Helmet serves the primary purpose of keeping your head safe and protecting it in the event of an accident. The best helmet is the helmet that fits your head properly and comfortably. A bad helmet, meanwhile, may come off easily in the event of an accident even if it’s strapped properly to your head.
The easiest way to identify the perfect helmet size for you is to know the measurement of your head. Head size and head shape will help you find the most comfortable fit of helmet and will ensure your head is protected on the road.
How to Measure Your Helmet Size
There are two ways to find the right helmet size for you. You can either try it on or using your head measurement to determine your helmet size. To find your head size prepare a tape measure, a pen, and paper for noting the sizes, and ask someone to help you out in taking the measurements to get the most accurate results.
- Using the tape measure, take the measurement around the fullest part of the head or at the forehead area just above the ears.
- The measurement of the head should be taken one inch above the eyebrows, or at the fullest area of the head whichever will give the widest circumference measure.
- Record your sizes in both centimeters and inches then check the size chart provided to see the approximate helmet size fit for your head.
Remember: Different brands of helmets have different sizing standard used. The same size medium helmet, for example, can fit differently based on the thickness of the shell and the inner padding.
Different Head Shapes
The different head shapes that are usually used for helmet designs are “oval” or “round” shaped, although some people have “egg” size heads.
- Oval: this is known as the “long oval” shape and is the most common head shape.
- Round: this head shape is wider in the middle part of the head in the temples area.
- Egg: the head is wider at the top part and narrower at the bottom area.
Types of Helmet
Helmets, in general, come in three basic types: the recreational type, road, and mountain. All these helmet types are meant to protect the head in case of an accident by keeping your head safe from the impact. Here are the main differences:
1. Recreational helmets: this type of helmet is also called the “multi-purpose” helmet because it is used for various activities including commuting, skateboarders and biking. The recreational helmet usually comes with a visor to help protect the eyes from the sun.
2. Road bike helmets: this type of helmet is popular for road enthusiasts because they are lightweight provides proper ventilation and often comes in an aerodynamic design. Because it weighs less, road helmets don’t have visors.
3. Mountain bike helmets: this helmet is also called the “cyclocross” meant to provide proper ventilation at low speeds. This type often has visors, rear-head coverage and a sturdy, secure fit to keep the head safe on rough terrains. Some mountain bike helmets come with full face protection to protect the face in an uphill or downhill track.
Adult Helmet Size Chart
|XS||53 - 54||20 ⅞ - 21 ¼||6 ⅝ - 6 ¾|
|S||55 - 56||21 ⅝ - 22||6 ⅞ - 7|
|M||57 - 58||22 ½ - 22 ⅞ ||7 ⅛ - 7 ¼|
|L||59 - 60||23 ¼ - 23 ⅝ ||7 ⅜ - 7 ½ |
|XL||61 - 62||24 - 24 ⅜||7 ⅝ - 7 ¾|
|2XL||63 - 64||24 ¾ - 25 ¼||7 ⅞ - 8|
|3XL||65 - 66||25 ⅝ - 26||8 ⅛ - 8 ¼|
Youth & Kids Helmet Size Chart
|Youth S||49 - 50||19 ¼ - 19 ¾ ||6 ⅛ - 6 ¼|
|Youth M||51 -52||20 - 20 ½ ||6 ⅜ - 6 ½|
|Youth L||53 - 54||20 ⅞ - 21 ¼ ||6 ⅝ - 6 ¾|
|Youth S/M||49 - 50||19 ¼ - 19 ¾ ||6 ⅛ - 6 ¼ |
|Youth L/XL||51 - 52||20 - 20 ½ ||6 ⅜ - 6 ½ |
Recreational Helmets vs. Bike Helmets
Different types of helmet are made to protect your head from different kinds of impacts associated with different activities. It is important to wear the appropriate helmet designed for the kind of outdoor activity you are involved in as mismatched helmet may not protect your head as effectively.
Recreational helmets are the most commonly used helmet for various activities but mostly for light and fun activities intended for recreation or for everyday commuter wear. Often, recreational helmets are merely used for protection when doing leisure activities such as biking or skateboarding for recreation in the park, roller skating, etc. It also comes with features such as visor for protecting the eyes and skin from prolonged sun exposure but has less ventilation since you’ll not be sweating so much in them.
Bike helmets, on the other hand, are made for riding that is more intense so the design prioritizes the low weight and ventilation. Bike helmets, for example, are used for activities such as cycling, marathon.
5 Best Recreational Helmet Brands
Giro Helmet Size Chart
|Child||50 - 55||19.75 - 21.75|
|Youth||50 - 57||19.75 - 22.5|
|Adult||54 - 61||21.25 - 24|
|Women||50 - 57||19.75 - 22.5|
|XL||58 - 65||22.75 - 25.5|
Nutcase Helmet Size Chart
|S||52 - 56||20 ½ - 22|
|M||56 - 60||22 - 23 ½ |
|L||60 - 64||23 ½ - 25|
Bern Limited – Helmet Size Chart
|XS||52 - 54||20 ½ -21 ¼||6 ½ - 6 ¾|
|S||54 - 55.5||21 ¼ - 21 7⁄8||6 ¾ - 7|
|M||55.5 - 57||21 7⁄8 - 22 7⁄16||7 - 7 ⅛|
|L||57 - 59||22 7⁄16 - 23 7⁄32||7 ⅛ - 7 ⅜|
|XL||59 - 60.5||23 7⁄32 - 23 13⁄16||7 ⅜ - 7 ⅝|
|XXL||60.5 - 62||23 13⁄16 - 24 13⁄32||7 ⅝ - 7 ⅞|
Lazer Sport – Helmet Size Chart
|XS||50 - 54||19 11⁄16 - 21 ¼|
|S||52 -56||20 15⁄32 - 22|
|M||55 - 59||21 21⁄32 - 23 15⁄64|
|L||58 - 61||22 53⁄64 - 24|
|XL||61 - 64||24 - 25 3⁄16|
Thousand – Helmet Size Chart
|S||54 - 57||21 - 22||6 ¾ - 7 ⅛|
|M||57 - 59||22 - 23||7 ⅛ - 7 ⅜|
|L||59 - 62||23 - 24||7 ⅜ - 7 ¾|
5 Best Bike Helmet Brands
Bontrager Road Helmet Size Chart
|S||51 - 57||20 - 22 7⁄16|
|M||54 - 60||21 ¼ - 23 5⁄8|
|L||58 - 63||22 53⁄64 - 24 13⁄16|
|XL||60 - 66||23 5⁄8 - 25 63⁄64|
Giro Bike Helmet Size Chart
|XS||47 - 51||18.5 - 20|
|S||51- 55||20 - 21.75|
|M||55 - 59||21.75 - 23.25|
|L||59 - 63||23.25 - 24.75|
|XL||61 - 65||24 - 25.55|
Bell Helmet Size Chart
|4XS||51||20 1/16||6 ⅜|
|3XS||52 - 53||20 ½ - 20 ⅞||6 ½ - 6 ⅝|
|2XS||54 - 55||21 ¼ - 21 ⅝||6 ¾ - 6 ⅞|
|S||57||22 ⅜||7 ⅛|
|M||58 - 59||22 ¾ - 23 ¼||7 ¼ - 7 ⅜|
|L||60||23 ⅝||7 ½|
|XL||61 - 62||24 - 24 ⅜||7 ⅝ - 7 ¾|
|2XL||63 - 64||24 ¾ - 25 ¼||7 ⅞ - 8|
|3XL||65 - 66||25 ⅝ - 26||8 ⅛ - 8 ¼|
|4XL||67 - 68||26 ⅜ - 26 ¾||8 ⅜ - 8 ½|
TeamObsidian Helmet Size Chart
|S||54 - 57||21 ¼ - 22 ½|
|M/L||58 - 62||22 ¾ - 24 ¼|
Smith Adult Helmet Size Chart
|Small||51 - 55||20 - 21 21⁄32|
|Medium||55 - 59||21 21⁄32 - 23 7⁄32|
|Large||59 - 63||23 7⁄32 - 24 13⁄16|
|Extra Large||63 - 67||24 13⁄16 - 26 3⁄8|
Smith Junior Helmet Size Chart
|Youth Small||48 - 53||18.89 - 20.86|
|Youth Medium||53 - 58||20.86 - 22.83|
|X Small||52 - 54||20.47 - 21.25|
|Small||54 - 56||21.25 - 22|
|Medium||56 - 58||22 - 22.83|
|Large||58 - 60||22.83 - 23.62|
|X Large||60 - 62||23.62 - 24.4|
Important Safety Features for Helmets
The basic features of a helmet include the shell which holds the head and neck from the impact in an event of a crash, an inside liner, often made of expanded polystyrene foam, which provides cushion to the head in an impact and also keeps the head comfortable in the shell, and a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology, that gives more protection from rotational forces in a collision.
Other features include helmet vents to keep the head cool and comfortable, a visor, in some designs meant to protect the eyes from too much sun exposure, and straps to hold the helmet in place.
As more and more people become involved in physical outdoor activities requiring helmets, here are the other safety helmet features that are provided:
- Rear view features: some helmets with rear-view option allow the rider to look over the shoulder without taking their eyes off the road, providing a wider field of vision.
- LED lights: being visible is very important to ensure the safety of the cyclist. At night and in extreme weather conditions, the LED light, often attached to the helmet, helps provide additional lighting to improve the riders’ ability to see and be seen.
- Heads-up display: although still relatively new in the market, heads-up displays are meant to show information about location, GPS, speed, and the video feed from a rear-view camera if any and this is often displayed in the visor area or screen of the helmet.
Helmet Care Tips
Here are the basic helmet care tips that you can do to preserve your helmet for longer:
- To keep the longevity of the helmet, avoid using chemical solvents when cleaning it. It is recommended that you only use a sponge or a soft cloth with mild soap and water for cleaning. Inner paddings may be used.
- Store your helmet in room temperature. Putting it on the garage, in the attic or car trunk, where there is excessive heat may cause bubbles to form and crack in the helmet. Once the helmet is damaged by the heat, when bubbles and cracks are visible, discontinue use. The helmet by this time may be brittle and no longer able to protect the head in case of an accident.
- Use your own helmet if necessary to ensure the kind of wear and tear that your helmet is used for. Any damage could make the helmet less effective in protecting your head.
Remember: Any helmet involved in any kind of accident is likely to be damaged. It is recommended that the helmet be replaced after suffering a major impact, even if the helmet looks scratch and dent-free.
Without any such incident, it is generally advised to replace your helmet in about 5 years as UV light, weather changes and pollution can weaken its materials over time.
1. How do I know my helmet size?
There are two ways to know your helmet size: by physically trying on the helmet and also by measuring your head size and determining the appropriate helmet size based on the helmet size chart provided.
2. What size of helmet is 57cm?
A helmet measuring 57cm is often a helmet size medium measuring 22 ½ – 22 ⅞ inches. Using the hat size, a helmet measuring 57 – 58 cm is a hat size 7 ⅛ – 7 ¼.
3. What size is a small helmet?
In general, a size small helmet measures 55 – 56 cm or 21 ⅝ – 22 in inches. In terms of hat size, a small helmet is a size 6 ⅞ – 7.
4. What size of helmet does my child need?
The helmet size of your child will depend on the head measurement of your child. Take a tape measure and measure the circumference around the widest part of your child’s head, usually an inch above the eyebrows. Use the youth helmet size chart provided to determine the approximate size of your child’s helmet. Or visit a nearby sports store to fit a helmet.
5. How to know if the helmet size is too small for me?
The easiest way to know if the helmet is too small for you is to feel it while wearing it. In general, a good fit should snug nicely with just enough tightness on the forehead and pressure on top of your head. If you feel a lot of pressure on top of your skull, then your helmet may be too tight and can cause any damage to your head. A tight cheek pad or inner pad is okay as it will expand over time.
6. How to know if the helmet is too big for me?
When you try on a helmet, try shaking your head sideways. If the helmet shows space to wiggle your head inside, then that means the helmet may be too big for you. Also, check the pressure on top of your head if it’s too loose or too tight for you.