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10 of the best sun hats for babies and toddlers

As the weather warms up, or you head for sunnier climates over the summer holidays, you'll want to make sure you've got a toddler/baby sun hat to keep your child protected from the sun's rays...

10 of the best sun hats

If you’re out with your child in the hot sun, on the beach or even at home in the garden on a sunny day, you need to make sure they are well protected. Wearing a baby sun hat or toddler summer hat helps to protect their head and neck from harmful rays. We’ve picked out some great kids’ sun hat and baby sun hat options that offer protection and look great at the same time.

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Also remember you might want to think about investing in a pair of the best baby sunglasses and best kids’ swimwear, as well as donning the best suncream for kids for extra protection. This is especially important for added reassurance if your child always takes their sun hat off – as they’re prone to do!

Thankfully, lots of the styles in our list have extra straps and ties to help them stay on, here’s hoping that’s enough to ensure they stay put!

Best sun hats at a glance

  1. Best for sustainability: Kidly Recycled Sun Hat, £12
  2. Best budget buy: H&M 2-Pack Cotton Sun Hats, £7.99
  3. Best for pretty details: Matalan Girls Beige Seersucker Bow Baby Sun Hat, £5
  4. Best for a flexible fit: Lindex Jersey Sun Hat, £7.99
  5. Best for the beach: Close sun hat, £8.80
  6. Best for older kids: M&S Kids’ Pure Cotton Plain Sun Hat, £7
  7. Best for luxury fabrics: MORI Whale Sun Hat, £15.50
  8. Best for a straw hat look: Tu blue trilby hat, from £6
  9. Best for babies: Next Baby Low Back Summer Bucket Hat, £8
  10. Best for a coordinated look: Jojo Maman Bebe Girls’ Summer Ditsy Floppy Sun Hat, £12

What to look for when buying a sun hat

Size – Sun hats come in all shapes and sizes, from as small as newborn age right up to teenage sizes. Choosing the right fit will make it easier to keep the hat on and provide the most protection, so do make sure you buy the right size for your child.

Fabric – Cotton is your best bet when it comes to finding something breathable and lightweight for a sun hat, and we have plenty of cotton options in your list. Other good materials include straw, for a light and flexible feel, as well as synthetic fabrics that offer SPF protection, which are great for beach hats.

Fastening – Depending on how active your child is, their age and perhaps how windy the weather is, having some sort of tie fastening or chin straps is helpful for keeping the hat secure while you’re out and about. Snap backs or drawstrings can also help ensure a better fit for longer, to get more longevity out of your hat.

Care instructions – A washable hat is a great option if you need something to send to school or nursery that’ll get dirty quickly. You’ll want something flat to pack for a holiday or weekend away. Straw hats take up more space but hold their shape better, and can usually be sponged or wiped clean.

Here are our picks of the best sun hats for babies and kids in 2022

1. KIDLY Recycled Sun Hat, £12

– Best for sustainability

Size: 1-2 to 3-6 years | Colours: Apricot, seaside blue, mauve, grass green

This hat is made from recycled pre-consumer nylon waste, meaning Kidly is doing its part to help the environment. As sun hats tend to be worn fairly infrequently and kids grow out of them fast, spending a few extra pounds to get something that is a bit more environmentally-friendly is a great choice. Sizing is quite wide too, with the larger option designed for kids age 3-6.

The extra-long bib at the back and sides of this cap offer lots of protection for the neck and those delicate little ears – and we think the vibrant colour is super cute. This hat also comes in 3 other creatively-named and bright colours. This is perfect for little toddlers with sizes starting at 1-2 years.

Pros: Neck protection, recycled fabrics
Cons: More expensive than other options

Available from: KIDLY

2. H&M 2-Pack Cotton Sun Hats, £7.99

– Best budget buy

Size: 0-2 years | Colours: Light pink and strawberries, khaki and stripes, blue and dinosaurs

Here you have two hats for the price of one! H&M’s double pack comes in a number of different prints and combinations, in sizes from newborn up to age 2. They’re 100% cotton inside and out so easy to take care of and comfortable to wear.

The 4cm brim around the edges helps keep the sun off your baby’s face without being so wide it gets in the way or annoys them, and the ties – which are long enough to easily tie in a bow – should help secure it in place while they’re running around.

Pros: Good value, tie straps for security
Cons: Shorter brim won’t suit everyone, no neck coverage

Available from: H&M

3. Matalan Girls Beige Seersucker Bow Baby Sun Hat, £5

– Best for pretty details

Size: 0-24 months | Colours: Beige, sage

At a super affordable price of £5, this lovely little hat is made from a breathable, lightweight seersucker fabric to help kids keep cool and sunny days. The brim helps shield their eyes from the rays, but let’s be honest, what you’re really buying this for is the pretty bow, which makes this a hat that works for everyday and for special occasions.

It is worth noting the lining of this hat is only 17% cotton and the rest is polyester, so if your child runs hot this might not be the best option for very warm days or foreign holidays.

Pros: Pretty design, good value
Cons: Mostly synthetic lining

Available from: Matalan

4. Lindex Jersey Sun Hat, £7.99

– Best for a flexible fit

Size: 36-54 (1-3 years) | Colours: Dusty blue, dusty pink, dusty green, light beige

Made from certified organic cotton, this soft sun hat is available from 1-3 years and is available in 4 cute colours. The tie fastening is so useful especially for curious and adventurous toddlers and keeps it secure while the sun is shining, and the jersey fabric has a little bit of give, meaning it might just last a bit longer than its advertised size.

This sun hat can be chucked straight in the washing machine to be cleaned, and the plain colour is suitable for those looking for something that’ll work with a number of outfits. There are printed options too if you prefer.

Pros: Jersey for a stretchy fit, ties for security
Cons: Slightly limited sizing, smaller brim

Available from: Lindex

5. Close Sun Hat, £8.80

– Best for the beach

Size: S-XL (6 months to 3 years) | Colours: 14 prints across 4 collections

If you’ve got a water baby who likes to be in and out of the sea or pool, this quick-drying sun hat will help protect them with its UPF 50+ sun protection. There’s a generous panel at the back to protect the neck, and a peak at the front for shade and the hat is heavily elasticated to keep it on during activities.

As well as offering sun protection, the fabric is water-repellent and stain resistant, but it can be washed if needed. It comes in over a dozen different prints, all designed to coordinate with Close’s swimwear range for babies and toddlers.

Pros: Provides sun protection, protects neck
Cons: Fabric not very breathable

Available from: Close

6. M&S Kids’ Pure Cotton Plain Sun Hat, £7

– Best for older kids

Size: 0-13 years | Colours: Aqua, navy, neon yellow, pink

This M&S sun hat is a real classic, and with its retro bucket hat style it may just be stylish enough to win over your teenagers-to-be, as the sizes on this go up to age 13 years.

As well as coming in a great size range, it has a high UV protection built into the fabric (UPF 50+) and come in four colours. We love the classic navy but also have a bit of a soft spot for the neon yellow.

Pros: Big size range, sun protection
Cons: No straps or ties to keep it on

Available from: M&S (navy and aqua) or M&S (pink or yellow)

7. Mori Whale Sun Hat, £15.50

– Best for luxury fabrics

Size: 0-4 years

Made from organic cotton and bamboo fabric, this sun hat is super soft for delicate newborn skin, and the fabrics are also breathable and cool. The whale design adds a cute touch to the hat – fitting for trips to the beach  – and it’s lined with a classic cotton chambray.

Though this hat is more on the pricey side, the organic fabric sets it apart from the rest and Mori’s soft, touchable materials are always a hit with our home testers.

Pros: Lovely fabric, breathable
Cons: Expensive, no ties to keep it on

Available from: Mori

8. Tu Blue Stripe Trilby Hat, £6-£6.50

– Best for a straw hat look

Size: 1-13 years | Colours: Only one, other similar hats available

If a straw hat is your style of choice, you can’t beat this great value trilby, which it actually made of paper but feel exactly like the real thing! It comes in sizes for toddlers right up to teens. The blue detail is great for matching with denim, neutrals, or with anything nautical.

In terms of practicality, the paper is lightweight and comfortable, and moulds nicely to the wearer’s head, and is really great for breathability and keeping the head cool. If your child prefers something with more character, there’s also a really fun dinosaur print hat in the same range.

Pros: Super lightweight, breathable, stylish design
Cons: No ties, can’t be squashed down or folded

Available from: Tu at Sainsburys

9. Next Baby Low Back Summer Bucket Hat, £8

– Best for babies

Size: 0-2yrs | Colours: Cream, Mint green, Pink floral

The handy chin strap should help keep this hat in place on busy days in the sun with your baby. It also has an extended brim at the back which provides really good coverage of the neck and shoulders once your little one is toddling about. It can be chucked straight in the washing machine to be cleaned, and comes in a number of colours and prints.

Starting from newborn age, the hat comes in sizes up to around age 2. It would be a lovely addition to your baby’s summer outfits.

Pros: Good neck coverage, easy to care for
Cons: Only available up to age 2

Available from: Next

10. Jojo Maman Bebe Girls’ Summer Ditsy Floppy Sun Hat, £12

– Best for a coordinated look

Size: 0-6 years

The light and breathable sun hat has a lovely ditsy floral print and is fun and fresh for the summer months, and this is just one item you can buy in this print: for the full look there are rompers, dresses, trousers, shorts and tops all designed to match.

The 100% cotton construction should help keep heads cool in the heat, and the hat comes in a wide ride of sizes so it’s suitable for the littlest babies right up to school age (6 years old).

The straps ensure that the hat won’t get blown away or lost, giving you one less thing to worry about when out on your summer adventures.

Pros: Coordinating items available, tie straps for security
Cons: Quite expensive

Available from: Jojo Maman Bebe

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

 Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

When choosing these hats we considered breathability, fastenings, fabric choices, colour options, size ranges, comfort and style, as well as considering value for money.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each ofwhich we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

 

Janet is a Digital Journalist for MadeForMums. She has a BA Honours Degree in Media Production and has studied further courses such as Fashion Design and Public Relations.  She writes and creates visual content sharing her journey of motherhood, fashion and beauty looks and encouragement for new mums, and her instagram account has accumulated thousands of followers. Janet has worked on several brand partnerships with Garnier, Superdrug, Next, iCandy and more. She is a wife and mother to a boy and girl both under 4.

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