The Best Sun Hats to Protect Your Face

Keep your hair, eyes and skin protected from the sun's harmful UV rays with a chic, hard-working sun hat.

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February 23, 2022

WWMD: What Would Martha Do? That's how I approach most projects and gardening tasks. Because, as HGTV's aptly-named show states, Martha Knows Best. One of Martha's key pieces of advice for eager gardeners: "Three things I’m never without — and a gardener shouldn’t be without — a hat, gloves and a phone." Boom. That's an easy checklist to remember for green-thumb newbies like myself.

Martha Stewart as seen on Martha Knows Best

Martha Stewart as seen on Martha Knows Best

Let's start with the hat. When it comes to sun hats, there are a few important factors to keep in mind: brim size (and shape) and material. Brim size will determine the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat, and many experts recommend at least three inches for optimum protection. And if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, you should look for a hat constructed from material rated UPF 50+. This means the hat will block 98 percent of direct UVA rays, which significantly reduces your exposure risk. In fact, the material must have a UPF of 30 to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation, and anything UPF 50+ gets a rating of "excellent" on their list.

Take a look at some of our favorite sun hats that are perfect for gardening but will also keep you protected on the water and on hikes, walks, bike rides and more. Remember: Be like Martha, and wear a hat.

Photo By: Sunday Afternoons
From $29.32

Sure to be the first hat we grab for a day in the garden, this Solar Bucket Hat from Sunday Afternoons comes in a variety of color options. Though this hat has plenty of fashion flair, it's fully functional for getting down to garden business; it's packable, water-repellent and ventilated with a chin strap for windy days. Whatever you have to throw at this hat, it can take it.

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This one-size-fits-most hat is perfect for the whole family with its internal adjustable drawstring that ensures a perfect fit. With a UPF 50+ rating and a three-inch-wide brim, this hat offers excellent sun protection. The top of the hat is made of a breathable nylon mesh for quick-dry functionality, while an inner cotton sweatband keeps you cool for longer. You can even stuff this hard-working hat in your pocket, and it will consistently maintain its natural shape. Plus, with 30 different colors and patterns to choose from, it's the most customizable hat on our list.

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Photo By: Sunday Afternoons
From $24.95

Sunday Afternoons’ Sun Tripper Cap loves the trail just as much as it loves digging in the soil. The clamshell brim folds down to almost nothing, so you'll have reliable sun protection all day long. Performance fabrics with a UPF 50+ rating and a ventilated design ensure a comfortable fit and major style points. Plus, there are three features we love: integrated sleeves that hold sunglasses in place, a hidden interior pocket and an adjuster to fine-tune your fit. This is the Swiss army knife of sun hats.

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From $23.99

With the avid gardener in mind, FURTALK’s wide-brim sun hat is perfect for long days in the yard. It’s rated UPF 50+, has a 3.2-inch brim and features a chin strap to keep it in place throughout the day. Plus, the organic cotton inner headband fights a serious garden foe: stinging sweat in the eye. You’ll also love the durable, lightweight material that’s foldable and crushable, so you can tote it with you wherever you go.

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From $42

Sunday Afternoons' Latitude Hat offers remarkably broad coverage with folding Reverse Split Brim technology. Shades stay put front or back with a Sunglass Lock feature, and a moisture-wicking sweatband makes this hat the perfect companion for any outdoor activity.

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Coolibar’s Leo Hat has an oversized brim (four inches in the front!) that allows you to keep the sun at bay for maximum coverage (UPF 50+) and complete comfort. Wrinkle-resistant, packable and wearable both indoors and out, this hat is designed to go from the trail to dinner with ease. Lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics offer quick-dry performance for all your outdoor activities.

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This all-in-one hat from Outdoor Research offers top-notch sun protection and can withstand some of heartiest downpours. Constructed of a three-layer Gore-Tex fabric, the Seattle Sombrero provides a durable, waterproof barrier against the elements while remaining breathable. It has a brushed tricot crown for comfort and moisture management and an internal adjustable band to ensure a perfect fit. It even comes in four sizes and 24 color varieties, like Fig and Purple Rain, for every personality out there.

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Coolibar’s Perla Hat is made from a revolutionary polyester “straw” material that offers the look of natural fiber and the durability of iron. You can roll it, fold it, crush it, stow it — it’s virtually indestructible. Rated UPF 50+, this stylish hat has a four-inch brim and features an internal sweatband and crown lining for maximum sun protection and extra comfort.

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Made with Outdoor Research's SolarShield material, the Helios offers UPF 50+ sun protection and is designed with a wide brim to shield your face from the sun's rays. The elastic drawcord keeps the hat in place, and the adjustable chin strap can be cinched down for extra backup on windy days.

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From $32

We love this stylish, low-key garden hat for when you don't want a huge brim. The Eclipse Cap from Sunday Afternoons comes in three color options (though we're partial to slate) and keeps things cool with ventilated panels and wicking, UPF 50+ fabric. It's packable, too, making it ideal for quick trips to the nursery.

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This hat from Lenikis does double-duty, protecting you from the sun with its wide brim, while water-repellent fabric allows you to wear it in drizzling rain. Its sweat-wicking band and mesh vents will keep your head nice and cool throughout the day, as well.

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