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Pullover Hoodie Vs Zip Up: What’s The Difference?

As cooler weather rolls around, hoodies start to make their comeback in retail stores everywhere. They come in two common styles: pullovers and zip ups. But if you’re looking for a hoodie to keep you warm, which one should you choose?

Both pullovers and zip up hoodies are considered to be casual or athletic clothing. Pullovers are worn by pulling them on over your head, while zip ups are put on like other jackets but zip up. But when it comes to smaller differences, pullover hoodies seem to be warmer and more comfortable, while zip ups are more versatile and practical.

If you’re still unsure which one to choose, don’t worry. In this article, I’ll talk about the smaller differences between a pullover hoodie vs. a zip up hoodie so that you can decide which one works best for you. Continue reading to learn more.

Pullover Hoodie Vs Zip Up

Pullover Hoodie vs. Zip Up Hoodie: Key Differences

In the following chart, the characteristics I’ll use to differentiate between the two are listed, along with a brief overview of their similarities and differences.

PulloverZip Up
FitMen's and women's styles, can be fitted or oversizedMen's and women's styles, can be fitted or oversized
ComfortMore comfortableLess comfortable
StyleLess practical and versatileMore practical and versatile
Materials UsedCotton and polyester, sometimes fleece-linedCotton and polyester, sometimes fleece-lined
WarmthWarmer due to a more snug fitWarm, but not as warm as a pullover
When to WearOutside in snow and rain, especially as a layerChilly days where you won't be outside a lot

What Is a Pullover Hoodie?

Hanes womens Sport Performance Fleece Pullover Hoodie Hoody, Fresh Berry Solid/Fresh Berry Heather, Small USA pullover hoodie is essentially a sweatshirt that has a hood sewn onto it. It’s closer to a sweatshirt than a jacket since both sweatshirts and pullovers are designed to be pulled over your head to put them on.

Pullover hoodies have a more athletic and casual style, so they are more laid back than other cold-weather jackets are.

Although the general style of a hoodie has been around for many years prior, pullover hoodies first started becoming popular in the 1990s. Today they can be found in both men’s and women’s styles.

What Is a Zip Up Hoodie?

Hanes Men's Full Zip Ultimate Heavyweight Hoodie, Charcoal Heather, SmallZip up hoodies are hooded sweatshirts that zip instead of pulling over your head. They more closely resemble the fit of a jacket in how they are worn. But zip ups are considered to be a more casual jacket. Like pullover hoodies, they also have an athletic style.

Hoodies, in general, were first invented in the 1930s as a way to protect laborers who had to work outside in cold temperatures. But because they zip up, they were easier and more practical to wear. In the 1970s, zip up hoodies started to be worn among all people, and like pullovers, they became most popular in the 1990s when casual attire was more fashionable. Today, there are men’s and women’s styles of zip up hoodies as well.

What’s the Difference Between A Pullover Hoodie and Zip Up?

Difference Between A Pullover Hoodie and Zip Up


Pullover hoodies and zip ups aren’t that different in terms of how they fit. For starters, they both come in men’s and women’s styles. Sometimes the women’s styles can have a different fit, but they also fit the same way as the men’s versions do.

When buying a pullover or zip up hoodies, you have two options. You can buy one that is true to your size, or you can size up for an oversized fit. Ultimately, it’s up to your preference. But buying an oversized pullover or zip up is better if you plan on wearing it with other layers underneath.


Some people argue that pullovers and zip ups are vastly different in terms of comfort. The consensus seems to be that pullovers are more comfortable to wear than zip ups are, especially if you get them oversized. Even oversized pullovers seem to fit more securely. They are also made entirely of textiles and don’t have extra materials such as metal on them.

Due to having a metal zipper, zip-up hoodies can feel uncomfortable for some people to wear, especially if the zipper is zipped up. The extra hardware can also make them feel heavier than pullovers. Also, if you buy an oversized zip up and leave it unzipped, it can fall off your shoulders and leave you constantly having to pull it back up.


In terms of style, pullover hoodies aren’t as versatile as zip ups are. The reason why this is the case is that pullovers cover up whatever shirt you’re wearing. If you aren’t trying to see your shirt, it doesn’t matter if you wear a pullover. But if you have a cool shirt that you want to show off, then a zip up is the better choice to wear.

Pullover hoodies aren’t as practical as zip ups are because pullovers may or may not have a front pocket. If you want your hoodie to be more practical, look for one that does have a pocket. Most zip-ups do have pockets in addition to having a zipper. When wearing a zip up, you can wear it with the zipper up or down.

Materials Used

Pullovers and zip ups have been made from wool in the past due to the warmth that it provides. But since wool is more expensive and harder to care for, today, both pullovers and zip ups are made primarily from cotton or polyester. Sometimes, they may be lined with fleece as well.


Since both are designed to be worn when it is colder outside, you may wonder which one is warmer. In general, pullover hoodies tend to be warmer than zip ups. They provide a more snug fit and don’t allow cool air to get underneath them as easily. They also usually come with drawstrings to tighten the hood around your face.

Zip ups can still be warm, especially if they are fleece-lined. However, they don’t tend to fit as snugly around the neck and face, even if they do have drawstrings as well. Another advantage that pullovers have is that they can be layered either over clothing or underneath clothing depending on if you buy them fitted or oversized. Zip ups are better worn as an outer layer since the zipper could get in the way when wearing it underneath another layer.

When to Wear

Pullovers and zip ups are both cold-weather staples. But since pullovers are warmer and cover more of your body, they offer better protection from cold rain and snow. This is especially true since they are better for layering. You can wear them underneath a windbreaker or another larger jacket.

Zip ups offer good protection from the wind but may not protect you enough from snow. They are better for chilly fall days rather than snowy winter days. But they don’t fit as snugly around the face and may not protect you enough from snow and rain blowing in your face. If you aren’t spending a lot of time outside, go with a zip up. If you’re going to be outside for a long time, go with a pullover.

Pros and Cons of Pullover Hoodie

Now that we know the major differences between the two let’s take one more look at the pros and cons of pullover hoodies. The biggest reasons you might want to choose a pullover instead of zip up are that pullovers are warmer, more comfortable, and better for layering. They’re a great choice for when you’re spending time outdoors on cold fall and winter days.

However, they do have their disadvantages. The first downside to pullovers is that they aren’t as versatile. You can’t show off a cool t-shirt if it’s hidden underneath a pullover. They also aren’t as practical, meaning that they are harder to put on and take off. You may wish to put on a pullover only if you plan to leave it on for a while.

Pros and Cons of Zip Up Hoodie

Zip up hoodies have their pros and cons, and those pros and cons are pretty much the opposite of pullover hoodies. One advantage of zip up hoodies is that they are more versatile, meaning that you can wear more underneath them and it can be seen. They are also more practical, meaning that you can take them on and off more easily.

Zip ups aren’t as good for layering as pullovers are, although they can be worn as an outer layer. But, they aren’t always as warm as pullovers and they aren’t as comfortable. You can make them warmer by buying a fleece-lined zip up, but some people still find the zipper uncomfortable, especially when it is zipped.

Are Zip-up Hoodies Out of Style?

Zip up hoodies are just as stylish and prevalent now as they were in the 1990s. Due to the athleisure look becoming more popular again, zip up hoodies are great for going to the gym or running errands. If you look around on any chilly day, you’re sure to see many people who are still wearing zip ups.

Which Is Better Hoodie With Zipper or Without?

After looking at the differences and overall pros and cons of both pullovers and zip up hoodies, it’s hard to say which one is better than the other. Neither one is necessarily better; it just depends on what you want to wear it with.

When choosing one, consider your purpose for wearing it. If you’re looking for comfort and warmth and don’t care what you wear underneath it, then a pullover is a great choice. If you want your outfit to be seen, or you’re looking for something easy to take on and off, then go with a zip up.

Popular Products

Men’s Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt

Hanes Ecosmart® Hooded Sweatshirt XL TealThis pullover hoodie comes in 36 different colors and eight different sizes ranging from S-5XL. They fit true to size, so you should size up if you want a bigger fit. A front pocket also helps to make this pullover more practical and you can put your hands in there to keep them warm.

This pullover is made from a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend. But one unique feature is that up to 5% of the polyester fibers are made from recycled plastic. It’s also fleece-lined for extra warmth. Being made of cotton, polyester, and fleece makes the pullover machine-washable and easy to care for.

Women’s Pullover Hoodie

DOUBLJU Basic Lightweight Pullover Sweater Top Essential Comfy Casual Hoodie Sweatshirt for Womens Clothes with Plus SizeThis pullover hoodie is designed for women and has a more feminine fit. It comes in 32 different colors. Some color options include solid colors, color blocks, and even white bodices with colored sleeves. There are plenty of choices available to fit any style or personality.

There are also seven different sizes to choose from, so you can have a slim fit or an oversized fit. Other features of this pullover include a front pocket and drawstrings. It is made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester, so caring for it is easy.

Men’s Zip Up Hoodie

Hanes Men's Full-Zip Eco-Smart Hoodie, Light Blue, SmallThis is the zip up version of the pullover hoodie mentioned earlier. It comes in 11 colors that range from black, white, and gray to more colorful options, including red, blue, and green. Choose from six different sizes ranging from S-3XL, but order a size up if you want a looser fit.

Like its pullover counterpart, this zip up hoodie is made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester, with some polyester coming from recycled materials. It is machine-washable, so caring for it is easy. It also has front pockets for storage or to keep your hands warm and drawstrings for a more snug fit when wearing the hood.

Women’s Zip Up Hoodie

DOUBLJU Lightweight Thin Zip-Up Casual Hoodie Jackets for Womens with Plus SizeThis is the zip up version of the women’s pullover mentioned above. It also comes in 32 colors and color blocks, but some of the colors are different from what the pullover comes in. There are seven sizes to choose from, ranging from S-3XL. But it does have a slimmer fit, so size up if you want it to fit a little bigger.

This zip up hoodie is great for wearing to go jogging or just for running errands. It isn’t fleece-lined, but it does have front pockets and drawstrings to keep your hands and face warm if necessary. Made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester, caring for it is easy because it can be machine-washed.


I hope this guide helped you to decide between a pullover hoodie and a zip up one. Pullovers tend to be warmer and more comfortable but aren’t as versatile. Zip ups are more versatile and easier to put on but aren’t as warm. The best choice just depends on your personal preference. If you enjoyed this article, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!