10 Best Hard Hats in 2020

best overall rating
  • Incredibly heat-resistant design and construction.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Can resist damage that would penetrate a normal helmet.
premium choice rating
  • Triple-reinforced and protective design.
  • Moisture-wicking interior.
  • EVA foam insert.
great value rating
  • Very low overall weight.
  • Simple profile.
  • Made of protective and high-density materials.

Hard hats are an essential tool for any heavy-duty work involving construction, demolition, and repairs, especially in large areas. They’re literally life-savers for a lot of people, keeping your head safe from harm and letting you avoid serious injuries that could leave you with serious permanent damage. On top of that, they’re also a nice way of keeping the weather out of your face and helping you stay shaded from the sun.

Many people will even stick flashlights or other accessories onto their hard hats, keeping their hands free and making difficult jobs slightly easier. Regardless of the conditions you’re working in, they can be a vital addition to your list of gear and equipment, making them one of the most-used safety items in the world.

View the Best Hard Hat, Below.

best overall rating

1. MSA 475407 Natural Tan Skullgard Hard Hat

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This Skullguard helmet offers an incredible level of protection against a vast range of risks and threats, including extreme heats (up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) and sharp objects that would stab right through a softer design. The Fast-Trac III suspension makes it easy to adjust at any time, letting it easily fit onto almost any head, and the interior is designed for maximum comfort during long jobs where removing the helmet isn’t an option.

The standardized helmet size makes this hard hat compatible with most attachments and related pieces of headgear. The heat-resistant design and 360-degree brim mean that it’s even suitable for firefighters.

Why We Like It
  • Incredibly heat-resistant design and construction.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Can resist damage that would penetrate a normal helmet.
  • Lipped design for extra head protection.
  • Can absorb up to 2,200 volts of electricity.
Material
Resin-impregnated Textiles.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class G (general).
Our Verdict

This helmet provides heat resistance, electricity protection and the ability to withstand serious physical impacts, making it an ideal choice for people working in really dangerous fields or positions.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Lift Safety DAX Fifty 50 Carbon Fiber Full Brim Hardhat

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This Type 1 helmet uses reinforced resin and soft internal padding to keep you protected and comfortable at all times, absorbing shocks and making sure that the impact doesn’t go into your head. The internal EVA foam reduces how much force you’ll feel with each bump, and gives you more leeway when adjusting it to fit your preferred head size.

The internal foam is also designed with moisture-wicking materials, helping reduce distracting sweat and condensation in hot and/or wet conditions. The suspension system has six pre-set points, meaning that you can easily loosen or tighten this hard hat without having to fiddle around too much.

Why We Like It
  • Triple-reinforced and protective design.
  • Moisture-wicking interior.
  • EVA foam insert.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Beam grip for better fit.
Material
Fiber-reinforced Resin, Synthetic Leather, and EVA Foam.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class C (conductive).
Our Verdict

This helmet is all about comfort and protection, offering a great mixture of both without becoming too specialized or niche for general use. This hard hat can absorb a lot of damage before showing any wear and tear, making it perfect for long-time use across multiple jobs or tasks.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Pyramex Safety Products HP14030 Hard Hat

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This simple, classic-looking hard hat combines a low-profile and easy-to-use design with a tough shell, offering a good level of basic protection without feeling overloaded or too heavy. The general design is very similar to your average hard hat, making it familiar for people who’ve worn them in the past, and the rim at the front allows it to protect your face from angled bumps.

The simple ratcheting suspension means that you can quickly and easily adjust the fit without needing to remove your helmet and expose yourself. The high-density polyethylene shell helps protect from sudden impacts without weighing you down, staying comfortable and lightweight at all times.

Why We Like It
  • Very low overall weight.
  • Simple profile.
  • Made of protective and high-density materials.
  • Simple enough for most situations.
  • Easy-to-use suspension.
Material
High-density Polyethylene.
Type
Not Specified.
Our Verdict

This helmet might look basic, but it’s very protective and doesn’t over-complicate things. This hard hat is perfect for anybody that needs reliable, consistent protection from common hazards without weighing themselves down or adding more bulk to their normal gear.

Editor Rating

4. True Fiberglass Hard Hat

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This type 1 helmet uses perforated sides to keep your head cool and reduce sweating in extreme weather without leaving a hole big enough to cause you any harm. The entire shell is made with durable high-density polyethylene that can endure all standard workplace hazards, as well as a hat-style brim that keeps rainwater and dust out of your face and neck. This makes it perfect for high-temperature areas and heat-related tasks, especially indoors.

The Fast-Trac ratchets allow for quick adjustment at almost any time and are designed to stop bacteria and irritants from sticking to your skin or causing irritation. Because of this, this hard hat is considered a one-size-fits-all design that can fit most heads.

Why We Like It
  • One-size-fits-all.
  • Ventilated sides.
  • Wide brim.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Perfect for hot conditions.
Material
High-density Polyethylene.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class C (conductive).
Our Verdict

If you’re dealing with warm, dusty and generally uncomfortable areas or tasks, this helmet is excellent for keeping yourself safe and cool. This hard hat doesn’t weigh you down or get in your face, so you’re not stuck fighting against your own protective gear.

Editor Rating

5. Pyramex White Full Brim Hard Hat

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This low-profile helmet is built using a very simple design that matches most standard helmets, allowing it to use almost all of the same attachments with ease. Not only that, but it has specially-designed accessory slots for tools like ear muffs, custom chin straps, and other useful gear. Not only that, but the ratchet suspension makes it easy to adjust to your head size at any time.

The main shell of this hard hat is made with polyethylene, providing a good level of protection without adding much weight or throwing you off-balance. It’s also built with a rain-trough-style shape that stops rainwater from pooling in awkward places.

Why We Like It
  • Easy-to-wear design.
  • Simple, adjustable suspension system.
  • Built-in accessory slots.
  • Build to handle rain well.
  • Made with high-density materials.
Material
High-density Polyethylene.
Type
Not Specified.
Our Verdict

This hard hat has some great options when it comes to accessories and customization, making it far more flexible than most normal designs without straying too far from the reliable and easy-to-use shape that most people are familiar with.

Editor Rating

6. MSA 10079479 V-Gard American Eagle Hard Hat

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This instantly-recognizable hard hat design provides excellent protection from a huge range of hazards, including both physical impacts and electrical shocks. It uses a specially-chosen V-shaped design to help improve comfort and durability in almost all situations, as well as an extensive accessory system that can work with over one-hundred different accessories and extra gadgets.

The Fas-Trac III suspension system improves this comfort even further, giving you a soft headband and multiple different adjustment options to help you get the perfect fit for your head shape and size. The ratchets have been carefully shaped to give them a secure hold, meaning that your helmet won’t snap off from a sudden bump.

Why We Like It
  • Works with hundreds of accessories.
  • Comfortable to wear.
  • Distinctive, durability-boosting shape.
  • Good adjustment system.
  • Very durable.
Material
High-density Polyethylene.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class E (electrical).
Our Verdict

This helmet is great on its own, but the customizable accessory slots allow you to configure it for every individual task and environment, giving you much more flexibility than you might first expect.

Editor Rating

7. ACERPAL Full Brim Hard Hat

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The lightweight and durable materials used in this wide-brimmed helmet make it really comfortable and versatile, giving your head an excellent level of protection without adding extra weight or bulk to every movement. The design features a soft brow pad to keep your forehead safe, as well as an easy-to-adjust suspension system that’s very quick to use.

The overall shape of this hard hat is aimed for a low center of gravity, meaning that it won’t throw you off balance if you’re working on ladders or other raised areas. Thanks to the universal accessory slots, this hard hat can accept all kinds of useful features, ranging from ear protection to full-face visors.

Why We Like It
  • Customisable design.
  • Very comfortable and protective.
  • Uses durable materials.
  • Easy-to-adjust suspension.
  • Very low weight.
Material
High-density Polyethylene, Carbon Fiber, and ABS.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Class not Specified.
Our Verdict

This helmet is lightweight and works well with a range of extra attachments, meaning that it's great for beginners but still has the flexibility to appeal to long-time professionals. The comfortable internal padding makes it even better, especially for difficult jobs.

Editor Rating

8. MSA 10104254 V-Gard Slotted Full Brim Hard Hat

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Like the previous MSA helmet on this list, you can expect excellent comfort and durability from this design. It has the same Fas-Trac III suspension system, giving you four differ net adjustment points for maximum comfort on a range of different head shapes. The low slotted brim provides great protection from bad weather and unexpected dust, smoke, and other irritating hazards, but doesn’t increase the hard hat’s overall size that much.

As an added benefit, this hard hat is also fully compatible with a massive range of accessories, including those meant for professional-level jobs like welding shields or full ear protection. They can be connected and removed with a simple click, rather than needing to use specialized gear for each different situation.

Why We Like It
  • Compatible with hundreds of accessories.
  • Really easy to adjust.
  • Convenient shape.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Comfortable suspension system.
Material
High-density Polyethylene.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class E (electrical).
Our Verdict

This hard hat offers the same great protection and customization you’re expecting, along with a slightly altered design that gives it a smaller frame. The new brim is perfect for dealing with consistently bad weather.

Editor Rating

9. Honeywell P2ARW71A000 Fiber Glass Cap Style Hard Hat

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This tough hard hat uses heavy-duty materials, including strong fiber metal and fiberglass, to provide as much protection and durability as possible without adding unnecessary weight. The front section comes with a sweatband to help wick away annoying moisture and perspiration, as well as a very easy-to-use adjustment system that makes full use of its suspension options.

The full brim allows for better protection from bad weather and falling objects and helps keep your face protected from harm better than a standard helmet design. Aside from that, this hard hat is a fairly recognizable design that you’ll be able to pick up quickly, even if you’re just starting out.

Why We Like It
  • Made with very durable materials.
  • Excellent suspension system.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Built-in sweatband.
  • Protective brim.
Material
Fiber Metal and Injection-molded Fiberglass.
Type
Not Specified.
Our Verdict

This helmet is simple and effective, giving you plenty of protection without being too complicated to add to your collection of gear as your first-ever professional hard hat. The durable materials are a nice bonus, keeping you safe and letting it prevent some serious injuries.

Editor Rating

10. TrueCrest Product HDPE-Hydro Dipped Blue Hard Hat

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This hard hat's full brim gives you better protection to all sides of your head, making it easier to avoid impacts with falling objects or debris from something above you. The perforated sides add much better ventilation than a generic helmet without leaving you exposed to dust, rain, or small objects: this can also protect your neck, a weak point that many hard hats miss.

The excellent levels of comfort and protection work well alongside a simple-to-use Fast-Trac suspension system, which uses ratchets to give you full control over when and how you adjust the fit of this hard hat.

Why We Like It
  • Very simple, reliable suspension system.
  • Comfortable interior.
  • Ventilated sides for faster cooling and better airflow.
  • Durable.
  • Wide brim for better protection.
Material
Not Specified.
Type
Type 1 Hard Hat, Electrical Class C (conductive).
Our Verdict

This is one of the best choices of hard hat for general day-to-day protection, relying on strong materials and a wide brim to keep your exposed areas safe from harm while also offering great ventilation and comfort.

Editor Rating

Hard Hat Buyer’s Guide

Buying a hard hat isn’t just like buying a normal piece of headwear. They are obviously supposed to protect you, but there’s more to it than just looking for the strongest and most durable materials. In fact, many people will end up going for a hard hat that’s technically weaker in terms of physical strength, since there are many other different factors to consider.

For example, a strong helmet might weigh more, or won’t be compatible with accessories and extras that you normally rely on. These might seem like small details, but it can lead to major changes and issues if you’re not careful. Everything you don’t like about a helmet can be seen as a step towards an accident that another helmet would have prevented: you can’t predict the future, but you can still make sure you’re wearing the right gear for the job.

Your Role vs. The Hard Hat’s Design

All helmets and hard hats are designed with a specific role and location in mind, which leads to a certain kind of design and set of features. For example, if you’re an electrician, electricity is a very real hazard, which will demand gear that can stop it from reaching your body. On the other hand, if you just handle regular construction and never need to touch an exposed wire, it’s not as necessary.

This isn’t the only example, though. Everything, from a helmet’s brim size to the amount of peripheral vision it gives you, can be affected by its design. There’s not really a hard hat design that’s perfect at everything, but there are jack-of-all-trades options: you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to be in a specialized or generalized role, and choose a helmet design that fits your job.

The more niche and precise you get, the more unusual the designs and features might be, so don’t feel like you need to go too far in any direction. You don’t usually need a hard hat that’s hyper-specific to one purpose – you just need something that’ll keep you safe and let you do your job properly.

Hard Hat Classes and Types

Most people assume that all hard hats are essentially the same, but that’s definitely not true. They’re sorted into multiple types and classes, each with their own common design choices and features.

The most common split is Type I and Type II helmets. The difference is simple but important; Type I is only designed to protect against vertical damage, like falling objects, while Type II hard hats offer protection to the sides, front and back of your head too.

They’re often also sorted into three classes. G-class (general) hard hats are the most common and can deal with a small amount of electricity (around 2.200 volts) at a time. E-class (electrical) hard hats increase this to 20.000 volts, while C-class (conductive) trade all of this electrical resistance for better heat protection. C-class are extremely dangerous around electricity but are incredibly useful in hot conditions.

Choosing the right class and type is very important since the wrong one can lead to serious injuries, even if you’re following the right procedures. You never know when something outside of your control can go wrong.

Materials

The more protective the helmet is, the less likely you are to suffer an injury if something slams into it. There are two major parts to this: padding and durability. Both are vital, and sacrificing one in favor of the other is almost always a bad idea.

Padding plays a huge role in keeping you comfortable, but it’s also vital for blunt impacts and direct bashes – anything that delivers a physical “punch” to your head. The more padding you have, the less likely you are to feel any serious side-effects since it’ll help absorb the impact and stop the force from moving straight into your head.

On the other hand, durability is better for sharp impacts and damage that might penetrate the helmet, as well as stopping it from caving in after heavy bashes. Padding doesn’t make much of a difference if the main body of the helmet can be sliced through or bent inwards, so a stronger set of materials will help your hard hat last longer.

Finding a balance is really important. A lack of padding will mean that your head still gets injured by bashing against the inside of your hard hat. Too little durability will mean that even a mildly sharp object might punch right through the helmet and hit your skin. Not having enough of both will make your hard hat almost completely useless unless you’re only wearing it to keep rain and dust out of your face.

Color

It’s not the most useful feature, but color can sometimes be important in larger groups, such as construction companies. Some larger businesses will use helmet colors as a way of identifying different roles or responsibilities. For example, if you’re wearing a blue helmet that’s normally meant to signify an electrician or a safety inspector, it can confuse people and might cause miscommunications.

In smaller teams, such as family businesses or for self-employed contractors, a helmet color can also be used to tell people apart, which can be useful if you need to coordinate for difficult tasks. If everybody is wearing similar high-visibility jackets, you can’t always rely on clothing to tell the difference from a distance.

Attachments

It’s impossible to cover every attachment that you might find, but having attachment slots and clips can open up a lot of extra functionality to your hard hats, giving you far more equipment to work with. For example, you can add a face shield to your helmet while welding, then replace it with ear protection for dealing with louder equipment.

Even a simple hard hat can become far more useful if it can mount a wide range of accessories. This doesn’t mean that a decent hard hat design is worthless if it can’t, though – most accessories are meat for specific situations, and you can generally handle most jobs without them (even if it takes a little bit more effort or a separate piece of gear).

Expert Tip

You don’t always need accessory clips or sockets to use the extra gear. Many people tape flashlights to their hard hats as a temporary hands-free light source.

Did you know?

On most construction sites, removing your helmet is frowned on unless you’re in a temporary building or away from the main project. The ability to remove your helmet quickly isn’t that useful except in very niche situations, so always put a comfortable fit above a fast release.