Boxers vs Briefs: Which is Better and Why?

maroon and grey briefs on a red background

Introduction

When it comes to dressing up, most men spend all their time worrying about what they’ll wear on the outside. There’s a different debate that needs to be taking place: boxers vs briefs. Which is better? There are various factors to take into account when deciding which style of underwear is best for you. It can be a tough decision. Not to worry! In this article, we’re going to go through the various components of both boxer shorts and briefs to conclude which means underwear is better for you! The way we’ll approach this underwear analysis is from the lens of five primary categories: function, comfort, appearance, sex appeal, and sperm production benefits. We’ll consider how both boxers and briefs fair in each category in order to determine which is better.

Let’s briefly explain what each category is responsible for. The function will consider how well any given underwear protects your private parts and keeps them tucked away, as well as how effective it is at covering everything up. The comfort category looks at how, well, comfortable your manhood feels while wearing that particular underwear. The appearance category will weigh in on how a certain underwear type looks. Sex appeal will consider how women feel about the underwear type we’re reviewing at the time. And finally, sperm production! We’ll get into that later.

Let’s dive right in.

Boxers We Like

  1. Ultimate Men's Woven Boxers Pack
    $23.98

    by Hanes 

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    11/29/2023 03:06 pm GMT
  2. Men's Woven Boxers, Multipack
    $19.99

    by Gildan 

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    11/29/2023 03:01 pm GMT
  3. Men's Tag-Free Boxer Shorts (Knit & Woven)
    $21.48

    by Fruit of the Loom 

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    11/29/2023 02:56 pm GMT

Boxers

We’ll start with the boxer. As Merriam-Webster put it, boxer shorts are “men’s underwear shorts characterized by loose fit.” Factory Two Four adds that this underwear is “loose-fitting and provides less support.” That’s as simple as it gets, gentlemen. Let’s dive into the good stuff.

Function

Most men will agree with the fact that boxers don’t offer the best functionality and support. As Bunch of Animals said, boxers are “the worst when it comes to function.” Imagine you’re hanging out with some friends, kicking back some beers, enjoying yourself. Before you know it, you’re hiding in shame because your loose fitting boxer shorts exposed your Johnson. Not a favorable situation. Real Men Real Style backed up this claim by adding that boxers are simply a “wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.” Here’s another scenario. You’re at the gym, grinding out some crunches. You notice people staring at you and laughing! Guess what? You’ve just given them a full view of the gems. We’ll give the boxer a 6 out of 10 rating for function.

striped boxers on a clothes line

Comfort

Now let’s move on to the category of comfort. It’s a widely held opinion that boxers are more comfortable than other underwear, primarily because they “provide more space and freedom on the inside,” according to Men’s Venture. Another article by Macy’s further supports the superior comfort of boxers compared to briefs, this time crediting the boxer shorts breathability. They said that the boxer has a “looser silhouette,” which allows for “more air circulation” that ultimately makes the boxer a more breathable choice. Finally, Willy California wrote that boxer shorts made from quality fabrics can be “extraordinarily comfortable.” If you pair them with the right pants, you will enjoy an easy and breezy fit. We rate the boxers a 9 out of 10 for comfort.

Appearance

Let’s consider the appearance of boxer shorts. When it comes to looks, Get Nooks claims that boxers “don’t really look that great.” They’re loose-fitting, meaning that they don’t necessarily make your legs look good. Instead, they tend to make your lower body look bigger. However, one positive about the boxer’s appearance is that they sort of look like shorts. That means that they’re a great choice for “relaxing around the house” and “sleeping,” says Dead Good Undies. If you’re on the heavier side or have a beer belly, boxers can add some weight to your thighs with all the padding they offer. As we mentioned, this makes your lower body looks bigger. But that’s where the good part ends. For most guys, boxers make their legs look like noodles sprawling out of baggy underpants. The loose fit just doesn’t look great. Furthermore, Tommy John adds that boxers can pose some “stylistic challenges” for men with a skinnier body type, as the baggier look can feel a bit sloppy and the large space between “leg and fabric may appear awkward.” With all this in mind, we rate the boxer a 7 out of 10 for appearance.

man wearing red boxers

Sex Appeal

Now let’s move on to an important category for men: sex appeal. We all want to wear underwear that women will feel attracted to, right? Do boxer shorts lend themselves to massive sex appeal? It’s time to find out. There was a survey conducted by GQ that asked women about the sex appeal of different underwear types. Let’s see what they had to say. Out of 200 women surveyed, only 19% said that they preferred men wearing boxers. One woman said that “boxers seem to go along with the type of guy I like. Classic, but not his dad’s underwear.” Another woman said that “the rest are too tight and overindulgent. Boxers are relaxed and chill, not full of themselves.” Even with the few glowing reviews that boxer shorts received, let us keep in mind that only about 1 in 5 women actually prefers this style of underwear. For some more insight on what women like in terms of boxers, it was found that they prefer boxers with “simple patterns and stripes” over solid colors. We rate the boxer a 6 out of 10 for sex appeal.

Sperm Production

You might be wondering what this category is for. Believe it or not, there have been studies conducted that considered the sperm production of men who wore various types of underwear. Their goal was to determine whether certain styles of underwear had some impact on fertility, infertility, and sperm health. Let’s see what they found out.

WebMD wrote that to maximize testicular function, “the temperature of testes must be lower than the core body temperature.” That’s why your testicles are located outside of your body. While they did allude to some conclusions about a relationship between underwear type and sperm concentration, they did not conduct a study. That’s where the Oxford Academic journal Human Reproduction comes in. They did, in fact, conduct a study about sperm production, and here’s what they found. Men who reported primarily wearing boxers had a “25% higher sperm concentration” and a “17% higher sperm count” in comparison to men who did not report wearing boxers. That’s good news for you, boxer men! It means your sperm health is, on average, better than the rest! We give boxers a 10 out of 10 for sperm production.

blue and orange checkered boxers on a white background

Briefs We Like

  1. Men's Coolzone Boxer Briefs (Assorted Colors)
    $28.99

    by Fruit of the Loom 

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    11/29/2023 02:53 pm GMT
  2. Men's Underwear Boxer Briefs
    $21.96

    by Hanes 

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    11/29/2023 02:46 pm GMT
  3. Men's Boxer Briefs, Multipack
    $19.57

    by Gildan 

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    11/29/2023 02:41 pm GMT

Briefs

Now let’s move on to the next style of underwear we’ll be analyzing: briefs. Briefs are a short, tighter underwear style worn by men and women alike. One of the most classic styles of men’s briefs are the notorious “tighty-whities”. They aren’t to be mistaken for boxer briefs, which tend to cover much more of the leg than briefs do. Briefs are also highly versatile, coming in styles that offer various levels of coverage as well as different types of fits.

Function

Briefs are undoubtedly better than boxers, but that isn’t saying much given that the latter provided very little functional support. Their tight fit offers maximum support for your package, keeping you feeling secure and covered all day long. These tighty whities leave your inner thighs exposed, meaning that the wrong fabric can easily cause chafing, especially while you are wearing briefs for long-periods. As such, briefs are great for protection and support. But for preventing exposure and chafing, they come up short. We recommend finding a micro modal fabric for your underwear, which is known for its incredible softness and resistance to shrinkage. It’ll help reduce the likelihood of chafing occurring. Furthermore, know that certain types of pants are more likely to cause thigh chafing than others, such as skinny jeans. Other variations of pants such as silky joggers are unlikely to pose the same problems. We’re going to give briefs a rating of 10 out of 10 for function.

grey briefs on a white background

Comfort

Now let’s move on to the comfort that briefs provide for your wearing experience. Supporting your gems is where briefs outshine the rest. That’s because they hug your boys closely and keep them supported at all times. No matter the activity, you can feel confident that your boys won’t be in pain from excessive movement when sporting this style. When you wear briefs, you can expect that the backside and package are covered, but the upper thigh is not. It’s the ideal option if you want everything to be lifted and supported. However, be aware that such a close and tight fit of briefs can quickly turn into discomfort when it’s hot outside. Even just a lap of running could make your balls sticky and sweaty. Ask any guy who wears briefs and he’ll tell you why that sucks. Except for David Beckham. Check out what he had to say about tighty whities: “They’re comfortable. I think they feel great, especially when you’re playing soccer, as well.” Wow, David. Good to know. Since the legendary Beckham loves his briefs, we’ll rate this style of underwear a 9 out of 10 for comfort.

Appearance

One thing about briefs is that they highly expose your figure. That means that the tight fit will highlight your curves and build, something that could be a good or bad thing. If you have the physique of a Calvin Klein model, then tighty whities might be the perfect underwear choice for you. They’ll accentuate your muscles and promote your legs, as most of your thigh is exposed. On the other hand, if you have a beer belly or a dad bod, then briefs might not be the number one choice for you. This is because they tend to make your lower body look bigger than it is, given that the style of the underwear is tight fitting on your body. Now, if you’ve worked hard to get your abs and tone your thighs, why not show them off? You deserve to. The bottom line is that, while anyone can wear briefs, the type of effect that they’ll have on your appearance is ultimately a function of how fit you are. This shouldn’t stop you from trying them out! Throw on a pair of tighty whities and check out how you look in the mirror! If you feel confident, then keep rocking it. We give the briefs a rating of 7 out of 10 for appearance.

man wearing black briefs

Sex Appeal

This is likely the most interesting category to consider for most men. After all, who doesn’t want to look hot and sexy in front of their woman? Maybe the right pair of underwear can score you some sex, right? Wrong. Not this type of underwear. No, no, no. While it may be disappointing and disheartening to those of you who wear briefs, it turns out that the majority of women do not like the tighty whities look. Let’s look back on that same GQ survey that we used to assess the sex appeal of boxers. Out of 200 women surveyed, only a meager 5% said that they preferred their man wearing briefs. Wow. That is literally less than 1 in 10 women, on average. Here’s what the few who did pick briefs had to say about them.

One woman said this: “I like men who are in shape and comfortable with their sexuality; briefs represent that, at least among western dudes.” Another diehard briefs fan said, “I love how briefs make a guys butt look.” Finally, this woman said that it’s her “favorite type [of underwear] on men,” adding that the men who wear briefs are “more confident” and “not afraid of losing masculinity.”

When it came to picking colors, women first preferred grey briefs, then black briefs, and in last place, the notorious tighty whities. We suppose that goes to show you how culture has changed! Overall, we give the tighty whities a sex appeal rating of 4 out of 10.

Sperm Production

As we did with boxers, it’s time to look at how briefs can impact male fertility, sperm health, and even another fertility-related metric: follicle-stimulating hormone. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone associated with reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men.

What we mentioned earlier in the boxer’s sperm production section lends itself here, too: men who wear boxers have higher sperm concentration and sperm counts than those who do not wear boxers. That means that those who wear other underwear types, such as briefs, tend to have a lower sperm concentration and lower sperm count. This means that the sperm health of men who wear briefs is, on average, less adequate. Let’s see how this translates to measuring FSH.

Blood samples were collected from 304 out of the 656 men who participated in the above study. That analysis showed that those men who wear boxers had 14% lower follicle-stimulating hormone levels compared to the men who didn’t wear boxers. Now, FSH is not like sperm count. Higher is not better. In fact, lower FSH levels indicate healthier fertility because your body does not have to produce extra FSH to get things going. We rate the briefs a 5 out of 10 for sperm production, simply because it yields weaker sperm health than boxers.

black briefs in front of a white background

What’s Better?

Now that we’ve taken the time to analyze each and every component of both styles of underwear, it’s time to make a decision. Let’s recap.

Boxers offer weak functional support and protection, due to their loose-fitting build. This makes them prone to wardrobe malfunctions and slip-ups where your Johnson is exposed. We rated it a 6 out of 10. The comfort of the boxers is optimal, as their loose fit contributes to increased air circulation and breathability. They were rated 9 out of 10. For appearance, their loose fit accentuates your lower body, which can be a good thing depending on your body type. We rated them a 7 out of 10. For sex appeal, the boxer’s way outperformed the briefs; they were 3 times more popular amongst women. We gave them an 8 out of 10. Finally, for sex appeal, studies showed that boxers were indicative of the greatest sperm health; they were roughly 25% more in sperm concentration. That’s why they were rated 10/10.

Briefs offer maximum security and protection via their tight fit, so they got a functional rating of 10 out of 10. For comfort, their secure fit keeps your boys well tucked away but is prone to sweating while exercising. We gave it a rating of 8 out of 10. The appearance of briefs can look both sexy and unflattering, depending on your body type. This variance made us give it a rating of 7 out of 10. The sex appeal of briefs is next to none, so it got a rating of 4 out of 10. Finally, sperm health studies clearly concluded that tight underwear is bad for sperm, so briefs got a rating of 5 out of 10.

Overall, boxers scored 8/10 across all categories.

Overall, briefs scored 6.8/10 across all categories.

Boxers win!

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