The best cooling headband
Whether you're practicing your tennis serve or in the middle of a life or death Guitar Hero solo, it's important to keep a cool head. Cooling headbands are the best way to do this. They can be both functional during strenuous activity and therapeutic in the aftermath. There's no wrong way to use a cooling headband, but you want to be sure that you choose the right one.
We've compiled the following buying guide to help you decide which cooling headband is right for you. We've even included a few reviews of our favorites, like our Best of the Best option, the Mission VaporActive Lockdown Cooling Headband.
Considerations when choosing cooling headbands
You'll need to think about the sport or activity you plan to participate in when you choose your headband. Sports that use the head, like soccer, may require a more discerning eye when choosing a cooling headband because of issues like ice packs that could hinder your performance at directing the ball with your head.
Level of Activity
If you'll be doing medium- to high-intensity training, then opt for a cooling headband with a non-slip surface. If your activity will be more rigorous and involve jumping, then get one that does not include an ice pack. Whatever you plan to do while wearing a cooling headband, you'll want to be sure that your choice can cool you down when you need it most.
Most cooling headbands will cool either via the use of breathable materials or through ice packs. Breathable materials minimize sweat accumulation and only incorporate one or two layers of material. This makes them adept at preventing you from overheating by allowing airflow to cool your head. Ice pack headbands, on the other hand, are stored in a freezer before use and keep cold for a long duration due to the slow melting of the ice packs. Ice pack headbands tend to be colder and to stay cold longer than breathable fabrics.
Narrow cooling headbands look like the standard popular athletic headbands of the last four or more decades. They are unobtrusive and subtle. Wider cooling headbands cover more of your head and are far more versatile -- most of them can be worn up to a dozen different ways. Wide cooling headbands are also popular with athletes who want to keep bangs out of their eyes during the action.
Cooling headbands can be found in almost any color and design imaginable. Some are even reversible, offering two different designs depending on the side you use. While you don't necessarily want a headband to be distracting, you might like to add a little flair to your athletic wear. Think about your fitness style when choosing the design of your new cooling headband.
Cooling headband materials
Cooling headbands can be made of stretchy fabric, non-slip materials, Cocona (recycled coconut shells), and wicking fabrics, among other things. The material that you choose will impact how well the headband cools your head as well as how comfortable you remain throughout its use.
Most cooling headbands will cost between $8 and $50. Much of the price difference has to do with the quality of the material used.
Q. Can I wear a cooling headband during league sports?
A. Maybe. Most sports leagues will allow the use of headbands, though they may have rules about the colors or patterns that are acceptable. Check with your own league for their rules.
Q. Are cooling headbands for men and women different?
A. No. The majority of cooling headbands are intended to be unisex and one-size-fits-all. Don't feel the need to search for a women's or men's headband.
Cooling headbands we recommend
Best of the best: Mission VaporActive Lockdown Cooling Headband
Our take: Stays cool and stays in place.
What we like: Adjustable strap gives you a perfect fit every time. The quick-drying fabric means it's ready for another use quickly.
What we dislike: Some find the large logo on the front to be bothersome.
Best bang for your buck: OccuNomix Miracool Headband
Our take: A great bargain for three quality headbands.
What we like: These headbands stay cool for a long time, and their long design makes them easy to tie around your head.
What we dislike: The material could do a better job of keeping sweat out of the eyes.
Choice 3: Cool Relief Ice Pack Headband
Our take: This headband will keep you cool as ice.
What we like: The well-laced ice packs keep you cool during the hottest activities, and the neckband option is a nice change as well.
What we dislike: The hook and loop tape can be scratchy for some.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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