Gear Guides

Hockey Helmet Buying Guide

If you’re planning to step out on the ice -- regardless of your skill level -- you’ve got to invest in a quality helmet. Helmets are what keep your noggin protected after all, which is imperative to avoid any potential head injuries on the ice.

Types of Hockey Helmets

Helmets today are primarily divided into two categories: EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) and VN (Dual-density vinyl nitrile). The major difference between these two categories of protection are the structure and density of the helmets’ inner foam liner. While many speculate that EPP helmets are superior to VN models in terms of protection, there are pros and cons for each type.


EPP helmets, like the Warrior Krown 360, are traditionally made up of a hard outer foam layer and a softer foam liner. This combination creates a snug yet comfortable fit. EPP helmets are typically more expensive at your local retail store, but they run for as low as $25 on SidelineSwap.


VN helmets, unlike EPP options, are known for having a softer foam liner that is more pliable. In other words, VN models mold to your head more easily. Options like the CCM VOA can give you a good idea of what to expect as far as VN liners and foam structure go. This is typically your less expensive option.


When considering the sizing for hockey helmets today, most options by major brands are categorized by a standard breakdown of sizes (S, M, L, XL). If you’re not sure where you fall, don’t worry. Most helmets today come with the ability to adjust, meaning you can tighten or loosen your helmet so that it fits properly to your head.


Once your helmet has arrived, we recommend expanding it to its largest possible size. This will allow plenty of space for your head to comfortably fit within your liner before you adjust it. Next, slowly adjust your helmet size until your head feels secure, but not uncomfortable. Don’t forget to securely strap your chin cup and keep your helmet on for a few minutes to make sure there are no lingering pains or discomforts.

Other Tips

  • Give your wallet a break. While many retail stores offer helmet and cage combos that will run you as much as $250, SidelineSwap offers the same helmets for as little as $20.
  • Cage size is not always the same as helmet size. Make sure that your cage fully covers your chin and upper neck before you take the ice.
  • If you have questions about the sizing and fit of a helmet you’ve been eyeing on SidelineSwap, feel free to reach out to the seller, or our team of experts, to get all the helpful info you might need.

Related Resources

SidelineSwap Hockey Cages, Visors and Shields Buying Guide
When Were Hockey Helmets First Used?
What are Hockey Helmets Made Of?
How To Clean A Hockey Helmet and Chin Strap
How To Adjust And Size A Hockey Helmet

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