Best MMA Headgear 2021
Best MMA Headgear
You only get 1 brain, you must take care of it! What better way than taking care of it with the best MMA headgear available on the market.
1. Venum Elite Headgear - Best Overall
This ultra lightweight made of 100% skintex leather, contains triple density contoured foam for maximum protection and contains an open top design to best deal with perspiration (your sweat) and moisture.
On top of this, it is made my Venum. Why is this a big deal? The UFC inked a deal with Venum meaning they're now in the world spotlight, and have extremely high standards to adhere to (and maintain). For these reasons the Venum Elite MMA Headgear made the top of our list as the best MMA headgear.
- High Quality & Long Lasting
Pros: High quality, great design, maximum protection, ventilation, compact, light
Cons: One size
Higher End of Price but Very High Quality
Featuring a patented T-cross closure that allows the user to have minimal shifting, maximum protection for the cheek bones, chin, and ears.
This MMA headgear is made of Vylar engineered leather, the strongest material for great durability and an open top, to keep you cool while you push your body to the limits. If you have experience with lower quality MMA headgears, you know that it is very frustrating to know that you can't push yourself to the level that you want, only because the MMA headgear has a poor ventilation system. This MMA headgear eliminates that concern.
The compact design allows for more protection without the added bulk that other MMA headgears come with.
3. Everlast Everfresh Headgear - Best on a Budget
Pros: Best if you're on a budget looking for protection, contains all of the essentials
Cons: Not the highest quality but will work, may wear down faster
Maybe you're starting out, or maybe you're on a budget? This may be the best fit for you! This MMA headgear will give you everything that you need in order to be safe and on the mats training.
This MMA headgear contains an adjustable chin strap to adjust the tightness of your fit, cheek protectors. It is a one size fits most, and it comes in black (black tends to be less noticeable as it starts to wear down over time).
Something to note: The outer layer of this MMA headgear is synthetic leather.
4. Venum Challenger 2.0 Headgear - Larger Heads
Pros: Great brand, solid protection
Cons: One size fits all. If you have a very large or very small head, these one size fit all heagears may not work for you.
Venum as a manufacturer focuses specifically on MMA. This ultralight headgear is very popular, as it still offers top of the line protection vs contact with its triple density foam. When it comes down to protection and movement this headgear is fantastic. The velcro strap allows them to get away with a one size fits all approach.
As mentioned above the Venum brand has now inked a deal with the UFC, and their products will be under watch in the world spot light. They have to keep producing high quality products and improving their high quality products.
5. Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear- Grappling Headgear
Pros: Grappling headgear, easy to use, lightweight, ear protection
Cons: Can't be used for all Mixed Martial Arts
You should notice right away this is a different headgear than all of the other ones. This is a grappling based headgear. A normal headgear doesn't always make sense when grappling and in this case is when a grappling headgear makes sense.
This headgear provides a lightweight frame, great ear protection as well as a ventilation system. Due to this it has quickly become one of the most popular grappling headgears on the market.
Two straps on the top of your head, and one on your chin. It is relatively easy to adjust within seconds and it stays at the adjusted size throughout contact as well. This means: Less focusing on adjusting your headgear during your training/match, and more focusing on winning.
Pros: Price, full 360 degree head protection
Cons: Comes in 2 sizes
The best priced helmet at the time of this writing, containing thick shock reducing cell foam on the outside, and multi layered and shock absorbing inner foams on the inside to protect your forehead, cheeks, chin and ears for a full head protective system. It comes in sizes Large and Extra Large and typically fits most people.
Why Wear A Headgear During Sparring?
Headgear is an extremely important piece of equipment used by MMA fighters of all ages and all levels. A good top level MMA headgear can prevent and reduce many different risks associated with MMA.
1. Exterior Injuries - Face
Headgears are fantastic to prevent superficial injuries such as cuts, black eyes, and bruising. Not only can these three injuries keep you out of the gym for a period of time, but having to walk around school/work with cuts or bruises after every training session will have others concerned for your well being.
Something else to note: Your nose! Your nose is one of those features that once broken, is easy to break the next time, and the time after that, and so forth.
2. Cauliflower Ears
Now known as the universal sign for 'I've wrestled, do MMA, do jiu jitsu/bjj, or all of the above'! Some people want them, as they show the person sporting them has put in the time on the mats, others do not want them.
If you are part of the latter, you'll be pleased to know that MMA headgears can prevent cauliflower ears.
If you enjoy putting airpods in your ears, get a decent MMA headgear!
Jaw injuries can be some of the most devastating injuries you can experience. A hit to the face can injure, dislocate, or even break your jaw. You never realize how much you need a part of your body until it gets injured! Everyone uses their jaw on a daily basis whether to talk or eat. Protect it.
MMA Mouthguards can also help with preventing injuries
Oftentimes accidental headbutts are the ones who end up doing the most damage. Whether it is an accidental head to head headbutt, or accidentally headbutting an elbow or knee when level changing, the list goes on. You may laugh at these examples but you'd be surprised at the amount of silly injuries that occur at a gym on a weekly basis.
Why Not Wear a Headgear During Sparring?
There's no denying there's an adjustment period when wearing a headgear for the first time. Some fighters don't wear the headgear for enough time in order to adjust to it, and quit using it after a few practices.
For fighters who especially rely on their speed, bulky items will affect their top speed in a negative way. They may not be able to move the way they want to during their training and it can also make you a bigger target, in terms of your opponent being able to land as this is a game on inches.
A headgear can have an impact on your peripheral vision while sparring, and can affect being able to see punches or kicks coming from the side.
Another aspect is having a false sense of security. You may purposefully absorb additional shots that you typically wouldn't without a headgear, as the effects of being punched aren't as severe, and you feel that you can walk through more punches.
Features to Look for When Purchasing a Headgear -MMA
If you're comfortable with MMA headgear, you will be confident when training or fighting. This is the reason why comfort is number 1 on our list. It is just like purchasing clothes, it has to be the right fit for you, as you're the one that's going to wear it.
1a. What is comfortable?
It should not be too tight around your head, or too loose. When you move around, whether jumping, striking, wrestling, it should be tight enough to stay on your head and not impair your vision in any way (something that can happen when the headgear moves around). Tight enough where it can at times leave a mark, but not tight enough where you get a headache from it.
2. Breathability - Padding
This is extremely important to performance. If a headgear does not possess this top quality, it will cause the user to become very hot quickly. When this happens, performance can plummet and your body will be too busy focusing on cooling down, instead of sharpening your skills!
3. Quality - Best
The best high quality sparring gear is made from real leather. The old saying 'What you pay for is what you get' still rings true especially in this combat world. You can save a couple of bucks by getting a lower quality headgear, however you run the risk of not being as well protected as you could have. You also will notice the lower quality material will deteriorate faster, causing you to have to purchase your next one quicker than a higher quality one would.
Is this worth saving a few bucks? That is up to you.
Although there are many top quality headgears available in the market today, there are a multitude of low quality headgears available as well.
Boxing Headgear - Top
Boxing headgear, oftentimes known as a 'Face Saver' contains thicker padding and even some padded crossbars that are meant to protect the chin and nose.
Pros: Reputable brand, real leather, impact distribution, high quality
Cons: 2 sizes
Title is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to anything related to boxing. When you purchase a title product, you know exactly what you are getting.
This boxing headgear consists of all real leather construction, this Title boxing headgear can also be used in Muay Thai training. This headgear contains an inner head gel layer along with the outer foam layers that allow for better impact distribution.
Now in English: High quality boxing headgear that is well made to absorb impact due to different designs within the headgear.
Sizes: Large and Regular.
The Velcro strap on the backside of the gear allows for a flexible fit for the user, which is how they're able to offer just two sizes compared to other competitors.
Pros: High quality, price, lightweight
Cons: Not approved by USA boxing for competitions
This high quality boxing headgear allows for high level protection of your ears, temple, and ears. This is the perfect affordable headgear to use for training sessions.
This top rated headgear is adjustable, thin and lightweight that allows for maximized movement.
One thing to note - This headgear is not approved by USA Boxing for competitions.
Pros: High quality, full coverage, great padding
Cons: Bulky, price
This ultra padded boxing headgear allows for a wide angle vision while offering you maximum protection. This headgear is a bit bulky (latex foam padding & cowhide) so depending on your preference this may or may not be the right fit for you.
This boxing headgear contains padding for the forehead, ears, and cheeks. If you are looking for protection on the chin, there are alternative options above.
If you are looking for a heavier high quality headgear, this is for you. If you want your moneysworth, strongly consider a high quality headgear. If you are a pro you should absolutely consider higher quality items.
4. Winning FG2900 - Premium Quality & Price
Pros: High quality, almost full protection, lightweight
Cons: No back of the head protection, price, artificial leather
A Japanese company renowned for high quality, this headgear will also come at a premium. This minimalistic design also contains full cheek coverage for maximum protection. This is as close as you can get to a full face headgear without the bar. This lightweight headgear contains a normal chin strap (vs the traditional heavier buckle). The cheek padding along with the ultra lightweight high quality headgear (10 oz = 0.625 lbs) is why consumers gravitate towards this headgear.
Pros: Can be used for multiple sports and martial arts, can remove parts of headgear, pricing
Cons: If you just want to 'plug and play' this headgear with all modification options may not be for you
This headgear can actually be used for both MMA and boxing and is a bargain as it sits on the lower end of pricing. This headgear contains a triple layer foam, sponge x, and gel sheet for shock absorption during contact. This also contains a velcro strap and is pretty easy to put and fit on.
Something to note - there can be a lot of modifications made to the headgear. Depending on what sport you are using this for, you have the option to remove the face mask that is shown in the above picture if it is affecting your view. This can be used as a full face headgear or a faceless headgear. The best part is you can choose from the best mma headgear, or best boxing headgear, or best tae kwon do headgear, depending on the day from one product.
On Amazon this item has over 2,000 reviews, and has been battle tested over the years.
6. SANJOIN Boxing Headgear - Lowest Price
Pros: Cheap pricing, contains the essentials to get started, sweat resistant
Cons: May wear out quickly, not much protection on the chin
If you have a tight budget, and are just looking for a headgear to have to begin training and sparring, this may be a great fit for you. Containing a double density foam designed to protect the cheeks and forehead, this headgear will also allow you to have a clear view when sparring.
This headgear is also sweat resistant and contains a hook and loop closing system to tighten/loosen depending on your fit.
Why are These Headgears Different From MMA?
Boxers don't have to deal with the grappling threat (getting held down, wrestling exchanges) and due to this MMA headgears are typically more firm. As boxers will only be dealing with strikes, their boxing headgear is designed for resistance vs pure striking against heavier gloves.
Cleaning Your Headguard
Cleaning your headguard is something that you should do after every use and at minimum twice a week. Depending on what material your headgear is made out of, you will want to clean it differently.
If you don't clean your headgear, it will build up a very nasty smell rather quickly. Don't make the mistake to put this off after training and just place it in your bag. Once the smell comes it may already be too late. Take care of your headgear that you used your hard earned money to purchase!
For most headgears, the first step to:
1. Dry the Headgear: Make sure to find a ventilated area and hang it up until it is completely dried. If you can't find a ventilated area, you can also put it in front of a fan.
2. Clean the Headgear: Use an antibacterial wipe, baby wipes are a popular choice to wipe the entire headgear with.
Something to note: If your headgear is made out of leather, it may be a good idea to purchase a leather cleaning product to keep your headgear in great shape.
Save money by purchasing an MMA headgear online. By purchasing online at Amazon you will not only save yourself money but time as well!
The days of getting in your car, driving to the actual store, going through the aisles to find what you're looking for, purchasing your helmet, and having to drive home are coming to an end.
Do yourself a favor and save time by purchasing the best MMA headgear online on Amazon! You'll be able to check prices in a millisecond and if you have prime shipping, your headgear could arrive on the same day.
A great headgear can be a valuable asset for you. Whether you are an adult or a child, beginner, or experienced. A good headgear can provide you immense protection vs a lot of different types of risks. If you've made it down this far, you are now informed about the pros and cons of every single headgear in this article, what to look for in a headgear, real vs synthetic leather, ventilation system in a headgear, the different straps and how they adjust, padding (some include chin, cheeks and back of the head, others do not), the types of risks associated with not wearing a headgear, and even the differences of headgear between MMA and Boxing.
Something to remember: Purchasing the best headgear for YOU is the most important thing. Whether that is a MMA headgear, or a boxing headgear, you have to find the right one for yourself. Take your current situation into consideration. If you are looking to get started and just need something to get you going, go with the lower priced headgear. If you have experience and have been doing this for a while, and want something that will protect you day in and day out through training... Go with a higher quality headgear. I cannot overstate how great it feels to eventually be able to use a headgear of higher quality. Having used both, and a lower quality one in previous years, it feels like night and day. However, I am also glad that I had that experience to be able to appreciate higher quality items. Now if you have aspirations to go pro, which means you most likely will be sparring close to every day, and have tough contact, definitely go with a high quality headgear and protect yourself. The best headgear for sparring to protect yourself will always be of higher quality.
All of this to say none of this is advice. It is how I look at certain situations after decades in the martial arts world, and how I would approach certain situations. I hope you learned a lot and now have a greater understanding of headgears, and are now able to make an educated decision on what will be the best decision for you.