It can be tough out there for round heads. Most standard helmets are either too tight at the temples or too loose in the front.
As someone with a particularly large head, I know what a hassle it can be digging through all the helmets to find the perfect fit. To give you a hand, I’ve put together this list of the best helmets for round heads.
Reviews of the Best Helmets for Round Heads
Biltwell Gringo S ECE Helmet
The Biltwell Gringo S ECE is my top choice for round heads because it’s both safe and stylish. On top of DOT and ECE certification, it has a sleek, vintage look that’s a head-turning throwback to the 70s biker scene.
The Gringo S is one of the more comfortable helmets out there, as well, and not just because it fits your round head. It has a particularly soft and smooth hand-stitched interior combined with cheek pads and a BioFoam chin-bar cushion that adapts to the shape of your face. All it’s missing in this regard is ventilation.
Otherwise, my only real problem with this helmet is the aerodynamics. This is a result of the retro 70s design, so you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you: style or function. For cruising, it’s more than adequate.
Of course, what you really care about is how well it fits your round head. The Gringo S has a specifically round shell shape and two shell sizes, so it fits snugly. Not only is this more comfortable, but it’s also safer when your helmet matches your head shape.
- DOT and ECE safety certification
- Retro 70s style – Read our guide to the best retro helmets
- Comfortable interior
- BioFoam chin pad
- UV-rated, anti-fog face shield
- Numerous color options
- No ventilation
- Less aerodynamic
AGV K3 SV Helmet
The AGV K3 SV is my budget recommendation, which is a surprise because AGV is usually a top-shelf brand with a price tag to match. In other words, this helmet is a great deal.
It’s also a great choice if you have a round head but still want an aerodynamic helmet for hitting a track or just maximizing your sport bike’s acceleration. It’s good for cruising or touring, too, though. The aerodynamic design minimizes movement from wind and makes the ride more comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, I’m a big fan of AGV’s ventilation as well. With four front vents and two exhaust vents, it has a lot of airflow. But more importantly, you can adjust that airflow based on the outside temperature and conditions. Plus, the full removable and washable inner liner wicks sweat to cool you off without building up odor.
As for the fit, two shell sizes, in addition to four EPS liner sizes, ensure a closer match for your round head. It is a touch heavier than the Gringo S—and not as stylish, in my opinion—but overall one of the best options for round heads.
- Great value
- Highly aerodynamic
- Advanced ventilation
- Removable washable liner
- Two shell sizes and four EPS sizes
- Protective HIR-TH shell
- Runs small
- Poor sun shield
Arai Quantum-X Helmet
The Arai Quantum-X is a great choice for round heads, something that’s clear just by looking at its round design. It has quite a bit of width compared to other models. At the same time, you get the reliability and safety of the Arai brand.
The Quantum-X also adapts well to your specific head shape and riding conditions. The chin curtain helps block wind intrusion and increases negative pressure, keeping the helmet stable. The liner is also removable and particularly soft so that it conforms to your face.
The Quantum-X also has extensive ventilation, though given the price tag and Arai brand name, I was somewhat disappointed with it. The face shield sometimes fogs up at low speeds. Nevertheless, it is comfortable across the seasons.
Finally, the Quantum-X is definitely one of the best choices if you’re concerned about safety. It goes above and beyond, with not just DOT approval but SNELL 2020 certification as well. Plus, it has an emergency release tab so that paramedics can remove it without moving your neck, which could lead to permanent injury.
- Round and wide
- Effective chin curtain
- Soft inner lining
- SNELL 2020 certification
- Emergency release tab
- Top-shelf price
- Fogs up at low speeds
Bell Bullitt Helmet
The Bell Bullitt is another option with a cool vintage look, but the main reason I chose it for this list is that it’s incredibly lightweight at just 3.24 pounds. This makes it particularly comfortable, especially considering that round helmets often weigh a bit more than their oval counterparts.
Another thing that makes the Bullitt so comfortable is the micro-suede interior fabric with leather trim that also adds to the style. Additionally, the padded chin strap ensures a secure fit without pressing into your throat. The temperature control is also pretty good, with five metal mesh intake vents and one rear exhaust vent, though I do wish it were a bit more adjustable.
I also want to mention the five-year warranty. This shows how much Bell stands behind its product and reflects the quality of the model. Bell helmets just keep getting better, and I highly recommend this model.
- Classic vintage style
- Protective fiber-composite shell
- Comfortable micro-suede lining
- Metal-mesh ventilation
- Five-year warranty
- High price for Bell
- Less aerodynamic
- Ventilation not very adjustable
Shark EVO One 2 Helmet
I had to include the Shark EVO One 2 because it has a modular design, which is hard to find for round heads. This means you can use it as both a full-face and open-face helmet.
In keeping with the Shark brand, the EVO One 2 has a mid-range construction. It’s certainly safe, with DOT and ECE certification. However, certain features are a bit flimsy, such as the top vent and flip visor.
Still, I recommend this model due to its versatile design and aerodynamic shape that still matches round heads. The chin guard locks securely, and the shape is particularly comfortable, with plenty of room for eyeglasses.
- Versatile modular design
- Comfortable round shape
- DOT and ECE certified
- Secure chin guard
- Noisy ventilation
- Flimsy flip visor
Care, Considerations and Cost
The Round Oval Head Shape
Helmets are divided into three head shapes:
- Round oval: This is a head that is about equally wide as it is long. It’s a rare head shape, but if you have a round head, this is probably what you want. All helmets on this list fit into this classification.
- Intermediate oval: This is a head that is slightly longer than it is wide. This is the most common head shape, so most helmets fit into this category.
- Long oval: This is a head that’s much longer than it is wide. It’s more common than round oval, but still quite rare. Read about the best helmets for long oval heads.
If you have a round head, you’ve probably noticed that most helmets supposedly in your size squeeze too much on the sides and at the temples.
Yet if you get a size larger, it’s too loose.
You don’t want a helmet that’s too loose because it might shift in an accident and fail to protect you. At the same time, you don’t want one that’s too uncomfortably tight.
Pay attention to the helmet’s rated head shape and stick with “round oval” if you have a round head.
Note: If you have a particularly big head, its worth reading this review of the best helmet for big heads.
Much of a helmet’s comfort comes down to its interior lining. You want one that’s soft, of course, but it should also be spongy and quick to adapt to the shape of your face.
Additionally, it’s a pro if you can remove the inner lining and wash it. Washing the lining keeps it spongy and soft so that it stays comfortable over the years. Plus, it cuts down on odor.
Even though a helmet may have numerous sizes from XS to 3XL, it likely has fewer shell sizes. In other words, S–L might have one shell size, and XL–3XL another. Ultimately, more shell sizes results in a more precise fit. Look for at least two shell sizes, but three, or even four, is a big plus.
Ventilation is important on a full-face helmet, not just because it helps keep you cool when it gets hot but because it allows your breath to escape. Otherwise, it will build up and fog the face shield. I like ventilation with numerous adjustable vents so I can tune it to the weather conditions outside.
Read our picks for well-ventilated helmets.
Most helmets these days have comfortable chin straps, but it’s still worth checking. You want it to be secure and prevent the helmet from sliding around, but you don’t want it digging into your throat either. In other words, it should be highly adjustable and padded.
As a general rule, lighter helmets are better as long as they have the same level of protection and safety. A heavy helmet will tire out your neck and shoulder muscles, especially on long rides. This leads to fatigue and discomfort.
Read our picks for lightweight helmets.
An easy way to make sure a given helmet is safe is to check that it meets certain safety standards.
The minimum to look for is Department of Transportation certification or DOT. This may even be legally required in some states. A similar certification is ECE, which stands for Economic Commission for Europe and is basically the EU equivalent of DOT.
However, some helmets meet a higher safety standard, the Snell Memorial Foundation. For motorcycle helmets, you’ll see this listed as something like SNELL M2020, and it signals that the helmet is especially protective.
Read more about motorcycle helmet safety standards.
You can also check the material of the shell. Common materials include fiberglass, carbon fiber, Kevlar, and plastic composite. These can all provide adequate safety, especially if they meet safety standards, but certain materials, Kevlar and carbon fiber in particular, have a much lighter weight and are more comfortable while providing the same level of toughness and protection.
If you have a round head, you should get a round oval helmet to maximize both safety and comfort. I recommend the Biltwell Gringo S ECE because it keeps you safe and comfortable while looking super cool. If you’re on a tight budget but want name-brand quality, I’m also a big fan of the AGV K3 SV.