Whether you’re a runner training for your next marathon or just someone who sweats a lot during workouts, a moisture-wicking headband is a gym bag essential. Absorbing sweat and keeping it from dripping into your eyes is just one of the key benefits of a good headband.
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing our top picks for the best moisture-wicking headbands on the market right now. After lots of testing and research, we’ve narrowed it down to five high-performing, comfortable options that are worth your money. We’ll also provide tips on how to choose the right moisture-wicking headband for your needs and activity level. Read on for all the sweat-wicking details you need before your next trip to the sporting goods store!
Top 5 Moisture-Wicking Headbands
When evaluating moisture-wicking headbands, there are a few key factors we focus on – absorbency level, stretchiness, width, material softness, and overall comfort. Here are the headbands that deliver on all fronts:
Nike Dri-FIT Headband
The Nike Dri-FIT headband is a top choice for high-intensity workouts and runs. It’s made of smooth, lightweight dri-FIT fabric that wicks away sweat quickly. The wide design and flat seam construction ensure a soft, non-irritating fit against your forehead.
- Ultra-absorbent polyester material stays dry as your workout intensifies
- Stretchy spandex provides a snug yet comfortable fit
- 33mm width offers full forehead coverage
- Smooth, chafe-resistant flatlock seams
Pros: Excellent sweat absorption and breathability. Stays securely in place without slipping. Soft, irritation-free fit.
Cons: Can feel bulky for some wearers. Occasional issues with dye transfer.
Price range: $10 – $15
Under Armour Fly Fast Headband
The Under Armour Fly Fast headband is engineered for maximum sweat absorption during rigorous workouts and runs. Its smooth, lightweight fabric and silicone gripper hold it firmly in place.
- Super-absorbent, quick-dry ArmourVent fabric
- Lightweight, breathable polyester/elastane blend
- Minimal seams prevent chafing
- Silicone strip on interior keeps it from slipping
Pros: Extremely effective at wicking away sweat. Stays put without adjustments needed. Soft, smooth fabric.
Cons: Sizing runs small. Can feel tight on larger heads.
Price range: $15 – $25
Sweaty Bands Skinny Headband
For a lightweight moisture-wicking option, the Sweaty Bands skinny headband gets the job done. It’s made of a soft, stretchy spandex-nylon blend. Choose from tons of colors and patterns!
- Absorbent, breathable nylon/spandex fabric blend
- Machine washable
- Stylish colors and prints
- Skinny 7/8-inch width
Pros: Soft, smooth elastic fabric. Tons of cute prints and colors. Stays in place well.
Cons: Not as absorbent as wider designs. Some dye transfer reported.
Price range: $10 – $20
Bondi Band Active Headband
The Bondi Band active headband features a wide, seamless design for chafe-free comfort. It’s made of lightweight, breathable polyester to keep you dry. An anti-slip silicone strip helps it stay put.
- 1.5-inch wide design
- Seamless construction prevents skin irritation
- Lightweight polyester fabric
- Non-slip silicone strip on interior
Pros: Soft, smooth material. Seamless design prevents chafing. Stays securely in place during activity.
Cons: Thinner material absorbs less sweat than some competitors.
Price range: $12 – $16
Salty Crew Thick Headband
The Salty Crew thick headband provides ultimate sweat absorption and slip resistance. Its soft, stretchy fabric and extra-wide design ensure next-level performance and comfort.
- Super soft, stretchy sweat-wicking fabric
- Absorbs high volumes of moisture
- 2.5-inch wide design
- Non-slip grip on interior
Pros: Extremely effective moisture absorption. Thick, cushy fabric. Stays very securely in place.
Cons: Bulky for some. Only comes in basic colors.
Price range: $13 – $20
How to Choose the Right Moisture-Wicking Headband for You
With so many moisture-wicking headbands on the market, it can be tricky to choose the ideal one for your needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind while shopping:
Consider your planned activities – If you’ll mostly be doing indoor cycling and strength training, you may not need the highest sweat absorption capacity. But for outdoor running and sports in the heat, choose a super-absorbent fabric. Match the headband performance to the activity for the best experience.
Fabric material – The most common moisture-wicking fabrics are polyester, nylon and spandex blends. These synthetic technical fabrics actively pull sweat away from skin and dry quickly. Natural fibers like cotton tend to just get soaked with sweat.
Level of absorbency – If you’re a heavy, prolific sweater, opt for headbands made with ultra-absorbent fabrics labeled “sweat-wicking” or “rapid-dry.” For more casual wear or light workouts, moderate moisture absorption should suffice.
Band width – Standard band widths range from 3/4 inch to over 2 inches wide. In general, wider bands absorb more sweat but can feel bulky. Narrower skinny bands stay light but may need adjusted more. Choose what feels most comfortable.
Desired features – Some moisture-wicking headbands tout extras like reflective elements for night runs, slip-resistant silicone or gel grippers to stay in place, and extra stretchy spandex or jacquard knit fabrics. Decide if any features are must-haves for you.
Band tightness – Headbands worn tightly around the head limit sweat drippage but can begin to feel uncomfortable over time. Find your ideal tightness – some brands offer adjustable toggles or cords. You want it snug but not constricting.
Style considerations – Moisture-wicking headbands come in every color and pattern under the sun. Opt for versatile solids if you’ll wear it casually too, or get a 2- or 3-pack with bright colors and prints to coordinate with workout gear.
Budget – Good quality moisture-wicking headbands can be found across a wide spectrum of budgets. Set a price range for yourself and stick to it. Just $10 – $15 gets you a solid sweat-wicking option from major athletic brands.
Brand reputation – Stick to reputable athletic brands known for performance fabrics, like Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Reebok, and Champion. Check out reviews online for feedback on absorbency, durability and fit.
Try it on first – If possible, buy headbands in person so you can test the fit and feel. Moisture-wicking fabrics can feel very different brand to brand. Get one that feels comfortable on your skin.
FAQs About Moisture-Wicking Headbands
Considering making a moisture-wicking headband part of your workout wardrobe? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
How much do moisture-wicking headbands cost? Prices typically range from around $5 – $30. You can find simple, affordable options for $10 or less and premium performance fabrics for $20+. Set your budget and look for sales on multipacks.
How do I wash and care for a moisture-wicking headband?
Most are machine washable but avoid fabric softeners which can inhibit moisture wicking. Use mild detergent, wash in cold water, and lay flat or hang to dry. Avoid ironing printed designs.
How often should I replace my moisture-wicking headband? Plan on getting a new headband every 6 months to a year with regular wear, or sooner if the material pills or loses its absorbency. Stretchy fabrics can start sagging when overstretched.
What’s the difference between cotton and moisture-wicking technical fabrics? Cotton absorbs sweat but stays wet against your skin. Fabrics like polyester and nylon actively wick moisture away from the body into the fabric, where it disperses and evaporates quicker.
How tight should a moisture-wicking headband fit? Snug enough not to slip around, but not so tight it digs into your skin or causes headaches. If adjustable, start loose and tighten until secure. The band should fit smooth and flat around your forehead.
Can moisture-wicking headbands be worn in cold weather too? Yes, they help absorb sweat during winter workouts but also retain heat. Look for fleece-lined versions for extra warmth and comfort in chillier temps.
Are moisture-wicking headbands just for exercise and sports? While super useful for high-sweat activities, you can also wear moisture-wicking headbands casually to absorb sweat on hot summer days or for jobs requiring physical exertion.
What are some tips for keeping a moisture-wicking headband from slipping?
- Position it to sit securely at hairline
- Tighten adjusters for a snugger fit
- Opt for styles with silicone or rubber grippers
- Make sure your headband is not overstretched out
Do moisture-wicking headbands work for thick, curly hair? Yes, the fabrics are designed to effectively absorb sweat from all hair types and textures. But very thick or long hair may benefit from styles with extra grip and a wider wrap.
Are there moisture-wicking headbands made especially for women? Yes, some brands design women’s headbands in smaller proportions, lighter materials and more ponytail-friendly cuts. But most standard headbands work well for both men and women.
Keep Sweat at Bay and Your Vision Clear
Whether your workouts leave you barely breaking a sweat or absolutely dripping, a moisture-wicking headband can make a big difference in comfort. With our top picks and buying considerations covered, you can shop smartly for the perfect sweat-stopping headband. Keep it handy in your gym bag to soak up perspiration during any activity where heat and humidity are a challenge. With a little trial and error, you’ll find the moisture-wicking headband that fits and performs just right.