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Your Guide To Choosing the Best Swimming Caps

Woman standing on beach wearing white swimming cap

Having a swimming cap that fits comfortably around the head is essential whether the consumer enjoys swimming for leisure or takes things more competitively. 

Swimming caps have a number of benefits that can help enhance the overall performance of the swimmer as well as make them more comfortable while in the water. These include keeping hair dry, protecting the hair from chlorine, and reducing drag while swimming. 

Swimming is one of the most popular sports globally and consumers now have a wide variety of swimming caps to choose from. 

Keep reading to learn how to choose the best swimming caps on the market. 

Table of Contents
Global market value of swimming gear
Things to look for in a swimming cap
Best swimming caps

Global market value of swimming gear

Blue swimming cap with goggles sitting next to pool

With more health conscious consumers looking to participate in sports and physical activities, the popularity of swimming has grown substantially in the past few years. As well as those who take swimming more seriously, it’s a sport that can be equally as enjoyed at a leisurely pace and many consumers of the older generation are able to participate in swimming as it’s considered a low impact sport. 

By 2023 the global market value of swimming gear exceeded USD 11 billion and it’s projected to reach at least USD 18.7 billion by 2032, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% between 2023 and 2032. Comfort and safety are what consumers are looking for the most in swimming gear, so accessories like swimming caps and goggles are in high demand globally. 

Things to look for in a swimming cap

Children lined up inside pool wearing colorful swimming caps

Choosing the best swimming cap will ultimately depend on the individual and their goals, but there are some important features that all consumers will look into in order to enhance their overall performance. 


Many consumers will want a swimming cap that speaks to their personality in terms of physical appearance. Swimming caps with vibrant designs, patterns, and even team logos are popular options among all age groups but some may prefer a more subtle design.


The size and overall fit of the swimming cap is crucial. The cap needs to fit snug enough so that it stays in place while in the water so as not to distract the swimmer but not too tight so that it causes discomfort. Swimming caps can be one size fits all or be available in different sizes but they will all be stretchy and designed to fit tight against the head.

Person swimming in pool wearing a red swimming cap


There are a few different materials to consider when it comes to choosing the best swimming cap. Silicone caps are a popular option for their durability and longevity. Latex caps also provide a snug fit and are more cost effective but the downside is they aren’t known for their durable nature. Fabric caps are also an option that can be used for cold water swimming and leisurely purposes. These will all be looked at in more detail below. 

Ease of use

All swimming caps need to be easy to put on and take off which is why they are designed using stretchy materials. Some swimming caps may include a chin strap to ensure that they stay in place while in the water. 


The environment that the swimming cap will be worn in is also an important factor to consider. Swimmers who are spending a lot of time in the sun, for example, will look for additional UV protection in their swimming cap whereas those swimming in cold water will want added insulation.

Best swimming caps

Man wearing a black swimming cap in a pool

With all of the various features to consider, consumers can often be overwhelmed when choosing the best swimming cap to use. There are different styles as well as materials to look at and not all will be suitable for each individual. Consumers will look at comfort, durability, and the conditions they’ll be swimming in before making a decision that best suits them. 

Boy wearing white swimming cap in indoor pool

According to Google Ads, “swimming cap” has an average monthly search volume of 90500 searches. The most searches come in July and August at 135000 searches and in the past 6 months, between April and October 2023 searches remain steady at 90500 searches each month. 

When looking at the different types of swimming caps consumers are searching for, Google Ads shows that “silicone swimming cap” is the most searched for at 4400 monthly searches followed by “fabric swimming cap” at 1900 searches, “neoprene swimming cap” at 1300 searches, and “latex swimming cap” at 1000 searches. Keep reading to learn more about the key features of each type.

Silicone swimming cap

Woman putting on silicone swimming cap in the sea

Silicone is one of the best materials when it comes to swimming caps due to its durability, elasticity, and overall comfort. Silicone swimming caps are soft and flexible, meaning they can withstand a lot of use as well as pulling from taking the cap on and off. The material also means that it has a strong resistance to chlorine and can help protect the scalp from UV rays. 

The comfortable fit is a big positive when it comes to the silicone swimming cap. The cap easily forms around the head to ensure that no water gets in and the snug fit helps to reduce drag in the water which is crucial for competitive swimmers who always need to be swimming at their optimum performance level. Most consumers will look for a silicone swimming cap that is vibrant and easy to locate.

Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023 searches remain steady at 4400 searches each month. It’s most searched for in July with 5400 searches. 

Fabric swimming cap

Man wearing green fabric swimming cap in cold water

Fabric swimming caps are a popular alternative for consumers who want a softer cap than silicone or latex. These caps are also known as lycra caps and are known for their overall comfort and versatility. The stretchy fabric material doesn’t pull the hair like other materials do, making them easy to put on and take off, and it offers more breathability for swimmers who are in the water for prolonged periods of time.

The downside to fabric swimming caps is that they don’t offer as much drag reduction as other materials. They are however great for recreational use and can be machine washed which is a positive to some consumers. 

Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, there was a 21% increase in searches for “fabric swimming cap”, with 1600 and 2400 searches respectively.

Neoprene swimming cap

Man wearing neoprene swimming cap with wetsuit in water

Neoprene swimming caps are a specific type of cap designed for open water swimming or sports such as surfing where the water is generally colder in temperature. The thickness of the neoprene will depend on the temperature of the water as they’re meant to provide thermal insulation for the head and ears. This synthetic rubber material fits very snug around the head to ensure the swimmer stays warm and comfortable in the cold water.

It’s important to note that most neoprene swimming caps include ear covers in the design since they are predominantly used for open water swimming and it’s quite common for chin straps to also be included. They also include a degree of buoyancy to help the swimmer stay afloat and reduce neck strain.

Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, there was a 38% increase in searches for “neoprene swimming cap”, with 880 and 1300 searches respectively.

Latex swimming cap

Woman standing in front of pool wearing silver swimming cap

Latex swimming caps are perhaps the most budget friendly caps on the market and are a popular choice among swimmers of all levels. They have a similar fit to silicone swimming caps and can also help to reduce drag in the water. These caps mainly come in a one size fits all range due to the stretchy and tight material that comfortably fits around the head. Latex swimming caps are popular choices among swimming teams who want to put logos or vibrant designs on their caps.

Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, there was a 23% increase in searches for “latex swimming cap”, with 1000 and 1300 searches respectively.


Collection of people wearing white swimming caps outdoors

Swimming caps are an essential piece of swimming gear that’s now available in different materials and with various uses in mind. All swimming caps are designed to fit tight and comfortably against the head to offer some degree of protection to the swimmer as well as to aid them in their performance. Whereas some are meant to be worn in pool settings others are designed with cold water swimming in mind and have additional features that will make the swimmer more comfortable. This guide to choosing the best swimming cap has covered key features to look out for as well as the top types of swimming caps consumers are purchasing. 

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