The 9 Best Swim Caps of 2019

The 9 Best Swim Caps of 2019

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap at Amazon

Designed to fit snugly on your head to reduce drag.”

Best Budget: TYR Latex Swim Cap at Amazon

“It stays put and doesn’t roll up.”

Best for Long Hair: The Friendly Swede Swim Cap at Amazon

“Plenty of room to accommodate long locks.”

Best Silicone: Aegend Silicone Swim Cap at Amazon

“Features excellent elasticity so it expands to fit your head.”

Best Latex: Nike Flat Latex Swim Cap at Amazon

“Perfect for those who overheat during swim workouts.”

Best to Protect Color-Treated Hair: Firesara Swim Cap at Amazon

“Flexible, comfortable, and waterproof.”

Best for Triathlons: TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Cap at Amazon

“The wrinkle-free surface can help you swim your best times.”

Best for Training: Arena Classic Silicone Cap at Amazon

“Made of PVC-free, flat, molded silicone.”

Best Lycra: Speedo Lycra Solid Swim Cap at Amazon

“Expands to accommodate longer hair.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Speedo Silicone Solid Swim Cap

A long-time leader in the swim gear category, Speedo is a trusted brand that’s known for its reliable, durable products. If you’re looking for an inexpensive but high performance, long-lasting swim cap, you can’t go wrong with their basic silicone offering. Thick yet comfortable, they’re designed to fit snugly on your head to reduce drag while you’re swimming, making them a nice choice for regular lap swimming workouts or competitions.

They’re also very stretchy and soft, so they won’t snag or pull hair. Speedo silicone swim caps also come in more than a dozen colors, giving you plenty of options. Overall, they’re a great value and a solid choice for a sturdy, versatile cap. There’s also a smaller junior version that’s perfect for kids 10 and under.

Best Budget: TYR Latex Swim Cap

If you’re looking for a basic swim cap to keep your hair dry and in place, this latex one from TYR gets the job done, at a bargain price. Designed with a durable, ribbed edge, it stays put and doesn’t roll up. It features a secure fit so you can swim lap after lap without worrying about it sliding off. Available in a dozen different colors, this cap is a great value and is perfect for swimming workouts, swim classes, and meets.

Planning to swim at the beach? Get our picks for the best rash guards for protecting your skin from the sun and painful chafing.

Best for Long Hair: The Friendly Swede Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap

Swimmers with long hair need a cap that’s going to keep all their hair tucked in, while also not snagging it when pulling it on and off. This one from The Friendly Swede is made to take care of those issues and will quickly become your go-to swim cap if you have lengthy locks. With plenty of room to accommodate long strands, it provides a secure fit that and keeps drag to a minimum. Extremely durable, it can hold up for long training sessions in the pool. It also features comfortable ergonomic ear pockets to reduce pressure and keep water away from your ears.

Need more great swim gear? Check out the best swimming goggles.

Best Silicone: Aegend Silicone Swim Cap

You’ll barely feel like you’re wearing a swim cap when you put on this lightweight silicone one from Aegend. It’s extremely comfortable, soft, and doesn’t slip as you’re swimming. With a cool 3D ergonomic design, it also provides full coverage to your ears and hair, protecting you from overpressure and chlorine, sand, and bacteria in the water. It features excellent elasticity so it expands to fit your head, but it doesn’t get stretched-out and deformed after use. The thick, curved edge helps to keep it from rolling up, so it provides a snug fit.

Best Latex: Nike Flat Latex Swim Cap

Silicone caps are more durable and fit a bit snugger than latex ones, but they’re also more expensive. This basic latex swim cap from Nike is a quality, high performance product and an excellent value. Known for its secure fit, this cap is ideal for competitive swimmers who need reliable gear.

Latex swim caps are more breathable and cooler than silicone caps, so this Nike cap is perfect for those who overheat during swim workouts. Of course, it’s not a good option for those with a latex allergy.

Best to Protect Color-Treated Hair: Firesara Waterproof Silicone Swim Cap

Repeated exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals can really damage your hair, especially if it’s color-treated. So it’s crucial that those seeking to protect their hair when swimming choose a swim cap that will keep their hair completely dry. This Firesara silicone swim cap is flexible, comfortable, and waterproof, so your hair will stay protected.

It’s a good choice for people with long hair or dreadlocks, as the extra-strong silicone can stretch to twice its size, while still retaining its shape when you take it off. The surface is smooth and wrinkle-free, so it helps to reduce drag while swimming. The cap also offers UV protection, which protects your color-treated hair from fading and additional damage.

Best for Triathlons: TYR Wrinkle-Free Silicone Cap

Whether you’re racing in a pool or open water, you need a swim cap that won’t budge and has a smooth surface, to reduce resistance. A popular choice among triathletes and competitive swimmers, this TYR silicone cap is a durable, high-performance cap that will stay in place and keep your hair tucked in for even your longest workouts. The wrinkle-free surface can help you swim your best times in your races. Triathletes especially like this TYR cap because it doesn’t move, but is still easy to get off during transitions.

Looking for more triathlon gear? Get our recommendations for the best bike helmets and the best cycling gloves.

Best for Training: Arena Classic Silicone Cap

If you need a swim cap that’s a true workhorse and can last through very frequent and long training sessions, this Arena classic silicone cap is the one for you. Made of PVC-free, flat, molded silicone, they feature a classic and comfortable fit. Soft and smooth, Arena silicone swim caps are ideal to have in your swim bag for everyday use. They’re not as thick as some other silicone caps, which makes them a good choice when you’re doing a long workout and need a cap that’s more breathable.

Best Lycra: Speedo Lycra Solid Swim Cap

If you are tired of pulling your hair with a silicone or latex cap, a lycra option might be your best bet. These slide on without tugging at your hair and have a roomy fit. While they won't keep your hair from getting wet, they will keep strands out of the pool. This cap expands accommodates longer hair, so you won't have to worry about trying to fit your locks in comfortably. Lycra is a smart buy for those who swim a lot and don't want breakage or even kids who can't stand the fuss of putting on a tight cap.


Our Process

Our writers spent 7 hours researching the best swim caps on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different swim caps to buy overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 350 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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