(Updated November 30, 2017)
Watch Our Hard Hat Review
How Do I Choose the Best Hard Hat?
Although working in construction can be exhilarating, it can also be tough and exhausting. But no matter how tired you are, having the right tools and equipment makes the job so much easier! Whether you are chopping and chiseling with a table saw
, or securing and fastening with a cordless drill
, a hard hat is an essential part of construction activity. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on how to choose this necessary piece of safety equipment.
If you’re new to DIY it can all sound like gobbly-gook or that language class at school you never got the hang of, and it can be hard to work out exactly what you need to start off. The best way to tackle this is to get a hard hat and a high-quality tool kit
that will ensure you have all the basics you need: nails, tape measure, screwdrivers, and other tools that are often needed for basic and complex jobs. Once you have your hard hat and tool kit, there will be no stopping you!
Price is an important factor for many people when purchasing an item, and a hard hat is no different. Our featured hats start at around $12 and go up to about $155, which is a big window in terms of budget. The bottom of the range has affordable options that still provide reliable protection in high-risk workplaces. If you are working in extreme situations, with high temperatures, for example, then spending more on your helmet is very important. At the top end of the range are helmets that can keep cool even at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to help keep you safe. These are recommended for hot job sites such as steel mills. Even if you’re on a budget, avoid cheap hard hats, as it’s not worth the risk to save a few bucks.
To make sure you are purchasing the best product for you, take a look at our list of features to work out exactly what you need from your hard hat.
Here are some of the important qualities to keep in mind while shopping:
- Hat Rim: The area of the hat that the rim goes around
- Material: High-density polythene, fiber metal, fiberglass, etc.
- Comfort Design: Cloth sweatband lining, ratchet suspension system, replaceable soft brow headband, ventilation
- Suitable Use: High temperatures, extreme conditions, high-risk sites
- Size: Some hats come in different sizes, others are adjustable one-size-fits-all
- Extras: Glow-in-the-dark, chin strap, high gloss finish, hydro dip
If you’re still not sure what you’re looking for from each feature, keep reading and we’ll fill you in!
Construction and Design
The classic hard hat usually just has a rim at the front, which may be fine for some. However, if you want some added protection, check out the hats with a 360 rim. With these, it doesn’t matter what direction something falls from. The rim will help protect your head and face from anything bouncing off the surface of the hat.
High density polythene is often used to make hard hats, as it has good resistance but also isn’t too heavy. However, some people don’t think it is the toughest material that could be used. Fiberglass has a good reputation in terms of durability and strength, but it's a bit heavier than other materials. Last but not least, fiber metal is strong and lightweight, but it doesn’t offer the ventilation of other materials, so it isn’t as well suited to high-temperature environments.
The majority of hard hats are well suited for construction sites and offer good protection against things falling on your head, but there are still some that are better than others. If you know you will be working in more extreme conditions, such as steel mills, be sure that the helmet you buy states that it is suitable for these conditions.
Performance and Ease of Use
When you're slogging away for long hours, comfort should be a top priority! Plenty of hard hat brands offer a range of different features to suit different needs or preferences. Some have a cloth sweatband or soft brow headband going around the front or entire inside of the helmet, to cushion the impact against your head. It can also stop sweat from getting in your eyes when you’re exerting yourself. Other helmets offer a suspension system that lessens the blow when something falls on the helmet. Many use the ratchet suspension system, which is tried and tested across the range.
If you are working in hot environments, check out the helmets that have ventilation built in to make sure the air circulates in the helmet. These hard hats shouldn't overheat or add to your discomfort in the heat.
There are hats that come in a few different sizes so you can pick the best one for you. Many come in 6.5” to 8”, so make sure you measure your head before putting a hard hat in your virtual shopping basket. This is great if you know you’ll be the only person using the helmet, and you can choose the perfect size for you. If you aren’t sure of your size, or if the helmet might be used by other people, you can also get a one-size-fits-all helmet that is adjustable. Even if you are going to be the only person using the helmet, this type of helmet might give you a bit more precision and control in adjusting it to be a perfect fit for you.
Who doesn’t love a good extra when buying something? Consider the glow-in-the-dark hat! If you have kids, make sure to keep it hidden, or they might just mistake it for a toy they need to get their hands on! This is a great feature for construction workers that have to continue when the sun goes down, as you can still see where everyone is. This helps make the work environment much safer.
You can also get a helmet with a chin strap. The strap secures the helmet in place, so you can lean different ways and move your head, and the helmet should stay put as you work.
The high gloss and hydro dip on a helmet gives it a nice, shiny finish. You can keep your head held high while proudly strutting into work, and these finishes keep hats looking new for longer by being more resistant to scratches and minor damage.
What is the Best Hard Hat?
What’s your style? Well, that depends on the environment and the job site. If you work in high-intensity, dangerous conditions, you might want to check out a hard hat with temperature protection. Or maybe you just want a backup hard hat on hand, so you’re looking for one with an affordable price that still has good safety features. Whatever your budget and needs may be, we have several options for you to choose from, all from brands that are highly experienced in manufacturing reliable safety gear.
Our Top Choice
A full coverage hard hat by Honeywell, our featured E-1 Full Brim Hard Hat has a 360 degree brim with an 8-point suspension system, and a terry cloth sweatband to keep you extra comfortable all day long. If you want a unique hard hat with a front brim, check out the “Demon Cap Style”
Honeywell Fibre-Metal Super Eight Full Brim Ratchet Hard Hat – Available in 3 Colors
Honeywell Hard Hat E1RW71A000 - Blue
Operating out of France, Honeywell creates safety products that are distributed worldwide. They manufacture Personal Protection Equipment for a variety of brands, including Uvex, North, Howard Leight, Oliver, Servus, and Miller. Honeywell offers products ranging from general safety to first responder equipment, electrical safety gear, and an array of consumer products.
The Honeywell E-1 Full Brim Hard Hat has a 360 degree brim, providing full coverage to protect your head from falling objects. It comes in several color options to choose from, including black, blue, or green. With a terry cloth sweatband along the front brim, this hat is extra comfortable. Despite the hats durability and fiberglass composition, it’s light and soft enough to wear all day long.
This hard hat fits most head sizes, and is suitable for those who wear a hat size from 6.5 to 8 inches. It’s offered at a reasonable price, and comes with an 8-point suspension system.
With a low-ride 4-point suspension, this lightweight 3M full brim hard hat comes with an endless array of colors to choose from at an economical price. 3M makes other options as well; check out their UVicator Sensor
hard hat, which is vented and has a sensor that shows when it’s time to replace the hat due to UV exposure.
3M Full Brim Hard Hat, 4-Point Ratchet Suspension, Vented – Available in 13 Colors
3M Hard Hat H-807V – Hi-Vis Orange
Founded over a century ago, in 1902 to be exact, 3M was formerly known as the Minnesota Mining Company. They are based in Maplewood, Minnesota, where they generate over $30 billion in annual sales. 3M has a product line that includes passive fire protection, safety equipment, adhesives, laminates, dental, and automotive products.
This is a comfortable and economical hard hat. Although the 3M Full Brim Hard Hat comes one-size-fits-all, you can adjust the ratchet suspension system for a more customized fit. Made of High Density Polyethylene, the low-ride suspension and ventilation make it very comfortable.
This lightweight 3M full brim hard hat comes in an endless array of colors. Check out the full spectrum from thirteen color options, to find the right one for you.
Appropriate for mining, utility workers, and contractors in the industrial, oil and gas businesses, the MSA Skullgard hard hat is a great piece of protective head gear that can withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re looking for a more basic hard hat, check out the MSA Full Brim V-Gard Hard Hat
with New Fast Trac III Ratchet Suspension.
MSA Safety Type B Skullgard Protective Cap with Fas-Trac III Ratchet Suspension – Available in 4 Sizes, 2 Styles & 7 Colors
MSA Hard Hat 10119704 - Large – Cap - Grey
MSA is the master of safety gear, and has been running strong since 1914--over a century. The company was created by miner John T. Ryan Sr. and his partner George Deike to protect mine workers, they enlisted the help of Thomas Edison in the creation of their first product: The Electric Cap Lamp. Continuing with an ever-expanding line of workplace safety equipment, MSA manufactures everything from miniature first aid kits, to methane detectors, ballistic helmets, and thermal imaging cameras.
A great protective device for those who work in extremely dangerous environments, the MSA Skullgard hard hat is ideal for steel mills, or any other environment with extreme temperatures and conditions. Made to withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the smooth crown of this helmet is designed to easily accommodate MSA welding equipment.
This is a reliable piece of protective head gear, and a worthy investment for anyone that works in the mining, utility workers, and contractors in the industrial, oil and gas business
This hard hat comes in a variety of colors and sizes, including grey, tan, orange, and brown. The size options are Standard, which is suitable for a hat size of 6.5-8 inches, or Large, which fits a hat size of 7-8.5 inches.
Made in the USA by the Texas America Safety Company, the Hydro Dipped Hard Hat is a real crowd-pleaser. A unique hard hat that will definitely stand out, this front brim style features a Hades pattern, and comes in green or glow-in-the-dark. If you want another full brim hat with a cool design, check out the Texas America Safety Company Sticker Bomb
Hydro Dipped Hard Hat
Texas America Safety Company Hades Cap Style Hydro Dipped Hard Hat – Available in 2 Colors
Texas America Safety Company Hard Hat hdhh-1493-CS - Glow in The Dark
Also known as T.A.S.C.O., the Texas America Safety Company has all kinds of safety gear for the job site, including ear plugs, safety glasses, hard hats, work gloves, and safety vests. With service to the gas and oil industries since 1992, this family owned business from Texas is proud to state that their safety gear is Made in the USA. They aim for stylish and comfortable gear, which is clear to see with our featured hard hat.
A unique hard hat that stands out in a crowd and keeps your noggin’ safe, this front brim hat features a very unusual design. The Hades background with skulls is definitely not your run of the mill hard hat. You can also get this hat in a glow-in-the-dark version, which looks pretty cool as the sun sets or in dark environments.
Each hat has a slightly different pattern, so no two are exactly alike. This adult size cap fits most adults, and comes with a 6-point ratchet suspension. With a high gloss finish and hydro dip, the hard hat will not not fade or scratch.The company prides itself on good customer service, so check them out!
This Hades Front Brim Hard Hat is also available in green if the glow-in-the-dark version doesn’t appeal to you.
A great inexpensive hard hat with lots of options, this Pyramex 360 degree full brim offers replaceable suspensions and soft brow headband. It accommodates hat sizes from 6.5 to 8 inches, with plenty of colors to choose from. Another terrific option is the front brim Pyramex hard hat called the Ridgeline Cap Style
if you’re looking for a different style.
Pyramex Safety Full Brim Style 4 Point Ratchet Suspension Hard Hat – Available in 8 Colors
Pyramex Safety Hard Hat HP24110 - Black
Protecting a company’s most important asset, its people, Pyramex specializes in safety gear from the waist up. They opened their doors in 1991, and continue to distribute products throughout the 50 states and across the globe.
A great inexpensive hard hat with lots of options, this Pyramex 360 degree brim offers a replaceable soft brow headband and suspensions. It comes in one size fits most, which accommodates hat sizes from 6.5 inches to 8 inches. It has a chin-strap attachment, and the outer shell is made of high density polyethylene.
You can’t beat the price of this hard hat, which offers lots of color options; it also comes with a 4-point ratchet suspension. Choose your favorite color from: black, yellow, orange, hi-visibility orange, white, blue, green, or red.
Get the Best Hard Hat of 2018!
Don’t go anywhere without your protection! Whether you want top-of-the-line protection, or an extra hard hat on hand, there’s no excuse for being unprepared on the job site. Pick up one of these hard hats so you can focus on the job at hand safely and with confidence.
Our Top Choice
Honeywell E-1 Full Brim Hard Hat
MSA Skullgard Protective Cap
Texas America Safety Company Hydro Dipped Hard Hat
Pyramex Safety SL Series Full Brim Hard Hat