Ultimate Guide to the Best MMA and Boxing Headgear


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One of the most critical items of protective gear a fighter will acquire is headgear. If the best defense against head injuries is to avoid being hit in the first place, then utilizing proper safety gear is a close second. The finest boxing headgear protects your face during crucial training sessions, prevents bruising, and decreases the cumulative impact delivered to your brain over time. Unsurprisingly, even the greatest low-cost headgear can’t compete with high-quality gear. This article delves into the finest boxing and mixed martial arts options out there.

The benefits of headgear

Protects Against Cuts – Padding on the headgear protects the most delicate regions of the face, where gloves may easily cut the skin. In recent years, organizations and contests have gone back and forth over whether or not to wear headgear. Removing the helmet may be safer, but it comes at the cost of a significant rise in the number of fights being disrupted by cuts. Your eyes, cheekbones, and jawline are all protected by the cushioning on the headgear. Vaseline can be applied to the remaining exposed regions of the face for extra cut protection.

Protects the Nose & Chin – The nose is an easy target for a punch and can be a real disaster if it is shattered. Boxing headgear with cheek cushioning and a face saver may truly protect the nose from such a thrashing. Fighters that perform a lot of rigorous training may find that headgear helps them save a lot of wear and strain on their noses and chins.

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Reduced Bruising — Cuts are terrible enough, but bruising may be just as severe, if not more painful. Amateur boxers are likely to have other jobs to supplement their income, so showing up to work with black eyes all the time may not be an option. In such circumstances, proper headgear is a wise investment.

Types of headgear

Some gyms provide community headgear that anybody may wear. That may work in a hurry, but think about all the sweat and blood baked into those things; it’s disgusting. That should be enough to persuade you to get your own equipment. 

Headgear requirements vary depending on your sport, and each type is described below.

Boxing (Competitive) – Competition headgear features less cheek cushioning and more streamlined padding. This design allows you to keep your head as flexible as possible while still allowing you to see more. You can respond to and lessen the effect of a blow you see coming. Similarly, lighter headgear enables you to move faster, allowing you to slip blows that might otherwise snag your chin or cheeks.

Boxing (Training) – Sparring headgear, often known as “Face Saver” headgear, is designed to protect the nose and chin with stronger padding and cushioned cross bars. Headgear that covers the nose might reduce visibility, which some individuals find bothersome. The bar on certain helmets is lower to protect the chin while also increasing visibility.

MMA – The shape and size of the design are the primary differences between boxing and MMA headgear. Because MMA includes grappling, it draws design elements from wrestling. Because boxers aren’t subjected to grips or ground grappling, they can afford thicker, softer padding. The padding on good MMA headgear is usually a little stiffer.

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Our top picks

Starpro Olympic Head Guard

Premium quality genuine cowhide leather and hi-tech Japanese Amara artificial leather lining, with lightweight air cushion foam padding which translates to the ultimate shock absorption providing optimal safety and protection to your cheek, chin, back of the head, temple, & forehead whilst enhancing visibility.  The secure and comfortable Velcro closure system at the top & back adds to protecting the head and face. At the same time, the chin strap aids in the stability of the head guard for improved performance.

Size: S, M, L, XL

Color: Red, Blue

Premier Pro Safety Boxing Head Guard

This Premier Pro Safety Head Guard offers you multiple layers of protection in a compact head guard. It’ll remain a part of your kit for as long as you want it, thanks to a blend of superior synthetic and genuine leather. It’s long-lasting, comfy, and most importantly, excellent at preventing injuries. Any hit is readily handled since the padding absorbs the force and disperses it throughout the surface of the head guard. The cushioning stretches over your face for superior cheek and mouth protection without blocking or limiting your vision or making it difficult to breathe. The foam guard slit around the ears, shields from injury whilst allowing your hearing to remain unrestricted. The chinstrap and fast tie closure system at the rear and top of the head guard allow for a customizable fit. 

Size: S, M, L, XL

Color: Maroon

M33 Head Guard

The head and face are well protected with the M33 head guard’s high density, soft molded EVA foam, and wool padding. The head guard is built to last, with a synthetic leather design that provides exceptional durability and heavy impact resistant foam. The M33 head guard is built to withstand even the most intense sparring sessions. The inner material is non-slip and quick-drying, while the cheek cushioning and sturdy chin guard offer additional protection without obstructing your field of vision. For increased comfort, the Z-Tech moisture-wicking inner lining keeps you dry and odor-free. The adjustable back strap makes it easy to secure, and the contoured chinstrap not only adds protection but also keeps the guard in place.

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Size: S, M, L, XL

Color: Black

Make sure to take good care of that noggin! For more gear, click here.