Best MMA Headgear – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

An MMA headgear needs to stay in place and you should be able to roll on the mats with it without any problem (changing the position etc.). This is why you need the best MMA headgear and not a boxing headgear.

I have sparred with a good MMA headgear and bad ones as well. So I know how much difference this can make for your safety and training performance.

I have a lot of experiences with MMA equipment, researched a myriad of MMA forums and also verified purchase reviews as well. According to these, I gathered the most quality products on the market. Below you can find the thorough reviews of these amazing headgears, my experiences, sizing information, brand overviews and at the end of the writing, there is a guide for choosing the right MMA headgear as well.

Important Note: All headgears on this list have sizing information at the product pages or on my site. Also, I checked fitting rates from many online sources (forums, shopping sites) and these also have great fitting rates as well.

 

1. Venum Elite Headgear


best MMA headgear ReviewProtection Rating: 9.7 / 10.0

Training Quality and Vision Rating: 9.8 / 10.0

Durability: 9.7 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.8 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.5 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Incredible protection (quality foam)
  • Very light
  • Good quality leather construction
  • Provides perfect vision
  • Wicks moisture very well
  • Best MMA headgear for sparring
  • One of the most popular headgears on the market

Venum’s Skyntex leather wicks the sweat well and it extends the durability of it significantly. I don’t know about your head but, the leather can take a beating for at least 3 years.

Thanks to the design of it, when you do groundwork or take a blow to your head, it doesn’t lower your vision and continue protecting your head properly.

According Amazon verified purchase reviews, the leather is also comfy and the construction is not tight so your head does not feel any pressure while you are wearing it. 

I constantly see Venum Elite in MMA gyms and according to my trainers, many people are satisfied with this headgear. If you are interested, you can check out the more extensive review of it.

According to my experiences and the extensive research, I am sure that you will really like Venum Elite and it has a great fitting rate as well. Considering the price, you definitely get (durability, training performance) more than what you pay.

                                                                         View the #1 Pick on Amazon

 

2. Ringside Competition


overview of good MMA headgearProtection Rating: 9.6 / 10.0

Training Quality and Vision Rating: 9.7 / 10.0

Durability: 9.5 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.6 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.5 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very good protection
  • Light
  • Genuine leather
  • Provides perfect vision
  • Soft lining
  • Wicks moisture incredibly well
  • I have really good experiences with it
  • Many design and color selections

My Experiences: This is the only headgear on this list which I used a long time. I sparred with it around 3 months and it has a contoured design for your face. I felt like it is custom made for me. The inner part is soft and does not irritate your skin. I am always careful about it because I have a really sensitive skin. The comfort was just great and it did not lower my vision one bit. While I was wearing Ringside Competition, I sparred with many people and I can easily say that it is the most protective MMA headgear which I have ever used.

It is made of genuine leather and according to my research, you can expect to use it around 2-3 years. After that, the foam starts getting softer.  

According to my research, many people, who prepare for tournaments, get this headgear.

You can get it according to sizing information below. I gathered it directly from the manufacturer.

Up to 22″ is small
22-23.5″ is medium
23.5-25″ is large
25″ and up is XL

                                                                 View My Recommendation on Amazon

 

3. RDX COWHIDE LEATHER


The most durable headgear on the marketProtection Rating: 9.2 / 10.0

Training Quality and Vision Rating: 9.7 / 10.0

Durability: 9.0 / 10.0

Comfort: 8.9 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.9 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very good protection
  • Genuine leather
  • Provides perfect vision
  • Wicks moisture incredibly well
  • It has the greatest quality price ratio
  • It is approved by many places (has lots of certifications)

First of all this headgear has passed many tests and according to my research, it has many certificates including SATRA. 

It is made of cowhide leather and it is actually one of the sturdiest headgears on the market. Obviously, you don’t want to take a lot of hits to your head but this one can take it and last a long time. You can train with it at least 3 years.  

Actually, if I did not have any experiences with the Ringside (headgear above), according to my research, I would put RDX Cowhide Leather to the second place on this list

With that, you will feel relaxed with this headgear and it has an adjustable chin strap which I prefer over velcro. Since it provides a more secure fit. You can simply adjust it according to your head.

The padding is a bit stiffer than usual and does not move much. Thank so the denser padding, it is lighter and you can move faster with it and this is why it has great feedback for the training performance.

If you are interested, check out the sizing information on Amazon’s product page.

                                                                             

4. Venum Challenger 2.0 Headgear


Protection Rating: 9.1 / 10.0

Training Quality and Vision Rating: 9.5 / 10.0

Durability: 8.8 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.3 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.1 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very good protection
  • Provides perfect vision
  • Wicks moisture incredibly well
  • Adjustable velcro closure
  • Great fitting rate
  • Cool color selections

Venum Challenger 2.0 has a very good and ergonomic design which allows your headgear to be extra light.

It has triple density foam and this headgear uses the same material of Venum Elite, which is the headgear at the top of this list, for the foam. This design helps the headgear does not move. So you can always see clearly when you get hit or do groundwork. 

The leather quality is “alright” and you can expect to train with Venum Challenger around 2 years. As you may know, the triple padding of Venum is light and you can move your head also faster with this headgear. If you are interested you can check out my in-depth review

                                                                              View More on Amazon

 

5. RDX Maya Hide Leather MMA Headgear


cheapest headgear which has a good qualityProtection Rating: 9.1 / 10.0

Training Quality and Vision Rating: 9.0 / 10.0

Durability: 8.5 / 10.0

Comfort: 9.0 / 10.0

Quality / Price Rating: 9.4 / 10.0

Exclusive Features

  • Very good protection 
  • Removable face-grill (protects nose)
  • Good and ergonomic design
  • Alright leather
  • Cheapest MMA headgear which has good quality
  • Best MMA headgear with nose guard
  • The most popular headgear on the market (according to my data)

According to my experiences in MMA gyms, RDX Maya Hide Leather is widely used. I constantly see that people wear this model of RDX. Obviously decent quality and very affordable price are important factors for it.            

The design is good and it has a face grill which is made of plastic. So it is light and does not slow you down. It also protects your nose during your sparring session without sacrificing the speed.

This makes a wonderful job to keep your sparring partner’s glove to stay away from your skin. This helps you avoid cuts as well. However, if you prefer, you can just remove it. 

The padding is a bit denser than a regular headgear’s padding and it is stiff.         

RDX has many good products, which are made of Maya Hide, last a long time and this headgear is one of them. You can easily expect to wear this around 1-2 years. 

If you are looking for a good quality and really cheap MMA headgear which protects you well, you seriously can’t go wrong with RDX Maya Hide Leather. It is used a lot and gets good ratings from basically everywhere.

You can get this headgear according to sizing information below.

19.5 “to 20.5″ = Small size
21″ to 22″ = Medium size
22.5″ to 23″ = Large 
23.5″ to 24” = XL size            

                                                                           View More on Amazon

 

How to Choose the Right MMA Headgear


Cushion and Durability: When you wear a headgear, which is made of quality leather (suede etc.), you will understand the quality in that moment. It feels natural and it is sturdy at the same time and if you get an MMA headgear which has good cover material, you don’t need any other MMA headgear at least 2 years.   

Padding and Gel: If your headgear is heavy, well then I wish you good luck for your session. When it is the case, you may even have a hard time to maintain your balance with it. Obviously, you can’t expect to show your best training performance or move quickly with it. Your headgear should be light and need to absorb the shock well. Even though gel is a bit denser and absorbs the shock better than padding, I wore two headgears, which has gel, are just heavy. So it depends on the material quality

Design: When the design is good, it protects your head. It can even help decreasing the impact of strikes significantly. It can also save you from cuts by not letting your opponent’s glove to touch you. However, your headgear should do these without lowering your vision. After all, if you can’t see well, these mean nothing. Also, a headgear should not make your head a big giant target. So always go with an ergonomic design. You can also have more realistic grappling, sparring sessions with it.

Sizing and Fitting: Head circumference should be measured 1″ above the eyebrows. With that, companies generally offer different size specifications. For example, the large size of a company can be between 22″ and 24″. The other company’s large size can be between 21″ and 24″. With that, all headgears on this list have sizing information on here or on the product pages. 

Comfort: Strategically placed mesh panels, liner quality, and leather quality are factors for the comfort. Even though these are the factors which you should look for, sometimes a headgear can have all of these but still, it can be hot as hell because of some stupid reason. So before you invest any money, always check out the MMA headgear reviews.

Certification: Like all other MMA equipment, MMA headgears can be certified. SATRA is the most commonly looked certification. As a side note, as you can guess if a headgear has a certification, it already passed many tests for safety and training performance. So, it is a really good sign that you can go with an MMA headgear which has a known certificate. 

Headgears on This List: According to qualities and specifications above, I picked these headgears. These also have even more qualities and get very good ratings from forums. In addition to these, I also have direct experience with some of them.  

 

Brand Overviews


Venum: Venum Headgears are made in Thailand and all of them (as far as I know) have good designs and the same padding type. According to me, it is a brand which you can trust when you buy a headgear.

Hayabusa: The quality varies a lot and the products are on and off the market from time to time. Even though people say good things about Hayabusa Tokushu Regenesis, one of my friends trained with it and he always complained about that Tokushu did not stay where it should be and lowered his vision. With that, I really liked Kanpeki’s older model however it is not on the market right now. So I did not put any Hayabusa Headgear on this list.  

RDX: RDX provides decent material quality and design. It also does not overprice headgears.

Everlast: Most of them just suck and the material quality sucks even more.

Wansda: I even did not know that brand existed before I trained with it. One time I had to use in a martial arts gym in BKK. I got direct hits a couple of times to my head and I am pretty sure that if I had not worn it, it would have been much better. Since it did not absorb the shock at all and even lowered my vision. Obviously, I did not use it after this experience. Shortly, just avoid it. 

 

Disclaimer: I write these brand overviews according to my, my friends’ and trainers experiences. So I only have experience with some of the products. However, I generally have experiences with “popular” products of brands and I also have lots of sessions with some of these. So it is more than fair to me to write these overviews. So before a brand sends me an email, you should know that these are my own experiences with some of the products.  Because after writing an overview for a brand, I generally got many e-mails which I never reply. However, when I do have a good experience with a “bad” brand’s product, I will immediately change my overview. But until then “bad” overviews will stay. 

 

Final Thoughts


A good quality headgear protects you and helps you show better training performance with a perfect design. If it best MMA headgear short Reviewalso provides comfort what can you ask more? Venum Elite does these perfectly and it also gets amazing reviews from a myriad of people and I am sure that you will really love wearing it in your sessions. If you are interested in getting the best MMA headgear on the market, have a look at the price of Venum Elite Headgear on Amazon.

These are all I wanted to say about the topic and if you have any questions about these MMA headgear reviews please leave a comment below.

 

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10 Responses to Best MMA Headgear – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

  1. Hi, thanks for this list, without it, I would have no idea where to go in order to find decent/good headgear for sparring. I like that you put your most recommended products here, as it makes it easier for me to know what to pick.

    I have dappled into MMA here and there but never made a commitment to it, as I always become quite lazy. I hope to get back into things soon!

  2. Mike says:

    Great post. I had no idea there where so many choices in headgear alone. I may have to return more often for my research into all my gear selections. Starting out at my age (46) as a hobby, I need all the protection I can get.
    Thanks again,
    Mike

  3. Mohamed says:

    Thank you for your comprehensive review. You always give good information about each produce and a good comparison between them. Also, what I really liked in that article, is that you speak about your own experience, which means that you have more than enough experience about your niche, and that is really great.

  4. Marek says:

    Hey Furkan, another quality comparison. This comes at the right time as I was recently chatting with a colleague who practices kickboxing and he mentioned that he needs to buy a headgear. I will send him your comparison for sure.
    Marek

    • Furkan says:

      These actually work for kickboxing as well. However, I also got a few e-mails about kickboxing headgears and in future, I will have a page about it. Marek, I already have your e-mail. After I finish it, I will definitely send you the link.

  5. Matt's Mom says:

    Great information on different MMA Headgear sets. I really like the first one, the Venum Elite Headgear for the design and color. Great looking headgear. You have really great information on each one, so it would make it easy for anyone to decide on which pair would be the best for them. Which one do you use, or like the best?

    • Furkan says:

      So far I used 7 different MMA headgears and Venum is one of them but I used another model. But the design was same. The only difference was the leather quality and this one can take tear and wear for a longer time. I am basically satisfied with my experience and the vision and cheek protection was quite good. So just be careful about the sizing and other than that you are good to go.

  6. kmv says:

    The RDC head guard is hard to look past when you consider the price!

    My son is looking into training and getting into MMA. With so many good reviews on Amazon, and your recommendation, I think we’ll go with the RDX.

    At the price, we can afford to get two! Speaking of that, how long, under normal use, does at head guard last? Should we expect to purchase a new one every 6-12 months?

    Thanks for the amazing review. Really helped us make a decision on which head gear to purchase.

    • Furkan says:

      It is good for the price and the protection of the headgear is quite well. In my opinion, you don’t need to get two at least not at first.
      If he does training regularly, he can use it more than a year. So if he likes it then go for the second one. Because if it is not perfect then he can get a different headgear in future.

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