Tarkov Best Helmet Tier List Guide – All Armour Classes

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

With an abundance of different headwear options it can be difficult to determine the best Tarkov helmet for maximum protection at an optimal Rouble price for your raid loadout. In this helmet tier list I detail the best helmet options from each armour class based on cost, protection area, ricochet chance, conflicting items and ergonomic penalties to help players find the ideal helmet for their budget, preferences and raid objectives.

These recommendations are based on the knowledge I’ve gained from over 1,000 EFT raids and obtaining the Kappa Secure Container in the process. While not as difficult as ammo or headset loadout options the helmet is still a vital slot as it protects your most important and lowest health hitbox in Escape From Tarkov.

Table of Contents:
Tarkov Helmet Tier List
Best Class 3 Helmets
Best Class 4 Helmets
Best Class 5 Helmets

Tarkov Helmet Tier List

The following helmets are the best in their respective armour classes due to their cost, availability, armour coverage and lack of significant penalties when being used. The intention of this helmet tier list is to include options across armour class level 3, 4 and 5 that can be regularly acquired from traders or the Flea Market in order to cater for all budgets with S, A and B tier ratings.

Helmet Armour Class Armour Areas Headset Trader Availability Tier Rating
tarkov-helmet-altynAltyn Bulletproof Helmet 5 Head top, Nape, Ears, Face shield (optional) No Ragman Level 4 S
tarkov-helmet-ulachHighCom Striker ULACH IIIA helmet 4 Head top, Nape, Ears Yes Ragman Level 4 S
tarkov-helmet-6b476B47 Ratnik-BSh helmet 3 Head top, Nape, Ears Yes Prapor Level 2
Ragman Level 2 (barter)
tarkov-helmet-exfilTeam Wendy EXFIL Ballistic Helmet 4 Head top, Nape, Face shield (optional black helmet only) Yes Peacekeeper Level 4 A
tarkov-helmet-ssh-68SSh-68 steel helmet 3 Head top, Nape, Ears Yes Ragman Level 1 A
tarkov-helmet-airframeCrye Precision AirFrame helmet (Tan) 4 Head top, Nape, Face shield (optional) Yes Peacekeeper Level 4 B
tarkov-helmet-zsh12mZSh-1-2M helmet 4 Head top, Nape, Ears, Face shield (optional) No Ragman Level 2 B

Helmets not listed on the tier list above are generally not worth using unless required for a particular quest or if found in raid. The tier ratings above are based on the following factors:

  • Price and Availability : Like any equipment piece in your loadout the purchase price is always a consideration with price efficiency impacted by trader availability on your hunt for the best budget helmet.
  • Ricochet Chance: This is essentially a percentage chance to avoid all damage through a bullet ricochet. This chance is often the majority of the protection you receive from helmets as most Tarkov ammos will easily penetrate class 3 and class 4 helmets.
  • Headset Option: Certain helmets limit your ability to be able to use an active headset in Tarkov which makes them difficult to use as you’ll be at a severe hearing disadvantage without one. For this reason the best helmet with headset compatibility is particularly important although the helmets without headsets generally have additional armour or face shields to offset the loss of hearing.
  • Armoured Zones: Headwear in Escape From Tarkov protects different areas of your head with the relevant hitboxes being top, nape, ears, eyes and jaws so maxing the protective areas is important. The best helmet with face shield is often an important consideration although these face shields have a trade off in most cases and lower armour than the core helmet. In order to be effective a face shield will generally want to be at least armour class 3 as this allows it to consistently stop common rounds from pistols, shotguns and submachine guns although won’t protect your PMC against larger calibre rifles.
  • Penalties: Penalties to player statistics of movement speed, turn speed and ergonomics along with a sound reduction modifier from none to high is another important consideration to finding the best helmet.

Tarkov Best Class 3 Helmet

Class 3 is the lowest armour level worth considering in Escape From Tarkov providing basic protection and ricochet chance to improve your survival chances against basic ammunitions with the best budget helmets of Tarkov found in this armour tier.



A regular sight in the Tarkov community the SSH-68 is an ideal budget helmet during your early progression given its availability at level 1 traders and associated price. It provides sufficient protection against Scav ammo types although conflicts with the popular M32 headset and is one of the heavier helmets overall that leads to ergonomic penalties.


An alternative in class 3 this helmet can be used with the popular M32 headset although it isn’t available at level 1 traders and comes with slightly higher cost than the SSH-68. This makes it a critical budget option beyond the early game and is also night vision compatible for night raids.

Tarkov Best Class 4 Helmet

In terms of additional cost to protection class 4 helmets provide a small boost to protection at often substantial cost increase that only makes them worthwhile once you’ve developed a healthy stash of Roubles. Once players reach this point though they will become your regular helmet choice outside of budget raid loadouts.



The best budget option in the class 4 category is the Ulach which is a reliable option in black and tan colours with valuable in build ear protection. Providing top, nape and ears protection with relatively low penalties and high ricochet chance it’s essentially the class 4 version of the SSH-68 that many players start to use to as their stash value grows although unlocking them for trader purchase requires significant PMC level progress.



The most expensive of the class 4 options particularly if you want to run a face shield as this is limited the black variant otherwise you can expect a roughly similar expense to the Airframe for the coyote coloured version along with similar customisation. The Exfil provides plenty of protection to head and nape natively while the ear covers can add ear protection with low penalty modifiers and retaining the ability to wear a headset. The Exfil is generally considered the best option for a face shield and headset combination although expect to pay a high price for this setup.



A step up in cost from the Ulach is the Airframe which has a few advantages when compared to the other class 4 helmets and generally a middle ground between the budget Ulach and the expensive black Exfil with face shield combo. The Airframe is highly customisable as far as headwear goes in Escape From Tarkov which is a driving factor for its popularity with players able to attach chops, ear and eye protection. The included mount also makes the Airframe a class 4 candidate for any night vision required activities that you might have with similarities to the Ops-Core Fast MT that is equally viable.



A less popular tier 4 helmet given players lose the ability to where a headset although you gain a decent face shield instead that can be effective early game at stopping the common pistol and shotgun rounds you may encounter on PMCs and Scavs. The black variant can only be unlocked by completing Chemical Part 4 with Skier so most players will only have access to the green version.

Tarkov Best Class 5 Helmet

While class 6 does have its uses in Escape From Tarkov their lack of availability means that class 5 helmets are generally the peak armour level and used in close quarters combat given these durable helmets do not support headsets.



Perfect for your Factory raids this helmet offers full class 5 protection and can be paired with an equally strong face shield that gives players incredible durability when combined. Players will not be able to wear a headset though and combined with the significant weight means it is a rare sight outside of the small Factory location.


Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Sam (Seelyon) is a seasoned Escape From Tarkov player with over 1,000 raids across multiple Tarkov patches while accumulating thousands of player kills and maintaining a 50% survival rate who favours a calculated playstyle. During these wipes he has earned the coveted Kappa secure container, proving his determination in the unforgiving world of Tarkov. His passion for the punishing game goes beyond personal accomplishment and he is driven by a desire to guide new players on their own Escape From Tarkov journey one raid at a time.

Through countless firefights, strategic flanks and exhilarating boss encounters, he has accumulated a deep understanding of the game’s mechanics and nuances that allows him to offer valuable insights and strategies to those seeking to navigate the complexities of Tarkov.

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