The Ultimate Guide to UPF Clothing for Tennis & Pickleball

Playing tennis, pickleball, and other racket sports is a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. However, prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and other skin-related issues. Investing in Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing can provide an extra layer of defense, allowing you to focus on your game while keeping your skin protected.

Understanding UPF Clothing

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which measures the effectiveness of fabric in blocking UV radiation. A UPF rating indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric to reach your skin. For example, a UPF rating of 50 means that only 1/50th of the sun's UV rays can pass through the fabric, effectively blocking 98% of UV radiation. UPF ratings range from 15 to 50+, with higher numbers offering greater protection.

Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for UPF Clothing for Tennis & Pickleball

Fabric Quality and Construction

The quality and type of fabric play a crucial role in the effectiveness of UPF clothing. Here’s what to look for:

  • Tightly Woven Fabrics: Fabrics with a tight weave, such as polyester, nylon, and spandex, offer better protection against UV rays compared to loosely woven fabrics.
  • Fabric Weight: Heavier fabrics generally provide better UV protection. However, for racket sports like tennis and pickleball, it’s essential to find a balance between weight and breathability to ensure comfort during physical activity.
  • Stretchability: Since racket sports require a lot of movement, choose fabrics with good elasticity to ensure freedom of movement without compromising protection.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort is paramount when selecting UPF clothing for racket sports, as you’ll be wearing these garments for extended periods and engaging in vigorous activity. Consider the following:

  • Moisture-Wicking Properties: Look for fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable during pickleball matches.
  • Breathability: Opt for garments with ventilation features or breathable fabrics to prevent overheating during intense play.
  • Fit: Ensure the clothing fits well but isn’t too tight. A good fit allows for a full range of motion without being restrictive, which is crucial for tennis and pickleball.


The amount of skin covered by UPF clothing directly affects the level of protection. When choosing UPF clothing for racket sports, consider the following:

  • Long-Sleeve Tops and Pants: These provide maximum coverage and protection, especially for outdoor sports where you are exposed to the sun for extended periods. Long-sleeve UPF shirts and pants are ideal for pickleball enthusiasts.
  • Hats and Visors: Wide-brimmed hats or visors with UPF ratings can protect your face and neck from direct sunlight.

Style and Aesthetics

While functionality is crucial, style and aesthetics also play a role in how comfortable and confident you feel on the court. Look for UPF clothing that reflects your personal style and makes you feel good while wearing it. Stylish UPF sportswear can enhance your pickleball experience.

Recommended UPF Clothing Items for Tennis & Pickleball

UPF Tops

Look for long-sleeve shirts made from lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics. These shirts provide excellent coverage for your arms and often come with thumbholes to keep the sleeves in place during play. JOJU's Laguna shirt is perfect for playing pickleball and tennis and even comes in a shorter length designed for tennis skirts.

UPF Bottoms

Leggings and tights offer full coverage and are ideal for cooler days or early morning matches. Look for options with a wide waistband for comfort and support. For warmer weather, skorts (skirts with built-in shorts) or UPF shorts are excellent choices. Ensure they are made from lightweight, stretchy fabrics that allow for easy movement.

UPF Hats

Wide-brimmed hats offer the best protection for your face, neck, and ears. Look for hats with adjustable straps to ensure a secure fit during play. If you prefer visors, choose ones with UPF protection and a wide brim to shield your face from the sun.

Practical Tips for Shopping for UPF Clothing

Check Labels and Certifications

When shopping for UPF clothing, always check the label for the UPF rating. Reputable brands will have their UPF ratings certified by independent labs. These certifications ensure that the garment has been tested rigorously and meets the stated UPF rating. JOJU independently tests all of our products, which have a 50+ UPF rating.

Perform the Stretch Test

A simple way to test the effectiveness of UPF clothing is by performing the stretch test. Stretch a small section of the fabric and hold it up to the light. If you can see a significant amount of light passing through, the fabric may not provide adequate UV protection. Tightly woven fabrics should allow minimal light to penetrate.

Consider the Water and Wear Test

UPF clothing can lose its effectiveness when wet or after repeated washing. To ensure your UPF garments maintain their protective qualities, consider the following:

  • Water Test: Wet a small section of the fabric and hold it up to the light. If the fabric becomes more transparent when wet, its UPF rating might be compromised in wet conditions.
  • Wear and Wash Test: After several washes, test the fabric again using the stretch test and water test. If the fabric shows signs of wear and loses its opacity, it may no longer provide the stated level of protection.

Maintaining UPF Clothing

To ensure your UPF clothing continues to provide optimal protection, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Follow Care Instructions: Always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain the integrity of the UPF fabric. JOJU shirts are machine washable & dryable.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using bleach or harsh detergents, as they can degrade the fabric and reduce its UPF rating.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your UPF clothing for signs of wear and tear. Replace any garments that have become stretched out or thin.


Wearing UPF clothing for tennis, pickleball, and other racket sports is a wise investment in your health and wellbeing. By understanding the key factors to consider and following practical tips for selecting and maintaining UPF clothing, you can enjoy your favorite outdoor sports while effectively protecting your skin from harmful UV radiation. Prioritize comfort, fit, and style to enhance your performance and confidence on the court. With the right UPF clothing, you can play your best game, stay protected, and look great doing it. Explore our independently tested 50+ UPF rated products at JOJU.