Quick — name five ways to use a bandana. That’s right, easy! These foldable, functional, and fun accessories are here when you need a versatile solution to whatever the world throws at you. More than a mere fashion statement or cosplay accessory (shout-out to all you cowboys and 1980s Hulk Hogans), bandanas are suitable for any occasion any time of the year.
You can wear it as sun protection, tie it over your nose and mouth to improvise a mask, roll it into a sweatband, use it as a pocket hanky. It’s a longtime favorite amongst musicians and festival-goers as a wrist wrap, a use which really summons that Steven Tyler look. Overall, the bandana is a garment that has as many uses as you can conjure, but that hardly means that all bandanas are equal. We’ve searched high and low for the highest-quality hankies money can buy to bring you this list of the best bandanas.
The Best Bandana
INTO THE AM Seamless Face Cover Bandana provides an array of benefits that will ensure you look and feel cool throughout the day. There are 33 colors and patterns to choose from, and the one-size-fits-most style means it’s almost universal.
They are also lightweight, breathable, and come with moisture-wicking properties that deliver exceptional all-day comfort whether you’re working in the scorching sun or dancing the night away.
You might like to pair one with a nice trucker cap.
33 colors / patterns
One size fits most
Lightweight and breathable
- BrandINTO THE AM
- Weight1.59 ounces
The FAYBOX 6 Pieces Magic Wide Wicking Headwear Bandana is a fantastic option if you need a quick face-covering solution. The 100% polyester fabric is lightweight and quick-drying. While the material may not be ideal for extremely sensitive skin, it still boasts plenty of appealing features. Absorbent for sweaty days, soft to the touch, and offered in a variety of styles to ensure you stand out in the crowd.
For more ways to express your signature style, check out these cool scarves for men.
13 colors / styles
- Weight7.65 ounces
It’s no surprise we’ve included a Levi’s product in our selection of the best bandanas. Levi’s Men’s 100% Cotton Multi-Purpose Bandana will make you feel more rock’n’roll than you ever have previously. You can take your pick from 25 colors and decide between several pack sizes to give you and your family plenty of backups. It is versatile and multifunctional, as all bandanas should be, and the vintage paisley design is timeless.
To polish off your fresh look, choose any of these snap backs from our list.
Multiple pack sizes
Pack of assorted colors
Versatile and multifunctional
Timeless vintage design
The Vamqor 100% Cotton 10-Pack Fine Bandanas is perfect for parties, festivals, or to add some style to your everyday outfits. It comes in packs of assorted or single colors, and the cotton colorfast design ensures consistent quality and durability. Although it’s thicker than most bandanas, it’s still breathable, providing all-day comfort. These are machine washable, too, so you can keep them looking their best at all times.
If you need an item suitable for colder days, check out our choice of the best Bluetooth beanie hats.
Assorted and single colors
Thicker than most bandanas
- Weight10.58 ounces
Offering 18 colorways and doubled-sided paisley print, the L&M 12 Pieces Bandanas gives you plenty of reasons to bring them into your everyday outfit rotation. They are breathable, versatile, and well-suited for a variety of situations. The washable hand-design makes them easy to use day after day, and the soft cotton fabric promises to be nonirritating.
Pair it with your favorite Hawaiian shirt, and you are good to go!
18 colors / styles
Doubled-side paisley print
Suitable for a range of uses
Thin and breathable
- Weight11.22 ounces
The OHSAY USA 3-Pack Bandanas boasts 100% cotton construction to give you peace and comfort in the hottest conditions. At the same time, the colorfast printing design will prevent the colors from bleeding into your favorite white shirt during the wash. The rolled hem makes these kerchiefs easy to wrap and tie, while the vast range of patterns and pack options means you can find something for any occasion. Quality crafted in the USA, you can be sure these bandanas will last you a lifetime.
For more casual pieces to complete your look, check out these fun Cuban collar shirts.
Rolled hem on all four sides
Range of patterns and pack options
- BrandOHSAY USA
- Weight3.67 ounces
If you’re considering the Monochef 12 Pieces Bandanas, understand they come in packs of 12 or 24. While some reviews have stated that they’re a little stiff at first, they soften quickly following a regular wash. The double-sided paisley adds a timeless touch, and the 100% cotton construction ensures years of dependable use.
For more great clothes for men, check out our buying guide on the collarless shirts everyone is buying this season.
2 pack options
Easy to soften after washing
Multifunctional and versatile
Double-sided print paisley
Colors selected randomly
- Weight2.4 ounces
The Boao 12 Pieces Novelty Gradient Bandanas offer colorways that are unlike other bandanas on our list. With tones that graduate from light to dark, these bandanas are ideal for raves or festivals. The soft-cotton feel and moisture-wicking fabric make them comfortable to wear all day.
Make sure to complete your look with a pair of casual men’s shorts for summer.
2 pack options
22 x 22 inches
Soft cotton feel
Unique gradient color
Moisture wicking fabric
- Weight10.23 ounces
The BSLINO Bandanas are suitable for all situations. Made from 100% cotton, they’re comfortable and long-lasting. They come in a pack of 24 assorted colors, a fantastic bulk-buy option that you can mix and match with your friends.
If you are going for a look that’s business casual, make sure to wear the right polo shirt, too.
22 x 22 inch laid flat
Softens after washing
Suitable for a range of situations
Random colors in the package
Durable and well made
- Weight1.25 pounds
With a comprehensive (and almost overwhelming) 29 color options available, the Soophen One Dozen Cowboy Bandanas are the perfect party piece to add an air of authenticity to your outfit. They are 100% cotton and boast quality printed patterns on both sides.
Pair one of these bandanas with a simple V-neck T-shirt to look well put-together for any occasion.
29 colors options
Ideal for a fancy dress or protection
Printed on both sides
- Weight0.55 pounds
Soft without needing to wash them first, the QING 12-Pack Face Cover Soft Bandanas are ideal for anyone with little time before a lavish party or big festival. They are breathable, moisture-wicking, and superbly fade-resistant. Their durability makes them some of the very best bandanas you can find, and customers have left rave reviews.
You might like our choice of the best-selling panel hats for men, so make sure to check them out, too.
2 pack sizes
Soft to the touch
Breathable and comfortable
Moisture wicking fabric
- Weight9.59 ounces
The FEPITO 18 Pieces Paisley Bandanas are a marvelous option for anybody with an eclectic closet. There are six options from which to choose, including multi-color, single-color, and various patterns. The high-quality material is durable, nonirritating, and quick-drying to help keep you fresh in the heat.
Pair one of these bandanas with some stylish aviator sunglasses to complete your look.
6 pack options
Variety of patterns
High quality material
Durable with fewer wrinkles
- Weight11.99 ounces
Bandana Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in Bandanas
Fit — Most bandanas come in a standard, one-size-fits-all size, around 22 inches by 22 inches. This universal cut can be tied to accommodate your needs comfortably, no matter the size of your head, neck, or wrists.
Material — Cotton is the most commonly used bandana material. It is durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and more breathable than many synthetic blends, such as polyester, making them suitable for all-day wear, especially in warmer conditions.
When deciding which bandana material to select, keep the quality of the fabric in mind, as low-quality fabrics can cause skin irritation. You’ll find that the price disparity between high- and low-quality bandanas if often negligible.
Comfort — If you plan on wearing your bandana often, especially throughout the day, then comfort is an enormous factor to bear in mind. Consider moisture-wicking capabilities, which will help to keep you cool, and how long the material takes to dry, especially if you intend to wear it while baking in the sun.
Style — Bandanas come in a variety of styles and colors, so you won’t be short on options when selecting which is the best one for you. The paisley design is arguably the most popular and iconic, and it’s likely the one you think of when imagining a bandana.
However, this is not the only colorway available. The options are seemingly limitless — solid colors, gradients, national flags, skulls, cartoon characters, and more.
Face Coverage — Wearing a bandana as a face cover can mitigate the exposure to and spread of germs, protect you from UV rays, and block out fine particles like dust.
To create a face covering, first fold the bandana in half diagonally, forming a triangle. Then taking the two opposing corners, wrap it over the bridge of your nose, around to the back of your head, and tie a knot.
Breathability — You want your bandana facemask to breathe, and this will mostly come from the material (cotton is best). The way you wear it will also impact your breathing. Even tied tightly, your bandana will still provide enough breathability to ensure all-day wear without noticeably affecting your voice projection.
Durability — Tightly woven cotton makes some of the most durable garments around, despite being relatively lighter than most alternatives.
A good cotton bandana should withstand countless wash cycles. And while a well-used hanky is prone to fading, the integrity of its fabric should remain. You may encounter loose threads. Don’t be alarmed by this, though. It doesn’t mean your bandana is falling apart, and you can snip any loose ends away with a pair of scissors.
Q: How do you soften new bandanas?
A: While cotton or polyester bandanas are quite soft when you first buy them, a little softening will go a long way. If you need to wear them from dawn to dusk, a breaking-in period is helpful.
If your bandana is too stiff, try soaking and drying it to soften it up and prevent abrasions and irritation. Throw your new bandana in the wash by itself to prevent the colors from bleeding, then pop it in the dryer on a low-heat setting, or allow it to air-dry overnight. If you feel it’s still too stiff after washing it, soak it in a basin of fabric softener or vinegar overnight, rinse it out, and dry it.
Q: Should guys wear bandanas?
A: Absolutely. Many men look to the bandana for both its fashionability and practicality.
As a fashion item, there are plenty of ways to wear a bandana, including wrapped around the forehead, neck, wrist, or as a formal pocket square. Practically speaking, the bandana doubles as a facemask, sun protection when worn on the head or around the neck, or as a handkerchief during allergy season.
Q: How do you keep a bandana from slipping off from your face?
A: If you’re using your bandana as a face cover, you might find some problems with it slipping down your face no matter how tightly you attached it at first. As the day goes on, the fabric will stretch slightly, meaning it isn’t as tight as it was at the start of the day.
To stop the bandana from slipping, you can tie it extra tight when first putting it on, or readjust the knot as needed. Wearing it over the bridge of the nose will help it stay up, too, without sacrificing ventilation.
If you still have trouble, you may need to put another layer, such as a neck gaiter or face mask, underneath the bandana to add friction, which will prevent it from slipping.
Q: Are bandanas made of cotton?
A: The majority of top-quality bandanas are cotton. As cotton is lightweight and tightly woven, it provides ample protection without being uncomfortable, and it still allows you to breathe easily, rather than feel you’re suffocating, which is something that many people may experience when wearing a face covering.
The cotton also makes the bandana easy to care for, especially if it uses colorfast printing. Colorfast printing will prevent the colors from running and ruining any other clothes that you throw in the wash alongside it.
You may come across non-cotton bandanas, but while these may be cheaper, they are often of lesser quality can’t provide the same comfort, moisture-wicking, and breathability of standard cotton products. Keep in mind that there are exceptions!
Q: Does a bandana go over your ears?
A: Wearing a bandana over your ears will depend on how you want to style it. However, if wearing the bandana as a facemask, then putting it over your ears could help to keep it in place while still providing comfortable breathability.
If you’re wearing the bandana as a headband, you may wrap it over your ears at first, but this is likely to be uncomfortable. It is better to wear it behind the ears, so it wraps around the back of your head around the top of your neck without slipping down.
- 3 Ways to Wear Bandanas - WikiHow