Promo University

How Do You Measure Your Hat Size?

Alyssa Mertes

Published: February 27th 2021

You probably know the size of the t-shirts, pants, and shoes you wear, but what about your hat size? It may seem like a weird piece of apparel to give a number to, but hey…some people have giant heads!

Get in front of the mirror and take a deep breath. It's time to find out the circumference of your noggin! Your high school geometry teacher would be so proud.

How to Measure Hat Size

The first thing you want to do to measure your head for hat size is grab a measuring tape. A cloth one is preferred as it's most comfortable and easiest to handle. You can also use a string and a ruler if a tape measure is not available.

Follow these steps to measure your hat size:

  • Step One: Wrap a tape measure or a string around the widest part of your head. If you use the string, you'll have to lay it out later and measure it with a ruler.
  • Step Two: Hold your thumb against the tape measure or string where it comes around to meet the end.
  • Step Three: Remove the tape measure from around your head or lay out the string next to the ruler. Write down the number in inches or centimeters, whichever you prefer.
  • Step Four: Consult a sizing guide to see how your measurement equates to hat sizes.
  • Step Five: Go shopping for a new hat!
Step 1
Detergent

Wrap String or Measuring Tape Around Your Head

Take your tape measure and wrap it around your head at the widest part. This is where the bottom edge of your hat will rest. For most people, this will be about a half an inch above the eyebrows, or one-eighth of an inch above the top of the ears.

Do you not own a tape measure? You can also wrap a string around your head and measure it later with a ruler!

Step 2
Ruler

Hold Still & Measure

Once the tape or string meets at the other end, hold still and keep your finger securely in place.

Ruler

For the measuring tape, look in a mirror so you can easily see the number listed. You can also remove the tape from around your head and look at the number that way.

Scissors

For the string, use scissors to cut the string under your finger. Lay the string flat on a table and measure it with a ruler.

Step 3
Pen writing

Write Down Your Measurements

Congratulations – you now know the circumference of your own head! Record this number in inches, centimeters, or both if you're feeling really adventurous. This will make shopping easier as some hat brands use the metric system.

Step 4
Man at laptop

Consult a Sizing Chart

Look for your measurements on a hat sizing chart to get your exact size. Brands like New Era and Nike likely have this information on their websites, but you can also take a look at a general hat size guide as well. In fact, you'll find one on this page if you keep on reading!

Step 5
Hats

Go Hat Shopping

It's finally time to buy that new hat! Be sure to have your hat size written down, or make a mental note of the number. You can then proceed to find the right size and make your purchase.

The steps listed above work for baseball caps in particular. Knit beanies, visors, fedoras, and other types of hats are usually simply listed as S, M, L, or XL.

Did you know?

New Era 59Fifty snapbacks are non-adjustable, which means your hat size is very important. It's all about the perfect fit, so get to measuring before you shop for one of their iconic caps.

What Are the Different Hat Sizes?

Now that you know the circumference of your head, it's time to figure out your hat size. Here are a few handy charts to make the process easier:

Adults

Head Measurement Hat Size Generic Size
22 ¼ in. (54 cm.) 6 ¾ S
22 ⅝ in. (55 cm.) 6 ⅞ S/M
22 in. (55.9 cm.) 7 M
22 ⅜ in. (56.8 cm.) 7 ⅛ M
22 ¾ in. (57.8 cm.) 7 ¼ L
23 ⅛ in. (58.7 cm.) 7 ⅜ L
23 ½ in. (59.7 cm.) 7 ½ XL
23 ⅞ in. (60.6 cm.) 7 ⅝ XL
24 ¼ in. (61.6 cm.) 7 ¾ XXL
24 ⅝ in. (62.5 cm.) 7 ⅞ XXL
25 in. (63.5 cm.) 8 XXL


Children

Head Measurement Hat Size Generic Size
19 in. (48 cm.) 6 XS
19 3/8 in. (48.2 cm.) 6 ⅛ S
19 ¾ in. (50.2 cm.) 6 ¼ S
20 ⅛ in. (51 cm.) 6 ⅜ M
20 ½ in. (52 cm.) 6 ½ M
20 ⅞ in. (53 cm.) 6 ⅝ L
21 ¼ in. (54 cm.) 6 ¾ L
21 5/8 in. (55 cm.) 6 ⅞ XL
22 in. (55.9 cm.) 7 XL

*These charts represent general hat sizes and won't always be exact for every hat you purchase. Sizing varies depending on the brand. Reach out to your hat's manufacturer if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Every brand runs slightly different, so try on a few hats that are 1 to 2 sizes smaller or larger. Your head might even change sizes as you get older! No matter what, you'll know you have the right hat based on how well it fits.

Are you shopping for a new hat online? Check out the company's return policy before ordering. If the hat doesn't quite fit, you want to make sure you can get your money back or easily replace it with a new one.

What is the Average Hat Size?

On average, men wear a size 7 ⅜ hat, while women wear a 7 ½. For children it depends on their age, but you can generally expect ages three to ten to wear a hat that's either a size 6 or 7.

This infographic breaks it all down!

Infograph Infograph

Do you have an above average hat size? It's probably just because you have a big brain! People come in all shapes and sizes, and your head circumference is just fine.

How Should a Hat Fit?

Every hat will fit differently. It just depends on the material and style. Fedoras are generally worn further back on the head, while baseball caps rest lower near the eyes. It's ultimately up to you and what you're comfortable wearing!

No matter what, your hat should check the following boxes:

Hat icon

Not too tight

You should be able to stick a finger between your hat and your forehead. If you can’t, your hat is just a bit too snug on your head.

Hat icon

Not too loose

Have you ever worried about your hat blowing off on a windy day? The ideal hat should be firm on your head without you having to worry about it leaving a mark.

Hat icon

Sits under your eyebrows

Are you bumping into things and tripping over furniture? Your hat might be too big! The brim should be right under your eyebrows and not falling over your eyes.

Hat icon

Itch-free

Be mindful of the inside of your hat. It shouldn’t irritate your skin or cause your face to feel itchy. Look for a hat that is lined with a breathable fabric.

Hat icon

Proportional

Be aware of the size and shape of your head and body, especially if you’re wearing a hat for fashion. For instance, an extra wide hat could overwhelm someone with a petite frame.

Woman in Hat

Do Fitted Hats Shrink or Stretch Over Time?

It is possible that your hats will shrink over time. They generally don’t stretch, which is why you should always go with a bigger size if you’re in between hat sizes.

Did you buy a hat that’s too big? There are a few easy fixes:

  • 1) Add a foam lining inside of the hat. Remove it when the hat shrinks down.
  • 2) Speed up the shrinking process by putting your hat in the dryer.
  • 3) Spray your hat with water and leave it near a heating vent. Repeat until the hat fits right.

When in doubt, always go with the bigger hat size. You can count on it to shrink, whether it’s gradually over time or purposefully with water and heat.

How Do You Break in a Baseball Cap?

When you first buy a baseball cap, it’s almost too stiff and structured. Since you wear these hats for a casual look, you want yours to look and feel as lived-in as possible.

Try any of the following to break in your baseball cap:

Man in Hat

Wear it Everywhere

It may seem obvious, but the best way to break in a hat is by wearing it all the time. Throw it on even while you’re doing things at home like cooking, cleaning, or watching Netflix. Before long, your new cap will feel like it’s been part of your wardrobe for years.

Shower head

Take a Shower

You’re hopefully taking a shower every day anyway, so before you jump in, put on your new baseball cap. It will shrink down a little in the water, but it will also be more comfy once it dries.

Wash hat

Wash Your Hat

Does the idea of wearing a baseball cap in the shower freak you out? Another option is to simply clean it in the washing machine. Let it air dry when you’re done.

Man doing squats

Break a Sweat

Toss on your new baseball cap and then hit the gym! The combination of heat and moisture is a fast, easy way to break in your cap. Plus, you’re getting muscles and burning fat at the same time!

Person stomping

Step on Your Hat

This might seem ridiculous, but a fast way to wear down your hat is by walking on top of it. Just be sure to do it on clean floors so you can avoid any stains or scuffs.

Woman in sun

Bask in the Sun

Lather on the , put on your new hat, and head outside on a sunny day. The warmth from the sun will soften your cap’s fabric, making it much more cozy to wear.

Coffee cup

Stick it in a Coffee Mug

The bill of your hat could be too stiff. If that’s the case, try folding it and sticking it inside of an empty coffee mug. Leave it overnight and take it out in the morning.

Can tops

Wrap a Soda Inside

You can break in the bill of your cap by putting an unopened soda can inside and wrapping it with a rubber band. The longer the rubber band is on the bill, the more flexible it will be afterward.

What is the Purpose of a Hat?

You can wear a hat to keep your head warm, to complete your outfit, to block the sun, or simply because you’re having a bad hair day. It just depends on the situation.

No matter what, it’s worth having the right hat on your head. You don’t want to constantly mess around with it throughout the day. It should also be so comfy, you barely remember you’re wearing one!

Hat hiking

The Bottom Line

It only takes about 5 minutes to measure your hat size, so why not put in the effort? You’ll be kicking yourself if you accidentally buy the wrong size and have to stand in the return line later. Think like Goldilocks – you always want a hat that fits just right!

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.

References

Iowa State University. Hat Sizing Chart. Retrieved from, https://www.ubs.iastate.edu/hat_sizing_chart.html

Little Hotdog Watson. Kid’s Hat Size Guide. Retrieved from, https://www.littlehotdogwatson.com/pages/sizing-guide

Hats Unlimited. How to Measure Your Hat Size. Retrieved from, https://www.hatsunlimited.com/how-to-measure-your-hat-size

wikiHow. (2019, March 29). How to Determine Your Hat Size. Retrieved from, https://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Hat-Size

Hats.com. Hat Guides. Retrieved from, https://www.hats.com/find-your-siz

Delusion MFG. (2020, March 20). Fitting It Just Right: How Tight Should a Hat Be. Retrieved from, https://blog.delusionmfg.com/how-tight-should-a-hat-be

Tenth Street. How Should a Hat Fit? We Have the Answers. Retrieved from, https://blog.tenthstreethats.com/posts/how-should-a-hat-fit

wikiHow. (2020, April 28). How to Break in a Baseball Cap. Retrieved from, https://www.wikihow.com/Break-in-a-Baseball-Cap