If you plan on hitting the beach or pool in the coming weeks, we recommend a few crucial essentials for your look: a swimsuit, some sunglasses, sandals, and a good sun hat. Sure, a hat may seem like a superfluous accessory since you’ll also be slathering on the SPF — but, on top of adding an additional layer of sun protection, hats can help keep you cool while pulling your whole beach getup together. The trouble is finding the best beach hats that don’t look over the top. Good thing there’s a sea of chic-and-affordable options floating around the internet, so we were able to pull together a guide to some of the best low-key beach hats that are cute, comfy, and easily packed. Think everything from classic baseball caps for the athletic types to straw hats for those who want to channel a Euro-boating look and even printed silk headscarves that your great grandmother would stan — plus, a handful of other perfect top-offs for your beach-ready noggin. Keep scrolling to shop.
The Best Straw Hats
Straw hats are the ultimate summer headpieces — they’re lightweight, quick-dry, and come in an array of fabulous silhouettes. Plus, the wide brim slouches ever-so-perfectly to keep your face shaded from the sun. If you’re limiting yourself to just one beach hat this summer, we recommend going with one made of good-ol’ straw.
The Best Bucket Hats
We’re certainly not mad at seeing this throwback hat — inspired by the fishermen’s go-to topper — return for another moment in the sun. The bucket hats we’re seeing these days are wonderfully floppy, gender-neutral, tie-dyed, embroidered, and made to fit our adult-sized heads.
The Best Visors
The visor is the ultimate lightweight beach hat. These breezy hats are best suited for sporting activities like frisbee and volleyball because the band keeps eyes shaded and soaks up sweat while still allowing for plenty of ventilation.
The Best Head Scarves
For a more romantic beach look, opt for the fluttery silk headscarf or bandana. You can style it by tying it around your head like a babushka or headband, or use it to hold your ponytail together. For a complete day-to-night transition, tie it around your neck after the sunsets.
The Best Baseball Caps
You can’t go wrong with a classic dad hat or baseball cap. These beach hats are super casual, super affordable, and super low maintenance — and add just a hint of effortless cool to any outfit.
The Best Cooling Hats
Need an even sportier option? These breathable performance sun hats are specifically engineered to cool you down. A few impressive technical details: the sweatbands have a cooling lining, there are strategically placed mesh ventilation holes everywhere, and the UPF 50+ protective brims are made to resist ultraviolet rays.
The Best Extra-Wide Brim Sun Hats
If you’re simply not a “summer person” and prefer to go incognito all season long, we’ve got the perfect hat style for you: the oversized, extra-wide brim sun hat. A little ridiculous maybe? Sure. But, good luck to the sun — nothing’s getting past this ultimate statement beach hat.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?