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A Review of Walmart’s NEW Mainstays Yarn Brand

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Wait… Walmart has their own brand of yarn?! Yep! A new line of yarn has been released by Walmart – Mainstays yarn. I got my hands on some and I’ve had the chance to work with it. Read my independent Mainstays yarn review to see if this yarn is a good fit for you!

Review of Walmart's new Mainstays Yarn

Before we get started I want you to know that Walmart has no idea I’m writing this review. They did not provide me the yarn nor did they compensate me for writing about it. As always, I will share my true and honest opinion. Alright, let’s get started!

Review of Walmart’s Mainstays Yarn

Sure, we’ve all seen the Mainstays brand at Walmart. They have sheets, rugs, towels, home decor and now they have a Mainstays YARN too! Say whaaaa?? I’ve had the chance to purchase this yarn (although not at my nearest Walmart, it seems it is only available at the Walmarts with a decent sized yarn department at the moment). I’ve had the chance to FEEL this yarn and I’ve had the chance to CROCHET with this yarn.

Mainstays Yarn Specifications

Do I love it? No. Do I hate it? No. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dish. 😉

Mainstays Yarn Cost

Mainstays Yarn Review Walmart

Walmart’s new Mainstays yarn is ridiculously inexpensive at just $1.97 per skein. Not only is it cheaper than any other comparable yarn (my favorite part!) but you get a bit more of it. Available in a variety of solid colors with a whopping 397 yards per skein, this is slightly more yardage than the other major brands you may be familiar with. Brands such as Red Heart Super Saver (364 yards), Big Twist (371 yards), and I Love This Yarn (355 yards).

This means that while you do get more yardage, the Mainstays yarn is slightly thinner (and I do mean slightly thinner) than the other brands.

Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Walmart's New Mainstays Yarn

As you can see with the Red Heart Super Saver on the left, Big Twist second from left, I Love This Yarn second from right and the Mainstays yarn on the right – the thickness of the four brands is allllmost identical. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the feel of it is identical.

Worsted Weight Yarn Thickness

The Feel

As a crochet addict lover I can feel the difference between the brands as I work with them. Maybe you can also? The Mainstays yarn feels a bit cheaper to me, but then again… it is. At half the price of the other major brands, the feel of it is about what I expected. Just being honest. Don’t get me wrong, it is SOFT but as you work with it you can tell that the fibers are just… different.

Walmart's Mainstays Yarn

When crocheting with this yarn it feels softer than Red Heart Super Saver but not as soft as the I Love This Yarn (which, if you’ve worked with ILTY you’ll know what I mean). As I mentioned above there are places where the yarn feels a bit… different. Like short sections of the yarn are more dense or less fuzzy? I haven’t found the right word to describe the change in texture. This texture change, however, is NOT noticeable enough for me to stop using it.

Mainstays Yarn Review

Quality

I used about 900 yards of Walmart’s new Mainstays yarn to make my newest crochet pattern: a child size unicorn hoodie. In all of those 900 yards I found one knot. So I cut it out, rejoined and kept on keepin’ on. Meh, it happens with all brands. Again, not enough to make me stop using it.

Mainstays Yarn Review

Fiber content

This yarn is 100% acrylic. While this doesn’t matter to many of us, some people have an allergy to wool. Something to think about when gifting crocheted items for sure. Especially if you don’t know the person (or their list of allergies) well.

Washing

So… I made two identical swatches (15 dcs x 8 rows using the recommended size I hook) and I washed one of them. I wanted to see how much it would change after coming out – washed per the instructions on the label. Check out the difference! The washed swatch is MUCH softer than the unwashed swatch, and it did shrink a bit as well. Hmmm…

Mainstays yarn washed swatch

Overall

Overall I am pleased with Walmart’s new Mainstays yarn. I wish they had variegated yarn options, but maybe that will come soon? Would I go out of my way to purchase this yarn? Probably not. I will, however, pick up a skein or two when I hit up Walmart for the Mandala or Bernat Pop!

All things considered I give this yarn 3.5 out of 5 stars. Have you tried it? How many stars would you give it? It gets a gold star for value, that’s for sure!

Walmart's Mainstays Chunky Yarn

Oh! And they have a chunky! I have not tried this yet but it is chunkier than Bernat Blanket and the value seems decent! If you’ve worked with the chunky I’m interested to hear what you think.

More yarn reviews:

Hobby Lobby’s NEW Sugarwheel Yarn Cakes: Comprehensive (Independent) Review
Caron Cakes vs Sweet Rolls: An Independent (and 100% Honest) Review
The Difference in Bernat Pop! Yarn Cakes, Caron Cakes, Mandala and Sweet Rolls
How (and WHY) to Make Your Own Yarn Cakes

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128 Comments

  1. In Canada this yarn has only been around for the past few weeks. OUr Walmart doesn't do a very good job keeping the yarn shelves filled up and so my Bernat or Red Heart go-to's were not available and I purchased, what I thought was a new brand. I didn't mind working with it, but when I went to buy more of the same colour it was out of stock - so was the national warehouse - still is! I earn some of my living making things for people and I have a few upset people waiting for a new shipment of Mainstays Cozy Yarn #4 acryllic. Doesn't look like it will soon be available, so I'll have to finish the product with a bernat yarn same colour (or close enough that it will likely be fine) but a bit thicker than the Mainstay. I won't be buying the Mainstay yarn again if it can't be kept in stock. Why have your own brand if you can't stock it??? Ridiculous!!!
  2. Thank you for your review. It was a fair and honest review. Was wondering if you had experience with the mainstays anti-pill yarn? Specifically in washing it. I’m with you when you said you wouldn’t go out of your way to look for it but that it was a decent inexpensive brand. The label in the anti pill states “do not tumble dry” and I just wondered why? It is very soft, though I can feel a difference when working with it. But I always try to give washing instructions when I give a blanket. A lot of acrylics are able to be tumbled dry which is why I wondered about this one. Can you help?
  3. I feel for all of you as I am having the same problem finding more of the Mainstay Home yarn in pale pink. I started playing with color combinations with a new (to me) afghan pattern . On a beautiful day I decided to go out to the square in front my apartment bldg. to crochet and get some fresh air and someone saw it as I was working on it and said they wanted it when I finished it. Now I can't finish it until I find that color. Have looked at other brands and can't find a pink as pale a this one.
    1. Not sure where to find the color you need. I’d like to say that I’ve been crocheting for nearly 70 years,I spend about 1000 a year on yarn and have noticed that some brands while the price has gone up the quality has went downhill badly. Knots in several places and strands of color mixed into the fibers. So far with the Mainstay’s yarn I have found none of these problems. I don’t know what company makes this yarn but I say keep up the good work.
  4. Hi! I was wondering if you could suggest a substitute for Caron Big Cakes that feels just like it but comes in solids? I trust your judgement!
  5. Hello everyone and hello Ashley, I just finished reading your review on the Mainstay brand yarn, I had recently purchased several skeins of this yarn to make a baby blanket for my nephew, this is my first time seeing MainStay Brand Yarn, here in Greensboro NC, WalMart store where I live. after compairing prices and colors that was requested to make the blanket, I decided to go with the mainstay, mostly for the price, which was extremely affordable, some would say cheap... LOL but I prefer to use the word affordable compared to the others. the texture of this brand, in my opinion, is extremely soft, in comparison to some of the others, most of the comments that you had mentioned, concerning this brand of yarn are very accurate, but personally, I really love this yarn, I made the blanket and was very pleased with the results I had absolutely no issues with this yarn at all.
  6. I am getting really frustrated here.. I can't find any Mainstay yarn anywhere near where i live.. I have a small business and orders to fill.. I have been using Mainstay yarn and love it and the price is great so I can keep my prices down.. Does anyone know if they are discontinuing this or what is going on? No one at our WalMart knows.. the shelves are totally empty.. I know Red Heart has new colors coming out so they clearanced alot of theirs.. We need to know so we can go find another place to purchase our yarn that we need.. Hate to LOVE THE MAINSTAY YARN...
    1. Hello Ms Davis, I'm sorry to hear that you're not able to find the brand and color that you're looking for, and I don't know at this time if you found any at all, but I am writing to you to let you know that here where I live in Greensboro North Carolina, the Walmart Superstore does carry the Mainstay brand and also in the color that you are looking for not I don't know if they fulfill orders through they store to ship it out but maybe you can check and see, good luck
  7. Walmart yarn isn’t good in my opinion. I’ve seen Walmart products, lower until they do away with other brands. Then they raise there brands 2x the amount not my favorite place to shop
  8. I am searching for Mainstays Basic Yarn "Soft Gray Heather". Need just enough to finish an afghan with 2 more rows. If you have any, even partial skein of scrap i will pay you including the postage. BeenThereSam@gmail.com. I hope Wal-Mart will bring back this yarn, there is none here in Jacksonville and not available online. Thank you if you can help me out.
    1. Sorry I can’t help you out but has to be brand been discontinued. I can’t find any in upstate SC since COVID. Elaine
  9. I am looking for some Mainstays Basic yarn. I need 2 each Medium Gray Heather and Aran and 3 of Soft Gray Heather. I have looked at several Walmart’s and online but I can’t seem to find it in stock. Do have any suggestions on where I might find these colors?
    1. I have been looking for Medium Gray Heather for a long time now to finish a blanket. I’ve bought a few different brands in hopes to find a gray that is close enough to finish this, but I’ve have no luck. If any one knows of another brand that have the same color gray, that would be super!
      1. Ughh. I need one skein of the med gray heather also...this is so irratating....good luck in your search#
        1. Go to the Mercari app and type in Mainstays yarn and there is one listing of a lot of two skeins, one Red Heart Pewter and one Mainstays Medium Gray Heather. Hope it helps whoever needed just one The lot is 9 bucks plus 4.99 shipping
  10. I am looking for the Evergreen Mainstay yarn to finish a project, plus use for ongoing projects. Is it available, where, and how much does it cost. Please let me know. Thank you Karen Johnson
  11. I love using Mainstay yarn for making 18 inch doll clothes and other crochet items, I don't have as much trouble as Red Heart. Even though it doesn't come in as many colors as RH, but that's fine, if I need a certain color, like camo I get RH. At my local WM they can't keep Mainstay in stock.
  12. I purchase this yarn quite a bit and I love it. It works great for me. I like the softness over the red heart brand. I do love ILTY at hobby lobby the best though, but between red heart and mainstay, I prefer mainstay.
  13. I bought a skein of yarn to make an item for my grandson. If I had not promised him that I would have his item ready for him today, I would have returned the skein. I couldn’t even pull the skein to start using it. There were 9 eighteen inch pieces of yarn in the middle. I had to ball the yarn before I could even use it. Not sure I will try this yarn again. Really need more quality control.
    1. I have used this yarn and have had no trouble with it? I crocheted an Afghan out of the teal mainstays basic yarn and it turned out Beautifully! You possibly could have gotten a bad skein. That can happen with any brand of yarn.
    2. I've had a similar situation with another brand of yarn also purchased at WalMart. At the time, I suspected someone had bought the yarn and returned it ... after perhaps using some, but not enough of it to be noticeable. We all love WalMart for the ease of returning or exchanging something, but it can also be a problem as well. I like to make afghans and use the Mainstays yarn to help fill (stripes, etc.) in and keep costs down. I just had the thought, when reading your comment, that it's awfully strange for there to be that many short pieces of yarn in the center of a skein.
  14. I am using it for a blanket. I like it so far. Have had a few places on 1 skein where I had to cut but kept going. Love that it is so soft. I have not finished the blanket yet so will use what you said about shrinkage and make blanket a bit bigger to account for shrinkage. Wish you could purchase it online though and not just in store.
  15. I love in Phoenix Arizona, the Wal-Mart s here sell main stay yarn for 1.97...i usually but all of it that I see. All the hats, scarves and halter tops for the young girls work up great! I will continue to use it! Thanks
  16. I like Mainstay yarn and am on my second and third blankets! I love that it is 100% acrylic and machine wash and dry. Who wants a blanket they have to hand wash and lay flat to dry.....not me! I would love to see all the colors available and wish Walmart sold it on their website, I would order tons!
  17. I bought the chenille yarn eight skeins and all had knots in each. Terrible yarn, I was doing a arm knit blanket and trying to deal with those knots. People spend a great deal of money on products and except quality product
  18. I have actually purchased several skeins of this yarn recently to crochet Christmas presents for family and friends. I agree that in most cases it is a very economical and satisfactory new product for those of us who are in the market for an inexpensive mass produced yarn. I have, however, found that the yarn tends to feel heavier in my hand and have almost cotton-like drape, which can certainly be positive or negative depending on its application. I have purchased and worked with many of the colors so far and have found that they tend to be inconsistent. It almost feels like individual colors are produced by multiple manufacturers, and at least one of the manufacturers must be cutting some corners, sad to say. That might account for the shrinkage that you noticed; I wonder if a manufacturer or two has added some fibers other than acrylic to the yarn. Also at least one color of yarn has a tendency to pile excessively after washing. I haven't noticed it yet with some of the other colors so far, but on a hoodie vest that I made for my son, the navy yarn piled terribly while the blanket slate variegated seemed to not pile at all. HOWEVER, I have an even more serious concern about the blanket slate: possible exposure to harmful chemicals. It has an odor that is reminiscent of an old, dust-laden pencil sharpener and after using the fur stitch to make some mittens (for which it works absolutely wonderfully as a brushed out yarn fleece alternative inside the mittens btw), my hands have been burning from contact, especially between my fingers, and I have a metallic taste in my mouth. It also feels much denser than the other skeins to me. It is almost like someone forgot to run it through one of its rinses during the dying process. I am going to wash the finished garments with some salt to try to set the dye (as a mordant) per a little bit of research online about getting odors out. I'm hoping that it will do the trick and that the dyes used don't contain toxins like lead or something. In the meantime I hope to pick up some stress relief gloves to provide some protection and relief from the exposure to the yarn and keep plugging away. This crazy auntie has a lot of projects to make this month lol The GOOD news is that the odor seemed to wash out of the hoodie vest that I made my son, and he LOVES it (even with the piling from the part made with the navy yarn. Meh. It is nice to be a little kid). If I remember, I'll let you know how washing with added salt works out. In the meantime, stitch on!
  19. I just bought some of this yarn (mainstays basic). I was using up some caron one pound worsted, but ran out. I didn't want to order and wait for more, so I saw this next to the red heart at Walmart. I can't stand red heart because it's too rough. Rough yarn for me is like fingernails on a chalkboard, so I don't use that kind very often. My favorite yarn, so far is caron simply soft. Mainstays isn't that soft, but for sure softer and smoother than red heart. I haven't finished project yet, so can't say how it washes, but for the price it's pretty good. I would describe it as similar but slightly thinner than caron 1 pound worsted acrylic, thicker but rougher than simply soft, and similar in thickness to red heart, but much softer and smoother. Nice for the price.
  20. I have some "Mainstays Home" 4 ply worsted yarn which if I remember correctly, I purchased in 1995 :D It's a much nicer yarn than the "Mainstays" basic yarn. It's a shame they're not selling it anymore. Unfortunately, the sub-company that makes the yarns (then sells them to Walmart, who then resells them under their brand names) tend to go out of business. This is why when you see something in Walmart that you want, in their brand, you should buy it immediately. The quality of that product will vary based on where/when it was made, and there's a good possibility you will never see it again. All that being said, I do like the Mainstays Basic Yarn for amigurumi, but I won't use it in any wearable pieces. I washed my amigurumi after I made it and it looks as beautiful coming out of the dryer as it did going into the washer, although did need a bit of reshaping (probably my bad, understuffed). I worked up a granny square with it, and washed that, and my groups of 3 look more like triangle fabric than actual yarn stitches. It's fuzzy, and it is a dark color and that may be affecting it as well, but compared to another swatch I did with the 4 ply worsted, it's clearly the lesser of the 2 for blankets/scarves/what have you - things you might wash more often. I will definitely continue buying the mainstays basic for amigurumi. The price is unbeatable, and they come out so so soft. I've made some with a stiffer Caron yarn as well, and thought I had ruined my hands forever! It was so difficult to work up. But I don't have that problem with the Mainstays Basic Yarn. It glides like butter! In short, get it for tight stitches. But if you want loose lacey flowy stitches, spend the extra $1
  21. I have recently purchased several skeins of Mainstays yarn. I have to admit I like the yarns softness, price & the variety of colors but am very disappointed in the quality. I have used 4 skeins so far and have found at least 5-6 knots in each skein. Doesn’t look good in a product that I’m making for the purpose of selling/Xmas presents.
  22. I bought 10 skeins of Mainstays yarn from a Wal-Mart in Portage Indiana. I was making a blanket. Every skein was pieced together. There was not one skein in the 10 that I bought that did not have a knot in it where the yarn had been tied together. Several of the skins had several knots (6-7) in them where the skeins had been tied together. The colors I was using were soft pink 7 oz and medium gray Heather 7oz. If I could of change the yarn or colors I would of but I wasn't able to go back to the store. The yarn was bought before I left to go on the road with my husband and he is an otr truck driver. So I was stuck using the yarn.
  23. Have bought and used the mainstays chunky yarn.Loved it when I bought and finished making a twin size blanket for my daughter.The problem is,it does not fit in the washer so you will have to take it to a laundromat with a large washer.Got it half in my washer while the water was filling and could not fit it.Called my husband to help get it back out because it was way to heavy to lift back out by myself.Took about 4 days left on the deck to dry out as it would not dry in the dryer.
    1. I ‘m having the same problem. Short a skein of Mainstays purple passion variegated yarn for a prayer shawl. Have looked at 3 Walmart’s in this area—no luck. Looked online—no luck.
  24. I actually really like Mainstays yarn. I am a crocheter and knitter but have only knit with this yarn so far. I made a Fair Isle hat and a cabled hat and a ribbed cowl with this yarn and they all came out wonderful. I know it's not the best yarn but I think it is softer than Red Heart Super Saver. It's great for the price. Thanks for the review.
  25. Pingback: Child Size Unicorn Hoodie Crochet Pattern (sizes 6 - 8)
  26. OMG, I love your reviews!!! I always know I can count on clear and accurate information and I think we are of like minds because most often I feel the exact same way once I have also used a product I have read your review of. Thanks for your work and for sharing it with the public!