How to Tell If a Hat is Too Small: 3 Signs Will Prove It

It’s important to be able to tell if a hat is too small because it can be uncomfortable if it’s not a good fit.

A hat that’s too small can cause red marks on your forehead, make it hard to take the hat off, or stop your head from reaching the end of the crown.

So, if you’re having any of these problems, it’s likely that the hat is too small. Here I’ll talk about these signs in detail and how you can avoid this problem in the first place.

signs of a small hat

Red Marks On Your Forehead

If you have a hat on and it’s causing red marks on your forehead, it’s too small for your head. The hat shouldn’t be so tight as it causes tension or discomfort.

But the red marks appear after a long time of wearing. So how to tell if a new hat is small for your head?

You should be able to fit one finger between the sweatband and your forehead without any problem.

Or, there should be no tension when you put the hat on. If you can feel any tightness, it means the hat is too small.

Hard to Take It Off (For Beanies)

If you have a small beanie that you can’t seem to take off, it’s probably because it’s too tight. Beanies are so stretchable that you can still put one finger in, even with small sizes.

But if you feel strong resistance when trying to take the beanie off, then it means it’s too small. Even worse, you will feel what is called the hat hair every time you wear that tiny beanie.

Your Head Can’t Reach the End of the Crown

This is more common with hats, but it can also happen with beanies. Though we don’t wear our hats like tough guys in the movie, we still want our heads to be able to reach the end of the hat’s crown.

You should be able to lower your hat enough to cover the upper part of your face: this allows your hat to block the rain or when wearing the hats.

Should You Still Keep Small Hats and Wear Till They Get Stretched?

Although it’s possible to stretch a small hat by wearing them, it’s not recommended. A long time wearing a small-sized hat will cause tension headaches.

It’s better to find some replacement for your head like a football or something else that has a similar size to your head to stretch your hat.

How to Tell If a Small Hat is Stretchable for a Comfortable Fit

Once you find out the problem, the next step is to look for a solution. You can choose to stretch the small hat for a better fit, but how do you know if the hat is stretchable?

Here are methods to help you figure it out:

Check the Material

when you want to stretch a small hat for a comfortable size, check its material first. Cotton, wool, polyester, and felt are some of the stretchable hat materials.

But not all hats are made of these materials. If the hat is made of leather, it can’t be stretched.

If you cannot tell the material directly, check the label. The information is usually available on the tag.

Double Check the Size Chart Before Buying

This is to avoid mistakes from the beginning. And even if you know the material is stretchable, it would be best if the hat is not too small around your hat size.

Always choose the bigger size closer to your head size when in doubt. If you don’t know your hat size, you can measure it with a measuring tape.

If you have a big head and struggling for finding the best hats, check our post for the best beanies for big heads!


Wearing a small hat is not something that only happens to kids. It can happen to anyone, and it’s not a comfortable experience.

If you can’t find a hat that fits you well, don’t force yourself to wear a small hat. It would be best if you found a replacement that has a similar size to your head.