Best Swim Caps

It may be challenging to pick the correct kind of swimming caps as a beginner. Swim caps come in a range of materials, styles, sizes, and different colors.

We need to mention that swim caps are not built when swimming to keep your hair dry. Yeah, a good swim cap can restrict chlorine damage to your scalp, but it is more a product for hair control.

Here’s our definitive guide to choosing the right cap for you. If you’re looking for workout caps or competition caps, for whatever the case, we’ll break down which swim caps are best.

But first, let’s explain why a swim cap should be used at all.

Our Top Pick

Top Reasons To Buy

Key Features

They keep loose hair from coming loose inside the pool, as well as keeping your hair out of your face. Few things will throw you off more than finding yourself blinded mid lap by a head full of hair.

But perhaps most importantly, the best-domed swim caps will also make you more hydrodynamic while swimming, especially if you have long hair. Why? Well, the longer your hair, the more drag it creates while swimming. When even a fraction of a second matter, you’ll want a wrinkle-free cap that cuts through the water like a hot knife through butter.

ImageProduct InformationFeaturesPrice
arena_classic

Arena Classic Swim Cap

  • 100% Silicone
  • PVC-Free
  • Good for everyday use


  • Very comfortable
  • Wrinkle-free
  • Minimal drag
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speedonwsilicon

Speedo NW Silicone Cap

  • Made of Sturdy Materials
  • Resistant to Pulling/Snagging
  • Comfortable fit


  • 100% Silicone
  • Fits even large heads
  • Stays snug
  • Very affordable
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TYR_Lycra_Swim_Cap

TYR Lycra Swim Cap

  • Comfortable
  • Suitable for Leisure Swimming
  • No Pulling/Snagging
  • Made from 80% Nylon & 20% Lycra Fiber
  • Ideally used with an outer-cap
  • Good for everyday use
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aegend_swim_cap

Aegend Swim Caps

  • Suitable for Long Hair
  • Non-Toxic/Eco-Friendly
  • Zero Deformities


  • Sold in affordable 2 packs
  • Stretches easily and returns to original shape
  • 12 month replacement guarantee
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Speedo_Fastskin3_Competition_Swim_Cap

Speedo Fastskin3 Competition Swim Cap

  • Comfort
  • Minimal Drag
  • Latex-Free


  • Made of 100% Silicone
  • Designed to reduce drag by up to 5.7%
  • FINA approved
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Friendly-Swede-Silicone-Long-Hair-Swim-Caps

The Friendly Swede Silicone Long Hair Cap

  • Little Resistance
  • Suitable for Men and Women
  • No Pulling/Snagging


  • Made of 100% Silicone
  • Keeps longer hair dry
  • Lifetime warranty
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TYR_Wrinkle-Free_Silicone_Cap

TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Cap

  • Suitable for Athletes
  • Comfortable
  • Performance-Oriented


  • Made from 100% Silicone
  • Fits most head sizes
  • Very thick silicone material - built to last
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speedo_solid_latex_swim_cap

Speedo Solid Latex Cap

  • Fits comfortably
  • Contains hair well
  • Very affordable


  • 100% Latex
  • Scalloped anti-roll edge
  • Resistant to tears
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speedo_solid_silicone_cap

Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap

  • Hydrodynamic shape
  • Comfortable
  • Available in 23 colors


  • 100% Silicone
  • Snug fit
  • No slip interior texture
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What is a Swimming Cap?

A swimming cap is a closely fitting cap that competitive and casual swimmers can wear in the pool. They are mostly made of rubber, latex or Lycra, and are referred to as caps for bathing or swimming.

Why Wear a Swim Cap?

There are many reasons that individuals want to wear caps for swimming. Some swimmer would prefer to keep their hair and shield it from chlorine or sunshine. This helps maintain healthy hair, particularly for those who regularly swim.

On longer swim hours, wearing a swim cap will help keep the head of a swimmer warm, ensuring the wearer can tirelessly save more energy while their body keeps an ideal temperature during training.

To avoid the drag that long hair can cause, competitive swimmers wear their hair in a cap. This drag will slow them down, so it can minimize those extra critical seconds by getting the hair out of the way.

The ears’ security is one of the most common explanations for caps to be worn by children. This can help avoid ear infection, mainly when worn with earplugs, and prevent water from going into the ears.

Materials Swim Caps are made from

Swim caps are swimming gear that is crafted from several diverse materials. Silicone, latex, rubber, and lycra/spandex are the most common, but you may have come across plastic, neoprene, and polyurethane caps.

Silicone Caps

One of the most common fabrics used for swimming caps is silicone. It is, in fact, highly robust. Silicone caps, when appropriately cared for, will last for years. Silicone is undoubtedly my preferred material for caps as a professional swimmer. Not only is it long-lasting, but it also lends itself well without dragging hair to slide on and off.

Latex Caps

Latex is a plastic much more refined than silicone. Often, it is less durable. Especially if you do not put them on correctly or forget to take good care of them, Latex swim caps rip more quickly. Since they are lighter than silicone, latex caps provide for “breath-ability.”

These caps could be the best fit for colder temperatures in which heat loss is not a concern if less heat is stored. Generally, latex cap is often much cheaper than most kinds of caps. So if you’re looking for a cap that won’t crack the bank and it’s not a question of durability, then the way to go is latex.

Lycra and Spandex Caps

Lycra is a brand name for a fiber composite usually referred to as spandex or elastane. Swimming caps made of spandex are very durable and can generally last for a long time after each use, even if rinsed with chlorine. They are considered to be lightweight and will never snag or tug your hair. However, because Lycra is a fabric, these caps would allow water to flow when swimming through the material.

A material with a porous cap is not as useful as silicone or rubber but can also minimize drag to a greater degree than wearing no cap at all. Lycra swim caps are not suitable for use in sport because of this. For practice or sun defense, they can mainly be used. When wearing your silicone race-day hat, wearing a higher resistance cap during practice will also make you perform better. When it comes to competition, making the body used to a higher degree of resistance will improve results.

Neoprene Caps

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is widely used in wet suit fabrics. The aim of a neopren cap, just like wet suits, is to hold a thin layer of watertight to your body to serve as insulation. For individuals who swim in freezing pools, streams, rivers, or the ocean, this makes neoprene caps an outstanding alternative.

However, you would also need to wear a wet suit: contrary to the common misconception that 45% of the heat loss is from your head, the head generally accounts for just 10% of the surface area of your body. So, a thermal swim cap can only support you if it also protects the rest of your body. Neoprene swim caps are more appropriate for open-water swims since they do not effectively minimize drag. Neoprene caps do not, however, pull hair.

Sizes and Shapes

Usually, swim caps come in the following sizes and shapes:

  • For kids, swim caps are bigger than normal ones. For your kids, choose these kinds of caps.
  • For adults with short hair, choose caps of average size. As the swim caps can comfortably extend to conform to the actual head shape and height, they match most head styles.
  • Adult swim cap for long-haired. Typically, a long hair swim cap is an inch or two longer to help trap long hair or keeping your hair within the swim cap.
  • The so-called bubble swim caps. These have a more helmet-like form, and tiny bubbles cover their surface.

Best Swim Caps for 2021

Specifications

Benefits

The Arena Classic Silicone construction from 100% silicone gives it the soft, comfortable fit most swimmers crave while moving through the water. The solid silicone swim cap simplicity is what makes it so favorable. And the cap is unisex, so both male and female swimmers can use it for pool training. The first thing we consider when choosing the best swim caps.

The Arena Classic Silicone Unisex Swim Cap comes in multiple colors, including black, white, gold, and red. This swim cap is wrinkle-free, making it optimized for hydrodynamics, allowing you to glide through the pool with minimal resistance. The Arena Classic is suitable for pool training, swim workouts. This is also the common choice for racing caps or competition caps.

Arena continually works on improving its products to maximize swimmers’ training time. The Arena Classic is their flagship cap and is for all levels of swimmers.

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Specifications

Benefits

Speedo is a reputable brand, and the NW Silicone Cap solid swim cap speedo is a perfect example of how Speedo is revolutionizing the industry. They continually create new products that aid swimmer performance. This simple yet effective silicone swim cap provides comfort during pool training.

The soft silicone material stretches easily around the head and is easy to take off, preventing pulling and snagging. The cap is both lightweight and durable, so swimmers can expect minimal drag when gliding through the pool. Though the silicone is sturdy, it allows the head to breathe and reduces the buildup of pressure. This really deserves to be included in the best swim caps list.

The cap is excellent for pool training, workouts, speed and endurance runs, and long leisure swims. The Speedo NW Silicone Cap also protects your head from chlorine, preventing hair damage.

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Benefits

Another entry for the best swim caps for open-water swimmers or simply don’t want to get your head wet while swimming, the TYR Lycra Swim Cap is excellent for keeping your temperature in check. The cap fits firmly around the head, which prevents your hair from getting wet. You won’t receive the same insulation as other silicone caps, but this cap is great for recreational swimming or open-water workouts.

The only real downside of this cap is that you may feel discomfort around the ears if you wear the swim cap for an extended period, such as if you’re a swimming instructor. But if you’re looking for a great cap to keep your hair dry during a swim workout, this product is superb.

The cap comes in a wide range of colors, including black, navy, pink, red, royal, and white. The cap is made up of mostly recycled nylon (80%), making this an eco-friendly swim accessory. If you spend a lot of time swimming in lakes or outdoor pools, this swim cap will be everything you need to keep your head dry and warm.

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Specifications

Benefits

Swimmers with long hair tend to have a hard time finding a comfortable swim cap. The Aegend is comfortable and has 3D shaping that prevents hair from pulling and snagging. The Aegend Swim Cap also optimizes hydrodynamics. The cap has a large enough space to provide comfort, even for those with thick hair.

The thick, odorless silicone material is 100% non-toxic material, which makes it environmentally friendly. The Aegend is also tear-resistant and built to last which makes it to this best swim caps list. The cap fits perfectly around the ears, so swimmers don’t need to worry about pressure buildup. Overall, the Aegend Swim Cap is a suitable option for all hair lengths, though it’s more focused on swimmers with long hair.

One cool thing about Aegend is they have a 12-month replacement policy. So if your cap tears within the first year, Aegend will send you a new one free of charge. This policy shows that Aegend is confident in their swimming cap, and they care about their customers.

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Specifications

Benefits

When it is time for competition, you’re going to want to make sure everything is perfect. Speedo has designed the Fastskin3 Competition Swim Cap to maximize your performance during race time. The benefits of the speedo silicone solid swim cap include the reduction of drag, improved hydrodynamics, and enhanced comfort throughout the race which makes it the best swim cap for racing.

The cap, approved by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), is commonly worn by pros worldwide. There’s a reason why swimmer prefers this caps and it’s partly due to how it works in perfect harmony with other Fastskin products like the Speedo Fastskin goggles. The two make an ideal combo and can reduce drag by up to 5.7%.

It’s tough to find a brand that puts out products comparable to Speedo’s quality. Swimmers have gone on to win international championships wearing a cap, thanks to its design. The cap comes in different colors, including Speedo pink, green, white, and new black. This Speedo racing cap is made from 100% silicone and is latex-free.

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Specifications

Benefits

This versatile and silicone swim caps fits firmly around the head size without snagging or binding the hair. It comes with a beautiful decorative trim around the edges and is available in blue/black, and hot pink/purple. The cap has ergonomic ear pockets designed to protect you from pressure during deep dives. The Friendly Swede Cap keeps ears and hair dry, so if you’re swimming in open water, you won’t need to worry about getting sick.

The sizes available are most suitable for teenagers and adults. Children with smaller heads may experience slipping. For the adult swimmer, the 100% silicone material is stretchy and durable enough to fit around your head comfortably and is unlikely to slip off in the water. The hydrodynamic design eliminates resistance, allowing you to maximize your focus on your stroke.

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Benefits

This simple wrinkle-free silicone swim cap by TYR is a suitable option for swimmers, water sports enthusiasts, or just anyone who wants to move better in the water. The cap is made of silicone material which is soft and stretchy and fits perfectly around your head. This silicone swim cap protects your hair and ears from getting wet but still allows the head to breathe.

Though the TYR Wrinkle-Free Swim Cap is suitable for all experience level of swimmers, we believe it’s not the best swim cap on the market. It is an affordable option that’s dependable, though, especially for pool training.

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Benefits

Most on this list are made up of silicone. Thanks to their wrinkle-free fit, while silicone caps are more durable and much more hydrodynamic, they are often more costly than the standard rubber swim cap.

The main difference between a latex swim cap and a silicone swim cap that we have always found is that the former is more breathable, making them suitable for training, particularly for weak swimmers who practice in a hot pool.

For just $3-6, Speedo’s solid latex swim cap is a safe pick for swimmers who appear to overheat while they practice. Help secure your hair with the Speedo Solid Latex Swim Caps from the harsh water elements.

For both competitive and recreational swimmers, the Speedo latex swim cap has long been the traditional cap. Scalloped cut to avoid breaking is the cap’s bottom edge, which features a convenient anti-roll edge. It offers maximum UV protection as well. It also provides stretch and overall durability.

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Specifications

Benefits

Quality swimming caps will help improve your overall swimming experience, from keeping your hair healthy from chlorine’s harmful effects to minimizing the drag in the water.

This is where you must select the finest, and Speedo’s Silicone Solid cap has become one of the company’s best-selling items when it comes to shopping for a cap. 

The Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap is made of top-notch silicone. This is a composite that’s light and sturdy. Additionally, when putting it on in a panic, you would not have to think about tearing the hat. The Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap is also snag-resistant, which means that you can quickly put it on. This ensures that no matter how long your hair is, you will be able to pull your hair in and wear the cap conveniently. In addition to this, the cap is built for all forms and sizes of the face and can even be used by man and woman.

The firm silicone swimming cap is made of a rigid material, is comfortable on the head, and ultimately minimizes any snagging when you put it on. Moreover, since silicone is a lightweight substance, it’s a breeze to put on the cap and take it off.

The Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap has a rounded fit, which is a reasonably cutting-edge advantage. When you swim underwater, the style will help minimize the drag effect, improving your overall speed.

The swim cap’s durability is its unique selling point under a fair budget and a feature we look for in the best swim caps.

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What is the purpose of a swim cap?
The primary purpose of a swim cap is to protect the hair. If you're swimming someplace with chemicals in the water, your hair can take on an unwanted greenish hue and emit a fishy smell. Swim caps aid in blocking these smells from developing and help to keep chlorine from damaging your hair by keeping it out of the way.

Do swim caps really work?
Swim caps work by eliminating drag; this helps you swim noticeably faster because your not having to pull your hair behind you. They also keep the majority of chlorine out of your hair, which protects it from damage.

Do swim caps go over ears?
Swim caps can go over your ears, but they don’t have too. Keep in mind; they will not prevent water from entering your ears.

Is there a waterproof swim cap?
No, there is no fully waterproof swim cap. Your head will be traveling underwater, often making tilting motions. It’s inevitable that some water will get in.

Should you wet your hair before putting on a swim cap?
If you seal a dry wet suit to your body, it will take a long time for all the air pockets to get squeezed out. Same thing happens with hair trapped under a swimming cap. So definitely, it's best if your hair is wet before putting on the swim cap so that everything stays put until you're done swimming and ready to rinse off.

How tight should a swim cap be?
It largely depends on the individual head size - so go with what fits you best. Tight enough to keep your hair from escaping but not so tight it pushes in all of the water away from your ears and scalp, which will make it difficult for you to hear

Can swim caps cause hair loss?
If a swimmer is wearing their swim cap for long stints of time, or if they are "hot" swimmers this could put too much pressure on their scalp and cause follicle damage, which might lead to temporary hair loss. It's important to take a break every once in a while so that you can let your scalp's elasticity and hydration come back into balance.

Is silicone or latex better for swim caps?
Latex is good for people who don't have latex allergies, but it can feel heavy and tight on your head. Silicone can feel a little softer and wouldn't irritate your scalp or make your hair difficult to comb out after wearing one all day, so it might be more comfortable in that respect. But if you do pick silicone because you want to avoid any type of latex, I've had some swimmers complain about how stiff they were before they got wet.

How do you loosen a swim cap?
If your cap is too tight or has never been worn, try stretching it out. Place one hand on top of the other and twist them towards each other at the base of your head. Use that force to pull back and move to front over your hair.

What size swim cap do I need?
Swim caps come in different sizes. Some are one size fits all, some come in small, medium, and large. These are usually racing or open water neoprene caps.