Best Wrestling Headgear For Better All-round Protection: Reviews 2018

Just wait until you meet a wrestler with a cauliflower ear…you’ll understand the necessity for wearing the best wrestling headgear when wrestling.

For those who don’t know, a cauliflower ear, commonly referred to as wrestler’s, involves the deformation of your out ear- making it wrinkle, thicken, and fold on itself to look like the cauliflower.

This painful condition results from the formation of blood clots when your ears receive heavy blows during wrestling.

A wrestler’s ear will give you painful days and sleepless nights, no doubt. And if not treated on time, it can get into something worse!


Wearing a good quality wrestling headgear can fully protect your ear from this unfortunate incident.

Not only that, but this critical safety equipment can also offer partial protection to your head against injuries.

That said, getting the RIGHT headgear for your specific needs isn’t easy due to the variations of features and quality of the various products out there.

With this in mind, our hardworking team of researchers has done most of the job for you.

They’ve distilled through dozens of headgear and found with the 10 finest, top-rated wrestling headgear that all wrestlers swear by.

Get more details below…

Why Use A Wrestling Headgear?

Even if no law in your area requires you to wear headgear when wrestling or training, getting one will save you a lot of hell (especially the cauliflower ear hell).

If you look at this safety equipment carefully, you’ll find the term ‘headgear’ misleading. It features cups- usually made from plastic- that cover (and protect) your ears from injuries. It has several straps running under your chin and around the back of your head to keep it in place.

For this reason, we can safely conclude that wearing a wrestling headgear will keep your hears protected from your opponent’s blows. This way, you’ll have a smooth training/wrestling experience.

Other than ear protection, wearing a quality headgear can also partly protect your head from getting injuries related to wrestling.

It’s also possible to come across some models that feature nose shield feature as well. However, these aren’t always allowed in competitions- you might need a doctor’s note to be allowed to wear one.

The level of protection offered by this safety gear has fueled the authorities in the US to make it mandatory equipment for all the college and high school wrestlers. In other places across the globe, e.g., Canada, the gear is highly recommended (not mandatory, though).

Overall, when you wear that top-quality gear, it’ll eliminate all your worries and fears, and allow you to fight with the ultimate confidence.

As you know, the more confident you are, the better a performance you’ll stage against your opponent.

Let’s shift our focus to the top-rated wrestling headgear you can find on the market today…

10 Best Wrestling Headgear Picks:

1. Cliff Keen E58 Headgear Review:

You better get used to hearing name Cliff Keen in our list of the best wrestling headgear reviews. One of the longest-serving wrestling coaches, Cliff Keen, might not be with us today, but his legacy lives forever as he left us a line of quality wrestling headgear.

The Cliff Keen E58 Headgear is one of their widely used models in the wrestling world by beginners and pros alike.

This model is based on the E41 revolutionary design patented 50 years ago. One of the top features you’ll love about it is its VNF foam that offers you the exceptionally comfortable fit you’re looking for. This also makes it an excellent option for wrestlers who don’t prefer the plastic hard shell models.

With its adjustable strap system, this gear assures you of a snug fit. You can easily resize it to fit your specific head size for an even more custom fit. The fact that it features 4 straps enables it to remain securely attached to your head/ears for long.

Unlike the Velcro found in competition, the Cliff Keen features a strong snap that’s sure to stay in place.

Highlighted features:

  • 4 strap system
  • Fully adjustable headgear
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • SP94 chin strap pad included
  • Can adjust to the size of youths head
  • check
    Lightweight, more comfortable fit

2. ASICS Conquest Ear Guard Review:

ASICS is also a trusted name in the wrestling headgear industry, in our second spot, we look at their top-rated Conquest Ear Guard. It comes with a comfortable, lightweight design that you might forget you’re wearing it until you take a head blow and it protects it from reaching your ears.

For an exceptionally high performance, the guard is made using some of the highest quality materials available. The outer shell, in particular, comprises tough injection molded LDPE that actively blocks the impact of opponent’s blow from reaching (and damaging) your ear.

The shell inner side has an EVA ear pad that keeps your ear comfortable while further enchanting your safety.

If you look at the ear cups closely, you’ll also quickly note that they come with well outline ear holes. These facilitate not only smooth ear flow to keep your ear dry, but also enhances unobstructed hearing.

Thanks to its Velcro strap system, wearing it on and adjusting it to your custom fit is quite easy.

Highlighted features:

  • Injection molded LDPE shell
  • Injection molded EVA ear pad
  • Anti-microbial properties
  • Customizable colors
  • Low profile, lightweight design

3. Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Headgear Review:

We have another piece (or is it a masterpiece?) from Cliff Keen!

This CK F5 Tornado Headgear comes dedicated to keep the ears and head safe when on the wrestling mat.

It comes with a 4 strap system that’s fully adjustable to let you obtain a custom fit that keeps in place on your head so that you can throw your full focus on the sport. The chin strap, in particular, comes with foam cushioning to further enhance your fit while being easy on your throat.

Thanks to the patented Air Vent System integrated into this gear, it’s incredibly breathable to keep your ears from getting sweaty. Additionally, it boasts of 80% greater audible sound technology that allows you to hear clearly with the gear on.

With the ultra-deep ear cups, you’ll enjoy maximum protection and comfort when wearing this pair of headgear.

And oh! Don’t forget that this model feels 43% lighter than the standard models- taking your comfort a giant step ahead of its competitors.

Highlighted features:

  • Patented Air Vent System technology
  • 80% greater audible sound technology,
  • Adjusts snuggly in seconds
  • Ultra-deep ear cup for maximum protection, comfort
  • Power tab strapping system
  • check
    43& lighter and cooler than rivals
  • check
    Allows unobstructed hearing

4. Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Wrestling Headgear Review:

If you’re in the market for the best youth wrestling headgear, say hey to this Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Wrestling Headgear.

This model acts as the youth version of the model we’ve just discussed above. It’s a highly protective gear that keeps your kid safe when participating in the amateur style/scholastic wrestling.

Featuring a revolutionary design based on NASA research, this headgear comes with a four strap system that your kid can easily adjust to fit their specific head size. The model will fit all the youths with a head circumference between 18 and 21.5”. No kid has a head size past this range.

Like the adult version, this model also comes with ultra-deep ear cups that maximize ear and head protection and comfort.

Other features this CK Youth Tornado shares with the CK Tornado for adults include patented Air Vent System, unobstructed hearing, 43% lighter design, and antimicrobial properties.

Above all this, it comes in a wide range of colors to let you pick your favorite color.

Highlighted features:

  • Youth model wrestling headgear
  • Design based on NASA research
  • Power tab 4-strap system
  • 43% lighter standard versions
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • check
    A variety of colors available

5. Grapplearts Minimum Profile Ear Guard for BJJ and Wrestling Review:

The Grapplearts Minimum Profile Ear Guard for BJJ and Wrestling is also a great wrestling concussion headgear option for all serious wrestlers out there. As you can easily tell from its title, this gear can also be used for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

What we liked about it? One thing- unmatched durability! It’s made using top-quality anti-microbial nylon as well as a tough thermomolded plastic to give it the extra durability it requires to serve you for longer than the standard models.

The interior of this gear, where it comes in contact with your skin, is line using soft, cool fleecy material that gives you the best comfort feeling.

Ear holes included in both ear cups enhance hearing as well as ventilation to keep your ears cool and dry all day long.

Most people like the fact that this headgear doesn’t come with a lot of strappings. However, it provides you with an easily adjustable chinstrap to get your specific head fit. It also features a custom throat pad for enhanced comfort.

Highlighted features:

  • Protects against cauliflower ear
  • Antimicrobial nylon plus tough thermomolded plastic construction
  • Easy Velcro adjustment for a custom fit
  • Removable chin pad
  • Soft and cool fleecy lining promotes comfort
  • check
    Ear holes for easy hearing and ventilation

6. Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear Review:

Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear has a reputation for keeping cauliflower ear from catching up with you when wrestling.

This headgear is suitable for the wrestlers who prefer gear that comes with the hardness of a plastic shell and the comfort of foam. It presents you with large, well-fitting ear cups with soft fabric on the inside to facilitate maximum safety and comfort. The outer shell features a durable plastic construction that effectively blocks the impact of accident blows from reaching your ears.

A stretchable neoprene-like material makes up the head strap to make to make you feel comfortable in it.

Because it has a one size fits all design, everyone can wear it including the youth and adult wrestlers. You can then use the Velcro chin strap to adjust the gear to your comfortable fit.

Above all, it comes in a variety of colors to let you select the one that best appeals to your eyeballs.

Highlighted features:

  • One size fits all design
  • Instantly adjustable headgear
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Offers good protection
  • Elastic head straps; Velcro chinstrap

7. ASICS Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard Review:

ASICS makes a second appearance on our list of best headgear for wrestling. And this time they provide you with a better product- with a unique design and set of safety-oriented features- to let you wrestle with confidence.

The first thing that attracted our researcher to this product involves the Exclusive ASICS Gel Cushioning technology it comes with. Needless to mention, this system offers you the best possible level of protection and comfort.

It also comes with a highly secure strap system (with up to 5 straps) to help keep it in firmly in place as you concentrate on wrestling your opponent. Thanks to the straps’ hook and loop closure system, you can easily adjust it to obtain a better fit for your head circumference.

We also can’t fail to mention the included neoprene chin cup as it enhances extra comfort when wearing the headgear.

And like our previously discussed ASICS model, this one too comes in a variety of colors so that you can easily match it with your wrestling uniform.

Highlighted features:

  • Gel cushioning system
  • Hook and loop closure method
  • Neoprene chin cup for extra comfort
  • Different colors available

8. Adidas Wrestling Response Ear Guard Review:

At position 8, we look at yet another product from Adidas, the Adidas Wrestling Response Ear Guard. As one of the top headgears for youth you can find on the market today, this model also assures you of exceptional protection against all forms of head and ear injuries.

Our team loved this headgear due to the fact that it comes with a 5 strap system which is fully adjustable to give you a custom fit. Besides, the increased number of straps enables the gear to remain in place once on your head, ensuring it delivers maximum protection to your ears.

The shell that covers your ear boasts of a durable plastic material construction for longevity. The shell also features ventilation to allow free flow of air to keep your ear dry and comfortable. Above all, it grants you unobstructed hearing of what going on around you.

The low profile gear also provides you with a removable chin cup and strap that allow you to breathe better, unlike the rubber straps found in most models out there.

For maximum safety and protection, the inside of the plastic shells comes fully padded with EVA shock absorbing foam!

Highlighted features:

  • Features chin cup and spacer strap
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Adjustable 5 strap design
  • Fully ventilated plastic shell with unobstructed hearing
  • Low profile design

9. Cliff Keen Custom Signature Headgear Review:

One more product from Cliff Keen occupies our second last position. The Cliff Keen Custom Signature Headgear is a great wrestling concussion headgear you can trust to offer you excellent ear protection in your future wrestling matches and practice sessions.

The model maintains the same basic design that Cliff Keen has used on all their models for the last 50 years. It features patented foam earpieces that deliver unmatched ear protection- keeping off cauliflower and other potential wrestling injuries.

As with all the other Cliff Keens, the strap system that comes with the Signature model is fully adjustable. This way, you can rest assured that you’ll get a custom fit that makes it stay in your head for the entire match/practice period.

With its super-lightweight design, this gear won’t feel bulky on your head.

For the choosy folks, you’ll also appreciate the fact that this top-quality headgear comes in a variety color so that you can pick one that matches your taste/style or your uniform.

Highlighted features:

  • Fully adjustable headgear
  • Cliff Keen’s top seller
  • Custom colored pads
  • Lightweight headgear

10. KO Sports Gear Wrestling Headgear Review:

Say goodbye to Cauliflower with the KO Sports Gear Wrestling Headgear. This is one of the few headgears for wrestling headgear that comes with an innovative design to assure you of 100% comfort and security, even when participating in the toughest of the matches.

The gear comes designed to give you a custom fit for enhanced protection. This is clearly seen in terms of the fully adjustable chin pad which offers you a snug fit in a matter of seconds.

Like all the other models we’ve discussed on this top 10 list, this gear comes with well-outlined ear holes to permit smooth flow of air in and out of your ear, keeping them from getting sweaty.

Besides, the holes allow you to communicate easily as you hear everything with the gear on your head.

Putting on and taking off this headgear is the easiest part, thanks to the Velcro closure system. Don’t forget that this Velcro has a thick and durable feel to securely fit your gear on your head and around the ears.

The chin pad is easy on your throat to let you breathe easily. Plus you can easily remove whenever you wish.

Highlighted features:

  • Velcro
  • Protects you against cauliflower ear during wrestling
  • Removable chin pad
  • Ear holes facilitate ventilation, easy hearing
  • Adjustable chin strap

Wrestling Headgear Buying Guide: Things To Check

In this section, we’ll share with you the key factors our research team focused on when choosing the 10 best-quality headgears above.

Hopefully, this will help you in your research for the best wrestling headgear that matches your specific needs and requirements.

These factors include:


Safety is the number one reason why you’re buying that headgear.

For this reason, it should be the most import at factor to look for in any model you wish to buy. Make sure the equipment comes designed to deliver maximum protection to all the highly vulnerable areas around your head and ears.

Be sure to check the previous users’ reviews to get firsthand information on the history of the headgear in terms of protection.

Check all the safety features different headgear come with before making your final decision.

Headgear size or fit

If the headgear you buy doesn’t fit you well, it’ll not offer you the level of safety and comfort you expect.

It doesn’t matter what features it comes; the gear must fit you snugly for the best performance.

Most of the models on the market come with a one size fits all design. If you go for such models, make sure they come with straps with a high level of adjustability to help you obtain the right fit for your head.

If looking for headgear for a youth wrestler, ensure you go for a model specially made for the youths, so they don’t have to struggle to obtain the right fit.

Construction material

You should also look at the material used to make the shell of a headgear (or the outer portion of the equipment cups).

This comes from the fact that this part is made using different materials which we can divide into two broad categories below:

  • Soft shell: if the headgear you wish to buy feature a soft shell, then it might be made from polymer, cloth-like or soft rubber material.

Soft shell headgear is ideal for youth wrestlers as it offers them the ultimate comfort while protecting their ears and head from feeling pain upon impact.

  • Hard shell: a hard shell is usually made using a durable plastic material, which makes it feel lighter than the soft shell above. It also comes with an opening to let you easily hear what’s going on around you.

We recommend you to buy a headgear with the hard shell if you participate in competitive matches.

Number of straps

All headgear models come with straps that run at the back of your head and on your chin to help keep them secured to your head/ears.

What really matters when it comes to the straps is their number. Most models feature about 3-5 straps. The higher the number of straps, the better. In other words, you expect a 5-strap model to stay in place better than a 3-strap model.

More straps also help improve the overall headgear fit around your head.

Remember that a shell that remains attached to your ear will offer better protection and performance than one that keeps falling.

As for the chin strap, make sure it comes with thick, durable Velcro to ensure the gear will remain fully secure around your head.


You can’t run away from the fact that you’ll sweat heavily when participating in a match or when training.

With that said, you’d want to look for a headgear pair that comes with excellently ventilated ear cups.

These will allow air to flow freely in and out of your ears- making you remain dry, cool and comfortable throughout the match/training session.

Brand Reputation

Why buy your pair of headgear from a less known company based in some remote country? Most of such manufacturers are famous for creating frustrating products that don’t meet your needs.

Play your cards well…buy from the many established out there that have year of experience creating quality headgear that offers you the right protection you need in wrestling.

Brands like the Cliff Keen, Brute, Matman, and ASICS will always guarantee you with top-notch products.


While the headgears aren’t expensive products, considering the price will help you get an ideal model.

If you’re on a tight budget, just look for a budget-friendly pair that has the right set of features to assure your safety.

Some models incorporate advanced technology which means they’ll cost you more. If you wrestle regularly and participate in competition matches, then we suggest that you invest these models as they’ll offer you better protection.

For wrestlers who fight less frequently or those who are just starting out, you can go for a pocket-friendly pair for now.

High School Wrestling: What You Need To Know

High school wrestling, commonly known as scholastic wrestling or folklore wrestling or simply folkstyle in the US, refers to an amateur style wrestling that’s practiced in middle schools as well as high schools.

The popularity of this sport has grown exponentially across high schools; it has become more popular than swimming, golf and cross country.

In fact, it ranks as the 6th most popular high school sports in all states.

According to a recent survey conducted by National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) (this is the regulatory body for high school wrestling), over 270,000 boys and approx. 8700 girls from both public and private high schools in the US participated in the 2012-2013 school year wrestling tournament.

This shows how popular the sport has become among the youth.

It’s also worth noting that the sport is practiced in up to 49 states in the US, with Mississippi as the only state that doesn’t sanction folklore wrestling middle and high schools.

The key equipment required for the high school wrestling competition match according to NFHS include:

  • The singlet: the one-piece wrestling garment designed from nylon, sanded, or lycra
  • Headgear: Mandatory for scholastic wrestling, it’s worn around the ears to protect the wrestler from the ear and head injuries
  • A pair of shoes specially made for wrestling to help increase the flexibility and mobility of the wrestler
  • Optional equipment include the mouthguard, face masks, braces, knee and elbow pads, and hair coverings.

Anything that affects normal body movements or holds execution is NOT allowed in folkstyle.

A typical match occurs between two individuals in the same weight class and takes place on a thick rubber wrestling mat. Click this link for in-depth detail about scholastic wrestling.

Just like any other sport, high school wrestling also comes with its own set of rules and regulations that are followed by all the schools across the US.

How To Prevent Cauliflower Ear While Wrestling?

If you’ve read this far, you’re already familiar the painful experience by the name cauliflower ear that most wrestlers go through when participating in a match.

We’ve already discussed how this condition occurs, so we won’t go into details here.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a torturous experience and when not identified and treated on time, it could lead to permanent deformation of your ear.

Below, we’ll share with you some key measures that you should observe to prevent the wrestler’s ear from catching up with you.

FACT: There are ONLY two proven ways of preventing cauliflower ear…

The first one involves wearing a headgear. This is so far the BEST and most effective method recommended by experts. As you’ve seen from the top products reviews above, this wrestling concussion headgear comes with a set of safety features that team up to keep you fully protected from the accidental blows from your opponent.

As a quick reminder, make sure the headgear you chose fit you perfectly well to ensure maximum protection.

Be sure to wear the gear not only in a competitive match but also when practicing/training.

The second method involves recognizing the ‘beast’ when it’s still in its early stages. If you have a youngster involved in wrestling, you should closely examine their ears for a soft bulging on the front surface of their ear that feels like a moderately filled water balloon when pressed.

Also, check the affected for a color change to red or purple.

When you notice these early signs, consult your doctor so that he/she can drain the fluid in time and prevent permanent damages to your ear.

Cliff Keen Twister vs. Tornado

Cliff Keen, one of the most popular brands in the wrestling gear and equipment field, boasts of top-notch headgear models that are unrivaled by competitors.

The Twister and Tornado are their most popular headgears the company has ever designed.

If you’re confused on which of these two models to pick, watch the video below on the similarities and differences between to help you make a wiser decision…

Final Verdict

There’s no debate on whether you should put on that wrestling headgear when participating in a wrestling match or training session. If you really mind your safety, you should consider this vital equipment as must-have equipment for wrestling.

In the above post, we’ve shown you how to get the best headgear for wrestling easily.

Focusing on important factors like safety, fit, construction material, straps, and brand will help you narrow down your choices to only top-notch products that will offer your ears and head full protection.

Our researchers’ hard work bore 10 top-rated headgears available on the market today as seen in our review section.

We suggest that you order any of the 10 products above today to enjoy the ultimate safety, comfort, and confidence when wrestling.

Happy wrestling!

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