Best kids’ bike helmets 2024

Whether you’ve got a little one who’s just starting their journey, or a keen bean who’s pedalling their way to school in the mornings, keeping them safe from injury is always at the forefront of our minds. That’s why many parents choose to invest in one of the best kids’ bike helmets.

Of course, like with anything, the market is awash with an incredible amount of helmets to choose from, which can be really daunting if you’re not sure what to look for. That’s where we come in. At Cycle Sprog we’ve been obsessing about family cycling and reviewing all the latest products aimed at tiny cyclists since 2012.

In that time we’ve had our hands on a lot of bike helmets designed especially for small heads, and we’ve learned to sift the wheat from the chaff. So to make life easier for you, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best kids’ bike helmets available today.

If you’re in a rush, head to our quick picks section for the three best options, catering for different budgets. From there we’ve also got some top tips to help you hone in on the right choice quickly. Scroll on for a full list of helmets we recommend, and at the bottom you’ll find some in-depth buying advice to help you understand what to look for, should you need it.

A little girl seen from behind wearing a blue MET bike helmet

Before you make a purchase, make sure you’re buying the right size! You can follow our handy guide to how to measure your child’s head for a bike helmet

This bunch of bike helmets represents the best in the 52-57cm (approximate) range which could be anything from a toddler to a teenager. Their styling and features vary from the more fun 'skate' style helmets to more serious-looking mountain bike helmets.

If you’re buying a helmet for an older child or teen, we’ve also got a great guide to the best bike helmets for teenagers, and for younger riders, check out our list of the best bike helmets for babies and toddlers.

Once you’re all kitted out, be sure to take a look at our ‘where to ride’ section for some great route inspiration.

Cycle Sprog is a reader-supported website. When you buy through links on this page we may earn an affiliate commission.

Quick picks: for parents in a hurry

If you haven’t got time to scroll through the entire list, then these are our top three picks from the bunch, covering a range of budgets.

Top tips: choosing the right helmet

Here are the absolute basic things to consider when looking for a new helmet for your child.

  1. Safety standards: all kids’ helmets listed conform to British or European safety standards and some offer additional safety features such as Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS).
  2. Adjustability: straps, clips and dials are all features that make it easy to get a great fit.
  3. Comfort: padding and vents are important for a comfortable fit and cooling in the summer. Weight also plays a part in this: the lighter the helmet, the more comfortable it will feel to ride in.
  4. Individual requirements: Most helmets are designed for short caucasian hair, so we’ve highlighted options that work for afro/curly hair and Sikh hairstyles. Some work better with ponytails than others.
  5. Style: As long as it meets your needs, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a helmet based on what it looks like. Many children will prefer a particular colour or style and there are options to make helmet wearing more fun for younger kids too.

Best kids’ bike helmets

Here you’ll find our list of recommended kids’ bike helmets, catering for a wide range of uses and budgets, with prices ranging from £15.99 to £69.99.

Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Youth

Best overall kids’ helmet

Best kids' bike helmets: An orange and yellow Bell Sidetrack helmet seen from the side

  • Price: £64.99
  • Size: 50-57cm
  • Colours: Black, blue/green, orange/yellow
  • Safety standards: CPSC, EN 1078
  • Weight: 320g

Buy if: You’re happy to pay for the best quality helmet

The Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Youth packs in all the features you would expect from a top-end adult mountain bike helmet, but in a more compact package. The long peak is the type of design choice that will divide opinion, but the fit is good and the block colours keep things simple. The covered MIPS lining keeps hair snagging to a minimum, whilst giving an additional safety feature. This was a firm favourite with older kids in our helmet group test.

Read the Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Youth review for more.

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B’Twin 500 Children’s Helmet

Best budget kids’ bike helmet

Best kids' bike helmets: A yellow B'Twin 500 helmet seen from the side

  • Price: £14.99
  • Size: 48-52cm (XS) / 53-56cm (S)
  • Colours: Pink, blue, yellow, red
  • Safety standards: EN 1078
  • Weight: 200g (XS)/220g (S)

Buy if: You want something cheap and cheerful that does the job.

We understand that not everyone wants to spend upwards of £50 on a helmet, especially when their child is new to cycling and may not spend much time on a bike. At the same time, there’s a very reasonable fear of buying cheap in case it doesn’t provide the protection you want. Rest assured, the B’Twin 500 Children’s Helmet from Decathlon conforms to the same European safety standards as all the other kids’ bike helmets featured here in this list, but at a much lower price. It is very lightweight too.

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Hornit kids' helmets

Best for fun designs and afro hair

Best kids bike helmets: The Hornit Jurassic helmet on a blank background

  • Price: £29.99
  • Size: Small (48-53cm) Medium (54-58cm)
  • Colours: Choice of 12 designs
  • Safety standards: CPSC, EN 1078
  • Weight: 320g

Buy if: Style is important, or your child has curly/afro hair

The skate-style Hornit  kids’ bike helmet comes in 12 fun designs, mostly patterns, but also one in black. Whether they’re obsessed with dinosaurs or unicorns, or have a preference for pugs or astronauts, Hornit’s fun designs mean there’s likely something for any child. As an added bonus, this helmet offers a good fit for curly hair, including afro hair because it's wider than most other bike helmets. We also like that the Hornit helmet comes with a built-in LED light.

For more detail, take a look at our Hornit kids’ bike helmet review.

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Giro Tremor MIPS Youth

Best for mountain biking

Best kids' bike helmets: A black Giro Tremor helmet seen from the side

  • Price: £64.99
  • Size: 47-54cm
  • Colours: Black, green, blue, purple
  • Safety standards: EN 1078
  • Weight: 315g

Buy if: Your child is serious on the trails and wants a bike helmet to match.

From a distance the Giro Tremor MIPS Youth looks like a top-end adult helmet, with nothing childlike about its style or features. That’s because Giro has taken all the features of its adult MTB range and applied it to a more compact shell for young off-road riders. This is especially useful if your youngster doesn’t want something that looks too babyish. It’s equipped with MIPS, high-quality buckles and adjusters, and while the MIPS lining could be better covered to avoid catching long hair, we found it hard to fault.

There’s more detail in our Giro Tremor MIPS Youth review.

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MET Eldar MIPS Youth

Best lightweight helmet with MIPS

Best kids' bike helmets: A blue MET Eldar helmet seen from the side

  • Price: £69.99
  • Size: 52-57cm
  • Colours: Orange, pink
  • Safety standards: CE; AS/NZS EN 1078
  • Weight: 300g

Buy if: Saving on weight is important to you.

The MET Eldar MIPS Youth is another mini mountain bike helmet that doesn’t skimp on features or quality. If you're happy to spend just £5 more, you’ll get a reduction of 15g from the total weight. This may seem negligible, but to some people saving weight is hugely important, especially if they’re racing or struggling with the heat in summer. The Eldar MIPS Youth is comfortable and easy to adjust, and a great option overall.

You can find out more in our MET Eldar MIPS Youth review.

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Bold kids’ helmet

Best helmet for Sikh kids

Best kids' bike helmets: A matte black Bold helmet with a rounded dome on top to accommodate a Sikh hair covering, seen from the side

  • Price: £59.99
  • Size: Small (48-56cm), Medium (56-59cm)
  • Colours: Black, blue, red, green
  • Safety standards: CPSC, EN 1078, ASTM
  • Weight: 320g

Buy if: Your Sikh child needs a helmet that accommodates their hair covering.

The unique shape of the Bold kids’ helmet is specifically designed to accommodate patkas, a Sikh head covering which is worn by many Sikh children. With almost all mainstream bike helmets designed with western customers in mind, the Bold makes for a refreshing change. It’s actually marketed as a multi-sports helmet, making it suitable for skateboarding and scootering as well as cycling.

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How to choose from the best kids’ bike helmets

If you’re in need of a bit more buying advice before you make a purchase, then here are some of the key things to consider.

Is wearing a helmet a legal requirement?

In the UK it’s not a legal requirement for anyone to wear a helmet while cycling.

In some other parts of the world (such as Australia and certain US states) it is a legal requirement, so do check in the location you’re riding.

Does my child need to wear a bike helmet?

Assuming it’s not a legal requirement, or mandated by the location, event or club, then you need to make that decision yourself.

Many parents choose to make sure their child is always wearing a helmet, but there can be issues if your child point blank refuses to put one on their head (a common issue amongst toddlers and teenagers!)

To help with the decision making process, take a look at our article, should my child wear a bike helmet?

What is MIPS and do I need it?

When researching bike helmets you’ll inevitably come across MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) or other forms of rotational impact protection.

The thinking behind it is that in the event of a crash, when the helmet (and the head) make contact with a hard surface like the ground, the force applied to the head isn’t linear impact, but a “rotational shearing force”.

MIPS is a thin layer inside the helmet that moves freely and encourages the outer shell of the helmet to move independently of the head on impact, while the MIPS layer stays in place and continues to cradle the head. 

It’s believed to help reduce brain injury in the event of a crash. There are now other brands producing their own rotational impact protection, but MIPS is still the most commonly found in kids’ helmets.

In terms of whether or not you need it, there’s no definitive answer. It’s no bad thing to have an extra layer of protection, but it does come at a cost, so it’s entirely up to you. The helmets listed here without MIPS still pass standard safety tests and perform well.

For more on this subject read our article, does my child need MIPS in their cycle helmet?

What are the safety standards a child’s helmet should meet?

There are multiple safety standards tests carried out on cycling helmets, and as a parent it’s only natural to want to make sure your child’s helmet offers them full protection from injury. For a quick answer to this question, the key standard for bike helmets you want to look for is EN 1078 (European) or BS EN 1078 (UK), which covers all the helmets listed here.

To better understand this topic, we’ve done a deep dive into the safety standards to look out for when buying a kids bike helmet.

What size helmet does my child need?

Much like with a pair of shoes, a poorly fitted helmet will cause problems: discomfort if it’s too tight, and slipping if it’s too loose, with the latter having the potential to cause injury. That’s why you should never be tempted to buy a helmet that’s too big, for your child to ‘grow into’.

All the helmets we’ve recommended here come with different size brackets, some have multiple size options to choose from, and it’s important to measure the circumference of your child’s head before buying, so that you know you’ll get a good fit. Ideally you’ll be able to get a helmet where they’re at the lower end of the bracket, so there’s room for growth, but you must be able to adjust the sizing to fit snugly from the outset.

For help with this, here’s our guide to how to measure your child’s head for a bike helmet.

How tight should a helmet be?

Once you’ve got the right size helmet, it’s important to fit it correctly. Good quality bike helmets will come with adjustability features, like buckles to adjust the length and angle of straps, and twist dials to tighten or loosen the grip.

To summarise, a helmet should be tight enough that it doesn’t slip or move around the head, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. Straps should sit flush against the skin with room enough to slip a finger or two underneath, and the helmet should sit about two fingers’ widths above the eyebrows.

For more detailed instructions, check out our guide: Is your child’s bike helmet fitted correctly?

Are cheaper kids' bike helmets less safe?

We all know the saying ‘you get what you pay for’, so it’s natural to wonder whether or not a cheap kids’ bike helmet is going to provide enough protection for your child. 

While it’s true that the more you pay, the more flashy features and latest technology you’ll have, depending on your child’s style of riding, you might not necessarily need all that. As long as the helmet you buy passes standard safety tests, it will be fine, and all the helmets we recommend do.

If you’re on a very tight budget, look no further than the B’Twin 500 children’s helmet from Decathlon. It’s lightweight, provides the standard protection needed, and only costs £15.99.

Having said that, it does come down to individual needs. If your child is a bit of a daredevil, if they’re riding off-road and tackling technical mountain bike trails, then we really would recommend investing a little more in something with extra protection, like MIPS.

When should I replace my child’s bike helmet?

Helmets don’t last forever unfortunately, and it’s important to know when it’s the right time to replace them.

First and foremost, if your child ever has a crash where there’s been impact to the head, you MUST replace the helmet afterwards. Helmets are only designed to protect against impact once. As soon as the shell has been exposed to those linear and rotational forces, the structural integrity can no longer be guaranteed.

It’s also crucial to know that even if your little one is a model rider who never has any accidents, their helmet still has a limited lifespan. As a general rule you should consider replacing your child’s helmet every 2-3 years, because not only will their head continue to grow, but the helmet will gradually deteriorate over time. This is due to exposure to sunlight, sweat, and changing temperatures. Most helmets will have a label inside with a date stamp that tells you when it was manufactured, so you know exactly when it’s time to replace it.


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