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10 best kids' bike helmets to keep young riders safe

A first bike is a milestone in every child’s life. But just as important is your child’s first cycling helmet. Here's our pick of the best.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Jan 7, 2022

child riding scooter wearing bike helmet

There are so many great things about going on a family bike ride. As well as getting some all-important exercise, it promotes family bonding, is environmentally-friendly and a great stress-reliever for all involved.

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But a quality cycle helmet is an absolute must in order to keep your child safe whether riding on the road, through the woods or in the skate park.

We’ve trawled expert review sites and the Mumsnet forums to find out which kids’ bike helmets our users recommend and reveal our top picks below.

Here are the best kids’ bike helmets to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall kids’ bike helmet: Bontrager Jet WaveCel Youth Helmet

Bontrager Jet WaveCel Youth Helmet

Price: £58 | Buy now from Evans Cycles

“Bontrager has a great slogan for their WaveCel technology: ‘You Only Have One Brain.’ My DD also had a very minor fall on her bike coming out of school at age seven, and her helmet cracked from the force. We use free or secondhand bikes but buy gold-standard helmets, and now I don't regret it at all.” Confrontayshunme

Bontrager’s youth bike helmet tops our list for the best kids’ bike helmet, mainly for its unique and relatively new safety feature.

WaveCel, a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet, keeps young riders safe from injury and helps to assure parents that their little ones are in expert hands. It’s designed to look like a skater helmet and this, coupled with the bright lime green colourway, makes it popular among kids too.

Pros

  • Skater design
  • WaveCel is an extra safety feature
  • Helmet pads can be removed for washing

Cons

  • Limited colour choice

Key specs

  • Age range: 6-10 years
  • Size: 50-55cm

2. Best budget kids’ bike helmet: meteor Helmet

meteor dinosaur helmet

Price: From £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon

These cheerful helmets are designed for very young children who may be taking their first wobbly steps on a balance bike or just getting to grips with a scooter or bike with stabilisers.

This helmet is slightly larger at the back to protect the head, while still managing to remain lightweight. An integrated visor adds extra protection and also shields the eyes from the sun, without compromising vision.

These brightly-coloured helmets come in a wide range of designs, from unicorns to sharks, so there’s something to suit all tastes.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great designs
  • Removable padding for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Can be tricky to adjust chin strap

Key specs

  • Age range: Up to 5 years
  • Size: 44-48cm (extra small) and 48-52cm (small)

3. Best kids’ bike helmet for toddlers: Specialized Mio Mips Toddler Helmet

Specialized Mio Mips Toddler Helmet

Price: £44.99 | Buy now from Cyclestore

Available in a range of bold colours and prints, this helmet will be a sure-fire hit with your cycling toddler.

Designed with both safety and comfort in mind, there’s a visor to keep out the sun and mesh to keep out any bugs, while reflective webbing will make sure your little one stays visible as the nights draw in. A magnetic buckle prevents any accidental pinching, which is an added bonus.

Pros

  • Colourful
  • Shape means it can be used in a bike trailer comfortably
  • Simple to get an accurate fit

Cons

  • Pricey for a toddler helmet

Key specs

  • Age range: Up to 3 years
  • Size: 46-51cm

4. Best kids’ bike helmet for safety features: COROS SafeSound Road Smart Cycling Helmet

COROS SafeSound Road Smart Cycling Helmet

Price £54.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“You could buy him a Bluetooth helmet, which he can use to stream music more safely?”  isitalwaysthishard

The COROS SafeSound Road Smart Cycling Helmet has a wealth of safety features, which will be a huge reassurance if your child has just started going out on solo bike rides.

A special SOS Emergency Alert sends the rider’s location to their list of contacts in the event of an emergency, while an LED tail light makes sure your child can be easily seen.

Using the COROS’ Ear Opening Sound System, the helmet can also play music, while keeping the rider aware of their surroundings. 

If you do opt for a helmet which plays music, think carefully whether this feature would be suitable for your child, taking into account their age, where they cycle, road sense, cycling ability and whether they tend to get distracted easily.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Enhanced safety features
  • Can be used with the COROS app
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Music may be a distraction

Key specs

  • Age: 5+
  • Size: 51-55cm

5. Best novelty kids’ bike helmet: Dinosaur Children’s Safety Helmet

Dinosaur Children’s Safety Helmet

Price: £22.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“[Get your child a] colour-changing dinosaur night light bike helmet.” Ricekrispie22

What’s not to love about this dashing dinosaur helmet? This fun, larger-than-life design means that you’ll never have to battle your child to wear it whenever they embark on a bike ride. 

But there’s more to this dino than just a pretty face. It’s tough, with adjustable straps and an adjustable wheel on the back to make sure it fits correctly.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Easy to adjust for fit
  • Breathable with seven air vents
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Dinosaurs are not to everyone’s taste
  • Horns make the helmet bulky and awkward for storage

Key specs

  • Age: 3-10
  • Size: 49-55cm

6. Best character kids’ bike helmet: Peppa Pig Safety Helmet

Peppa Pig Safety Helmet

Price: £12.74 | Buy now from Amazon

Everybody’s favourite pig (for kids, at least) is the star of the show on this pretty pink kids’ bike helmet.

Lightweight yet tough, the Peppa Pig helmet comes with extra foam padding for comfort, a quick-release buckle for easy on and off, and an adjustable size dial to help you find the right fit. It’s ideal cycling and scooting, and perhaps even jumping up and down in muddy puddles too.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Easy to adjust
  • Ventilated shell to keep heads cool

Cons

  • Only suitable for Peppa Pig fans

Key specs

  • Age: 2-10 years 
  • Size: 48-54cm

7. Best kids’ bike helmet for off-road cycling: BELL Kids' Sidetrack Youth Cycling Helmet

BELL Kids' Sidetrack Youth Cycling Helmet

Price: £30.34 | Buy now from Amazon

If your child is serious about their cycling, then the BELL Kids’ Sidetrack is a great choice.

Designed with mainly mountain biking in mind, this ergonomic helmet has low coverage on the back of the head, a snap-in visor that can be removed if needed, a pinch-guard buckle to avoid hurting delicate skin and a dial to adjust to fit. A great choice if your child is a fan of skate parks or trails.

Pros

  • Extra protection for the back of the head
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to get a comfortable fit

Cons

  • Limited colour options

Key specs

  • Age: From 5 to 11+
  • Size: 50-57cm

8. Best kids’ bike helmet for riding in low light: Hornit Mini Lids Kids’ Bike Helmet

Hornit Mini Lids Kids’ Bike Helmet

Price: From £29.66 | Buy now from Amazon

Whether your child loves spiders, ice creams, llamas or space, there’s a Hornit Mini Lids helmet to suit all tastes.

As well as getting children noticed in the day, the helmet is ideal for riding in low light as it’s fitted with an integrated LED light which can power on for up to 20 hours. There are three different light modes to choose from - constant, flashing and fast flashing - so that your child can be safely seen at all times.

Pros

  • Great range of fun designs
  • LED light safety feature
  • Good ventilation

Cons

  • Older children may not enjoy the patterned design

Key specs

  • Age: 2-11+ years
  • Size: 48-53cm (small) and 54-58cm (medium)

9. Best kids’ bike helmet for older children: Giro Kids' Hale Cycling Helmet

Giro Kids' Hale Cycling Helmet

Price: From £31.45 | Buy now from Amazon

The Giro Hale is a high-quality bike helmet for any youngster who is serious about their cycling.

Lightweight and durable, the Giro Hale has a removable visor and an easy-to-adjust fitting system with a wide range. This means the helmet grows with your child and, with a bit of care, could last for many years. Perfect for any aspiring Froomes or Geraints.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Lightweight but tough

Cons

  • Younger kids may prefer more exciting designs

Key specs

  • Age: 3-11+
  • Size: 50-57cm

10. Best easy-fit kids’ bike helmet: Lazer Flash Nutz Helmet

Lazer Flash Nutz Helmet

Price: £27.31 | Buy now from Amazon

This lightweight, well-ventilated cycle helmet certainly looks the business and this nifty little number is easy to adjust too. Thanks to Lazer’s Autofit system, you just have to pull the helmet on and the front and rear baskets will adjust themselves, which means no fiddling around with straps and dials. Just pull it on and off you go. Simple.

Pros

  • Easy to fit as helmet is self-adjusting
  • Good ventilation
  • Good value

Cons 

  • Colour not to everyone’s taste

Key specs

  • Age: 3-11
  • Size: 50-55cm

How do you choose a bike helmet for a child?

There are a number of things you should consider when purchasing a child’s bike helmet.

  • Size and fit: It’s crucial that you buy a helmet that’s the right size and a good fit for your child. If the bike helmet doesn’t fit properly, then this means your child won’t be fully protected. You can use a tape measure to measure around your child’s head to help you order the correct size if shopping online. If you’re unsure, go to Halfords or your local bike shop for help and advice.
  • Safety features: Do you want a helmet which boasts extra safety features, such as an LED light if riding at night? Or a bluetooth helmet which can send a safety alert to emergency contacts?
  • Design and pattern: Does your child like vibrant colours or something a bit more muted? Spider-man? Dinosaurs? Frozen? Make sure you pick a helmet that your child will like and will put on and wear with minimal fuss.
  • Price: Always set a budget! The cost of kids’ cycling helmets vary wildly. Think about how often your child goes out on their bike and consider whether it is worth paying out for a top-of-the-range branded helmet.

What size helmet should my child wear?

When buying a kids’ bike helmet, you need to know your child’s head circumference. 

Measure around your child’s forehead, just above the eyebrows, using a tape measure and compare this measurement to the helmet manufacturer’s sizing table and pick an appropriately sized helmet for your child.

As a general guide: 46cm fits a 12-month-old, 48cm fits a two-year-old, 51cm is suitable for three- to five-year-olds, 53cm for six to 10 years, and 56cm for 11+ years.

Don’t be tempted to size up and pick a helmet for your child to grow into. A bike helmet needs to fit correctly in order to provide adequate protection.

The helmet should fit snugly and shouldn’t move from side to side. A well-fitting helmet sits low on the forehead, sitting just one or two finger-widths above the eyebrows. The side straps should form a Y shape and meet below the ear.  When you fasten the chin strap, you should not be able to fit any more than one finger under the strap.

Which kids’ bike helmet is best?

Mumsnet users rate the Bontrager Jet WaveCel Youth Helmet as the best overall kids’ bike helmet, with a gold star for its unique safety feature, a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet, which offers peace of mind to parents. With its bright green colour and skater helmet design, it appeals to kids too.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which kids’ bike helmets our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in kids’ bike helmets and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which kids’ bike helmets had received the best recommendations.

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