Ear Muffs and Other Ear Stuff

L.L.Bean Tec Fleece ear warmer.
L.L.Bean Tec Fleece ear warmer.

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Of course, you can pop on a hat to keep your ears (and head) warm this winter; however, you have a couple reasons to consider ear muffs and other ear-only headgear.

Hats mess up one’s hair. Even men with shaved heads find “fuzz” from knit hats stuck to their stubble. And most longer haircuts? Count on mashed down and flyaway “hat head” for the day. Hats also cause static build-up when removed. The yarn against hair can generate quite a zap. For some people, hats overheat their heads but their ears remain cold without protection.

Skip these hassles and opt for cozy earmuffs. Or, if you need your whole head covered, consider adding earmuffs for more protection when you’re outside a long time.

Men’s 180S Tec Fleece Ear Warmers (www.llbean.com, $29.95) offers a wrap-around design that goes behind the head. The soft thermal fleece material on the outside is stuffed with PrimaLoft Gold insulation. The design fits closely enough that it you want to wear a hat on top of it if you want. Inside, the adjustable frame ensures a snug fit. The Warmers also fold up to slip in a coat pocket.

Turtle Fur Polartec 200 Ear Band (www.rei.com, $19) features two layers of fleece in a headband style ear band with a wide area that totally covers the ears. The rest is narrower so it avoids the problems hats cause. This, too, may be worn with a hat if desired.

Don’t forget the children’s earmuffs. Target (www.target.com, $9.95) offers a line of cute styles such as hamburgers, unicorns, cats, and branded characters such as Disney, My Little Pony, LOL Surprise!, and more in the classic top band design.

Also at Target ($14.95), the Degrees by 180s Women’s Cable Knit Winter Headband looks stylish and feels like a cozy sweater. The white trimmed with cream style offers relief from all-black outerwear while still coordinating with any outerwear.

Lands’ End (www.landsend.com, $19.95) offers Women’s Adjustable Fleece Winter Earmuffs in black or cream-and-black leopard print. In a wrap-around-the-back style, both are made of soft, pill-resistant fleece with an anti-static treatment for further hairdo protection. The print can really liven up a solid coat.

As their name denotes, (www.Amazon.com, $15.95)  lack a band so your hairdo is safe, though any earrings worn with them should be small. They may also interfere with people wearing glasses and some kinds of hearing aids. But for people with larger, hard-to-fit heads, Sprigs are ideal. The minimalist earmuffs come in sizes small through large to accommodate children through adults in a large variety of prints and colors. The site includes a sizing chart which is vital for proper fit. Earbags come with a small carrying case to keep them together better.

Cuddl Duds Ear Muffs (www.jcpenney.com, $28) are made of polyester fleece lined with faux fur for softness and warmth. A mid-weight muff, the narrow band is worn around the back of the head for minimal hairdo impact.