12 Best Sun Hats For Keeping Your Kiddo Cool & Covered This Summer

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by Jenn Sinrich
Originally Published: 
Best Kids Sun Hats
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Kids sun hats are a summertime essential for babies, toddlers, and bigger kids alike, right up there with kid-friendly sunscreen, bug spray, and cool, comfy shorts. Like everything mentioned, a sun hat will be used pretty much every day, and beyond shielding their eyes from the sun, it can help prevent UV damage on their sensitive scalps, too. This is especially true if you’re hangin’ by the water, — even if it’s just an inflatable kiddie pool in your backyard (BTW, we found some adorable baby swim hats that are especially suited for splashing around). As an added bonus, sun hats are *so* stinkin’ adorable on the round, oversized heads of babies, and putting one on your tot is way easier than applying sunscreen. Although SPF should never be skipped, protective gear like a hat with UPF or a sun-protectant rashguard ensures an extra layer of safety in case you miss a spot or are late to re-apply.

Another important reason to keep a sun hat on your kid at all times is that their skin is sensitive, and research shows that even a handful of serious sunburns during childhood can increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life. So, we think it’s better to err on the side of safety and keep your child covered in sun hats with UPF protection. It’s not super easy to pull off both of those requirements, but there are several (super cute) sun hat brands on the market that help us do the job.

Here are some of the very best sun hats for baby boys, baby girls, toddlers, and kids of all ages. Let’s keep them covered, cool and looking cute— as always— this summer.

Best Kids Sun Hats

Just looking at this bucket-style sun hat makes you want to see your kid in it, ASAP. Not only is it totally unisex, but it comes in 13 colors to match any and all of your child’s outfits. It is made from a soft and breathable polyester fabric with UPF 50+ protection to block. It also offers a good deal of coverage in all areas—with a 6.5 cm foldable floppy brim that’s equal measurements all around to shield your child from the sun’s harmful rays. It has a fastener strap right under the chin area to hold it in place whether you’re hitting the beach or you’re walking in breezy weather. Even on hot days, your child should stay nice and cool thanks to the mesh side vents that let air flow right in. Although it only comes in one size, it fits most kids ages 3-7.

One Reviewer Says: “Lightweight, breathable, and doesn't flop into my son's eyes like a lot of sun hats for toddlers do. The material is very soft to the touch, lightweight, and breathable. The strap isn't too tight or too loose thanks to the adjustable Velcro. So far it has kept my son's face, head, neck, and chest from being even the slightest bit sunburned even after a full day of accompanying me while I did yard work.”

Not all kids will wear a standard sun hat—some just won’t! And if your kid refuses, it is not always worth a screaming match. Instead, consider trying a regular baseball cap. Sure, it won’t protect his ears or neck like a sun hat, but it will protect the majority of his face, which is better than nothing in our opinion. Plus, few things are cuter than seeing your kid in a baseball hat! It is made from a 100 percent cotton fabric that protects against the sun’s harmful UV rays. You can order this hat in one of 45 different colors, from solid hues like pinks and blues to fun prints like camo and tie-dye. They are also super reasonably priced, so you can mix and match and get a few.

One Reviewer Says: “I’ve been searching for months for a baseball cap that would be properly sized to fit my 5-year-old’s head - toddler hats are too small and kids hats are too large - this one was just right! And best of all it was very reasonably priced, well made, and came in all sorts of color options! My son is so happy with the fit we’re going to buy another one in a different color so he has options!”

If your kiddo always has their hair in a ponytail or messy bun, this is the hat for them. It features a hole in the back to pull hair through because — let’s face it — who wants to run around in the hot summer sun with sticky hair on their neck? In addition to its wide brim that shades from the sun, it also has UPF 50 for protection against UV rays. Waterproof material means it’s ideal for water play, and it comes in 11 different colors to suit your child’s style. Just note this hat only comes in one size, but thanks to an adjustable chin strap, it’s suitable for most kids ages 3-9.

One Reviewer Says: “This hat was perfect for the hot Florida sun. My girls were able to use the chip strap and even swim with the hat on. I highly recommend this hat if you want to keep the sun off of your face while at the beach [or] pool.”

Does this adorable hat really need explaining? Probably not, but just in case: It’s as functional as it is cute, thanks to lightweight, durable material and UPF 50 sun protection. Rated a 4.8 out of five on Amazon, this parent-favorite sun hat is machine-washable and available in sizes 2-4T and 4-7 years. The best part, though, is that it comes in 6 adorable designs.

One Reviewer Says: “My 3.5 yr old daughter loves this thing and it does a good job keeping the sun off of her. We live in Texas so I’m constantly trying to get the kids under hats and in sunglasses. Trying to get a toddler to voluntarily wear a hat is like trying to herd cats. But she loves this one, it doesn’t get too hot, and it does a decent job of keeping the sun off her.”

Have a mini fashionista on your hands? They’ll love loungin’ by the water in this chic little hat. Get it in a number of breezy sayings like “beach baby,” “good vibes,” and “hello sunshine.” It’s also available in two colorways: white with red accents or natural with black accents. It comes in one size that works for most kids ages 3-9, plus an adjustable interior strap offers a custom fit.

One Reviewer Says: “If you’re looking for the perfect beach hat, this is the one!! I love how cute my little one looks with it while getting sun protection. Received many compliments too!”

Best Toddler Sun Hats

Not only is this hat super adorable in each of the 11 different colors and prints it comes in (ranging from floweret pink to navy butterflies to mint floral), but it also has some serious sun protection features. It is made from cotton fabric with a special weave of craftsmanship that makes it UPF without using any of the chemical covering that is sometimes required to do so. Even so, it is lightweight and thin so it doesn’t weigh your baby down. It has an adjustable chin strap so that it fits your baby’s neckline just right and a wide brim for protection all around your little one’s noggin. They sell it in three sizes— S for 0-9 months, M for 9 months-4 years, and L for 3-12 years.

One Reviewer Says: “I love this hat for my baby girl! We got the small and started using it at 3 months, and it fits great. Because it’s adjustable, it will also still fit her for a few more months. I like that the strap to keep it on her head can be cinched easily with one hand, and I especially like the breakaway feature on the strap so I know the hat can’t get caught on anything and choke her. I also love the print and the material, and it’s very well made. I will definitely be buying another in the next size up when the time comes.”

How can you go wrong with a cotton floppy hat? The answer is you can’t—especially when it has UPF protection and is comfortable enough for your baby to keep on. This one has a design that extends its life on your kid's head, thanks to an adjustable drawstring, so it should last more than just one summer—and certainly long enough to cover you through a winter vacay. It is UPF 50 and is nice and breathable (thanks to the fact that it’s made from cotton). It has a wide brim so that it stands up to bad weather without collapsing and its chin strap and safety clip helps ensure that it stays put even when your kid wants it off, stat. The size range should cover you all the way from the newborn years through age 12, so once you realize how much you love this hat, you can buy it again and again in larger sizes.

One Reviewer Says: “We are avid hikers and planned a hiking trip with our 2-month-old. We got the adjustable sun hat and it was perfect! It kept the sun off her face and head while not making her too hot. So glad I got it! I love that it’s adjustable so she can wear it for a long time.”

This highly-rated sun hat comes in all different prints and styles from a nautical theme to a rose red bowknot. Each of their 12 offerings are made from 100 percent cotton that is soft, cozy and high quality. This makes it easy for your kiddo to wear—and keep on for more than 10 minutes at a time. Each hat has a wide brim that keeps the sun’s rays out of your child’s eyes as well as 50+ UPF protection. This level of protection is also ideal for hot days since it doesn’t absorb as much heat from the sun.

One Reviewer Says: “I have gotten so many compliments on how cute my baby looks. This hat is absolutely adorable, it fits my 4-month (17-pound) baby. As of now, it is just slightly a little big, but it honestly looks fine, he still uses it. I think by next month, this hat should fit him PERFECT. I love that the sides/front parts don't flap down and cover his eyes or face. Even though, the hat is listed as 6-12 months, I think it will fit smaller babies (4-5). Great buy!”

For a big-name brand hat that’ll keep your tot protected and dry, this Nike bucket hat is the perfect pick. It’s available in 11 colors (including this reversible style for babies) and in sizes 12-24 months and 2-4T. In addition to its Dri-FIT technology that wards off water, this hat is also UPF 50 for blocking harmful rays.

One Reviewer Says: “Have this hat in 2 sizes for my daughter and I love it. The brim has enough structure to shade her face without flopping in her eyes. The velcro straps are the right length. My daughter has a large head so we had to go up a size.”

Best Baby Girl/Boy Swim Hats

With over 19,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, it’s clear to see that this is a winner in the sun hat category among moms and dads alike. Green Sprouts as a brand is always viewed highly, as are their plethora of sun hats in all different styles, but this is one of their more popular designs because of the extra neck coverage on all three sides and the wide, water-friendly foam brim that holds its structure pretty much no matter what—even in the pool or the middle of a rain storm. It’s made from 100 percent polyester, so it’s super lightweight and quick drying, as well as a UPF 50+ sun protection fabric to truly keep the sun’s harmful rays out of your baby’s face.

One Reviewer Says: “Fits my son perfectly! He’s 7.5 months old and has a very large head for his age. I think due to the shape it will grow with him just fine. We have used this hat for multiple pool days and it has exceeded our expectations providing plenty of coverage every time. Living in hot Las Vegas this is a must. I keep it rolled up in his diaper bag at all times because the sun is nearly unavoidable here! The best part is how lightweight it is. Saves him from getting overheated.”

This sun hat has an oddly adorable mullet design that keeps the sun out of your child’s face and away from the back of his neck—one of the prime areas for sunburn. This is all thanks to its 2.5” to 4” down sloping brim with a floatable foam core to keep his face safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays and a full 5.5” neck veil, so to speak, to keep the back of his neck also protected. It has a UPF 50+ certified sun rating and mesh side vents to let in a little air so your kid’s head can breathe in that summer heat. It is water repellent and stain resistant, which will certainly come in handy with all that sunscreen you’ll be applying. There are great color and print options, too, so you’ll know which hat belongs to which kid.

One Reviewer Says: “Each time I am in the playground with my 20-month-old, another mom stops me and asks where I got this hat. And 99% of the time, they order it on Amazon for their child right there on the spot. Since getting this hat, it has happened 4 times, and our nanny told me the same, that she's had strangers come up and ask if they could look at the hat to see the brand.”

This sun hat is versatile in the sense that you can have your child wear it doing pretty much any activity—even swimming in a pool or at the beach. The material almost feels like a swimsuit and is super absorbent. Of course, it provides UPF 50+ protection and even more coverage than most sun hats thanks to the extra long neck flap. If your little one is running around wearing a diaper only and having the time of their life, this hat will at the very least cover their entire neck, some of their shoulders and a decent way down their back. It also has a firm visor that’s anything but flimsy to provide front-face coverage. It grows with your kid, providing a snug fit with an elastic that can expand without causing discomfort. It comes in two toddler sizes, 0-3T and 4-7T, and is not intended for use on infants.

One Reviewer Says: “Love these hats for my 2 and 5-year-old. They actually look really cute/cool on and are not cheesy. They are swimsuit material but sturdy and washable for versatility from pool to activities. It was our ‘all summer long’ hat.”

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