What Size Helmet Do I Need? Perfect Motorcycle Helmet Guide

Last Updated on January 3, 2022 by Stephen Paul Robertson

Everyone’s head differs in shape and size. So, to accommodate people’s needs, manufacturers produce motorcycle helmets in a wide range of sizes.

A helmet’s fit plays a quintessential role in its usage. If a helmet is too tight or too loose, it will be unable to protect your head as it should. Instead, it might increase the chances of getting into an accident. So, when you are buying, you need to take a lot of care about finding the right sized helmet for yourself.

Ask yourself questions–what size helmet do I need? Which helmet size will be the right fit for me?

Still confused about the answers? Give us a moment to explain!

Determining Your Motorcycle Helmet Size

What Size Helmet Do I Need

Like clothes, motorcycle helmet sizes are denoted using letters like L, S, M, XL, XXL, XS, XXS, etc. This may confuse many first-time buyers, so manufacturers usually provide helmet size charts. These tables assign a range of circumferences to each helmet size while also showcasing the hat sizes. You can easily look into one and figure out which size will be comfortable for you.

Is this your first time shopping for a motorcycle helmet? Do you want to determine your helmet size?

Get to measuring that head of yours!

Wondering how to do that? Let us explain!

Head circumferences can be measured using a measuring tape. All you need to do is wrap it around your head and see what reading you get. Be careful about leveling it around your forehead so that you can receive the most accurate reading. There you have it!

Now all you need to do is match the table with a helmet size chart and figure out which size is the right one for you. We have provided one for you to look at, but beware that some manufacturers might use a different measurement.

SizeHead CircumferenceHat Size
X – Small53 – 54 cm (20.87 – 21.26 inches)6 – 5/8  –  6 – 3/4
Small55 – 56 cm (21.65 – 22.05 inches)6 – 7/8  –  7
Medium57 – 58 cm (22.4 – 22.83 inches)7 – 1/8  –  7 – 1/4
Large59 – 60 cm (23.23 – 23.62 inches)7 – 3/8  –  7- 1/2
X – Large61 – 62 cm (24.02 – 24.41 inches)7 – 5/8  –  7 – 3/4
2X – Large63 – 64 cm (24.8 – 25.2 inches)7 – 7/8  –  8
3X – Large65 – 66 cm (25.6 – 26 inches)8 – 1/8  –  8 – 1/4
4X – Large67 – 68 cm (26.4 – 26.8 inches)8 – 3/8  –  8 – 1/2
5X – Large69 – 70 cm (27 – 27.5 inches)8 – 5/8  –  8 – 3/4

Helmet Fit Checks

A motorcycle helmet should not be too tight or too loose. According to experts, they need to feel snug and cozy around your head.

Helmets that are too tight create headaches and other uncomfortable distractions. Pressure points can cause you to lose focus while adding a bitter taste to the overall feeling of your ride. Loose helmets are no better. They might as well flip off when faced with impact, leaving your head unprotected. Besides that, the wind it lets in causes the creation of wind noises. The headgear is also made very wobbly. Hence, finding the right fit is important.

You cannot ensure a snug fit just by determining the size of a motorcycle helmet. Various fit checks need to be performed too, to ensure that the fit doesn’t put you in discomfort. Here are some that you can perform before making a purchase!

  • After putting the helmet on, look to the left and right; in other words, move your head around. The helmet should allow proper head movements so that you can look in every direction while riding.
  • Let the helmet rest on your head for a while and look at how it feels. No pressure points should be created on any part of your head and no strain should be caused on your neck.
  • Shake your head and see if the helmet moves on its own. If it does, the helmet is too loose. A helmet that is the right fit will stick to the head and have no motion of its own.
  • Make sure there is no gap between the back of your head and the helmet interiors. A gap would give the helmet the ability to collide with your head and exert force.
  • Try chewing gum while wearing the helmet. You should be able to do this comfortably without hurting your jaw. A helmet that prevents you from doing this is too tight.
  • The helmet’s cheek pads should be resting against your cheeks. Cheeks pads that push your cheeks up are too tight while those that leave space in between are too loose.
  • Leave the helmet on for about twenty minutes. It should not give you a headache or leave any red marks on your skin. If it does, the helmet should be swapped out for a bigger-sized one.
  • Observe how it feels when the helmet comes off. It should be a little reluctant while coming off, but overall, you should not have to apply too much force.
  • If you are purchasing a full-face helmet, it will end at your neck. Check to see if the helmet pushes your skin down. If it does, the helmet is too big for you.
  • Once you have worn the motorcycle helmet, try locking on the chinstrap. Make sure it does not stick to your neck or chin, as that can give an unpleasant strangling feeling.
  • Make sure your eyes are positioned at the center of the visor. Above the center, your helmet is too big and if it is towards the bottom, then the helmet is too tight.
  • Once you have put on the helmet, check if your nose or other parts of your face touch the visors or face shield. If they do, then the helmet is too tight and you should opt for a bigger sized one.
  • After wearing the helmet, check to see if the brow pads are positioned right on your forehead. It should not cover your eyes or rest above your hairline.

How to Stretch a Tight Motorcycle Helmet?

Sometimes, despite using the size chart, a helmet might seem a little too tight for you. It will not cause pain or scarring but will give you a little bit of an uneasy feeling. This is simply because the motorcycle helmet is brand new. It needs to be worn for about 20 hours or more before the lining breaks in and gloves your head snugly.

However, if you want your helmet to be the perfect size from the get-go, you can stretch it out a little.

  1. Insert a deflated soccer ball within your helmet: Once the ball is safely placed inside, inflate the ball so that its skin pushes up against the helmet’s interior padding. This will cause the helmet to loosen up but beware, the helmet will shape around the ball and not your head.
  2. Dampening the insides of the helmet: This causes the polystyrene foam layer within the helmet to become softer and more flexible. When you wear it after dampening, the helmet will easily shape around your hand.
  3. Changing the inner lining: If your helmet has a removable liner, try changing it to one that is a size bigger. Causing this slight change to the helmet’s interior will make it much more comfortable to wear.
  4. Changing the helmet’s cheek pads: The padding provided by the manufacturer might not be the best option for you. As head shapes differ, some areas might seem a little tight while others might seem loose. You can visit a store and find out which cheek pads will be the more comfortable option for you.
  5. Leaving the helmet on: When you are at home, if possible, leave the helmet on for several hours. After being worn for 15 to 20 hours, the helmet will loosen up and stretch around your head to form the perfect fit.

These are some tricks that you can use to stretch out your motorcycle helmet. Whatever you do, make sure you are not destroying the padding or the EPS foam. Shaving the foam or causing any other similar damage to the interiors will ruin the helmet’s protectability.


What size helmet do I need for a 22 inch head?

According to our helmet size chart, a small-sized helmet is suitable for a 22 inch head. If you intend to buy your helmet from a certain manufacturer, it is best to check their size chart, as measurements may vary.

How do I choose a helmet?

To start, identify which sized motorcycle helmet is suitable for you and settle on the type you want to purchase. When you are done, look into stores and find helmets that meet these distinctions. To learn more regarding the choosing process, check out this article.

Is it OK to wear a tight helmet?

No, wearing a helmet that is too tight is not a good idea. It will cause discomfort and increase your chances of getting into an accident. However, the helmet should not be too loose either.

Should a motorcycle helmet squeeze your cheeks?

Right after buying, a motorcycle helmet will slightly push down your cheeks. After a few days of usage, they will shape around your face and provide proper cushioning.


If you were wondering, what size helmet do I need, you must have had the answer by now! Our article focused on relaying all the necessary information to you. Follow the guidelines and shop for the perfect headgear that will safeguard you on the road with all its might.

In case you are still confused about what to choose, check out this article on the best budget motorcycle helmets.

We hope you can choose the perfect helmet and enjoy a safe ride!

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