A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important purchases that any motorcycle rider will make. High-quality motorcycle helmets not only protect your head in the event of an accident or a fall, but can also keep you cool and improve aerodynamics. Most helmet manufacturers design helmets for all head shapes and sizes, giving you a wide range of options to choose from.

Our team has reviewed the best motorcycle helmets on the market for your convenience. We’ll break down our top picks for the different types of helmets, explain the benefits of each style of helmet, and cover helmet safety certifications from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) amongst a range of other topics in our buyers guide at the end of this review.

5 Best Motorcycle Helmets

Two motorcycle helmets positioned on a motorcycle seat.

  1. Best Full Face: Shoei RF-1400
  2. Best Modular: Shoei Neotec II
  3. Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet: ILM Bluetooth Integrated Helmet
  4. Best Open Face: Bell Mag-9
  5. Best Half Helmet: ScorpionExo Covert X

#1 Best Full Face: Shoei RF-1400

Pros Tested in wind tunnels Lightest SNELL-approved full-face helmet Multiple colorways available
Cons Size 3X-Large is currently unavailable

Shoei helmets are known for their advanced aerodynamics, and the Shoei RF-1400 is no exception to the brand’s reputation. Tested by Shoei in its world-renowned wind tunnels, the RF-1400 offers a six-percent reduction in lift and a four-percent reduction in drag compared to its predecessor, the RF-1200.

The RF-1400’s Vortex Generators on the sides of the face shield reduce wind turbulence and create a wind and waterproof-tight seal, while still allowing in valuable informative sounds from the road. With its center-located forehead vent, the RF-1400 can intake large amounts of air for optimal cooling. Its enlarged exhaust outlet vent takes advantage of negative pressure to expel hot air rapidly.

In case of emergencies, the Dual-Layer Multi-Density expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner and Multi-Ply Matrix Aim+ shell provide critical protection, and the Emergency Quick Release System can eject the helmet off of the rider if necessary.

Our Rating: 4.9 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $475
  • Certification(s): DOT and SNELL
  • Available sizes: X-Small (XS), Small, Medium, Large, X-Large (XL), XX-Large (XXL), and 3X-Large (3XL)

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on 200 ratings

Many customers who enjoy using their RF-1400 love its ventilation system and say it is one of the best helmets for noise reduction. One of the few complaints about this helmet is that it initially feels small, but after a short amount of time, it adjusts to the rider’s head size.

#2 Best Modular: Shoei Neotec II

Pros Features advanced noise reduction technology Offers both open-face and full-face configurations Can integrate with SENA SRL/SRL2 Communication Systems
Cons Size XX-Large is currently unavailable

The convenience of a two-in-one design is hard to beat, and Shoei delivers exceptional quality with the Shoei Neotec II. Its Pinlock® Evo fog-resistant system and internal sun shield improve visibility while the expansive three-position upper ventilation system promotes dynamic cooling.

In addition to its streamlined shape and shell-integrated spoiler, the Neotec II has an innovative top air outlet design that works with its deflecting chin bar to reduce wind noise.

This is a modular helmet that can flip up into an open face design that retains the safety of a full face helmet. An additional feature of this helmet our review team likes is its multi-ply Matrix AIM shell and multi-piece EPS liner, which offers best-in-class safety.

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $750
  • Certification(s): DOT
  • Available sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL, and XXL

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on 300 ratings

A common compliment for this helmet is that it’s very quiet even in high-wind environments. Many customers also say this helmet is more comfortable than others they’ve owned due to its supportive cheek pads. One complaint that some customers have is this helmet fits tight for those with oval-shaped heads.

#3 Best Bluetooth: ILM Bluetooth Integrated Helmet

Pros Features Bluetooth 3.0 technology Fully washable microfiber lining Supports up to 3 riders on intercom mode
Cons Low-quality visor clips

The ILM Bluetooth Integrated Helmet has a battery life that supports eight hours of talk time and 110.0 hours of standby. This full-face motorcycle helmet has an intercom system that allows a maximum distance of 1,680.0 feet between two riders. Riders will be able to answer or reject incoming phone calls and listen to FM radio, music, or GPS navigation instructions thanks to the helmet’s one-touch controls.

Noise suppression technology provides riders with the ability to hear high-quality audio even when riding at high speeds. Replaceable and washable multi-density EPS liners make sure a rider’s both safe and comfortable. It should be noted that this helmet sizing runs small due to the built-in Bluetooth® module.

Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $250
  • Certification(s): DOT
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.3 out of 5 based on 2,750 ratings

A huge number of reviewers like the sound quality that this Bluetooth motorcycle helmet provides. An individual reviewer claims he opted for the matte black color on this helmet and that it looks as well as feels better than any motorcycle helmet he’s ever had. One woman says this helmet is a great low-cost alternative to a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet.

#4 Best Open Face: Bell Mag-9

Pros Compatible with SENA SMH10 and Cardo Scala Rider Bluetooth headsets Comes with two drop-down sun visors Two shell size and 3 EPS liners
Cons Need to purchase Bluetooth headset separately

Like most open-face helmets, the Bell Mag-9 has an adjustable front that can be worn in seven different positions. Because of this, it can be worn with or without the face shield or visor in the rider’s view. The visor doesn’t affect the Mag-9’s Velocity Flow ventilation system which cools the rider for reduced sweating.

This helmet has a polycarbonate shell and moisture-wicking EPS foam interior for a personalized fit. For those who enjoy music or take phone calls while they ride, the Mag-9 can be integrated with a Sena or Card Bluetooth communication system.

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $200
  • Certification(s): DOT
  • Available sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL, and XXL

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on around 400 ratings

Although most reviews are positive, a common theme among negative reviews is that this helmet runs small and riders must order a size up for the best fit. Beyond this, reviews tend to focus on how sturdy the padding is in the Mag-9.

#5 Best Half Helmet: ScorpionExo Covert X

Pros Features removable/washable KwikWick® III interior Comes with free Clear EverClear® anti-fog and -scratch face shield Manufacturer includes a five-year warranty
Cons Chin strap isn't padded

The ScorpionExo Covert X is the latest addition to ScorpionExo’s renowned Covert line of motorcycle helmets. Similar to the Covert, the Covert X features a half-helmet profile and a polycarbonate shell to keep your head protected. Subtly integrated forehead vent intakes increase airflow to keep you cool on hot days. The thermodynamic composite technology (TCT) shell combines fiberglass, aramid, and poly-resin fibers to provide the utmost protection.

This motorcycle helmet has three unique riding configurations: full mode, 3/4 mode, and 1/2 mode. It should be noted that both the front mask and the chin bar are removable. 

Our Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $300
  • Certification(s): DOT
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL, and XXL

What Customers Are Saying

Less than a hundred customers on Amazon have left reviews for the ScorpionExo Covert X. The vast majority of reviewers had positive things to say about this helmet, with several citing its lightweight and ability to block out wind noise. An individual reviewer states that he thinks the modular system is well thought out. Reviewers with negative feedback are few and far between.

Best Motorcycle Helmets Buyers Guide

Safety is the number one most important feature of a motorcycle helmet, which is why it’s important to buy one that’s DOT-approved. In addition to certifications, finding a helmet that properly fits your head is a must. You’ll also want to consider comfort and visibility.

You may want to try several types of motorcycle helmets before selecting the best one for your head shape and riding style, as it is a critical piece of riding gear.

Types Of Motorcycle Helmets

There are six standard types of motorcycle helmets:

  • Full face: Full face helmets offer the most coverage around the head and neck. They are widely considered the safest type of motorcycle helmet. One of the most distinctive features of these helmets is their chin bar, which adds crucial safety. Because of this, though, full face motorcycle helmets tend to weigh more than other helmets.
  • Modular (flip-up): These are similarly designed to full face helmets but weigh more due to extra hinge features, which also slightly reduces their safety as well. Modular helmets are best suited for riders who need to sit upright, such as those who ride tourers and cruisers.
  • Open face: Also known as 3/4 helmets, these cover the top and back of the rider’s head but leave the face exposed. They offer significantly less front protection than full face or modular helmets due to their lack of chin bar. Many of these come with visors to protect riders’ eyes from weather and road debris.
  • Half: Half helmets only cover the top of the rider’s head and some of their forehead. Although great for airflow and visibility, these helmets are considerably less safe than most helmets because of their open design. Most do not come with visors and require riders to wear goggles or sunglasses for eye protection.
  • Off-road: These helmets are designed for riding both street bikes and dirt bikes on roads, tracks, and other mixed terrains. They do not have visors, so riders must wear goggles or sunglasses to protect their eyes. However, off-road helmets have longer chin bars for better airflow and fall protection.
  • Dual-sport: Dual-sport helmets are a mix between full face and off-road helmets. They offer a larger eye protection visor than full face helmets which can be snapped up for use with goggles as well. Although still prominent, chin bars on dual-sport helmets do not sit as far out as those on off-road. These helmets are ideal for mixed-terrain riding.

Visibility

Visibility is vital when wearing a motorcycle helmet. It’s important that a sun visor doesn’t fog easily, whether it’s due to an anti-fog visor or proper ventilation.

Some helmet styles also offer greater visibility at the expense of protection. For example, a half-helmet only protects the upper half of a rider’s head, but offers much more visibility than a full face or dual sport helmet. Determine what visibility needs your helmet must meet before choosing a new one.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Certifications

Before being approved for mass production, motorcycle helmets must be verified by a variety of institutions for adequate safety standards. Below is a list of notable motorcycle helmet certifications regarding safety:

  • DOT: The DOT must approve a helmet before it can be sold in the U.S. for on-road use. Helmets must pass their impact absorption, penetration resistance, and retention tests.  These tests, as well as tests which allow no less than 105.0 degrees of vision from the helmet’s midpoint and not have any surface projections exceeding 5.0 millimeters. The current DOT standard is FMVSS-218.
  • SNELL: The Snell Foundation also uses a set standard for deciding how well a helmet performs. As an independent private non-profit, manufacturers can voluntarily submit their helmets for testing more rigorous than that of the DOT. Snell will also regularly test previously-certified helmets to verify continued compliance. A SNELL certification is also a good indicator of helmet safety but is not necessary. The current SNELL standard is SNELL M2020
  • ECE: The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) certification is essentially the European equivalent of the DOT. This is also a reliable safety certification.

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a useful guide on motorcycle helmet safety and all the associated factors to consider when choosing your next helmet.

Comfort

A motorcycle helmet should fit snugly on your head when riding, as a loose-fitting helmet offers poor protection. Many motorcycle helmets have removable or customizable pads to help create a proper fit. Other helmets are designed for specific head shapes, such as oval versus round. Before taking a ride, be sure to check that your helmet properly fits on your head.

A great helmet should also offer optimal climate control to prevent overheating or excessive cooling, which can distract you while riding. Moisture-wicking helmets will keep your head dry and helmets with good ventilation will help, too.

Be sure the weight of your helmet is comfortable before you ride. Most riders can wear a helmet that is 5.0 pounds or lighter without causing discomfort, but anything heavier can potentially hurt your neck.

Motorcycle Helmets And Head Shapes

Everyone’s head is shaped differently, which is why motorcycle helmets come in all different shapes and sizes. The most notable shape styles are round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. Most people’s head is somewhere between round and oval shaped, with intermediate oval being the most common head shape.

To properly measure your head, use a cloth tape. Start just above your eyebrows and measure around the thickest point on the rear of your head. Once you’ve measured the size of your head, simply cross reference your head’s measurement with the helmet manufacturer’s size chart.

We recommend getting a friend to help you accurately measure the size of your head, as it’s relatively difficult to do on your own. We’d also like to note that you should be measuring your head shape rather than your face shape.

Our Review Standards

To select the five motorcycle helmets in this review, our team searched Amazon and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, prices, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we review over 1,000 auto products. Our team of product experts thoroughly researches top products and tests items on real vehicles when possible before making our recommendations.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.

Best Motorcycle Helmet: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.