In this guide, we will discuss the best Muay Thai headgear and the factors to consider when picking.
For most people who casually train Muay Thai, the chances of sustaining head injuries during sparring are small. In fact, the use of eight limbs means that Muay Thai fighters absorb significantly fewer headshots than boxers.
However, accidents and injuries can still happen.
Sustaining a cut or concussion during training can put fighters out of action for long periods of time. Wearing headgear whilst sparring will substantially reduce the risk of any head injuries.
Comfortable, protective, well-fitting headgear can minimize head injuries by dispersing the impact of a blow. By protecting your head and face, you can focus on your strikes instead of worrying about a painful cut or gash.
If you are looking for the right headgear for your Muay Thai sparring sessions, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of the best Muay Thai headgear on the market – check it out.
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Should you wear Muay Thai headgear for sparring?
Wearing headgear during Muay Thai sparring is not as common as you would imagine. Fighters wear headgear whilst sparring to reduce the risk of cuts and injuries.
Due to the technical nature of Muay Thai sparring, and the use of all eight limbs, the number of cuts and injuries sustained in Muay Thai sparring is minimal.
We recommend that Muay Thai fighters should wear headgear whilst sparring as there are several benefits.
Benefits of wearing headgear whilst sparring include:
- Reducing the risk of sustaining cuts from shots.
- Minimizing the effect of clashing heads whilst sparring.
- Absorbing the impact of strikes, reducing concussions and knockouts.
Sustaining a cut or concussion can leave fighters out of action for weeks or even months. After a long and hard training camp, it would be foolish to not wear headgear whilst sparring and risk sustaining an injury.
How To Pick The Best Muay Thai Headgear?
When it comes to deciding on Muay Thai headgear, it’s essential to consider what you want from your headgear. You might be looking to protect yourself during sparring, or maybe you are looking for headgear for competition.
There are loads of factors that go into making a decision, including the following:
Protection & Weight
In general, the heavier the weight, the more protection the headgear offers. This is due to thicker padding and more coverage.
Whilst headgear that covers your face and weighs more can provide better protection than lighter alternatives, it can also decrease your visibly and mobility, causing you to take more shots.
You need to weigh up the protection against the visibility of the headgear.
The reputation of a brand is essential. It’s the customer’s perception of the brand. If a brand has a positive image, it’s because customers believe in its vision, recognize it, and trust that the brand is ethical and delivers as promised.
Fairtex and Twins are respected brands. They have been around for years. These brands produce all of their apparel and equipment in Thailand, the home of Muay Thai.
Brand reputation can also determine the price. Trusted, reliable brands can charge a higher price, whilst less-known brands often come in at a lower price point to remain competitive.
Quality & Durability
Good quality headgear that is durable and built to last is worth the investment.
You want to make sure that you are getting a high-quality Muay Thai headgear, whether it’s real leather or synthetic leather, full-face or open face, a well-established brand, or a less well-known brand.
It doesn’t matter as long as it’s made well and is durable.
When choosing to wear a head guard, it essential that it is fit for purpose. A well-crafted, head guard that fits properly and offers enough protection should be your top priority.
Low-quality materials will fail you eventually or even in the short term. It’s essential to invest in long-lasting, high-quality materials so that you have the crucial protection and feel comfortable and safe sparring in the ring or at a competition.
Value For Money
No matter your experience and budget, it’s helpful to spend time researching to ensure you are getting the best quality Muay Thai headgear on the market.
As with anything in life, you want the best value for money.
Which is why you are here, right?
It’s important to know what features and protection you are getting for your money so that there are no surprises.
With Muay Thau headgear, the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. There is nothing worse than investing in equipment that isn’t fit for purpose.
Full Face VS Open VS Cheek Protector
When it comes to choosing the perfect Muay Thai Headgear, you have several different styles available. Each style of headgear offers a different level of protection and visibility.
Below we discuss the benefits of each type of headgear.
Full-face Muay Thai Headgear
The full-face headgear design offers the most protection out of all the styles of headgear. The downside is that it is heavier and offers the least visibility.
Open-face Muay Thai Headgear
The open-face headgear is used for competitions as well as training. The open design of the headgear makes it the best choice for both visibility and mobility. The downside is that it offers the lowest degree of protection and you remain susceptible to cuts during training.
Cheek Protector Muay Thai Headgear
Headgear with a cheek-protector offers a good balance between visibility and protection. The cheek pads will absorb some of the impact, whilst your nose remains unprotected. Part of training Muay Thai is learning how to take a shot, so it’s not always a bad thing to have some of your face exposed.
Velcro (Hook-n-loop) VS Lace-up
Lace-up usually offers the most secure fit. The downside of this is that it takes longer to put on and take off your headgear.
Velcro is the most convenient, as it can be removed easily and can be adjusted to different sizes.
We usually recommend Velcro (hook-n-loop) for convenience during training.
Types of Muay Thai Headgear Material
There are several types of Muay Thai headgear materials to consider, and the quality of what you get comes down to your budget.
The more comfortable and durable your headgear is, the more expensive of a material it probably is made from. That material will probably be genuine leather instead of cheaper artificial alternatives.
Even if your budget is on the lower side, you will still be able to find a good Muay Thai head guard that offers enough protection. Synthetic materials are typically much higher quality these days.
Synthetic Leather Muay Thai HEADGEAR
Artificial leather (known as Polyurethane or PU) is a less expensive alternative for Muay Thai headgear. Whilst synthetic leather has a similar look and feel to real leather, it’s usually not as tough, breathable, or durable.
Over the last decade, the quality of synthetic leather has drastically improved. It will be exciting to see where the development of synthetic leather takes us in the next ten years.
Leather Muay Thai Headgear
Genuine leather, which is made from goatskin or cowhide, is comfortable, flexible, and most importantly durable. Many Muay Thai fighters prefer genuine leather over synthetic material because of the protection and durability of leather headgear.
Muay Thai Headgear Size
Your headgear must fit properly.
Loose-fitting headgear can fall over your eyes and impair your vision. Headgear that fits too tightly will feel uncomfortable during sparring. Ultimately, your headgear needs to fit properly to protect you effectively.
There are a couple of methods we recommend to find the correct size of Muay Thai headgear.
The first is to try on a few different sizes. We suggest trying on some sparring headgear at your gym to see what size fits best. Another option is to visit your local fight store to check out their headgear and try on some different sizes.
You can also measure the size of your head using a piece of string. From these measurements, you can compare them against the size guide online.
RDX designs Muay Thai, MMA, and other combat sports equipment and clothing for athletes of every skill level. The British sports and fitness brand, founded in 1999, is known for delivering high-quality, long-lasting gear.
RDX is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce based sports brands, boasting over 200 million customers worldwide. In addition, because RDX manufactures its equipment in-house, it’s affordable.
- The Noir Series Boxing Head Guard is manufactured using ConvEX Skin Combat Leather, an engineered leather made to last.
- Protection is key: the cheeks of the head guard are fitted with shock-absorbing foam padding, so the shock from a blow to the head is uniformly dissipated across the area. The ears have Jumbolon padding that is built to take hits as well.
- The Max-Shock Equilibrium Sheet adds another level of protection by absorbing and distributing the force equally across the head guard.
- RDX designed its headgear to be breathable so that you can throw punches without worrying about sweat.
- A Quick hook-and-loop design with a custom-fitting chin loop allows you to put on the head guard easily. It’s stable but allows for excellent movement and superior visibility.
RDX Noir Series Boxing Head Guard comes in a sleek, matte black finish lined with luxurious black velvet. The velvet not only feels incredible but wicks away sweat, keeping you comfortable and dry.
This classic look, designed from engineered leather, is made to stand the test of time. Speaking of engineered leather, RDX gets it right. It’s called Maya Hide, and it’s soft, breathable, and gorgeous.
What We Like About the RDX Head Guard
RDX makes the top of our list of the best Muay Thai headgear because it’s a brand that delivers. And they definitely pull through with this Noir Series Boxing Head Guard.
Look, headgear can be bulky, uncomfortable, and limit not only your movement but your visibility. The last thing you want to do is enter the ring feeling awkward and off your game because of ill-fitting headgear.
This is where RDX comes in to save the day – check out why this brand sits at the top of our list:
- RDX combined innovative technology and superb design to create a head guard that fully protects your face without unnecessarily limiting your visibility.
- The hook and loop closure (or velcro, as we all like to call it) on the back of the head guard makes it quick and easy to put on or take off.
This product is highly rated on Amazon, and we agree. It’s an excellent, affordable option for beginners to more advanced Muay Thai practitioners.
Elite Sports Headgear
Elite Sports manufactures quality, stylish, affordable martial arts gear. The company prides itself on offering innovative, durable fightwear.
This is a company that pays attention to details so that its customers can focus on their training and not their gear.
Elite Sports stands behind their work by testing their products and offering warranties.
- The Elite Sports Muay Thai Head Guard is made of premium quality PU leather.
- Jaw protectors give you optimal protection.
- The head guard’s pre-curved design with an adjustable closure ensures a firm, comfortable fit.
- One size fits all. The chinstrap, head height, and head cap are all easily adjusted so that you have the perfect fit.
- The ultra-lightweight head guard offers maximum resistance. With your head able to move freely, you can respond quickly and effectively.
- The triple-layered foam is shock-absorbing, providing ultimate protection for your head and jaw. Your ears are safeguarded as well, with foam edges on both sides.
- A 180-degree field of view delivers when it comes to visibility so that you can easily see your opponent.
The Elite Sports Muay Thai Head Guard comes in a variety of colors:
- Black on black
- Black on white
- White on red
This head guard is made from PU leather, or polyurethane leather, which is synthetic leather. While nothing quite compares to the look and feel of real leather, PU is a durable alternative that does the job well.
What We Like About Elite Sports Muay Thai HeadGuard
While you may think you prefer a head guard that comes in a specific size, such as small or large, an adjustable version may work just as well. Right?
Well, based on reviews, the Elite Sports Muay Thai Head Guard, which is one size fits all, by the way, is a great choice.
So, why are we ok with one size fits all? Because sometimes sizes are wrong or inconsistent. A completely adjustable head guard allows us to make it work no matter what size our head is.
This head guard is lightweight, affordable, and keeps our face protected. It definitely earned the second spot on our list.
Fairtex is a well-established brand out of Thailand focused on innovative, durable, and high-performing Muay Thai and MMA gear.
- Full coverage for the head with a hard outside and soft interior.
- Vision is key – Fairtex Headgear focuses on diagonal vision so that you can focus on the opponent.
- An adjustable padded back velcro closure and lace-up on top mean a secure, protective fit.
- A curved and padded chin protector.
- A windshield on the ear protector.
This black Fairtex lace-up head guard comes in both black and white. Properly fitting, great looking headgear can make all of the difference when you are going head to head with an opponent. Fairtex delivers all of this and more with this head guard.
What We Like About Fairtex Headgear
We love that this classic cheek protector provides superior protection for sparring as it comes with substantial chin and cheek coverage.
Fairfax uses premium quality leather that’s stitched to last, even through many intense sparring sessions. We’re talking about superior shock absorbency and incredible overall protection with this Fairfax head guard – it’s definitely a top contender.
Venum Elite Headgear
Franck Dupuis established Venum in 2006. Venum manufactures equipment and apparel for Muay Thai, MMA, and other combat sports.
With locations across the globe, Venum has climbed the ranks to become a leading brand in the world of martial arts. In fact, Venum became the official outfitting partner for the UFC, replacing Reebok.
- Made in Thailand
- Manufacturing from 100% Skintex Leather
- This ultra-lightweight headgear allows for fast movement and full visibility.
- A reinforced ear cover provides optimal protection for your ears.
- Triple density foam offers maximum shock absorption.
- Adjustable – one size fits all.
The Venum Elite Headgear comes in a matte black finish. It’s made with 100% Skintex leather, which is lightweight, durable, and affordable synthetic leather.
What We Like About Venum Elite Headgear
Once again, we have headgear that’s one size fits all. Maybe adjustable is where it’s at?
Either way, this Venum Elite looks spectacular and protects what we want to be protected: the temple, chin, and cheek. Maybe Venum could have added a chin fastener, but overall it’s secure and protective. The padding is exceptional.
We love the visibility you have with this head guard. We can clearly see our opponent – no guessing going on here.
Venum delivers time and time again. We are always willing to test out a Venum product because they know what they are doing and do it well.
Sanabul Forged Headgear
Sanabul was established in 2014 to “disrupt” the martial arts industry.
Their employees train with Sanabul equipment, and to top that off, professionals are behind the scenes helping tweak the research and development.
The company produces high-quality gear at affordable prices, and consistently makes our “best products” lists.
- Professionally tested for beginner to advanced Muay Thai practitioners.
- The Battle Forged Series Headgear delivers full facial coverage so that you can fight fearlessly.
- Sanabul’s shock foam is incredibly absorbent
- A secure closure system locks into place so that you can focus on your game, not your gear.
Sanabul Forged Headgear comes in brown, black, or white engineered leather.
The design is simple, classic, and effective.
What We Like About Sanabul Forged Headgear
We love that Sanabul stands 100% behind its products. It is employee tested and tested by some of the finest Muay Thai athletes in the industry. That means that we are never disappointed when buying gear from them.
This head guard can absorb punch after punch with impact dura shock foam.
Ringside is a prolific martial arts gear manufacturer that’s been in business for over 30 years. The brand provides quality gear and training equipment for Muay Thai, boxing, MMA, and other combat sports.
Ringside has a reputation for being dependable, affordable, and cutting edge.
- Made using durable leather.
- Hook & Loop closure in the back for an adjustable and comfortable fit.
- Buckle chin strap.
- Cheek protectors ensure your face is protected without obstructing your vision.
This meticulously manufactured, cheekless design provides you with a clear view of your opponent’s movements.
You can choose from a bright red or blue in sizes small through extra-large.
What We Like About Ringside
We are big fans of a head guard that is both lightweight and incredibly protective. Ringside delivers this and more, with the head guard coming in at a mere 12 oz.
We can see it all in this Ringside head guard, which gives us confidence in the ring. In addition to that, this head guard can withstand intense sparring as it has just the right amount of cushioning and protection.
We can’t forget to mention that this head guard meets the requirements for amateur competitions. This is a big deal if you are purchasing headgear for competition reasons.
Contender Fight Sports manufactures quality combat sports gear that is priced economically.
- USA Boxing approved for amateur fights.
- A sleek contoured design with cheek protectors to help protect the head and face.
- The outer layer is manufactured from durable leather, and the interior is lined with synthetic material for optimal performance and durability.
- A back lace closure and a buckle chin strap allow for a perfect fit.
- Superior impact dispersing padding provides outstanding protection.
The Contender Fight Sports Headgear comes in black, blue, and red. Go for a classic look with the red, or stand out with the black. The blue is also a vibrant, bold choice.
What We Like About Contender Headgear
We love the protection that the Contender Fight Sports Headgear offers – it perfectly covers our cheeks and temples.
We can’t forget to mention that USA Boxing approves this particular headgear for amateur fights. That’s one of the main reasons it makes our list of the best Muay Thai headgear. That and it’s lightweight, comfortable, and stays offers great protection.
Muay Thai Headgear FAQ’s
Picking the right Muay Thai headgear can be challenging. So, to help, we have put together a list of common FAQ’s.
What Is The Best Brand Of Muay Thai Headgear?
We recommend using well-established Thai Muay Thai brands. You can’t go wrong with traditional companies such as Fairtex, Windy, Twins and Yokkao. International martial arts brands such as RDX, Sanabul and Elite Sports are also known for their high-quality Muay Thai equipment.
How Long Should Muay Thai Headgear Last?
The length of time your Muay Thai headgear lasts will vary depending on both the quality of headgear and how often you train.
You should always buy the best quality Muay Thai headgear in your budget to increase protection and durability.
Although several factors will affect how long your headgear will last, in general, Muay Thai headgear should last between two to three years for full-time fighters.
What Is The Best Material For Muay Thai Headgear?
As mentioned at the start of this article, we believe leather Muay Thai headgear offers the best protection and is most durable. If for personal reasons, you don’t buy leather, then synthetic leather is a good alternative.
In recent years, the quality of synthetic leather has improved drastically.
Can I Clean My Muay Thai Headgear?
Never put your Muay Thai headgear (or any of your equipment) in the washing machine or tumble dryer.
There are some things we recommend that you do to keep your headgear clean and fresh.
- Immediately cleaning the sweat off your headgear to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Air out your headgear after training.
- Use a specialist spray to clean & deodorize your headgear.
How Much Does Muay Thai Headgear Cost?
The price of Muay Thai headgear will vary depending on multiple factors.
- The Muay Thai headgear material.
- Where the product is manufactured.
- The reputation of the brand.
- Muay Thai headgear size.
In general, you should expect to put between $50 – $100 for a high-quality Muay Thai head guard.
Should I get full-face or open-face headgear?
Full-face head guards offer a lot more protection than open-face alternatives. The only downside is that they can restrict your vision. If your headgear is causing you to take more shots due to impaired vision, then it is more of a hindrance than a help.
Open face headgear offers less protection than full-face alternatives. They do offer increased visibility so you can see shots coming to defend yourself properly.
You should weigh up the protection offered against the visibility. Ultimately, the decision is down to your preference.
What Size Muay Thai Headgear Should I Buy?
You must order the right size of Muay Thai headgear.
There are a couple of methods to determine the correct size of Muay Thai headgear.
The first is to try on a few different sizes. We suggest trying on some headgear at your gym to see what size fits best. Alternatively, you can visit your local fight store to check out their headgear.
The second option is to measure the size of your head using a piece of string. From these measurements, you can use the size guide to be confident that you are choosing the correct size.
There are a variety of factors to think through when choosing the best Muay Thai headgear. Here is an overview of the factors you might want to consider:
- Weight VS Protection: typically, You will get more protection from a heavier, thicker padded head guard. However, a lighter-weight head guard allows you to move more freely as it doesn’t weigh you down as much.
- Visibility VS Protection: generally speaking, the more protection, the less visibility; the opposite is true as well. Do you want more protection and more of an obstructed view or less protection and more visibility?
- Genuine Leather VS Synthetic Leather: while the quality of synthetic leather has made vast improvements over the years and is animal-free, nothing can compare to the look and feel of real leather. Genuine leather is more comfortable and breathable, softer, and lasts longer, so of course, it’s much more expensive.
These products are some of the very best Muay Thai headgear available on the market today.
Our goal is to provide you with valuable information so that you can feel confident about your next Muay Thai purchase. We hope this guide has been a complete knockout!