During the early times, medieval helmets were essential for protection and served as a symbol of power and status. From the Coppergate Helmet to the Great Helm, these helmets were crafted with great care and detail. In this blog, we will be discussing the top 5 best medieval helmets for early times, including their features and benefits.
We will delve deeper into each helmet’s history, what makes them unique, and how they functioned in battle. Additionally, we will also explore the characteristics of the best medieval helmets that make them stand out from others in terms of durability, design, and effectiveness. So whether you’re a history buff or just looking to expand your knowledge on medieval armor, this guide has got you covered!
Table of Contents
Best Medieval Helmets:
5. Coppergate Helmet
During the early medieval times, there were many types of helmets used for protection during battles. Among these, the Coppergate Helmet is one of the best-preserved Anglo-Saxon helmets from the 8th century, found in York, England. This helmet was among the crested helms that were popular in Scandinavia and England during the 6th to the 11th century.
Other popular helmets during this time included the Sallet and Great Helm, which provided better protection than earlier versions. Today, the Coppergate Helmet is preserved in a museum but replicas of this medieval helmet are still in production along with other popular helmets like Cervelliere and Combat Helmets.
Overall, these medieval helmets played an important role in protecting warriors during battles and are a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of early medieval times.
4. Kettle Hat
One of the top 5 best medieval helmet types for early times was the Kettle Hat. This helmet was commonly worn by infantry due to its good protection against blows from above. The kettle hat had a wide metal brim but did not provide any face protection. It was also known as Eisenhut or chapeau de fer, meaning ‘hat of iron’ in German and French, respectively.
The kettle hat was sometimes worn with a coif underneath and was also used for protection in non-war situations, like mining. During the 13th century, it was made from a single sheet of iron or steel, unlike earlier versions made from multiple steel plates. Overall, the Kettle Hat was an important part of medieval battle gear due to its effectiveness in protecting soldiers from overhead blows.
During early Medieval times, there were a variety of helmets available for protection in battle. The Spangenhelm was the most commonly used open-faced helmet, but it did not provide adequate protection for the wearer’s face. The Bascinet, on the other hand, was the most popular European medieval helmet and had a variety of skull-forms and types of visor. The Klappvisor, a fully visored style of bascinet, was developed around 1360-1370.
Other popular helmets during this time included the sallet and great helm, which were effective in protecting the wearer. Custom-made medieval helmets also became popular and included the armet, barbute, kettle hat, and sallet.
These helmets required measurements such as head circumference and distance between temples to ensure a proper fit.
2. Bascinet with Klappvisor
During the early medieval times, helmets played an important role in protecting warriors. The Bascinet with Klappvisor is a fully battle-ready reconstruction of a late medieval helmet from the 14th Century and ranks among the top 5 best medieval helmets for early times. This helmet was made to provide maximum protection for the head, face, and neck while maintaining visibility for the wearer.
Before the Bascinet emerged in the 12th century, other medieval helmets like Cervelliere and Spangenhelm were similar to those of the Romans. Medieval helmets can be custom-made as per required measurements like head circumference, distance from forehead to back of the head, and distance between temples.
Reenactors seeking a German Closed Bellows Helmet or other styles can choose from a variety of medieval helmets like Armet, Barbute, Capeline, Great Helm, Horned Helmet, Kettle Hat, Morion, Nasal Helm, Pigface Helmet, Sallet, and Spangenhelm. Overall, investing in high-quality medieval helmets is essential for both safety and authenticity when it comes to historical reenactments or theatrical performances.
1. Great Helm
During the early medieval period, knights primarily used Spangenhelm and Nasal helmets, which did not provide adequate protection for the face. However, the Great Helm became popular among Western knights during the Crusades and was an efficient form of the bascinet.
The Kettle Helm, with origins in Medieval Byzantium, also gained popularity amongst Europeans during the High and Late Medieval periods, while the Spangenhelm remained popular during the Early Medieval Period.
Other helmets like Bascinet, Cervelliere, and Horned helmet were used by ancient knights during the High Medieval period. However, it was likely that the Great Helm and Sallet were the most popular helmets of all time as they provided maximum protection and security during battles. These helmets were designed to offer complete coverage for the head and face without compromising mobility.
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Characteristics of the Best Medieval Helmets
During the medieval period, helmets were one of the most important pieces of armor for a warrior. The best medieval helmets were designed to provide maximum protection and comfort, as well as an intimidating appearance. The most popular helmets in history include the Sallet and Great Helm due to their effectiveness in providing enhanced protection.
The Bascinet was also commonly used during the Middle Ages and eventually evolved into the fully visored Klappvisor style. Medieval helmets evolved from the Spangenhelm to the Cervelliere, Capelina, and Great Helm that were used by infantry and cavalry.
Other helmets produced during this time included the Nasal helmet, Barbute, and Kettle hat. However, some early medieval helmets like Coppergate and Spangenhelm lacked face protection making them inferior in terms of protection compared to other designs.
Advantages of Medieval Helmets
Medieval helmets were essential for protecting the head of warriors during battles. The best medieval helmets had several characteristics in common, including effective protection of the head and face, durability, and compatibility with other armor pieces.
Two popular types of medieval helmets were the sallet and great helm, which offered excellent protection to the wearer’s face. Advancements in helmet design and manufacturing techniques led to enhanced protection for knights during wars.
Hence, medieval helmets provided significant advantages to warriors on the battlefield, offering vital protection and contributing to their success in battles.
Disadvantages of Medieval Helmets
When it comes to the best medieval helmets, there are key characteristics to look for. Helmets that offer full coverage of the head, neck, and shoulders provide the most protection.
However, many medieval helmets did not adequately protect the wearer’s face, making them vulnerable in battle. In fact, some helmets are even forbidden in modern sword combat due to their insufficient level of protection.
Despite these disadvantages, the design and build of medieval helmets improved over time due to advancements in manufacturing techniques and craftsmen’s skills. Various types of helmets were used during the Middle Ages for different purposes. The cervellera, great helm, and barbuta were just a few examples.
What was the most popular type of medieval helmet?
The most common and popular type of medieval helmet was the “Great helm.” It was a simple, conical-shaped helmet made of steel and covered the entire head and neck. It often had a visor or nasal guard to protect the face. This type of helmet was used by knights and soldiers during the 12th and 13th centuries.
What materials were commonly used to make medieval helmets?
Medieval helmets were typically made from a variety of materials including iron, steel, brass, bronze, and leather. The exact material used depended on the region and time period in which the helmet was made. Some helmets were also decorated with gold or silver accents to signify the wearer’s status or rank.
How did the design and style of helmets change over time?
The design and style of helmets have changed significantly over time. Early helmets were made of leather or metal and were often heavy and uncomfortable. As technology advanced, materials like plastic and carbon fiber were introduced, making helmets lighter and more protective.
Designs have also changed to improve ventilation and reduce wind resistance. In addition, helmet styles have evolved to include full-face options for extreme sports and aerodynamic designs for racing.
The helmet design has continued to evolve with a focus on safety, comfort, and performance.
In conclusion, the medieval era is renowned for its unique and intricate helmet designs. The top five helmets discussed- Coppergate, Kettle Hat, Spangenhelm, Bascinet with Klappvisor, and Great Helm- stand out for their durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.
They were crafted to provide maximum protection while allowing the wearer to see and breathe comfortably. Characteristics such as thickness, shape, material quality, ventilation, and visibility were taken into account when designing these helmets. If you’re interested in medieval armor and weapons, these helmets should be on your list to investigate further.
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