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The 12 Best Sun Hats of 2023

Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.

These stylish and protective hats are like your personal pocket of shade.

<p>Real Simple / Marcus Millan</p>

Real Simple / Marcus Millan

Sun hats are a stylish way to protect your face and neck from damaging UV rays. With so many different styles and materials, there’s a sun hat for everyone—whether you want something sporty for playing pickleball or a stylish option for lounging poolside.

“I recommend sun hats with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF),” says Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. “UPF clothing is specially made to provide a high degree of sun protection and is great for beach days, outdoor activities, and any time you’re planning to spend more than an hour or two in the sun.”

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To find the best sun hats, we researched dozens of options while considering factors like material, UPF level, style, and price. We also spoke to Dr. Engelman for her tips on staying protected from the sun.

Best Overall Sun Hat: Wallaroo UPF Montecito Wide Brim Fedora Sun Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

What Stands Out

  • This hat has a convenient internal drawstring you can adjust to your head and a timeless design to suit any outfit and occasion.

What Could Be Improved

  • This hat is only available in three colors and is not washable.

We love the Montecito Wide Brim Sun Hat for its classic design and ample UPF protection of 50+. It has an interior drawstring you can adjust to your head for a perfect fit, which is ideal for windy beach days, especially since it doesn’t have a chin strap.

Plus, the 4-inch brim keeps your face and neck protected from the sun, and the woven texture is breathable to keep your head cool on hot days. And if you want a sun hat you can take on your travels, this pick is also packable—just fold it vertically and tuck it in your suitcase or bag. Though we love the neutral colors that coordinate with just about any outfit, if you want something more playful, we recommend another pick from our list.

Price at time of publish: $59

Material: Paper braid | Brim Size: 4 inches | UPF Level: 50+

Best Budget Sun Hat: Shade & Shore Packable Paper Straw Floppy Hat

Buy at Target.com

What Stands Out

  • With lightweight, durable materials and an impressive UPF level, this affordable pick is ideal for warmer seasons.

What Could Be Improved

  • This hat may be too small for some people and only comes in one size.

If you want a sun hat to protect your face, ears, neck, and shoulders, consider this affordable option from Target. It's available in three neutral colors and has a floppy design that is equal parts functional and stylish for everyday wear. Plus, it’s packable so you can easily bring it to your next trip to the beach or pool.

We love that the wide brim of this hat covers more than just your face, so you get sun protection on your shoulders and chest too. Keep in mind that this sun hat comes in only one size, so it’s worth measuring the circumference of your head to ensure that it fits correctly. It also doesn’t have a chin strap or adjustable sizing, so it may be less secure on windy days.

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Paper, polyester | Brim Size: 4.75 inches | UPF Level: 50+

Best Sun Visor: Sunday Afternoons Garden Visor

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

What Stands Out

  • It has an elasticized strap that keeps it rolled up for portability and convenient size loops for an adjustable fit.

What Could Be Improved

  • The closure on the back of the hat could be larger and more secure.

The Sunday Afternoon Garden Visor is perfect for the pool, beach, or, you guessed it, garden. With a cute woven design, bow detail, and 50+ UPF, this visor protects you without sacrificing style. Another detail we like is the elasticized strap, which keeps your hat compactly rolled up, making it easy to take with you on errands and adventures alike. (Though we wish the hook-and-loop closure was a bit larger and more secure.) While we love that visors are a bit more breathable than traditional hats, it can also be a con if you forget to use an SPF on your scalp.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Polyester/cotton/paper blend | Brim Size: 4.25 inches | UPF Level: 50+

Best Straw Sun Hat: Hat Attack Vented Luxe Packable Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Hatattack.com

What Stands Out

  • This breathable hat has a timeless design and an interior drawstring sweatband for added comfort.

What Could Be Improved

  • It's the most expensive option on our list.

A classic straw hat is a wardrobe staple, which is why we love the Hat Attack Vented Luxe Packable Hat. This fedora can be dressed up or down and easily transitions from the beach to dinner with friends. One of the standout features is its sweatband, which is handy for hot days and adjusts to fit your head. While you might not think of straw as a super durable material, this hat certainly is—you can throw it in a beach bag or suitcase without worrying about damage.

This hat is ideal for pool or beach lounging, but be sure you don’t submerge it in water, and keep in mind that you can only spot-clean it if it becomes stained or dirty. Though the price of this hat is higher than some of the other selections on our list, its versatility and quality make it worth the price tag.

Price at time of publish: $159

Material: Paper straw | Brim Size: 3.5 inches | UPF Level: 50+

Best Packable Sun Hat: Baggu Packable Sun Hat

Buy at Baggu.com

Buy at Store.moma.org

What Stands Out

  • This super wide-brim hat folds into the small, included bag so you can bring it anywhere.

What Could Be Improved

  • The top of the hat may be wrinkled when it’s first unfolded.

We’re big fans of Baggu and its stylish, affordable accessories, and the Packable Sun Hat is no exception. This hat is supremely packable—you can fold it into the included bag and toss it in your purse for convenient sun coverage everywhere you go. We also love that it comes in many playful prints and colors, from simple black and beige to bolder madras and lemon prints.

Another feature of this hat we love is the adjustable chin strap—since the brim is wide and lightweight, the strap keeps your hat secure. This hat also has an adjustable headband for a comfortable, snug fit. And if it ever gets dirty, you can just toss it in the washing machine.

Price at time of publish: $36

Material: Cotton | Brim Size: 19.75 inches diameter | UPF Level: Not listed

Best Wide-Brim Sun Hat: Leotruny Super Wide Brim Sun Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

What Stands Out

  • This hat has a super wide brim and an adjustable chin strap to keep it secured.

What Could Be Improved

  • This hat can only be hand washed.

With a brim nearly 6 inches wide, the Leotruny Sun Hat keeps your face, neck, ears, and shoulders shielded from the sun. Whether you're gardening, hiking, camping, or lounging at the beach, the ultra-wide brim keeps you comfortably shaded with 50+ UPF protection. And for a comfortable, tailored fit, the hat has an adjustable elastic drawstring that can fit head circumferences from 22.8 to 23.2 inches. Plus, the adjustable chin strap keeps it from blowing off or shifting on your head.

The polyester hat is very lightweight, and the mesh side panels improve ventilation to keep you cool on hot summer days. While this hat might be better for lounging and outdoor activities due to its utilitarian style, it is one of the best options for creating ample shade.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Polyester | Brim Size: 5.9 inches | UPF Level: 50+

Best Floppy Sun Hat: Anthropologie Cotton Crusher Hat

Buy at Anthropologie.com

What Stands Out

  • This comfortable hat is packable, adjustable, and comes in a few colors.

What Could Be Improved

  • It's spot-clean only.

This hat is just as versatile as it is cute. It’s made of a breathable cotton canvas that wears well over time and stands up to the elements, so you can wear it for any outdoor activity—from gardening to beach days to long hikes. With seven colors available, ranging from striking coral to a simple, subdued gray, it's easy to find a shade that suits your unique style.

For a personalized fit, tug the interior concealed drawstring until the hat fits your head comfortably. Though the brim slopes slightly down and can conceal your view, you can also flip it up without compromising its shape.

Price at time of publish: $36

Material: Cotton canvas | Brim Size: 5 inches | UPF Level: 50

Best Bucket Sun Hat: L.L. Bean Women’s H2Off Rain Bucket Hat

Buy at Llbean.com

What Stands Out

  • It's waterproof and has a minimalist design.

What Could Be Improved

  • The UPF level isn't listed, so we’re not sure exactly how much sun protection it offers.

If you want protection from the sun and rain, consider this bucket hat from L.L. Bean. It’s made from a waterproof, lightweight fabric so you can keep it in your bag for any out-of-the-blue showers, and thanks to the fabric being wrinkle-resistant, you won’t need to worry about it being disheveled when you suddenly need it.

This hat also has a handy built-in sweatband that keeps you sweat-free on even the hottest summer days. If you want to keep your head dry regardless of whether you’re caught in a storm or out on a boat, opt for this bucket hat. Plus, you can throw it in the washer and dryer when it comes time to clean it.

Price at time of publish: $45

Material: Polyester | Brim Size: Not listed | UPF Level: Not listed

Best Crocheted Sun Hat: Scala Brenta Safari Hat

Buy at Jcpenney.com

Buy at Rei.com

What Stands Out

  • This adorable crocheted sun hat provides shade and a pop of color to any outfit.

What Could Be Improved

  • It only comes in one size and doesn’t have an adjustable strap.

The Scala Brenta Safari Hat has playful, colorful stripes along the center that are subtle enough to go with any outfit or bathing suit. We also love that this hat is packable, meaning you can squeeze it into a suitcase or beach bag without compromising its shape.

The hat is made of woven raffia, which is lightweight and has small holes that improve ventilation, and has an elasticized inner sweatband to wick away moisture and sweat. Keep in mind that although the sweatband is elasticized, it isn’t adjustable and is available only in one size with a circumference of 22.45 inches.

Price at time of publish: $69

Material: Raffia | Brim Size: 3.75 inches | UPF Level: Not listed

Best Cooling Sun Hat: Mission Cooling Bucket Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

What Stands Out

  • This hat cools in under one minute when activated with water.

What Could Be Improved

  • The logo is quite prominent.

This hat is the super versatile pick we want for the warmer seasons—it shades your face and neck from the sun, cools you when you’re too hot, and is packable so you can take it wherever you go. It comes in nine colors and has an adjustable chin strap so it stays securely on your head.

To activate the cooling properties, pour water onto the hat, wring it out, and then move it through the air in a fanning motion to manually activate the cooling—it will stay cool for up to two hours afterward, according to the brand. This bucket hat also boasts a 50+ UPF rating and is machine washable for easy maintenance.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Polyester | Brim Size: 3 inches | UPF Level: 50

Best Waterproof Sun Hat: Rains Boonie Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Us.rains.com

What Stands Out

  • It's designed to keep your head completely dry, even in a downpour.

What Could Be Improved

  • This hat is only available in three colors.

This hat has a fashionable silhouette and a weatherproof fabric, making it the perfect choice for stormy and sunny days alike. You can take this hat out on the lake or ocean without worrying about wind because the chin strap ensures it stays in place and doesn’t blow away.

We also like that the brim of this rain hat is slightly oversized and is lined with a breathable fabric so your head stays cool all day. It comes in two sizes and three colors, with options of neutral black, sand, or a bright, sunny yellow.

Price at time of publish: $34

Material: Polyester | Brim Size: Not listed | UPF Level: Not listed

Best Sun Hat for Ponytails: Inogih Women’s UV Protection Foldable Sun Hat

Buy at Amazon.com

What Stands Out

  • We love the convenient hole for a ponytail or bun.

What Could Be Improved

  • It only fits a head circumference of 21 to 23 inches.

If you don’t want to sacrifice your hairstyle while wearing a hat, opt for the Inogih Sun Hat, which allows you to comfortably keep your hair up with its rear opening similar to a baseball cap. This hat is also packable, lightweight, and has mesh sides for breathability.

Thanks to its adjustable chin strap and adjustable circumference from 21 inches to 23 inches, you can count on it to stay securely on your head. While we like this flexibility, be sure to measure your head circumference to ensure it fits within that range. If you want a slightly Western look, you can button the sides of the brim up with the side snaps. This sun hat comes in seven colors, with an option to buy it in packs of two for a discounted price.

Price at time of publish: $12

Material: Polyester | Brim Size: 3.35 inches | UPF Level: Not listed

Final Verdict

The Wallaroo Montecito Sun Hat is our top pick for its packable design, UPF rating of 50+, and stylish look you can dress up or down. If you want a floppy and chic sun hat at an affordable price, opt for the Shade & Shore Packable Paper Straw Floppy Hat—the wide brim provides plenty of shade while the lightweight materials are breathable and comfortable during warm seasons.

How to Shop for Sun Hats Like a Pro

Type

When shopping for a sun hat, consider what type (i.e. full brim, bucket, rain hat, visor) suits your style preferences. For something casual but athletic, opt for a sporty visor or bucket hat like the L.L. Bean Women’s H2Off Rain Bucket Hat. But if you want something chicer, a full-brimmed straw hat like the Wallaroo UPF Montecito Wide Brim Fedora Sun Hat can protect from the sun without compromising style.

Also, keep in mind what activities you plan to do while wearing your hat. If it’s for lounging around, a simple straw design will do, but if you want sun protection for outdoor activities, a chin strap and adjustable circumference will keep your hat secure on your head.

Size

To find the right size, we recommend measuring your head and reviewing the product’s size chart. Some hats have adjustable interior bands so you can tailor the hat to your head size, while others come in many sizes to ensure the best possible fit no matter your measurements.

Material

When choosing a material for your hat, consider your lifestyle and where you plan to wear it. One of the most common materials is polyester, which wicks moisture away, making it ideal for warm days and sweaty outdoor activities. We also like cotton, as it is breathable, lightweight, and easy to care for.

If you want to wear your hat for outdoor activities like gardening, hiking, or yard work, look for a machine-washable or stain-resistant material like polyester or cotton. For those who just want a stylish option to wear while in the sun, look for a lightweight material like straw, paper, or raffia, which offers ventilation.

UPF Protection

UPF is one of the most important things to look for in a sun hat, although not every manufacturer lists it. “Just like SPF, UPF is a measure of how well clothing protects you from the sun,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. “UPF indicates how much UV radiation penetrates the fabric. For example, a UPF of 50 only allows two percent (1/50th) of the sun’s rays to get through (blocking 98 percent), while a UPF of 30 allows about three percent of UV rays to penetrate (1/30th), blocking 96-97 percent.”

Dr. Engelman notes that UPF clothing can lose some protection after many washes, so it’s important to buy new gear after several seasons.

Questions You Might Ask

What kind of hat is best for sun protection?

“I generally consider hats and clothing with UPF 30 and above ideal for best sun protection,” says Dr. Engelman. Hats with wide brims also provide more protection, as they can shield your neck and ears in addition to your face.

Is a dark or light hat better for protection?

Dr. Engelman suggests dark hats for increased protection. “Darker colors and thicker materials usually protect from the sun better than lighter, thinner clothing, so it can be good to look for a dark or relatively thick hat.”

How do you measure your head for hats?

To measure your hat size, wrap a piece of string or a sewing measuring tape around the circumference of your head, making sure that you place the measuring tape along where a hat naturally sits. Use this measurement as a reference point when looking at sizing charts to find the best fit for you. 

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Hannah Baker, a freelance writer and editor with a decade of experience researching and writing about home products. She’s written about products for Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, Brides, MyDomaine, Shop TODAY, and Drew and Jonathan Reveal, to name a few. To write this article, Hannah researched various sun hats and compared them for factors like material, UPF level, style, and price point. She also spoke to Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon.

Related: The 12 Best Beach Canopies, Tents, and Umbrellas of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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