The best bandana

Headwear

Pay attention to how many bandanas you receive in a pack. You can buy single bandanas, small packs or large packs of 12 or more.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

WHICH BANDANAS ARE BEST? 

Bandanas are some of the most versatile accessories around. You can wear them as neck scarves, headscarves, pocket squares, face coverings, or around the wrist. What’s more, you can use them as handkerchiefs or dust rags, sew them together to make garments or for craft projects, or even put them on your dog as a cute neckerchief.

Keep reading to learn more about bandanas and how to choose the right option for you. We’ve included some recommendations, such as our top pick, OH SAY USA Bandana 3-Pack, which contains a trio of well-made bandanas.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY A BANDANA

Size

The standard size of a bandana is 22 x 22 inches, which makes it large enough to tie around your head and neck when folded on the diagonal. You can also buy oversized bandanas, which measure 27 x 27 inches — if you find a regular bandana a little too small, an oversized option might suit you better. The standard size of child bandanas and handkerchief-size bandanas are 18 x 18 inches and 14 x 14 inches, respectively. These sizes are easier to fold into a neat pocket square.

Print and color

Traditionally, bandanas have a particular paisley print, consisting of one type of paisley in the center of the bandana and another type of paisley in the square border around the edge of the bandana. However, a bandana can have alternative prints with modern offers featuring American flags, skulls, floral prints, and more. Whatever the print, you can also choose from a range of background colors. You may choose to match the color of your bandana to another element of your outfit, such as your shoes, pants, or bag.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A  QUALITY BANDANA

Material

The majority of bandanas are made from 100% cotton, which is breathable and soft, plus it gets even softer with each wash. The trouble is, cotton bandanas can fade or shrink in the wash. Polyester is an alternative material for bandanas, which some people favor because it doesn’t fade or shrink when you wash it. The downside is that polyester isn’t breathable in the same way natural materials are, so it can feel hot to wear for long periods.

Ease of cleaning

Ideally, you should be able to throw your bandana in the washer with all your other garments. Some bandanas, however, are only suitable for hand washing, which can be inconvenient. If you intend to use your bandana as a makeshift face mask, it must be suitable for washing at a high temperature to sanitize it.

HOW MUCH YOU CAN EXPECT TO SPEND ON A BANDANA

Bandanas can cost anywhere from $1-$10 apiece. You tend to pay less per bandana when you buy in bulk.

BANDANAS FAQ

Q. Will my bandana shrink in the wash?

A. Bandanas can shrink somewhat in the wash, especially low-quality cotton bandanas. You can minimize shrinkage by washing your bandanas in cold water and line-drying them. Some high-end cotton bandanas are pre-shrunk so they’ll remain the same size as they were when you bought them, even after a hot wash.

Q. Are bandanas good for wrapping gifts?

A. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly approach to wrapping gifts that’s stylish, too, consider wrapping small presents in 100% cotton bandanas. The recipient can use the bandana so it won’t go to waste, and you won’t be sending more gift bags, gift wrap, and tape to the landfill. If you buy a large pack of bandanas, you can expect to pay about $1 each, which is less than you’d pay for a high-quality gift bag.

WHAT ARE THE BEST BANDANAS TO BUY? 

Top bandana

OH SAY USA Bandana 3-Pack

OH SAY USA Bandana 3-Pack

Our take: Quality cotton bandanas that are made in the USA by veterans.

What we like: Available in a range of colors and prints. Rolled, sewn hem on all four sides. Colorfast and wash well.

What we dislike: A little stiff at first, but the material softens after a few washes.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top bandana for the money 

ComboCube Bandana 12-Pack

ComboCube Bandana 12-Pack

Our take: Not the highest quality of bandanas, but extremely affordable. The 12-pack is great if you need lots of bandanas, though they’re too large for many buyers.

What we like: Classic paisley print with a range of color variations. Large 22 x 22-inch size.

What we dislike: Can fade and shrink if they aren’t washed by hand.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Bandana.com All-Over Paisley Bandanas

Bandana.com All-Over Paisley Bandanas

Our take: The all-over paisley print is a nice variation on classic bandana paisley.

What we like: Option of buying a single bandana or a pack of 12, which works out significantly less money per bandana. 100% cotton. Thick and heavy.

What we dislike: Some complaints of these bandanas shrinking in the wash.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.