What are the Best Briefs for Men?

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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. My two notable additions are Separatec bamboo briefs and Tani Silk Cut hip briefs.

In 2022, briefs are coming back into 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 – including American Eagle! 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 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.

Comparing length of Separatec Briefs, Mack Weldon AIRKNITx Briefs, Intimissimi Men Stretch Supima Cotton Boxers, and Mack Weldon AIRKNITx Trunks.
Comparison of length of briefs, square-cut trunks (Intimissimi’s Stretch Boxers), and American-style trunks (Mack Weldon)

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. 

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!

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.

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.

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 briefs for men 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? 

  • Fabric: If you are exercising or outdoors a lot, you’ll want to get a 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.
  • Style: 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 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 some variation of the hip brief design. For full-cut briefs, you’ll most likely be looking at the big three American companies: Hanes, Jockey, and Fruit of the Loom.
  • Colors and patterns: 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.

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.

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.

Examples of the Best Briefs for Men

Mack Weldon – AIRKNITx (Hip Briefs)

It is no secret that I love Mack Weldon underwear and that my first pair of adult 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. The 17% elastane content is in 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 10+ colors to choose from for its AIRKNITx briefs. I especially love the eye-popping Calypso Heather color. I am disappointed that Mack Weldon stopped producing its patterned AIRKNITx briefs compared to its AIRKNITx trunks and boxer briefs. The AIRKNITx briefs I own are blue with red stitching that I love. While Mack Weldon produces these two-color schemes for its AIRKNITx boxer briefs, sadly, it does not offer these colors for its briefs except for gray and red.
  • 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 September 2022). However, Mack Weldon produces high-quality underwear, and all of my Mack Weldon underwear is still going strong after two to three years of use.
My Mack Weldon AIRKNITx Briefs
My blue and red AIRKNITx briefs

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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, I find it a cool ball pouch to use.

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). 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 Separatec has you covered too (see below)!
  • Colors and Patterns: Separatec has less color selection than Mack Weldon but still features a few darker colors for modern sophistication. If you are looking for bold colors, you’ll want to go with Mack Weldon.
  • Fly: As Separatec has the Dual Pouch design, the “fly” is at the tip of your penis. Think of it as a hood or flap you pull back rather than a traditional fly design. Again, not for everyone, and if you don’t like using flys, you can always go over your waistband. Remember, though, that some David Archy briefs have the Dual Pouch, and others do not! Pay attention to the title and description to know what kind of pouch you are getting.
  • Price: My favorite part of Separatec’s briefs is the price. You can often get three-packs in the +/- $30 range, making each pair around $10. Use my coupon ST10 for 10% off! This is an amazing price for what you are getting.

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Separatec Low Rise Bikini Briefs

I want to highlight Separatec’s Bikini Briefs for guys who want to wear or experiment with bikinis. Less popular than hip briefs, bikini briefs are jockstraps with butt coverage, haha. Or they are briefs without any hip coverage. Either way, bikini briefs turn up the sex appeal with even less coverage than hip briefs.

  • Fabric: Either 45% cotton/45% modal/10% Spandex, 46% cotton/46% modal/8% Spandex, or 95% bamboo/5% Spandex. For the cotton/modal blends, it is random which model you are getting. Either way, I like that there is a good amount of modal and elastane content to soften and stretch the cotton. For the bamboo version, 95% bamboo/5% is the same blend as my Separatec briefs, and I love them!

  • Style: Bikini briefs, no doubt about it.
  • Colors and patterns: Separatec only offers a couple of color choices that are variations of black or blue, either solid or with a tropical theme print.
  • Fly: These bikini briefs feature Separatec’s Dual Pouch system and the fly flap at the tip of your penis.
  • Price: Pricing is in the $15-20/pair range. While not so bad, it is a bit more expensive than other briefs. You can use my coupon ST10 again for 10% off.

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Reebok Quick-Dry Performance Low Rise Briefs (Hip Briefs)

I love my Puma Performance Boxer Briefs. The challenge is finding good quality performance briefs without spending close to $30/pair like Mack Weldon. These Reebok Performance Low Rise briefs are the answer. At under $10/pair and a 92% polyester/8% elastane fabric blend, I’d rate these Reebok briefs as a total value buy and thus deserve a place in the list of the best briefs.

  • Fabric: 92% polyester and 8% elastane. Although I’d prefer at least 10% elastane content on synthetic underwear for maximum comfort – my Puma boxer briefs come with 15% elastane – 8% is not that bad, especially for the cost per pair of these Reebok briefs.
  • Style: Somewhere in the middle between hip-cut briefs and full-cut briefs. Note that low-rise briefs fall slightly below your natural waist. Yet, as there is good hip coverage, most guys will find these briefs at a good coverage level.
  • Colors and Patterns: Unfortunately, Reebok doesn’t give much choice here. Your options are varying levels of neutral – black, gray, and blue – although there is a five-pack that has *one* pair of red briefs.
  • Fly: These are no-fly briefs.
  • Price: The price is quite satisfying for what you are getting, and if you need to stock up on briefs, this is an excellent value buy. 

Intimissimi Microfiber Briefs (Hip Briefs)

While I have written a review of Intimissimi’s Stretch Cotton “Boxers” (they are square-cut trunks) – which are ok – I haven’t sung the praises of the other pair I own from Intimissimi: their microfiber trunks.

I love the look of Intimissimi’s trunks – which are a tad bigger than square-cut trunks – and their microfiber material feels amazing. Fortunately, for guys who love briefs, Intimissimi also makes microfiber briefs! You don’t have to settle for boring, 100% cotton briefs when you can get Italian-designed microfiber briefs – ideal for high-sweat activities – for a great price.

  • Fabric: 90% polyamide and 10% elastane. 10% elastane is the beginning of the sweet zone for synthetic-based underwear. For the price, 10% elastane is quite good!
  • Style: European underwear is always shorter than American underwear. Thus, no surprise that these Intimissimi briefs are hip-cut.
  • Colors and Patterns: Intimissimi has a lot of colors and designs for its underwear. Yet that doesn’t extend to their microfiber briefs. You’ll have an option of the four standard colors – white, black, dark gray, and dark blue – which is still great for any man’s underwear drawer.
  • Fly: No-fly briefs.
  • Price: Usually, these briefs are in the $15-$20 per pair range. However, Intimissimi offers quite a few sales throughout the year, in which you can get these briefs closer to the $10-12/pair range. Intimissimi often sells five pairs for $60 year-round, bringing the price to $12/pair, which is excellent. Finally, Intimissimi has a few stores in the United States – and plenty in Europe – if you want to look and buy in person.

Natural Feelings Classic Full Rise Briefs (Full Cut Briefs)

I am not a fan of full-cut briefs, yet I recognize that some men prefer the classic, 100% cotton full-cut brief. That also means almost all these men are wearing 100% cotton briefs from the legacy three American underwear brands: Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, or Jockey. Yet I believe guys can be more comfortable by buying underwear that has some elastane or Spandex content, giving some stretchability to cotton.

If it were up to me, guys wearing 100% cotton would switch to bamboo or modal pair of briefs. Yet if you want to stick to 100% cotton and the full-cut look, consider switching to a 95% cotton and 5% elastane fabric blend, such as these briefs from Natural Feelings. See how it feels having just that bit of elastane to allow these cotton briefs to move with you.

  • Fabric: 95% cotton, 5% elastane. While there are plenty of full-cut 100% cotton briefs, there are very few full-cut briefs with some elastane in them for stretchability.
  • Style: These are full-cut briefs.
  • Colors and Patterns: Natural Feelings doesn’t offer patterns. However, they have a good selection of darker and lighter colors. Pay attention to the waistband design, as it seems they have many waistband designs, and some of them are a bit too bold for my tastes.
  • Fly: Yes, there is a standard vertical fly.
  • Price: +/- $5 per pair, which is on par with the big three legacy brands.

LAPASA Travel “Mini-Trunks” (Full-Cut Briefs)

For many years, I have heard guys rave about ExOfficio’s Give-n-Go underwear. Most praise refers to ExOfficio’s briefs and boxer briefs as being excellent travel underwear. On Amazon, these briefs get a very high user rating with over 3,000 reviews. Yet I don’t find anything special about their briefs, especially for a $15-$20 price tag. 

I searched for a cheaper alternative that still provided a good pair of full-cut briefs. These LAPASA Travel “Mini-Trunks” – they are full-cut briefs – are a great alternative to ExOfficio for half the cost! 

To be clear, I believe the best briefs for outdoor activities or traveling are Mack Weldon’s AIRKNITx briefs or the far-cheaper Reebok Quick Dry briefs above. Nonetheless, I include LAPASA in this list for a specific reason: men who want non-cotton full-cut briefs. Full-cut briefs that aren’t 100% cotton – or close to it – are difficult to find. Thus, I wanted to provide this option to this specific niche of guys.

  • Fabric: 95% nylon, 5% elastane. The elastane content is relatively low for synthetic-based underwear, which I generally recommend having at least 10% elastane. For comparison, ExOfficio’s travel briefs are 94% nylon and 6% elastane. But Reebok’s briefs are 92% polyester and 8% elastane, which is better.
  • Style: LAPASA calls their underwear “mini-trunks,” but for Americans, they are full-cut briefs. As I mentioned, it is pretty hard to find full-cut briefs other than 100% cotton briefs from the big three retailers, so this is an exciting find for this niche of men.
  • Colors and Patterns: LAPASA doesn’t offer any patterns; however, it has a standard assortment of colors – primarily white, black, blue, gray, green, and red. However, on Amazon, color availability varies widely based on your size. These briefs are really no-nonsense outdoor briefs – nothing fancy!
  • Fly: LAPASA’s mini-trunks come with a Y-front fly (smaller than the standard vertical fly), which is the same as ExOfficio.
  • Price: You can get LAPASA’s briefs for less than $10/pair, which is around half the cost of ExOfficio, but slightly more expensive than Reebok’s Quick Dry briefs.

Final Thoughts on the Best Briefs for Men

Briefs are back! In 2022, 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.

To sum up, here are my picks for the best briefs:

Let me know your thoughts on the best briefs for men in the comments below!

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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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