Best Wrestling Headgear For Safety & Protection: Avoid The Risk Of Long Term Injury

Wrestlers wearing headgears - feature image

Last Updated on February 21, 2021

Wrestling only seems glorious on-screen, in reality, it is a brutal affair. Punches shooting at the speed of light, the pain of impact, and the stress of competition leave little doubt that you need protection… And a pretty solid one at that.

Taking impact on the face exposes you to the dire risk of ending with a serious and deformative injury in the ear, otherwise known as the cauliflower ear. Trust me, it hurts and looks just as bad as it sounds, perhaps even more.

But don't go off running yet…

With the right gear, you will be perfectly safe in the ring. In this article, I will list down some of the best wrestling headgears suited to prevent cauliflower ear.

My personal favorite is the Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear, and you’ll find out below why. But of course, you can have your pick from any of these excellent products.

7 Best Wrestling Headgears Reviewed

1. Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear – Best Overall

Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear Black/Black

The Fusion Headgear by Cliff Keen is the result of manufacturing excellence and years of experience, combined. Based on the original Cliff Keen model from 1958, this headgear only outperforms and exceeds its predecessor in all aspects.

Perfectly aligned with uncompromising safety standards, this model is not only the best wrestling headgear to prevent cauliflower ear but boasts pretty amazing looks too. Its body features a 3-strap design that fastens firmly with your head and perfectly absorbs all incoming punch-assaults.

The comfortable interior is not only meant to make Fusion feel nice to wear but is also very functional, as the foam placed inside is the principal shock absorber. Despite being sturdy, this headgear is surprisingly lightweight, making it perfect for intense fights.

And don’t worry about the cleaning process. You can simply add some soapy mix to the foam and wipe it clean with a wet cloth or dedicated wipes, and that’s it, voila.

Don’t fret over the size as well, this one fits ‘em all.


  • It has a universal-fit size (one size for all)
  • Its design is compatible with both sexes
  • The model weighs around 0.24 pounds
  • Features a three-strap fitting mechanism
  • Cleanable and antibacterial


  • It is pretty lightweight, that’s a relief
  • It grips the head firmly and absorbs all impacts with great effectiveness
  • The cleaning process is relatively simpler
  • The universal size makes the selection process even simpler


  • Pricier than most competitor models


Overall, the Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear performs well in all areas, it is lightweight, sturdy, and easy to maintain. The universal-fit is all the more inviting for youthful wrestlers, earning this model the honor of being the best wrestling headgear on this list.


2. ASICS Youth Gel Ear Guard – Best Budget Option

ASICS Jr. Gel Headgear, Black, One Size

The team at ASICS prides itself on the impressive performance it has delivered over the years by incorporating modern technologies in sports gear. And this protective headgear is another example of such innovation.

Using a gel-based cushioning system, ASICS has provided its customers with the ultimate shock-absorbing headgear, perfect for even the toughest fights. The best part is that even though it offers a fool-proof protective experience, your hearing abilities will not falter.

Gel-based cushions allow sound to pass far better than foam-based alternatives, keeping you completely aware of your surroundings. This model has been specifically designed for young fighters, and it can be adjusted to fit all head sizes.

The combination of versatility and a well-balanced design makes this model one of the best youth wrestling headgears that people can get even if they are on a tight budget.


  • It has a universal-fit size (for younger players)
  • It features a gel-based cushioning technology
  • Allows better audibility than foam-based models
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear


  • Its protective abilities are impressive beyond any doubt
  • You can hear much better through this headgear than a foam-based model
  • The design is innovative, both visually and functionally
  • It is easy to put on


  • The headgear will slide if it doesn’t fit properly (so make sure that it fits in your case)


The ASICS Youth Gel Ear Guard is among the best protective headgears for wrestling and wrestling because of its impressive features and the credibility of the manufacturers who’ve earned a reputation after decades of excellence.


3. Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear – Best Comfort Option

Cliff Keen Tornado Wrestling Headgear - Color: Black/Black/Black

Before I go on painting an impressive picture of Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear, allow me to point out how impeccably it has been named, as if it were a super-speed jet fighter. And it delivers just as well as it sounds.

For starters, the sturdy frame can take some serious damage without letting any permanent damage fall upon your head and ears. The 4-strap fastening mechanism keeps it firmly locked in place, and the unit does not displace even when struck repeatedly.

Its remarkable design is meant to make it surprisingly lightweight, hence, allowing you to keep your agility while enjoying fool-proof protection. The model excels the most in the way it feels, the extra deep cups are perfect for not only protecting the ears but also housing them comfortably.

You can get the F5 Tornado in any of the 42 stock colors available or ask for a custom colored version if you feel like it. The model has a universal size, meaning that it will fit everyone, with just a few minor adjustments (for younger players).

While wearing this headgear, you will also notice that its audible technology allows you to be better aware of the surroundings, which is another area where it outshines competitors.


  • The model has a universal-fit size
  • It is available in 42 stock color options; the option of custom colors is also available
  • The frame is lighter than conventional headgears
  • It incorporates features like the ‘Air Vent System’ and ‘Audible Sound Technology’
  • Four-strap fastening mechanism
  • Cups are deep enough to house the ears comfortably


  • The comfort factor is a major selling point
  • It offers excellent customizability options with the custom color option
  • It fits nicely and doesn’t take time to fasten properly
  • It’s easy to clean too
  • You will be able to hear sounds significantly better (80% to be exact) through this headgear than a conventional one


  • It is a bit pricy but worth every penny


If comfort and fool-proof protection are your game, then the Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear should be your choice. The model not only provides perfect protection but also aids audibility and gives you an edge in agility by being surprisingly lightweight.


4. Ring to Cage Deluxe Ear Guard 2.0 – Best Fastening Mechanism

Ring to Cage Deluxe Ear Guard 2.0 for Grappling, BJJ, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu

The Ring to Cage Deluxe Ear Guard 2.0 is an impressive protective headgear, not because it offers great shock absorbance and comfort (which it does), but because of its fastening mechanism.

This model features a smartly engineered strapping system with a fastening strap present on the top of the headgear to prevent shifting. The last thing you want is for your headgear to slide off or shift when immersed in a brutal fight, fortunately, you won’t have to deal with this problem.

As for the protection part, the Ring to Cage Deluxe Ear Guard 2.0 is no stranger to the tough environment of a ring. Owing to the shock-absorbing elements such as spandex and the Eva padding, this model can take serious hits and still keep you safe from any serious damage.

This sturdiness is perfectly accentuated with the lightweight build of its frame which does not put any major strain on your neck. The three-strap Velcro-based fastening mechanism holds the forehead, chin, and the back of the head with impressive firmness which does not falter.

The best part is that it can be adjusted to fit any head-size, so there’s one less thing to worry about when making a purchase.


  • Three-strap fastening mechanism (Velcro-based)
  • Straps move over the forehead, chin, and back of the head
  • The model has a universal-fit size
  • Includes shock-absorbing elements like spandex and Eva padding


  • It does not shift even if hit
  • The design is sturdy yet lightweight at the same time
  • It has nice aesthetics
  • It is pretty easy to fasten


  • Some people may not like the Velcro straps


The Ring to Cage Deluxe Ear Guard 2.0 is not only aesthetically impressive but works just as well in practice too. The shock-absorbing ability, non-shifting design, and easy fastening feature, all collaborate to make it a product worthy of your admiration and investment.


5. RDX Headgear With Removable Face Grill – Best For Face Protection

RDX Headgear for Boxing, MMA Training, Head Guard with Removable Face Grill, Cheeks, Ear, Mouth Protection, Helmet for Muay Thai, Grappling, Sparring, Kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Martial Arts

Don’t want to get your face all bruised up after an intense fight? Then, perhaps the RDX Headgear may be able to help. The front of this model is covered with a strong PVC grill, perfect for absorbing impact (you can remove it if you want to).

The Maya Hide leather covering is also worth mentioning. This material will not tear or degenerate in other ways even if you put yourself through hell in the ring with this headgear on.

Underneath the robust exterior, there are tri-slabs of a soft and highly flexible foam material. After an impact passes through the exterior, it is sequentially softened as it passes through these layers and reaches your head.

The resistance of the leather-based exterior, coupled with the layers of shock-absorbing foam layers underneath, helps this model to withstand impact and minimize the damage done.

Worried about your headgear slipping off right at the climactic event of a fight?

Don’t be, at least not with this one. The RDX headgear has a unique ‘Quick-EZ hook-and-loop strap’ fastening mechanism (in case you were not okay with Velcro), which holds it firmly in place over your head.

This allows you to fight your battles with full conviction, without fear.


  • The PVC-based face grill can be removed
  • The model has a foam-based padding
  • It features an exclusive ‘Quick-EZ hook-and-loop strap’
  • Impact softening is offered by the ‘EVA-Lution’ sheet component


  • The protection is immaculate
  • Robust, non-deteriorating exterior
  • You can use the face grill or remove it, it's your choice
  • It does not slide off even during intense training sessions or fights


  • The face shield can hinder visibility for some
  • It comes at a hefty price, but the investment is worth it


The RDX Headgear offers what I would call a ‘360-degrees protection’. Not only is it perfect for keeping your ears housed up all safe and comfy, but you don’t have to worry about any cuts or bruises on the face too if you decide to keep the PVC front-grill on.


6. Adapt Athletics Enhanced Headgear – Best Adjustability

Adapt Athletics Enhanced Headgear for Wrestling, BJJ, MMA Ear Protection: Extra Strong Stitching, Comfortable Chin Strap, Machine Washable, New Easy to Adjust Design One Size Fits Most (Black)

The name says it all, Adapt Athletics Enhanced Headgear is meant for every young fighter seeking the ultimate protection. With this strapped on, you can leave all your worries about getting a cauliflower ear behind you and focus on the game instead.

The enhanced audibility is another impressive feat of sophisticated Adapt engineering, allowing you to be more aware of your surroundings. And the best part is that you don’t have to experiment with the fastening, and instead tune your headgear without any hassle.

This ease of adjustability, coupled with comfort and a greater sense of protection, all combine to make the Adapt Athletics Enhanced Headgear a worthwhile buy.


  • Sturdy and stable design
  • Large vent holes present for better audibility
  • Enhanced impact attenuation
  • Antibacterial and easy-to-clean
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Highly durable


  • Perfect for preventing cauliflower ear
  • The audibility doesn’t suffer
  • Highly comfortable to wear and yet it offers flawless protection
  • You can adjust it with ease, no fumbling around


  • Some users don’t fancy the Velcro-based straps


The Adapt Athletics Enhanced Headgear is an excellent option when it comes to adjustability, versatility, comfort, and protection.

It features an easily adjustable fastening mechanism and provides impact attenuation even against the most brutal punches, without sacrificing your audibility.


7. Adidas Response Ear Guard – Best Ear Cup Strength

adidas Response Jr Ear Guard Black

Adidas has managed to incorporate all of the qualities so desired about the rest of their products, in this Adidas Response Ear Guard. To name a few, we have durability, sturdiness, comfort, and an awesome user experience.

Built with the element of comfort as top priority, this ear guard does not fail on any accounts of safety. It resists impact with great resilience and keeps your ears safely enclosed and out of harm’s way.

The plastic-made ear cups have been deep-molded, and ensure utmost safety-excellence. Apart from all of this, the model is also very easy to adjust and will fit nicely owing to the 3-strap adjusting mechanism, simple, yet effective.


  • Comfortable to wear
  • Offers maximum protection to the ears
  • 3-strap (adjustable) fastening mechanism
  • Sturdy plastic-made ear cups incorporated into the frame


  • The comfort factor is a major plus
  • Its lightweight design does not spoil your fight
  • The ear guard fits snugly and does not shift
  • You can forget about cauliflower ear with the protection that this model offers


  • Some users have reported size issues


When Adidas makes sporting equipment, you take it, no questions asked. Apart from a long history of manufacturing excellence, the makers have given us uncompromising standards of safety and quality with the Adidas Response Ear Guard.


Wrestling match

What Sets Apart The Best Wrestling Ear Guards?

You’re probably wondering “what is the best headgear?” And while I have mentioned my favorite, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best for you. Honestly, there is no single answer to this question. 

The best wrestling ear guard should not only boast amazing features but feel well, and most of all, work perfectly in your case. User experience varies for every individual, and you would want something that works best for you (or your child).

So here’s a quick rundown of things to consider when buying a wrestling headgear:

What Is It Made Up Of?

The general framework of a wrestling ear guard is the same: there are two protective 'cups' covering the ears, attached with straps for fastening this ensemble. The cups can be made of a variety of hard and soft materials. Both have their advantages and limitations.

A harder material will fare better against the initial impact, won't wither under pressure (at least not easily), and be much lighter. Even if the casing is hard, the internal cushioning must be soft. This is done to absorb the shock of impact and prevent conditions like cauliflower ear.

In some cases, the entire headgear may be soft, not delicate, but not hard either. Since some competitions don't allow you to use harder models, these will be better suited for you in one of these situations.

Does It Fit You Perfectly?

This part is often overlooked and for the worse. Gladly, with online marketplaces, there is the option of returning a product if you’re not satisfied (as in it does not fit properly, etc.) Just be sure to ascertain beforehand whether or not it will fit perfectly in your case.

Most headgears have a universal-fit size but even that may not be enough in individual cases. What you should do is to go through user reviews, especially those mentioning conditions similar to yours, it will be helpful.

How Many Straps Does It Have?

Having multiple straps is not only nice for fit but also allows the user to adjust the headgear according to their specific requirements. Moreover, the number of straps directly correlates with the stability of the headgear.

A three-strap model (or more) is more likely to fit snugly and not shift when in use. That does not mean that two-strap pieces are bad, they can work fine too (make sure that it fits). But generally, the more the straps, the better.

Again, I would recommend that you go through the user’s comments before finalizing a decision, or if you can, test the model before you buy it (if you’re going to the store in person).

How Can You Ensure That It Will Work For You?

Just ask yourself the following questions to be sure that the model you’ve selected is the most appropriate for you:

  • Does it fit you perfectly?
  • Is it hard or soft enough for you (depending on which one you prefer)?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Does it shift or slide when using?
  • What about audibility and visibility?
  • Is it in my budget?

Once you scrutinize every detail of the product against these queries, you will have your winner.

Last Consideration: Affordability

This part is more of practical advice rather than a specific detail that you should look out for. Simply because a model is more pricy, doesn't mean that it is better, it may have better features, but you may not need all of them.

For instance, if a less expensive model delivers you everything that you could hope for, why look for a pricier option? It is always wiser to save up on purchases, especially under the prevailing economic circumstances.

The same way goes with other gears too, like the best wrestling knee pads that you use not only for boxing or MMA but on any sports discipline that requires one. It's always better to check for quality that is affordable. Be wise about where to throw your money in. 😉

Before you move ahead, why not give this YouTube video a quick look? It is a brief guide on how to properly fit your wrestling headgear.

Bottom Line

After reading through the wrestling headgear reviews detailed above, you probably have a much better idea about what an ideal wrestling headgear should be like.

My personal favorite is the Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear due to its versatility and functional excellence, however, if you don't feel like paying too much, you can try out the ASICS Youth Gel Ear Guard, as it delivers excellently too.

Also, be sure to check out the buyer's guide mentioned above, if you haven't already, it will be worth it. With your newfound protection, be sure to focus your energies on the game, and more precisely, on winning.

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