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You may be a serious best hard hat veteran who wears one as part of your daily wardrobe, or you may be a novice considering a hard hat for the first time. Either way, there may be more options out there than you’re aware of. Choosing the best hard hat is an investment in your own safety, and it’s not a decision you should take lightly. The following hard hat reviews and ratings can help you choose the best one for your needs.
The best hard hat for you depends on why you’re wearing it. For those working day in and day out in dangerous environments that require long hours in a hard hat, you’ll likely want to invest in the highest quality, most comfortable model. If you’re buying a hard hat for occasional short-term use, you could consider a lower cost version that lacks some of those more advanced features. We broke down some of the most popular brands of hard hats, so keep reading to help you choose the best hard hat available on the market today.
In This Article
The Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat with Ratchet Suspension is the best hard hat because of its lightweight material and comfort. It is available in multiple color options and is a great price for the quality.
The Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat with Ratchet Suspension is a solid option made for those who spend long days in their hard hat. The ultra-light composite material means it weighs in at less than 2 ounces. You’ll have a hard time finding anything lighter than this. The suspension is easy to adjust and comfortable for all-day wear. The hard hat comes standard with 4-point suspension but can easily be switched out for 6-point suspension if needed. Multiple color options allow you to choose the color that fits your profession and preference. This isn’t the fanciest or flashiest hard hat we found, but it comes at a great price and cannot be beat when it comes to weight and comfort.
- Great price for the quality
- Lightest hard hat in the group, making it comfortable to wear all day
- Multiple color options
- No vents to help with air flow
The MSA Natural Tan Skullgard Hard Hat with Fas-Trac Suspension is the best hard hat because it can be used in extreme heat. It is a sturdy and well-tested design from a trusted brand.
The MSA Natural Tan Skullgard Hard Hat with Fas-Trac Suspension is the gold standard. It comes with multiple suspension options to fit your comfort level and is the only hard hat we reviewed rated for use in extreme heat. The MSA Skullgard has been tested for radiant heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit as well as electrical voltage up to 2,200 volts. Due to that level of protection, it weighs in a little heavier than some other options, but is still less than a pound. The Skullgard is designed for those in the heaviest, most intense industries for whom quality head protection is a life or death issue.
If you’re in one of those industries and need one of the best hard hats on the market, you can’t go wrong with an MSA Skullgard. For others looking for protection in less dangerous environments, this hard hat may be a little over the top.
- Protects in high-heat scenarios
- Rated to protect against up to 2,200 volts of electricity
- Sturdy, well-tested design from a trusted brand
- May need to purchase suspension separately
The Pyramex Ridgeline Hard Hat with Vented Ratchet Suspension is the best hard hat because it is lightweight and has vents for added comfort. It is a good choice for projects around the home or for wearing for short periods of time.
The Pyramex Ridgeline Hard Hat with Vented Ratchet Suspension is the cheapest, most economical option on this list. If you’re working in a dangerous environment on a daily basis, you should strongly consider a higher-quality option; if you’re just looking for something to provide extra protection while working around the home or for wearing the hard hat for shorter periods of time, this option could work well for you. While it still meets all safety standards, it may not be as comfortable as other options. It also isn’t rated for heat or electricity.
This hard hat is vented for added comfort when working in the heat and comes in a wide variety of colors. The suspension will keep it in place and do a serviceable job but may not be as comfortable as some other options. It weighs in at less than 11 ounces, which is on the lighter side. All in all, this is a solid option that will protect most people most of the time. It might not be the absolute best hard hat out there, but it may be one of the best hard hats for you.
- Multiple color options
- Reasonably lightweight with vents for added comfort
- Lacks certification in heat or electrical protection
The TRUE Fiberglass Hard Hat Black/silver with Cool Air Flow is the best hard hat because it is easily adjustable. It is lighter than heavy-duty options and includes vents for added comfort.
The TRUE Fiberglass Hard Hat Black/silver with Cool Air Flow is among the best hard hats because it has a full brim for maximum protection, vents for added comfort, and an easily adjustable suspension. You won’t waste time adjusting this hard hat on the job site, as it adjusts easily and stays in place. It comes at a good price and will likely be worth the money you spend on it.
At over a pound in weight, this hard hat is one of the heavier ones we reviewed, but it’s still lighter than other heavy-duty options. It only comes in one color or style, so if you have very specific tastes, this may not be the option for you.
- Easy to adjust with reliable suspension
- Vents for added comfort
- Full brim offers greater protection
- Limited color and style options
The Klein Tools Vented Full Brim Hard Hat with Headlamp is the best hard hat because it comes with an attached headlamp. It is comfortable, easily adjustable, and comes in two different styles.
The Klein Tools Vented Full Brim Hard Hat with Headlamp is another solid option—especially if you find an attached headlamp appealing. You can attach a headlamp to other hard hats, but having one that’s already affixed to the hard hat is certainly convenient. This hard hat is made with high-quality material and gets high praise for comfort and easy adjustment. It has vents that can be closed if you’re worried about chemicals or other material getting through, or they can be opened to allow in airflow.
The headlamp and high-quality suspension make this hard hat heavier than others, as it weighs almost 2 and a half pounds. It is only sold in two models: white with a full brim or orange in a cap style. If you’re looking for other style options, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- Adjustable vents
- Attached headlamp included
- Ultra comfortable suspension and padding
- Heavier than other options
Features to Consider for the Best Hard Hat
When it comes to the best hard hat reviews, every hard hat is made of two basic parts: the outer shell and the suspension. The shell was traditionally made of either plastic or fiberglass, but composite materials have taken over much of the market in recent years. The outer shell is the most visible part of the hard hat and does the most obvious job: deflecting objects that would otherwise hit your head. The suspension is equally important though, and it is worn tightly around the head to absorb the impact of falling objects. Without the suspension, you could still sustain significant injury even if objects did not impact your head directly.
Whatever hard hat you choose, make sure it’s comfortable and fits well. If your hard hat is uncomfortable, you’re more likely to avoid wearing it or take it off. The best hard hat is the one you’ll wear. Some newer products are made of composite material and are lighter than traditional options. If you’re going to be wearing your hard hat for long stretches of time, you should consider one of these lighter options. Padded material around portions of the hard hat will also provide comfort and long-term wearability.
Most of the best hard hats will have adjustable suspensions that allow you to fit the hard hat to the size of your head. They may not be “one size fits all” though, so make sure you test yours out before committing to it. If you work in an industry where accessories like a face guard, safety gloves, fire extinguisher or hearing protection is required, make sure your hard hat can accommodate these extra features. A seamless fit between all protective gear is a must.
If you work in a particularly high-risk environment, consider a hard hat that offers protection against high heat and electricity. Those features will often make the hard hat heavier and a little less comfortable, but they’re essential if you need maximum protection.
Many people purchase hard hats for occasional use around the house, in a hobby, or other less-frequent pursuits. If you’re landscaping or remodeling in a way that presents risks of items falling from above you, a hard hat, in addition to a first aid kit, is an essential addition to your safety gear. However, you may not need the advanced safety features or fancier, expensive comfort items that professionals need. If this sounds like you, a lower-cost option may be the perfect fit.
Benefits of Using Hard Hats
If you work in a high-risk industry, you likely already understand the benefits of a good hard hat. They can truly be life or death when an unexpected accident occurs. However, all hard hats are not created equal. Make sure you choose an option that works for your industry and position.
If you are considering a hard hat and don’t work in one of those industries, you’re still making a great investment. It’s an important piece of apparel any time you perform tasks that involve danger of head injury. Whether that’s performing landscaping on large trees or other objects above your head, working on a remodel project, or spending time up on a ladder, it’s important to protect yourself against unexpected danger. Like any protective gear, a hard hat is a crucial to staying safe while working. It may seem optional for some people in some circumstances, but wearing the best hard hat for your scenario is a small concession when it could protect you from a serious head injury.
Precautions of Using Hard Hats
First and foremost, make sure your hard hat is ANSI Z89.1-2014 approved. Any legitimate hard hat should have this certification, so don’t consider anything that doesn’t. ANSI Z89.1-2014 standards include several classifications of hard hats depending on the industry and level of protection needed. The Type I qualification is reserved for industrial hard hats used primarily for top protection, while Type II is designed for lateral impact protection. There are also three classes of hard hats rated by ANSI Z89.1-2014 standards that indicate the level of electrical insulation the hard hats provide. Some hard hats don’t provide any insulation to electricity, while some insulate up to 20,000 volts.
As long as your hard hat meets these safety standards, it should meet the needs of most wearers. If you have more complex needs, make sure you do the research to make sure you’re choosing the best hard hat for the kind of protection you need.
There are many hard hats out there targeting all sorts of users. Finding the right option in the best hard hat reviews for you can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. This is why we recommend the Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat with Ratchet Suspension as our top pick.
Much like with a set of work knee pads, you can filter the available options in several ways, including whether you plan to use your hard hat for work on a daily basis or simply for occasional use around the house. From there, decide whether you’re interested in features like a headlamp, vents, or extra safety features like resistance to heat and electricity. The most important thing is to find a hard hat that meets basic safety standards and that you’ll wear consistently to protect yourself from unexpected accidents.