6 Jumbo Yarns For All Your Chunky Knit Projects (All Tested)

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Are you wondering which brand of jumbo yarns is best for your next chunky knit project? I got you covered! Here are some of the different jumbo yarn brands that I have compared and tested with multiple projects. Take a look at the results!

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So, this blog post came into existence because I was tired of ordering jumbo yarns online and finding out that they were indeed not (what I would consider) jumbo at all.

When I think jumbo, I think JUMBO! Big knitting, heavily visible stitches and you need BIG needles or a giant crochet hook.

So I decided to test different jumbo yarns from a few different suppliers to compare so I would know what to order for my fall and winter projects.

I’ve been working on projects with each one, testing to see how they feel, if they shed or pill, and if they are even enjoyable to knit. I also want to see what the yarn looks like in a finished product.

These are the six I’ve tried so far that I would use for future projects. I’ve already reordered several of them!

Note: All yarns were labeled size 7 or jumbo, with the exception of Lion Brand Thick and Quick which is a size 6 (bulky).

Woven basket full of jumbo yarn and knitting needles.

6 Jumbo Yarns For All Your Chunky Knit Projects (All Tested)

So, I get it. I know a few people would say to go into a yarn store.

Well, not all of us live in a city, and some of us (raises hands) live a four hour round trip from a local yarn store.

I don’t have much choice and I usually have to place an order online.

Ordering yarn blindly is hit or miss, so I ordered all the yarns marked jumbo that I could find to test and ended up with these 6 (okay, 7) that I thought would be decent for chunky knitting.

Here are the types of jumbo yarns I decided to try out:

  1. Red Heart Grande Yarn (in Oatmeal)
  2. Bernat Maker Big Yarn (in Smoke)
  3. Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn (in Linen)
  4. Red Heart Irresistible Yarn (in Aran)
  5. Lion Brand Yarn Wow (in Non-Dairy Creamer)
  6. Premier Yarns Couture Jazz
  7. Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (in taupe)
Nine different kinds of jumbo yarn.


Not All Jumbo Yarns Are The Same

I used a Canadian yarn supplier called Yarn Canada ( super quick shipping if you are in Canada, highly recommend them) and ordered every single yarn on the site marked jumbo. The only exception was a $70 ball of chunky wool that I drooled over but passed on for this post.

But, when I opened the box with my set of jumbo yarns, I was a tiny bit disappointed.

I think what I consider jumbo yarn isn’t necessarily jumbo yarn. But, a few manufacturers and I were on the same page. You will see what I mean in the comparisons.

Red Heart Grande Yarn (Oatmeal)

16mm (Size Q) Crochet Hook | 15mm (size 19 US) knitting needles | 78% acrylic 22% wool

I ordered this RED HEART Grande Yarn in oatmeal- glorious colour!

It’s a taupe greige and looks gorgeous paired with cream. I only add this colour comment because it was one of the favorite colours that I ordered in this lot.

But, pretty color or not, this is not what I would consider a jumbo yarn.

I would say it’s a bulky yarn for sure, but it doesn’t compare to say, Bernat Irresistible or Lion Brand Wow in thickness. If you doubled up this yarn, you would get about the same gauge as jumbo yarns on this list.

It’s about the same thickness as Bernat Mega Bulky, but not nearly as heavy. The Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn is a thick yarn.

If you’re trying to decide between the two, I suggest the Red Heart Grande for lighter projects.

But, it is a lovely yarn. It has a subtle sheen, minimal shedding, and I’ve experienced no pilling with the projects I’ve made. It is, however, a tiny bit scratchy on the skin and not as soft as other yarns on this list.

I will say Grande is very pleasant to knit with.

Projects still knit up quickly given the thickness of the yarn but you’re not knitting a blanket in an hour. But, for projects that you want to have a thick chunky look, but not SUPER chunky, this might work. I also think that this is the yarn to use for scarves and cowls as the yarn doesn’t shed (much) or pill.

Red heart jumbo yarn colored oatmeal.

Knitting Project With Red Heart Grande Yarn

I knitted up these knit baskets in about an hour using Red Heart Grande Yarn (in Oatmeal) and finished off the top with 3mm cotton cording crocheted all around.

I loved how they turned out!

I ordered three more skeins of this yarn to knock out more baskets for a bookcase in my new office. This project is super easy. If you can do a knit stitch and single crochet, you’re halfway there already.

Click here for the knitted DIY basket tutorial!

DIY knitted basket.

Bernat Maker Big Yarn (Smoke)

16mm (Size Q) crochet hook | 12.75mm (size 17 US) knitting needles | 50% cotton / 50% nylon

This yarn is a T-Shirt kind of yarn. It doesn’t have the same texture or feel as yarn or wool, but I snagged a skein anyway because I wanted to test it and see how it measured up against the rest of the jumbo yarns on this list.

This T-shirt yarn is great for projects like rugs, totes, baskets, etc. It has no shedding at all, no piling ever, and gives a unique smoothness to anything you knit or crochet.

It doesn’t look like it will knit up the same as Bernat Mega Bulky, but it does.

You can see that it does knit up big. I knitted it up on the recommended needle size of US17, but it knitted tight. If knitting on the size 19 knitting needles, Maker Big Yarn would be the same gauge.

The pros and cons are very different on this yarn vs. others. It has no real sheen, like yarn or wool does, but it’s an entirely different product.  I wanted to show it as a comparison for folks who were curious about how it stood up against other jumbo yarns.

Bernat maker big yarn colored smoke.

Bernat Maker Big: Pros & Cons


  • Washable
  • No shedding at all
  • No pilling at all


  • Still not a jumbo yarn, but it does knit up chunky
  • Knits tight on recommended US size 17 needles
  • No sheen

Bernat Mega Bulky, Bernat Maker Big, and Lion Brand Thick and Quick jumbo yarns.
From left to right, Bernat Mega Bulky, Bernat Maker Big, and Lion Brand Thick and Quick.

Crochet Project With Bernat Maker Big

This was the perfect material to make a few padded covers for my camera lenses. Since the yarn is lint-free it doesn’t leave behind dust that could potentially dust up your lens face.

Bernat Maker Big is also super soft and squishy and when crocheted up nice and tight makes a camera lens cover that has a bit of shock absorbancy.

Click here for the crochet lens cover tutorial!

Camera lenses nesting in crocheted lens covers.

Bernat Maker Mega Bulky Yarn

19mm (Size Q) crochet Hook | 19mm (size 35 US) knitting needles | 100% acrylic

Initially, when I opened the box, I did not like the colour of this yarn, but it eventually grew on me.

The yarn is super shiny. It’s like molten gold and silver mixed. The colour is called linen, but it in no way resembles the colour of linen. 

This yarn is the product with the most sheen of all the yarns I tested, it almost metallic. I cannot say for sure that other colours have this effect, but the linen did.

This yarn is also considered a jumbo yarn but is not as thick as some of the yarns on this list. In actual diameter, it is very similar to Red Heart Grande Yarn, but the Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn (in Linen) is much much denser.

It’s also a very heavy yarn! It would sure make a toasty cowl or scarf, or slippers!

It is also the softest yarn ever. I loved it for how soft it was and it felt like I was knitting kittens it was so soft.

It has a tiny teeny bit of shedding, but no pilling.

But, did I mention how soft it was? (Well, it was!!)

Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn.

Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn: Pros & Cons


  • Beautiful sheen!
  • Softest yarn ever!
  • Knits quick
  • Very little shedding
  • No pilling (yet)
  • Washable
  • Dense, heavy yarn


  • Not jumbo

Red Heart Irresistible Yarn (In Aran)

19mm (Size Q) Crochet Hook | 25 mm (size 50 US) knitting needles | 90% acrylic, 10% wool

Oh, I love this yarn! It reminds me of true wool roving (not entirely wound together). It was the thickest of all the jumbo yarns I ordered, and it looked the most like wool. Not as thick as true roving, but still nice and chunky.

I knitted it up on size 50 knitting needles to test it, and oh boy, did I love the look of this yarn. I ordered the colour Aran thinking it was creme, but it was more of a blush pink.

Yarn photo colours never match the colour on the screen. Even though I ended up with a pink blush yarn, I fell in love. This Red Heart Irresistible Yarn looks like cotton candy and is super soft! It also knits up super fast (it’s thick!!!) and makes quick work of any project.

It also has a gorgeous sheen.

But…it does shed. It sheds a lot.

Oh, it sheds so much! It sheds more than my two Labradors.

Let’s just say that it’s sheddy. (I like to make up words)

Using this yarn for projects that don’t require a lot of hands-on use (like a wreath) is a good idea. I don’t think this yarn would be a good fit for scarves, or blankets because the shedding is unreal but I still love it for other projects.

This yarn is a load of fun to knit or crochet.

Red Heart Irresistible Yarn (In Aran).

Red Heart Irresistible Yarn: Pros & Cons


  • Looks like roving
  • Truly is a jumbo yarn
  • Beautiful sheen!
  • Knits quick
  • Very fluffy and soft


  • Handwash only due to the wool content
  • Sheds like crazy
  • Pills
  • More expensive vs. the other yarns on this list

Knitted Wreath Project With Red Heart Irresistible Yarn

This wreath was finger crochet and put together in less than 30 minutes. The process is straightforward, and Red Heart Irresistible yarn was the perfect jumbo yarn for this project. I love the big loops and braided look of this wreath.

Click here for the knitted wreath tutorial!

A knitted wreath resting on a rustic ladder.

Lion Brand Wow Yarn (In Non-Dairy Cream)

19mm (Size Q) Crochet Hook | 19mm (size 35 US) knitting needles | 70% acrylic / 30% wool

This yarn is also what I would consider a jumbo yarn. It’s nice and thick, looks like wool but is a bit more tightly woven vs. a yarn like Red Heart Irresistible Yarn.

It’s still a loose fluffy yarn and of course, all the fuzzy means it sheds. It sheds a lot! It does not shed as much as Bernat Irresistible yarn does, but it’s a close second.

This yarn also has a subtle sheen, looks a bit like wool, and knits up quick! It is a bit on the pricier side, but at the end of the day, the only two expensive jumbo yarns on this list are the two that I feel can be considered jumbo (Lion Brand Yarn Wow and Red Heart Irresistible Yarn)

I ordered the colour non-dairy cream, and it was a beautiful creamy milk-white.

This yarn is the yarn I would use to knit my next chunky knit blanket. It’s going to shed, and it’s going pill, but at least it’s going to give me a look I want.

That’s the bonus about testing all these yarns; now I have a better idea of what jumbo yarns will work for my projects without having to guess or do a lot of online research.

Lion Brand Wow Yarn (In Non-Dairy Cream).

Feb 2019 Update: An Alternative Yarn- Loops and Threads Spirit Yarn

I wanted to add a note here. I am having a hard time finding this yarn, especially in this color.

BUT, I recently found Loops and Treads Spirit yarn and it is almost exactly the same with the thickness and density. It also sheds the same, unfortunately.

If you are looking for a much less expensive version of Lion Brand Wow, I would check it out. Michaels recently had this yarn on sale for $20 a skein, but each skein is a double the yardage you will find in a single skin of Lion Brand Wow.

Cream colored jumbo yarn wrapped around knitting needles.

Lion Brand Wow Yarn: Pros & Cons

  • Looks like roving
  • Truly is a jumbo yarn
  • Beautiful sheen!
  • Knits quick
  • Handwash only due to the wool content
  • Sheds like crazy
  • Pills a bit (and long-term will probably pill a lot)
  • More expensive vs. the other yarns on this list

Knitted Pillow Project With Lion Brand WOW

A simple jumbo knitted pillow cover you can make in under an hour. Super easy, perfect for a beginner knitter with no complicated stitches!

Click here for the knitted pillow cover!

Knitted pillow cover.

Premier Yarns Couture Jazz

5.5 mm US I crochet hook | 4.5 mm (size 7 US) knitting needles | 81% acrylic / 19% wool

Ah, Couture Jazz, the favorite of arm knitters far and wide. This yarn is the yarn much touted for its ability to transform into chunky knit blankets in under an hour magically.

I have a post on my thoughts on arm knitting and how I failed at my attempt. It was my first time using Couture Jazz, and I ordered it without ever seeing it. It’s not a jumbo yarn as you can see by the recommended needle sizes above.

Because it is a very wide yarn, it does an excellent job of faking the chunky look. You can use size 50 knitting needles and get away with it. It’s an interesting yarn.

It gives the appearance of a chunky knit because the yarn is flat and wide. I likened it to a linguine noodle when I first reviewed it.

It is a beautiful yarn. It’s whispy and soft, and the unique shape adds a different creative look to your knit goods. It’s also washable!

There is not a lot of shedding during the knitting process.

There are a few downsides. This yarn will lay flat if knitted wide open, like with arm knitting. My chunky knit blanket also pilled terribly after a few weeks, and those pills keep getting worse.

I spent $160 CDN on my chunky knit blanket, and I was never really satisfied with it. It looked beautiful on the bed,  but never had that truly chunky look that I wanted, and watching it shed and pill like crazy only made me annoyed every single time I looked at it.


Premier Yarns Couture Jazz.

Premier Yarns Couture Jazz Pros & Cons


  • Inexpensive
  • A whispy yarn that is soft and beautiful
  • Washable
  • Fun to knit
  • Creates a unique look to knit or crochet goods due to the flat noodle-like shape


  • Will pill a lot
  • Watch the size of your needles, or your arms, this can fake the look of a chunky blanket but go too large with your stitches, and you will end up with a very holey net.

Premier Yarns Couture Jazz Jumbo Yarn.

Chunky Knit Project With Couture Jazz

This is the chunky knit blanket that I made on giant handmade knitting needles. It did make a pretty blanket in the end and I did enjoy working with the yarn.

For the chunky knit blanket tutorial, click here!

Chunky knit blanket draped over a bed.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick (In Taupe)

(DOUBLED) 19mm (Size Q) Crochet Hook | 19mm (size 35 US) knitting needles| 80% acrylic / 20% wool

So, here is a cheap alternative that I think yields some impressive results.

I’ve used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in a few projects in the past, and I find if you double the yarn, you get the same effect as with the jumbo yarns.

You can buy two skeins of yarn for the same price as one skein of Lion Brand WOW. The yarns, of course, are very different in feel and look, but to get that jumbo yarn look on a dime, this yarn might be a good fit for a project.

This yarn looks acyclic, bears no resemblance what so ever to wool, and is not soft. It does have 20% wool, but I don’t see it.

I’ve read reviews that this is a soft yarn. Lies!! This yarn is not a soft yarn.

But, this yarn does have its benefits. It knits up quick doubled,  barely sheds, and never pills. It also washes like a dream. No issues with pilling after washing either. Here is a scarf I knitted up over five years ago that we wash over and over again.

This yarn is tough.

A yarn choice to consider if you want to jumbo knit, but you don’t want to spend a small fortune.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick (In Taupe).

Lion Brand Thick and Quick: Pros & Cons


  • Inexpensive
  • Washable
  • Holds up very well
  • No pilling
  • No shedding


  • Scratchy wool, not very soft
  • Does not have a sheen
Knitted scarf with dark gray jumbo yarn.

Was There A Favorite?

Well, I set out to find a few jumbo yarns for my fall projects, and I found several that I like. Both the Red Heart Irresistible Yarn (despite the shedding) and the Lion Brand Yarn Wow were clear winners in the jumbo yarn department. I would use them both and would probably decide based on price. I liked both of them equally well.

But, the clear winner in all this testing was the Bernat Mega Bulky Yarn.

It was my least favorite colour of all jumbo yarns, but the yarn was so nice to work with, so soft and knitted up beautifully that I want to do a larger project with it.

It’s still not nearly as thick or jumbo as the Red Heart Irresistible Yarn or the Lion Brand Yarn Wow, so I probably won’t knit up a chunky blanket with it, but for anything that requires a bulky yarn, this one would be my go-to for sure.

If you have any yarns that you want me to test, drop a note in the comments.

Are there jumbo yarns that you’ve tested and loved, or tested and detested? Let me know!

For all you folks who love to give away your handcrafted goodies, we created a beautiful set of hanger tags and product wraps for you to download for free.

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