This crochet hat sizes chart is one that I come back to again and again, pretty much every single time I need to crochet a hat!
If you have found yourself searching for “What size hat should I make for a baby/child/adult?” (or anything similar), then I think that this free printable will come in very handy 🙂
As a designer, I also find it so useful to have all of this information right in front of me, to take all of the guesswork out of designing a hat for multiple sizes.
The charts below include all of the head and hat measurements for:
- Babies: preemie to 12 months
- Children: 1-10 years
- Adult: small, medium and large
What size should I make a crochet hat?
In general, the circumference of a crochet hat should measure 1”-3”/2.5cm – 7.5cm less than the head circumference of the person who will be wearing the hat.
In other words, the hat pattern will apply 1”-3”/2.5cm – 7.5cm of negative ease. (Negative ease just means that the finished measurement is less than the head/body measurement.)
The reason for making the hat smaller than the head measurement is that crochet hats and beanies often have quite a bit of stretch. So by making the hat smaller, you are ensuring that it won’t fall down over your eyes when you wear it!
How to measure head circumference
To find your head circumference measurement, use a soft tape measure to measure the widest part of your head – this will usually be around the ears and forehead.
As an example, an average Adult head circumference might be 23” / 58cm around, in which case you would want a finished hat with a circumference of approx. 21” / 54cm.
There is no hard and fast rule for hat sizes, as the finished measurement can vary from pattern to pattern, depending on the yarn and stitch pattern used.
How yarn fiber affects hat size
The yarn fiber also impacts the hat size that you would make.
- For example, an acrylic or wool yarn will usually have a good amount of stretch, requiring your hat to be 1″-2″ less than the head measurement as outlined above.
- On the other hand, cotton yarn does not stretch very much, even after wear, so a cotton hat would probably need to be a bit closer to the actual head measurement.
How stitch pattern affects hat size
- A hat that uses very tightly-woven stitch pattern, with little stretch, will probably be closer to the head measurement.
- A hat with a super stretchy ribbing will be several inches less than the head measurement.
How to size a Bottom-Up Crochet Hat
Hats worked from the bottom up can be worked flat or in the round. Often, you will see a bottom-up hat pattern begin by crocheting the ribbing, and then working the body of the hat into the edge of that ribbing.
Bottom-up hats tend to be a little looser fitting than top-down hats. The main reason for this is it is usually difficult (but not impossible!) to work enough decreases at the top of the hat to completely close up the gap.
Sometimes, you will see a hat pattern with no decreases at all at the top, giving the hat a slouchy look and feel. Often though, there will be some decrease rounds, just to make it a little easier to close up that gap.
Bottom-up hat examples
Both of the hats here are worked from the bottom up, and both have a number of decrease rounds to reduce the circumference at the top.
Regardless of whether the hat is worked flat or in the round, there are two measurements you need to calculate for a bottom-up hat:
- The target hat circumference.
- The target stitch count needed to achieve that circumference.
Let’s make this clearer with an example!
Example of calculating size for a bottom-up hat
Step 1: Calculate target hat circumference
Let’s assume a head circumference of 20″. Allowing for 2″ of negative ease, this gives us a target hat circumference of 18″.
Step 2: Calculate target stitch count
Let’s assume our gauge is 14 stitches in 4″/10cm.
So, to make the hat the correct circumference we need to figure out how many stitches would be needed for 18″.
18″ x 14 stitches / 4″ = 63 stitches.
(Now, depending on our stitch pattern, we may need to round this stitch number up or down a little bit, but that should all be taken care of by the designer!)
How to size a Top-Down Crochet Hat or Beanie
Hats or beanies worked from the top down are usually a little more fitted than those worked from the bottom up.
I say usually, because this does not always have to be the case – it is perfectly possible to crochet a slouchy top-down hat, simply by making the crown a little larger than required!
Top down hats start with a simple circle (either beginning with a magic circle, or by working into the first chain). The circle is worked flat until the required diameter is reached for the crown.
Because they are shaped around the top of the head, top-down beanies do not have the same issue with bulk at the crown that you can get with bottom-up hats.
Top-down hat example
The Jasmine Beanie is worked from the top down, beginning with a magic circle.
Once the required crown diameter is reached, the rest of the hat is worked evenly (with no further increase rounds).
Example of calculating size for a top-down hat
Calculate target crown diameter
This one requires a little more math than the bottom-up hat!
Again, let’s assume the same head circumference of 20″. Allowing for 2″ of negative ease, this gives us a target hat circumference of 18″.
Now, to work out the required crown diameter for this hat, we need to do the following:
TARGET CIRCUMFERENCE / PI = DIAMETER
18″ / 3.14 = 5.73″ (let’s round that to 5.75″ for simplicity)
So, what this means is that we need to crochet a circle with a diameter of 5.75″, then continue to work the rest of the hat in even rounds i.e. without increasing.
Crochet Hat Sizes Chart
The charts below list all of the average measurements for crochet hats and beanies. As stated above, there can (and most likely will!) be variations across different crochet patterns.
There are two versions of the chart – one in inches and one in centimetres, so you can choose whichever one suits you best 🙂
For a print-friendly version of this chart, just pop your email address into the box at the end of this post and I will send you the PDF.
*Note: the crown diameter measurement applies to hats crocheted from the top down only.
Crochet Hat Size Chart (inches)
Crochet Hat Size Chart (cm)
Get your Crochet Hat Size Chart inside the Ned & Mimi Freebie Hub
I hope that you enjoy these free printables – if you do use them, I would love for you to tag me on Instagram (I’m @nedandmimi over there), so that I can see your gorgeous creations!
Happy hat making!