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Coolest and Most Comfortable Hard Hats For Pros 2023

Ah, the hard hat. It’s a requirement on most jobsites and a constant source of complaint for some Pros. However, not every design is uncomfortable. We got our team together to share our recommendations for the coolest and most comfortable hard hats.

Before we dive in, there’s one thing that all of these hard hats have in common: safety is the number one priority. It doesn’t do you any good to be cool and comfortable if your PPE compromises protection to give it to you. For safety purposes, we’re focusing on Type II hard hats and helmets that provide top and side impact protection as our top recommendations. We also have several Type I recommendations if you don’t want or need maximum protection.

Have a hard hat you love that we didn’t include? Let us know about your top choice in the comments below!

Keys To The Coolest and Most Comfortable Hard Hat

Vented Vs Non-Vented Hard Hats

In the hard hat world, there are vented and non-vented versions spread across three major classes. Class C vented hard hats are conductive because the openings provide a pathway for electricity to reach your head. For obvious reasons, electricians have to avoid these.

Class E non-vented hard hats are the way to go for electrical work. They’re tested to 20,000 volts, so they’re even valid in high-voltage areas.

Class G is more of a general-purpose non-vented hard hat. These aren’t tested to the same high-voltage standards as Class C, but they avoid the openings that create electrical pathways.

The jobsite you’re working on will have specific regulations as to which are appropriate. If you’re allowed to wear a vented hard hat, you’ll get the best cooling from that style. Openings in the top allow heat to escape from your head and in some cases, allow breezes to move cooler air through it.


Hard hats have a suspension system creating a barrier between the fit on top of your head and the actual helmet. Some hard hats have a layer of foam in between to provide additional protection.

In general, more suspension points are more comfortable because it spreads the weight load out better, reducing pressure on each point. Many hard hats have 4-point suspensions. Look for 6-point or greater to improve comfort.


One of the biggest factors in hard hat comfort is weight. Not only does it affect how much pressure is on your head at the suspension points, but your neck muscles have to manage the additional weight all day. Needless to say, a lighter model makes for a more comfortable hard hat.

Coolest and Most Comfortable Hard Hat Overall

WaveCel T2+ Max Type 2 Full Brim Hard Hat

While WaveCel’s T2+ Max hard hat technically has a 4-point suspension system, that’s its only downside. We say “technically” because the pad rests directly on the WaveCel material so it spreads the weight out better than other 4-point systems.

It has a dial fit system with soft foam padding for the front and top of the suspension with a rubberized rear pad.

What makes it so different from its competitors is WaveCel technology. First designed for cycling (no, I don’t have one yet, and yes, I want one!), it replaces higher-density foam protection with a wave-shaped structure. By using that shape, it provides outstanding protection while reducing weight to just 17 ounces and maximizing airflow.

Even the top vents are different than most. A series of side vents primarily promote heat escape while large rear vents allow breezes to roll across your head.

Better yet, the WaveCel T2+ Max is Made in the USA.

  • Type 2
  • Class C vented
  • 17 ounces
  • 4-point suspension
  • WaveCel protection system
  • Lower profile reduces bumps
  • WaveCel accessory rails
  • Standard accessory slots
  • Optional chin strap
  • Dial fit system with vertical height adjustment
  • 5 color choices
  • Customization available
  • Made in the USA

If you need a Class E hard hat, WaveCel has you covered there as well. Look for the T2+ Pro as your Type 2, Class E non-vented option.

More Coolest And Most Comfortable Hard Hat Recommendations

Milwaukee Type 2 Front Brim Safety Helmet

Milwaukee’s Type 2 helmet options aren’t quite as light as WaveCel’s, but they do an excellent job of promoting airflow. 26 individual vents in the top of the Class 2 version allow for heat to escape and moving air to flow in. Even if you’re going with the Class E, large cutouts in the foam protection layer leave a nice air gap.

  • Type 2
  • Class C vented (Class E non-vented also available)
  • 20 ounces
  • 4-point suspension
  • Dial fit system
  • Foam protection layer
  • Antimicrobial liner
  • Chin strap included
  • BOLT accessory compatible (BOLT marker clip headlamp mount included)
  • 8 color options
  • Customization available
  • Made in the USA with global materials
  • Also available with no brim

MSA Super V Type 2 Fas-Trac III Hard Hat

MSA’s Super V design is massively popular. The V-shape on top of the helmet help deflect objects away and offers more protection than a smooth shell. On the comfort side, MSA goes with a 4-point suspension and it doesn’t have as much padding as our other recommendations. However, it does have a front sweatband and rear rubberized pad.

The major highlight is the Fas-Trac III design. It allows you to easily adjust the suspension’s straps forward or back and has an easy dial fit system. With its lower price tag, it strikes a balance between the plush comfort of our other recommendations and your PPE budget.

  • Type 2
  • Class E non-vented
  • 21 ounces
  • Fas-Trac III 4-point suspension
  • Dial fit system
  • V-Gard deflects objects and adds protection
  • Padded sweatband liner
  • Standard accessory compatible
  • 5 color options
  • Customization available

Coolest and Most Comfortable Type 1 Hard Hat

If you don’t want or need the side impact protection of a Type 2 hard hat, your choices for the coolest and most comfortable hard hat grow tremendously. Plus, they tend to be lighter and less expensive. Below are a few of our favorites.

Milwaukee 6-Point Suspension Type 1 Full Brim Hard Hat

There are a few reasons to give Milwaukee’s latest hard a shot for the coolest and most comfortable Type 1 hard hat. Its starts with weight. At just 15 ounces, it’s the lightest on our list and that makes a big difference. It also sports a 6-point suspension system, up from the 4-point models that the rest of the Milwaukee hard hat line offers. This model also offers a larger ratcheting range than most, meaning it can fit more head sizes. Plus, the price tag is lower than our other top choices.

The one downside is that the vents in this model don’t promote as much airflow as some of the others on our list.

  • Type 1
  • Class C vented (Class E non-vented also available)
  • 15 ounces
  • 6-point suspension
  • Dial fit system
  • Padded sweatband and top cap
  • BOLT accessory compatible
  • BOLT reversible headlamp mount and marker clip included
  • Standard accessory compatible
  • Also available in front brim style
  • 8 colors available
  • Customization available
  • Made in the USA with global materials

Bullard Cen10 Type 1 Safety Helmet

Bullard does a couple of things differently that specifically affect the comfort of its Cen10 hard hat. Rather than using a traditional suspension, there’s a foam insert to spread the weight out. They also include a comfort liner between the foam and your head that provides more cushioning than most hard hats.

The helmet itself has a sports styling to it with no brim. At the moment, there are no front or full-brim options, so keep that in mind if you prefer either of those.

  • Type 1
  • Class C vented (Class E non-vented also available)
  • 18 ounces
  • Foam insert
  • Dial fit system
  • Chin strap included
  • Padded sweatband and top liner
  • Bullard accessory compatible
  • Standard accessory compatible
  • 7 colors available

Klein Premium KARBN Type 1 Full Brim Hard Hat

PTIA 2021

Klein has a wide range of hard hats available and we really like their KARBN series. Aside from the look, they feature a 6-point suspension, a padded sweatband covering the front and sides, a soft rear pad, a padded cap, and even a softer material on the chinstrap. Vents cut into the sides promote airflow and can be closed on cold or rainy days.

Klein also has a rechargeable hard hat fan you can add to their models. While it adds some airflow, it comes at a cost of nearly 7 more ounces of weight. We haven’t tested it to check the airflow for ourselves, and user feedback has been mixed. That said, it’s an option that sets Klein hard hats apart.

  • Type 1
  • Class C vented (Class E non-vented also available)
  • 19 ounces
  • 6-point suspension
  • Dial fit system
  • Padded sweatband and top cap
  • Softer chin strap
  • Integrated headlamp clip on front and rear (available with or without headlamp)
  • Standard accessory compatible
  • Also available in safety helmet style