Crochet Tutorials

Crochet Hat Sizes: the Flat Circle Method

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Let's crochet together!

My biggest crochet challenge ever has been figuring out the right crochet hat sizes to make for my loved ones. Because my family lives halfway across the country, I rarely get the opportunity to see them in person. Sometimes, sending a custom sized crochet hat is the only “hug” my family will get from me all  year! So, I do my best to make everyone (especially my nephews!) a Christmas hat each year.

If you struggle with how to size crochet hats, this tutorial is for you! I know how important making the right sized hat is, so in this blog post, I’m sharing:

  • a FREE set of printable crochet hat templates
  • How to Size Crochet Hats
  • A Crochet Hat Size Chart by Age
  • My Crochet Hat Size Formula
  • How to Measure Crochet Hat Sizes

Free Printable Hat Size Checker

Since I like to take as much guesswork out of sizing crochet hats as possible, I created this crochet hat size chart and size checker tool to share with you all. I know you’ll love using it!

Before we get started, Pin this to Pinterest for Later!

Make perfect crochet hats every time with this handy tutorial on sizing crochet hats! Plus, make sure to download your copy of the crochet hat size chart for effortless hat making! #crochet #crochethats #crochetbeanies #crochettutorial

How to Size Crochet Hats

The EASY Way

The most basic process of crocheting a top down beanie or hat has two steps:

  1. Crochet a Flat Circle
  2. Add Height

Yep, it’s really that simple! The trick is knowing the relationship of the circle to the hat size to the head size.

A closeup shot of a printed crochet hat size chart by age on the Hat Size Checker Printable.

How to Crochet a Flat Circle

The easiest way to crochet a top down hat is the flat circle method. For a top down hat, you’ll start with one round of crochet stitches at the crown of the head.

Typically, it takes 6-10 single crochet stitches, 8-11 half double crochet stitches, and 10-12 double crochet stitches for the first round.

To increase, you’ll be adding stitches to each round. In most cases you’ll add the SAME number of stitches in the first round to each additional round.

For a Single Crochet hat beginning with 8 sc, you’ll increases by 8 stitches each round.

Round 1: 8 sc

Round 2: 16 sc

Round 3: 24 sc

Round 4: 32 sc


For a Double Crochet hat beginning with 12 sc, you’ll increases by 12 stitches each round.

Round 1: 12 dc

Round 2: 24 dc

Round 3: 36 dc

Round 4: 48 dc


Keeping Your Flat Circle Flat

Sometimes, you’ll need to adjust to get to the exact right number. Here are three handy rules to help you recognize how to adjust:

  1. If your circle is cupping into a bowl shape, you should add more stitches.
  2. When your circle is ruffling like lettuce leaf’s edge, you should add fewer stitches.
  3. Need to increase just a bit, but not a whole row? You can increase your final round by HALF the stitches in your initial round. (Just make sure to take into account how many stitches your repeat will need!)

How to Add Height

When you’ve reached the right diameter in your flat circle, you’re ready to crochet the sides of the hat! To do so, simply stop increasing, and continue in your stitch pattern.

Photo of a flat circle hat crown on the crochet hat size checker, ready to be turned into a hat.f

Crochet Hat Size Chart By Age

The Craft Yarn Council offers a chart of standard hat sizes by age. For the most part, these are fairly reliable. However, I found that I wanted just a little more flexibility in my crochet hat sizes. So, I added a few more sizes, and adjusted the sizes a bit to help me get that elusive perfect fit. Here’s my tried and true crochet hat size chart:

Size: Head Size

Micro Preemies: 9.5″, 24 cm

Preemies: 11.5″; 29 cm

Newborns: 13″; 33 cm

0-3 Months: 15″; 37 cm

3-6 Months: 16″; 41 cm

6-12 Months: 17″; 44 cm

Toddlers: 18.5″; 48 cm

Children: 20″, 50 cm

Teens: 21.5″, 55 cm

Women: 22.5″; 57 cm

Men: 24″; 61 cm

Of course, you should note that head size varies, and therefore crochet hat sizes vary! While crochet hats do stretch a bit, it’s important to be aware that you will always get the best results when you take the time to measure the head.

How to measure a head for crochet hat sizes:

If you have the head handy, here’s how to get an exact measurement for a crochet head.

Step one: and in my opinion, the most important step: give them a big ol’ hug. Count yourself lucky to be so close to your loved ones!

Step two: Wrap your tape measure around the widest part of your head. Place it just about where you’d want the hat brim to sit.

A woman demonstrating how to measure head circumference with a tape measure to find the correct crochet hat sizes.

Case in point: everyone in my family runs at least an inch larger in hat sizes than the charts say. One of my nephews is already wearing a Teen sized hat!

My Crochet Hat Size Formula

Now that we have some baseline sizing information, let’s talk about the mathematics of crochet hats. Dust off your middle school math, because today we WILL be using that geometry! (Sorry I doubted you, Mrs. C, and thank you for drilling this into my head!)

For the most part, heads are generally round, with a definite, measurable circumference. That means that your hat, which is an open circle at the bottom and a closed circle at the top, will be circular.

How to Measure Crochet Hat Sizes

How Much Can Crochet Hats Stretch?

Now, remember, your crochet hat will stretch a bit. There are a number of different factors that dictate how far a crochet hat can stretch, but that’s well beyond the scope of this lesson.

For the purpose of this exercise, you can assume that the stretch factor is pretty close to 10%, or .1.  So, the Head Size will be 1.1 times the Circumference of the hat.

Head Size = 1.1 x Circumference

To solve for the Hat Circumference, divide both sides by 1.1. You’ll end up with:

Head Size / 1.1 = Circumference.

Let’s fill out our chart with the Circumference values we need.

Size: Head Size; Circumference

Micro Preemies: 9.5″, 24 cm; 8.5″, 22 cm; 

Preemies: 11.5″, 29 cm; 10” 26 cm

Newborns: 13″, 33 cm; 12″, 30 cm

0-3 Months: 15″, 37 cm; 13.5″, 34 cm

3-6 Months: 16″, 41 cm; 15″, 38 cm

6-12 Months: 17″, 44 cm; 16″, 40 cm

Toddlers: 18.5″, 48 cm; 17″, 43 cm

Children: 20″, 50 cm; 18″, 46 cm

Teens: 21.5″, 55 cm; 19.5″, 50 cm

Women: 22.5″, 57 cm; 20.5″, 52 cm

Men: 24″, 61 cm; 22″, 56 cm

Okay, so how big should my flat circle be to reach the right circumference?

So, we can figure out exactly how big to make the hat using the geometric relations between circumference and diameter. (Note, you may be more familiar with seeing this expressed in terms of the radius, which is half the diameter.)

Circumference = π x Diameter

Since we have just decided that Circumference is equal to the head size divided by 1.1, we can solve for it this way:

Head Size / 1.1 = π x Diameter

Since we are solving for the Diameter, let’s divide both sides by π:

Head Size / 1.1 / π = Diameter

Tada! Now we know how big our circle should be before we quit increasing.

So let’s add this new data to our table of crochet hat sizes:

Size: Head Size; Circumference; Diameter

Micro Preemies: 9.5″, 24 cm; 8.5″, 22 cm; 2.75″, 7 cm

Preemies: 11.5″, 29 cm; 10” 26 cm; 3.25″, 8.5 cm

Newborns: 13″, 33 cm; 12″, 30 cm; 3.75″ 9.5 cm

0-3 Months: 15″, 37 cm; 13.5″, 34 cm; 4.25″, 11 cm

3-6 Months: 16″, 41 cm; 15″, 38 cm; 4.75″, 12 cm

6-12 Months: 17″, 44 cm; 16″, 40 cm; 5″, 12.5 cm

Toddlers: 18.5″, 48 cm; 17″, 43 cm; 5.33″, 13.5 cm

Children: 20″, 50 cm; 18″, 46 cm; 5.75″, 14.5 cm

Teens: 21.5″, 55 cm; 19.5″, 50 cm; 6.25″, 16 cm

Women: 22.5″, 57 cm; 20.5″, 52 cm; 6.5″, 16.5 cm

Men: 24″, 61 cm; 22″, 56 cm; 7″, 18 cm

Am I ready to start crocheting?

You betcha! Next, you’ll want to begin crocheting in the round, and increase evenly until your flat circle has a circumference that will fit the right head size. You’ll want to increase evenly until your hat’s diameter is proportional to the circumference.

Or, just use the handy chart I’ve made for you! See how easy it is for me to check the sizing of my hat?

Using the Crochet Hat Size Checker Printable to determine the size this crochet hat will be.

To increase evenly, you’ll want to add the same number of stitches you started with for each additional row. For example, my Venus Shell Slouch Hat Crochet Pattern starts with 12 double crochets on round one, then increases to 24 on row 2, 36 on row 3, and so on. (Do note that the Venus Shell Slouch Hat’s final size matches the diameter of the second to last round of the flat circle to give extra slouch!)

How Tall Should My Crochet Hat Be?

Finally, you’ll want to make sure your crochet hat has enough length. This does vary some based on the style of hat you’re looking for.

If you want to measure exactly, start by measuring across the crown of your head from ear to ear, like this:

Measuring the head to help determine the right hat height and crochet hat size

Then, you’ll need to subtract the diameter of your hat, divide by two, and add an inch or two (plus extra for a brim, if you like). That’s how much length should be added past the increases of a beanie.

After analyzing about 15 crochet hat size charts on the web, I noticed there’s a pretty simple formula to find the hat height.

For a basic beanie, your hat height should be equal to your flat circle diameter plus 1.5″.

So let’s add this new data to our table of crochet hat sizes:

Size: Head Size; Circumference; Diameter;Hat Height

Micro Preemies: 9.5″, 24 cm; 8.5″, 22 cm; 2.75″, 7 cm; 4.25″

Preemies: 11.5″, 29 cm; 10” 26 cm; 3.25″, 8.5 cm; 4.75″

Newborns: 13″, 33 cm; 12″, 30 cm; 3.75″ 9.5 cm; 5.25″

0-3 Months: 15″, 37 cm; 13.5″, 34 cm; 4.25″, 11 cm; 5.75″

3-6 Months: 16″, 41 cm; 15″, 38 cm; 4.75″, 12 cm; 6.25″

6-12 Months: 17″, 44 cm; 16″, 40 cm; 5″, 12.5 cm; 6.5″

Toddlers: 18.5″, 48 cm; 17″, 43 cm; 5.33″, 13.5 cm; 6.75″

Children: 20″, 50 cm; 18″, 46 cm; 5.75″, 14.5 cm; 7.25″

Teens: 21.5″, 55 cm; 19.5″, 50 cm; 6.25″, 16 cm; 7.75″

Women: 22.5″, 57 cm; 20.5″, 52 cm; 6.5″, 16.5 cm; 8″

Men: 24″, 61 cm; 22″, 56 cm; 7″, 18 cm; 8.5″

You can adjust that number if you’re looking for a different style of hat. Here are a few examples:

  • Sun Hats: subtract 1″ before starting the wide brim.
  • Folded Brim: add 2″ (or the length of your brim) to the length.
  • Slouch Hats: add 2-3″ (or more!) to the length.

How to Make the Right Crochet Hat Sizes

Let’s recap! To make a perfectly sized crochet hat, you’ll want to:

  1. Determine the size you need.
  2. Crochet a flat circle with a proportional diameter.
  3. Add height to the hat.


Sign Up Here to Download the Crochet Hat Size Checker!


Let's crochet together!

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  1. Hi, I’ve been trying to subscribe to your blog and to get the hat size for two days now without success. Nothing comes in my email either in my inbox or in my spam. I don’t understand why. Has anyone else had this problem?

    1. Hi Peggy! I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with the email form. I’m showing in my mail service that it’s sent you four emails. But sometimes tech gets the better of me! Have you been subscribing on the little box on the page, or a different spot? If we can’t figure it out today, I can personally email you.


    2. Louise Travis says:

      Yes I have been having the same issue.

      1. Katie says:

        So sorry! Have you checked your spam folder? Or Promotions tab? If you can’t find it there, leave another comment or reply and I will personally email you.

  2. I am going to follow you on Pinterest and I will get the hat sizes there from your site. Thank you for posting this on FB and on Pinterest.

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Susan! Thanks so much! I hope you find the hat sizes chart helpful! Happy hooking, friend!

  3. Winifred says:

    I got my reply in the promotions

    1. Yes, thanks Winifred! Sometimes Gmail likes to hide them. Hopefully as more of you guys find it and manually move it to your Primary inbox, Google will learn! 🙂 One can hope.

  4. I did not receive either.

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Tee, so sorry you’re having trouble! I’ve checked a few things on the back end of my tech, and it appears to be working fine. After you check your spam folder or promotions tab, leave me a message if it hasn’t turned up! I’m more than happy to help.

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for spelling (calculating) this out! I crochet loosely and have been wondering what each measurement should be for a proper fit so that I can check sizing before it’s finished. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Katie says:

      Amanda, I’m so happy I could help! Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment for me.

    2. Me too. I crochet very loose, and change hook sizes often and it still doesn’t work. I’m hoping this brilliant chart and instructions will work for me.

      1. Hi Anna!
        I hope this helps you out, too. Funny enough, you and I have sort of opposite problems- I am forever increasing a hook size because I just like to yank my yarn. Sometimes, if I have a really relaxing day though, my gauge gets way looser! So I use the chart every time. 😛 There are always adjustments to make, but that keeps me engaged and interested!

        Happy crocheting!

  6. Lynne says:

    Is the hat height from the start if the hat or from the end of the increasing???

    1. Katie says:

      Good question, Lynne! The hat height would be the total height from the top of the crown to the bottom of the brim. Hope that helps!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I have subscribed but haven’t received the hat sizer file! Checked spam/junk email just in case. Is there any way you could send it to me personally? It’s so cool and I look forward to utilizing it! Your site is awesome and I really love looking at all of your work!

    Thank you!

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Jennifer! I can go ahead and manually add this address to the list because you asked. Thanks for letting me know! I wonder what happened. 🙂

  8. Hi Katie,
    Thanks for the post, I can’t wait to try it out. On a side note, I really love the necklace you’re wearing in the photo (or the model if it’s not you!). Any chance you know where it was purchased?

    1. Hey Dina, thanks so much! That is me in the photos. 😀 I got that necklace quite a few years ago at a Premier jewelry party that a fellow military spouse was hosting. I don’t know whether you could find it in their current catalog or not, but you may find something else similar.

      Happy crocheting!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hello! I am also having trouble getting the email. I check my spam folder but no luck. Can you email directly to me instead? Thanks!!!

    1. Hey Jennifer! I tried a few things to see if we can get it fixed. Thanks for your patience and for letting me know! – Katie

  10. Debbie says:

    I have tried several times and still have not received the hat size checker! So frustrated……. please can you send it,thanks

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Debbie! So sorry I didn’t see this while you were frustrated- It looks like we’re in different time zones. 🙂 I think I see now that you’ve received it, and downloaded, but if not, please shoot me an email at Katie at and I will send it over!


  11. Paulette says:

    I subscribed to your newsletter but I didn’t get a link to the hat size checker. It’s not in my spam folder…

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Paulette! I know we connected on Facebook but I wanted to let you know I sent you a personal email. Likely your email provider is just a bit more sensitive with some spam triggers and doesn’t like my email service. If the email I just sent doesn’t come through, please email me at Katie at and that should let them know we’re friends and you want to hear from me. 🙂


  12. Pierrette says:

    Thank you so much for this chart, it is absolutely wonderful.

    1. Hi Pierrette,
      I am SO glad you find it so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a great comment. <3 That makes my day!

  13. Love this technique, have been all over the place with sizes when I use different size hooks to suit the yarn. This will help a lot! And my hat sizer came right to my email within minutes!

    1. Hi there, Jay!
      So happy to hear that my guide and tutorial were helpful for you! I agree, it’s really nice sometimes to be able to adjust to your yarn instead of being stuck to a pattern and working so hard to make yourself meet gauge sometimes.
      Happy crocheting!

  14. Carolyn Bushko says:

    Checked my email files and did not find the download chart. I checked the junk files as well and there is nothing in them. I am hoping that you can send the chart. I know this will be very helpful in making hats. Thank you.

    1. Hi Carolyn!
      It looks like you’re using an email provider with pretty strong security settings, and they may have automatically filtered my email!
      Send me an email at [email protected] and I will reply with the direct link. That signals to your email provider that you do want to hear from me. 🙂 Sorry for the trouble!


  15. Erika says:

    Hi I tried getting the hat size chart and haven’t received anything in my email. Ive tried like 4 times and still no email 😪

    1. Katie says:

      Oh no! I’ve sent you an email, from my gmail with the link for you.

      If anyone else happens to have the same problem, please email me at katie or saltypearlcrochet and I can send the link directly.


  16. Anna Maria says:

    Thank you so much Katie for this tutorial!!! I have received the download chart immediately.
    I really appreciate your work <3

    1. Hey Anna Maria! I’m so excited to hear that it’s helped you (and that it’s arrived without incident!) Thanks for stopping by to say hello! Happy Crocheting! – Katie

  17. Rosanne Dooley says:

    I love hat.

  18. Barbara says:

    Hi! Love your Crochet Hat Sizes pages and the Hat Size Checker download. I’m not a new crocheter, but I am new to making hats. I had no trouble receiving the Hat Size Checker in my gmail, but when I printed it, I checked the outer circle (and the side ruler) to see if the inches matched the chart but they did not. The outer circle measured only 6 inches. To get the correct scale as per your side ruler, I had to scale the document up 117% when printing. Thanks so much for publishing your chart and information about how to scale hats! It will be incredibly useful for me!

    1. Katie says:

      Hi Barbara! I’m glad you caught the error and were able to correct it! This is such a good reminder that everyone’s printer dialogs and settings (and results!) can be different- I had several friends print test it on US Letter paper and they came out fine, but these days tech likes to think it’s smarter than us, huh?

      Thanks for your lovely comment, and I’m truly glad the size checker and tutorial have helped you out!

  19. Hello…
    Is this size chart can use for beret hat?
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Ann!
      You can absolutely use this size chart for the final sizing of a beret, but those types of hats are worked a bit differently. What you can do is measure how big your beret needs to be, and leave a stitch marker there. Then you’ll continue increasing with your pattern to give your hat more width and height, and you’ll decrease again until you reach the hat band, which will have the same number of stitches as the round you marked earlier. I hope that helped explain it better!


      1. Hi Katie…
        Thanks, i will try it


  20. Tammy says:

    I have not received the hat size checker. Could you please email it to me? Thank you so much!!

    1. Sure, thanks for the comment!

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