Best Swim Cap For Every Situation in 2022

The sun is high and the swimsuits are ready. Yes, the best time of year has arrived for lovers of the pool and beach everywhere. It’s swimming season. 

Okay, so technically, swimming season is all year when you have access to indoor pools, but there’s something about the warm sunshine that encourages water activities. Either way, if you’re swimming in the dead of winter or the middle of summer, a swim cap is often the must-have accessory people with hair like to have on them.

Before we take a deep dive into what the best swim cap options are, let’s first discuss the reasons for wearing one.

  1. A cap makes you swim faster.
  2. It keeps the chemicals in a pool from damaging your hair.
  3. They make you more visible, which is good for safety.

Now we can get into the types and what works best for different hair, accessories, and activities.

Swim Cap Basics

There are various types of materials that go into swim caps. Here, we’ll discuss the differences between the materials and what they are best suited for.

Swim Cap Latex

For a century, latex has been used to flatten hair on the head when getting in the water. It gives the tightest fit, which makes the cap quite a squeeze to get on. However, you feel confident knowing it’s not going anywhere. They’ve been proven to be the best at reducing drag in a competitive environment.

The major thing to watch out for with latex is allergies. Before committing to a latex cap, do some mild exposure to one spot on the body. The last thing you want is to have a head wrapped up in latex for several hours and be allergic to it.

Latex Cap
  • SNUG FIT: Keeps hair pulled cleanly away from face and neck while swimming
  • 100% LATEX: Swim cap reduces drag and protects hair against chlorine and sun damage
  • RIPPLED EDGE: Creates secure fit around the base of cap

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/25/2022 01:01 am GMT

Swim Cap Silicone

A silicone cap is more popular today due to its flexible fit. They definitely have more of a squish factor, which makes them more comfortable to wear. Long-time wearability bumps up the interest of swimmers expecting to be in the pool for long periods of time, as well as those who have issues with latex.

  1. Speedo Silicone Swim Cap
  2. Speedo Silicone Swim Cap
    • Protect your hair from chlorine with this durable swim cap made from pliable silicone and designed to fit comfortably without any snagging or pulling.
    • Superior, soft texture
    • Excellent stretch, pliability, and durability

    Buy From Amazon Buy From Swim Outlet

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    06/25/2022 12:52 am GMT
  3. Arena Silicone Swim Cap
  4. Arena Silicone Swim Cap
    • Classic fit forms to a smooth, soft comfortable fit
    • Good for everyday use and training
    • Available in multiple colors

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    06/25/2022 12:45 am GMT
  5. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Elastomeric
  6. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Elastomeric
    • Inner micro grid texture provides more comfort and stretchy silicone won't snag or pull hair
    • Contoured shape reduces drag for outstanding hydrodynamic performance

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    06/25/2022 12:57 am GMT

Lycra Swim Cap

Coming up next are two materials that are growing in popularity. Both Lycra and polyester are probably best suited for ocean and lake swimming. The reason is they are not airtight, meaning chlorine from a pool can still cause damage to your hair. They are the most flashy of swim cap materials, though.

Because they are made more to show off than function, Lycra and polyester caps are more durable. The materials don’t have to work as hard because they aren’t using their energies toward keeping a grip on your head.

Something that might annoy a wearer is that they are more prone to sliding down or off entirely. So, they are probably best saved for the casual swimmer, a swimmer with short hair, or someone who swims only in short bouts.

TYR Lycra Swim Cap
  • FORM AND FUNCTION: UPF 50+ technology and a comfortable fit
  • CASUAL: Designed with the recreational swimmer in mind

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/25/2022 12:44 am GMT

Neoprene Swim Cap

If you want a swim cap that is guaranteed to stay on your head, you want one made from neoprene. This is the same material a wetsuit consists of. Any type of swimming in cold water will also be great with this cap because it’s very insulating.

Blueseventy Adjustable Thermal Swim Cap
  • INSULATED - 3mm Yamamoto SCS coated Neoprene with full zirconium lining for insulation
  • COMFORT FIT - Flexible central panel enhances fit. Adjustable strap provides secure fit maximizing warmth around the ears and chin
  • PERFECT FOR - open water swimming and triathlon training

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/25/2022 12:59 am GMT

A Swim Cap for Every Situation

Alright, now we have a better understanding of what these caps are made of and what sets them apart for use. Before you purchase a swim cap, it helps to have a solid idea of what your objective is.

  • Are you an occasional swimmer with normal hair needs who likes to swim in a pool or ocean?
  • Do you prefer cold ocean water?
  • Did you recently color treat your hair?
  • Are you on a swim team? 

Understanding your needs will help you make a more informed decision when it comes to covering your hair up. Getting the right combination could save you a lot of trial and error in the long run. So, we have a few more scenarios that might sway you in one direction or another when it comes to purchasing a swim cap.

Best Swim Cap To Wear With Goggles

Silicone swim caps are the best to wear with goggles because they are wear-resistant. The flexibility of the silicone caps makes them more open to things like goggles, making an impression on them. Having a layer of squish provides extra leeway for goggles to stay on snuggly while not impacting your head in the process. In other words, you stay comfortable. Here are a few of our favorite silicone caps.

Top Pick is the Arena Swim Cap, followed by the Speedo Silicone Swim Cap.

Best Swim Cap for Long Hair

One of the most annoying things about having long hair is trying to figure out what to do with it in the water. When your hair isn’t too long, getting your hair wet can be a quick towel dry before you’re onto other things. Long hair is a whole other story. The amount of dripping and loose hair is unreal. 

Deciding to keep it locked up isn’t as fun as it sounds, either. The longer the hair, the more the effort to get each strand tucked into a cap. It can be tough, especially when they are formulated to stick to the skin. Stuffing a cap full of hair on top of it can feel like an unwinnable battle. 

What you need is a waterproof, silicone cap that stretches enough to make enclosing your long hair attainable. 

Swim Cap Best for Long Hair

Top Pick
  • Description:
    • Lightweight, latex-free silicone provides durable performance and optimum fit
    • Easy on-and-off design won't snag hair
    • Extra space allows long hair to be tucked inside without compromising a smooth fit

  • Description:
    • PREMIUM DESIGN: Allergy-safe, 100% quality silicone for maximum stretch, durability and comfort. Hydrodynamic, wrinkle-free design reduces water resistance.
    • Ergonomic ear pockets for a perfect fit and to avoid overpressure. Our swimming caps are suitable for those with latex allergies!

  • Description:
    • 100% Silicone
    • Improved contour cut around ears

06/25/2022 12:51 am GMT

Wading Through Swim Caps

Thanks to the evolution of swimming as a sport and the high-demand interest, the advances in swim caps have been impressive over the past century. You can pretty much guarantee that your afternoon swimming won’t have to interfere with the remainder of your day. 

That’s in large part due to the ability of the cap to keep your hair dry and, in some caps, continuously voluminous. The important part for you, the swimmer, is to really evaluate your cap needs before you blindly purchase anything.

The more you know about your intentions, the better match you can make for your head. Of course, the more equipped you are for swimming, the more you can enjoy it. So, take a look at our recommendations, and feel free to scroll through to find a variety of one that closely matches what you’re looking for. The best way to find your soul swim cap is by trying one and learning what you like and what you don’t. 


Should I wear goggles underneath my swim cap?

Yes and no. It depends on what you’re doing out in the water. Probably the best answer for anyone is yes, because you know that they aren’t going anywhere. However, if you’re having a fun day at the beach, you may want to take the goggles off and on without any disruption to the hair under the cap. No one wants to have to recap multiple times throughout the day. Also, children might appreciate the ability to take the goggles off and on, which would be another reason to keep them on the cap.

Are swim caps supposed to keep hair dry?

Swim caps aren’t technically designed to keep hair dry. However, depending on the material you choose, it may more or less do so. Remember, latex and silicone have the tightest fit, so they are the ones most likely to keep hair dry. Definitely avoid Lycra or polyester if you’ve got an event after your swim.

Can I double up on swim caps?

Sure! Actually, people who like the look of a Lycra or polyester cap but need more coverage opt for putting a latex or silicone swim cap underneath. It’s sort of like having the best of both worlds. It’s also handy for someone who is nervous about having goggles tug at their hair under the cap. They will put on one cap to cover the hair, put on the goggles, then place another cap over that.

What’s the best way to put on a swim cap with long hair?

Pull the hair back to the crown of the head and gather it into a ponytail. Wrap the hanging hair into a loose bun and then, use a thin elastic band to hold it in place. The idea here is that when you pull the cap down, the bun squishes against the head and will lay flat. You may want to lightly mist your hair before pulling on a swim cap, which sometimes helps. It depends on the newness of the swim cap. Stretch it out a tad and match up the seem to the middle of the forehead. Remember, pull it down from the crown. 

Leave a Comment