Helmets reduce the frequency and severity of head and brain injuries over a broader range of impact severities than covered by the various impact attenuation standards. Our goal was to compare, over a wide range of impact speeds, the impact attenuation performance of a number of common helmets varying from an inexpensive, non-approved beanie helmet to high-end, DOT- and Snell-approved full-face helmets. We conducted 32 single drop tests of six different helmets on a flat anvil at impact speeds of 1.2 to 10.1 m/s (energy = 3.7 to 259 J; equivalent drop heights of 7 to 518 cm). The beanie helmet reached a peak headform acceleration of 852g at 29 J and was not tested at higher energies. Three full-face and one open-face helmet responded linearly to between 290g and 345g at about 260 J, and a shorty-style helmet behaved like the full- face helmets up to 150 J, above which its acceleration rose to 663g at 242 J. Restitutions varied from 0.23 to 0.43 for the approved-helmets. Across all severities and helmets tested, the open- and full-face helmets generated the lowest headform acceleration and therefore provided the best protection against head and brain injury.