No contact sports come without any risk of getting injured. One of the most common types of injuries of people who do wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the so-called Cauliflower Ear, which involves an injury that deforms the ear and that occurs on the outer side of it. Repeated hits to the ear can cause swelling and bleeding and even lead to the development of a sizable blood clot. If you’d like to avoid all this, you should wear the best BJJ headgear. Based on our research, the first model that you should consider is the Cliff Keen E58 Headgear. This user-friendly piece is easy to clean and maintain and it has a special design thanks to which friction with the mat is prevented. If it’s no longer in stock, check out the Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear, another good option.
Cliff Keen Tornado Wrestling Headgear - Color: Black/Black/Black
Buy on Amazon
Venum "Kontact Evo" Ear Guard, Black, Small/Medium
Buy on Amazon
Matman Ultrasoft Wrestling Headgear Quick Adjusting, One Size Fits All, Ear and Head Guard Adult
Buy on Amazon
Best BJJ Headgear (Reviews)
If you’ve been trying to get your hands on some good BJJ headgear and you haven’t had a lot of luck up until now, you should take a look at the units that we have showcased below. It seems that they are capable of excellent performance as they have received favorable reviews from many fighters.
1. Cliff Keen E58 Headgear
Having been designed based on a model that Cliff Keen made about 50 years ago, this headgear makes it possible for you to remain comfortable and focus on your performance while also resting assured that you are adequately protected. The model doesn’t come with any fabric texture, so it doesn’t get dirty quickly.
What’s pretty neat about it is that all of its straps are fully adjustable, which means that you can tighten the headgear if the fighter is younger or you can let it loose as per your needs. The headgear is quite lightweight and it comes with an SP94 pad for an extra amount of comfort.
As basic as it might seem, the fact is that the E58 is a highly effective alternative. It comes with padding on the chin section, as well, so you feel good while wearing it. You aren’t going to feel tempted to fiddle with it during the fight or training session.
2. Cliff Keen Fusion Headgear
This is a another lightweight headgear piece since it weighs in at just 0.5 lbs. What makes it stand out from the crowd is that it comes with a 3-strap system that’s outfitted with a button snap, so you can put it on and take it off as quickly and easily as possible.
Additionally, you might want to know that the ear cups of this model come with protective cell foam. The overall lowe profile doesn’t feel too intrusive and it also gives your ears enough room.
It’s also worth noting that the Cliff Keen alternative comes with a chin strap that’s wrapped with a rather comfortable pad. Besides, the headgear can be adjusted so that it even fits children, so that means that it’s a winner in terms of adjustability. As the ear cups let air flow through them, you will be able to hear what your opponent or trainer is saying.
3. Cliff Keen Youth F5 Tornado Headgear
This piece of gear comes with a patented air vent system technology, which means that you aren’t going to feel overly uncomfortable while wearing it. The design favors the airflow over your years and it also keeps them protected, at the same time. Due to the deep design boasted by the F5 Tornado, the fighter will be able to hear better during training.
On top of everything, the F5 model is rather lightweight. While it might look or feel a little cheap since it’s so light, it actually manages to stand the test of time quite well. Furthermore, it is a winner in terms of cleaning and maintenance. To prevent the possibility of you getting an ear infection, make sure you clean the headgear after each fight.
While it might be less budget-friendly compared to some of the other units that we’ve showcased here, some customers have argued that this one might just as well be the best headgear for BJJ available for sale these days.
4. Asics Aggressor Ear Guard
The Aggressor model comes with as many as four straps which go across the top and the back of the fighter’s head. This makes it possible for the wearer to benefit from a firm placement. As such, the likelihood of the guard slipping or modifying its position during a fight is quite low.
The ear cups have been manufactured using injected molded EVA, a material that’s more or less similar to rubber. However, EVA is more elastic, as well as considerably tougher compared to rubber, which means that it’s also capable of providing better protection. It’s easy to wash, which is a benefit in itself.
All you have to do to get this headgear piece clean is to wash the straps with water and soap and wipe the textured surfaces with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. This will remove impurities and sweat traces. Since it’s a pretty budget-friendly choice, you might want to consider the Asics model if you’re in the market for cheap BJJ headgear.
5. Venum Ear Guards
This product is a little different, but nonetheless, it is a good Venum BJJ headgear piece that you should consider. What makes the difference between this choice and some of the others described in our selection is that it’s made to be wrapped around your head. It protects more than just your ears, in this sense.
The model is crafted from neoprene and a high-density foam, which means that it is lightweight, yet fully capable of absorbing any impact that your head might be subjected to during the fight. On the outside, the model features a fabric that has a smooth texture. This reduces the friction between your skin and the surface of the mat, and it also gives your opponent a bit of comfort, as well.
To remain in one place, the headgear relies on a three-way closure system. It also has elastic rubber bands on the inside and it’s quite adjustable, so you can customize it as per your physical attributes.
BJJ Headgear Buying Guide
If you have taken the time to go through as many BJJ headgear reviews as possible and you still don’t know what essential features you should look for when you’re searching for the perfect protection gear, check out the guide below.
It goes without saying that this is the first and most important factor that you should bear in mind. BJJ headgear needs to provide an extra amount of abrasion protection, but also plenty of shock absorption.
Your partners have to be protected, as well, because if you wear a hard ear guard made out of plastic, it’s going to be really difficult to grapple against. As such, you’ll find that you will no longer have any partners for training.
Ease of cleaning
The more grooves and sections the headgear is outfitted with, the harder it will be for you to clean it properly. Ideally, you should clean your ear guards after every fight, especially if they have any textile parts. In general, try to avoid models with textile fabric included in their design as you’ll have to wash them seriously.
Cleaning and sanitizing your headgear after every training session or fight will ensure that you do not get to suffer from an ear infection. Sweat carries bacteria, in case you didn’t know, but if you want to throw your headgear in the washer, instead, just get two or three pairs so that you always have a clean replacement.
Materials and comfort
We have already mentioned that some ear guards can be made of hard plastics, and these are a no-go if you want to remain comfortable for the remainder of the fight. Good BJJ headgear is typically made of neoprene or nylon. There might also be some foam in the lining, which means that the ear guards will be significantly more comfortable.
Slippage needs to be considered, as well. You want your headgear to remain in one place when you fight, especially when you are rolling. This will eliminate the need for you to constantly readjust it — and let’s face it, your concentration will suffer if you keep doing that instead of focusing on your opponent.
As for the straps that the headgear can be equipped with, there are some variations available out there. At least three straps are most effective.
The weight of the headgear impacts the overall comfort, as well, so do look for lightweight ear guards, but make sure that they do come with padding in the section that covers your ears.