Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers of 2023
Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers
January 6, 2023

Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers

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Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers.
Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers

Watching your little one venture out on their first scooter or bike ride is pretty amazing. There’s one thing you won’t want to leave home without, though: a bike helmet.

Why Do You Need a Bike Helmet?

Safety, safety and safety.

When used properly, helmets reduce severe and fatal head injuries. During a fall or collision, a helmet—rather than your little one’s brain—will absorb the impact energy. That’s why every rider in the family needs one, including us grown-ups.

While there isn’t a federal law requiring children to wear helmets, many states and cities have implemented their own legislation to protect little passengers. In New York State, for example, kids under one are prohibited from being transported on a bicycle. Be sure to know the legal lay of the land in your area before hitting the road.

What to Look for in a Bike Helmet

Sturdy yet lightweight construction and vents for air circulation are a few things you want to look for in a bike helmet. Pay less attention to price, as a recent study conducted by the Bicycle Helmet and Safety Institute showed virtually no difference in impact protection between cheaper and more expensive helmets.

But the most important thing when you’re shopping for a toddler bike helmet? Fit.

A bicycle helmet can only do its job if it fits. A bike helmet isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it’s not a one-and-done purchase either, thanks to how fast toddlers grow. You’ll likely cycle through a few helmets for your little one during the baby, toddler and kid years and will want to pay attention after a growth spurt to ensure your little one’s helmet is still fitting properly.

How Do You Fit a Bike Helmet?

There are five basic steps to follow when you’re fitting your little one’s bike helmet.

  1. Size. Use a soft tape measure to measure your toddler’s head to find their size.
  2. Position. The helmet should sit level on your child’s head and low on their forehead. (One to two finger-widths above their eyebrow.)
  3. Side straps. The slider on both straps should form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of your little one’s ears.
  4. Buckles. The left buckle should be centered under the chin. (This is sometimes easier to do while your child is not wearing the helmet.)
  5. Chin strap. Buckle the chin strap and tighten it until snug, leaving no more than a one- to two-finger width under the strap.

For a final fitting, follow this checklist:

  • Have your toddler open their mouth wide. The helmet should pull down on their head; if not, tighten the chin strap.
  • Make sure the helmet doesn’t rock back more than two fingers above your child’s eyebrows. If it does, shorten the front strap.
  • If the helmet is rocking forward towards your child’s eyes, try tightening the back strap.
  • Make sure all four straps go through the rubber band to prevent the helmet from slipping.

For a full guide to fitting your little one’s bike helmet, check out this how-to from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How Do You Know Which Helmet is Best?

All bicycle helmets sold in the United States must meet a uniform safety standard, issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (Look for the label inside the helmet indicating it meets CPSC criteria.)

Many high-end helmet manufacturers are upping the ante on safety by incorporating a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). This “slip-plane” design allows the energy from the crash impact to be absorbed by the helmet regardless of the direction or angle of the impact. Helmets with MIPS are pricier, but many think it’s worth it for extra piece of mind.


Why We Love It

The Giro Scamp MIPS is lightweight, easy to adjust and comfortable (a winning trifecta). The Roc Loc Jr. fit system aligns with the curvature of your child’s head and has a rubberized adjustment knob that’s a cinch for parents to securely tighten. The Scamp comes in two sizes (XS and S) and grows with your kiddo from balance bike to adventures on training wheels. Other useful features: a built-in visor, pinch-guard buckle and ponytail-friendly design.

Keep in Mind

If you’re looking to spend a little less, a version of the Scamp without MIPS is available for $35.

Easily Adjustable

Why We Love It

This mountain bike style helmet turns a spin around the cul-de-sac into a great adventure. The Ergo Fit adjuster system (formerly called ErgoDial) and has a new and improved dial function that doesn’t require a push to turn. A pinch-guard buckle, built-in visor and excellent lower head coverage combine for a seriously cool, safe helmet.

Keep in Mind

This helmet is marketed as a “child helmet,” but will fit toddlers whose heads measure in the 47-54cm range.

Super Stylish

Why We Love It

There couldn’t be a more perfect name for a helmet designed for toddlers. The skater-style helmet protects little noggins offers even more noggin coverage for 12-36 month olds, while the flat back surface rests comfortably against a bike seat or trailer. The Nutcase is packed with features like an elastic fit system (rather than a dial), a magnetic buckle with a soft, fleece lined buckle pad, netting over the front vent holes for bug blockage and 3mm and 6mm pads for a secure fit. These helmets come in a variety of funky patterns that’ll turn heads while keeping your tot’s head protected.

Keep in Mind

When your little one outgrows the baby size, there’s a Little Nutty for older toddlers.


Why We Love It

The Joovy Noodle is a solid choice (and the #1 bestselling kids’ bike helmet on Amazon) for 1-4 year olds. It offers excellent coverage, protection and comfort with a simple, sleek design. The adjustable dial ensures a custom fit on every ride. There are plenty of cooling vents (14!), a soft pad under the chin strap, bug netting over the front vents and an extended visor. The Noodle is available in a range of cheery colors.

Keep in Mind

Fumbling around with a chin strap is clearly not an option with a fidgety toddler. The Noodle’s bright red clips make it easy for time-pressed parents to get the helmet on and off.

For Little Riders

Why We Love It

Your toddler will be sitting pretty and safely while sporting the Lazer BOB. Babylist parents are big fans of the playful designs and smart features like the 360 reflective material for high visibility, removable soft pads and neck reinforcement for extra support. It comes in one size (46-52 cm) with a Comfit3 Retention System in the back to adjust for a secure fit as your little one grows.

Keep in Mind

BOB stands for “baby on board” and was designed with the littlest riders in mind. The back is flat, so kiddos can sit comfortably against a bike seat or bike trailer. Overall, it’s a great starter helmet at a great price.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.