A wide-brimmed hat helps protect its wearer from the harmful rays of the sun. 

Most dermatologists agree that sunscreens aren't enough to protect you from too much sun. Many leading doctors recommend an arsenal of interventions to fend off overexposure, and one tool is a sun-protection hat, according to information found on Rodale.com.

Here's how Rodale, healthy-living publisher of Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling and other publications, rates the most popular hats in terms of sun protection:

Straw hat -- Straw hats are favorites because the light material breathes well, providing comfort in hot climes. But unless there's a tightly woven cloth fabric lining the inside, you're not getting the sun protection you need. 

Baseball cap -- Going to a ball game? You'd be better off wearing a different type of hat than the players on the field are wearing because baseball caps, while protecting the scalp and the top of the nose, don't provide coverage of ears or the back of the neck.  

Flap hat -- This is a baseball cap with flaps that fall down the side of your face, better protecting your ears, cheeks, and neck. Some types even sport Velcro so you can fold each side's flap over your nose, protecting all parts of your face except your eyes. You aren't going to be considered fashion-foward while wearing this type of hat. But dermatology experts say it's among the best in terms of sun protection. 

Bucket hat -- The bucket hat offers, to a lesser degree, some of the same protections of the flap hat. Exposed areas should be slathered with a sunscreen, particularly if you're on the water, which reflects the sun's rays.

Cowboy hat -- Whether you're herding cattle or just donning a 10-gallon cowboy hat for fun, think of it as part of the sun solution thanks to coverage of the ears, forehead and neck, but not complete protection. 

Wide-brimmed hat -- One of the top performers among sun-protective hats. Choose a style with a brim of at least three inches that's made of SPF 30+ material like those from companies like Tilley, Coolibar, and Sun Precautions.

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