Best Wrestling Headgear Reviewed and Rated

Wrestling involves the head being bashed around and thus the ears, eyes, nose and lips are always at risk of injury leave alone the brain which is open to the risk of concussions. To protect the ears a special type of guard called the wrestling headgear is worn. Often referred to as a pair of “ear guards”, headgear is one of the most valuable pieces of protective equipment a wrestler can own. Not only is headgear required for all folkstyle competitions at the scholastic and collegiate levels, but the ear guards help to prevent injuries to the ears and head. Though this equipment is termed headgear, its functionality only serves the ears hence its other names i.e. ear protectors or guards.

Our Top 3 Picks

Cliff Keen Tornado
  • Cliff Keen Tornado
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nice Design
  • Price: See Here
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ASICS Conquest Guard
  • ASICS Conquest Guard
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cushioning system
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Cliff Keen F3 Twister
  • Cliff Keen F3 Twister
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
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Why Do You Need One?

Wrestling headgear is made to protect the wearer from long-term injuries. The constant bashing and beating on a wrestler’s ears that comes from not wearing headgear can cause blood vessels in the ears to burst. These types of injuries do not cause any external bleeding; however, incredibly painful sacs of blood will start to develop in the ears often resulting in permanent disfiguration of the ears. This condition is known as “cauliflower ear”. Treatment of cauliflower ear requires the wrestler see a doctor who will then drain the blood out of the ear via a needle. A wrestler may need to see a plastic surgeon to repair and/or treat a Cauliflower ear.

How to Choose the Right One?

Owning a high-quality wrestling headgear is essential, but there are a lot of different kinds to choose from. It can seem daunting at times when looking for the right headgear, because not all ear guards are built same. There are a handful of variations of the different styles of headgear. This guide will explain the different options you have when buying headgear to help ensure that you purchase the right pair.

Fit – Headgear is typically made in two sizes: Youth and adult. Aside from these general sizes, every piece is “one size fits all” and can be adjusted to fit your head by loosening or tightening the straps on the back and top of the head. So basically, you don’t need to really worry about the size on the label. You just want to make sure that you can secure the headgear to your head in such a way to prevent injury and keep it from sliding and moving around when you don’t want it to.

Material – The shell of the headgear, which is the outer portion that is designed to protect your ears, can be made of numerous different materials. You’ll see the ‘classic’ style, which has the hard plastic inner shell, foam outer, and vinyl straps. The great thing about these is they are super durable and stay set very firmly once adjusted. Soft shell headgear, on the other hand, is typically made from polymer, or another soft rubber or cloth-like material. This is the best alternative for youth wrestlers because the material makes the gear more comfortable for the user.

Straps – Headgear usually comes with three to five straps that connect both shells to help secure them to the ears. The general rule is that the more straps, the better. There are some exceptions to this rule, but a three strap headgear does not stay in place as well as a four or five strap headgear. When you have more straps you are better able to personalize the headgear, by securing the multiple straps, so that you can get the perfect fit and the ultimate in security.

That being said, there are many options to choose from when you’re looking for the right headgear. But there are some key points that you should keep in mind when you’re on the market for the right headgear for you. You want to be able to find a pair of ear guards that will work for your specific needs while fitting you comfortably and securely.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the best wrestling headgear on the market. These top rated headgears are the ones that wrestlers trust most, and they help to keep you safe when you’re in a match.

10 Best Wrestling Headgear

 

1. Cliff Keen Tornado Headgear

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Keep your head in the match with the Tornado headgear – a revolutionary design based on NASA research, created by the most trusted name in wrestling and tested by some of the best on the planet.
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The patented Cliff Keen Tornado is one of the most technologically advanced headgears on the market. Amazingly, it is 43% lighter than previous styles, and way easier to hear out of with Greater Audible Sound technology. It also incorporates the new Power Tab strapping system for a better, faster fit. And it's made from Cliff Keen's strongest components yet for incredible durability. Simply put, it's heads above the competition.

Features

  • Patented "Air Vent System" technology
  • 80% greater audible sound technology
  • Power tab on-the-fly strapping system
  • Adjusts snugly in seconds
  • Ultra-deep ear cups provide maximum comfort and protection

  • Pros
    • The design is created by the most trusted name in wrestling
    • It is 43% lighter than previous styles
    • Power Tab strapping system for a better fit
    • It's made from Cliff Keen's strongest components 
    • They come in pretty much every color combo you can think of
    • Interior of cups are large enough to prevent any ear impact
    • It's a hard shell around the ears so it's protective
    Cons
    • It’s definitely a bit pricey
    • Doesn’t come with the chin strap

    2. ASICS Conquest Ear Guard

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    This innovative ASICS headgear is lightweight enough that you'll forget you’re wearing it but strong enough to protect from even the toughest head slap.
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    The Conquest ASICS Earguard features an injection molded poly shell, low profile design and comfortable EVA ear pad. Made from an injection molded polypropylene shell, you’ll enjoy a comfortable, secure fit when your head hits the mat. This headgear also boasts anti-microbial benefits to help reduce the buildup of bacteria. Adjustable straps allow for quick adjustments in between periods. With a low profile and EVA ear pads, the Conquest is a high-performance, comfortable piece of wrestling headgear designed to protect from cauliflower ear and other injuries, without ever holding you back or interfering in your game.

    Features

  • Quick adjustable strap system
  • Injection molded polypropylene shell provides top level protection
    GEL cushioning system
  • High impact resistant padding
  • Mesh inserts in the ear promote airflow and allows you to hear the refs whistle

  • Pros
    • They are surprisingly light weight and comfortable
    • This innovative ASICS headgear is lightweight 
    • Comfortable, secure fit when your head hits the mat
    • This headgear boasts anti-microbial benefits 
    • Adjustable straps 
    • Mesh inserts in the ear promote airflow 
    • Made from injection molded EVA material to provide for a snug, comfortable fit 
    • Molded drainage conduits to allow excess moisture to drain away
    • Improved ventilation throughout to keep you comfortable
    Cons
    • Straps are too sharp
    • Good chin strap but not very soft on ears
    • The padding around the ears in not very soft

    3. Cliff Keen F3 Twister Wrestling Headgear

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    Prepare to be blown away by the protection of the Cliff Keen F3 Twister. This 2-strap wrestling headgear is 43% lighter than traditional equipment and is built with Air Vent System technology for total comfort on the mat.
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    The Cliff Keen Twister Headgear is for the wrestler who means business, and it’s trying to overcomplicate things. The two solid, double-wide straps are all you need to keep it securely fastened and ready for action. You might not even realize you have it on by the end of your match because they’re so comfortable. It's cool, light, and protective. It lets the sound come in. And it lets sweat go out. So just strap it on. And hold on Tight.

    Features

  • 2-strap design for a comfortable and secure fit on the head
  • Cool, lightweight protection is 43% lighter than traditional headgear
  • Air Vent System technology allows the release of moisture so you stay cool under pressure
  • Audible Sound Technology for up to 80% greater sound
  • On-The-Fly double-wide, no-slide strapping system for quick adjustments

  • Pros
    • Ensures comfort and security, even in the roughest conditions
    • It’s cool, light and protective
    • Double wide, no-slide, on-the-fly strapping system adjusts securely and comfortably 
    • Remarkably cooler than other wrestling headgear
    • Up to an estimated 80%, greater audible sound technology 
    • It comes with extra soft foam pads
    • It comes in customizable colors, is light-weight, fight odor and is easy to clean
    Cons
    • The 2 wide straps do not hold as steady and cannot be adjusted as nicely
    • The straps can cause irritation when they rub against the skin
    • Doesn’t seem to stay on

    4. Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear

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    The Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear is known for adjustability and for its performance. The main function of wrestling headgear is to prevent cauliflower ear, a condition in which the outer ear hardens from damage to the cartilage.
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    And this classic ear guard eliminates the chance of getting cauliflower ear and other infections. Its soft inner and outer cup protects the ear and helps to absorb shock upon impact. It’s also easier to adjust with just two Velcro-secured straps for the head, and a third to go under the chin. There are two protective cups preventing impact with the ears, each with three ventilation holes. The vent holes make it much easier to hear, and also keeps things cool.

    Features

  • Headgear Sizing: Youth
  • Colors: Royal Blue, Navy, Black, Yellow, Red, Dark Green
  • Material: Soft Shell, Straps
  • Strap Technology: Velcro
  • Number of Straps: 3
  • Sound Clarity: High
  • Adjustability: Easy
  • Sweat Resistance: Low
  • Cup Profile: Normal


  • Pros
    • Eliminates the chance of getting cauliflower ear and other infections
    • Its soft inner and outer cup protects the ear and helps to absorb shock upon impact
    • It’s also easier to adjust 
    • There are two protective cups preventing impact with the ears, each with three ventilation holes
    • Its three-hole system aids in hearing while wearing the wrestling specific ear guard
    • It doesn’t make your head warm at all
    • Stays firm on your head
    Cons
    • The Velcro on the chin strap isn’t so great
    • Chin strap is very scratchy

    5. Cliff Keen E58 Signature Headgear

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    The new Cliff Keen E58 "Signature" 4-strap FOAM headgear is based on the revolutionary design of the original foam E41 that Cliff Keen patented nearly 50 years ago.
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    The "Signature's" VNF foam boasts these same qualities that made it the best-selling ear guard of all time: Lightweight, more comfortable fit and greatly reduced friction on the mat. It can be adjusted to fit youth sizes too. The inner shell is stronger than ever, using a special polycarbonate composite (super fancy plastic) to make them lighter and extremely durable. The straps are fully adjustable for all sizes, including some youth sizes, and don’t budge once they’re set.

    Features

  • Based on the design of original foam E41
  • Best-selling ear guard of all time
  • Lightweight and more comfortable
  • Greatly reduced friction on the mat
  • One size fits all
  • Fully adjustable straps for all sizes
  • Pad colors (with white straps): White, Metallic Silver, Black, Dark Green, Purple, Light Gold, Navy, Vegas Gold, Orange, Royal Blue, Maroon, and Scarlet


  • Pros
    • The inner shell is stronger than ever
    • Lightweight, more comfortable fit and greatly reduced friction
    • The straps are fully adjustable for all sizes
    • The ear pads feel amazingly comfortable
    • The strap won't cause 'burn marks' under your chin, like a few other brands
    • The ear-guards themselves don't protrude out far
    • It is very easy to clean, modular, and light
    • This headgear has rubber straps that are comfortable and stay put
    Cons
    • They are a bit of a pain to get initially adjusted to fit
    • The straps aren’t that comfortable

    6. Adidas Response Headgear

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    The Adidas Response Ear Guard is one of the most stylish and high-quality headgears around. Classic wrestling headgear design infused with a high-tech edge, including bonus chin cup and crown strap holder!
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    It has the popular 4 strap ear guard design you expect from Adidas Response headgear and also comes with the spacer strap at the top along with a chin cup. Although not for everyone, the chin cup can often allow for a more comfortable fit, without any choking or razor burn. The shell is made up of a sleek, low profile plastic ear cup, covered by soft and comfortable foam padding. The vinyl straps are fully adjustable and highly durable. It's a time-tested design with upgraded details that serious wrestlers demand.

    Features

  • Adjustable vinyl straps
  • Injection molded internal plastic ear cup
  • Soft foam covered ear cups
  • Chin cup option as well at no additional cost
  • Chin cup pad in case you don't want to use the chin cup

  • Pros
    • The most comfortable ear guards available around
    • It locks onto the chin, delivering greater security than a chin pad
    • The chin cup can often allow for a more comfortable fit
    • The shell is made up of a sleek, low profile plastic ear cup
    • The vinyl straps are fully adjustable and highly durable
    • Fits really well and stays in place during heavy matches and practice sessions
    • Low-profile internal plastic ear cups optimize protection
    Cons
    • This headgear needs more adjusting
    • Slips off quite often

    7. Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Wrestling Headgear

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    Keep your junior mat star safe during every match with the highly protective Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Headgear.
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    This youth version of the popular adult Tornado earguard features a 4-strap design and fits heads with a circumference between 18 and 21.5" (measured at the eyebrows). Watch your wrestler spin through the competition with the Tornado wrestling headgear. Designed with a padded chin strap for comfort, the headgear features adjustable straps for a secure, comfortable fit. It offers maximum protection during practice or competition. As your young athlete goes head-to-head with an opponent, the Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Wrestling Headgear can help keep him/her safe from injury.

    Features

  • Patented "Air Vent System" technology
  • 80% greater audible sound technology
  • Power tab On-The-Fly strapping system
  • Adjusts snuggly in seconds
  • Ultra-deep ear cups provide maximum comfort and protection


  • Pros
    • Adjustable straps for a secure, comfortable fit
    • The most technologically advanced ear guards on the planet
    • Amazingly lighter and more comfortable than its competition
    • Extra soft, yet durable foam
    • Full adjustability and a secure fit for all youth sizes
    • Helps athletes hear coaches on the sidelines
    • It’s 43% lighter than the previous versions and fights bacterial build-up for long-lasting wear
    • It has adjustable straps to get a snug fit
    • The colors look great and vibrant
    Cons
    • Straps on top are not long enough
    • Not as flexible as its predecessor

    8. ASICS Unisex Old School Jr. Headgear

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    The Asics Junior Old School ear guard for wrestlers combines old school style and a secure fit with easy adjustability.
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    The old school look and stable fit conceal some very modern design perks, such as the new enhanced strapping system for easy adjustability. Also, sound clarity is enhanced on the protective lightweight shell’s hole pattern. It never sacrifices your comfort for the sake of safety, but actually, makes you more comfortable throughout the game. This headgear is also affordable so that you know that you can get yourself something that will keep you protected, while still staying within your budget.

    Features

  • 100% Polyester
  • Imported
  • Adjustable straps
  • GEL Cushioning System

  • Pros
    • Combines old school style and a secure fit with easy adjustability
    • New enhanced strapping system for a comfort fit
    • Increased clarity of sound
    • It never sacrifices your comfort for the sake of safety 
    • Affordable 
    • These cover more of your head
    • It's pretty comfortable
    Cons
    • Excellent headgear for a beginner wrestler but not exactly your top-of-the-line headgear

    9. Cliff Keen Signature Headgear

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    The Cliff Keen Signature 4-strap FOAM headgear is based on the revolutionary design of the original foam E41 that Cliff Keen patented over 50 years ago.
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    The Signature's VNF foam boasts these same qualities that make it the best-selling ear guard of all time: Lightweight, more comfortable fit and greatly reduced friction on the mat. The straps are fully adjustable for all sizes, including some youth sizes, and don’t budge once they’re set. It may take some time getting it all adjusted, but once you do, the ear pads feel amazingly comfortable. The inner shell is stronger than ever, using a special polycarbonate composite (super fancy plastic) to make them lighter and extremely durable.

    Features

  • Based on the design of original foam E41
  • Best-selling ear guard of all time
  • Lightweight and more comfortable
  • Greatly reduced friction on the mat
  • SP94 chin strap included
  • Fully adjustable
  • Can be adjusted to fit youth sizes too

  • Pros
    • Lightweight, more comfortable fit and greatly reduced friction on the mat
    • The inner shell is stronger than ever
    • It can be adjusted to fit youth sizes too
    • The ear pads feel amazingly comfortable
    • This headgear has rubber straps that are comfortable and stay put
    • Very durable and will last for many years
    Cons
    • It needs initial adjusting
    • Pads are not fabric

    10. Brute E-12 Wrestling Earguard

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    The Brute E-12 Headgear implements some of the latest technology to protect the ear without impacting hearing. It features optimize space around the ear without resulting in increased bulk.
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    Outer molded foam provides a closed cell cushion. The protective shell is made of the toughest Nylon compound available – far more durable and lighter than the competition. Adjustable and pliable 4-strap system provides a more comfortable fit. The earguard is designed to adjust snugly in seconds so that you can throw it on in a flash, and the protective shell gives you maximum comfort and protection, so that you never feel as though the earguard is too tight. Not only it gets the job done but it also looks great as well.

    Features

  • Lightweight and super comfortable
  • Technical design for maximum comfort and protection
  • Outer molded foam provides a closed cell cushion
  • Protective shell is made of the toughest nylon compound available
  • Adjusts snuggly in seconds
  • One size fits all
  • Looks great as well
  • Adjustable and pliable 4-strap system
  • Includes chin cup, strap, and top strap holder


  • Pros
    • Lightweight, adjustable, and pliable 4 strap headgear
    • Tough nylon shell and is more durable and lighter 
    • Lightweight, technical design for maximum comfort and protection
    • Outer molded foam provides a closed cell cushion
    • Protects the ear without impacting hearing
    • It features optimize space around the ear
    • Affordable 
    • Very comfortable
    • It’s made from the highest quality materials 
    Cons
    • A little hard to adjust size
    • Not so durable after all

    The Final Word

    Owning a wrestling headgear is essential, but not all headgears are alike. That’s why it’s important to do some research to see which headgears are the best and keep wrestlers the most protected on the court. You should now have a better idea of what to look for when choosing headgear. There are many options to choose from. But if you shop with these basic points in mind, you will be able to find a pair of ear guards that suit you or your wrestler’s needs.