Specialized by name, specialised by nature. You can tell straight away that this helmet’s been made by folks who are really into cycling. It feels like it has everything you’d want for yourself as an adult, but downsized by kids. First up, it’s a MIPS helmet, so it’s got that extra layer of peace of mind should an accident befall your kid. Second, it’s got the best integrated LED light of any we saw. It’s positioned lengthways on the back so there’s no chance of it getting tucked into a hood and being completely redundant.
Picking the best helmet for your child or teen can be tricky. The rush of propelling themselves forward on a bike or scooter for a kid is often made slightly less appealing if they’re wearing a helmet. But these helmets are sure to win them over…
There’s no law in the UK that states kids have to wear helmets when on a bike or scooter, but wearing one is very much for the best. Chances are your little thrill seeker is going to take a tumble at one time or another and a helmet can prevent a minor scrape being something significantly worse.
When choosing a helmet, safety is of the utmost importance. Not only do they need to meet strict safety standards – you can read more on the specifics in our FAQs later – but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (RoSPA) has given us some advice on what to look out for before your little one rides off.
“It’s of paramount importance that the helmet fits well,” says the RoSPA. “If a helmet is too small, it will sit too high and fail to protect the lower part of the head. If it is too big, the helmet will not be securely fitted to the cyclist’s head and could shift during a collision.”
They added that, “The helmet should fit snugly around the head, but it should not feel tight and should not move more than an inch in any direction. The straps should form a ‘V’ under the earlobes and the cyclist should not be able to fit more than two fingers between their chin strap and chin.” You should get a helmet that fits your child’s head now – don’t look for one with growing room.
But while you might be convinced on the idea of a helmet, your child may not be. To avoid any arguments, get your child involved in choosing their helmet. There are so many colours and designs to choose from and the more excited they are about it, the more likely they are to wear it. Many also have LED lights – mainly for safety, but they’re fun too – while vents will keep their heads from getting sweaty (delightful) and some have easy-fasten buckles so kids can feel independent in getting their helmets on and off themselves.
How we tested
We recruited kid testers from toddlers up to primary-school aged kids to put the helmets through their paces. We scooted and biked our way through pretty much every helmet design under the sun. The helmets that made the final cut are the ones that offer comfort and protection – this was something we didn’t compromise on.
They also were ones our kids were happy to wear and in fact, enjoyed wearing. Elements such as LED lights, adjustable sizing, weight and easy-to-use clasps also factored into our decision.
The best kids’ bike helmets for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Specialized shuffle LED: £50, Specialized.com
- Best for easy fitting – Lazer nutz kineticore kids helmet: £39.99, Freewheel.co.uk
- Best for babies – Lazer pnut kineticore kids helmet: £39.99, Freewheel.co.uk
- Best for wow factor – Micro Scooters children’s deluxe 3D helmet, unicorn: £39.95, Micro-scooters.co.uk
- Best eco-friendly helmet – Micro children’s deluxe limited edition eco helmet: £34.95, Micro-scooters.co.uk
- Best budget buy – Janod bikloon helmet for balance bike: £20.69, Smallkins.com
- Best for choice of designs – Hornit Jurassic helmet: £34.99, Hornit.com
- Best for comfort – Woom kids’ cycle helmet: £45, Thelittlebikecompany.co.uk
- Best for pared back design – CoConuts helmet: £38.95, Hippychick.com