Yarn Bowl Guide – Best Yarn Bowls in 2024

two yarn bowls next to each other, one made of ceramic and the other 3d printed with the title "yarn bowl guide"

Use this guide to find the right yarn bowl for you and your projects. Learn about the advantages of using a yarn bowl and the differences between plastic, ceramic, and wooden yarn bowls.

Table of Contents

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission.

What is a Yarn Bowl?

A yarn bowl is a bowl that keeps your yarn contained while you knit or crochet. They’re sometimes referred to as “knitting bowls” or “yarn holders.”

If you’re into knitting or crocheting, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of dealing with a rebellious ball of yarn. It loves to roll around, fall off the table, and unravel at the most inconvenient times. Managing the yarn while working on your project can be a real challenge. But fear not! That’s where a yarn bowl comes to the rescue. It’s a handy tool that keeps your yarn neat and in one place, saving you from all the hassle and worries. Say goodbye to yarn chaos and hello to stress-free crafting!

I was gifted this ceramic yarn bowl a few years ago and have never not used one since. I cannot recommend them enough so if you work with yarn, definitely get one (or multiple!). I also recommend them in best craft gifts and best gifts for crocheters and knitters.

two toned ceramic yarn bowl with a blue stripe with pink yarn inside coming out of it

What's the Difference Between a Yarn Bowl and a Regular Bowl?

Yarn bowls have this neat little swirl at the top that goes along the side. It’s there to hold your yarn while you’re working on your project. Some yarn bowls even have a hole or two for extra security. You can use either option to keep your yarn in place, but this is the main difference between a yarn bowl and a regular bowl.

If you were to put your yarn in a regular bowl, the ball of yarn would just bounce around and probably fall out. That’s because the yarn gets pulled along the top of the bowl. But with a yarn bowl, the yarn comes out through the side, keeping the ball of yarn nice and contained.

Furthermore, the bowl is typically wider at the bottom than it is at the top to help keep the yarn towards the bottom of the bowl.

How to Choose a Yarn Bowl

While it may seem as though all yarn bowls are the same, there are actually a few factors you’ll still want to consider:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Portability
  • Features
a blue and white ceramic yarn bowl with pink yarn inside and a purple glitter printed yarn bowl

Difference in Sizes of Yarn Bowls

Yarn bowls come in all sorts of sizes, so the first thing to consider is how big of a bowl you actually need. The larger ones can hold more yarn, but they also take up more space. On the flip side, small knitting bowls don’t require as much room, but they won’t hold as much yarn either. It’s all about finding the right balance for your knitting needs.

Therefore you want to consider the yarn you’re using for a project – is it a very large skein? Then you’ll need a larger bowl. Do you need to use multiple balls of yarn at once like I did while making the reversible beanie? Then you again need a larger bowl to allow for all of the balls of yarn to move around.

However, if you are using a single average-sized ball of yarn at a time for your projects, you can get away with having a smaller yarn bowl (like I did with my loom knit hat and while making pom poms).

Yarn Bowl Weight

The weight of a yarn holder is important for two reasons: portability and keeping your yarn in place while you work. The lighter the bowl, the easier it is to carry around. However, this also means the bowl is more likely to move while you’re working. If you’re an average knitter or crocheter, this might not be a big concern since the yarn won’t bounce around as much. So, when choosing a yarn holder, consider the balance between portability and stability based on your own preferences and needs.

However, if you’re knitting with a knitting machine, for example, then your yarn will bounce around a lot and actually push your bowl with it. Therefore if you’re going to use a machine to knit, then you’ll want a heavier bowl (such as a ceramic yarn bowl).

Yarn Bowl Portability

When choosing a yarn bowl, it’s important to consider how portable you need it to be. Are you someone who knits on the go, or do you mostly knit at home? If you’re a frequent traveler, there are yarn holders specifically designed for travel that would be a great fit for you. On the other hand, if you’re often on the move, I wouldn’t recommend getting a heavy ceramic bowl. While they can be beautiful, they can also be quite cumbersome to carry around.

Yarn Bowl Features

When it comes to features, you’ll need to decide if you want a hole in the bowl and maybe even multiple holes if you plan on using multiple yarns at once. Some knitting bowls even come with lids for that extra bit of security.

Don’t forget to pin it so you can come back to it later!

two toned ceramic yarn bowl with a blue stripe with pink yarn inside coming out of it with the title "17+ best yarn bowls, abcrafty.com"

Best Yarn Bowl in Each Category

To make it easy to choose the right yarn bowl for you, I’ve created this list of the best yarn bowls in each category. Or you can continue scrolling to read more about each one.

You’ll notice none of the bowls I recommend do not have a spiral opening. This is because I simply can’t recommend a knitting bowl that requires you to keep the yarn in it and only use a hole to feed the yarn through.

  • Best Wooden Yarn Bowl – Knit Picks Dark Brown Mango Wooden Bowl (Knit Picks)
  • Best Ceramic Yarn Bowl – Personalized Name Bowl (Etsy)
  • Best Portable Yarn Holder – The Yarn It (Amazon)
  • Best Large Yarn Bowl – Fash O’ Knit Wooden Bowl (Etsy)
  • Best Funny Yarn Bowl – Counting Stitches Bowl (Etsy)

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Wooden Yarn Bowls

The advantage to wooden yarn bowls is they’re durable, typically on the lighter side, and they’re simply beautiful.

Knit Picks Two-Toned Wooden Yarn Bowl

knit picks two toned wooden yarn bowl

This one from Knit Picks has a gorgeous two-toned design made of maplewood. The opening measures 5.75″, and it’s about 3.5″ tall, making it perfect for holding a single ball of yarn. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a hole, in case that’s something you’re looking for.

Knit Picks Dark Brown Mango Wooden Yarn Bowl

Dark Brown Mango Wood yarn bowl

If you want a classic look with the option for multiple strands, this one from Knit Picks is a great option. It’s made of mango wood and is 6.5″ at the widest point (4.5″ at it’s smallest) and is 4″ tall.

Laborwood Yarn Bowl

This is a beautiful, simple wooden bowl. The main advantage to this one is the holes and spiral opening is larger than most so it can fit thicker yarns. Therefore if you tend to use thick yarns, this is the one I definitely recommend. It has a 7″ diameter and is 4″ tall.

Ceramic Yarn Bowls

These are the heaviest bowls you’ll find, so if you want something that won’t budge, these are the ones to go for. Just make sure you don’t drop them!

Milltown Merchants Bowl

This adorable bowl is made by Milltown Merchants and has a fun whimsical vibe with the offset spiral opening. It’s a bit on the smaller side, measuring at 4″ tall with a 5″ diameter opening. However, this makes it a great option if you don’t work with large balls of yarn. It also has the 3 holes for additional options and comes in this cute blue, white, or black.

Personalized Name Ceramic Yarn Bowl

NewMoonStudio mediterranean breeze knitting bowl with blue white and brown

This bowl by MaidofClay is just too cool! You have the option to turn your name into a bowl, with one of the letters forming a swirl to hold the yarn. It’s a fun and creative way to personalize your bowl.

The only down side is it’s limited to 9 letters so if you have a longer name, you might need to get creative. It also doesn’t have to be a name at all and you can have it say something such as “Knitter” or “Dog Mom” or “Ew, David” if you’re a Schitt’s Creek fans.

It’s 5.5″ in diameter and ~3.5″ tall and the letters become the holes for the yarn.

NewMoonStudio Mediterranean Breeze Yarn Bowl

NewMoonStudio mediterranean breeze knitting bowl with blue white and brown

This bowl from NewMoonStudio is simply stunning. It has the additional hole for added functionality, but it also looks beautiful with the three tones. The down side is it’s a shorter bowl at 3″ tall, but it has a standard diameter of 6″.

Rainbow Ceramic Yarn Bowl

This rainbow bowl may look as though it’s made of metal, but it’s actually ceramic. I really love how vibrant this one is – just looking at it puts a smile on my face. The outside is plated, but the inside is made of white ceramic.

It’s on the larger side at 7″ wide and 5″ tall so if you’re looking for something a little bit bigger, this could be a good option.

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Portable Yarn Holders

If you knit or crochet on the go, you’ll want a yarn holder built for portability. These are lighter and protect the yarn even more.

The Yarn It by Prym

The Yarn It is a great option if you’re looking for a portable yarn holder. It’s 6″ in diameter and has two yarn holding options.

This knitting ball is amazing! It’s designed to open up in the middle, so you can easily retrieve your yarn. Plus, it comes with a stand that fits perfectly in a standard cup holder. Perfect for all you car knitters out there! And guess what? It even comes with a strap, so you can wear it like a purse and knit on the go. How cool is that?

It even comes with a strap so you can where it around like a purse so you can knit on the go! How fun is that?

Big Sully by Prym

The Big Sully is another good portable option. It’s much larger than the Yarn It at around 8-9″ wide. It has 6 holes so you can use up to 6 balls of yarn in it (but keep in mind, they would need to be smaller balls). While it doesn’t fit into a cup holder, it does have a non-slip base to prevent it from moving around while you knit or crochet.

The Big Sully is packed with awesome features! It even has a knitting needle gauge built into the top, so you can measure your needles and crochet hooks on the go. The base even pops off, allowing you to store small items like needles and measuring tape. But wait, there’s more! It also has an optional yarn spindle, so you can slide your ball of yarn through it for extra security and a more even feed.


Knitting Bag

Now this knitting bag isn’t exactly a bowl, but it serves the same purpose so I’m including it in the list. Unlike other portable options, this knitting bag is collapsible, making it easier to store. Plus, it’s got extra pockets to hold all your knitting essentials such as needles, crochet hooks, and scissors. So convenient!

It’s huge with an 11″ diameter and 13″ height so it can store a very large ball of yarn or a few normal sized balls. Then what I like about this one is unlike other knitting bags that only have holes at the top, this one has a slit you can remove the ball of yarn if you don’t want it permanently in the bag.

Large Yarn Bowls

If you use large balls of yarn or need a bowl that has room for multiple balls of yarn, I definitely recommend one of these large yarn bowls.

Fash O' Knit Large Wooden Yarn Bowl

3d printed yarn bowl by LEPrintworks

This bowl by Fash O’ Knit is quite large at 8″ in diameter and 4″ tall so you can hold larger balls of yarn or multiple small balls.

I really like how there’s a contrasting wood stripe in the middle, giving it a unique look. The only downside is that it doesn’t have the extra holes if that’s something you’re looking for.

Make Your Own Magic Ceramic Yarn Bowl

This is not only a larger yarn bowl, but it’s also made of ceramic. I love the unique opening as it’s not an actual spiral and the saying of “Make your own magic” is pretty cute as well. It comes in this greenish blue color as well as a blue or a gold plated color.

It’s not the largest bowl out there, but it’s at least a bit bigger than most at 6.5″ in diameter and 4.5″ tall.

Bamboo Yarn Box

I love this one because it’s so unique so it fits into both categories. But this one is not just any ordinary bowl, it’s actually a box! And the best part is, it comes with a lid to keep those balls of yarn from escaping.

It’s made of bamboo and is bigger than most at 6.5″ for the length width, and height on the inside.

Unique and Funny Yarn Bowls

These are not your standard bowls so if you’re looking for something more unique, I definitely suggest one of these.

There are actually plenty of funny yarn bowls out there that resemble a creature or person vomiting yarn, but I haven’t come across one that also has a spiral opening. So, I wouldn’t recommend those because your yarn would have to stay in the bowl.

Counting Stitches Ceramic Yarn Bowl

funny yarn bowl with saying 'a question asked while coutning stitches will be answered with louder counitng'

I’m all about fancy looking items with ridiculous sayings on them so of course I just love this one. This funny yarn bowl says “A question asked while I’m counting stitches will be answered with louder counting.” The inside is painted red for a fun pop of color.

It doesn’t have a hole, but it’s made of ceramic so it’s heavier. It’s an average sized bowl at 5.5″ in diameter and 3.5″ tall.

Unicorn Yarn Bowl

For the kids at heart, this is an absolutely adorable bowl for you. You can get it on Amazon, but keep in mind it’s on the smaller side at only 4.5″ in diameter and 4″ tall. However, it gives you the option of a spiral opening and two holes.

It even comes with a top to completely secure the yarn inside.

Funny Face Yarn Bowl

funny yarn bowl with saying 'a question asked while coutning stitches will be answered with louder counitng'

You can get these from Dirt on Your Skirt on Etsy. They’re definitely not your run of the mill bowls and they come in all sorts of expressions, but this orange one is one of my favorites.

The side of the mouth is used as the opening so it looks like it’s eating the yarn. It’s an average size with the outside dimensions of 6.5″ in diameter and 4″ tall.

3D Printed Yarn Bowl

3d printed yarn bowl by LEPrintworks purple glitter 3d printed yarn bowl

If you have a 3D printer, you can actually print your own yarn bowl! I had my boyfriend print me this one in purple glitter (here’s the link) and it came out adorable (it’s the image on the right).

One downside of using a 3D printed bowl is that they’re incredibly lightweight. If you’re not careful, the yarn can easily push the bowl around. Luckily, the one I have has a removable base so you can add some weight to keep it steady. Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s important to sand down the edges to prevent the yarn from getting caught.

However, if you don’t have a 3D printer you can still buy one – for example you can get the ones in the first image on Etsy from LEPrintworks. It comes in all sorts of colors and they have different sizes as well.

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Daniela Kretchmer

Daniela is a lifelong crafter who loves to share her passion for crafting. Through classes or learning on her own, she likes to say she'll do pretty much any craft aside from scrapbooking. Her current personal obsessions include garden crafts, felting, and spinning yarn.

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