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4 Popular Hat Trends for Keeping Babies Warm in the Winter


With the upcoming winter season, parents may be looking for ways to keep their baby’s head warm as temperatures drop. Winter hats for babies are a popular accessory for preventing heat loss. These are the trends in baby winter hats businesses should consider stocking. 

Table of Contents
Growth of the baby winter hat market
Winter hat trends for babies
Opportunities in winter hats for babies

Growth of the baby winter hat market

Globally, the winter hats market was valued at USD 25.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% between 2022 to 2030. 

Babies lose body heat up to four times faster than adults and are particularly susceptible to feeling cold. Modern parents are very caring about their kids and are willing to invest in clothing that keeps their kids comfortable. As a result, the kids segment of the winter hats market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2022 to 2030.

Winter snow hats are commonly made from wool and cotton, which are materials used to retain heat and keep the head warm during the winter season.  

Knit beanies

Baby wearing knit toque with fur pom pom
Baby boy in striped knit winter toboggan hat

With a revenue share of over 40.0% in 2021, beanies dominated the market for winter weather hats. A beanie is a small, close-fitting, brimless hat worn on the back of the head. Some beanie hats may sit further back on the forehead for a slouchy beanie look. 

Beanie hats are generally made from an itch-free acrylic, cotton, fleece, or wool material that is stretchy so the hat can be one size fits all. Beanies are frequently constructed from ribbed knit with a cuffed design. They may come with a fleece inner lining for extra warmth or a satin inner lining for more comfort. Winter beanies can also be manufactured in a wide range of colors because the fabric is often easily dyed. 

Baby beanies can come with a logo, embroidery, or patch on the cuff for additional style. A pompom can also be attached to the top of the hat for an adorable winter look. Some beanies can even be designed as a reversible hat with different colors or patterns on each side or be paired as a set with a matching neck collar.

Balaclava hats

Baby in light purple balaclava hat with pompom ears
Toddler wearing one hole knit balaclava hood

Balaclava hats combine the functionality of a hat, earmuffs, and scarf. They are a close-fitting accessory that covers the whole head and neck while leaving parts of the face exposed. Although a combination of the eyes and mouth can be exposed through designs with one hole, two holes, or three holes, one-hole balaclavas are most common for babies due to their smaller face size.

Balaclavas can be made from a variety of super thick materials that retain warmth, including wool, fleece, and sherpa. They may come with a warm and soft insulated inner lining to protect the face from itchy material. 

Some balaclava ski masks can even be rolled up to be worn as a beanie when moving from outdoor to indoor spaces or to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. Balaclava hoods can include built-in adjustable drawstrings with toggles around the chin to ensure the right fit for smaller faces. For ease of use, particularly for babies, a balaclava may also come with a Velcro closure around the neck.

Animal ear hats

Baby wearing animal ear winter hat with ear flaps
Toddler in yellow hood with animal ears

Baby hats for the winter can come with a cute animal ear design. Animal ear hats are often made as a beanie with different ear shapes attached to the top or side. In some cases, the beanie itself can be shaped to create built-in ears.

Ears can be constructed from the same base fabric as the hat or with a different fabric and color for added design. Popular ear styles include cat ears, bunny ears, bear ears, or cow horns. An animal ear hat can even feature a pair of eyes and a nose embroidered or knit into the body of the hat for more resemblance to the animal.

Animal ear baby hats can also be combined with gloves to form a winter beanie and gloves set. The gloves provided in the set will generally be made in the same color as the animal ear beanie or designed to look like animal paws.

Earflap beanies

Baby in patterned ear flap toque with gray fur
Mother carrying baby with gray pompom earflap winter hat

Earflap beanies are winter hats that come with built-in flaps that cover the ears. The flaps are commonly designed with strings that can be tied under the chin like a strap to keep the hat in place. Alternatively, the strings of the earflap hat can be tied above the head to move the flaps up and expose the ear when moving to indoor spaces.

Strings on the earflaps can be decorative and come with pompoms or tassels on the end. Earflaps are generally made from the same fabric as the hat but may feature a different color or braid pattern to accentuate the style. For a more balanced look, an earflap beanie can also be designed with a pompom on the top. 

Opportunities in winter hats for babies

Baby hats come in a few winter styles that are suitable for cold weather. The knit beanie is a staple when it comes to winter hats, as well as the balaclava hat, which is designed to protect the baby’s entire head and neck. Baby winter hats can also feature adorable animal ears for extra style or earflaps for additional warmth.

Prominent brands within the industry are focusing on offering a variety of cozy winter hats in different colors, designs, styles, and sizes. Businesses selling warm hats for babies have an opportunity to explore many fun hat styles and are advised to respond to the needs of modern parents who are focused on caring for their kids’ comfort.

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