Why buy a beach hat?
One of the best reasons to use a beach hat is for extra protection from UV rays while you’re strolling, lounging, or even working in the sun. Although you’ll probably remember to slather on your favorite sunscreen, adding a beach hat will give you a double dose of protection from those UV rays. They also can offer shade from the heat and protect your eyes from bright sunlight. Additionally, wearing just the right beach hat can accent the style of your swimsuit, cover-up, favorite sundress, or even your daily wear.
What should you look for in a beach hat?
- Material: Beach hats come in many different materials, so you’ll want to consider your comfort and the style you’re going for when deciding. Some of the most common materials are straw, canvas, cotton, and polyester. A loosely woven straw hat will be especially breathable. Cotton and canvas are easy to clean and durable, making them great for packing in your suitcase or bag for that fun beach trip.
- Brim: For protection against the sun’s rays, start with a brim that’s at least three to four inches wide. You can find brims, however, up to about seven inches wide. If you’re going to be active playing volleyball or other sports, you may want a smaller brimmed hat or visor, and you’ll also probably want a brim that’s sturdy.
- Style: You can find beach hats in a wide array of styles, from floppy straw hats with a pretty sash or a chic fedora in your favorite color. If you want to keep your hat safely planted on your head in high winds, choose a style with a chin strap (or perhaps add one to the hat).
How should you choose the right degree of sun protection for your beach hat?
Some beach hats are labeled with their level of ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which measures the amount of protection a hat has against UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Choose one with a level of UPF 50 or more.
Our Picks for the Best Beach Hats for Women
Lanzom Women's Wide-Brim Straw Panama Roll up Hat
Get fashion, function, and portability with this adjustable straw beach hat.
Pros: This highly functional fedora-style beach hat from Lanzom is available in 23 different colors and labeled with a UPF of 50+. It’s made of a paper straw and polyester blend for lightweight and breathable comfort. It also comes equipped with an adjustable band on the inside, so one size fits most. Since it’s foldable and durable, you won’t have to worry about this hat getting crushed or taking up too much luggage space when you pack it for that beach getaway. You also won’t have to worry about losing this cute hat on a windy day since it has an adjustable chin strap.
Cons: Although the sizing on this hat is adjustable, it’s only by a small degree. Some may find the hat to still be too large for their heads.
Bottom Line: If you want style, function, sun protection, and packability, this beach hat is a great choice.
Simplicity Women's UPF 50+ Wide-Brim Roll-Up Straw Sun Hat Sun Visor
Protect your face from the sun and your hairdo from getting ruined with this fashionable visor-style beach hat.
Pros: With this visor-style beach hat, you don’t have to sacrifice your perfectly-coiffed ponytail to get the sun protection you need. The open-top design of this lightweight paper straw hat allows for optimal air circulation on those days you need it most. It features a wide brim for 50+ UPF protection and can be rolled up for easy travel. This stylish beach hat has a hook-and-loop fastener and an elastic band so you can put it on and remove it without bothering your hairstyle. You can also lie back on your beach towel or pool lounger without having an uncomfortable stiff brim in the back of your head. Additionally, the sweatband wicks away perspiration to keep you comfortable and dry and is available in 14 fade-resistant colors.
Cons: Some may be concerned about having the top of their head exposed and unprotected from UV rays. Also, those with smaller heads may find that it doesn’t fit tight enough.
Bottom Line: This is the beach hat for you if you are looking for breathability, fashionable color options, easy traveling, and sun protection for your face.
Women's Sun Straw Hat Wide-Brim UPF 50
This classic straw beach hat comes in 14 color/sash combinations and 3 size options.
Pros: This traditional straw hat is comfortable, stylish, and foldable for easy packing. It’s constructed of high-quality paper straw with a UPF of 50+. The over 4-inch brim protects sensitive skin from the sun’s damaging rays, while the inner sweatband absorbs sweat before it falls into your face. It comes in medium, large, and extra-large sizes and has an adjustable strap inside the rim for an even more custom fit. It also has a removable chin strap to help it stay put on those windy days.
Cons: This hat may be a bit too floppy for those who prefer a firmer brim.
Bottom Line: This is a classic straw hat for those who appreciate a timeless look while strolling on the beach, boating, gardening, or enjoying any other activity in the sun.
CHOK.LIDS Everyday Cotton-Style Bucket Hat
This bucket-style hat is made of 100% cotton for a cool and casual day at the beach or anywhere else.
Pros: This 100% cotton bucket beach hat from CHOCK.LIDS comes in a whopping 40 different colors, so you should have no problem finding one in your favorite shade. It’s ideal for those who want sun protection but without a wide brim. The natural cotton allows your head to breathe, and the eyelets provide more airflow for all-day comfort. It has a UPF level of 50+ and sufficient shade to provide a good degree of sun protection for your face and eyes.
Cons: The smaller brim of this bucket hat doesn’t provide as much coverage as a wide brim hat for those who are looking for maximum sun protection.
Bottom Line: This beach hat is a great choice for those who want the comfort of cotton along with a smaller brim. It has a cute, casual style and is available in several colors to complement any outfit.
Funky Junque Women's Baseball Cap Distressed Vintage
Get the sun protection you need for your face in a unique distressed vintage look with this baseball cap from Funky Junque.
Pros: This hat is perfect for shaking up the ordinary. This 100% cotton women’s baseball cap has a curved bill for an unobstructed view and a low-profile crown. You won’t run out of design options since it comes in 216 colors/styles, from an embroidered American flag to a dog paw for pet parents to playful phrases, such as “Bad Hair Day.” You can get mother and daughter matching styles for a fun twin day on the beach. The back of most designs has a hook-and-loop closure for easy size adjustment, while the American flag design has a metal clasp adjustment.
Cons: This baseball cap-style beach hat won’t provide as much sun protection as a wide brim beach hat, and it doesn’t have a listed UPF rating.
Bottom Line: This unique distressed cap is for showing off your personality. Made of 100% cotton, it will be breathable on hot days and one size fits most.
Whether you choose a floppy straw hat, a hairdo-saving visor, or a baseball cap with personality, our favorite beach hats for women are easy to travel with, help block UV rays, and keep you more comfortable. Choose your favorite for a cooler, safer, and more fashionable day at the beach.