Cooling headbands provide relief in many different areas, from surviving a particularly sweltering day to soothing a headache. It can help you get through that workout that feels impossible, and keep the hair out of your face with a refreshing chill on your scalp.
In a year filled with fatal wildfires and extreme heat, investing in a cooling headband is more important than ever before. These bands lower the amount of sweat that your body accumulates, evaporating it away from your skin to reduce your overall core temperature and prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Plus, they won’t get as stinky as a regular ol’ cotton headband.
While some focus on lightweight materials that are moisture-wicking, others are activated by water, providing cool relief (and relief from sweating) for hours on end. Some have added features like built-in insect repellant or UV protection.
No matter what kind of cooling system you choose, these saviors from the heat will keep you dry and comfortable wherever you go.
1. Nike Sport Unisex Cooling Head Tie
Throughout the years, Nike has always been (and still is) a leader when it comes to athletic wear and accessories. While some products are pricey, this Nike Sport Cooling Head Tie is affordable with top-notch sweat-wicking technology, keeping you cool during any activity. The unisex band has a lightweight material (offered in black and gray) and keeps out both UV rays and moisture effectively. Unlike elastic headbands, this unisex choice has a tied back, so you can adjust to your heart’s desire and even wear it around your neck for extra relief.
Nike Sport Unisex Cooling Head Tie
2. Buff CoolNet UV+ Insect Shield Multifunctional Headwear
BEST RUNNER UP
Buff offers a sleek, multifunctional headband that can be worn in 12 ways and is available in a range of colors and prints. This dual headband and neck gaiter has an additional perk that buyers love — built-in insect repellant. Getting a bug bite on your face or neck is the quickest way to ruin an outdoor adventure, and this band protects you from that, with added odor control. Buyers love the seamless design, which prevents chafing and is perfectly soft.
Buff CoolNet UV+ Insect Shield Multifunctional Headwear
3. Braylin Men’s Cooling Headbands, 3-Pack
Braylin’s nonslip, sweat-wicking bands come in a three-pack and still clock in at under $10. Whether you want to avoid doing laundry constantly or just like to have a backup readily available, these cooling headbands offer a solution to multiple issues. They’re sewn with double layer cloth, and the bottom layer contains more stretch, along with perforations to promote breathability. A wicking material evaporates sweat in an instant, no matter how intense your workout is, and combined with the high-absorption factor, this three-pack is a must-buy.
Braylin Men’s Cooling Headbands, 3-Pack
4. Mission Cooling Hoodie Towel
When your head feels like it needs to be dunked in a bucket of ice water, turn to the Mission Cooling Hoodie towel, which offers UV sun protection and contours to your head shape to stay in place. Just activate with water and experience your body temperature immediately cool in less than 30 seconds. It provides a comfy chill for up to two hours, even through rigorous workouts. If you want something that offers more than sweat-wicking technology and delivers a refreshing blast of water, try out this innovative hoodie.
5. Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Headband
Heavy sweater? No need to be ashamed or double down on multiple cooling headbands during your workout! The Metal Vent Tech headband by Lululemon, offered in four subtle colors, has an ideal thickness and stretch level, with a design made specifically for training. While it’s a heavyweight moisture absorber, it also helps stop all that bacteria and stink from soaking through to your skin thanks to odor and bacteria-fighting technology.
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Headband
6. Temple Tape Headband
BEST BUDGET PICK
If you’re searching for your first cooling headband ever and are on the fence about dropping cash on a fancier one, consider Temple Tape’s tapered sweatband, which can be worn on its own or under a bike helmet. The shape of the sweatband is designed to never slip off, which is also ideal for bald men who need extra absorption and grip. According to one bare-headed buyer, “It absorbed way more sweat than I could have imagined, and didn’t feel soaking wet or heavy post-workout.”
Temple Tape Headband
7. Mission Cooling Skull Cap
BEST FOR HAT WEARERS
If you’re a biker, cook, contractor, or have hair that you need to tuck away in a low-maintenance way, consider a cooling hat as opposed to a skinny band. It’s also ideal for runners, football players, and anyone else that needs to wear gear on their head but doesn’t want to trap perspirations. Activated by water, it also offers UV protection for those extra sunny days, cooling your entire head like never before. At the crown, ventilated mesh allows your scalp to breathe.
Mission Cooling Skull Cap
8. Mission Cooling Bandana
BEST BANDANA STYLE PICK
If a headband isn’t your thing, this paisley print bandana has cooling benefits without the athletic look. Due to the fact that it’s a scarf, you can also use its water-activated powers like a wet towel around your neck, or wrap it up more thinly to hold back your hair — there are endless ways you can use this refreshing gadget. It also allows you to quickly mask up if needed. One buyer vouches, “I have tried other cooling cloths and they don’t measure up to the effectiveness of the Mission Cooling Bandana.”
Mission Cooling Bandana
9. Ergodyne Chill Its 6700CT Cooling Bandana
BEST ADJUSTABLE PICK
If you love the idea of a cooling headband but are worried about the fit and level of stretch, opt for this hyper-evaporative PVA bandana that activates with water for up to four hours. With a tie-closure, you can customize fit, and the wrap becomes cold instantly once you pour water on and wring dry. It is worth noting that the band doesn’t have the thickness of other alternatives on our roundup — if you prefer a less bulky option that can fit in a bag or underneath a hat, we recommend it.
Ergodyne Chill Its 6700CT Cooling Bandana
10. Vinsguir Mens Sweat-Wicking Headband, 4- Pack
BEST FOR LONG HAIR
Keeping your hair out of your face on sweaty days is essential. If you have long hair, it’s even more of a necessity. That’s why we recommend a thicker cooling headband like this unisex offering from sports brand Vinsguir. It’s stretchable for all head sizes and has a dry-fit material, with one reviewer commenting, “My racquetball buddies noticed this new band, and soon they ordered it for themselves. Everyone loved it … it’s super lightweight — while playing you don’t feel like you’re wearing anything on your head.”