The most intriguing difference for hackers and makers is that the Pi Zero does not come with the soldered GPIO header. Partially this is to save cost, but it also allows the Pi Zero to be very thin and gives you the option of embedding it easily into a project box.


  • You have to solder in the header to use Pi HATs and Pi toppers


  • You can practice your soldering!
  • Can skip the GPIO header to keep the Pi Zero super slim
  • Solder wires directly into the GPIO pads, use only what you need
  • Try different, exotic headers such as right angle or socket header

Go Classic with 2x20 Male Header

 Like blue jeans and Coca-Cola, the 2x20 male header is the classic option.

Once soldered in, you can plug in any HAT or topper. The pinout is completely identical to the 2x20 headers on the Pi 2 and Pi A+ & B+

Or 2x20 Female Socket Header

This one is interesting, if you solder in a 2x20 female socket header

and attach it upside down you can plug it right into a T-Cobbler!

Advanced 2x20 Right-Angle Female Socket Header

Or, take it even more extreme with 2x20 right angle female header

Now you can stick it into a Cobbler or T-Cobbler and it will sit sort of like a computer daughtercard!

This guide was first published on Nov 26, 2015. It was last updated on Nov 26, 2015.

This page (GPIO header options) was last updated on Nov 26, 2015.

Text editor powered by tinymce.