So you’ve fallen down the yarn rabbit hole and discovered there is a wide world of yarn just waiting to be squished and snuggled and even smelled (does anyone else do that?!) There are endless yarn options with varying weights and fibers and blends.
When it comes to crocheting amigurumi, my favorite fiber to use is cotton yarn. I love that it’s a natural fiber and can be super duper soft depending on the yarn you use. I’ve gathered all of the cotton yarns I’ve used and written 100% honest reviews for each one…
First, there are a few things to take into account when selecting a yarn – yarn weight, skein weight, softness, stretch, fiber content, and washability.
Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the strand of yarn. It is also called gauge or wraps per inch (WPI). Yarn weight is important because even if a yarn is described as worsted or DK, the yarn weight can differ dramatically between brands.
Skein weight is how much the ball or skein of yarn weighs/measures. Most brands will give you the weight in ounces or grams and the length in yards or meters. If you’re making a specific pattern, make sure you have enough yarn to make it!
Softness is how soft and smooth a yarn is. It’s a matter of personal preference. For me – the softer the better!
Stretch is how much give the strand of yarn has when you tug it between two fingers. I’ve discovered that this is one of the most important for my yarn selection. The stretchier the yarn, the easier it is to work with and the smaller the hook you can use for amigurumi. I was having horrible pains in my shoulder and arm from crocheting and I couldn’t figure out the cause. I changed the way I sat, tried yoga, stretching, everything. I FINALLY figured out it was the yarn I was using. I was using a rough and non-stretchy kitchen cotton, which made me tense my shoulder and arm while crocheting to overcompensate for the non-stretchiness. Now I make sure all of the yarns I use have a little give.
Fiber content refers to what the yarn is made of. I like to use 100% cotton yarn for my amigurumi, but there are many cotton/acrylic blends that work nicely too. Another fun, natural and vegan yarn to use is bamboo-blend yarns!
Washability may be extra important to you if you are making items for babies and kids. Make sure that the yarn you are using can be washed and dried. Some fancy yarns are dry clean only.
*I’ve linked each yarn to LoveCrochet if it’s available there. It’s my favorite site to shop yarn and yarn accessories! Links to LoveCrochet are affiliate links and I get a small percentage of the sale. Affiliate links help support my work – thank you!*
MERCERIZED COTTON YARN
“Mercerized” cotton yarn is treated to hold dye better and results in a shinier, stronger yarn that resists fuzzing and piling. Mercerized cotton yarns are less soft than non-mercerized yarn, but are a good option for amigurumi and crochet jewelry because they hold up well with washing and wearing.
Omega Sinfonia Cotton Yarn (colors above – purple, baby yellow, and mint)
Weight: 3-Light, 3.5 oz. per skein
Where to buy: Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, various online shops
What they say: “It has a great sheen and drape for garments and it is smooth and tightly spun.”
What I say: Definitely agree that it’s smooth and tightly spun! I love using this yarn for making jewelry or if I want to make tiny amigurumi dolls, since it’s a light weight yarn. Not a whole lot of stretch, but it doesn’t cause me any pain while working with it. I love the color range – they are all very vibrant and bold colors. My favorite is the yellow!
Patons Grace Yarn (color above – Blush)
Weight: 3-Light, 1.75 oz. per skein
Where to buy: Michael’s and LoveCrochet
What they say: “Incredibly soft and can be used to make stylish tops, sweaters and scarves. Knit adorable baby blankets, booties and winter hats in cute patterns using this yarn. The collection features a fabulous palette with modern shades that lends elegant shine and texture to your garments and accessories.”
What I say: I use this yarn for making jewelry and pompoms. It’s softer than the Sinfonia, but doesn’t have as many colors. It’s a very nice yarn and I love to use it!
Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton (colors above – red and aqua)
Weight: 4-Medium, Worsted, 3.5 oz. per skein
Where to buy: LoveCrochet, Lion Brand, Craftsy, and more
What they say: “The mercerization process gives the yarn incredible color and sheen which will last through multiple wash cycles. Choose from a variety of 24 colors, which will be perfect for making fashion garments, home décor, bath and kitchen accessories, and items for babies and children.”
What I say: This is another yarn I love using for jewelry because the mercerization makes it stronger. It’s described as “worsted weight,” but I would say it’s on the lighter side of worsted. Really smooth and strong. Has a good amount of stretch. I know a lot of crocheters that use this yarn for amigurumi. I haven’t yet (!), but will try it soon.
SUPER SOFT COTTONS
The yarns in this group are my FAVORITE to work with. I love their softness and they’re strong enough for amigurumi. Because these yarns are unmercerized you can brush out the finished work with a wire bristle brush and make it really fuzzy.
I Love This Cotton Yarn (colors above – teal, pale denim, and pistache)
Weight: 4-Medium, Worsted, between 3 and 3.5 oz. per skein
Where to buy: Hobby Lobby
What they say: “You won’t believe how soft I Love This Cotton is until you feel it. This lovely cotton yarn is perfect for making scarves, sweaters, and so much more! The best part is, it gets even softer after washing.”
What I say: Anyone that follows me on Instagram should know how much I RAVE about this yarn. It is my absolute favorite worsted weight cotton to work with. Why you ask? It’s so freaking soft!!! Like seriously! The description above says it right – you won’t believe it until you feel it. It’s on the lighter end of worsted, which makes really nice, small stitches. It’s stretchy and has never hurt my hand or shoulder. I always wait for this yarn to go on sale before buying – it typically goes on sale once a month. Just sign up for the Hobby Lobby newsletter to see when! There are a few cons. With its extra softness, you lose some strength. When you over work it or pull too hard weaving in ends, sometimes the yarn breaks apart. I don’t find it that troublesome, but some may. It’s only available at Hobby Lobby (a craft store in the US), which makes it harder to get for some.
Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK and Cotton Aran (colors above – daffodil yellow, blush pink, tomato red, duck egg blue, and sky blue)
Weight: 3-Light, Light Worsted and 4-Medium, Aran, 1.75 oz. per skein
Where to buy: LoveCrochet
What they say: “Ideal for crocheted garments, cushions, and amigurumi, there is a perfect palette for every project! Be inspired and crochet with their huge range of colors, from rainbow brights to muted dusky shades of coordinating hues, just like an artist would use paint. We’re sure you’ll love this durable and versatile 100% cotton yarn!”
What I say: If you follow any crocheters on Instagram, I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen these super cute balls of Paintbox Yarn before. They are so adorably Instagrammable! And I’m glad to say it’s also an amazing yarn. They aren’t called Paintbox Yarns for nothing – the colorways are soooo pretty. It’s available in 56+ beautiful colors! I’ve used both the Cotton DK and Cotton Aran weights. For amigurumi, I prefer the Cotton Aran – I would compare its yarn weight to I Love This Cotton, on the lighter end of worsted. The Curlies I made for the Curlie Pattern are all Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. Super smooth, soft, and strong. There are a few cons – it’s a little stringy meaning sometimes when I’m working with it, I accidentally pick up a piece of another strand. The balls are also pretty small for the price, but there are frequent discounts.
Rico Creative Cotton Aran (above colors – pastel pink, aquamarine, and pastel pink mix)
Weight: 3-Light and 4-Worsted, 1.75 oz. per skein
Where to buy: LoveCrochet, Hobbycraft, Walmart, and more
What they say: “The color palette of this 100% cotton yarn ranges from vibrant jewels to softer neutral shades, and this is a must-have for your yarn stash. It crochets up quickly at an even tension for dramatic cabled or braided homeware and cozy clothing has well as cute toys and kids accessories. Perfect for granny squares!”
What I say: I haven’t used this yarn extensively because it’s a bit pricey, but the colors are so adorable. LOOK at that pastel variegated yarn *heart eyes*!!!! I would say this yarn is pretty similar to Paintbox Yarn – soft, strong, but a little stringy.
I put this yarn in a different category than the Super Soft Cottons because it’s not as soft as the previous yarns, but also not as rough as the Kitchen Cottons.
DMC Natura Just Cotton, Medium, and XL (color above – 07)
Weight: 2-Fine, 4-Medium, and 6-Super Bulky, 1.75 oz. per skein (Natura XL – 3.5oz per skein)
Where to buy: LoveCrochet
What they say: “Natura Just Cotton is a stunning range of 100% combed cotton threads with a matte finished. The long fibers give it softness and strength with a quality that will be a pleasure to work with. This is a versatile thread for both knitting and crochet. It is great for clothing due to its soft touch, high absorption and durability to frequent washing, Natura created soft, drape-able fabric with good stitch definition.”
What I say: I like using DMC Natura yarns quite a bit! I love that it comes in a fine, medium, and super bulky weight. You could get pretty creative and use all 3 weights in one project. It’s not as stretchy as the yarns in the Super Soft category, but it’s definitely better than the Kitchen Cottons. There is a good assortment of colors – especially of the fine weight. I’ve used it for amigurumi and loved the results. It’s a bit stringy, so you need to watch what you’re doing a bit more to make sure you not picking up strands you’re not supposed to!
These yarns are rougher, thicker, and more absorbent than the yarn in the previous categories. They’re called “Kitchen Cottons” because they’re frequently used to make washcloths or hot pads for cooking and cleaning. They are the least expensive in the 100% cotton yarn category. I don’t like using them for amigurumi because the yarn tends to get duller and fuzzy (not in a good way!) with wear and washing. It’s also the least stretchy yarn and really gives me a pain in the neck!
Bernat Handicrafter (color above – rainbow variegated)
Weight: 4-Worsted, 12 oz. per skein
Where to buy: JoAnn Fabric’s, LoveCrochet, and more
What they say: “Experience the joy of knitting with the Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Ultrasoft Yarn. This cotton ultrasoft yarn is perfect for making kitchen accessories, baby bibs and home accents. Designed to make durable craft work, this soft, elegant yarn makes your entire project simple and convenient.”
What I say: Yeah… definitely not “ultrasoft”! I bought a few of these because you get a lot of bang for you buck. 12 oz balls for ~$12! Couldn’t turn it down. I used Bernat for a few amigurumi projects and it doesn’t work well. The lack of stretchiness, the scruffiness and dullness after some wear, and the thick yarn weight all make this a bad choice for amigurumi. I think I’ll use the Bernat in my stash to make a summer throw.
Lily Sugar ‘N Cream (colors above – psychdelic ombre, hot pink, robin’s egg)
Weight: 4-Worsted, 3.5 oz. per skein
Where to buy: JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, LoveCrochet, and more
What they say: “Lily Sugar ‘n Cream is known for its exceptional quality and wide range of colors, ideal for knit, crochet, and craft projects.”
What I say: Unfortunately, this is the yarn that hurt my shoulder THE WORST! Every time I would pick it up and work with it for an amigurumi project, I got almost instant shoulder pain. It’s the least stretchy of the yarns I’ve included in this round-up. It’s an appealing yarn at first because it’s extremely easy to find in the US and it’s very inexpensive. Because of this, I’ve amassed a pretty large stash of Sugar ‘N Cream yarn only to discover it’s a pain in the neck… LITERALLY. Lately, I’ve been using this yarn to make pompoms or granny squares. But other than that, I would skip it.