Latex vs Silicone Swim Caps

Over the years I have realized that I can be very curious. The older I get the more curious I become. Recently, I started learning how to swim and my instructor gave me a list of things to buy, one of them was swim caps. Being I curious self, I got to work and started asking questions to know what exactly are swim caps.

I got to know that the most popular types of swim caps are latex and silicone Swim caps. I needed to get one and I didn’t know what to do at first. So, in this article, I will be showing you the differences between latex and silicone caps but first, for people who are just entering the swimming world, I will explain what swim caps are and why they are important.

What are Swim Caps?

Swim caps are tightly fitted caps that work on the head by swimmers for competitive or recreational swimming. Swim caps are used to hold the hair in place so that it does not drag you when you swim, this gives you the edge you need especially in a competition as small limitations can cost you.  

Reasons Why You Should Wear a Swim Cap

While swim caps are not so important or absolutely necessary, the following are reasons or importance of wearing a swim cap;

1. Swim Caps Prevents Water from Entering Your Ears

Using swim caps helps to prevent water from rising into your ears when you are swimming. 

2. Swim Caps Keeps Hair Out of Your Face

Imagine swimming and your long hair keep getting into your face, mouth, ears, gross right? Your swim cap holds your hair in place and out of your face. It also helps you to work faster as your hair can keep dragging in the water thus slowing you down.

3. Swim Caps Keep Your Head Warm

Your swim caps also function as a head warmer. They keep your head warm especially in cold water. They also prevent as much water as possible from entering your hair, therefore, damaging it with chlorine. This can also get a little tricky because some swim caps make you feel hotter during swimming, especially in a warm pool. But you can use silicone swim caps for chilly or cold pools, and a latex swim caps in warm pools. Voila, problem solved.

Types of Swim Caps

Swim caps are made of three main types; Lycra, silicone and latex swim caps.

1. Lycra Swim Cap

A Lycra Swim cap is made out of Lycra and polyester. It is thicker than the latex swim caps, it is usually in two colors and has a neutral smell. 


  • It is easier to pull out when on your head and do not pull or drag the hair when putting on or removing.
  • It is quick to lose its elasticity and does not prevent chlorine from entering the hair.
  • It is thicker than latex swim caps

2. Latex Swim Caps

The latex swim cap is one of the first sets of swim caps that were made. It is still one of the most popular swim caps we have today. It is made out of latex material and is easier to wear and more comfortable than other swim caps.


  • It is thinner than silicone and Lycra and less expensive too.
  • Out of all swim caps, it drags the hair less and makes it very easy to wear.
  • It has a short lifespan as it tears easily
  • It does not retain warmth for your head unlike other swim caps when swimming.

3. Silicone Swim Caps

The silicone Swim cap was originally designed for people who had latex allergies. However, as time passes, silicone Swim caps have become one of the most popular swim caps we have for swimming.


  • Silicone swim caps have a neutral smell
  • They can be very shiny unlike the latex which has a matte color
  • It can be made up of several colors per cap
  • It doesn’t give allergies at all
  • It is thicker and therefore keeps the head warm when swimming.
  • It can be very expensive to get.

Out of these types of swim caps, the latex and silicone swim caps are the most popular. So what exactly makes them different from each other?

Latex vs Silicone Swim Caps

The main difference between the latex swim caps and the silicone swim caps is the fact that latex swim caps cause allergies for some swimmers while the silicone swim caps are hypoallergenic. They do not cause allergies at all. It was for this reason that silicone caps were developed, to give other options to those with latex allergies.

FeaturesLatex Swim Cap vs Silicone Swim Caps
DurabilityLatex swim caps are more durable than Silicone swim caps
CostLatex swim caps are not expensive compared to Silicone swim caps
WarmnessSilicone gives more warmth than latex swim caps
Body ReactionSome swimmers are allergic to latex swim caps unlike the silicone swim cap that is hypoallergenic
EasinessSilicone swim caps are easy to use unlike Latex swim caps

Difference Between Latex Swim Caps and Silicone Swim Caps

While they are both swim caps, there are differences that make them different from each other. These can help you to decide which one of them you want to be a part of your swimming gear.

1. Silicone Swim Caps are more Durable Than Latex Swim Caps

The silicone swim caps are much more durable than the latex swim caps because they are much thicker than the latex swim caps.

3. Latex Swim Caps are Inexpensive Unlike Silicone Swim Caps

The latex swim caps are less expensive therefore this makes them more popular than silicone caps which can be expensive to get.

3. Silicone Swim Caps Gives More Warmth Than Latex Swim Caps

The silicone swim caps give more warmth to the head during swimming than the latex cap which can be very thin. Because of this, swimmers tend to go for the silicone swim caps than the latex swim caps.

4. Latex Swim Caps Can be Allergenic for Swimmers While Silicone Swim Caps are Not

Silicone Swim caps were made because latex swim caps caused allergies in the first place. A lot of swimmers are allergic to latex swim caps, unlike the silicone swim cap that is hypoallergenic and even thicker than the latex swim caps.

5. Silicone Swim Caps are Very Easy to Wear Unlike The Latex Swim Caps

The silicone swim caps are very easy to put on and remove from your head. They also provide allowances for medium and long hair such that they do not drag when putting it on and off. This is unlike the latex swim caps which get sticky when wet and had a likelihood of dragging the hair when putting on or while removing them.

6. Latex Swim Caps Wrinkle While Silicone Swim Caps Do Not

The latex swim cap usually wrinkles or folds when used thereby causing drag and slowing the swimmer down, however, the silicone cap does not wrinkle and does not drag like the latex swim caps.

7. Silicone Swim Caps Can Slip Off While Latex Swim Caps Fit Snugly

Silicone swim cap can slip off while swimming, unlike the latex swim cap which fits snugly and do not remove or shift at all during swimming.

What is the Best Material for Swim Caps

According to research, it is said that the best swim caps are made from Silicone. This is because they are hypoallergenic, they do not give allergies to the swimmers wearing them at all. They are thick and comfortable, this makes it easy for the swimmer to swim faster without worrying about being limited.

They fit snugly and do not drag, the silicone swim caps fit the head perfectly and do not drag in any way. They are very flexible and can be worn easily. This makes them the perfect choice for as many swimmers as possible especially since they can be put on and removed without worrying about their hair being pulled with the material.

Why Do Swimmers Wear Latex and Silicone Swim Caps on Each Other

One of the things you will notice is that swimmers like to wear two caps, especially during a competition. So why exactly do we are two caps?

Because it creates less drag. Usually, the cap you are wearing could wrinkle and this can cause drag while swimming but in order to conserve time, they wear two caps. The latex goes first as it clings to the head better and covers the hair, then the silicone is put on top to smoothen out any bumpiness that could have been left by the latex swim cap. Therefore this creates less drag and makes them swim faster.

The second cap also helps the swim goggles stay secure on the swimmer’s head especially when diving to swim.

Conclusion – Latex vs Silicone Swim Caps

Now that you know what swim caps are, the types that we have, the Lycra also called the spandex, the latex, and the silicone swim caps, and especially the differences between the latex swim caps and the silicone swim caps, the best material for swim caps and how they can help in your search for your perfect swim cap, their importance and how they can be very beneficial to you, I hope you can make the right choice and buy the one that is best for you. Enjoy your swimming lessons.



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