If cauliflower ears ring a bell, then you may already know a little about BJJ headgear. To the BJJ or MMA fanatic, it’s almost impossible to do without one.
However, regardless of whether you’re a newbie or a pro, it’s still important to choose the right headgear. And that’s because BJJ headgear is all about your protection.
Is BJJ Headgear Really Necessary?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ear guards are crucial if you don’t want to suffer any injuries to your ears. But primarily, BJJ ear guards help prevent the “cauliflower ear” – one of the most common injuries in Jiu Jitsu.
True, cauliflower ears are considered a badge of honour. Nevertheless, it’s a painful experience that you might not wish to get twice.
You can easily get a cauliflower ear when it sustains an impact. This could be either from another person or from falling on the floor.
Ideally, your ear would swell up because of the accumulation of blood clots beneath the skin. And this would cause deformation of your ear into the cauliflower shape.
However, while your ears will look puffed, they will also be extremely painful to touch. Additionally, it can also come with some extra complications like causing your ear canal to get blocked.
That can eventually affect your hearing or even lead to a complete loss of hearing. But luckily, you won’t have to go down that path if you invested in some good BJJ ear guards.
Best BJJ Headgear Reviewed
Finding the best BJJ ear guards is important but not always easy. As such, we rounded up seven of the best jiu jitsu ear guards you can grab today.
- PROTECTED: Prevent unsightly cauliflower ear with the easiest to adjust, most comfortable, and...
- EASY TO ADJUST: Our specially designed straps allows you to find your perfect fit without...
- CLEAN & DURABLE: Don’t let the Ultrasoft Neoprene throw you, our headgear can stand up to the...
With the Matman Wrestling Headgear, comfort comes first. And one look at its design is all you really need to know that it’s one of the best ear guards for wrestling and martial arts.
- Ultra-soft ear guard
- Velcro-secured straps
- Comfy neck strap
First off, the shape of the Matman Adult Wrestling Headgear conforms well to just about any head. This is all thanks to the large ear cups and the easily-adjustable straps that help hold your head in place during grappling.
At first glance, it’s easy also to think that the velcro-secured straps may not be enough. However, you’ll be surprised to know that the Matman wrestling headgear will hardly move around even while you’re grappling.
The wrestling headgear’s generous ear holes also make it easier to hear everything from your instructor or training partner. In addition, the holes also allow for ventilation. This keeps things cool and adds to the overall comfort of the BJJ ear guard.
- ROAR Ear Guard is improved design with a secure strap on top of the headgear to avoid shifting...
- Neoprene construction for durability and resilience
- Features vented polymer ear cups with moisture wicking liner
Roar Int’s BJJ headgear also goes down as one of the best headgear for BJJ. However, it also doubles as one that offers the best value for money.
- Neoprene construction
- Vented polymer ear cups
- R-Lock + lace closure system
- Shell Shock Gel Technology
Physically, the Roar BJJ Headgear MMA resembles Matman’s Adult Wrestling Headgear, but with two big differences.
The first is that it comes with a secure strap on top of the headgear. This greatly helps the headgear to remain in place even when you’re doing an activity like grappling.
But things don’t stop at that. Roar also offers its exclusive R-lock system at every strap. Coupled with its Shell-Shock Gel Technology, the headgear can sustain serious hits without letting you get injured.
Regarding its build quality, there’s also a lot to point out. For one, its neoprene construction greatly adds to its durability. Thus it’ll stay for long.
Besides, its vented polymer ear cups also improve air circulation. This makes it comfortable to wear even for a longer time.
- Patented "Air Vent System" technology
- 80% greater audible sound technology
- Power tab on-the-fly strapping system
For all those heavy-duty grappling sessions, a headgear like the Cliff Keen F5 may be all you need. And that’s primarily because its design lets it protect your ears in the best way possible.
- Patented Air Vent System technology
- Ultra-deep ear cups
- On-the-fly strapping system
- 80% greater audible sound technology
Few BJJ ear guards have the same design as the Cliff Keen F5. With two top straps ensuring a tight and snug fit, it’s unlikely that the headgear will keep moving during a session.
Additionally, you’ll also fall in love with the headgear’s on-the-fly strapping system. It makes it super easy to comfortably adjust it to the tightness you need in mere seconds.
The Cliff Keen F5 also comes with ultra-deep ear cups, which offer great protection for your ears. With its patented Air Vent System, it also ends up being well-ventilated. This also means it lets you hear everything around you clearly.
- Made Of Neoprene For Better Comfort And Agility
- Three Way Enclosure System Provides A Perfect Fit And Allows You To Adjust The Size
- High Density Foam Ensures Your Ears Will Be Protected While Using This Product
The Venum Ear Guard also goes down as one of the most popular headgear options you’ll encounter. But thanks to that, it comes with some amazing perks that you cannot find in other headgear.
- Made of neoprene
- High-density foam
- Molded shells
- 3-way system closure
First off, the simple design of the Venum Ear Guard is what takes people by surprise. Unlike other headgear, it doesn’t have the traditional ear cups everyone’s used to.
Instead, it’s almost entirely made of neoprene fabric. This means that it will be extremely easy to clean and durable too.
Also, Venum uses a high-density foam on the inner layer of the headguard. As such, any impact you experience will be absorbed by the high-density foam.
However, because it relies on soft neoprene over plastic, it is also very lightweight. This explains why it’s a great pick for people who may want to go for long BJJ sessions.
- PROTECTION AGAINST CAULIFLOWER EAR 🛡️ Gold BJJ headgear is the protection you need to keep...
- ONE SIZE FITS ALL 👪 Our ear guard uses adjustable velcro straps that will protect your ears...
- EAR HOLES FOR HEARING 👂 We designed our ear guard with holes so you can actually hear your...
It may be difficult to distinguish the Gold BJJ Headgear from others like the Roar BJJ headgear. But the headband and straps tell all the story.
- Elastic headband
- Reinforced chin strap
- Bonus mouthguard
- Adjustable velcro straps
For the Gold BJJ Headgear, comfort is a top priority. That’s why it comes with large and comfortable ear cups with three ear holes for improved ventilation.
In addition, you also get a free mouthguard with the Gold BJJ headgear. And this can come in handy when you switch from training to competition mode.
However, the headband on the Gold BJJ Headgear is elastic. This means it will offer some added level of comfort.
The chinstrap is also worth talking about since it’s been reinforced for better grip. But sadly, there’s minimal padding on this Jiu Jitsu ear guard. As such, anything less than a tight fit may be uncomfortable for some people.
The Cliff Keen E58 and F5 may come from the same brand. But there are plenty of differences between the two, even at the physical level.
- SP94 chin strap pad
- Adjustable straps
- VNF foam
Unlike the F5, the Cliff Keen E58 is a 4-strap foam headgear. And it bases most of its design features on the Cliff Keen E41.
It’s also generally considered a low-profile headgear because of its minimalistic design. However, it does have some large ear cups, which enable it to offer the best ear protection.
With two straps going on top of the head and two others on the back, it’s also known to offer a tight fit. This becomes crucial in grappling sessions as the headgear won’t move around unnecessarily.
Cliff Keen also paid close attention to the chin straps. Unlike other manufacturers who simply use a padded strap, the Cliff Keen E58 is slightly different. It comes with an SP94 chin strap pad for added comfort.
Similar to the Venum Ear Guard, ASICS’s Unisex Gel Ear Guard also took a unique approach in their design. And it does pay off since this headgear is also one of the lightest.
- Gel technology cushioning system
- Velcro adjustments
- All-round coverage
The gel technology cushioning system is perhaps the biggest selling point of the ASICS Unisex Ear Guard. It has gel-filled pads all around the ear cups that act as shock absorbers.
Besides, the gel also acts as a cushion to your ears. This provides the necessary comfort you need if you are in a training session for a long duration.
Making adjustments to the ear guard is equally easy too. With velcro adjustments, you won’t have to worry about dealing with uncomfortable plastic clips anymore.
What to Consider Before Buying a BJJ Headgear
BJJ headgear may be all about protection, but they should also not be a distraction at the same time. As such, in your quest to find the perfect BJJ headgear, there are a few things to keep in mind.
We bundled up those main considerations into three broad ones. They include:
When talking about a BJJ headgear’s quality, the first thing you’d want to consider is the material used. Good quality BJJ ear guards should be lightweight but still be capable of offering maximum protection.
Therefore, when on the hunt for a BJJ headgear of your own, pay close attention to things like the stitching and impact resistance. By default, high-quality headgear will use premium material that further offers you comfort.
A few examples may include things like:
- Neoprene construction – Minimizes skin irritation even on long use of the headgear.
- High-density foam – Increases impact resistance and improves the overall comfort of the headgear.
- Strapping mechanism – These ensure tight fitting of the headgear as well as your overall comfort too.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the materials shouldn’t become too warm after a short training session. That’s why most Jiu Jitsu practitioners always prefer jiu Jitsu headgear with good ventilation.
Regarding the comfort of a jiu jitsu ear guard, there are also a few different things to look out for. As you’d want a headgear that feels less like a box on your head, it’s important to ensure that it:
- Has a perfect-fitting
- Uses soft material on the chin strap
- Has a non-distracting headband
- Offers good ventilation
Worth mentioning is that hard shell plastic ear cups may absorb lots of shocks. But they may be uncomfortable when worn for longer periods.
A perfect-fitting BJJ headgear will not only stay in place, but it’ll also help you maintain focus. That’s because you’ll hardly waste any time adjusting the straps.
You should also ensure that the BJJ ear guard fully covers your ears and that it doesn’t fall off easily. If this isn’t the case, then you should consider getting another set.
Padded Chin Strap
Additionally, you should also take note of the chin strap on the BJJ ear guard. For most people, chin straps often get in the way, especially if they’re not well padded.
On top of that, a chin strap can easily become a distraction if it constantly irritates your chin. And that’s why well-padded and comfortable chin straps are far better.
On the other hand, you need to pay close attention to the headband as well. If you’re interested in getting an elastic headband, then you’ll need to ensure it doesn’t limit your field of vision.
Good Ventilation & Hearing
Finally, comfortable Jiu Jitsu head gear is well-ventilated. Headgears with ear holes, for instance, may greatly improve hearing. But at the same time, they offer better ventilation than head gear without ear holes.
Price is also an important factor when choosing a Jiu Jitsu ear guard. And this is mostly because it is tied to the quality of the head gear.
Typically, Jiu Jitsu headgear hardly ever goes past $50. It would be in your best interest to invest in the best headgear you can get your hands on with this in mind.
After all, cheap Jiu Jitsu headgear will put you at greater risk of injury. And cauliflower ears won’t be the only thing to fear.
Your headgear is also responsible for reducing the impact of a hit. As such, it’ll also protect your brain from sudden violent impacts.
All in all, comfort should always be your priority when looking for BJJ ear protection. And that’s because it’ll help you stay focused. But that said, you’ll also need to consider the quality too.
Will BJJ headgear limit my hearing?
Yes, Jiu Jitsu headgear can limit hearing to some extent. By default, your BJJ headgear can cut off 20-30% outside noise. But this will depend on your particular headgear.
Jiu Jitsu headgear that comes with newer designs feature vents on their plastic shells. As such, you’ll still be able to hear everything clearly.
Must I wear a mouth guard along with my BJJ headgear?
It’s important to always wear a mouthguard in Jiu Jitsu. And it’s simply because they minimize injuries to your tongue, lips, and teeth.
However, you can remove the mouth guard when getting instructions or doing drills with your coach. But remember to put it back on immediately afterwards.
How do I clean my Jiu Jitsu headgear?
A simple alcohol wipe can do the trick if your headgear lacks fabric on the inside. This will disinfect it and also prevent the build-up of bacteria.
Nevertheless, you can also use detergents to clean your headgear. Just ensure that the detergents aren’t too strong, as it may affect the foam lining.
Can I avoid getting cauliflower ears without Jiu Jitsu headgear?
While you can avoid getting a cauliflower ear, it’ll be almost impractical to keep up. You’d have to ice your ears the moment you feel any pain and take off a few days.
Also, you’d need to drain the hematoma while you’re at it. And that too may not be a walk in the park.
The bottom line is that you’ll need a Jiu Jitsu headgear if you want to avoid injuries like the cauliflower ear. However, picking the right Jiu Jitsu ear guards is important too.
As such, you should pay close attention to the quality and comfort of the headgear. But if you’re still undecided, then the Matman Headgear will do just fine.