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Pullover Hoodie vs Zip Up: Key Differences Between Them

Pullover Hoodie vs Zip Up

Hoodies are a wardrobe staple loved by people of all ages for their comfort and versatility. The two main types of hoodies are pullover hoodies and zip up hoodies, each with their own unique benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we will compare pullover vs zip up hoodies to help you decide which style best suits your needs and preferences.

Overview of Pullover and Zip Up Hoodies

Pullover Hoodie

Pullover Hoodie

A pullover hoodie, also sometimes called a sweatshirt hoodie, is a classic hoodie style with no zipper or buttons down the front. Instead, you put it on by pulling it over your head. Pullover hoodies tend to be made of thicker, heavier materials like fleece or French terry cloth. They offer superior warmth and a relaxed, casual look.

Zip Up Hoodie

Zip Up Hoodie

A zip up hoodie is identifiable by the zipper that runs down the front from neckline to hem. This allows you to easily put it on and take it off. Zip up hoodies are usually made of slightly thinner, lighter weight fabrics like cotton jersey. The zipper provides versatility to zip it up or down for customizable comfort and style.

Key Differences Between Pullover and Zip Up Hoodies

While pullover and zip up hoodies share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two styles:

Ease of Wearing

One of the biggest differences is how easy they are to put on and off. Pullover hoodies require you to pull them over your head, which can mess up hair or makeup. Zip up hoodies are much easier to put on and off without disturbing your look.

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Warmth and Weight

Pullover hoodies tend to be warmer and heavier since they use thicker fabrics like fleece. Zip up hoodies are usually made of thinner, lighter fabrics so they are better suited for layering and milder weather.

Coverage and Modesty

The fixed front coverage of a pullover hoodie provides greater modesty compared to a zipper. For some wearers, the ability to zip up offers more comfort and security.

Ventilation and Temperature Control

One advantage of zip hoodies is the ability to unzip to cool down and get ventilation. With pullover hoodies, you are stuck with the fixed level of warmth and coverage.

Style and Fashion

Pullover hoodies project a more casual, laidback aesthetic. Zip up hoodies have a sportier look and allow you to vary the styling by zipping up or down. The wide hoodie front pocket is signature to pullover hoodies, while zip hoodies sometimes omit it.

Durability and Structure

The thicker fabrics and solid pullover front used on most pullover hoodies tend to hold their shape better over time. Zippers and thinner fabrics can be more prone to damage and losing structure.


On average, pullover hoodies cost a little less than zip hoodies since they require less material and hardware to construct. However, premium designer hoodies in both styles can range up to $100 or more.

Gender and Age Appeal

Both styles are unisex, but pullover hoodies are especially popular among women and teens. Zip up hoodies have broader age appeal for both men and women.

Pullover vs. Zip Up Hoodie Comparison Chart

Feature Pullover Hoodie Zip Up Hoodie
Ease of Wearing Requires pulling over head which can mess up hair/makeup Easy to zip up and down without disturbing look
Warmth Warmer due to using thick, insulating fabrics Lighter weight fabrics allow for more ventilation
Coverage Provides greater modesty with fixed front Custom coverage with ability to zip up or down
Temperature Control Can get too hot without ability to open front Can unzip to cool down and get ventilation
Style Casual, laidback aesthetic Sportier look, allows styling versatility
Durability Thicker fabrics hold shape better over time Zippers and thinner fabrics more prone to damage
Pricing Tends to cost less than zip up hoodies More expensive on average due to zipper and hardware
Gender/Age Appeal Very popular among women and teens Broad age appeal for both men and women
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Choosing Between Pullover and Zip Up Hoodies

When deciding between a pullover and zip up hoodie, consider these factors:

  • Climate: Pullovers are better for cold weather and climates, while zip ups work year-round.
  • Activities: Pullovers allow free movement for sports or workouts. Zip ups are great for layering over gym clothes.
  • Modesty needs: Pullovers provide more coverage for some wearers.
  • Convenience: Zip ups are easier to take on and off.
  • Style desired: Pullovers have a more casual look. Zip ups offer styling versatility.

Know your preferences for warmth, coverage, and style. If you still can’t decide, why not get both to enjoy the perks of each hoodie type!

Features To Look For

Beyond just the pullover vs zip up style, here are some great features to look for when selecting a hoodie:


  • Fleece or French terry (pullovers): Provides unmatched warmth and softness
  • Cotton jersey (zip ups): Lightweight and breathable for year-round wear
  • Polyester blends: Enhances durability, stretch, and moisture wicking

Hood and Lining

  • Drawcords: Cinch the hood opening for adjustability
  • Soft lining: Prevents scratching and adds coziness
  • Oversize hood: Allows room to wear over hat or hair


  • Kangaroo pouch pocket (pullovers): The signature hoodie pocket provides warmth and storage
  • Side zip pockets (zip ups): Securely store keys, cards, and phone


  • Oversized: Relaxed and roomy for lounging comfort
  • Cropped: Shows just a sliver of midriff for a flattering silhouette
  • Slim fit: Hugs curves for a flattering, streamlined look

Cuffs and Hem

  • Ribbed cuffs: Helps keep sleeves in place and seals in warmth
  • Drawcords at hem: Adjustable to customize fit and block wind
  • High-low hem (zip ups): Provides extra coverage at back for stylish look

Buying Considerations for Pullover and Zip Up Hoodies

Quality and Materials

Focus on quality, durable fabrics that will last. Fleece, French terry, and high-gauge cotton blends are best. Look for details like double-stitched seams.

Fit and Comfort

Try it on and move around. It should feel cozy yet allow free range of motion. Size up for an oversized, lounge-ready fit.

Versatility and Function

Consider when and how you’ll wear it to choose the right features. Pullovers for casual everyday wear, zip ups for layering and temperature control.

Care Instructions

Most hoodies can be machine washed and dried. Choose fabric blends that won’t shrink or fade. Some may need to be line dried.

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Price and Value

Hoodies range widely in price. More expensive ones tend to use premium materials and construction but a lower priced hoodie can still be a great choice for casual wear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pullover and Zip Up Hoodies

Are pullover or zip up hoodies warmer?

Pullover hoodies tend to be warmer overall since they use thicker fabrics like fleece to trap heat. The fixed front also seals in warmth. Zip up hoodies are made of lighter fabrics that allow more air flow.

Which is more comfortable, pullover or zip up hoodie?

Comfort is subjective based on your preferences. Pullovers offer unmatched softness with their fleece lining and roomy fit. But zip ups allow more versatility to add or remove layers as desired.

Do guys wear pullover or zip up hoodies more?

Both styles are popular and unisex, but pullover hoodies tend to be associated more with a casual, masculine look. Zip ups have broader appeal across ages for both men and women.

Are pullover hoodies better for working out?

Yes, pullover hoodies allow full range of motion so they are great for sports and gym wear. They also absorb sweat well. Zip ups are more prone to gaping open during movement.

Which hoodie style is more fashionable?

Pullover hoodies project a relaxed, laidback vibe which taps into streetstyle trends. But zip ups offer more styling versatility by allowing you to zip up or down. Both styles can be fashionable depending on your personal taste.


When choosing between pullover and zip up hoodies, consider factors like warmth, coverage needs, convenience, and style preferences. Pullovers excel at providing comfort and a casual look. Zip ups are more versatile year-round pieces great for layering.

Focus on quality materials and construction to ensure durability. Look for special features like roomy hoods, cozy lining, reinforced seams, and ribbed cuffs. Try both styles to see which you prefer – you really can’t go wrong with either pullover or zip up hoodies!

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