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Sweatbands Buying Guide for Athletes

Sweatbands Buying Guide for Athletes

Sweatbands aren’t just for 80’s rock stars and aerobics instructors anymore. Smart athletes wear sweatbands to help their performance in all types of sports and fitness activities. 

Most athletes and fitness lovers have lots of gear to help them perform at their best: footwear, performance apparel, post-workout car seat covers and on-the-go nutrition, but many people are missing out on this important and inexpensive fitness tool: sweatbands. 

In this post we’re going to give you the breakdown on sweatbands, including:

  • different types of sweatbands
  • what wristbands and headbands are made of
  • who should wear sweatbands
  • how to use and clean sweatbands
  • Plus, we’re going to share a buyer’s guide so you’ll be able to choose the best sweatbands for you.

Let’s begin…

Types of Sweatbands

types of sweatbands - woman lifting weights

The most common sweatbands are designed to keep sweat and moisture from distracting you while you’re exercising or competing in your chosen sport.

Headbands for Sweat

Whether you’re running, playing sports like basketball, golf, lacrosse, football, soccer or tennis, or doing other fitness activities like Crossfit or yoga, the last thing you want is to be distracted by sweat dripping into your eyes. 

Sweat can burn when it gets into your eyes, especially if you use a moisturizer or other types of lotion on your face, forehead or in your hair because that can drip into your eyes as you exercise.  

For elite athletes the brief moment of distraction caused by sweat dripping into your eyes can be just what your opponent needs to get an advantage. 

For the weekend warrior or someone who just wants to stay fit, dripping sweat into your eyes can be a constant annoyance at best, and dangerous at worst. Sweat headbands are designed to soak up this sweat so your eyes stay dry and focused on your performance. 

You can purchase men’s sweat headbands or wristbands, or you can buy women’s sweatbands, or unisex - this is usually the best option because there isn’t much different between genders when considering the type of sweatband to use, other than style. 

Wristbands for Sweat

Wrist sweatbands are perfect for athletes who want to keep their hands dry during exercise or competition. Tennis, basketball, golf and football are just a few sports that require dexterity and grip strength, and sweaty hands can make it harder to perform. 

Wrist sweatbands can be the perfect solution, especially for people who exercise in warmer climates. 

It’s normal to sweat (and good for you) but sweaty palms can make it difficult to hold onto your tennis racquet, dribble a basketball, swing a bat or catch a football. Sweat wristbands can take the worry out of all of that. 

What Sweatbands are Made Of

Sweat headbands and sweat wristbands are usually made of either cotton or a cotton/nylon blend, or are made of synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex or lycra. Both sets of materials can protect your body against sweat, so it’s just a matter of preference. 

If you want a sweatband that is going to soak up sweat in a more natural way, go with cotton. If you want a wristband or headband made of synthetic materials, try the performance fabrics like lycra or spandex. 

Both types of materials and fabrics are great, it just depends on what your personal preference is and what you’ll be using them for. 

Who Should Wear Sweatbands

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Sweatbands are perfect for anyone who works out, competes in any sport or fitness activity, or likes to sweat. Here’s a few examples of people who should consider investing in high quality sweatbands:


Long distance runners, sprinters and trail runners can all use sweatbands. Sweatbands for running are important so you can avoid getting salty perspiration in your eyes while you’re hitting the road, track or trail.

Cyclists + Mountain Bikers

Cycling headbands and wristbands will allow you to keep your eyes on the road so you can avoid any obstacles that get in your way. Sweat wristbands will allow you to keep a strong grip on your handlebars.


Lifting barbells, kettlebells or trying to do pull ups or muscle-ups on the bar or rings can be difficult with slippery palms. Chalk can help, but it can be better to avoid sweaty hands by using a good pair of sweat wristbands.

Weightlifters and Bodybuilders

Whether you lift to get strong, big or ripped, a good set of sweatbands will allow you to grip barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and more without slipping or sliding so you can get a better lift.


Hot yoga is incredible for your body, but not if you get injured! Sweatbands for yoga can keep moisture out of your eyes and will allow your hands to stay dry so you don’t slip on your mat during inversions or other poses.

Ball Players

Tennis, football, basketball, golf, volleyball, baseball and lacrosse players can all improve performance by staying dry and minimizing distractions caused by sweat. There’s nothing worse than having “butterfingers”...and that often comes from slippery palms. Keep your hands dry and your tactile senses working at their best with a good pair of sweat wristbands.

Helmet Sports Players

Wearing a helmet can increase the amount of sweat coming from your head and hair, and can make it hard to wipe sweat from your eyes. A good headband can prevent sweat from messing with your vision, and is perfect for hockey players, football players, and lacrosse players.

Gym members

Don’t be that guy or girl who leaves a trail of sweat on every machine or station at the gym. Sweatbands can help keep your hands dry when you’re doing conditioning or strength work.

why you should wear sweatbands - chalk clap athlete

How to Use and Clean Sweatbands

Wrist sweatbands and head sweatbands are usually simple to use - they typically have some sort of elastic material which allows you to just slide them over your head or wrists for a snug fit. 

Some headbands or wristbands for sweat have clips or ties, but most just use elastic material. 

Sweatbands are normally easy to clean - you can either hand-wash them or put them in the washing machine and then place them in the dryer or hang-dry. Look at the cleaning instructions for any sweatbands you’re looking to buy before you purchase them to make sure they’re easy to clean. 

Sweatband Buying Guide

best sweatbands, wrist sweatbands for runners, crossfit sweatbands, wristbands for sweat, headband for sweat

Ok, so you know you need a good headband or set of wristbands for sweat...but which should you get?

Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here's what you'll need to look for when choosing the right sweatbands for you, or when buying sweatbands as a gift for someone else. 

Headband, Wristbands, or Both?

Do sweaty palms ever get in the way when you're competing in your favorite sport or fitness activity? Would drier hands improve your grip strength or ability to handle a ball, move weight, or compete in other ways? 

If you answered yes to any of the above, you'll want a good pair of sweat wristbands. 

Do you get sweat in your eyes when you're training? 

If so, invest in a good headband so you can stay focused on what's ahead. 


Do you want to go all natural? Get cotton.

If you want something more synthetic then a polyester/lycra/spandex blend will suit you best. 


How do you want to clean your headband or wristbands? The easiest way is to throw them in the washing machine, but not every sweatband is machine washable. Check the care instructions for any product before you buy it so you'll know how to take care of them. 


Are you into pink pony's? Leprechauns? Sports teams? Or do you want to be more understated and go with classic, sleek styling? The choice is yours, and there's a headband or wristband for whatever you're into. 


How much do you want to pay for your sweatbands? You can buy a high quality set of wristbands for below $20 and a high quality headband for about the same amount. If you want to spend a lot less, you'll need to do some research...but just remember that price often matches quality, so you'll likely get what you pay for. 


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