Welding is one of the most dangerous professions because it requires working with different light sources like ultraviolet and infrared lights that can cause serious damage to your eyes. OSHA requires that you wear protective gear like helmets and gloves to stay safe at work.
Though you can choose from different helmets, the top helmet for those who do MIG, TIG and arc or stick welding is the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet.
This helmet features padding inside, adjustable straps and an ergonomic design that reduces fatigue and helps you feel comfortable when welding. It also comes with side windows that enhance your field of vision and larger knobs that you can reach and use when wearing thick gloves.
How to Choose
Welding helmets come with either a fixed lens or a variable lens. A fixed lens comes with just one lens that stays the same as you weld, and most manufacturers opt for a number 10 lens. With a variable lens, the shade on that lens will adjust based on the type of welding that you do, and many of these helmets come with a lens that ranges between at least five different shades.
Auto Darkening Helmets
The welding helmets are auto darkening helmets that come with a lens that will automatically adjust based on the amount of light available. These helmets are also great for using on different job sites because you can let the helmet do the work of changing the lens and shade for you.
The faster the helmet reacts, the more protection it will offer for your eyes. Auto darkening helmets will notice an arch or flash and instantly adjust the filter. You generally want a helmet that will react in just 1/3,600 of a second, but some helmets will now react in 1/250,000 of a second or even faster.
No matter what type of helmet you buy, make sure that has an adjustable fit. Some cheaper helmets have a one size fits all design that may feel uncomfortable on your own head. A helmet with an adjustable design will have one or more straps inside that you can adjust to fit your own head.
Look for helmets that have some type of padding inside. This padding may sit on the chin, on the top or even on the sides. Any amount of padding with making the helmet fit more comfortably.
You’ll need to decide between a helmet that has knobs on the inside or the outside. Interior knobs won’t get in your way and won’t snag on anything around you, but these helmets require that you make all your adjustments before putting it on. With exterior knobs, you can make adjustments anytime you need.
You may want to look at the size of the knobs too. Smaller knobs are hard to turn when wearing thicker or padded gloves. Helmets with larger knobs are easier to use when wearing safety gloves.
Never buy an auto darkening helmet unless it comes with at least two sensors, and look for those with up to four sensors. The more sensors the helmet has, the more arcs and flashes it can detect, which allow the helmet to react faster.
Battery Power Type
When choosing a welding helmet, you can choose one that uses internal batteries or one that uses solar power. Those that use battery power are suitable for interior and exterior use. You can change those batteries whenever you start to lose power.
Helmets that rely on solar power require that you use the helmet outside to provide the cells inside with power. Some manufacturers now offer helmets that will also create power from the arcs produced when you weld.
Top Choice on the Market
1. 3M Speedglas
No matter what type of welding you do on the job or on a daily basis, top choice is the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet.
The auto darkening filter responds in just 0.1 milliseconds and will automatically detect a welding arc and force the helmet to darken, which keeps your eyes safe and also lets you work faster and more efficiently because you do not need to adjust the helmet yourself.
3M designed this helmet to protect against infrared radiation and ultraviolet rays too.
Windows located on each side of the helmet increase your peripheral view, but these windows have filters that adjust in five different ways to lighten or darken each side.
Designed to mimic the natural shape of the human head, this helmet has an ergonomic design that increases your comfort for extended wear and use.
Suitable for stick, MIG and TIG welding, the helmet features larger knobs for making adjustments while wearing gloves and padded straps inside.
2. Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350
Though it might lack some of the features of our number one pic, this Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Black Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology still comes with lots of features that easily secured it the number two spot.
Those features include its 4C lens technology, which lets you see more and see clearer when using the helmet in an inactive or active state and a grind setting that works well on some jobs.
The helmet comes with all necessary lenses as well as a bandana that you can wear under the helmet and its own carrying bag.
As a pivoting helmet, you’ll find that you can move more comfortably when wearing this helmet, that it won’t get in your way and that it actually moves as you move.
It weighs under four pounds, which will significantly reduce the pressure and tension on your head. With an adjustable design, this helmet comes with padded areas and straps that adjust to fit your head.
3. Miller Electric Digital Elite
Weighing just 2.8 pounds, this Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet is one of the most lightweight helmets available, and that lightweight design ensures that you can complete all your welding jobs without the weight of the helmet leaving you tired or sore.
It has a nine-inch by nine-inch viewing area that gives you a better view of your welding area, and its digital design saves on energy and helps you see clearly too.
The lithium batteries included provide hours of power and let you use the helmet inside or when it’s cloudy outside.
As an auto darkening helmet, it detects arc welds in front of you and forces the helmet to automatically darken to keep your eyes safe.
It comes with five lens covers that you can use on the outside and two lens covers that work on the inside, and you’ll also get a magnifying lens holder and a helmet bag for taking the helmet to different job sites with you.
4. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening
This BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet from Jackson Safety comes with Balder technology and an auto darkening lens filter that meets all workplace standards.
Three knobs inside let you adjust the shade, sensitivity and delay without fumbling with knobs on the outside, and the band that surrounds your head has its own knob that adjusts for a looser or tighter fit.
A variable shade range of nine to 13 protects your eyes from the arcs produced and make this helmet suitable for ARC, TIG, and MIG welding jobs.
Made from lightweight plastic, this helmet has a design that protects more of your face as well as your neck and other parts of your upper body from arcs and lights. That shell has a more durable design that absorbs impacts to help you stay even safer.
The front cover plate has a slightly curved design that that reduces fog and keeps heat from building up inside the helmet.
5. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable
With this Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto Dark Helmet, you can weld for hours without worrying about your eyes because it will react and darken the helmet in just 1/25,000 of a second after detecting an arch or flash.
The shell used on the outside of the helmet is resistant to impacts to help further protect your head and face. It comes with both a grind mode and a shut off mode that lets you turn the helmet off almost instantly.
Though it comes with a number three light shade, the helmet also has a variable shade that you can use at numbers eight through 11. The viewing area measures 7.05 square inches to ensure that you can see the total area in front of you in both an active and inactive mode.
The helmet has knobs for adjusting the sensitivity and delay as well as for lifting the helmet off your face and adjustable straps that increase your comfort.
6. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered
A 3.94-inch by 3.86-inch oversize viewing area is just one feature you’ll love on this Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.
It features an unusual design that includes a skull on the top and flames that wrap around the helmet, and that design uses darker shades of both blue and black.
Four sensors on the helmet detect arcs and flashes and then darken the filter on the helmet to ensure that those flashes don’t damage your eyes.
As a solar helmet, it can absorb light produced by the sun as well as light produced as you weld to power the helmet, which ensures that you have power when you’re working inside or out of direct sunlight. It has an extensive shade range of number five through number 13 and a resting shade of number four.
This helmet responds in 1/30,000 of a second and features a durable outer shell that is resistant to impacts.
7. Antra AH7-860-001X Solar Power
Whether you do plasma cutting, MIG welding, TIG welding or even stick welding, you can use the Antra AH7-860-001X Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet to your advantage.
Antra even designed this helmet for use with grinding applications, and it comes with four premium sensors that help the helmet respond quickly to any flash or arc.
The helmet is compatible with both cheater lenses and magnifying lenses and has a viewing area of 3.78-inches by 3.5-inches.
A sensitivity knob instantly adjusts the sensitivity of the helmet and filter based on your specific application, and it has a delay setting that lets you pick how quickly you want it to respond. The helmet comes with a shade that ranges from number five to number nine and then from number nine to number 13.
Not only does it respond to arcs in 1/30,000 of a second, but the helmet also uses a solar cell battery that you can replace if needed.
8. Lincoln Electric K3064-1 Variable Shade
The Lincoln Electric K3064-1 Variable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet features shades of white, blue and black as well as slightly geometric flames to make you stand out among all the other welders while working.
At just 1.5 pounds, this is one of the lightest welding helmets that you’ll find today, and that lightweight design is great for use on longer jobs because it won’t weigh down your head or neck.
This is also a larger helmet designed for larger heads, but you’ll want to check the fit before you purchase it.
It features a viewing size of 3.82-inches by 1.73-inches that helps you see clearly without the helmet interfering with your field of vision, and its auto darkening feature helps it respond in just 40 microseconds.
The two arc sensors work with a solar cell power supply that gets power from the sunlight. It has an extensive operating temperature range that lets you use this helmet in more places too.
9. Antra AH7-X30P-6404 Digital Controlled Solar Powered
Not only is the Antra AH7-X30P-6404 Digital Controlled Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet suitable for plasma cutting and MIG welding, it also works well for those who do TIG and MMA welding, and it has a grinding feature as well.
The 3.86-inch by 3.5-inch viewing area is a little larger than the standard size found on other helmets, and it comes with four premium sensors that cut down on redundancy while ensuring that the helmet responds quickly to even the smallest of arcs.
It also uses a digital control that helps you avoid mistakes to ensure that you always use the right settings.
Designed to work with both cheater and magnifying lenses, this helmet has digital controls and settings that you can see in even the lowest of light conditions, and you can make the adjustments that you need via the interior controls.
The helmet has a higher sensitivity level than other helmets and comes with a bright LED display.
10. Nesco 4656 Auto Darkening Solar Powered
When you wear this Nesco 4656 Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet on the job site, everyone will know that you have a fun personality and a sense of humor right off the bat.
Designed to look like the welding helmets worn and used during World War II, it features a graphic on one side of a beautiful bombshell of a woman sitting on an actual bomb ready to do a little welding of her own as well as rivets painted on the edges of the helmet.
It also meets all safety standards for TIG and MIG welding.
Made from a durable material, this Nesco helmet is more lightweight than other helmets to reduce head fatigue, and the material used in the helmet is both flame retardant and resistant to corrosion.
It comes with a sensitivity adjustment knob on the outside that lets you make this adjustment more easily and a variable shade that adjusts between DIN 9 and DIN 13.
11. Antra AH7-860-0000 Solar Power
Thanks to its solar powered design, this Antra AH7-860-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet lets you weld anywhere you want or need without worrying about your batteries running out. When you wear it outside, it transforms sunlight into power, but it can also take the arc flashes produced when you weld to create that necessary power.
It has a classic design that includes a black helmet with a large viewing area on the front and knobs on each side. That viewing area measures 3.78-inches by 3.5-inches.
Suitable for use in most welding applications, including MIG and TIG welding, it also works well for plasma cutting because it comes with a separate grinding feature. It has a variable shade range from a minimum of number five all the way up to number 13.
Knobs inside the helmet let you adjust the sensitivity, delay and shade, but other buttons let you switch from the welding to grinding feature and change the shade level.
12. Miller Electric Welding Helmet
Another basic model available from Miller Electric is this Welding Helmet, which has a classic design that includes a solid black background, gray knobs on either side of the helmet, a solid black background and the Miller Electric logo in the center of the helmet.
Weighing just two pounds, this helmet is so lightweight that you may forget you even have it on, and its viewing area offers a clearer view of the area in front of you than other helmets do.
It comes with a number three lens shade that will also work at a higher setting that increases the shade range between eight and 13.
This helmet comes with a solar cell battery inside that can use sunlight for power, but it can also use a standard AAA battery that will last for up to 2,000 hours when clouds are out or you can’t work outside.
It also features a ratchet that helps you adjust the fit of the helmet based on the size of your head.
13. Antra AH6-660-0000 Solar Power
Designed for MIG, TIG, and MMA welding applications, the Antra AH6-660-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet comes with a grinding feature for keeping your eyes and face safe while welding.
The four sensors placed around the helmet identify the type of welding that you do and help the helmet know when to turn on the auto darkening feature, and it has a larger viewing area on the front that allows you to see more of your work area. Its shade variable of 4/5 to 9/9 also makes it suitable for different jobs.
A knob on the side of the helmet lets you switch between the amount of shade you want, but you can also select the grind option when doing different types of jobs. It is compatible with different lens types too, including magnifying lenses and cheater lenses, to better see the work in front of you.
You can use a knob on the helmet to adjust the sensitivity and delay too.
14. Fibre-Metal by Honeywell Piperliner
For protection when MIG or TIG welding, you can’t go wrong with the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell Piperliner Welding Helmet, which meets all industry standards.
Made from Superglass Plus designed by 3M, this helmet has a self-extinguishing design that will actually put out any sparks that land on the helmet to keep it from catching on fire. The material used on the outside of the helmet is also resistant to moisture and will not crack or split like other helmets do after becoming wet.
Honeywell opted for a more compact design that reduces the space between the helmet and your skin or head, which allows the helmet to absorb more of the pressure of an impact. It has a rubber headband inside that you can easily adjust to increase your comfort, and you can adjust that headband while working too.
The helmet, which the manufacturer guarantees is made in the United States, will flip up to help you see better, but the attached headband keeps the helmet on your head.
15. Save Phace 3010288 Chameleon Gen-X
Even if you aren’t part of the Gen-X Generation, you’ll still appreciate this Save Phace Chameleon Gen-X Series Welding Mask when working.
This helmet comes with a number 10 shade lens that works with the ADF lens holder, which has an 180-degree rotation and an ADF 3/10 fixed shade that meets industry standards for safety in the workplace. Designed to look similar to a gas mask, it offers plenty of free space inside that lets you move your head while increasing your comfort.
The halo headgear that comes with this helmet completely surrounds your head and has nine points that adjust to fit the exact shape of your head, and this headgear also comes with a headband that absorbs the sweat you produce. At 23 square inches, the viewing area on this helmet is one of the largest viewing areas currently available.
Made from high-quality nylon, this helmet can absorb shocks and impacts that might otherwise lead to injuries at work.
16. iMeshbean Pro Cool Solar
One of a unique welding helmets that we came across is this iMeshbean Pro Cool Solar Auto Darkening Welding & Grinding Helmet, which features a solid white background with a fun and quirky design of a large mouth, complete with bright pink gums and jagged teeth, that surround the face plate.
Once you look past that design though, you’ll find a helmet that meets all OSHA standards to help you stay safe.
Those features include a filter shade on the front that can protect your eyes from infrared and ultraviolet lights when doing arc, TIG, MMA or MIG welding, but it also works well for plasma cutting too.
Instead of using batteries, this helmet gets its power from solar rays and will automatically absorb sunlight to give you the power that you need, but it can also power itself from the lights produced as you weld.
The helmet automatically darkens after noticing an arc and will respond in 1/30,000 of a second.
17. Instapark ADF Series GX-350S
With this Instapark ADF Series GX-350S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, you no longer need to carry batteries with you or worry about changing out the batteries because it uses solar energy to darken the helmet as needed.
That filter responds in just 1/5,000 of a second to ensure that you never damage your eyes, and it can instantly darken without you turning any knobs or making any other adjustments. Instapark optimized the optical clarity to reduce eye strain too.
Its funky design includes a solid black background with blue graphics across the top and sides that feature blue flames and a bright blue skull. The helmet comes with a viewing area of 3.5-inches by 3.75-inches and both a Variable shade adjustment and a resting shade.
You can use this for MIG welding, TIG welding, and arc welding, and the helmet meets all standards put in place by professional welding organizations and agencies to ensure your safety on any job site.
18. Jackson Safety Fixed Shade W10 HSL
One of the best-fixed shade helmets that you can use in most welding applications is this Jackson Safety Fixed Shade W10 HSL 100 Welding Helmet.
It features a more narrow design than other helmets do, which helps you work in tighter and cramped spaces without the helmet pressing uncomfortably against your head, and that outer shell is resistant to common hazards like moisture and impacts.
The front of the helmet is larger than others to protect more of your neck and upper body.
Another benefit of this helmet is that it is compatible with the hardhats that you might wear when working on construction sites.
It comes with a standard filter plate in a number 10 shade that is suitable for most jobs, but Jackson Safety designed that filter plate to come off, which lets you use with a different plate of your choosing based on the job at hand.
19. AUDEW Adjustable
Another option from AUDEW is this Adjustable Auto Darkening Solar Welding Helmet, which features a flame pattern on each side that uses shades of yellow, gray and white.
It comes with a fully automatic on and off feature as well as a viewing area that measures 3.62-inches by 1.66-inches, which is standard across many of these helmets.
Separate knobs inside let you control the delay and sensitivity of the helmet.
As an auto darkening welding helmet, this AUDEW helmet monitors the area in front of you for any flashes or arcs that can damage your eyes and darkens the helmet in only 1/25,000 of a second. Though it has a number four lens that works in a light state, the helmet works with a lens of between numbers nine and 13 in its dark range.
The helmet comes with a solar cell as well as a lithium battery that acts as backup power.
20. Flexzion Auto Darkening
This Flexzion Auto Darkening Welding Helmet has an elongated design that allows the helmet to more adequately protect your chin and neck from arcs and other potential welding hazards.
Available in a Lightning Skull design, this helmet features a solid black background with lightning, flames, and skulls printed over the shell in shades of blue, white and gray. That shell is flame-retardant to protect your face and head, and it is lighter than other helmets to keep it from weighing you down.
You can pick the setting that you want for using the helmet during grinding or welding applications, and it features a design that lets you adjust both the delay and the sensitivity. Both of those buttons are on the inside of the helmet, which keeps the buttons from getting in your way.
Though it has a solar powered design, it can also rely on an internal lithium battery to ensure that you have power when wearing the helmet inside or away from the sun.
21. AUDEW Solar Auto Darkening
Not all welders want a basic helmet that uses just one color, which is why AUDEW makes this Solar Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, which uses more colors and brighter shades in its design.
The design includes a large skull on one side, bones along the front and even more bones on the opposite side. An adjustable knob, which you can use with bare hands or gloves, sticks out from one side and makes it look like the skull has a cigar in its mouth.
This helmet comes with an adjustable strap that you can remove, try with your head and create a custom fit before slipping right back inside the helmet, and this strap ensures that the helmet fits more comfortably. Designed for use in both grinding and welding applications, it features a 3.62-inch by 1.66-inch viewing area and an automatic power control.
AUDEW designed this helmet to work with a solar cell battery, which helps it respond in 1/30,000 of a second or less.
22. Antra AH7-220-0000 Solar Power
Access all the features that you need via buttons and controls on the inside of this Antra AH7-220-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. One knob lets you adjust the sensitivity, while a second know lets you adjust the delay, and a small switch in the center instantly makes this helmet work with either welding applications or grinding applications.
Though it uses just two sensors instead of four, those sensors have convenient locations around the helmet that help it respond just as quickly as those with four sensors do.
A 3.62-inch by 1.63-inch viewing area is larger than other helmets in this price range, and Antra designed this helmet to work with both magnifying and cheater lenses. It has a minimum light shade of four and a maximum range of between nine and 13.
To ensure that you have the constant power source that you need, the manufacturer added a solar cell battery inside that absorbs and transforms sunlight into power.
23. Z ZTDM Welding Helmet
Though some people will claim that you should spend a lot of money on a welding helmet, this Z ZTDM Welding Helmet proves that you can get an auto darkening helmet at a low price.
Designed for MMG, TIG and MIG welding, it can work in other applications too and comes with a feature that will automatically darken the filter on the front in just a fraction of a second.
We think that you’ll also like the design, which features flames in different shades of blue against a black background with matching patterns on the front and sides.
The 3.66-inch by 1.69-inch viewing area is a little smaller than those on other helmets but is still large enough to give you a full view as you weld. A knob lets you adjust both the delay time as well as the sensitivity.
This helmet has a solar function that uses sunlight to create the power necessary for using all its features.
24. TR Industrial 88024 Shade 11
The TR Industrial 88024 Shade 11, ANSI Z87.1 MIG/TIG Flip-Up Welding Helmet has a flip up design that lets you pull the lens and face mask up to get a better look at your project, and once you flip that mask down, it offers all the protection that you need on the job site.
Made from glass, the filter has a darker and deeper shade that helps you see the project you need to work on without the arcs produced as you weld from damaging your eyes. It meets all safety standards put in place by OSHA and other leading organizations too.
At 4.5-inches by 5.35-inches, the viewing area on this helmet has a larger shape that eliminates blind spots to further increase your safety. The headband inside adjusts in two different ways to help you reach the comfort level that you need.
An included number 11 shade is suitable for most welding applications and jobs too.
25. Hobart 770286 Flip Front
When you graduate from a welding program and need to save some money while starting your career, this Hobart 770286 Flip Front Welding Helmet can help.
Though it lacks an auto darkening feature and some of the features of our higher rated helmets, it does have an easy to use design with a front that flips up to let you see everywhere in front of you, but you can drop that helmet back down to protect your face and eyes while welding.
It has a simple lens on the front that measures 4.5-inches by two-inches that provides a solid view of your working area.
Adjustable straps make it easy to adjust the fit for your head and face, and knobs on the side help you flip the helmet up without taking your gloves off first.
The included lens has a number 10 shade that is suitable for many welding jobs, but you can switch out that lens for using the helmet on other jobs.
The Ultimate Winner is…
When we compared features, prices and customer reviews, we learned that the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet easily beat out other helmets. Designed for both MIG and TIG welding, it also does well when used in stick or arc welding applications. The auto darkening feature automatically identifies any arcs in front of you and responds in just 0.1 milliseconds, forcing the filter to darken to keep your eyes safe from those arcs.
This ergonomic helmet fits comfortably as-is, but it also comes with extra padding inside that cuts down on the pressure that you feel as well as adjustable straps to customize the way it fits. Not only does it have large viewing windows on the front, but it also has to view windows on the side that increase your peripheral vision, and each of those windows has its own filters. 3M also added larger knobs that you can turn while wearing padded gloves.