5 Types of Swim Caps that Exist: Characteristics and Benefits Compared

5 Types of Swim Caps that Exist: Characteristics and Benefits Compared

Gone are the days when rubber swim caps used to rule the market. Today, however, brings a multitude of a selection of hues, color mixtures, designs, shapes, and materials to choose from. With so many types to go for, finding the best cap can be tricky — not to mention difficult. 

Just because swim caps aren’t that expensive, it doesn’t mean costs won’t add up if you need to buy a few pieces before finding the right one. Whether you are an athlete or a novice, you must know how wearing a swim cap on a normal swim or competition can bring wonders to your performance. But, which do you think is the best type and why? 

To help you find the perfect fit, function, and form you’re looking for in a swim cap, we’ve assembled a comparison list of material types available in the market.  


Behold — the first-ever material used in swim cap production! The rubber swim cap has been around since the 1920s and it’s making a comeback in today’s market with its refined thickness, perfect for wild swimmers who enjoy the cold waves. This material comes in different styles including bubble caps and chin straps that give a tight fit to the head. 


  • Thicker than latex
  • Cold-water resistant
  • Uniform Color
  • Durable


  • Prevents chills in colder swimming conditions
  • Provides tight fit for a speed advantage
  • Protects the hair against chlorine    

Next on the list is the most commonly used material in modern swim cap production or better known as silicone. Thi silicone cap may be the most expensive but it still has the biggest sales among other types. Now, we’re all curious about what makes it so popular. Aside from its enticing looks and extreme durability, the reason that every swimmer loves it is that they have so many benefits compared to other materials. 

  • Extremely durable and elastic
  • Has myriad of designs and colors
  • Allergen-free
  • Has thermal insulation capacity
  • Soft and stretchable
  • Lasts for years
  • Provides comfort and sleek fit, avoiding hair pull
  • Can be easily worn
  • Keeps the head warm 
  • Helps achieve faster speeds


Affordability is the only advantage that latex swim caps have over silicone. In fact, you can buy up to four pieces of latex for a price of one silicone swim cap. If you are not a regular swimmer, then maybe latex is the right one for you. This material is not as thick and strong as silicone but it can last a long time if treated carefully. Since it’s thinner and lighter, latex works nicely in warmer swimming areas. Plus, it is pliable to logo printing and custom swim caps production, which is why latex material is often used in triathlon competitions.  


  • Thin and light
  • Cheap


  • Grips the hair, preventing slips while in the water
  • Keeps the hair dry and free from chlorine
  • Works nicely in warm environments.


When it comes to durability, spandex is less likely to tear compared to the first three. But since it is made of fabric, you will have to wash it every after use in order to rinse off the pool chemicals.  Although stretchy and easy to put on, the spandex swim cap is rarely used in swimming competitions as its porous fabric easily drags through the water. 

  • Durable
  • Elastic
  • Porous


  • Easy to put on
  • Lasts a very long time
  • Provides head comfort 


Made from the same material as what wetsuits are made from, neoprene swim caps make the best choice for open-water swimmers such as surfers and triathletes. A little similar to porous spandex but chemicals are not a problem for neoprene swim caps as they are especially worn outside. But, it can cost up to three times more expensive than silicone.    


  • Thickest of them all
  • Often comes in dark colors
  • Has seams and pads
  • Has a distinctive smell


  • Gentle on the hair
  • Lasts a very long time 
  • Keeps the head warm in extremely cold Pacific waters

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