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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 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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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Alepo 2 Pack Unisex Swim Caps with 3D Ear Protection
Alepo
2 Pack Unisex Swim Caps with 3D Ear Protection
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

These are designed to fit many head sizes comfortably while keeping chlorine and pool bacterias out of your hair and ears.

Pros

Made with waterproof, tear-resistant, and eco-friendly silicone. Made of non-toxic material that is safe on skin. Fits both children and adults. Comes in a set of 2. Available in different colors. Comes with earplugs and nose clip.

Cons

May not be ideal for users with long hair.

Best Bang for the Buck
Aegend 2-Pack Swim Cap
Aegend
2-Pack Swim Cap
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

This pair of inexpensive swim caps are durably built and allow your children to swim safely and comfortably.

Pros

Made of durable, elastic silicone material that is comfortable to wear and easy to put on. Waterproof and tearproof. Odorless and non-toxic. Designed to protect hair and ears from chloride. Comes in set of 2.

Cons

May not be suitable for bigger children.

Start Smart Sharks and Minnows
Start Smart
Sharks and Minnows
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Most Stylish
Bottom Line

This set offers a pair of goggles and a swim cap with a fun shark or minnow design and fins.

Pros

Made of soft, elastic silicone material. Large enough to protect the child's ears. The lenses of goggles are shatterproof and offer UV protection for child's eyes. Available in blue shark and pink minnow styles.

Cons

Less durable than other options.

Lahtak Silicone Swim Cap
Lahtak
Silicone Swim Cap
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This model is designed to accommodate a variety of hairstyles and suits children who may have allergies to typical swim cap materials.

Pros

Built with durable and stretchable silicone material. Waterproof and hypoallergenic. Compatible with long hair, dreadlocks, afro, weaves, hair extensions, and braids. Available in different colors.

Cons

Some noted size discrepancies.

The Friendly Swede Silicone Swim Caps (2 Pack)
The Friendly Swede
Silicone Swim Caps (2 Pack)
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Lightweight and Flexible
Bottom Line

The design of this cap — which comes in a package of 2 — keeps it from slipping and helps to reduce drag.

Pros

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.

Cons

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

HOW WE TESTED

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 kids' swim caps

When your children go swimming, the chemicals in the pool help keep them safe by killing harmful bacteria. The downside? That same chlorine can also dry out your kids’ hair and make it brittle. Your best defense for protecting children’s hair from damage is to have them wear kids' swim caps.

Kids' swim caps are made for both boys and girls. A cap will keep hair out of your child's eyes while they swim, and the best ones can even help protect against infections like swimmer's ear. A swim cap that features a bright and colorful or unique design is as important for safety as it is for aesthetics, too.

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Purchasing a swim cap with a unique design or vibrant color is the best way to keep track of your child in a crowded swim area.

Key considerations

Materials

Kids' swim caps can be made out of a wide variety of materials. Ideally, you want a swim cap that is durable, elastic, waterproof, and doesn't catch on hair while putting it on or taking it off.

  • Silicone: Silicone is thin, elastic, waterproof, and durable. It slides on and off rather easily, making it the top choice.

  • Latex: Latex is not as durable as silicone, and the material can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.

  • Rubber: Besides being thicker and less elastic than latex, rubber carries the same risk factors.

  • Lycra: Lycra is soft, comfortable, durable, and won't catch on hair. However, it is a fabric, so it offers less protection from both water and sun than other materials.

  • Neoprene: Wetsuits are made out of neoprene. It’s designed to help keep a swimmer warm. A swim cap made out of neoprene serves the same purpose and is usually reserved for individuals who are swimming in open water.

Kids’ swim cap features

Besides the material, there are a few other features you might want to consider when choosing a kids' swim cap.

  • UV protection: Most swim caps offer some protection against UV rays simply because they block sunlight from reaching the top of the head. However, if you prefer a swim cap that is specifically designed to block UV rays, they are available.

  • Texture: Although the outside of a swim cap should be smooth to allow water to easily flow across the surface, the inside may be textured to provide a better grip when putting the swim cap on.

  • Roomy: If your child has long hair, look for a swim cap with additional room in the back to make it easier to tuck that hair up inside.

  • Design: Kids' swim caps are available in a wide variety of colors and designs. If your children pick out their favorites, they’re more likely to wear the caps.

Kids’ swim cap prices

Inexpensive

You can purchase a very basic kids' swim cap for as low as $4. At that price, it will be one color with no additional features.

Mid-range

At around $8, you can get a fun, colorful model that is specially designed to help protect your child's ears and has additional room to accommodate long hair.

Expensive

In the $10 to $15 range, you can get a set that may include items such as goggles, nose plugs, or earplugs.

Tips for caring for a kids’ swim cap

Swim caps don’t require a great deal of maintenance. The following quick tips should help you get the longest life from your child's swim cap.

  • Remove jewelry. Remove rings and other jewelry from your hands and all sharp accessories from your child's hair before putting on your child's swim cap so you don't accidentally tear it.

  • Don’t use your fingernails. Use your fingertips when putting a swim cap on or taking it off your child's head.

  • Rinse the swim cap after use. Use tap water and then gently dry the cap with a towel.

  • Lightly sprinkle the inside of the cap with baby powder. This can help dry any residual water and keep the swim cap from sticking together. (Lycra caps don’t need this extra step.)

  • Don’t leave the swim cap in the sun for extended periods of time.

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If your child has long hair, you might want to purchase a swim cap with additional room in the back to accommodate the longer hair.

FAQ

Q. How do I put a swim cap on my child's head without pulling her hair?

A. Make sure your child's hair is gathered as close to her head as possible before starting. Wet the hair so the cap can slide on more easily. Stand behind your child and stretch open the cap with your fingers curved on the inside. Place it on her forehead first. While keeping the pressure on her forehead, quickly guide the rest of the cap over the back of her head as you slide your fingers out.

Q. My child doesn't care if his head gets wet. Why does he need a swim cap?

A. A swim cap can help keep hair from ending up in the filter basket, which is never a pleasant thing. It can also help keep the chlorine and other chemicals from damaging your child's hair. Additionally, it’s the best defense you have to protect your child from swimmer's ear.

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