Jiu-Jitsu Headgear: Best BJJ Ear Guard Of 2021

Andrew Wiltse FREE Instructional

The tough guy mentality that usually accompanies martial arts is not absent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As much as we paint a picture of no ego and calm and respectful behavior, we all like to win. it is in our nature. Jiu-Jitsu, a sport in which we compete in the most primal way possible – by grappling, is particularly competitive. Throw the fact that Gi’s are made of very tough material that does not agree with the gentle tissues of the face and head and you have a recipe for disaster. One body part that really gets a beating during BJJ training and competition is the ears. While all grappling martial arts share this problem, the ground fighting aspect of Jiu-Jitsu, paired with the using a Gi makes BJJ particularly uncomfortable on the ears if you don’t have an Ear Guard. That’s where the Best Jiu-Jitsu Headgear can help immensely. 

Using Jiu-Jitsu headgear is often ridiculed in Jiu-Jitsugyms. People see cauliflower ears as a badge of honor, which is beyond stupid. You do not see your mangled fingers or destroyed knees as such, do you? So, using the best Jiu-Jitsu headgear for your ears makes as much sense as using BJJ kneepads or finger tape. To be completely honest, developing cauliflower ears also has an individual aspect to it.

Not everyone is equally susceptible to it. Some people (me included) spend years grappling with and without the Gi without any visible consequences on their ears. Others may just grapple for a couple of weeks and develop Randy Couture-like cauliflower. Using Jiu-Jitsu headgear is a foolproof way of completely removing the risk of never being able to use earbuds ever again. Seems more than worth it to me.

Jiu-Jitsu Headgear Essentials

As with everything else, going online and just getting the first ear guard you see is probably not a good idea. Chances are, you won’t run into the very best Jiu-Jitsu headgear products straight away. And, just like with buying Gis, rashguards, or any other grappling equipment for that matter, you need to be aware of what you’re looking for in Jiu-Jitsu headgear.

The main qualities that qualify an ear guard among the best Jiu-Jitsu headgear are not that difficult to identify. First and foremost, it is all about protection, of course. The first thing to have in mind is how well they work for your particular needs. Most Jiu-Jitsu headgear also provides additional abrasion protection, and some even offer shock absorption. There’s another aspect of protection to consider, though – your partners. A fully plastic, hard ear guard is going to be real hell to grapple against and you’ll soon find yourself without partners in the gym.

Next up, we have comfort. Usually, Jiu-Jitsu headgear is made of Neoprene or Nylon, sometimes featuring plastic. In all cases, there’s also foam in the lining making the ear guards comfortable to wear. A big aspect of the material, besides comfort, is slippage. You want your headgear to stay in place during rolling, without the need to continually re-adjust the straps and position. In terms of straps, there are several variations, with different numbers of straps, that work great. And then, there’s the price, of course.

Best Jiu-Jitsu Headgear You Can Get In 2021

Below we have a selection of the ear guards we consider to be the best of the best Jiu-Jitsu headgear pieces you can find. Some are new products that are going to revolutionize your training in 2021. Some are mainstays of wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu, which just keep getting better as years go by. There is also a BJJ-specific one there, made by a high-level Jiu-Jitsu black belt. And we also have a unisex ear guard, one that takes care of the needs of both sexes. All in all, we got you covered in every aspect: protection, comfort, design, size, and price. Read on!

Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear

Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear
Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear


  • PROTECTION: Cauliflower prevention and very easy to adjust. The most comfortable and stable grappling and BJJ headgear on the market. It makes you focus on your activity and not on your headgear.
  • EASY TO ADJUST: Specially designed straps to find perfect comfort and fit. No need to remove your headgear and no more adjustment required during activity. Fits up to around 100LBS or around a HAT size 7.
  • DURABLE and CLEAN: It’s made of ultrasoft neoprene and made to stand the roughest abuse on the mat. This material absorbs moisture and won’t irritate you or your training partners
  • ULTRASOFT NEOPRENE: It’s the most breathable and antimicrobial material. This headgear uses a soft version of the 2-strap headgear with velcro straps for a comfortable and snug fit
  • MATMAN WRESTLING: We’re very proud of our ALL-American approach to quality, and that’s the reason why we create all our products in the USA. We are sure you’ll notice the difference between USA and overseas products.

To kick things off, we got the Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling Headgear. As far as the best Jiu-Jitsu Headgear available, this is one of the very best of all times. It features a simple design and an impressively tight fit.

The Matman Ultra Soft is one of the most durable pieces of headgear out there. After all, it has to be, in order to provide maximum protection. The material is unique, ultrasoft neoprene that’s tear-resistant. It also features maximal breathability and is antimicrobial. A key trait of this piece of grappling gear is that it does not retain heat, so you won’t feel discomfort when wearing it for prolonged periods of time.

Since this is mostly training gear, the material also makes it easy and soft for your training partners. The Matman has adjustable straps that allow you to find the perfect fit for you and retain it during rolling. Comes in 8 different colors and is a wrestling favorite. Perfect for BJJ training.

ASICS Unisex Gel Grappling Ear Guard

ASICS Unisex Gel Grappling Ear Guard
ASICS Unisex Gel Grappling Ear Guard
ASICS has a really cool piece of protective gear out there, in the form of the Unisex Gel Ear guard. Another wrestling classic, this unique headgear is perfect for every grappler, and especially beginners whose ears are not yet used to the grind.

The ASICS Unisex protective headgear has frontal straps and chin straps that make fitting really easy. The straps attach with Velcro strips, which makes them easy to adjust. Innovative gel technology makes it highly comfortable and offers extra protection as well. A big reason for putting this ear guard on our best Jiu-Jitsu headgear list is the size of the ear guards themselves.

Even if you have freakishly large ears, you’ll find that the ASICS covers everything, offering total protection. The Gel cushioning system also means the headgear stays in place, so you do not have to fiddle with it during rolling.

Venum Kontact Evo Ear Guard

Venum Kontact Evo Ear Guard
Venum Kontact Evo Ear Guard


  • Made Of Neoprene material For Better Comfort And Agility.
  • A Three-way enclosure system provides a perfect fit that allows you to easily adjust the size.
  • High-Density foam makes sure that your ears will be protected with this product.

Of course, the ever-present Venum brand has high-performance headgear on offer, along with everything else. So far, Venum products have proved themselves superior to most other similar pieces of grappling gear out there. This includes Jiu-Jitsu headgear, with their Kontact Evo Ear guard leading the way.

The Venum Kontact Evo attaches via silicone straps that are impossible to tear or give way. There are only two points where straps meet and lock under the chin and behind the head. This makes placing and adjusting the headgear extremely easy, even by yourself.

It has a very soft inside lining, specially designed to cradle the ears. The foam lining also guarantees maximum shock absorption, even in particularly high-velocity exchanges. Also protects from mat or Gi burns.

Adidas Response Ear Guard

Adidas Response Ear Guard
Adidas Response Ear Guard


  • Four-strap enclosure design.
  • Soft foam cover and low profile.
  • Adjustable vinyl straps.
  • Injection-molded internal ear cup.
  • Soft Foam Covered Ear Cups and Soft Chin Pad “]

Here’s the surprise contender on our best Jiu-Jitsu headgear list. Adidas is not a brand that is often associated with grappling and BJJ in particular. However, this time, they have something to offer grapplers, and it comes in the form of the Adidas response headgear.

This ear guard is a very popular one among wrestlers. it features more stripes than previous models but is still easy to put on and use. And, the additional stripes provide more fitting options as well as prevent slipping. It has cups that house the ears, lined with soft foam for perfect protection.

The chin straps feature a chin cup, which some people might find uncomfortable. Adidas’ solution to this is to also provide a chin pad that you can use instead of the cup. The ear guard comes in 13 different colors. Straps are lightweight yet really sturdy and will last for years without giving way. The only drawback has nothing to do with you – the hard shell might be uncomfortable for training partners.

Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Jiu-Jitsu Headgear

Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Jiu-Jitsu Headgear
Cliff Keen F5 Tornado Jiu-Jitsu Headgear


  • Air Vent System – Patented technology
  • 80% greater audible sound technology
  • On-the-fly strapping system with Power tab
  • Snuggly adjust in few seconds
  • Ultra-deep ear cups for maximum comfort and protection

A true champion even among the best of the best Jiu-Jitsu headgear representatives for 2021. This headgear offers the most protection, while also staying in place more securely than any other. It has a very practical set of straps that ensure a very tight and comfortable fit.

The straps have an on-the-fly power tab locking mechanism that makes them easy to lock and impossible to slip. Yet, at the same time, the power tab makes opening a real breeze, with just one push. The Cliff Keen Tornado offers a lot of ventilation as well, keeping air circulating so that heat is not a problem.

This piece of headgear actually features a patented Air Vent System technology that’s in charge of air circulation. It comes in more than two dozen different two or three color combinations. A great feature is also the ability to hear clearly with the headgear on, which is often a drawback of most other brands. The ear cups are ultra-deep in order to ensure complete protection.

Cliff Keen Youth Signature Headgear (YE58)

Brute Youth Headgear GR-9
Brute Youth Headgear GR-9


  • Designed For The Youth BJJ, Submission Grappling, and MMA Youth Practitioners
  • Offers Very Comfortable Protection
  • Adjustable Straps
  • One Size Fits All

One of the best Jiu-Jitsu Headgear designs out there for Youth. The Brute Youth ear guard is minimalistic, black, and offers the absolute best bang for your buck. Heavily used in wrestling, this headgear is perfect for BJJ as well, especially with the Gi, thanks to its design and material.

The Brute Youth headgear features more straps than any other ear guard on this list. While this may seem excessive, they do cover absolutely every side of your head. They also offer impressive adjustment options.

The material is extremely soft, offering both great protection for you and no unpleasantness for your training partners. The entire ear guard is made of soft material, with no plastic whatsoever in any spot. Really great price for a really great BJJ ear guard. Perfect for training with the Gi.

Grapplearts Minimum Profile BJJ Ear Guard

Grapplearts Minimum Profile BJJ Ear Guard
Grapplearts Minimum Profile BJJ Ear Guard


  • PROTECTION: Great Protection for ears Ear During Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Submission Grappling, and MMA.
  • MATERIAL: Microbially Resistant Nylon and Tough Thermomolded Plastic.
  • GREAT FIT: Velcro Adjustment To Fit Every Grappler, Fits heads from small to large.
  • CHIN PAD: Removable Chin Pad for Maximum Comfort.
  • COMFORT: Soft Fleecy Lining for Comfort,
  • HEARING and VENTILATION: Enhanced Hearing and Ventilation.

This one is by a BJJ guy, made for Jiu-Jitsu people. As far as Jiu-Jitsu goes, this is the only one designed particularly for the sport. That, however, does not mean it won’t work for wrestling other grappling sports, or MMA.

The Grapplearts Minimum Profile ear guard is a Stephen Kesting design, which means it’s absolutely tailor-made for Jiu-Jitsu. The materials are Nylon and plastic, with anti-microbial features.

The ear guard attaches with the help of Velcro straps, which offer a huge variety in size. There’s also a chin strap that’s removable for complete customization. The ear guards have strategic holes allowing airflow and unobstructed hearing. The lining allows for maximal protection and cooling while rolling. Doesn’t annoy training partners, nor gets stuck when training with the Gi.

Cliff Keen E58 Headgear

Cliff Keen E58 Headgear
Cliff Keen E58 Headgear

Cliff Keen seems to be an absolute winner in the best Jiu-Jitsu headgear category, with yet another amazing product featured in the list. It has low-profile straps and double width on the ear guards. All in all, you can hardly get more protection than with this Jiu-Jitsu headgear.

The straps are made of Nylon, heavy-duty, and virtually indestructible. There’s a soft chin pad that makes the headgear even more comfortable and easy to stay in place. Padded ear guards mean your ears are both protected and comfortable.

There’s guaranteed protection against cauliflower ear formation and against mat/Gi burns. There are 4 straps in total, ensuring lots of adjustments at every possible angle. A lightweight design that comes in over 40 different color varieties, including various strap colors.

A Grappling Legacy: The Cauliflower Ear

So what’s the deal with this cauliflower ear anyway? Those that have it can confirm it is really painful before it becomes painless, yet permanently disfigured. Those that have taken care of it, know how painful draining it can be. In fact, you can hardly get rid of it with just one draining, so expect to have to repeat the procedure a few times each time you start getting the symptoms.

Cauliflower ear is an occurrence as old as grappling martial arts. There are even statues depicting grapplers of old who have clearly visible cauliflower ears. What happens is that the cartilage in your ears can’t take the pressure of grappling and starts breaking. Whenever that happens, the body takes care of any cracks and breaks by building scar tissue.

The trouble with cartilage is that it is notoriously undersupplied with blood, making healing hard, and complete recovery impossible. That means a build-up of scar tissue each time you break the cartilage. The harder the break, the worse the buildup. Hence the appearance of cauliflower structure in the ears.

Best BJJ Headgear 2019 Cauliflower EarThe reason we end up with an injury to the cartilage in the first place is friction. And, there’s no lack of it in BJJ, especially when you’re training with the Gi.

Getting your head stuck in numerous positions, or breaking chokes apart are great ways to get yourself on the cauliflower train.

And, believe me, unless you have the very best Jiu-Jitsu headgear you’ll develop them sooner or later. Your only hope is to go and drain all the blood and liquid straight away before everything hardens. Take a look at the draining procedure to decide if it’s worth taking that risk.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does everyone in BJJ get cauliflower ear?

Not everyone is equally susceptible to it. Some people spend years grappling with and without the Gi without any visible consequences on their ears. Others may just grapple for a couple of weeks and develop Randy Couture-like cauliflower.

Do ear guards prevent cauliflower ear?

Using ear guards is a foolproof way of completely removing the risk of getting cauliflower ears. Ear guards will protect your ears from all kinds of blows and rubbings to your ear thus removing the chance of injuring your cartilage and hematoma to form.

Why do you get cauliflower ear from BJJ?

The main reason why you get cauliflower ear in BJJ is the friction. Especially, if you’re training with the Gi on. Getting your head stuck in numerous positions opens the possibility of getting blows and rubbing to your ears. As a result, that shears the ear’s cartilage from its overlying perichondrium

Can you wear headgear in BJJ?

Yes! Especially now when there are different types of designs and materials used to create headgear. You’re not limited to old plastic headgear that hurts and annoys both you and your training partner.


Jiu-Jitsu headgear is simply a must if you’re not a fan of cauliflower ears. Moreover, as you can see, the protection extends to much more than just your ears. Plus, as much as you think cauliflower ears are cool they’re actually not really pleasant. They get in the way, might be cause for pain and infections, and headphones are a real hassle, to mention just a few nuisances. Get your Jiu-Jitsu Headgear now and wear it every time you roll to spare yourself the trouble.

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