modal), 5% elastane. 5% is the minimum I would choose for bamboo or modal-based pairs of underwear. So while the elastane content could be a tad higher – 7-10% is high-end for bamboo and modal-based underwear – I still find these bamboo briefs very comfortable.
  • Style: These are hip briefs. When I first got them, they were a tad short for me. Yet, I quickly got used to them and now have no problems walking around the house in my Separatec briefs. Yet, if you want something closer to a full-cut brief, you’ll want to check out Separatec’s sister brand, David Archy. On the other end, if you prefer the shorter bikini brief cut, then see my review of Jockey’s bikini brief below!

Man wearing gray David Archy cotton-modal briefs

Buy now: These Cotton-Modal (not bamboo!) David Archy briefs more coverage than hip briefs, but not quite full-cut briefs either.

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Jockey String Bikini/Tanga Men’s Briefs

I recently bought my first bikini or tanga brief. I bought several pairs of underwear from Jockey during a Cyber Monday event, and this tanga brief’s design caught my eye. Plus, I haven’t had any bikinis or tanga briefs in my underwear collection, so I wanted to try them out.

I am so glad I did! Although less popular than hip briefs, bikini briefs or tangas (same design, different names) are jockstraps with butt coverage, haha. Or they are briefs without any hip coverage. Either way, I am so glad I purchased it because I love wearing them. I recently spent a week in an Ecuador beach town and I was so much cooler wearing these tangas than regular briefs. Plus, one reason I don’t like a jockstrap sometimes is because of the butt straps. But with a tanga, since there is butt coverage, no butt straps are necessary!

  • Fabric: 92% nylon, 8% Spandex. I generally prefer 10% Spandex or more when buying synthetic underwear (nylon, polyester, or polyamide). However, because there is so little fabric compared to synthetic boxer briefs, I was very comfortable wearing them.

Last update on 2024-02-23 at 16:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Style: Bikini/tanga briefs, no doubt about it.
  • Colors and patterns: The patterns sold me when I first bought these tanga briefs. There are so many cool designs to choose from that I am excited to buy another pair in the future.
  • Fly: No Fly.
  • Price: In the $15-$20 range. I think it is a little pricey, and to be fair, I bought mine while they were on sale for $10. However, I really do like them! So either buy it at full price as a great pair of underwear, or wait until a sale ($10-12). Also, if you are looking at Amazon, make sure to click through all the patterns in case one is on sale.

Last update on 2024-02-23 at 23:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tani Silk Cut Hip Briefs

Tani is not well known, and certainly not as well known as its competitors in the high-end space of men’s underwear, such as Mack Weldon or Saxx. Nor does Tani have as wide of a selection as these other brands. Yet Tani’s underwear is quite luxurious, and I love them.

I have a pair of Tani’s Silk Cut Hip Briefs and they are so comfortable. They are made from my one of my favorite materials, modal, and they include 6% Spandex content, which is good (usually men’s modal underwear has 5% Spandex). These briefs are so soft and so comfortable while wearing them, I can tell the difference between Tani’s modal briefs and other modal underwear I have – Tani’s are softer!

Read more: Me wearing my Tani Silk Cut Hip Briefs in white.

Note that Tani’s Silk Cut Hip Briefs are low-rise, and I mean low-rise. This is fantastic for guys who don’t want to show off their underwear above their pants, or for guys who wear low-rise jeans and need corresponding underwear. But if you aren’t used to low-rise underwear, note that these briefs will sit below your waist and you may feel a bit exposed before getting used to them.

  • Fabric: 94% MicroModal AIR, 6% Spandex. MicroModal AIR is an even softer version of modal, which is why these briefs are so luxurious.
  • Style: These are low-rise hip briefs, so they are going to be quite revealing. But I really like the modern look as they are completely the opposite of yesterday’s tighty-whiteys.
  • Colors and Patterns: Tani doesn’t have much selection here, sticking only to neutral colors such as white, gray, blue, and black. Simple but elegant.
  • Fly: No fly here.
  • Price: These briefs aren’t cheap at $40/pair, even more expensive than Mack Weldon’s AIRKNITx briefs. Yet they are on par with Mack Weldon’s Silver collection and some of Tommy John’s higher-end products. I’d prefer if you could get them in the low $30s, which is possible by checking Tani’s sales page regularly.

Man wearing Tani SilkCut Hip Men's Briefs

Buy Now: Tani’s Silk Cut Briefs

Final Thoughts on the Best Men’s Briefs

Briefs are back! In 2024, briefs are a great addition to any guy’s underwear drawer. Hip or bikini briefs are even excellent for date night! If you follow my Three Simple Steps to Buying Men’s Underwear, you’ll note that I recommend getting briefs for office work and hanging out at home.

Let me know your thoughts on the best briefs for men in the comments below! And if you are looking for Boxer Briefs instead, check out my Guide to the Best Boxer Briefs on Amazon!

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Eric at MensUnderwearGuide.com

Eric is the creator and writer of MensUnderwearGuide.com. He loves boxer briefs and trunks, exploring the new world of briefs, the soft feeling of modal and the lightness of mesh microfiber, and of course writing and researching the world of men's underwear.

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