Best Cooling Headbands

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
209 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cooling headbands

Last Updated October 2019

If you’re heading to the gym for Gains Day, then staying cool while you work out is a top priority. Sweating is a part of life, but it can be a real nuisance during a workout. Cooling headbands are designed to reduce sweat accumulation so your body has a chance to cool down while you’re active. While they don’t prevent perspiration altogether, they can help keep you more comfortable.

Cooling headbands tap into the best design elements of sports apparel to continue the industry’s commitment to fuss-free fashion. With modern textile blends, non-slip technology, and ice packs, these headbands offer different levels of cooling to accommodate varying needs.

Whether you’re looking for a simple way to reduce sweat during rigorous activities or seeking a post-activity therapeutic aid, a cool headband is a great option. And you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. We’ve looked at the best cooling headbands on the market and put together this buying guide. If you’re ready to chill out, check out our favorites.

If you purchase more than one cooling headband, you can use one while the other is in the wash or chilling in the freezer.

Key considerations

Cooling method

  • Breathable materials: Cooling headbands have multiple design features to promote breathability. They’re constructed of fabrics and materials that minimize sweat accumulation. Some incorporate moisture-wicking material as well as fabrics with a loose weave for more ventilation. Most cooling headbands also have only one or two layers of fabric because excess material could lead to overheating.

  • Ice packs: Some cooling headbands emphasize cooling by means of ice packs, which you keep in the freezer between uses. Depending on the pack’s materials, some freeze more quickly than others. The concentrated cooling sensation is a good alternative to soaking headbands in water.

Activity level

Some cooling headband styles are better suited to certain activities, so choose the right one based on when you’ll be using it. If you participate in medium- to high-intensity workouts, a nonslip headband is ideal. If you’re jumping, stick with a cooling headband without an ice pack, because those styles shift more easily and could interrupt your activity.

If you prefer a cooling headband with an ice pack, some customers report that cooling headbands that use small ice packs stay in place, provided they weren’t jumping too much. If you plan to use the headband while you’re sedentary, such as for post-workout rest and recovery, one with an ice pack is a great choice.

Width

Narrow cooling headbands are popular with active people and anyone who just wants to keep the sweat out of their eyes without any additional bells and whistles. Some people prefer a wider cooling headband since it offers more coverage from the sun. Headbands in this category are quite versatile because they’re designed to be worn in more than a dozen different ways, including under a bike or football helmet or around the neck.

CAUTION

If you sweat excessively, with or without a cooling headband, cease the activity immediately and seek medical attention. You could be dehydrated or experiencing a health complication from intense activity.

Cooling headband features

Materials

  • Stretchy fabrics: Many cooling headbands use elastic or other stretchy fabrics for a comfortable, snug fit. They’re made of popular synthetic fibers commonly seen in activewear, including polyester, nylon, Lycra, and spandex. That’s why so many cooling headbands are one-size-fits all apparel. They don’t need complex closures because they simply stretch to fit your head.

  • Non-slip materials: Some cooling headbands have a nonslip layer on the inside of the band, often made of silicone or rubber. This ingenious design element minimizes slipping by gently adhering to hair and skin. You’ll notice these nonslip surfaces as dots, stripes, or bands that extend the length of the headband.

  • Cocona: Cocona is one of the newer textiles to join the activewear world. This eco-friendly material made from recycled coconut shells is lauded as one of the most versatile fabrics an athlete could hope for — and it’s an ideal textile for a cooling headband. The highly durable and wrinkle-resistant fabric attracts and evaporates water and dries almost 90% faster than cotton.

  • Wicking fabrics: Moisture-wicking fabrics draw sweat away from the body and hold it so it doesn’t drip into your eyes.

Colors

Cooling headbands can be fashionable as well as practical. Many styles come in a range of colors and designs, with solid colors the most common. Some manufacturers have introduced some on-trend themed designs and sports team colors. Also, there are some two-toned cooling headbands that are reversible.

Cooling headband prices

Cooling headbands are affordable accessories that typically cost between $8 and $50.

Inexpensive: Styles between $8 and $15 tend to have simple designs, sometimes with one or two added features like a small ice pack or unique materials.

Mid-range: Headbands in the $15 to $25 range usually have more complex arrangements of ice packs and are often geared toward post-workout rest and recovery.

Expensive: Cooling headbands that cost $40 to $50 are geared toward therapeutic relief. They are ideal as a supplemental treatment for headaches and migraines.

EXPERT TIP

If your headband is one that ties, undo the knot before washing it. The wash cycle could cause the knotted area to tighten and become hard to undo after it dries.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If the ice pack in your cooling headband gets punctured, you’ll probably need to replace the entire headband. The gel or chemicals could be toxic and may be absorbed through your skin.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Wash your headband in a laundry bag for delicates. It will prevent it from getting snagged or caught in the washing machine. And wash it regularly. Cooling headbands get sweaty.

  • Wear a thin headband under a helmet. If you play football, ride a bike, or participate in another sport that requires a helmet, opt for one of the thinner cooling headbands. The material is less bulky and shouldn’t affect the fit of the helmet.

  • Invest in an effective stain remover. Sweat and makeup can stain cooling headbands, so find a good stain remover to treat any buildup or odor.

  • Stay cool no matter the activity. If you’re competing outdoors, such as in an endurance event, or doing yoga or Pilates, a cooling headband can help you stay comfortable as you work up a serious sweat.

  • Go big. Buy a larger cooling headband if you’ll be in the sun. A cooling headband that covers more of your head can help protect your skin and hair against UV rays.

Other products we considered

When it comes to versatility, we really like the Born to Venture Headband. Made of microfiber, it’s one of the most lightweight options available, a real perk if you sweat a lot. This headband can be worn 16 different ways and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can go bold and bright or match your workout attire. It also comes with a hassle-free return policy if you’re not 100% happy with your purchase. If you suffer from headaches or migraines, the Headache Hat covers most of your head to provide as much cooling relief as possible. The removable ice pack has individually wrapped cubes that mold to the shape of your head for a comfortable fit. It also has a soft Velcro closure and microfleece exterior, so it’s easy to rest on a pillow while wearing it. It comes with a dedicated bag to protect it in the freezer.

A cooling headband equipped with reflective details or logos is a great safety accessory if you like to run in the early morning or late evening.

FAQ

Q. I have a ponytail. Will I have trouble finding a cooling headband that fits properly?

A. Cooling headbands can be worn in different ways, so you’ll be able to find one that works for your hair. Some types even have a hole in the back to pull your hair through. You could also change how high you wear your ponytail, so it’s clear of the headband area.

Q. Am I allowed to wear my headband if I play sports in a league?

A. You’ll need to check your league’s rules and regulations regarding sports accessories, since not all of them are approved for the field or court. The rules could stipulate that you have to adhere to your team’s colors, or classify it as unregulated headwear. Ask the coach or referee if you’re unsure.

Q. Are men’s and women’s cooling headbands the same, or do they come in different sizes?

A.  Generally, cooling headbands are one-size-fits-all gear for adults. The only differences, for the most part, are aesthetic. Children’s headbands are smaller and clearly designated on the packaging.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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