What to Buy Skincare Products The 10 Best Sun Hats for Protecting Your Head, Neck, and Face Make a statement and protect your skin with these stylish and practical sun hats. By Shannon Ullman Shannon Ullman Shannon combed through hundreds of studies on health, wellness, and fitness, tested countless products, and interviewed tons of experts while writing and editing for various health and wellness sites. She's an exercise enthusiast training for her first strongwoman competition. health's editorial guidelines Updated on June 5, 2023 Medically reviewed by Leah Ansell, MD Medically reviewed by Leah Ansell, MD Leah Ansell, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University. learn more Fact checked by Richard Scherr Fact checked by Richard Scherr Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post. health's fact checking process Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Pinterest Email this page In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews How We Selected What to Know Your Questions, Answered Who We Are We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Health / Brian Kopinski Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to hit the beach—but not before you make sure your skin is properly protected. While sunscreen is a no-brainer addition to your beach bag, the best sun hats can help you shield your skin from harmful UV rays Unlike your basic ball cap or visor, sun hats are actually made with fabrics that offer UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) ratings of up to 50. According to Jaimie DeRosa, MD, a dermatologist at DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa, UPF 50 material can block up to 98% of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. When our skin is consistently left unprotected and exposed to these harmful rays, they can cause photoaging and skin cancer. "A sun hat provides a physical barrier from the sun and helps to assure that you get additional protection when wearing sunscreen," Dr. DeRosa explains, adding that it can also help shield those harder-to-reach places like your scalp, ears, and neck. In addition to keeping your skin safe, Dr. DeRosa also says that sun hats can keep color-treated hair looking fresh. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder why sun hats are a beach-day staple. To help you pick the perfect sun hat for your wardrobe, we’ve reached out to some of the leading dermatologists for their personal picks and researched the most popular options on the web. Likewise, a dermatologist on our Medical Expert Board reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy. These are the 10 best sun hats of 2023. Our Top Picks Best Overall: THE NORTH FACE Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget: EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men/Women at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Men: Kühl Bush Hat at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best for Women: Wallaroo Hat Company Fedora at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Kids: Sunday Afternoons Play Hat at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Sports: Sunday Afternoons Ultra-Adventure Hat at Amazon Jump to Review Best Wide Brim: San Diego Hat Company Fedora with Mixed Band at Sandiegohat.com Jump to Review Best with Neck Cape: Home Prefer Sun Protection Cap at Amazon Jump to Review Best Water-Resistant: Outdoor Research Rain Hat at Amazon Jump to Review Most Packable: Solbari Holiday Sun Hat at Amazon Jump to Review Best Overall THE NORTH FACE Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat Dick's View On Amazon View On Amazon View On Zappos Why We Like It: It’s made with recycled materials and has the seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s Worth Noting: It only offers UPF 40 protection. This hat is sold as a men’s hat, but we think its unobtrusive design works for everyone. Plus, it fits multiple types of occasions—from lounging on the beach to a hike in the mountains. We love this high-quality sun hat's environmentally friendly construction and the fact that it has a built-in chin strap to prevent it from flying away. The Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat's body is made with recycled nylon and recycled polyester, and even the chin strap is made with recycled plastic. It also has a built-in sweatband that actively pulls moisture away from your head, making it an ideal hat for sweatier days. The only downside? Its sun protection rating isn't as high as some of the other hats on this list with UPF 40 (and not UPF 50). But it does carry the Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation, so you can rest assured that it'll do a good job of protecting your head and face. Price at time of publication: $45 Product Details: Material: Nylon, polyesterUPF rating: 40Brim width: UnknownSizes: Small/medium and large/X-large Best Budget EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men/Women Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart Why We Like It: It has a built-in sweatband that prevents eye irritation from dripping sweat beads. It’s Worth Noting: It only comes in one size. Despite its modest price tag, the EINSKEY Sun Hat comes with some bells and whistles you'd expect from a pricier option. It's made with UPF 50 polyester fabric and a wide, 3.9-inch brim that provides maximum sun coverage. Dr. DeRosa says a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen and a sun hat that offers at least a 3-inch brim is a great combination for protecting your skin from both direct exposure from the UV and UVB rays and the rays' reflections off of water, sand, and other surfaces. But this hat's real secret weapon is its built-in sweatband that not only keeps you dry but prevents sweat from dripping down into your eyes. The EINSKEY Sun Hat technically only comes in one size, but it has an adjustable drawstring to accommodate head sizes from 22 to 24 inches. Price at time of publication: $30 Product Details: Material: PolyesterUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3.9 inchesSizes: One size Best for Men Kühl Bush Hat Backcountry View On Nordstrom View On Backcountry.com View On Kuhl.com Why We Like It: Its fabric is wax-coated, making it more resistant to water and wind. It’s Worth Noting: It’s expensive. If you want to look like Indiana Jones and keep your noggin cool and protected from the sun at the same time, then you need to pick up Kühl's Bush Hat. Its sun-blocking cotton-nylon fabric is treated with a wax coating for superior water and wind resistance, so you don't have to worry about it becoming waterlogged on your next fishing trip. And you don't have to worry about losing it downstream either because this bad boy floats. While the UPF 50 rating and 3-inch brim offer excellent sun coverage, it's the hat's built-in sweatband that makes it a real standout. Not only does it stop sweat from running into your eyes, but it actually reduces skin temperature by wicking away moisture. The only downside to this hat is its hefty price tag. But if you can swing it, it'll keep you protected and looking sharp for years to come. Price at time of publication: $75 Product Details: Material: Cotton, nylonUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3 inchesSizes: Small/medium and large/X-large Best for Women Wallaroo Hat Company Fedora Wallaroo Hat Company View On Amazon View On Wallaroohats.com Why We Like It: It has the Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval. It’s Worth Noting: The poly-straw material can lose its shape over time. Wallaroo Hat Company's Victoria Fedora isn't just stylish—it's also incredibly practical for sun protection. The poly-straw material looks like a classic straw hat but is actually formulated to offer UPF 50+ protection. It's even been awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval, which Dr. DeRosa says is a sign of a legitimate, high-quality sun hat. "The Seal of Recommendation is only given after a manufacturer provides scientific data showing that the hat sufficiently and safely helps in the protection of sun-induced skin damage," she explains. While the hat offers excellent coverage, some might find that its poly-straw material can lose its shape over time. Steaming it and packing it using a soft taco fold can help retain its structure. Price at time of publication: $49 Product Details: Material: Poly-straw, cotton liningUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3 inchesSizes: One size Best for Kids Sunday Afternoons Play Hat L.L. Bean View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Dick's Why We Like It: Its size variety includes options for all ages. It’s Worth Noting: Some styles don’t come with mesh panels for breathability. The Sunday Afternoons Kids Play Hat is the ultimate hat for younger adventurers. The 6-inch neck veil keeps kids' delicate skin out of the sun while still allowing for plenty of ventilation with its mesh panels. The hat's downsloping brim also helps to keep the sun out of their eyes, and its adjustable sizing strap allows the hat to grow as they do. The options come in a variety of sizes, from baby and toddler to youth, as well as tons of fun, kid-centric styles. The only downside is that a few customers have complained that their hats didn't come with the built-in mesh panels that are crucial to prevent overheating during the summer. So be sure to double-check your package before letting your kiddos loose in the sun. Price at time of publication: $25 Product Details: Material: Nylon, polyesterUPF rating: 50Brim width: 4 inchesSizes: Newborn, X-small, small, medium, large, child, and youth Best for Sports Sunday Afternoons Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat Amazon View On Amazon View On REI View On Sundayafternoons.com Why We Like It: Its gender-neutral design comes with an innovative sunglasses sleeve. It’s Worth Noting: Sizing seems to run a bit large. Sunday Afternoons seems to have thought of everything with their Unisex Ultra-Adventure Hat. This nylon-polyester cap not only covers the essentials—like offering UPF 50 protection and plenty of ventilation—but it has some truly impressive features you won't find anywhere else. For starters, there's a built-in sunglasses sleeve located on the brim that locks your shades in place while you swim, paddleboard, or simply take a stroll on the beach. We also love the foldable brim that makes these classically bulky hat styles easier to pack and the extra-long neck flap that covers easily neglected areas like the back of your neck. Just make sure to double-check your head size. Even though there's an adjustable strap on the back of the brim, even the smallest sizes may run a little large. Price at time of publication: $46 Product Details: Material: Nylon, polyesterUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3.25 inchesSizes: Small/medium, medium, large, large/X-large Best Wide Brim San Diego Hat Company Sun Bather Raffia Braid Fedora with Mixed Band San Diego Hat Company View On Sandiegohat.com Why We Like It: It has a whopping 3.5-inch brim that will cover your face and then some. It’s Worth Noting: It’s not packable. If you want maximum sun coverage this summer, then the San Diego Hat Company Sun Bather is the hat for you. This fedora-style sun hat has an ultra-wide 3.5-inch brim that'll keep those pesky rays from hitting your face and neck. And despite its size, it's still light, thanks to the lightweight raffia material that's UPF 50-rated for extra protection. The only downside? This hat isn't quite as packable as others on this list, and it's not water-resistant. So we'd skip it for outdoor activities other than sunbathing. But if you're relaxing by the pool or headed on a long beach walk, this sun hat is the perfect companion. Price at time of publication: $77 Product Details: Material: RaffiaUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3.5 inchesSizes: One size (adjustable) Best with Neck Cape Home Prefer Men's UPF 50+ Sun Protection Cap Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: The extra-long neck cape has a mesh panel to promote airflow. It’s Worth Noting: The neck cape is not removable. Board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD says that shading the face alone is not enough for optimal sun protection. Areas like the ears and neck are often left exposed to UV rays, and she routinely finds evidence of sun damage in these areas. That's why we love the 10.5-inch neck cape on Home Prefer's Sun Protection Cap. It's lightweight and built with a mesh panel to keep air flowing and has a UPF 50+ rating to block out the sun. "Hats can only offer reliable protection for the areas covered, not the areas shaded," Dr. Ilyas explains. While wide brims can offer some shade, a neck cape like Home Prefer's is the only reliable way to ensure full coverage. Just note that it isn't removable like some hats, so if you're looking for a convertible style, this might not be the option for you. Price at time of publication: $20 Product Details: Material: PolyesterUPF rating: 50Brim width: 4 inchesSizes: One size (adjustable) Best Water-Resistant Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat Outdoor Research View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Outdoorresearch.com Why We Like It: The foam-stiffened brim can withstand some serious monsoons. It’s Worth Noting: It’s expensive. If you're an avid adventurer who loves to explore wetter climates, the Outdoor Research Seattle Rain Hat is a must-have. Its waterproof construction keeps your head dry even in the most torrential downpours thanks to its 3-inch, foam-stiffened brim that directs water away from your face. And it's not just for rainy days—the hat also has a UPF 50+ rating and a three-layer waterproof fabric that'll protect you in sunny conditions too. When you do decide to take it out on the water, you'll enjoy another perk of that foam-filled brim: it floats. The hat is also packable and comes with a removable chin strap for even more security. While it's definitely on the pricier end of sun hats, you're paying for quality and durability that will last for years. Price at time of publication: $65 Product Details: Material: NylonUPF rating: 50Brim width: 3 inchesSizes: Small, medium, large and X-large Most Packable Solbari Holiday Sun Hat Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: Its reversible design gives you multiple color options. It’s Worth Noting: It's hand-wash only. We've all attempted to stuff an un-stuffable sun hat into a suitcase, but the Solbari Holiday Sun Hat makes packing for sun-filled vacations a breeze. It's made out of a linen-cotton blend that offers UPF 50 protection and is extremely lightweight and packable—all you have to do is fold it up and tuck it away. The hat comes in multiple reversible color options, which is great if you love to switch up your look but not so great if you want an all-over design. But if you're into customizing your look, you'll also love Solbari's built-in brim wire that allows you to shape it as you please. Plus, the 4-inch brim also offers excellent coverage from the sun. Price at time of publication: $55 Product Details: Material: Cotton, linenUPF rating: 50Brim width: 4 inchesSizes: Small/medium and large/X-large How We Selected To select the best sun hats for 2023, we spoke with industry experts like Jaimie DeRosa, MD, a dermatologist at DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa, and Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist. Then, we researched dozens of products to narrow down our list. We looked for hats designed with sun protection in mind by only considering those with UPF ratings and brims at least 3 inches wide. From there, we analyzed options to determine which brands offered the best durability and comfort, paying special attention to features such as adjustable sizing straps and breathable mesh panels. What to Know About Sun Hats Sun Protection While they may shield your eyes, not all hats are created equal when it comes to sun protection. Dr. Ilyas says that styles like visors don’t offer enough coverage to protect areas we tend to neglect, like your scalp, ears, and neck. "A visor may help you cool down by blocking some infrared exposure," she explains. "However, this may give a false sense of security from UV." Full coverage hats like those with wide brims (at least 3 inches) or neck veils are a better bet for keeping the sun at bay. Material When it comes to sun hats, the material doesn't matter as much as how it's been treated. Cotton, polyester, and nylon are all fine as long as they've been given a UPF rating. To make sure the hat you're buying will actually protect you from the sun's rays, Dr. DeRosa says to make sure it has a UPF (50 being the best) as well as a wide brim that's at least 3 inches. For extra insurance, look for hats that are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Comfort No matter how good the hat looks, if it's not comfortable to wear, you won't want to keep it on your head. While this is largely a matter of preference, there are a few factors that can influence comfort, like breathable mesh panels and adjustable sizing straps. Sweat-wicking materials and built-in sweatbands can also make a big difference if you're someone who tends to overheat. Breathability It goes without saying that breathability is a must in sun hats. That's why many nylon or polyester styles include built-in mesh panels that allow air to circulate around your head. This keeps you cool and comfortable, even on the hottest days. Straw hats, in particular, are known for their light and breathable feel since their weave is designed to allow air through. Your Questions, Answered What is the best material for a sun hat? According to Dr. DeRosa, the best material is one that feels lightweight (like nylon, polyester, or linen) and has a UPF rating of 50. What color should a sun hat be? While darker colors tend to offer more UV protection than lighter colors, Dr. Ilyas says that as long as there is a UPF rating listed, the color doesn’t matter. How do you measure your head for hat sizing? Dr. Ilyas says to use a measuring tape and measure from the top of your ears to the middle of your forehead to get your accurate hat size. Who We Are Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on health, wellness, and fitness. She’s worked for Healthline and Medical News Today. She wears the Sunday Afternoons sun hat all summer while paddle boarding, hiking, and riding her bike. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit 2 Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Savoye I, Olsen CM, Whiteman DC, et al. Patterns of ultraviolet radiation exposure and skin cancer risk: the e3n-sunexp study. J Epidemiol. 2018;28(1):27-33. doi:10.2188/jea.JE20160166 Pedić L, Pondeljak N, Šitum M. Recent information on photoaging mechanisms and the preventive role of topical sunscreen products. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Pannonica Adriat. 2020;29(4):201-207.