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Jumper vs. Sweater: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 31, 2023
A jumper, in British English, refers to a knitted garment for the upper body, similar to a sweater in American English, which is a cozy, knitted pullover.

Key Differences

A jumper, primarily used in British English, is a knitted garment worn over the upper body. A sweater, the American equivalent, is a warm, often woolen, garment intended for similar use.
Jumpers can be made from a variety of materials, including wool and synthetic fibers. Sweaters, likewise, are made from similar materials and are designed for warmth and comfort.
The term jumper is commonly used in the UK and other Commonwealth countries to describe this type of garment. In the US, the term sweater is widely used for the same type of clothing.
Both jumpers and sweaters can come in various styles, including crew necks, v-necks, and cardigans. The styles are similar, with variations in design and fit.
In fashion, jumper and sweater are often used interchangeably in casual conversation, though the preference for one term over the other can depend on regional dialect.

Comparison Chart


British English term for a knitted upper body garment
American English term for a similar knitted garment


Common in the UK and Commonwealth countries
Predominantly used in the US


Made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers
Often woolen, but can also include other materials


Includes crew necks, v-necks, cardigans
Similar styles like crew necks, v-necks, cardigans

Regional Preference

Preferred term in British English
Preferred term in American English

Jumper and Sweater Definitions


A warm, casual garment for cold weather.
She knitted a jumper for her grandson.


A garment that can be stylish and functional.
Her sweater was not only warm but also very stylish.


A fashionable, knitted top, sometimes with patterns.
The patterned jumper became a popular trend this winter.


A knitted garment for the upper body, typically long-sleeved.
She pulled on her cozy sweater to fend off the chill.


A knitted garment worn over the upper body.
She wore a red jumper to the Christmas party.


An item of clothing for cool weather, often knitted.
The autumn breeze called for a light sweater.


A long-sleeve, pullover garment, often without a collar.
His blue jumper matched his eyes.


A casual or formal garment, depending on the style.
For the meeting, he chose a formal, dark-colored sweater.


A versatile piece of clothing, often layered.
He layered a shirt under his jumper for extra warmth.


A pullover garment, often woolen, for warmth.
His favorite sweater was a thick, woolen one.


One that jumps.


A garment for the upper body of wool, cotton, or synthetic yarn, typically knitted, having long sleeves, and worn in cold weather.


A type of coasting sled.


One that sweats, especially profusely.


Can sweaters have buttons?

Yes, some styles like cardigans have buttons.

Is a jumper the same as a sweater?

In essence, yes. The main difference is regional terminology.

Can a jumper have a hood?

Yes, some modern designs include hoods.

Is the term jumper used in the US?

It's less common, with sweater being the preferred term.

Are jumpers fashionable?

Absolutely, they can be very stylish.

Are sweaters only for winter?

No, sweaters can be worn in various seasons, depending on the material.

What materials are jumpers made of?

Wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers are common materials.

Can jumpers be formal?

Yes, depending on the style and material, they can be formal.

Are jumpers always knitted?

They are typically knitted, but can have variations.

Can sweaters be sleeveless?

Yes, there are sleeveless varieties.

Is there a difference in the knitting pattern between jumpers and sweaters?

No significant difference; it varies more by style than by term.

Is a sweater suitable for sports?

Generally, sweaters are not designed for sports.

Do sweaters come in different thicknesses?

Yes, from thin to thick, depending on the intended use.

Do jumpers shrink when washed?

They can, especially if woolen and not washed properly.

Can jumpers be part of school uniforms?

Yes, in many countries, they are a common part of school uniforms.

Are cardigans considered jumpers or sweaters?

They can be categorized as either, depending on the region.

Are sweaters unisex?

Yes, many styles are unisex, though some are gender-specific.

Are sweaters only long-sleeved?

No, they can also be short-sleeved or sleeveless.

Can a sweater be a part of a formal outfit?

Yes, especially finer, well-fitted sweaters.

Can jumpers have zippers?

It's less common, but some modern designs may include zippers.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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