Learn more about Mips helmet safety. These are some frequently asked questions about the Mips® safety system.
Mips stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.
The Mips® system is designed to provide added safety for helmets. For certain impacts, the Mips® system can reduce harmful forces that might otherwise be transferred to the head. The Mips® system is used in many helmet types and by 100+ brands.
Should you have an accident and hit your head, the Mips® system in your helmet is designed to help reduce the rotational motion of certain impacts that may otherwise be transferred to your head.
Rotational motion is the most common cause for concussions and more severe brain injury in oblique hits to the head.
The Mips® system consists of a low friction layer that is mounted in the helmet. In a crash, the low friction layer is designed to move slightly inside the helmet in order to help redirect forces away from the head. This is intended to help reduce the risk of brain injury.
Mips operates as an ingredient brand and does not sell helmets. If your helmet does not have the Mips® system already, you cannot add it yourself. The technology is integrated during the helmet manufacturing process. The reason for that is that we want to make sure that the Mips® system is properly installed in the helmet.
The Mips® system is for everyone that uses a helmet. Whether you are riding on two wheels, on the slopes or working in construction.
Our ambition is to exist in every sport, profession or activity where we can make a difference. The Mips® system is available in nine of the ten major bike and snow helmet brands, but also in motorcycle, horseback riding, ice hockey, climbing, children’s helmets as well as LEAF and construction helmets.
There are Mips®-equipped helmets in several price points today. The price of the helmet is up to the brand to decide. You can today buy a Mips®-equipped helmet from most of the largest helmet brands
Look for the yellow dot on the back of the helmet. On many helmets, you can spot an extra layer inside of it. On other helmets, the layer is integrated with the comfort padding and therefore not as visible.
In most instances when you fall while moving and hit your head, you don’t fall in a straight line — you fall at an angle, similar to how a tennis ball makes contact with the ground after being hit with a racket. When your head hits something at an angle, it exposes your head to rotational motion, which studies have shown to be more dangerous than linear impacts.
The Mips® system in your helmet works as an extra layer that moves slightly when impacted and is designed to help reduce the force from the rotational motion away from the head.
Some helmet testing methods today more accurately emulate real life accidents and account for rotational motion, but most helmet testing methods have remained relatively unchanged for decades. However, thanks to recent scientific advancements and brain injury advocacy, more and more helmet testing methods are improving and testing for rotational motion. We believe that testing standards will change and that all tests will include rotational motion within the coming years.
Mips test protocols are aligned with common practices for testing standards in regard to rotational motion. Independent testing institutes such as Virginia Tech, FIM, Folksam, and the ECE all use these agreed upon methods. In addition to Mips’ tests (more than 40 000 tests have been performed at the global test center in Stockholm), the third-party testing institutes that address rotational motion have verified our technology.
For example, in early 2021 the independent testing institute at Virginia Tech tested over 100 helmets and found that 42 of around 50 helmets that had received a five-star rating (Virginia Tech’s highest safety rating) were helmets with the Mips® system.
We can see third-party validations from external institutes and organizations, such as Virginia Tech, Folksam and Länsförsäkringar. In addition to that, there are multiple doctoral theses presented around the Mips® system and we have done over 40 000 tests in our test lab proving our technology.
That depends on the individual helmet, the person and the accident. Every crash is unique and every person is unique. So, you can never state any claims on how a certain helmet will add protection.
Every Mips® solution is intended to give an omnidirectional coverage of the whole surface between the head and helmet and enable a relative movement of 10-15mm. This, to help redirect the energy away from the head in an oblique impact.
All Mips®-equipped helmets are certified for the region that they are sold.
We believe that the testing standard will change and that all tests will include rotational motion within the coming years in Europe. It is already included in official testing standards for motorbikes in Europe.
About the company
Peter Halldin, a researcher at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and Hans von Holst, a Neurosurgeon and professor emeritus, together developed ground-breaking technology to improve the way helmets protect the head. Their goal was to achieve better protection against rotational motion transferred to the head, an area of research that received very little attention at the time. Several years of research, testing, and development led to innovation, and the Mips® system was born.
The Mips® low-friction layer is designed to add minimal volume and weight. Each model of helmet gets a layer that’s custom-designed and engineered to fit the ventilation, shape, and other features of the helmet style.
Those helmets that are retrofitted with the Mips® safety system might see a reduction in helmet size by one size. New models will not be affected in this way.
The Mips® low friction layer weights from 25 to 45 grams, depending on the helmet model.
The force between the head and the helmet is very high at the event of an impact. To get a relative motion between the helmet and the head, a low coefficient of friction is needed. The scalp may help to reduce the rotational motion to the brain in a small way, but not to a substantive degree.
Clean the helmet using a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild soap (such as mild dish soap). Allow it to air dry in an open area, and store in a cool, dry place when it’s not in use. Do not tamper with or remove the Mips® low friction layer by any means. If you have more questions about caring for your helmet, please contact the manufacturer of the helmet or/and your local dealer.