Next Level vs Bella+Canvas: Battle of the Premium T-shirt Brands - Ninja Transfers

Next Level vs Bella+Canvas: Battle of the Premium T-shirt Brands

May 09, 2024Tom Golubovich

In the premium blank t-shirt space, two brands consistently rise to the top: Bella+Canvas and Next Level. Both companies are known for their high-quality, fashion-forward offerings that provide excellent canvases for printing, especially using state of the art methods like DTF transfers. But with so many closely matched options, deciding which brand and style is best for you can be tough.

As seasoned professionals in the blank apparel industry, we've worked extensively with both Bella+Canvas and Next Level. For this article, we conducted a head-to-head comparison of seven of their most popular t-shirt styles, looking at factors like fabric composition, fit, and price point to provide you with a clear picture of which brand and style might be the perfect fit for your next apparel project.

Keep in mind that both Next Level and Bella+Canvas are considered premium t-shirt brands when compared to standard or budget options, but they offer more affordable prices than upscale brands like Nike, Under Armour, and Nautica, which charge extra for name recognition and some fancy features. For a closer look at the top tees at a lower price point, read our comparison of Gildan vs Hanes.

Our battle of the premium brands includes their top t-shirts across seven categories:

  1. Tri-Blend: Next Level 6010 vs. Bella+Canvas 3413c
  2. 100% Cotton: Next Level 3600 vs. Bella+Canvas 3001c
  3. Ladies Cropped T-shirt: Next Level N5080 vs. Bella+Canvas B8882
  4. Cotton/Poly 50/50 Blend: Next Level 6200 vs. Bella+Canvas 3650
  5. CVC V-neck: Next Level 6240 vs. Bella+Canvas 3005c
  6. Ladies Relaxed Jersey V-Neck: Next Level 3940 vs. Bella+Canvas 6405
  7. Sueded Tee: Next Level 6410 vs. Bella+Canvas 3301c 
    collage of models wearing the various tees from each brand with prominent logo on each side

    About The Brands: Next Level vs. Bella+Canvas

    Our competing brands have consistently deliver high-quality, fashion-forward options. Both companies have made a name for themselves by offering a wide range of styles and colors, innovative fabrics, and a commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.

    promotional style image from Next Level of a group of models, plus the company logo

    Next Level

    Founded in 2003, Next Level Apparel has quickly become a go-to choice for custom apparel businesses, print shops, and fashion-conscious consumers. Based in Los Angeles, the company prides itself on offering premium blank apparel at competitive prices, focusing on fit, feel, and style.

    The Next Level product line includes a variety of t-shirts, tanks, and fleece items for men, women, and children. They are known for their signature sueded and tri-blend fabrics and commitment to using ring-spun cotton and eco-friendly materials. In recent years, Next Level has also expanded into the accessories market, offering popular items like face masks and tote bags.

    promotional style image from Bella+Canvas of a group of models, plus the company logo

    Bella+Canvas

    Bella+Canvas has been a leader in the blank apparel industry since 1992 when the company was founded as Bella. In 2012, Bella merged with Canvas, creating the powerhouse brand known for its trendy, high-quality apparel.

    Based in Los Angeles, Bella+Canvas is committed to producing ethically made, environmentally-friendly products. They use sustainable materials like their signature Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, which requires less water and energy to produce than conventional cotton. The company also maintains strict labor standards, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for its employees.

    Bella+Canvas offers a wide range of t-shirts, tanks, fleece, and accessories for men, women, and children, focusing on modern fits and unique fabric blends. Their tri-blend and flowy styles have become particularly popular among custom apparel businesses and fashion-savvy consumers alike.

    The T-shirt Matchups: Bella+Canvas vs Next Level

    In the following sections, we break down each matchup, comparing these t-shirts based on various factors. We also highlight any unique features that set these styles apart from one another to help you make an informed decision when selecting the right blank t-shirt for your needs. Let the battle begin.

    Tri-Blend: Next Level 6010 vs. Bella+Canvas 3413c 

    Tri-blend t-shirts have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a unique combination of softness, durability, and style. By blending cotton, polyester, and rayon, tri-blend tees provide a comfortable, lightweight feel with a subtle texture that sets them apart from traditional 100% cotton or 50/50 blend shirts.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    Both the Bella+Canvas 3413c and Next Level 6010 feature a 50/25/25 blend of polyester, combed ring-spun cotton, and rayon. They are pre-shrunk and have shoulder-to-shoulder taping for added durability. Both styles also feature tear-away tags for easy rebranding.

    Our Tri-Blend Pick: Bella Canvas

    While both tri-blend tees are excellent choices, the Bella+Canvas 3413c comes out on top in a few key areas. First, it's slightly lighter at 3.8 oz than the Next Level 6010, which is 4.3 oz, making it more comfortable for all-day wear. The 3413c also uses 40 singles versus the 6010's 32 singles, resulting in a softer feel.

    Additionally, Bella+Canvas offers a whopping 56 color options for the 3413c, giving you more design flexibility than Next Level's 24 colors for the 6010. The Bella+Canvas 3413c is also slightly more affordable, making it our top pick for a premium tri-blend t-shirt.

    100% Cotton: Next Level 3600 vs. Bella+Canvas 3001c 

    Classic 100% cotton t-shirts remain a staple in the custom apparel world, loved for their comfort, breathability, and versatility. Both Bella+Canvas and Next Level offer high-quality cotton tees that are perfect for printing and everyday wear.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    The Bella+Canvas 3001c and Next Level 3600 are both made from 100% combed ring-spun cotton, ensuring a soft feel and smooth surface for printing. They feature a similar weight (4.2 oz and 4.3 oz, respectively) and are pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage. Both styles have shoulder-to-shoulder taping for added durability.

    Our 100% Cotton Pick: Next Level

    The Next Level 3600 in this matchup takes the crown for its superior fit and feel. While both t-shirts are made from high-quality cotton, the 3600 features a slightly more tailored fit with tapered sleeves that create a more flattering silhouette. The fabric also feels softer and more comfortable against the skin.

    Though Bella+Canvas offers more color options for their 3001c (76 compared to Next Level's 38), the Next Level 3600's better overall fit and feel make it our top choice for a premium 100% cotton t-shirt.

    Ladies Cropped T-shirt: Next Level N5080 vs. Bella+Canvas B8882

    Cropped t-shirts have become a fashionable staple in recent years, offering a trendy, youthful look that pairs perfectly with high-waisted bottoms. Both Next Level and Bella+Canvas have embraced this style, offering their own take on the popular ladies' cropped tee.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    The Next Level N5080 and Bella+Canvas B8882 are made from combed ring-spun cotton and polyester, providing a soft, lightweight feel. They feature a cropped, boxy silhouette that hits just above the waist and have short sleeves for a casual, laid-back look. Both styles are side-seamed for added structure and have tear-away labels for easy rebranding.

    Our Ladies Cropped Pick: Bella+Canvas

    In the battle of the ladies' cropped tees, the Bella+Canvas B8882 emerges as the clear winner. The B8882's unique "flowy" fabric blend of 65% polyester and 35% viscose creates a draped, flattering look that sets it apart from the more structured feel of the Next Level N5080.

    The Bella+Canvas B8882 also features a slightly longer, more versatile length that works well with various bottoms, from high-waisted jeans to skirts and shorts. With a wide range of color options and a super-soft, lightweight feel, the B8882 is our top choice for a trendy, comfortable ladies' cropped t-shirt.

    Cotton/Poly 50/50 Blend: Next Level 6200 vs. Bella+Canvas 3650

    For those seeking the perfect balance of comfort, durability, and affordability, a 50/50 cotton/poly blend t-shirt is the go-to choice. This fabric combination offers the softness and breathability of cotton with the moisture-wicking properties and wrinkle resistance of polyester, making it ideal for everyday wear and activewear alike.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    The Bella+Canvas 3650 and Next Level 6200 are both lightweight, blended t-shirts featuring combed ring-spun cotton and polyester. They have tear-away tags for easy rebranding and are pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage. Both styles feature shoulder-to-shoulder taping for added durability and a comfortable fit.

    Our 50/50 Pick: Bella+Canvas

    The Bella+Canvas 3650 takes the top spot in this matchup. With a 52% combed ring-spun cotton and 48% polyester blend, the 3650 offers a perfect balance of softness, breathability, and durability. It also features a more extensive color range, with over 40 options, including unique heathered looks that add depth and visual interest to your designs.

    While the Next Level 6200 is still a fantastic choice with its 65/35 poly-to-cotton ratio, slightly lighter weight, and price point, the Bella+Canvas 3650's superior softness, color selection, and overall quality make it our top pick for a premium 50/50 cotton/poly blend t-shirt.

    CVC V-neck: Next Level 6240 vs. Bella+Canvas 3005c

    CVC (Chief Value Cotton) t-shirts are a fantastic option for those seeking a balance between comfort, durability, and affordability. These blended tees typically feature more cotton than polyester, producing a soft, breathable fabric that holds up well to repeated wear and washing. CVC is a great option if you want the look and feel of a tri-blend but without the higher price point.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    Both the Bella+Canvas 3005c and Next Level 6240 are made from a blend of combed ring-spun cotton and polyester, with a heathered appearance. They feature 32 singles for added softness and are pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage. Both styles have shoulder-to-shoulder taping and tear-away tags for easy rebranding.

    Our CVC Pick: Bella+Canvas

    In the battle of the CVC v-necks, the Bella+Canvas 3005c comes out on top. With a 52% combed ring-spun cotton and 48% polyester blend, the 3005c offers a slightly higher cotton content than the Next Level 6240's 60/40 blend. This results in a softer, more breathable fabric that feels great against the skin.

    The 3005c also features a more flattering v-neck cut that sits comfortably on the chest without being too deep or revealing. While the Next Level 6240 is still a great choice and comes in at a slightly lower price point, the superior softness and fit of the Bella+Canvas 3005c make it our top pick for a CVC v-neck t-shirt.

    Ladies Relaxed Jersey V-Neck: Next Level 3940 vs. Bella+Canvas 6405

    Moving on to the ladies v-neck t-shirts, both Bella+Canvas and Next Level offer stylish, comfortable options that are perfect for layering or wearing alone. These relaxed-fit tees feature a flattering v-neckline and a slightly looser silhouette than traditional women's t-shirts.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    The Bella+Canvas 6405 and Next Level 3940 are both made from 100% combed ring-spun cotton, ensuring a soft, smooth feel. They have a similar fabric weight (4.2 oz and 4.3 oz, respectively) and feature a relaxed, flattering fit. Both styles are side-seamed for added structure and have tear-away labels for easy rebranding.

    Our pick: Bella+Canvas

    While both ladies' v-neck tees are excellent choices, the Bella+Canvas 6405 leads in this matchup. The 6405 features a slightly wider, more relaxed v-neckline that sits comfortably on the chest and shoulders. The fabric also feels a bit softer and more luxurious, thanks to Bella+Canvas' signature Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton.

    The Bella+Canvas 6405 also offers more color options, including trendy heather and tri-blend variations, giving you greater design flexibility. Though the Next Level 3940 is a strong contender with its classic look and affordable price point, the Bella+Canvas 6405's superior softness and style make it our top pick for a ladies' relaxed v-neck tee.

    Sueded: Next Level 6410 vs. Bella+Canvas 3301c

    Sueded t-shirts offer a luxuriously soft feel that differentiates them from other blended tees. The sueding process involves gently brushing the fabric to create a plush, velvety texture that's perfect for cooler weather or anyone who loves a cozy feel.

    side-by-side product images/model with product name and some details

    Similarities

    The Bella+Canvas 3301c and Next Level 6410 are made from combed ringspun cotton and polyester, with a sueded finish for added softness. They have a similar fabric weight (4.3 oz and 4.2 oz, respectively) and feature 32 singles for a smooth, comfortable feel. Both styles are pre-shrunk and have shoulder-to-shoulder taping and tear-away tags.

    Our Sueded Tee Pick: Next Level

    While both sueded t-shirts are incredibly soft and comfortable, the Next Level 6410 wins in this matchup. The 6410's blend of 60% combed ring-spun cotton and 40% polyester creates a slightly more substantial feel than the Bella+Canvas 3301c's 52/48 blend without sacrificing breathability or softness.

    The Next Level 6410 also features a more modern, flattering fit with tapered sleeves and a slightly longer length that works well for both men and women. Though the Bella+Canvas 3301c has a few more color options, the Next Level 6410's superior fit and feel make it our top choice for a premium sueded t-shirt.

    summary comparison chart

    The Choice Is Yours

    Our head-to-head comparison of Bella+Canvas and Next Level t-shirts has showcased the unique strengths of each brand across various popular styles. From the softness and printability of Bella+Canvas' tri-blend and CVC v-neck tees to the superior fit and feel of Next Level's 100% cotton and sueded options, both brands offer exceptional choices for your custom apparel needs.

    Ultimately, the decision between Bella+Canvas and Next Level will come down to your specific fabric, fit, and style priorities. Whether you prefer Bella+Canvas's modern, fashion-forward approach, or the classic, no-nonsense quality of Next Level, you can't go wrong with either brand.

    At Ninja Transfers, we're proud to offer a wide selection of both brands through our Ninja Blanks platform. As the printing market leader, we also provide top-quality custom DTF transfers and supplies to help you bring your custom designs to life easily and efficiently.

    And if you'd rather leave the printing to the professionals, our Ninja Printhouse team handles every aspect of your custom apparel project from start to finish. With our expertise in DTF printing and our commitment to using the best blank apparel on the market, you can trust us to deliver exceptional results every time.



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