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10 Best Handkerchiefs UK 2023

Nowadays handkerchiefs have become something of an overlooked accessory, but the simple hanky can be a useful thing to have with you in a variety of situations. It can be used to avoid the awkwardness of being caught without a tissue, or as an emergency measure to combat spillages or to wipe away sweat. You could earn some serious brownie points by offering your (clean) hanky to a friend, or add style to your suit with a pocket square.

Not to mention, if you’re a regular user of tissues, switching to handkerchiefs is more environmentally friendly and cuts down on waste paper. Hankies don’t have to be unhygienic, and if folded properly you can get a multitude of uses out of one. Read on for our buying guide explaining the best materials and sizes for handkerchiefs, and our ranking of the best handkerchiefs for men and for ladies to buy on Amazon and John Lewis.
Last updated 14/07/2023
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Table of Contents

How to Choose a Handkerchief in the UK – Buying Guide

Below, we’ll run through some of the key things to bear in mind when choosing a handkerchief, including material and size. Considering these points before purchasing is important for choosing a handkerchief that you’ll use again and again, so read on!
1

Choose a Material Which Suits Your Purpose

The first thing to decide on is what kind of material you’d like to go for. Each material has it’s merits and disadvantages which you should keep in mind.

Cotton Is Soft and Versatile

Cotton Is Soft and Versatile
Cotton is the most common handkerchief material for good reason: it’s absorbent, kind to the skin, and usually machine washable. If choosing cotton, it’s a good idea to look for the highest yarn count possible.


Yarn count is a measure of the thickness of the cotton thread used in the material. A higher yarn count means a finer thread and translates to a better quality, softer handkerchief. For example, 60s yarn count is considered fine quality for handkerchiefs.

Silk Adds a Touch of Sophistication

Silk Adds a Touch of Sophistication
Silk is more lightweight than cotton. It’s great if you’d like a hanky that can double up as a pocket square for those formal occasions. A colourful, stylish design can add a touch of originality to your suit-jacket.


The only drawback is you do sacrifice some practicality as silk is a less absorbent material than cotton – so it’s not as ideal for practical uses such as blowing your nose or wiping your hands. It is also advised that you hand wash any silk products and let them air-dry due to its delicacy.

Microfibre Is Easy to Keep Clean

Microfibre Is Easy to Keep Clean
Good quality microfibre such as nylon can feel similar to silk, but often for a more modest price. The real strength of microfibre is it’s easy to keep clean, and less prone to wrinkling than silk.


However, like silk, microfibre handkerchiefs lack the absorbency of cotton and are instead more suited for use as a formal pocket square.

2

Decide on the Right Size for You

Decide on the Right Size for You
A good size will allow you to get a decent amount of folds and thus uses out of your handkerchief. Ideally, you’ll want to go for something which is greater than 40 x 40 cm, which will give you more uses than something smaller.


If you are thinking of using your handkerchief as a pocket square, you’ll need one which is big enough to fill your pocket and avoid slipping back down, but it won’t have to be as big as a general-use handkerchief. For a jacket top pocket, around the 35 x 35 cm mark should be sufficient.

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Top 10 Handkerchiefs in the UK

Now that we have discussed what to look out for, let’s move on to our top recommendations for the top 10 handkerchiefs available online in 2019, based on specifications and consumer reviews.
Popularity
Products
Image
Price
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Hetherington Gray

1. Hetherington Gray Classic Gold Pure Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 3Pack of 3

Hetherington Gray  1. Hetherington Gray Classic Gold Pure Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 3 1枚目

£11.59

Mid

Extra-Large Practicality from Hetherington Gray

2

John Lewis & Partners

2. John Lewis Designer Handkerchiefs Pack of 7Pack of 7

John Lewis & Partners 2. John Lewis Designer Handkerchiefs Pack of 7 1枚目

£14.00

High

Classic Simplicity for the Smart or Everyday

3

Kentex

3. Kentex Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Hankies Pack of 7Pack of 7

Kentex  3. Kentex Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Hankies Pack of 7 1枚目

£11.99

Mid

A Great Quality Versatile Set for Everyday of the Week

4

Shlax & Wing

4. Shlax & Wing Solid Blue Pocket Square

Shlax & Wing  4. Shlax & Wing Solid Blue Pocket Square 1枚目

£5.99

Low

Stylish Simplicity Fit for Any Occasion

5

Houlife

5. Houlife Ladies 100% 60S Cotton Handkerchiefs

Houlife  5. Houlife Ladies 100% 60S Cotton Handkerchiefs 1枚目

£13.53

High Mid

Soft and Great Quality by Houlife

6

Hisdern

6. Hisdern Men’s Silk Floral Pocket Square Pack of 4Pack of 4

Hisdern  6. Hisdern Men’s Silk Floral Pocket Square Pack of 4 1枚目

£12.99

High Mid

Stylish Paisley Design on Microfibre

7

John Lewis & Partners

7. John Lewis Check Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 6Pack of 2

John Lewis & Partners 7. John Lewis Check Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 6 1枚目

£12.00

Mid

Flamboyant Colour for the Extroverts

8

Merrysquare

8. Merrysquare ‘Chachapoya’ Men’s Handkerchiefs Pack of 6Pack of 6

Merrysquare  8. Merrysquare ‘Chachapoya’ Men’s Handkerchiefs Pack of 6 1枚目

£8.95

Low Mid

A Stylish and Classy Selection

9

Merrysquare

9. Merrysquare ‘Arnold’ Workers Handkerchiefs Pack of 12Pack of 12

Merrysquare  9. Merrysquare ‘Arnold’ Workers Handkerchiefs Pack of 12 1枚目

£10.95

Low Mid

Thick and Durable ‘Workers’ Handkerchiefs

10

Hankytex

10. Hankytex Men’s White Handkerchiefs Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Pack of 12Pack of 12

Hankytex  10. Hankytex Men’s White Handkerchiefs Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Pack of 12 1枚目

£12.99

High Mid

Simple and Practical Functionality

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Hetherington Gray 1. Hetherington Gray Classic Gold Pure Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 3Pack of 3

1. Hetherington Gray Classic Gold Pure Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 3 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£11.59
Mid
Reference price
£11.59
Mid

Extra-Large Practicality from Hetherington Gray

When it comes to hankies, most of us look for practicality and good quality. That’s exactly what you’ll get from these jumbo-sized handkerchiefs. At 53 x 53 cm, you’ll be able to get a great number of uses out of a single sheet.

Reviewers have praised the quality of these cotton hankies with the print stitched into both sides. You can choose from red, navy blue, or a mixture of both. They come neatly boxed, making them a great purchase either for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.
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No.2

John Lewis & Partners2. John Lewis Designer Handkerchiefs Pack of 7Pack of 7

2. John Lewis Designer Handkerchiefs Pack of 7 Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£14.00
High
Reference price
£14.00
High

Classic Simplicity for the Smart or Everyday

Typically great quality handkerchiefs from John Lewis. This pack of 7 is great for a full restock if you are a daily hanky user. The set comes with 3 plain white and 4 checked in varying shades of blue.

Packaged in a neat box that you can see the patterns in, so a wonderful gift idea for a birthday or Christmas! They are also machine washable and the soft cotton will feel nice and comfortable to use
No.3

Kentex 3. Kentex Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Hankies Pack of 7Pack of 7

3. Kentex Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Hankies Pack of 7 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£11.99
Mid
Reference price
£11.99
Mid

A Great Quality Versatile Set for Everyday of the Week

These handkerchiefs keep it simple. Made from 100% cotton and machine washable at low temperatures, you can be sure to get a lot of uses out of them. The pack of 7 means you’ll have a fresh hanky for each day of the week.

Reviewers have praised the quality and absorbency of these handkerchiefs. You can even choose your preferred choice of colour from white, navy blue or grey according to your mood that day.
No.4

Shlax & Wing 4. Shlax & Wing Solid Blue Pocket Square

4. Shlax & Wing Solid Blue Pocket Square Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£5.99
Low
Reference price
£5.99
Low

Stylish Simplicity Fit for Any Occasion

Next on our list is another pocket square. While £5.99 for a single sheet is a little on the pricier side, being a solid navy blue, this handkerchief is highly versatile. It’ll look great in most formal jacket pockets and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for more of a subtle look.

This hanky is made from high-quality microfibre (nylon) which is more durable than silk and less prone to wrinkling. Just remember to hand-wash and allow to dry naturally to keep it looking smooth and pristine.
No.5

Houlife 5. Houlife Ladies 100% 60S Cotton Handkerchiefs

5. Houlife Ladies 100% 60S Cotton Handkerchiefs Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£13.53
High Mid
Reference price
£13.53
High Mid

Soft and Great Quality by Houlife

This set of 6 comes in an assortment of colours, with a subtle vintage floral design. Reviewers have praised the quality and softness of these hankies.

At 45 x 45 cm, they are a great size, and the high 60s thread count guarantees good absorption and softness to the touch. As with most hankies, they’ll be a little stiff when new but will soften up after the first few washes.
No.6

Hisdern 6. Hisdern Men’s Silk Floral Pocket Square Pack of 4Pack of 4

6. Hisdern Men’s Silk Floral Pocket Square Pack of 4 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£12.99
High Mid
Reference price
£12.99
High Mid

Stylish Paisley Design on Microfibre

These are a great option if you’re looking for something to add a little sophistication to your formal attire. They have a great floral paisley design and the four-pack comes in a full variety of colours. These hankies will contrast nicely with a simple grey, black or blue jacket, and a pale coloured shirt. Our advice would be to keep the tie simple to allow your pocket square to really stand out.

They are a good size so should not slip down too much in your top pocket. The only potential drawback, as with microfibre handkerchiefs, they may not be as moisture-wicking as their cotton counterparts, so may not be as practical.
No.7

John Lewis & Partners7. John Lewis Check Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 6Pack of 2

7. John Lewis Check Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 6 Image 1
Source:johnlewis.com
Reference price
£12.00
Mid
Reference price
£12.00
Mid

Flamboyant Colour for the Extroverts

This pair of 2 comes with a bright red and a navy spotted handkerchiefs. We really love the bold red and the more classy navy combination. Being John Lewis you can count on the quality of these cotton hankies. 

The red handkerchief we feel may not be the easiest of colours to match with an outfit if used as a pocket square, but if you can, it will really elevate the look! As just handkerchief, however, it's a lovely pop of colour to pull out of your pocket or bag
No.8

Merrysquare 8. Merrysquare ‘Chachapoya’ Men’s Handkerchiefs Pack of 6Pack of 6

8. Merrysquare ‘Chachapoya’ Men’s Handkerchiefs Pack of 6 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£8.95
Low Mid
Reference price
£8.95
Low Mid

A Stylish and Classy Selection

Another great set from Merrysquare, these have a fantastic design that would be more than suitable for both men and women. They come in a selection of light colours. The hankies are made from lightweight cotton which should feel nice on your face, especially after a few washes.

The only drawback is they are made from a printed fabric, meaning the design is a lot more pronounced on one side than the other.
No.9

Merrysquare 9. Merrysquare ‘Arnold’ Workers Handkerchiefs Pack of 12Pack of 12

9. Merrysquare ‘Arnold’ Workers Handkerchiefs Pack of 12 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£10.95
Low Mid
Reference price
£10.95
Low Mid

Thick and Durable ‘Workers’ Handkerchiefs

These handkerchiefs are a great choice for the working man or woman. They come in a neat checkered design and are both soft and suitably thick to ensure maximum absorption. They’re also a great size, meaning you’ll get a good number of uses out of a single sheet.

Again this is a large set of 12 and great value. These are by no means lightweight and will take up a lot of room in your pocket. Remember to wash before use as they will be extremely starchy and stiff as a board when new.
No.10

Hankytex 10. Hankytex Men’s White Handkerchiefs Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Pack of 12Pack of 12

10. Hankytex Men’s White Handkerchiefs Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Pack of 12 Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£12.99
High Mid
Reference price
£12.99
High Mid

Simple and Practical Functionality

This set of plain white handkerchiefs from Hankytex is ideal if you are looking for something simple and functional. Also, given that it includes 12 separate sheets, you’ll never be short of a clean hanky. These have a high 60S fibre count, meaning they will feel nice and soft on your nose. Although listed for men, they would be perfectly suitable for anyone.

Certain reviewers have complained about the quality of this product, with some noting that they changed shape after washing. They also come cheaply packaged so you if you’re looking for a gift for a loved one, you might want to look elsewhere.

Wash Cotton Handkerchiefs Before Using

Wash Cotton Handkerchiefs Before Using
As they contain starch, handkerchiefs will often feel stiff when you first buy them. Some may also shrink after their first wash. It’s recommended to wash your hankies at low temperature before first use. This will remove any excess colour pigment and soften up the material.


Please note, you do not need to wash silk or microfibre handkerchiefs before use.

Choosing and Folding a Handkerchief for a Pocket Square

Choosing and Folding a Handkerchief for a Pocket Square
If you’re looking for a handkerchief to use as a pocket square, as we have already mentioned in the buying guide above handkerchiefs made from silk or microfibre are best, and something around 35 x 35 cm should be big enough to fill up the pocket without slipping down.


In terms of the design of pocket squares, be as subtle or as flamboyant as you wish. However, try to choose one that contrasts and complements rather than matches your tie. Matching tie-pocket square combos are something of a faux pas in the formal-dress world. Instead, go for something which stands out and adds an element of individuality to your style.


There are numerous different ways to fold a pocket square, ‘the Presidential’, ‘the Two Peaks’ and ‘the Dunaway’ just to name a few. They range from the simple to the outright flamboyant. Have a look online to see which style you would like to go for.

Look and Feel Stylish Whatever the Occasion

Look and Feel Stylish Whatever the Occasion

Whether it's a wedding, a work's do or just a few drinks with the friends, we have some stylish options for you to try that will have you looking and feeling like a million dollars. Take a look!

Summary

We hope you’ve found this guide useful. Remember, if you’re looking for a practical handkerchief, you can’t go wrong with cotton. For formal occasions, silk works great as a pocket square to add an element of sophistication to your dress.


Overall, a clean hanky is a great thing to keep in your pocket, and an ideal way to cut down on waste paper!

Top 5 Handkerchiefs

No. 1: Hetherington Gray 1. Hetherington Gray Classic Gold Pure Cotton Handkerchiefs Pack of 3Pack of 3

No. 2: John Lewis & Partners2. John Lewis Designer Handkerchiefs Pack of 7Pack of 7

No. 3: Kentex 3. Kentex Assorted Woven 100% Cotton Hankies Pack of 7Pack of 7

No. 4: Shlax & Wing 4. Shlax & Wing Solid Blue Pocket Square

No. 5: Houlife 5. Houlife Ladies 100% 60S Cotton Handkerchiefs

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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