Boxers vs Briefs vs Boxer Briefs: Which Is Best?

Boxers vs Briefs vs Boxer Briefs: Which Is Best?

Looking to make a change in the underwear department? Well, look no further. We’re breaking down the debate on boxers versus briefs and giving you the scoop on all types of skivvies. When it comes to undergarments it’s important to make sure you always feel (and look) your best, so keep reading for the down-low on what to wear down there.

Here’s the deal:

Boxers or briefs? The age-old question. While it seems like it would be a relatively easy one to answer, in reality, it can get a lot more complicated than you would think. While the decision does mostly come down to preference, there are a lot of pros and cons for each option and what’s best for you is highly dependent upon your wardrobe, lifestyle and activity level, and, in general, style preference. (Because who doesn’t want to look good without clothes on, right?) Boxer briefs are another option that somewhat captures the high points of both boxers and briefs, but also has their downfalls as well. Below we’ve summarized what you need to know about each type of undergarment in order to make a fully informed decision.

  • Boxers: Boxers provide a lot of breathability and airflow, making them great for lounging, sitting, and warm or humid climates. What they’re not so great for, however, is working out and other athletic activities. That extra breathing room can result in rubbing and chaffing, which is not ideal for days when you plan to be super active. Overall, boxers are a fan favorite and a great option for leisurely weekends or working at a desk job, but, if your days typically consist of a lot of physical activity, boxers may not be the best option for you.


  • Briefs: Briefs provide more support than you’ll get from any pair of boxers and are known for their versatility, so whether you wear them to the gym or a formal event you won’t have any issues with bunching or chaffing. Briefs typically come in low, medium, and high rise styles providing as much (or as little) coverage as you want. Briefs can feel restrictive and don’t provide nearly as much airflow as boxers, however, which leads to the concern that tight-fitting underwear may reduce sperm count if you’re trying to conceive. Now, we’re not doctors, but definitely something you may want to look into if you’re in the process of starting a family. Overall, briefs are a great option if you’re looking for something that will keep everything in place while remaining comfortable enough to wear under just about anything. 


  • Boxer Briefs: As we mentioned above, boxer briefs are a versatile hybrid option that can provide you the best of both worlds. Boxer briefs provide the same support as briefs, with the added length of a boxer—making them perfect for high-intensity workouts or long runs. The problem with boxer briefs is that they do come with some downfalls from both boxers and briefs. They’re a bit more restricting and provide less airflow than boxers (though not quite as restricting as briefs), but may still bunch and ride up under more form-fitting clothes. And, similar to briefs, boxer briefs come with some of the same medical concerns regarding tightfitting undergarments reducing sperm count. Overall, boxer briefs are a great option for the gym or casual “athleisure” wear if you’re looking for the support of a brief but with more breathability.


Aside from style, there are a number of other factors to keep in mind when it comes to underwear etiquette. First, if you work out regularly or live in a climate where you sweat frequently, your underwear may need to be changed multiple times throughout the day. Additionally, undergarments need to be replaced regularly, so if you’ve got underwear that are ripped, frayed, or dingy, throw them out and start fresh. If you follow these simple rules, you will not only feel better but your body will thank you—we promise!

What’s the bottom line?

What really makes the boxers versus briefs debate so complicated is that with so many pros and cons, it may be difficult to find one style of underwear that you feel comfortable wearing day in and day out. The solution? Switch it up! Don’t get tied down to one particular type of underwear—diversify. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of undies to lounge around the house, make sure you have a go-to pair of boxers. If you need something that provides a lot of support to wear under more form-fitting dress clothes, add a pair of briefs to the mix. And, if you’re looking for something that will provide comfort and support through high-intensity workouts, why not try a pair of boxer briefs? Having an arsenal of options will allow you to maintain the perfect balance of comfort and support throughout all of your daily activities.

Now that you know what to look for, time to shop! Check out of our list of the Best Men’s Underwear on the Planet to get yourself the perfect pair of undies for every occasion. We’ve also put together a list of the best men’s underwear for working out and running, so we’re confident you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Drop us a comment below to tell us your favorite!

Our editors independently research, test, and recommmend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Article Staff

Fitness has come hard for Andy; he's had to work for it. But, his trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, a NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise and healthy living. That’s why he’s our resident fitness expert.

His favorite food is lettuce-leaf steak tacos – though he’ll admit to a love of hot wings if you leverage the right pressure.

We know him as the guy who understands British humor and wishes everyone was as passionate about life as he is. His previous forays into the worlds of international business and education have left him wildly optimistic. And, if that wasn’t enough, he's also a best-selling, award-winning author of fantasy novels! Can you say renaissance?

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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