Do you even need to use a shower cap? Curious to know what they’re for and what makes one shower cap better than another? Options are plentiful, but each is designed for specific purposes and needs.
Although they may all look similar — with some designs cuter than others — their characteristics can differ significantly. Choosing the wrong one for you means a wasted purchase or worse, damp hair when you least wanted it!
What Is a Shower Cap Used For?
Many people might think a shower cap only keeps your hair dry while taking a shower. But there are many ways a cap can be used:
- Hair conditioners and masks: The cap keeps your hair in place while the product does its magic. As you’re generally out of the shower at this time, it’ll also keep your clothes dry and clean.
- Protects your hairstyle: When styling your hair in the morning for an evening date, a shower cap will keep your hairstyle longer.
- Wear while sleeping: Protecting your hair at night avoids morning hair mess. It also limits the amount of hair damage while sleeping.
- Hair color: If you’re dying your hair, you need a shower cap. Without one, your clothes and surroundings could get permanently stained.
- While cleaning: Tidying up and washing a home can release huge amounts of dust, mold, and other unwanted debris or bacteria. Wearing a shower cap while cleaning should keep your hair clean and dirt-free.
Features to Look For
When selecting your next shower cap, here are important elements worth looking into:
- Ease of maintenance.
A waterproof cap is essential. Without this, your hair will simply get wet, defeating the purpose of the cap. PVC, EVA, and double-layered products are typically the best at repelling water (1).
If you aren’t planning on purchasing a single-use shower cap, you’ll need to wash it. Some of them can be machine-washed, while other products need to be cleaned by hand. If hand-washing isn’t your favorite pastime, double-check the care label before you buy.
As we mentioned, some models can only be used once. Others, however, will last as long as the material itself does. While reusable caps are more eco-friendly, disposable products won’t need to be washed after a hair treatment or dye.
Mold is a common issue with shower caps usage, so look for a mold-resistant material, and ensure it dries fully between each use. Also, the elastic surrounding the head is usually the first part to give up, so ensure that it’s sturdy, thick, and high-quality.
The Right Size
A tight cap will be uncomfortable and may even cut circulation to your head, leaving unpleasant marks on the skin. Too loose, and it’ll let the water inside, or even fall off.
Many manufacturers display the diameter and how far a cap can stretch. Take your head’s measurements and compare them. Consider both the size of your head, but also all the amount of hair you have to fit in.
If you’re unsure, some brands come with an adjustable strap to allow the perfect fit.
Choosing the Right Design
If you’re opting for the single-use type, then design might not be the most important factor. But if you’re planning on keeping it long-term, choose a design you like. Luckily, many creative, luxurious, and colorful options are available.
The Best Shower Caps of 2020
Choosing the top 10 shower caps from the countless options available wasn’t an easy task. To find the best of the best, we dug deep and looked at features, quality, materials, user reviews, and expert opinion.
1. Lioaah Assorted Plastic Shower Caps
Are you looking for a simple, compact, yet durable shower cap? These are sturdy and won’t tear during use since they’re made of durable EVA material. They’ll also stretch up to 17.3 inches to fit most heads.
The waterproof ability of the cap combined with the soft, but tight, elastic band should keep your hair dry. The 10.8-inch diameter cap is designed to contain both short and long hair.
The designs are cute and discreet dots, ribbons or flowers; no bright or funky patterns here! Although these caps look disposable, they’re reusable, and users seem very happy with their durability.
This set comes in a pack of five caps. When folded, a cap can lay flat inside the palm, which makes a great choice when space is scarce or when traveling.
- Cute, classic patterns.
- Compact when folded.
- Fit most heads.
- Non-toxic EVA material.
- Users comment that they’re smaller than other models.
2. Esarora Extra Large Bath Caps
Are you having a hard time making a decision, lost among the different options and designs? With this pack of four shower caps, you don’t have to. The set comes with various colorful options to suit every mood of the day!
Choose between four different sets — of four caps each — all super fun and creative. The wavy edges give the shower caps a chic touch.
Esasora also keeps quality in mind. These caps are made of waterproof, double-layer satin and durable elastic. Users report no leaks and are happy with the result.
Reviewers also love the comfort they provide and the fact that the elastic doesn’t leave marks around the head. Many users, however, commented that the cap is too small for larger heads or long hair.
- Pack of four caps.
- Original designs.
- Sturdy elastic.
- Too small for voluminous hair.
3. Simply Elegant Unisex Waterproof XL Black Shower Cap
If you’ve had troubles with caps being too small or tight, this one might be the answer to your problem. It’s designed to fit the longest and most voluminous hair. Whether you wear braids, locks, extensions or simply have big curly hair, this shower cap should keep it all dry.
It comes in both large and extra-large — the extra large contains three feet of material! Besides its size, a significant perk is its ability to adjust to fit your head. This solves the common problem of choosing the wrong size.
On top of that, this model is made of high-quality vinyl — EVA — which is less carcinogenic than regular plastic (2). Besides looking after your health, the manufacturer made sure that the material dries quickly, preventing mildew from growing.
Although durable, it’s recommended you change the shower cap every six to eight months.
- Unisex design.
- Customizable fitting.
- Extra large size.
- Made with EVA material.
- Material is thinner than it used to be.
4. NKTM Children Shower Cap Waterproof Double Layer
Are you looking for a shower cap to protect your child’s hair? One that will make them excited to shower or bath, while keeping their delicate hair dry?
This product comes with two assorted showers caps — pink and silver. The exterior polyester satin gives it a shiny look, which children tend to be fond of. Reviewers even mention that these caps become hats and toys during the day!
The inner layer is composed of waterproof EVA, keeping water and moisture away. These caps aren’t just cute; moms also seem thrilled about their waterproof ability.
A few recurrent complaints mention the product’s small size. While it accommodates most children up to five years old, it may not be comfortable for older kids. To ensure proper sizing, measure your child’s head; the cap’s opening is 5.1 inches.
- Comes with boy/girl design.
- Double layered.
- Contains EVA material.
- Popular with children.
- Kids outgrow them fast.
5. Betty Dain Mold-Resistant Shower Cap
The Betty Dain cap uses high-quality materials to provide a durable product. The snug fit around the elastic prevents water from leaking inside. Users also appreciate how comfortable the cap is to wear.
The manufacturer is clearly detail-oriented. Trims feature a coordinating color, giving the cap its chic and “mademoiselle” look. A small ribbon within the same tone has been sewed towards the front.
Made of both nylon and PEVA, this shower cap is designed to last (3). Not only is the cap waterproof, but it’s made of microbe-resistant components to prevent mildew from developing. In addition, when it’s time to get cleaned, the cap is machine washable.
The various creative patterns are designed to fit most head sizes. Choose between one of the four available festive patterns — deco dots, diva, sassy stripes or tropical.
- Mold and microbe-resistant.
- Detail-oriented design.
- Includes eco-friendly PEVA material.
- Machine washable.
- Reviews still report that mold still develops.
6. No Rinse Shampoo Cap by Nurture
This high-end cap doesn’t only keep your hair dry, it also washes it without needing any water. Simply position the cap as a regular one and massage it in for two to three minutes. It can be worn both under the shower or outside.
Used while showering, you won’t only keep your hair dry, but you’ll also wash it at the same time. This is a great choice when traveling or when there’s no access to water.
If you tend to be sensitive to unknown body and hair products, this cap shouldn’t trigger allergies or skin reactions. It’s non-sensitizing, hypoallergenic, and helps keep a balanced pH. In addition, it doesn’t contain alcohol, lanolin or latex (4)!
If you feel like a warm head massage, place it in the microwave for 45–60 seconds before using it. The 6-pack option is ideal if this is your first time using this product and you’re looking to give it a try.
- Washes your hair while keeping it dry.
- Can be used warm.
- Doesn’t require water.
- One-time use.
7. CicoYinG Disposable and Waterproof Shower Caps
These protective caps are designed for one-time use. Wear one for a shower, bath or hair treatment, and then dispose of it. This means that you won’t have to worry about washing it for its next use. This set comes with 120 shower caps; even if you use one a day, they should last you for at least four months.
Quality is still a critical factor in keeping your hair dry during that single-use. The caps are made of durable plastic material to prevent moisture from getting in.
Although they may seem thinner than other brands, they shouldn’t tear. The cap can even be stretched up to 17 inches, fitting most adults’ heads. However, they do tend to be too loose on kids.
They’re easy to carry and pack while traveling since they’re thin and compact. They aren’t much larger than a pen when folded, either.
- No washing needed.
- Enough caps for months.
- Durable plastic.
- Not environmentally friendly.
8. Betty Dain Socialite Collection Terry Lined Cap
Typically, shower caps with plastic inner lining aren’t comfortable to wear at night. They create a sauna environment, making the head sweaty and the hair moist. The Betty Dain cap is composed of nylon on the outer side, and cotton terry on the inside. This makes it suitable for both night and shower use.
Cotton terry material is known for its water absorption properties (5). It retains more moisture than other fabrics, which is a perk both while showering and sleeping.
Although the cap is mold and mildew resistant, we recommend letting it dry fully to prevent odors from forming. When necessary, put it in your drier for a thorough wash.
- Made of cotton terry material.
- Versatile use.
- Available in various designs.
- Mildew resistant.
- Elastic can be a little light.
9. Kitsch Luxury Shower Cap for Women
The Kitsch shower cap has black and white stripes, giving you an elegant look even while showering. If you’re looking for a high-quality, trendy cap, consider this one. The cute design includes a front ribbon and an elastic towards the neck for a snug fit.
Users seem thrilled with the durability of the product; some of them have been using it for years. The shower cap is 100 percent waterproof since it’s made of polyester, and keeps water away from the hair. It’s designed to accommodate all hair lengths, even waist-length locks.
While other models stretch over time, reviewers are delighted that the cap doesn’t deform with regular use. It’s recommended to tie your hair at the back of the head, towards the center. When fixed above the head, the cap might not fit properly.
Some users, however, mention that this model is a little too small, and the lining too tight for their liking.
- Classy style.
- 100 percent waterproof.
- Fits all hair lengths.
- Hand-wash only.
This model is the Rolls Royce of shower caps. Available at a higher price point, you likely won’t find someone else wearing it.
The cap shouldn’t let water in since it’s designed to be airtight. The three breathable fabric layers keep moisture level low, avoiding mildew. The breathability rate reaches 20,000 MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate), which is exceptional when compared to other products.
The material also makes the cap extremely comfortable to wear and can be cleaned using a washer. The edges are made with an anti-slip and adjustable band — 18 to 25 inches wide — making the cap suitable for large and small heads. As needed, adapt the strap to your head size.
It’s designed to fit all hair types and lengths since it’s room and tall — 21 inches in diameter and 10.75 inches in height.
Last but not least, this model comes with a touch of luxury placed over the forehead, a Swarovski Crystal. It also comes in a cute but luxurious matching box, making a perfect gift.
- Adjustable size.
- Includes a Swarovski crystal.
- Made of breathable fabric.
- Comes with a gift box.
- Not as durable as claimed.
The best shower caps are a fun item to purchase. Choices are many, and designs can get really creative. A good place to start is to determine if you need a disposable or reusable product.
Then consider the size of your head and how much space you need to tuck your hair in. If you have very thick or long hair, it might be best to choose a large or extra-large cap with an adjustable string. If you don’t have access to water but still want to keep your hair clean and dry, shampoo caps might be what you need.
Finally, assess how you’ll be using it. Do you strictly need it while showering, or are you planning to sleep with it? Caps made exclusively of inner and outer plastic layers can get very uncomfortable when left overnight.