Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

If you’re currently a welder or looking to become one as your career or hobby, then safety gear should be of the utmost importance to you. And right on the top of any list of safety equipment will be a high-quality welding helmet. We’ve put together a top 5 best welding helmet review of 2024 for you.

The UV rays that are emitted from the welding arc can cause serious damage to your eyesight, including a painful condition called arc eye, in which the cornea becomes inflamed. Another potential issue is retina burns, which can result in loss of vision from the concentrated ultraviolet and infrared rays emitted during welding.

The best way to protect yourself from eye damage is by purchasing an excellent welding helmet. But to determine which of the many brands of helmets is the right one for you, you’ll have to make a few choices. So, here are some of the factors to consider as you make your decision:

Auto-darkening vs. passive lens helmets

Deciding between auto-darkening and the passive lens is going to be your first decision, and many welders find that it’s a difficult one. They often question which helmet is better suited for their needs and which one will give them the best overall value. Here are a few considerations:


  • Auto-darkening helmets are typically more comfortable to use since they are designed to darken automatically and immediately when the sensors recognize a welding arc.
  • Another advantage: you can wear the helmet throughout the entire process from setup to welding to slag removal.
  • If you do a lot of tack welding and short welds, the auto-darkening filter feature will save you from having to lift and lower the lens shade repeatedly, as you would with a passive lens.
  • Some welders also complain of neck strain from flipping their passive lens helmet up and down during a long day.


  • Passive welding helmets have the advantages of affordability and lighter weight.
  • However, if you switch welding projects, it’s up to you to change the lens since there is no adjustment in the fixed lens.
  • As mentioned, helmets with a passive lens must be lifted and lowered each time a new weld is started.
Lincoln Electric 3350
Lincoln Electric 3350
  • Exceptional clarity when it comes to true color
  • Grinding mode
  • Lightweight, adjustable, and comfortable
  • It has four sensors
  • Field of view is large and tall
  • Warranty of 3 years
3M Speedglass 9100
3M Speedglass 9100
  • Peripheral vision side windows
  • Vents on the side for ventilation
  • 3 shade modes for grinding
  • A light and comfortable design
  • Light weight with excellent clarity
Esab Sentinel A50
Esab Sentinel A50
  • Lenses with true colors
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Design that’s really cool
  • 4 Grind Button on the outside
  • Hard hat adapter compatible
  • A great value for the money

Welding helmets are vital and arguably one of the most important pieces of personal protection equipment that you may have today. Welding helmets, sometimes known as “hoods,” provide a plethora of functions as well as safety. Welding helmets protect the eyes and skin from hot sparks and the vision from UV and infrared radiation generated while welding.

Welding helmets are widely used in the workplace due to their importance. They have recently become a statement of personality, prompting the addition of numerous hues and drawings that reflect this. Welding helmets can be worn for several hours each day, thus comfort is critical.

When going through the many options available to you, here are some things to consider as you browse welding helmets. Some appear futuristic and have fantastic characteristics. We’ve compiled a list that can help you find some helmets that fit your criteria:

You can read our full review to find out what we thought of each model we chose for our top five.

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet – Top Pick

Jackson Safety Insight Auto Darkening Welding Helmet - Ultra Lightweight Protective Welder Helmet with Digital Variable Auto Darkening Filter and HLX100 Shell for Men and Women, Universal Size

Trusted Brand

Shades rely upon multiple sensors to determine the proper setting for their automatic dimming functionality. Shades have a large viewing area.

The lens is equipped with an auto darkening filter, so the welder can match the shade of the lens to the surrounding environment in which he or she is working. This lens has a viewing area measuring 3.93 inches by 2.36 inches. It has a user-friendly control panel. The lens complies both with ANSI and CSA standards. Trusted brand name when it comes to welding helmets and personal protective equipment. The shade can be adjusted from 9 to 13 degrees.

Some people may experience discomfort at times while wearing a helmet because it is too tight for them.

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets in 2024

Out of hundreds of models of welding helmets our experts selected the best auto-darkening welding helmets that can be found on the market.


Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet 2022 Reviews - Buyer's Guide

This helmet of the Viking 3350 series is a great addition. This helmet is the best pick for an auto-darkening hood. Lincoln says the helmet is designed to be comfortable, versatile, and premium optics.

The glass of this helmet is so clear that it can be seen very comfortably through it. This helmet’s material is so excellent that it gives you such an optical explanation that you can see the world’s true colours. It is one of the best rated auto-darkening welding helmets.

Most welders who have used this helmet are so pleased with the optical quality that they recommend it to others, as it illuminates five to thirteen different variable shade levels.

Its weight has been adequately distributed to improve the balance and make this helmet feel lighter, making its design stunning.

Some users have complained that the headgear is not tight enough, and the knob doesn’t get closed, which means it often falls off its head while bending over.

This auto-darkening helmet has a feature that makes it fit on the hard hat as well. The helmets for the 3350 series come in various colourful designs ranging from racing streaks to robot head and skull designs.

The 1.2-pound helmet is not the lightest helmet on the market, but the way the glass is mounted to enhance the optical clarity increases its weight.

Lincoln Electric is a well-known welding equipment manufacturer and the first choice of skilled welders. Undoubtedly, Lincoln Viking 3350 is the best auto-darkening welding helmet for the money.


  • Large viewing area
  • Active Grind mode
  • Seven lenses (inside and out), bandana, and helmet bag
  • Inside dials


  • Headgear is not close-fitting
  • Brightness can get inside and annoy

2. YESWELDER 302C – Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews - Buyer's Guide

The Yeswelder 302C auto-darkening welding helmet has excellent features with great views. Its design introduces a wide viewing angle to the front, which is also applied to the sides.

It gives you a wide-angle of 180 degrees to see nearby with nothing in the way. Fifteen square inches of the viewport is enough to look around what’s happening; this helmet gives 1/1/1/1 optical clarity and quality that allows you to see everything without damaging the eyes.

This special welding helmet introduces six-light sensors that prevent you from being suddenly disturbed in the dark. It also introduces the best color technology that gives you a practical scenario and shows real colors.

Its design is convenient and excellent, which provides you with so much curvature that you can bend the effect of anything. Yeswelder’s 302C helmet doesn’t look unconventional at all.

This will be a great choice if you need the best auto-darkening welding helmet for less than 200. It is one of the best auto darkening welding hoods on the market.

This helmet comes with a headgear that users say is not comfortable, nor is it long-lasting and durable. Many owners say that if the helmet’s headgear is replaced with the Lincoln Jackson’s headgear, it will become a better helmet with only a slight modification.

Despite these additional costs, it is still a great choice and effective. Undeniably, Yeswelder 302C is the best auto-darkening welding helmet for the price.


  • 14.8 square inch viewing area
  • Internal settings controls
  • Real color screen
  • Solid construction


  • Complaints about insufficient shade
  • Headgear is cheap

3. HOBART 770890 – Best Welding Helmet for The Money

Best Welding Helmet for The Money

Is your budget too modest, and you are looking for the best auto darkening welding helmet under 100? Then there can be no better choice than Hobart 770980 as it is considered one of the best auto-darkening welding helmets on a budget.

Hobart has long been one of the best in the welding industry. Things like the Inventor welding helmet are closely related to them.

The automated dial enhances its features, which are easier to use than the buttons, as they can be easily used with gloves on.

Its helmet shell is fragile because it is made of polyamide nylon. Also, a particular type of material makes it very light in weight, and at the same time, it also protects you from collisions and sparks.

It offers adjustments to both the top and rear sections with high-quality headgear. It is a feature that leads to weight gain and a significant increase in comfort and balance.

Helmets introduced by Hobart Inventor are probably a little heavier than all their other helmets of their class. This weight gain is the 9.3-inch viewport, and it also has a cheater lens installed inside the viewport. However, being overweight is not a big deal, as it is very balanced.

The Hobart and Jackson are probably the most widely used auto-darkening welding helmets available at specialist Welder’s stores.

The reason for such popularity and use is the comfort in this helmet. Hobart 770890 is considered the best affordable auto-darkening welding helmet.


  • Sensitivity and delay controls
  • Automatic on and off
  • Low battery indicator
  • Excellent balance and visual clarity


  • Slightly heavier at 1.25 pounds

4. ANTRA AH6-260 – Best Auto Dimming Welding Helmets

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

The Antra AH 260 the best welding helmet for beginners that introduces the most unusual features in its genre. A distinctive feature is that it has five to thirteen different shade levels.

Weighing in at just 17 ounces, this is another excellent feature, which means it’s skinny, making it perfect for industrial use. Knocking around and whacking it with other things makes it even easier to wear.

One thing that has emerged from a thin material is that you can’t use it as overhead welding because molten slag can burn it.

One of the significant advantages of this welding helmet is that batteries can charge it under solar energy. It is also certified to get an auto to darken and protected by MIG, TIG, plasma, and arc. Its filter glass protects you from the sun’s rays like UV and IR, whether it’s charged or not.

Many users have advised other co-workers to buy this helmet and replace its headgear with another. This helmet is power-driven by solar power and comes with a battery that enhances its features.

It has been able to adjust its delay, and the sensitivity controls in it make it invaluable compared to other helmets available in its price range.

Another incredible feature is that it is designed to automatically increase or decrease the power, meaning that it will automatically reduce when its hood is lowered.


  • Variable loss from 5-13
  • Solar Powered
  • Response time 0.00004 (1 / 25,000) seconds


  • Thin plastic
  • Some users report flashbacks to Mid weld


Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Our Review

One of the most striking features of this helmet is that everything starts to look light green if you look out of its mirror. The idea behind adding this beautiful feature is that if the work is done with natural colors, the work will be much easier.

This type of helmet is used only by experts due to its price, and at the same time, some users have complained that its headgear sometimes loses, but this is not a big issue. Its batteries are made of compelling lithium metal. 

It also has a Grinding Mode button for use, including gloves. Its shadow level can be adjusted from five to thirteen.

A button mounted on it illuminates the glass so that you can perform your other tasks well. When you hit an arc to start working again, the glass turns dark again. When you finish welding, the shadow level decreases to three.

This cool helmet gives you two pre-configured modes where you can already adjust or memorize the darkness settings. It is 100 times better then the auto-darkening welding goggles.

The Grab and Go function activates the 3M SpeedGlass helmet in its latest configuration and automatically closes the glass to save batteries.

Professional features of this helmet include how you breathe and the side windows that make long-term work more comfortable.


  • Activation of the external grinding mode
  • Match the ANSI Z87.1-2010 bearing standard
  • Manual windows


  • Some users report loose headgear
  • Fading can be challenging to keep clean

6. JACKSON SAFETY INSIGHT 46131– Best Welding Helmets for Bad Eyes

JACKSON SAFETY INSIGHT 46131- Best Welding Helmets for Bad Eyes

Jackson’s welding helmets are commonly seen and used in fabrication shops. These helmets are famous for their inside headgear, which Jackson calls Halox. Users love this helmet very much, and it is one of their priorities.

Welders who do not wear a Jackson helmet also prefer to have a similar headgear fitted inside their other helmet. It is a 2-pound heavy helmet. Being overweight will cause your neck pain if used too long for hours.

Some welders say that its constant use causes sparks and sunburn on the neck and other areas around it. This helmet would be a better choice for small scale welders due to this problem and shortness of breath due to prolonged use inside it.

This helmet gives you the best quality optics in a reasonable price range. Owners often admire the automated darkening technology, saying it is the best technology they’ve ever had. Many people are also happy with the digital shade control process that it turns into a single glance.


  • High-quality automatic dark
  • Jackson headgear is an industry favorite
  • Excellent Response time


  • Some reports of neck strain coverage
  • Heavy in 2 pounds

7. ESAB SENTINEL A50 – Auto Darkening Welding Helmets Review

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

ASAB’s Sentinel A50 is an attempt to redefine traditional welding helmets. The “space fighter” vision of the future serves a purpose. Cars, cabinets, and machines are leveled for close-up work.

The curved shape is also intended to enhance head coverage and is designed for good peripheral vision to avoid curved lens fragments. However, many owners have reported that close-up welding can cause lens damage.

As a piece, which is not standardized across the industry, the seats are expensive. Some users complain about blinding and “fishy” effects through this viewport.

One area where ESAB appears to be fleeing from home is a 5-point headgear. This design has a basket that fits over the head, as is used with many helmets.

The 5-point headgear allows you to shift the helmet’s weight in different directions for difficult welding conditions such as lying down.

The ESAB A50 is not visible at all. A high-tech feature is the phone-like color touch screen for shade and sensitivity settings.


  •  Eight separate memories
  • Solar Powered
  • Response time 0.00004 (1 / 25,000) seconds


  • Thin plastic
  • Some users report flashbacks to Mid weld

8. MILLER DIGITAL INFINITY– Best Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

MILLER DIGITAL INFINITY- Best Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

With a viewing area of 13.4 square inches, Digital Infinity Miller’s line is located at the top in the best welding helmets industry. You can’t buy a larger viewing window than this, which allows you to see when to fit in a small space and see work from only one angle.

Miller’s Claire Light technology provides high-definition dedicated color optics with a defined value of 1/1/1/2.

This helmet comes in four different shades.

  • Weld mode offers varying shades from 8 to 13.
  • Cut mode offers lens shadow levels 5 to 8.
  • Ground mode shadow level 3.

X mode eliminates stimuli in bright sunlight. Low amperage welding processes such as TIG can adversely affect variable shadow filters, and the filter is clean while you are still welding. Rather than using X-mode light sensors, it uses electromagnetic sensors to detect the welding arc, eliminating these emotional problems. It is one of the best large view auto darkening welding helmet.

With an informative track-timing recording program, a help menu, and Miller’s 3-year warranty, Digital Infinity is one of the best helmets in its price range.


  • X mode eliminates sunlight activation
  •  LCD screen for adjustment
  •  The bright light color filter


  • Sometimes slips forward

Buyer’s Guide

Generally, a welding helmet is used to protect the eyes, face, and head when welding. However, many of the helmets, including some of those in the list above, can also be used for grinding and plasma cutting because they have the shade setting to protect against certain levels of visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet.

The welding mask is the most important piece of safety equipment when welding, and whether you’re a keen hobbyist who welds in their yard or a professional with a full studio, you need to ensure that you get a helmet to meet your needs. Below are some of the essential features to look for.


Most modern welding helmets are auto-darkening. They use several sensors to automatically determine when you start welding and then darken the lens to protect your eyes against visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light. It is this darkening that provides the protection that a helmet yields.


To achieve the auto-darkening function, the helmet uses one or more sensors to detect arcs or light. The more sensors, the more accurate the detection and the more of the lens that the sensors cover. Typically, helmets include four sensors, but some may have as few as one or two, and others can have five sensors. Four is generally considered the sweet spot because they will cover your field of view and provide protection from light across your eye line.

Lens Reaction Time

A lens will darken once the sensors determine that there is bright light. This happens in a fraction of a second and it protects the wearer from glare. The actual amount of time it takes to transition from light to dark is called the lens reaction time and is measured in milliseconds or tens of thousandths of a second.

The range is usually between 10,000 and 25,000, with the higher numbers offering quicker protection. 1/10,000th of a second is still considered suitable, but for prolonged use, it may lead to eye fatigue and can cause headaches.

Image Credit: Baloncici, Shutterstock

Shading Range

The shade number is the amount or intensity of light that passes through the lens and into your eye. The higher the shade number, the more light is prevented from getting through. The higher the shade number, the darker the filter.

Modern welding helmets tend to offer a range, rather than a fixed shading level. For welding, 8 or higher is recommended for TIG welding, while 10 to 13 or higher is ideal for MIG welding. Lower numbers, from around 5 to 8, are used for plasma cutting and grinding. The lower numbers still allow enough light through so that you can make accurate cuts but protect against the bright light.

Viewing Area

Welding helmets use electronic sensors, displays, and viewers. The size of the viewer determines how wide and tall a field of view you have. Some projects may require that you only need a small field of view, while others require a much larger viewing area. Most manufacturers publish the viewing area of their helmets so that you can ensure a good field of view for your work. If the field of view is too small for your application, you will have to move your workpiece or head around more.

welder wearing helmet and gloves
Image Credit: Everyonephoto Studio, Shutterstock


The weight of the welding mask influences several factors. Lightweight masks are more comfortable and easier to flip and use. But they can feel flimsy and may be more easily damaged than heavier ones. Determining the best weight will depend on personal preference and whether you are comfortable wearing a heavy mask.

Comfort and Adjustability

Masks fit around and over the head to keep them in place and ensure a snug fit that protects more of your head and face from potential injury. But we all have different shapes and sizes of faces and heads, so a mask should have adjustable headgear. It should be easy to adjust but remain in place once you’ve set it to the right shape.

Power Source

The sensors, viewers, and digital controls of a welding helmet require a power source. In most cases, this means small batteries. The batteries may be replaceable, and a decent battery can last a year or two before it needs replacing. Some are solar-charged, so they will recharge in sunlight, which is helpful if you weld in a sunny, outdoor environment. A few helmets also offer USB or other charging methods, so you can always ensure you have a full charge, and the auto-darkening feature can do its job effectively.

welding helmet
Image Credit: GiomarArango, Pixabay

What Is Arc-Eye?

Arc eye is caused when the eye is exposed to too much ultraviolet light. Its proper name is photokeratitis, which can lead to blurred vision and swollen eyes. It is usually a temporary condition, and the eye will recover after a short period, but continued exposure to UV light can lead to more permanent damage, hence the importance of a good welding helmet.

What Is Welder’s Flash?

Welder’s flash is another name given to arc-eye because it is commonly caused by exposure to the UV generated by welding torches.

How Long Does It Take for Welder’s Eye to Heal?

If you suffer from welder’s eye, you can use eye drops to help alleviate the symptoms, and the problem will usually go away naturally, on its own. This can take a day or two before arc-eye is completely healed.


Welding is a potentially dangerous activity. You must use the appropriate safety equipment while following best practices to minimize the risk of injury and damage, especially to the eyes, face, and head. A welding mask is the primary source of protection, and there are masks suitable for hobbyists or occasional welders, as well as professionals that spend hours each day welding.

While compiling the reviews above, we found the ESAB Sentinel 150 to be the best overall welding helmet because of its reasonable price and professional-level protection and features. For a budget-friendly option, the Antra AH6-260-0000 is a good choice for the hobbyist welder that wants decent protection at an affordable price.