Updated May 2022
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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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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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Best of the Best
Speedo Unisex Adult Elastomeric Swim Cap
Unisex Adult Elastomeric Swim Cap
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Trusted Brand
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A well-made cap from a leading brand in swimwear with a durable, latex-free design.


Available in over 20 colors and patterns. Popular choice for those with latex allergies, as it’s made of silicone. Elastomeric fit is comfortable and won’t pull or pinch hair and skin. Textured interior holds on for a shift-free fit.


Colors from product pictures can appear much different in person, though consumers rarely feel it’s a dealbreaker.

Best Bang for the Buck
Speedo Unisex Adult Swim Cap
Unisex Adult Swim Cap
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Simple Yet Solid
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A 100% silicone cap that has great stretch, and is available in many colors and designs.


Cap protects hair from chlorine and keeps it out of the way for more freedom while swimming. Made with a stretchy and pliable silicone that feels soft and comfortable. Won’t cause painful snags or hair pulling.


Several customers reported that it didn’t do a great job keeping hair dry.

The Friendly Swede Silicone Swim Caps (2 Pack)
The Friendly Swede
Silicone Swim Caps (2 Pack)
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Lightweight and Flexible
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The design of this cap — which comes in a package of 2 — keeps it from slipping and helps to reduce drag.


Comes in a 2-pack, with several color combo options. Flexible silicone construction, with a textured interior to improve grip. Easy on and off. Zipper pouch included. Lightweight and comfortable. Designed to reduce drag when you swim.


Not waterproof. Smaller than expected. Some buyers say this cap rips too easily.

TYR USA Silicone Cap
USA Silicone Cap
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Thick and Durable
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Offers good durability, as well as an attractive look, but it may not be the best choice for those with longer hair.


Available in black or white, each with the US flag design. High-quality silicone construction. Soft, thick material. Good tight fit. Durable. Color is long-lasting. Easy to put on.


Some complaints that this cap is smaller than expected, or that it rides up as you're swimming.

Swim Elite Swim Cap for Long Hair
Swim Elite
Swim Cap for Long Hair
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Roomy Design
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Roomy design made for those with long hair, braids, or dreadlocks. Popular for those with curly or thick hair as well.


Lightweight and durable silicone cap in a tear-resistant design. Comes with a bonus nose clip. Extra room at the crown and sides. Available in sizes S to XL, it offers a better fit than universal cap styles.


Cap goes over ears but won’t keep water out of them completely. Some trial and error to find the best fit.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best adult swim caps

When you dive or swim laps, does hair get in your face and distract you? When that happens, it can take away from your swimming experience and in some cases affect your training or times. To keep stray strands in one place, consider investing in an adult swim cap.

Made from flexible latex or silicone, swim caps hug your scalp and stay put, even during intense bouts of aquatic activity. Swim caps also cover your ears, which means you’re less likely to experience uncomfortable water clogging. For competitive swimmers, swim caps are essential for reducing water resistance and allowing you to cut through the water quickly and efficiently by streamlining your head.

Before your next dip or dive, make sure you’re wearing an adult swim cap. If you’re wondering how to find the right cap that is both comfortable and well-fitting, our buying guide has everything you need to know.

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To avoid a large bump in your swim cap, put your hair in a ponytail and wrap it into a loose, flat bun before putting on the cap. This will also help eliminate additional pulling of the cap and prevent it from creeping up your forehead.

Why wear a swim cap?

Faster swim times

Competitive swimmers work hard at swim times, and one of the best ways to shave off seconds is to streamline the body in the water. Wet hair resists water and can weigh down the swimmer’s head. Swim caps aid in streamlining the body by making the head smooth and resistance-free.

Eliminate distractions

Even if you’re not a competitive swimmer, the last thing you want when you’re diving or swimming is stray hair getting stuck to your face or swim goggles. Because swim caps tuck away all your hair, you don’t need to worry about brushing strands off your face between movements. Swim caps also have non-slip details, so you don’t have to worry about them popping off your head.

Protect hair from damage

Pool chemicals are harsh and can take a toll on your hair. To minimize damage to your hair, especially to dyed hair, it’s imperative that you wear a swim cap. Otherwise, chlorine and other chemicals can dry out hair and even leave you with a hard-to-remove greenish tinge. Keep in mind that swim caps won’t keep your hair dry, but they will reduce how much exposure your hair has to the water.

Key considerations


Swim caps are made of either latex or silicone. Latex swim caps are more efficient and less expensive compared to silicone caps, but they’re much thinner – and poor-quality latex caps are notorious for ripping. Many people have latex allergies, which is one reason why silicone swim caps are more popular. Like latex, silicone is flexible and hugs your head well. Silicone swim caps tend to be thicker and a bit softer, and they won’t retain odors as much as latex caps.


Like kids’ swim caps, adult swim caps are rarely available in different sizes. If you have thick or long hair, you might need to embark on a search for a swim cap specifically tailored to hold more hair. These designs have more room at the crown of the cap to accommodate more hair.

Coverage area

Swim caps reach down to the middle of your forehead in the front and down your neck in the back to where your hairline stops. They also cover your ears. Keep in mind that everyone’s hairline is different, so the exact coverage area of swim caps can vary between individuals.


While latex and silicone are naturally non-slip in their own right, swim caps are often textured to improve grip even more. You’ll often find grippy nubs or lines on the inside of the swim cap’s band to help your cap stay put and prevent rolling. The edges of some swim caps have tiny scallops as this shape is also effective at preventing rolling.


Molded ears

Because your ears can cause rippling or puckering in a swim cap, some designs feature molded ear areas. These swim caps allow extra room for the ears to give the cap a smoother profile. While it’s a convenient design improvement, not everyone’s ears are the same size, so fit can be hit or miss with these caps.

UV protection

Swim caps aren’t just for indoor pools. Certain swim caps offer UV or UPF protection to minimize the impact of the sun’s rays beating down on your head in an outdoor pool or at the beach or lake. While they’re a bit harder to find, one perk of these swim caps is that they usually cost no more than non-UV caps.

Color and design

There’s no need to worry about having to settle for a boring swim cap as most are available in a diverse assortment of colors and designs. Solid colors remain among the most popular choices, especially since you can choose from neon colors, pastels, or traditional jewel tones. If you’re looking for something more stylish, you’ll find swim caps featuring prints or team colors.

Adult swim cap prices

Adult swim caps cost between $5 and $35. You get what you pay for with swim caps, so if you swim on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth it to make more of an investment.


Casual swimmers may enjoy entry-level swim caps, which cost $10 and below. These adult swim caps are usually made of latex. However, there are some silicone designs in this category.


If your main concerns are comfort and a secure fit, you’ll want to spend closer to $20 on an adult swim cap. These swim caps are more durable and have textured bands that hug your head.


Competitive and frequent swimmers may wish to spend up to $35 on a high-quality adult swim cap. These swim caps last significantly longer than less expensive options. Most swim caps intended to accommodate long hair are also found in this price range.


  • Try more than one brand of swim cap. Each brand designs its swim caps differently. If you have trouble finding a comfortable fit in one brand, consider trying another brand with designs that may be more accommodating.
  • Avoid using your nails to adjust the swim cap. Your fingernails, even if they’re filed down, can be sharp enough to puncture your swim cap. When you’re adjusting the cap, simply use your fingertips or knuckles instead.
  • Put the back part of the swim cap on first. To catch as much hair as possible, first place the cap on your head at the back of your head. This will capture stray hairs as you fit the rest of the cap over the top and front of your head.
  • Use a hair conditioner before putting on your swim cap. Experienced swimmers often recommend coating your hair with conditioner prior to putting on a swim cap. Not only does hair conditioner reduce flyaways, it also makes cap removal easier and less painful.
  • Never share your swim cap. As is the case with hair brushes, for hygienic reasons be sure you never share your swim cap with others.
  • Rinse or wash your hair after a swim. A swim cap minimizes your hair’s exposure to chlorine, but it doesn’t totally prevent it. To avoid the dreaded greenish tinge of chlorine, rinse or wash your hair after each swim to ensure pool chemicals don’t settle on strands.
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It’s a good idea to buy swim caps in pairs and to keep your spare in your gym bag or beach tote. In the event one cap is damaged, you can quickly switch to the other one without missing a swim session.


Q. How long do adult swim caps last?

A. Depending on the quality of the construction and frequency of use, adult swim caps can last anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Silicone caps tend to last longer than latex swim caps. One way to preserve your swim cap is to care for it appropriately. In addition to rinsing it off after each swim, be sure to keep the cap away from objects that could puncture the material, especially earrings or keys.

Q. Do adult swim caps come with cases?

A. Only some swim caps come with dedicated cases, which are usually waterproof pouches or tubes. If your cap doesn’t come with a case, you can purchase one separately. Some individuals simply use resealable plastic bags. However, keep in mind that plastic bags can be delicate and rip easily in a gym bag or beach tote when stored with other objects.

Q. Should I invest in a brightly colored swim cap?

A. If you swim in public pools or at beaches or lakes, you may wish to wear a swim cap in a bright color. This helps fellow swimmers, surfers, boaters, and beachgoers see you. By boosting your visibility, those engaging in other aquatic activities can give you enough space as you swim.

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