Best hockey helmets

One of the most important pieces of hockey equipment is the hockey helmet for players of any age.

In this article, we’ll cover:

To see more options, check out our full selection of ice hockey helmets.

List of the Best Ice Hockey Helmets

1CCM Super Tacks X Hockey HelmetCCM Super Tacks X Hockey HelmetBuy Now
2Warrior Alpha One Pro Hockey HelmetWarrior Alpha One Pro Hockey HelmetBuy Now
3Bauer Hyperlite 2 Hockey HelmetBauer Hyperlite 2 Hockey HelmetBuy Now
4True Dynamic 9 Hockey HelmetTrue Dynamic 9 Hockey HelmetBuy Now
5CCM Tacks 720 Hockey HelmetCCM Tacks 720 Hockey HelmetBuy Now
6Warrior Alpha One Hockey HelmetWarrior Alpha One Hockey HelmetBuy Now
7Bauer Re-Akt 95 Hockey HelmetBauer Re-Akt 95 Hockey HelmetBuy Now

Overview: The newest helmet, and our vote for the overall best helmet, goes to the CCM Super Tacks X Hockey Helmet. With this helmet, CCM has reinvented the way helmet protection is designed and incorporated. 

Key Features:

  • The innovative 3D-Printed continuous liner, fitted entirely with D30 smart material, has been optimally created based on a variety of different in-game situations that help disperse impacts away from key areas of the head. 
  • Liner also provides pro-level fit by better conforming to the specific shape of your head for a continuously responsive fit.  This design also helps increase airflow throughout the entirety of the helmet, keeping you cool during gameplay. 
  • Super Tacks X Helmet features a tool-free front-to-back adjustment system. This easy-to-use adjustment will offer a wider size range for the best-customized snug fit.
  • Pro-inspired look and design that is both stylish and very efficient at generating airflow throughout the helmet.

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Overview: The Warrior Alpha One Pro Helmet offers high-end specs coming in at a desirable price point. 

Key Features:

  • True one-piece, high-density plastic outer shell provides a stiff, durable, and lightweight barrier of advanced protection. The geometry of the shell itself is designed to provide great impact diffusion! In short, this means better protection against impacts such as deflected pucks or errant sticks.
  • OmniShock system consisting of Impax foams. This combination provides great overall protection against catastrophic injuries, as well as specific small and medium impacts!
  • AdaptFit 270 Technology by BOA helps maximize comfort, further enhancing the protection aspect. The micro-adjusted AdaptFit 270 fit system provides a comfortable and balanced fit thanks to the BOA dial on the back of the helmet.

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Overview: The Hyperlite 2 Helmet is the most advanced helmet Bauer has ever built. Engineered for th elite and pro-inspired player who doesn’t want to compromise on comfort, protection, or performance, this helmet offers an optimum level of performance in a state-of-the-art package.

Key Features:

  • Experience premium comfort & ventilation with a revolutionary 3D printed structure built to manage low, mid, and high-energy impacts.
  • Stay dialed-in to the moment with the Occipital Lock + FreeForm Adjustment system allowing for easy, independent length and width adjustments.
  • Independent length and width adjustments allows you to create a customized fit.

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Overview: The True Dynamic 9 Hockey Helmet was designed with protection in mind. With years of R&D, True Hockey has created a state-of-the-art protection system that reinvented the way protection in hockey helmets is constructed. 

Key Features:

  • The MIPS brain protection system is an integrated, low-friction layer that helps absorb the impacts and redirects the force throughout the helmet. This significantly reduces the amount of minor or severe brain injuries. However, what makes this different from its competitors is that during testing the MIPS System was put up against more “realistic” impacts that are found in ice hockey, unlike traditional testing where helmets are simply dropped onto a flat surface, and results are studied based on that. 
  • Not only is the Dynamic 9 incredibly protective, but it is also very lightweight, thanks to its true one-piece EPP-constructed outer shell. In fact, the Dynamic 9 is still one of the lightest helmets (in its class) on the market today. 
  • Lastly, the interior of the Dynamic 9 utilizes interchangeable Fit Pads that allow players to customize how the helmet fits around the sides and back of their heads. It comes with 5mm, 10mm, and 15mm pads, providing 360-degree adjustability and a personalized fit. This equates to an adjustment size of 5% larger or smaller!

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Overview: The CCM Tacks 720 helmet is engineered to provide exceptional protection and comfort for players, featuring advanced technologies to enhance on-ice safety. With its cutting-edge design and superior fit, it's a top choice for hockey player seeking top-notch headgear.

Key Features:

  • Elite-level protection from combination of 3D printed NEST TECH in key areas plus rate sensitive D3O Smart Material and quality foams to help distribute impact energy.
  • Innovative AER-TEC VENTILATION SYSTEM powered by NEST TECH and channels allow max airflow and keep your head cool and comfortable. New and improved I.Q.SHION DRI will not retain extra sweat at the forehead.
  • Self-adjusting occipital support cushion and an easy front-to-back side adjustment provide a customized snug fit that stays in place.

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Overview: The Warrior Alpha One Hockey Helmet is another great option for players of all levels who are looking for a great balance of protection, comfort, and style!  

Key Features:

  • The Adaptfit 360 Fit by BOA helps maximize comfort and protection thanks to its quick and precise adjustment. This dial allows players to tighten or loosen the overall fit of the helmet one notch at a time, depending on their preference, providing a snug and comfortable fit for extended periods of time!
  • The OmniShock+ system consists of Viconic inserts and foams in the highly sensitive frontal lobes and temple areas to help disperse the force of impacts away from these areas. This overall setup was designed to not only protect players against huge impacts, but smaller impacts as well like contact with the boards.  
  • Keeping players comfortable is the Polygiene liner and venting system.  The removable liner pads, treated with Polygiene, absorb sweat and dry quickly, keeping players cool, dry, and odor-free! The strategically placed helmet venting has been designed to keep players from overheating.

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Overview: The Bauer Re-Akt 95 Hockey Helmet offers high-end technology found in newer helmets while coming in at a more desirable price point.  

Key Features:

  • The Re-Akt 95 hockey helmet features a tool-free adjustment lock that is located on the top of the helmet and allows for easy adjustment of the size to ensure the proper fit. Bauer also includes a spring-loaded adjustable occipital lock to securely fit the helmet to the back of the head and neck.
  • Bauer uses its IX-Foam and XRD (Extreme Impact Protection) inserts to reinforce the protection and comfort of the liner. The IX-Foam will fill in coverage areas that tend to take low medium impacts and the XRD foam located in the temple area Bauer’s top protective foam is meant for repeated impact absorption. The combination of the liner and foams provide players with a lightweight and protective helmet.
  • The Suspend-Tech Next Gen liner works hand in hand with the VTX liner for a second wave of impact absorbing and dispersing protection. This free-floating liner is composed of multi density foams that conform better to the natural shape of the player's head, reducing movement in the helmet.

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The Importance of Wearing a Hockey Helmet

While all components of hockey equipment are important, it is easy to understand why the Hockey Helmet is one of the most important. Moreover, USA Hockey requires youth players that are spectating from their bench and not playing to wear a helmet to protect them from deflected pucks into the bench. Throughout the years, hockey brands such as CCM, Bauer, Warrior, and True have invested a great deal of resources to further improve their hockey helmets. And of course, youth hockey governing bodies in the US and Canada require players to wear helmets that are HECC certified, which, in short, lets the referees know that the helmet was constructed after a certain date and has the protection that is required for the level of play.

Helmet Ratings By Virginia Tech Hockey

For decades, the Virginia Tech Hockey Helmet Ratings (known as STAR for short) have been one of the standard measurements of determining how safe and protective a hockey helmet is.  In short, the test ranks helmets based on their ability to successfully reduce the amount of linear and rotational acceleration of the head during hockey impacts. While these ratings do not provide actual HECC certifications for helmets, they do provide in-depth and unbiased results that can be used to select the ideal helmet for you.

Certified Hockey Helmets

Almost all youth hockey leagues around the world require players to wear helmets that were made after a certain date.  This is referred to as CSA, HECC, or CE certified and most helmets are certified for five years.  The reasoning for this is because as years progress, helmets get more advanced to match the ever-increasing speed of the game, by adding in new protective features. A helmet that was constructed 10 years ago will not have the required protection to withstand the speed and physicality of today’s game.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Used Hockey Helmets

Long story short, you want a hockey helmet that you know can keep you safe during a fast and physical game of ice hockey.  Buying used helmets can be risky because it is oftentimes hard to tell what year the helmet was constructed, meaning it could have less advanced protection, thus leading to potential injuries.  Furthermore, helmets that were made before a certain date I.E. not HECC certified (see H3) can lead to in-game penalties for you or your team.

How to Measure For the Right Size Helmet

The most precise way to measure for the right size hockey helmet is to get a flexible tape measure and measure around the circumference of your head in inches.  That number will correspond with one of the sizes, which can be found on the sizing charts on all of our helmet pages on!  While wearing the helmet, you can shake your head back and forth to see if it moves around too much. If so, you will want to drop a size down. However, you do not want the helmet to be too tight to the point where it is uncomfortable.  For more in-depth information on helmet sizing please visit our helmet sizing guide.

Hockey Helmet Size Chart

Hockey Helmet Structure

The basic anatomy of all hockey helmets consists of three main parts; the exterior shell, interior liner, and a cage, visor, or bubble, depending on your preference and level of play. 

  • Exterior Shell: The exterior of the hockey helmet is aptly known as the exterior shell. This part of the helmet holds everything together and provides an additional layer of protection. 
  • Interior Liner: Underneath the exterior shell is the interior liner and foam paddings. This is what will provide the bulk of the protection against the forces of direct impacts like blocked shots, body checks, etc.
  • Cage or Visor Attachment: Face protection on the hockey help will protect players against errant sticks, deflected pucks, and so on. Most youth leagues around the world will require players under the age of 18 to wear a full bubble or cage.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Hockey Helmet

As you could guess, the Hockey Helmet is one of the most important pieces of hockey equipment a player needs to have. That said, when choosing a helmet, there are a few primary factors you might want to consider to help you find the perfect one.  First, to narrow down your options, try to determine what head shape you have (either oval or round). Most major brands have two lines of helmets that are constructed with those two shapes in mind. This will help ensure comfort and protection. Additionally, determine your budget and go with the helmet that offers the most amount of protection. As we mentioned, the head is a sensitive part of your body and needs to be well-protected at all times during the game of ice hockey.

Concussion Prevention and Certification

As mentioned before, all youth leagues around the world require their players to wear ice hockey helmets that are officially certified. Certified helmets ensure that the helmet was made after a certain year and has sufficient features and protection for those specific leagues. In short, certified hockey helmets keep players more protected against hockey contact and potential concussions.

How the Helmet Fits

For an ice hockey helmet to do its job most effectively, it needs to fit properly. The quickest way to determine if a helmet is too big is to try it on and try moving it around on your head. If it wobbles and moves around too much (meaning that it would do the same while skating), then the helmet is too big and you will want to go down a size. However, if you try on a helmet and it is uncomfortably squeezing on your forehead or temples, you will want to go up a size.

The Shape Of Your Head

A major characteristic that some might not think about when choosing an ice hockey helmet is their head shape. Most major brands have two different lines of helmets; oval-shaped helmets, and round-shaped helmets. Determining which one you need for your head shape is crucial to ensure maximum comfort and protection by eliminating any negative space between the inner liner and your head.

Helmet Padding for Protection

If you are playing at the highest levels of youth hockey, protection is probably the most important aspect of a new hockey helmet.  All certified hockey helmets will utilize shock-absorbing foams and inner liners to help keep the head well protected during gameplay.

Cage or Visor Face Protection

Full face protection is required by leagues around the world for under-18 players to protect against the various in-game impacts of ice hockey.  Players can opt for a full shield or a cage based on their personal preference and some helmets are sold as a combo, which will include the helmet and a cage already attached.

Helmet Chin Straps

Hockey Helmet chin straps are another important component of a hockey helmet.  They will provide another way of ensuring that the helmet stays in place and doesn’t move around too much during gameplay.  For a proper fit, make sure the helmet chin strap is secure on the bottom of the chin, comfortable but not tight.

The Overall Weight of the Helmet

Finding the right balance of weight to protection is important to consider when looking for a hockey helmet. Getting a helmet that is super heavy with extra protection might be uncomfortable to wear on the head and could hinder performance. On the flip side, using a super light helmet might allow for easier range of motion but will put you at more risk of injury. Sticking the balance of weight, protection, and mobility is key when shopping for a Hockey Helmet.

If the Helmet Comes With a Warranty

Even if a hockey helmet is certified, accidents can still happen. The outer shell of the helmet can crack in some instances, foams can get worn down, and so on.  With that said, it may be good to review if a helmet has a warranty in case there is ever any issue that arises after a helmet is purchased. Fortunately, most brands will offer a manufacturer warranty on their helmets that will cover defects.

Best Hockey Helmets by Category

The list below features the best helmet within specific categories; from best overall, best youth helmet, and so on. For more in-depth information, click on the name of any one to visit the product page on our website!

Best Budget Hockey Helmet

Warrior Alpha One Pro Hockey Helmet: The Alpha One Pro Helmet offers some of the same pro-level specs found in the more advanced model, namely the true one-piece outer shell and BOA adjustment system, at a very favorable price point.  The Alpha One Pro is an overall high-end hockey helmet that is lightweight, protective, and comfortable.

Best Adult Hockey Helmet

CCM Super Tacks X Hockey Helmet: The best overall, and most advanced, adult hockey helmet on the market right now is the Super Tacks X Helmet.  CCM spared no expense with the design and creation of this helmet and is one of the most innovative helmets we have seen in quite some time.  The 3D-printed floating liner adds a layer of comfort, and greatly helps with impact dispersion as well.  It moves the force of impacts away from the head and throughout the liner, providing players with the highest level of protection currently on the market.

Best Youth Hockey Helmet

CCM Tacks 70 Youth Hockey Helmet: The Tacks 70helmet gets our vote as the best youth hockey helmet. It features a dual density foam liner, specifically designed for players ages 3-7 to manage youth specific impacts. Along with that, it utilizes a tool-free adjustment system plus quick-release chin strap buckle that allows parents to adjust the fit on the fly.

Best Hockey Goalie Helmet

Bauer 960 Senior Goalie Mask is one of the most popular goalie masks of the last 20 years. A design that has stood the test of time and has been used across all levels of play. The Smacwrap comp shell is highly protective and holds up against shots reducing the vibrations and ringings. A Thermo-Core backplate with molded occipital support to help the goaltender achieve a comfortable feeling when wearing this mask.

Best Caged Hockey Helmet

Bauer Re-Akt 150 Hockey Helmet Combo: Our vote for the best hockey helmet combo goes to the Bauer Re-Akt 150 Hockey Helmet with Bauer’s Profile III cage.  This helmet boasts pro-level protection thanks to the Comfort Pod liner system with VTX Technology and inner XRD foams that create a protective and comfortable fit.  The Re-Akt 150 helmet features strategically placed moisture channels to help draw in cool air, keeping the you dry and comfortable throughout the game.

Best Virginia Tech Rated Hockey Helmet

CCM FL500 Hockey Helmet: As of 2019, the CCM FL500 Hockey Helmet is the highest rated helmet from the Virginia Tech studies.  CCM worked with the University of Ottawa's Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory to help design one of the most protective helmets still on the market today. This helmet utilizes two layers of foams, D30 and I.Q.Shion multi-foams to provide players with maximum protection and comfort.

Best Padded Hockey Helmet

True Dynamic 9 Hockey Helmet: The True Dynamic 9 Hockey Helmet is one of the most protective on the market thanks to its state-of-the-art MIPS brain protection system. This consists of an integrated, low-friction layer that helps absorb the impacts and redirects the force throughout the helmet.  Additionally, the Dynamic 9 helmet is one of the lightest helmets in its class thanks to its true one-piece EPP outer shell!

Find the Best Selection of Ice Hockey Helmets at HockeyMonkey!

Without question, the ice hockey helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment a hockey player wears. And finding the one that is right for YOU can be an overwhelming process, so use this guide as a good starting point to help keep you as protected as possible! For more information on any helmet in the article above, feel free to browse our full selection of adult and youth ice hockey helmets.



This article was originally published on July 5, 2021, and has been updated with new information.