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Boxers vs. Underwear: What's the Healthiest (+ Coolest) Type of Men's Underwear?

  • 4 min read

Introduction to men’s underwear wasn’t straight forward.

Men’s underwear was less of a fashion statement and more of a functional one in the early years. In 1925, boxing apparel Everlast’s Jacob Golomb created the first elastic waistband trunk; et voilà, men’s boxer shorts were born. However, wearing underwear was still not widely accepted until much later. 

Fast forward to 1934, Arthur Kneibler invented the modern briefs as we know them today.  Variations started to appear on the market with briefs, trunks and boxers to match every man’s demand and of course now, there is debate as to which is best. 

Boxers or briefs? 
Tighty-whities or loose-fitting boxers? 
Is one better for me than the other?

Today, we'll provide a balanced answer to these questions, empowering you to make the decision that best looks after your package.

Boxers vs briefs

What is the difference between underwear and boxers?

In short, nothing at all. If you, like millions of other men (and women), wear boxers, you too are wearing underwear. But under the umbrella of underwear, there is remarkable diversity.

Imagine boxers at one end, loose and unstructured; and at the opposite end briefs, form-fitting and highly structured. In between these two poles, a vast grey area called "boxer briefs" – essentially a combination of the two. A compromise between freedom and order.

So how do you choose between boxers and briefs? Of course, personal preference comes first. Some prefer the structure that briefs offer while others find that they are too cramped and restrictive. These guys therefore opt for free-swinging freedom boxers which brief-lovers find outright unpleasant! And so the debate begins… 

There is an area of exception to this – in terms of reproductive health – there is a real difference in sperm count and viability between these two types of underwear. 

Trust science when there is doubt.

The biologically male reproductive organ needs temperature regulation. If it's too warm (like our core body temperature), it doesn't work as well. It needs to be cooler than the rest of us. Fascinating right? You would have thought evolution had this covered!

Sperm Count Dropping Worldwide
Credit: Getty Images

 

How do you take care of your manhood?

In general, tighter clothing will increase your body temperature. In a controlled study taken over a period of months, those who wore tight underwear saw their sperm count reduced compared to those who wore looser fitting boxers.

Conversely, if you’d preferred tight underwear in the past and now switch to wearing boxers, evidence suggests the change will boost sperm production.

Different shorts for different folks

Choice of underwear will also come down to your occupation. For instance, taxi and truck drivers who spend most of their day sitting in vehicles should be very conscious of their underwear. On the flip side, Personal Trainers and athletes will create  more natural air flow as they move. The key point here is that it's about the heat, not the fit. 

Dangers of non-breathable underwear

Overheating of the genitalia isn't just a problem for those who want to be able to reproduce. Heat and moisture are a recipe for irritation, stickiness, odor and skin problems.

types of men's underwear

So guys, it’s time to pay attention to fabric as much as women do. If your underwear is made from cheap, non-breathable fabric, it's going to lead to problems. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little more buying nice, and not twice.

Buy nice, not twice

Are loose-fitting underwear bad for men?

While there's nothing inherently good or bad about loose underwear, boxers have a few definite drawbacks. Without the structure to guide the contents of male underwear, miscalculations can occur. Sit at the wrong angle, an unexpected run for the bus, and the jostling can be very uncomfortable.

And a piece of style advice: baggy boxers can make some pants look ridiculous.

For many, it isn't necessary to dwell in either extreme. Boxer briefs provide a valuable compromise, possessing most of the heat regulation of boxers while still giving the support that makes wearing briefs appealing.

Should you wear boxers to bed?

Many men wear shorts to bed, without underwear. Is this a problem? It's a deceptively important question. The answer is that, as mentioned above, our nether-regions need good temperature regulation. Sleeping naked is the easiest way to make sure your skin and reproductive organs are able to cool off. Just make sure your sheets are clean and your partner is happy for you to do so!

Which underwear is best for men?

It's a complicated and personal question, but it is a universal truth that your underwear should be cool (in both senses), clean and soft.

Crossfly underwear flat lay

Try some different pairs with different fits, and pay close attention to how they feel and the fabric they are made of. The daily benefit of great underwear is well worth the time.

Crossfly's take

We're biased, but hey, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think our underwear is the absolute best.

Crossfly's fabric and fit are precisely designed to give you breathability, moisture-wicking, and odor-repelling advantages, all while giving you comfortable (but non-invasive) support. Not too much, not too little. Crossfly’s patent-pending innovations, the X-Fly opening offers quick access when nature calls and the Coccoon internal pocket device is just something every man has to try - the support and comfort offered are unrivalled. Open a new pair, and you'll never go back to your old ones.

Crossfly has been a vision of a small team of sporting product professionals from the UK and America. Together, we have acquired decades of experience working in the Sports industry for global brands within Marketing and Product Innovation. After a few false starts, some legal issues, a eureka moment, and a global Pandemic Crossfly was finally ready to get going.


WE'VE RAISED THE BAR and deliver the most comfortable underwear and socks you will ever wear; packed with patent pending technologies and features that offer ultimate comfort whatever you're doing. GAME. CHANGED.

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