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The best kids' sun hats for 2024

Looking for a sun hat to keep your child safe and comfortable as temperatures rise? We’ve put together a handy list of the best summer headgear for kids.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Dec 20, 2023

Child wearing a sun hat at the beach

A sun hat is a summer must-have because it protects your child’s face and neck from harmful rays, sunburn and getting too hot. Although once you’ve found a sun hat that fits well and does the job, keeping it on your little one’s head is a battle in and of itself!

Mumsnetters have come up with plenty of resourceful ways to keep hats on their kids’ heads, but making sure you buy a hat that’s comfy, fits well and looks good is the first step. Once it’s on, perseverance with replacing it every time it’s thrown on the ground is key.

To help you find the right hat for a sun-safe summer of lazy days in the park, trips to the beach and afternoons playing in the garden, we’ve gathered the top sun hats recommended by Mumsnetters.

Here are the best sun hats to buy.

1. Best overall kids’ sun hat: Jojo Maman Bebe Embroidered Bucket Hat

Jojo Maman Bebe kids sun hat

Price: £12 | Buy now from Jojo Maman Bebe 

"Novelty hats that tie under the chin were the only solution in this house. We got a dinosaur hat with a button under the chin from JoJo Maman Bebe that was the only one that went the distance here!" - fridaseyebrows

Jojo Maman Bebe is our go-to brand for good quality baby clothes in tasteful prints. This super-cute embroidered dino sun hat comes with velcro tabs to keep it from falling off, and you can even get matching dungarees to complete the look.

Determined little hands will be able to undo the velcro, but Jojo Maman Bebe hats are specially shaped to stay on kids’ heads, so it shouldn’t fall off by itself.

The cotton fabric will keep your child’s head cool underneath, and the cute dinosaurs might just mean they’ll want to keep it on.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton

  • Size range: 0 months - 6 years

Related: The best beach tents for summer

2. Best budget kids’ sun hat: Mountain Warehouse Legionnaire Swim Hat

Mountain Warehouse kids sun hat

Price: £5 | Buy now from Mountain Warehouse

Mumsnetters love Mountain Warehouse for its hard-wearing, practical and affordable kids’ clothes, and this legionnaire-style sun hat certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The lightweight swim fabric is nice and stretchy so it’ll stay put, and it folds up small enough to be shoved in a beach bag, pocket or suitcase. It offers UPF50+ protection and the neck flap gives great coverage. All that for around a fiver makes this hat a bona fide bargain.

Available in light blue, dark blue and pink, the only drawback is it only comes in one size, with reviewers recommending it for age 10 months to three years.

Key specs

  • Material: Lightweight stretch fabric

  • Size range: One size (49cm circumference)

Read next: The best suitcases to buy, as tried and tested by families

3. Best sun hat for toddlers: Kidz Banz Adjustable Bucket Hat

Kidz Banz kids sun hat

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

“[DD] has a Kidz Banz sun hat which adjusts to fit with a velcro tab. Stays on well, has a lovely wide brim and nice funky patterns/colours” - SweetApril

Kidz Banz hats feature an ingenious velcro tab on the brim so the hat fits perfectly and can grow with your child. The brim’s really wide for plenty of coverage, and it dries quickly after going through the wash.

There are lots of colours and patterns available, so it’s great for the style conscious toddler, plus it’s reversible. Australian brand Banz makes sure its hats have UPF of 50+ protection and they use a breathable poly blend to keep little heads cool.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester

  • Size range: 0 - 5 years

4. Best kids’ baseball cap: Polarn O Pyret Sun Hat

Polarn O Pyret kids sun hat

Price: £14 | Buy now from Polarn O Pyret

Made from recycled remnants of previous season stock, this cool retro baseball cap from Polarn o Pyret is a great choice if you’re looking for style as well as safety.

Featuring reinforced vent holes to keep your child’s head cool, and a substantial peak to keep the sun off their face, it’s a good choice for hot days. You will need to slather on the sun cream though, as it doesn’t offer anything in the way of neck or ear coverage.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton

  • Size range: 9 months - 9 years

5. Best kids’ sun hat with a neck flap: Flap Happy

Flap Happy kids sun hat

Price: From £13 | Buy now from Amazon

“I always found that hats from Flap Happy work best” - notanumber

With colours and patterns to suit every taste, California-based sunwear brand Flap Happy make the best sun hats with a neck flap.

With an extra large brim and a neck flap that comes further forward than most other styles, along with UPF 50+ protection, this hat gives maximum shielding from the sun.

Great for if you’re going to be outdoors all day, it’s made from 100% cotton so there’ll be no worries about overheating. It’s also got an elastic seam at the back to make sure it fits snugly and doesn’t fall off.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton

  • Size range: 0 months - 3 years

6. Best reversible kids’ sun hat: Tuga Sunwear Reversible Hat

Tuga kids sun hat

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

“I bought a Tuga hat for my daughter last year (2 years old & bought medium). It is wonderful with a really wide brim, and adjustable cord under the chin” 

As well as great sun protection for your child’s face and neck, this sun hat by American swimwear specialists Tuga offers two looks for the price of one. It’s available in 11 different colours, each with a contrasting reversible lining. The long drawstring with a toggle fastening means it won’t fall off their heads while playing, and can be worn around the neck when indoors or in the shade.

All Tuga’s fabric is chemical-free, so it’s a great hat for kids with delicate or sensitive skin. The only trouble is it’s hand wash only so it might not be the most practical choice.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide and elastane

  • Size range: 0 - 4 years

7. Best sun hat for babies: Mothercare Keppi Hat

Mothercare kids sun hat

Price: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

Mothercare has been a staple for baby clothes for decades. Mumsnetters love the range of styles and baby-friendly details, and this hat is no different.

It’s close fitting so it won’t get in the way of your baby’s adventures, with a soft peak to keep the sun out of their eyes and off their face, plus a flap for good neck coverage.

It’s made from UPF 40+ fabric, helping to minimise the time you’ll spend trying to get suncream onto your wriggly baby’s skin this summer.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide and elastane

  • Size range: 3 - 12 months

8. Best sun hat with UV protection: Columbia Cachalot

Columbia kids sun hat

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

The most hi-tech of all the sun hats on our list, the Columbia Cachalot has it all. Boasting not only UVA and UVB-blocking fabric with UPF50, it’s also moisture wicking, meaning sweat is absorbed from kids’ skin, keeping them cool and comfortable.

Best for active kids, the neck flap can be folded away when not needed, and it uses antimicrobial technology to keep things fresh and hygienic.

The Cachalot comes in one size, and reviewers say it’ll fit toddlers through to big kids thanks to the adjustable back.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester and elastane

  • Size range: One size

9. Best kids’ sun hat with a chin strap: Jan & Jul Gro-With-Me

Jan and Jul kids sun hat

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

We’re really impressed with Jan and Juls’ Gro-with-Me design. The toggle fastening on the strap will keep it from falling off and is trickier for little fingers to undo, and the fireman-style back brim gives maximum coverage all the way round. But the really genius part is the fully adjustable headband, meaning the hat will last for years as your child grows.

Made from high-quality, lightweight, UPF50+ cotton, it’s available in six different colours and patterns. The hat is designed to fold up small and the brim at the front is reinforced to give maximum sun protection without getting in the way of kids’ eyes.

Key specs

  • Material: Cotton

  • Size range: 0 months - 5 years

10. Best sun hat for in the water: Gap Swim Hat

Gap kids sun hat

Price: £13 | Buy now from Gap

Featuring that crucial under-the-chin fastening, a good wide brim and a cute stripy pattern, this Gap swim hat is made for splashing around in the sun.

Made from 60% recycled polyester and with UPF50+ protection, it’s both ethical and sun-safe. It’s stretchy, which helps it stay on and the brim is ribbed so it won’t flop down into kids’ eyes. With quick-dry fabric it’ll keep going all day at the beach or splash park, and you can pop it in the washing machine afterwards.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester, nylon and spandex

  • Size range: 0 - 24 months

How to choose the best kids’ sun hat

For younger kids, go for a hat with a chin strap or one made from a stretchy fabric to stop it falling off or being blown away (and to minimise the chances of it being thrown off). However, if a baby or toddler is determined to get a hat off their head, there’s not much you can do to stop them. Using a hat clip like this one attached to their clothes will keep it off the ground, saving on washing as well as lost hats.

For staying sun-safe, look for plenty of coverage at any age - a peak and a neck flap will protect your child’s ears, face and neck from the sun’s rays, and so will a wide brim. Sun hats usually have a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) so check for this for added peace of mind.

Which material is best for a kids’ sun hat?

Fabric with a high UPF of 40-50+ is the best material for a kids’ sun hat. UPF is a rating system for clothing, to show how much sun protection it offers. Fabrics with a denser weave will naturally offer more protection, and other materials can be treated with chemicals to block out more of the sun’s rays.

What’s the best kids’ sun hat to buy?

We think Jojo Maman Bebe’s embroidered bucket hat is the best kids’ sun hat because it’s cute, practical and great quality. We also love the Flap Happy hat for its sun-safe design and choice of colours.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which sun hats discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their children. We compiled a list of the sun hats they recommended for being practical and staying on their kids’ heads.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which kids’ sun hats had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the sun hats we thought would make the best buys in several age and interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.