What is the Difference Between a Headband and a Sweatband?

What is the Difference Between a Headband and a Sweatband?

Suddora Suddora

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Whether you’re an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, if your physical activity gets your heart rate up, you’re bound to sweat, and you need something to guard your eyes and face against it… So what’s the solution? A headband, right? Or wait, maybe a sweatband is the obvious solution?


What’s the difference between the two, anyway?


There used to be an obvious answer to this question, but today, the lines are a little blurred between the two. You would think that in the fight against sweat, a sweat headband would be your obvious answer, but not so much in this day and age. Think of it like this: A headband is a headband but a sweatband is also a headband as well. Today, the two types of bands are basically interchangeable; The difference is in the materials used, the purpose and function of the band, and your preference in style.

Mind you, the evolution of the headband has come quite a long way. The classic headband was and still comes in the shape of a horseshoe comprised of hard plastic, various fabrics, and even metal headbands with teeth... Those headbands obviously weren’t designed with sweat absorption in mind but more so fashion-focused.


Typically when people think of sweatbands, terry cloth comes to mind because that material is highly absorbent for profuse sweating during rigorous physical activities. But because of the advancements in materials between headbands and sweatbands, you can still look good while working out. 


Who would’ve thought you could have the best of both worlds in headband/sweatband fashion?


Materials Used

When it comes to headbands and sweatbands, the materials used are going to play a major role in your decision-making process when choosing the right headband or sweatband for you.

Terry cloth is the most common in materials for sweatbands because they’re highly absorbent. But another consideration about terry cloth is that it’s also a material that’s extremely comfortable on the skin, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation. Plus, it’s highly elastic allowing it to properly stay in place.


Cotton is a material that can also hold its own in the absorption department. But when used as a sweatband, it’s not as efficient or effective because it lacks the flexibility and elasticity to stay in place on your head, especially in items like bandanas.


Microfiber is a material that does wonders in the moisture-wicking department, meaning that it quickly moves sweat to the outer surface of the headband all while drying the band so that it doesn’t become overly drenched in sweat.


Purpose and Function of the Band

The standard purpose and function of sweatbands is sweat absorption, but what many people fail to realize is its many functions outside the realm of that. Other purposes and functions of the sweatband include:


  • Protection from the sun

  • Keeps sweat out of eyes and face

  • Keeps hair out of face

  • Helps regulate body temperature

  • Makes a fashion statement


One of the biggest frustrations people experience with headbands is the fact that some of them tend to slide off while engaging in physical activities. So, in addition to the functions and purposes above, it’s also important that you look for headbands that are non-slip as well, for added comfort and security on your head. Without the non-slip grip, you’re more likely to lose concentration due to constantly having to readjust your headband.


Preference in Style

Headbands do make more of a fashion statement because of the wider variety of styles. You have tapered headbands, tie headbands, skull wrap headbands, and many, many more different options to choose from in terms of style. Sweatbands made from terry cloth come in many different designs, like your favorite color, sports team, and other designs but aren’t typically found in the different styles like headbands. 

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When it comes to choosing the right headband or sweatband for you, you really can’t go wrong with either. But you also don’t want to just opt for the first one you see. You, of course, want to find a band that resonates with your own personal style, but that can’t be your sole determiner. Materials used and purpose and function will also play a significant role as well.


If your workouts are mostly outside, then you’re going to not only want a headband that’s lightweight and breathable but you’ll benefit even more if you found one that also offers sun protection. 

At Suddora, we have headbands and sweatbands that allow you to live your best life doing all the physical activities you love and look good doing it, proving that you can have the best of both worlds. Head over to our headbands collection page to see our wide selection of bands for you to choose from.

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