HealthyBeat articles include advertisements and affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more Updated December 18, 2020There are tons of reasons why you might want a punching bag besides being an avid boxer. Kickboxing, Taekwondo, mixed martial arts (MMA), Muay Thai, and even just general high-intensity workouts can all be achieved with the right punching bag. But the question is, how to choose the correct one? That depends not only on the kind of exercise or training you’re doing, but also the size of your room, your level of fitness, how big you are, and how often you plan on moving the bag. Below, we’ll talk about some of the best punching bag options based on your workout style and needs.Best Punching Bags of 2021Best Punching Bag for Beginners: TITLE Boxing Soft Fill Punching BagBest Punching Bag for Tall Beginners: Ringside Soft Filled Powerhide 100-Pound Heavy BagBest Freestanding Punching Bag: Century Original Wavemaster Freestanding Heavy BagBest Punching Bag for Travelers: Aqua Punching BagsBest Tiny Bag: Quiet Punch Portable Punching BagBest Speed Bag: Balazs Lazer Speed BagBest Punching Bag for Experienced Trainers: Outslayer 150 Pound Boxing BagBest Punching Bags of 2021Best Punching Bag for Beginners: TITLE Boxing Soft Fill Punching BagIf you’re new to sports that require punching bags, you probably don’t want one that’s too firm or too expensive. The good news is, this beginner bag is great for newbies looking for a softer, lighter option that won’t break their fists or their bank accounts. This offering from TITLE Boxing is designed to be more forgiving to your fists, wrists, elbows, and shoulders without skimping on your overall workout experience. Its seatbelt nylon straps are stronger and less noisy than chains, and its vinyl shell will stand up to whatever you throw at it. It also comes prefilled so you don’t have to fool with filling it yourself—and it’s less than $150!Best Punching Bag for Tall/Heavyweight Beginners: Ringside Soft Filled Powerhide 100-Pound Heavy BagIf you’re on the larger side, you probably want a heavier bag, even if you’re not very experienced. Ringside’s high-quality bag is a great choice, especially if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money. As an added bonus, it comes with a layer of foam on the outside of the filling, making it a softer option for those whose hands and wrists still aren’t used to punching a bag. Despite its softness, this heavy bag still offers incredible durability, and its extra weight allows you to hit harder without swinging it too far, letting you train longer with this bag before having to upgrade to a heavier one.Best Freestanding Punching Bag: Century Original Wavemaster Freestanding Heavy BagFor those who don’t have the room or the patience for a wall mount or a hanging stand, this freestanding heavy bag can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. The extra-wide base allows you to kick and punch as hard as you would with a regular heavy bag—without all the nonsense of drilling holes in your wall or ceiling. The Wavemaster is as simple to set up as it gets: Just fill the base with whatever heavy substance you choose, affix the bag to the base, and you’re done! Best of all, this bag is easy to move. If you tilt it onto its side, you can roll it out to use it and roll it back to its corner when you’re done, which is amazing for apartments or multipurpose rooms.Best Punching Bag for Travelers: Aqua Punching BagsIf you travel around all the time and like to take your own bag with you, this light, compact bag can hop in the car whenever you do—because you fill it with water! One of the best things about these bags (besides being able to just dump the water in the bathtub and roll them up) is they come in tons of different sizes and weights, all the way from the 21-inch, 190-pound Aqua Punching Bag to the tiny 9-inch, 15 pound Head Hunter Slip Ball. This means whatever your preferred punching bag weight, you get maximum portability. The water filling feels a little different than a traditionally filled bag containing fabric or sand, but if you can get used to it, there’s no limit on where this bag can go.Best Tiny Bag: Quiet Punch Portable Punching BagFor those who want a piece that will take up literally no space, this teenie tiny punching bag will be their new best friend. It’s no bigger than a couch pillow, and its bouncy bungee cord system and plush construction mean it’s as quiet as a cushion too. As an added bonus, Quiet Punch allows you access to their workout library for no extra charge beyond the purchase price of the bag—that’s over 100 hours of on-demand exercise content! Just keep in mind, if you’re interested in serious training, this bag probably isn’t for you, since it can only be punched from one angle. But if you’re looking for a great way to improve your fitness and have some fun without giving up any space, this doorway-hung bag is the perfect solution.Best Speed Bag: Balazs Lazer Speed BagThere’s nothing better for an intense workout than a good speed bag. So if you want a serious bag that’s going to help you increase your punching speed, technique, and cardiovascular endurance, the Lazer could be right up your alley. Though it’s one of the most expensive choices for speed bag on the market, there’s a reason for the hefty price tag. For one thing, its air pouch won’t ever pop and need replacing, a common problem with other speed bags. It also maintains a consistent shape during even the most intense session, and the smooth leather is great for training barehanded.Best Punching Bag for Experienced Trainers: Outslayer 150 Pound Boxing BagThose looking to kick it up a notch also have many great options in the punching bag department, but the best one is the Outslayer. The heavy-duty 150-pound boxing bag is made to take an even more serious beating than most punching bags, meaning it’s sufficiently sturdy for even the hardest hitters. Since it’s on the heavier end of the weight spectrum, it won’t swing around too much when you’re working out, but it’s filled to the brim with compressed fabric—allowing it to protect your knuckles and joints during prolonged or intense training sessions. If even 150 pounds is still too light for you, the unfilled version of this bag can take up to 300 pounds of fabric.Types of Punching BagThere are many different types of punching bags. Three of the most common kinds are heavy bags, free-standing bags, and speed bags. Anyone of any experience level can use all three of these bags—it just depends on what you’re training for: speed or strength.Heavy BagA heavy bag is a large, cylindrical bag that’s suspended from anything from the ceiling to a wall mount to a metal stand. These bags are for practicing powerful full-body punches and kicks, and they’re best for developing muscle tone and strength.Freestanding BagStanding bags typically look like heavy bags, only they’re free-standing, meaning they’re mounted on top of a floor stand. These bags are also for developing strength and power, but they can be used for ground-and-pound training as well.Speed BagSpeed bags are small bags that look more like a punching ball hanging from a string than a bag. Normally, these tough bags are filled with air, and they’re meant to develop—you guessed it—speed. Of course, speed bags aren’t just for helping you learn to punch faster. They’re great for developing a lot of different techniques like hand positioning and footwork. They can also help with hand-eye coordination, endurance, and control.How to Choose a Punching BagThere are a lot of different factors that can influence the kind of bag you need. Let’s talk about a few of them.Your Bodyweight and the Bag WeightGenerally speaking, your bag should be around half your body weight, though your experience level and what you’re training for have an impact on how big your bag should be as well. So if half your body weight is 80 pounds, but you’re an intense trainer who does more extreme workouts, you might consider jumping up to 90 or 100 pounds or else the bag will be swinging around. By the same token, if you’re a beginner or a dabbler, you might not even need a bag that’s half your body weight. Also, don’t worry if your bodyweight doesn’t correspond perfectly to a certain-sized bag—just divide your weight in half and round up to the next size.Your Height and the Bag LengthBag lengths can range from 2.5 to 6 feet, and your height and experience level both influence your length needs. Because the length of the bag determines your punching range—with shorter bags offering you less surface for upwards and downwards punches—if you’re more experienced, you’ll have a larger punching range and thus want a longer bag. Also, if you’re taller, your punching range will be wider, meaning you’ll probably want a longer bag even if you’re not all that experienced. Keep in mind, the shortest bags are also not all that great for kicks, so if you’re into kickboxing, you’ll want a medium to long bag.Your Experience LevelAs a rule, the more advanced you are, the bigger, heavier bag you need because the bag needs to stand up to more strength and more skill. Heavy bags can range in weight from around 70 pounds to 150. Punching bags on the lighter end of this range won’t put up too much resistance against beginner punches and kicks, helping newbies gain strength and confidence. However, if you’re an experienced boxer/fighter/kickboxer/etc., lighter bags may move around too much under the power of your hits, so upping the weight can provide enough resistance to prevent too much swing.Your Home Gym SizeOf course, the space you have for a punching bag is going to have a pretty serious impact on the size of the bag you get. Remember, the space the bag takes up when it’s sitting alone in the corner isn’t the same space it’s going to take up when it’s in use—it’s going to bounce around when you hit it. Speed bags and heavy bags swing, and freestanding bags can sway and even fall, meaning you can wind up needing a lot more room for your bag than it looks like when it’s just standing there.Remember, not only is the bag going to move around at least a little bit when you hit it, but you also need to be able to maneuver around your bag and hit it from all sides. To get enough clearance for a full-blown training session, you’ll need a space of 8 by 8 feet for a compact bag and 9 by 9 feet for a full-size heavy or freestanding bag. Also, keep in mind if you get a hanging stand for a heavy punching bag, that’s going to require extra space.Your Training GoalsThe sport you’re training for will impact the kind of bag you need as well. Obviously, if you’re training for a kickboxing match, you don’t want a speed bag. Speed bags are almost exclusively for boxing and other hand-combat sports. Kickboxers will want a heavy bag—either hanging or freestanding—depending on your gym setup. Serious boxers likely want a hanging heavy bag, since they offer the most realistic fighting experience. If all you want is to get your body moving with some boxing style workouts, you can choose from any number of bags from speed bags to heavy bags on the lighter end of the weight spectrum.Your Living SituationPunching bags are noisy—some a lot more than others—so if you have roommates or close neighbors, the noise level of your workout will probably be a pretty big factor in your choice of bag. If you mount the bag on the ceiling, its vibrations could get you in trouble with the upstairs neighbors, so a freestanding punching bag is probably going to be a better solution to avoid vibrating the studs. A standing punching bag also requires no setup and installation beyond just filling it with water or sand and standing it up. This eliminates the need for finding studs, drilling, installing fixtures, and damaging your apartment (thus risking your deposit).FAQsHow much should I pay for a punching bag?Punching bag prices can vary wildly. For speed bags, you should expect to pay around $30 to $80 for a good-quality product. If you’re just buying a regular old heavy bag, the price will be between $70 to $200. However, big brand names or premium bags designed for serious competition and athletic training can be a lot pricier. And if you’re buying the bag, the heavy bag kit, the hanging stand, or a multi-station punching bag setup, it can jack the price into the thousands. Also don’t forget about accessories, in addition to the bag, you may need boxing gloves, hand wraps, brackets, stands, and other equipment to either hang the bag or work out with it.What are punching bags made of?As far as exterior materials go, a lot of bags are made of leather, pleather (synthetic leather), nylon, or sometimes canvass. Punching bags can be filled with grains, sand, shredded fabrics, or any other number of stuffings. You can put water in certain bags as well (make sure it’s specified on the label that you can do this). Some bags come pre-filled, and others you have to fill yourself after you purchase them. If you buy an unfilled bag, you can choose your filling based on how heavy and dense you want the bag. If you want a lightweight bag to get you started, you could just fill it with old clothes. Ziplocs full of sand or sawdust will make your bag heavier and firmer.What’s the best punching bag brand?Outslayer, Ringside, and Everlast are all well-respected brands in the fitness industry, but they’re certainly not the only ones out there. Because each trainer has individual preferences and needs, it’s not really possible to say any of these brands are the “best,” they’re just some of the best—the best punching bag for you is really going to depend on what you’re looking for in a bag.Do punching bags have different firmnesses?Yes. A lot of times, the firmness is determined by the filling, but pre-filled bags can also have a layer of soft foam around the outside of the stuffing but under the cover for added cushioning for your fists, knees, elbows, and feet. You can decide the firmness of unfilled bags by stuffing them with softer or harder materials.Is using a punching bag good exercise?Yes! Sports involving a punching bag are great all-around workouts. They build strength in your core, upper body, and even legs. They burn fat. They increase endurance. They help develop hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. And they can be serious cardio if you do high-intensity exercises. If you want an intense, full-body workout that gives you strength and cardio at the same time, punching bags are hard to beat.Bottom LineAs you can see, finding a punching bag is a lot more complicated than just picking the first thing you see on Amazon—you need to know your experience level, training goals, and preferred combat sport. You also need to think about your lifestyle and living space when shopping for a punching bag, since punching bags can take up a moderate amount of room and make a lot of noise. Still, if you’re looking for a full-body, multi-function workout at a reasonable price, punching bags make a great addition to your home gym.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.