Basketball is one of the most physically demanding sports that you can play. If you're not running up and down the court, you're shooting baskets and guarding other individuals. The sport is intense and very physically demanding. So what is the natural result of this? Sweat. And a lot of it.

Excessive sweating is a natural aspect of the game of basketball. But the reality is simple: sweat can get in the way of the game and players' ability to perform optimally. Luckily, there is a simple solution: basketball headbands.

Sporting headbands do not only exist to serve a practical purpose by absorbing the sweat. Basketball headbands also help to fit an aesthetic ideal for many players. NBA players have also evolved the trend of wearing headbands into a fashion statement and a form of expression for sporting wear lovers.

While the idea of a basketball headband is simple, getting the right one for you could make all the difference. Headbands help take your mind from distractions, like the sweat dripping into your eyes or hair in your face, and allows you to put your focus back on your game.

  • Best Overall
  • Dri-FIT Technology
  • Highly rated
  • Most Traditional
  • Reversible
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Best at Combatting Bacteria
  • Prevents odor-causing bacteria
  • Made from 100% Polyester
  • Best Variety of Colors and Prints
  • Made from comfortable Technical T-shirt fabric
  • Made and manufactured in the USA
  • The Best Fit
  • Lightweight Fabric
  • Extremely flexible and stretchy
  • Best for Women
  • Lined with silicone for a non-slip grip
  • Slightly smaller in size
  • Best for Young Girls
  • Comes in a multitude of colors
  • Seamless for chafe-free wear
  • Best in Versatility
  • Includes temperature controlling capabilities
  • Made with high-quality materials
  • Best Bang for your buck
  • Available in children sizes
  • Is available in bulk packaging
  • The Biggest Band
  • One size fits most
  • Wider band for more sweat absorption

Best Basketball Headbands 2021

The Nike Dri-FIT Head Tie 3.0 is the latest and greatest version of a basketball headband that Nike has cranked out. This headband is highly rated, and the Dri-FIT technology that Nike promises in its products is a favorite still and has implemented very well in this headband.

An evolved and improved version of the Nike Dri-fit headband, this headband is marketed to keep your head dry and sweat out of your eyes as your play and practice.

The band is a narrow 2.5 inches in width. Additionally, the head tie's length is 39 inches, which offers plenty of length for adjustments so that the head tie can be worn comfortably.

Most manufacturers recommend that the head tie is hand washed for the best care to preserve its elasticity and integrity. The fabric primarily consists of Polyester with a small addition of 12% spandex.

This head tie only comes in two colors: white and black, and each headband is printed with a Nike Swoosh across the front.

The Nike Swoosh Headband is the closest thing you think of when you picture a standard headband. This headband will fit most heads and is available in one size. It is machine washable and can be flipped inside out to be reversible.

The all famous Nike Swoosh is embroidered on the headband's face. For added personalization, the headband comes in a multitude of colors.

The width of this headband is 3 inches. It is primarily made from cotton, with 19% Nylon and a touch of Polyester and rubber to give the headband its elasticity.

This headband is a good option for basketball players. Still, it also can be useful for other sports such as tennis, running, or football.

The Adult UA Armour Tie Headband is a great headband for basketball players alike. The materials are ultra moisture-wicking to keep sweat out of the eyes and off of the forehead.

The fabric also boasts the technology to be an anti-odor fabric. Additionally, the technology of the material helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and odor-causing microbes. However, if you have this headband, it's not enough to depend on the anti-microbial fabric, and you need to clean the headband properly for it to keep its clean promise.

The head tie is fully adjustable, and one size fits all. The headband is also made from 100% polyester and measures 3 inches in width.

Junk Headbands are a bit different from other headbands. They are made with a Technical T-Shirt fabric designed for comfort and emulate the feeling of a comfortable t-shirt. The fabric technology also can keep you cool as you work and as the headband wicks away moisture.

This band is one size fits most and is easy to care for, and is machine washable. 

One of the best things about these headbands is the wide variety of styles and colors that Junk offers. Not only are these headbands available in a multitude of colors, but they also come in several prints. The inside of the Junk headband is a white fabric.

The headband is lightweight and is a single ply. The fabric is a lightweight blend of primarily Polyester and 11% spandex for added stretch.

Customer reviews rave about this product and the style options they offer. Not only this, but these headbands are American made. Designed, printed, and sewn in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Sport-Tek has successfully made a lightweight and 100% polyester headband. The headband includes PosiCharge technology to be moisture-wicking. Additionally, the tag can be removed, if preferred, for additional comfortability options.

The headband fits comfortably by narrowing toward the back. The Competitor headband is not as wide as most other bands, measuring 2.5 inches in width. Additionally, the stretchable fabric allows the headband to be one size fits most. The headband comes in several colors.

Measuring surprisingly small at 9" in circumference for a headband, the band appears remarkably small. Still, it stays true to its one size fits most promise. Reviews have stated that the polyester material allows for extreme stretch and can accommodate heads large or small.

Nike has produced this headband with its superior Dri-FIT technology with women in mind. While most headbands are unisex and serve their purpose regardless of sex, this headband is sized more appropriately for women. Additionally, The Dri-FIT fabric and technology help keep the head dry as the fabric wicks away sweat and moisture.

The headband’s elastic works as reinforcement, so the headband doesn't slip. Additionally, the headband's inner side is lined with a silicone strip that secures the band in place and ensures a perfect fit.

The headband is made primarily with Polyester, with an additional 4% spandex added in as well. Additionally, this headband is a tie and a wrap, so it is easy to put on and is easily adjustable to fit under a helmet or a hat

This headband measures a bit smaller than its unisex and men's headwear and counterparts to accommodate women truly. The headband's width is 2.5 inches, which is much more narrow for smaller foreheads than other sweatbands. The real size difference is in the headband's diameter, which has been shrunken down to 8.5 inches.

This headband is not challenging to take care of and is machine washable, and Nike suggests that it is laid out flat to dry. It comes in black, and as styled by Nike, it sports their infamous 'Nike swoosh' on the front.

The Athleta Girl Seamless Headband is made for the active girls in your life. They come in some great colors and even tie-dye prints. There is also a gel strip on the headband's inner lining to lock the band in place whether a girl wants to wear it to pull their head back or color wick moisture from the head.

The fabric is seamless to guarantee chafe-free wear for any activity. The material is made primarily of nylon and is machine washable as well as dryer safe.

While these headbands are similar to most and are colored to target a younger group of individuals, these headbands also serve a great purpose of keeping hair out of girls' eyes along with sweat. The gel strip allows girls to put the headband in place and keep it there. They ensure that the band won't slip from their hair or their forehead despite exertion and activity.

These headbands are small, as they are for children. But one size will fit most young individuals.

The Skullcap headband is one size fits most. Additionally, the polyester fabric combined with 3D print technology to make the Skullcap has allowed this product to be made exceptionally flexible. The headband maintains its shape and allows greater mobility during activity.

The headband is fabricated with a custom design to include moisture-wicking technology. The moisture-absorbing allows for the skin to dry more quickly. Additionally, the Skullcap headband also is improved with temperature controlling capability to cool the skin. 

The New Balance Skullcap Beanie is versatile. It is primarily for basketball players and many other sports and activities such as cycling, volleyball, baseball, winter sports, and boxing.

This New Balance headband is very easy to care for as it is machine washable. This product is expected to be long lasting and can even be tossed in a dryer, although it is still suggested that this headband is hung for drying.

Ultimately, this headband is a win because of it's high-quality materials. The primary material used is a polyester jersey material, which is where the headband gains the ability to keep you cool. At the same time, you run up and down the court.

Suddora offers its headband in 18 different colors. At their price, you can feel comfortable purchasing a variety to match any jersey color or outfit. They are a great deal for what they offer. 

This headband is ultra-comfortable and made primarily of cotton with the addition of 12% spandex and 8% nylon to give the headband its stretchability and comfortable fit.

The Suddora Head Sweatband is optimal for Basketball players as well as for tennis and running. Also, they fit most. The size is much smaller than most other headbands, but the cotton allows for stretch and the perfect fit for most individuals.

Additionally, the headband is offered in child sizes for children who are eight years old and younger.

This silky feeling headband has a unisex design in mind. It measures 18.5 inches and ties in the back. With this length, it is one size fits most. The headband will accommodate a head circumference of 17.5 inches. Also, the Sleefs headband is wider than other headbands, with a width of 3.75 inches.

The Sleefs Savage has high customer reviews and is raved about for some sports, including and predominantly basketball.  Its silky and soft feel makes it fit very comfortably. It is made from 80% Polyester and 20% spandex. With these fabrics, it will dry quickly and keep the forehead free of sweat.

The USA flag printed across the headband allows you to show off your patriotism and the black and gold makes it stand out.

Always wash your headbands correctly and follow the washing directions to maintain the headband's integrity. This headband needs to be washed in cold water but is machine washable. It is suggested that the headband is never bleached and that the headband is hung up to dry.

Buying Guide and FAQ for the Best Basketball Headbands 

Not sure what headband is best for you? Consider these factors, features, and FAQs.



Most basketball headbands will prove to be one size fits most. There ultimately isn't a ton of variation in the head's size that can't be solved with elasticity. Children tend to have slightly smaller heads, but there are options available by most companies for a chance to get high-quality headbands in a child-size.

Often individuals will think that their headband isn't fitting correctly or that it slips too much. This incorrect fit could be from wear and tear over time that can cause a headband to lose its elasticity, and if your headband starts to feel like it won't stay in place, it might be time for a new band.


The largest concerns with length mostly apply to the tie style basketball headbands. These are a great option, especially for individuals who feel like their head is maybe more extensive than average. The tie allows some adjustments, whereas a headband is one size fits all and can be snug or a tight squeeze.

Length honestly does not need to be an essential factor when you are considering which headband to wear. There typically isn't a significant variation in the size of heads.


As with most clothing, follow the sizing chart suggestions made by the manufacturer. Most headbands come in one size, but for variation or children's sizes, look for what the brand you prefer offers.

Fabric Options


Most headbands that are predominantly Polyester typically are a blend with spandex. Polyester headbands are very stretchy and fit comfortably. Polyester is very durable and will dry and absorb sweat quickly. Polyester is ideal for a lot of those.


Nylon is a silky and stretchy material that can be made to achieve different properties. Headbands with nylon in it are often highly adjustable and will stretch to fit very well.


Headbands made of cotton tend to be more breathable than other fabric types. Additionally, they are a soft fit fabric, making them very comfortable. Often, cotton headbands emulate the feel of a t-shirt.

Headband vs. A Tie Headband



These are the traditional idea of a sweatband and what we once saw dominate the NBA basketball court and men's sportswear. Today, these options are less popular than their tie counterparts, but they still perform their task as always, and many closed headbands do


These headbands are generous to a point. They can easily get stretched out and ruined over time if not correctly cared for and washed appropriately. Additionally, they are not adjustable, so as they stretch out, they will slip and become more of a hindrance than a helper.

Tie Headbands:

Tie Headbands: When you see this headband, you might think it looks like something from a karate movie, but there are some advantages to these headbands.


The primary benefit of wearing these headbands is their ability to be adjusted and stretched to fit any head shape. As an individual works out, the sweat absorbed into the headband can cause stretching, and the headband can slip as a game goes on. Tie headbands eliminate this problem because they can be tightened and readjusted easily.

These headbands are what seem to be at the top of their markets. Customer reviews rave about a number of these headbands and their ability to be adjusted.


These headbands can lose their elasticity more quickly in a game. While you may get the perfect fit initially, they can lose their stretch as they become sweat-soaked.

While these bands are highly popularized in urban culture and casual basketball games, you won't see them in the NBA. These headbands are banned to players, so they do not become a source for fouls or a potential hazard to players.


Keeping a Headband Clean

If there is one thing that can get nasty fast, it's sporting equipment. Without proper cleaning, sporting wear and sweat-soaked clothes can be an absolute breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty microbes. If a headband goes unwashed, a player risks adding those gross contaminations to their skin.

Unwashed or improperly cared for headbands and sporting equipment can result in acne and skin infections. It is recommended that headbands are washed after every wear to ensure that it stays clean and free of bacteria. Keeping up with washing a headband is especially important if the individual wearing the headband sweats a lot.

Nobody wants to have a crusty headband, so the solution is simple: clean it! Some headbands are easy to care for and can simply be machine washed. However, it is recommended for most basketball headbands on the market that they are hung out to dry rather than machine dried.

Hanging a headband rather than machine drying preserves the integrity and elasticity. The heat from a dryer can make a headband shrink or degrade the fibers that keep headbands from stretching out and becoming overworn.

It is recommended that to wash a headband properly, they are rinsed and soaked in lukewarm soapy water for up to 2 minutes. Be sure not to let the headband soak for too long, as the prolonged exposure to warm water can cause the band to shrink.

Do not use bleach on these products. The bleach will not only ruin whatever wonderful color you have chosen to sport, but bleach will break down fibers in the headband as well. 

How to Properly Wear a Basketball Headband

Of course, there is no right or wrong way to sport your outerwear, but a concern many individuals have with their sports headbands is that they often slip or shift on their heads.

This frustration could be adjusted by a straightforward method, aka the way you wear it. Gravity, of course, always plays a role, even if we don't see it all the time. One of these effects just so happens to be on headbands.

Individuals who wear their headbands in a down tilted orientation, similar to what we observe at times in fashion, will allow gravity to pull down the band and often loosen it, so it falls off.

The easy fix? Adjust your headband so it is more parallel to the floor when you wear it. This easy adjustment will keep the headband on your head, and you're your mind the whole game.


Why Are Basketball Headbands Needed?

First and foremost, headbands are used to wick away and absorb sweat. They were popularized in basketball by Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a Lakers player who introduced the headband to the NBA in the late '50s. He played between 1958 and 1973, and in that time, he brought what we think of like our modern-day basketball headband to the game.

Throughout the mid-'70s, the headbands became more prominent on the basketball court. Players often color-coordinating their headband to match their jersey brought a new culture to the game of basketball.

Since that time, headbands have evolved considerably to the soft textured and ultra moisture-absorbing bands we see today. A must across basketball courts everywhere today. In the NBA today, basketball headbands are popularized and worn by court dominating players like Lebron James.

Ultimately, yes, sports headbands and basketball headbands have provided a practical use to sports in protecting eyes and absorbing sweat. Still, the sport also has added headbands to its list of other items to involve aesthetics and the fashion aspects of the game.

Sporting Wear and Headband Culture

Today, we see a basketball player, and the headband is just as much a part of the uniform as the jersey. However, it wasn't always that way. Players were often jeered or even harassed for wearing a headband while playing the sport.

It was often seen as a taboo to wear them during the sport. However, the influence that the sport of basketball has had on fashion and urban wear is undeniable. Today, through the now long-standing practice of wearing sweatbands on the court, we now see headbands in fashion.

While he may not have been the first to bring this headwear to the game, Donald Earl Watts or 'Slick' is credited with making his outerwear a fashion statement. Watts was semi untraditional of his wear of the headband.

He showed others the variation in wearability for headbands. He introduced how to bring the style into urban culture and fashion. Through this, we see the variety and a form of outward expression through fashion. 

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About the author

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.