Punching Bag Buying Guide – What Are The Different Types, Materials, Fillings & Styles

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So, you want to punch something. Well, a punching bag is going to be your best bet but trying to choose the best punch bag can start to become quite complicated. There are many different types out there and many different features to consider.

That’s where we can help. We’ve developed this epic guide that explains all the different types and what they are used for. Whether you want to buy 1 bag for your house or garage or you need to deck out a whole gym, we have got you covered. By the time you get to the end, you’ll have no doubts about which punching bag is going to be the best one for you.


Punch Bags And Their Benefits

Even if you never plan on getting into a ring, a punching bag can be an excellent way to exercise. For those that love boxing and want to develop skills, different types of bags are going to be able to improve your core skills and improve your technique.

There are plenty of different types of bags and here we look at 13 of the main categories. Following on from this we also look at what makes a great punching bag, answer some FAQs and also offer up some recommendations on punching bags that we think are great. Let’s get started!


What Are The Different Types Of Punching Bags?


Standard Heavy Bag

Ringside Punching Bag

Most people are going to opt for a standard heavy bag. These are usually suspended from the ceiling and are built for long-term use and to withstand high impact. It makes them great for improving your general technique, stamina and allowing you to develop your power punches.

The weight, height, and diameter of the bag can all vary quite a lot from one bag to the next. It’s important to get one that will be ideal for your specific circumstances. Want to know how to use a heavy bag, simply watch these legends do it!

Punching type: General punching, power shots, and combinations

Improves: Stamina, Power, Technique


  • Highly versatile
  • Good for improving technique
  • Heavy-duty durability


  • Require a lot of space
  • Heavy

Recommendation: Ringside 100-pound Powerhide Boxing Punching Heavy Bag

Check Out The Reviews & Get The Best Price Here:


Angled Bag

Ringside Angle Bag

The angled bag is very similar to the heavy bag in terms of its weight, fill and space required but it’s designed differently with a top-heavy shape that tapers down quickly with a much more slender body than a traditional heavy bag.

This fatter upper section allows you to practice uppercuts and hooks and is also good for straight punches. It doesn’t quite have the versatility of a heavy bag and also it’s not quite as easy to simply work on stamina.

Punch type: Uppercuts, hooks and straight shots, Combos With Uppercuts

Improves: Punching technique, power


  • Great for specific shots
  • Heavy duty
  • More shot variety


  • Take up a lot of space
  • Less versatility

Recommendation: Ringside Angle 65 lb Boxing Bag



Wrecking Ball/Tear Drop

Ringside Wrecking Ball Punching Bag

Given the shape of a more spherical bag, it allows you to throw different types of shots. These include looping hooks and uppercuts. You can also adjust the height of the bag and lower it if you wanted to work on a variety of body shots.

It’s also going to be ideal for those that want to practice different types of kicks. Some people, however, don’t like the response they get from a wrecking ball as its shape isn’t reflective of a human body.

Punch type: All types, especially looping hooks and uppercuts

Improves: Punch technique, stamina


  • Ideal for specific punches
  • Various angles
  • Versatile height changes


  • Punch responsiveness
  • Doesn’t improve timing

Recommendation: Ringside 65-pound Body Snatcher Powerhide Punching Heavy Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:



Double End Bag

Pro Impact Double End Bag

The bags that we’ve looked at here have so far been ideal for working on power and punching technique but don’t work on other boxing fundamentals. The double end bag is perfect for working on timing and reflexes.

The double end bags are great at being able to learn how to counter punch and improve your hand-eye coordination. You’ll learn how to develop your rhythm and be able to work on your movement. Floyd Mayweather was a master on the double end bag as you can see here.

Punch type: Counter punching

Improves: Speed, Reflexes, Timing


  • Improves boxing ability
  • Adds variety
  • Works your key skills


  • Requires top and bottom mount
  • Not for power technique

Recommendation: Check Out Our Best Double End Bags List Here

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:


Speed Ball

Hunter Speed Bag

The speedball features in pretty much every boxing film there has ever been and it looks great in a montage. This will be attached from the season and is meant to improve your punching speed while also helping you with endurance.

It won’t work on any specific punch but instead helps to improve your timing while building up your arm and shoulder strength. Raising your hands above your head is very tiring which also makes it perfect for an intense fitness workout. Watch how the pros do it here.

Punch type: None

Improves: Endurance, strength, speed, timing


  • Improves key skills
  • Increases your speed
  • Adds boxing fitness


  • Doesn’t work on punch technique
  • Lack of versatility

Recommendation: HUNTER Speed Ball

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:


Wall Mounted

Canvas Wall Mounted Punching Bag

As we mentioned before with ceiling mounted bags, they take up a lot of room as with the swinging motion around them, they require more space to swing. Wall-mounted bags don’t need this which makes them more suitable for enclosed environments.

They are also ideal for those who have very high ceilings. They can be a great compromise but have the downsides of being harder on your hands and also limiting the number of punches you can throw.

Punch type: Straight punches

Improves: Fitness, technique


  • Convenient
  • Doesn’t take up space
  • Easy to use


  • Limited usability
  • Lack of punching options

Recommendation: Chengyi Canvas Cotton Training Punch Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:


Upper Cut Bag

Windy Wall Mounted Bag

The uppercut is one of the hardest punches to practice with regular bags as the punch comes at such a unique handle. The uppercut bag is a brilliant way to get power and technique into what can be such a devastating punch.

While mainly used for uppercuts, they can also be used for a wide variety of different punches. You get uppercut bags that can be either wall or ceiling athletes. They are more of a specialized punching bag for those serious about boxing

Punch type: Uppercuts (but can practice others)

Improves: Punching technique


  • Specialized practice
  • Decent versatility
  • For boxing experts


  • Limited versatility
  • Could be a luxury expense


Recommendation: Windy Wall Mounted Punching Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:



Free Standing Punching Bags

1 Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag 69''

Free-standing bags have the advantage of being highly portable as you’re able to put them anywhere you want. They are placed on a heavy base but you’re still not able to hit them as hard as you can with many other types of punching bags.

They can offer a great training method but have a very different response to a heavy bag. They are great for practicing kicks as well as punches and are ideal for those with limited space.

Punch type: Straight shots, jabs, hooks

Improves: Technique, stamina


  • Versatile design
  • High portability
  • Ideal for limited space


  • Not for power punches
  • Limited responsiveness

Recommendation: Dripex 180lb Freestanding Heavy Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:


B.O.B – Body Opponent Bag – Punch Dummy

BOB Punching Bag

Like with the freestanding bags, these are not fixed to anything but instead of a cylindrical bag, it takes on the shape of a human body. This can be good for improving your punching accuracy as you can pick specific spots on the dummy to hit.

As with the freestanding bag, it does have its limitations in terms of responsiveness and punching power. For those who have a limited amount of space at home, it can be a brilliant compromise and can be ideal for other types of fighting sports.

Punch type: All types (limited power)

Improves: Punch accuracy, technique, stamina


  • Portability
  • Ideal for compact spaces
  • Versatile punch selection


  • Not for power training
  • Limited responsiveness

Recommendation: Century B.O.B. Body Opponent Bag Freestanding Training Dummy

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:



Double Angled Bag – Body And Head

Double Angle Punch Bag

The double angled bag is a heavy bag that has a much thinner middle section which sort of resembles an hourglass shape. As it vaguely represents a human figure, it gives you the opportunity of working from the body to head.

While that sounds great in theory, many people find striking the curved section of the bag a little awkward as it can unnaturally rotate your wrist. Others value the accuracy that it helps you with.

Punch type: All types, including uppercuts

Improves: Punch accuracy, shot selection, stamina


  • Can train uppercuts
  • Heavy-duty option
  • Minimal swing


  • No movement training
  • Awkward curves

Recommendation: RDX Angled Body Punch Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:


Maize Bag – Slipping Punches

Ringsize Maize Bag

You can see these maize bags as a heavier version of a speedball with a longer chain. They are made to swing and help you to work on your head movement as you slip the bag as it swings back. This also allows you to work on your feet movement.

Their weight and size also make them a good option for practicing uppercuts. They are ideal for working on your defense and they can also be extremely tiring, allowing you to work on your endurance.

Punch type: Jabs, straight shots, uppercuts

Improves: Movement, defense, timing, stamina


  • Works your fundamentals
  • More technical practice
  • Versatile design


  • Large space required
  • Not for power training

Recommendation: Ringside Maize Slip Ball Boxing Speed Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:



Large Maize Bag

Title large Maize Bags

This is larger, heavier and hangs lower than the maize bag that we just looked at. This allows you to add more power to your shots while having those advantages of being able to work on your movement.

The maize gives a more unique response which will swing more than a regular bag, due to this, they are still not made for working on power shots. Rather than quick head movement, the large maize bag is ideal for feet movement, creating angles and avoid the bag as it swings back towards you.

Punch type: All types (lighter shots)

Improves: Feet movement, reflexes, stamina


  • Easy on the hands
  • Aids defensive technique
  • Gives a great workout


  • Not for power shots
  • Requires high clearance

Recommendation: Title Boxing Vintage Maize Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:



Aqua Bags

Aqua Bag

These are essentially wrecking balls bags that have a completely different feel. Struggle with hand issues? Well, the water-filled bags are very easy on your joints and allow you to punch aggressively without worrying about wrist/hand pain.

They are great for working on your timing while also allowing you to work on a wide selection of punches. Worried about breaking one and water splashing everywhere? Well if Luis Ortiz can’t break one then you know you’ll be safe.

Punch type: All types

Improves: Reflexes, movement


  • Reduces hand pain
  • Great for movement
  • Easy to adjust the height


  • Limited responsiveness
  • Not for power training

Recommendation: Aqua Training Bag

Check Out More Reviews And Get The Best Price Here:




What To Look For In A Punch Bag

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Leather Punch bag

Leather is seen as the best material for a punching bag but it’s also the most expensive. It’s the most comfortable to punch while having the ability to deal with the severe punishment that it’ll take as good leather won’t rip. For many people, it also looks the best and smells great.

If you have a great budget then leather is going to be the way to go. There are some other great options out there which are a good substitute.


Synthetic Leather

It looks like leather, it feels like leather but it isn’t as expensive. It doesn’t have the long-term durability of real leather or quite the same feel but it makes an excellent substitute. It’s the most common material that you’ll see due to the balance between quality and price.



Canvas is a cheap material and therefore it can allow you to get very cheap punching bags. Are they worth it? No. If you’re struggling for money then that may be enough to justify this choice but it doesn’t feel great at all. For a budget option, opt for synthetic leather.



Plastic is only really used in specialized bags, such as the aqua bags that we looked at earlier. For those types of bags, it can work perfectly. For a heavy bag, for example, it’s not so great. It’s the best idea to only get a plastic punching bag if it’s one of those special types.


What Size Punching Bag Do I Need?

heavy bag

You need to get a punching bag that matches your size and power. If you get a punching bag that’s too small then it will swing wildly when you hit it hard. If you get one that is too big then it’s not going to be suitable to work on your technique. These Everlast size charts are very useful.

Heavy Bag Size Guide

Most bags come in a fairly standard size which will cover most of your needs for all types of punches and kicks. You also need to consider where you’re going to be putting your punching bag. Not all homes and garages will have the space available for all types of punching bags.



When looking at bags that would be mounted to the ceiling, you need to see how long they are and also the length of the chain to see if it’s suitable for your needs. Some bags have a level of adjustability if needs be.

If you can’t get the right height for you then it’s worth considering other types of punching bags such as the free-standing or wall-mounted models. You need to ensure that the bag is at a comfortable and correct punching height.



Just as a fighter needs to match weight with their opponent, you need to make sure that you have a bag that is suitable for you. You can get punching bags in a wide range of different sizes and while there is no definite rule in regards to this, you don’t want to overstretch yourself.

A loose rule to follow is to choose a bag which is around half your weight. You want to have the right level of resistance and it’s important to not choose a bag which is going to swing around hugely once you’ve punched it.


Filled Vs Unfilled

When you buy a bag it will either come filled or unfilled. Most will come filled and that’s going to be the most convenient solution. Many people like filling the bag themselves as this will give them more control of its firmness as well as other features.

If you are looking to buy a filled bag then it’s worth looking at whether or not you’re going to be able to amend the filling. On some bags, you’d have to take apart the stitching but on others, there is a zip that will allow you to add or take away from the filling.


What Should You Fill A Punching Bag With?


Textiles – The majority of punching bags are filled with scrap bits of textiles. This allows for a good level of firmness while also being easy on the joints. It’s also not too heavy, allowing the bag to be more portable. Textile can also be used with other types of fill

Sand – This is used if you want a very heavy bag. It’s easy to fill but the bags need to be high-quality to ensure there are no leaks. If you want to practice power shots or want a bag that won’t swing then they are a great option.

Water – Aqua bags are easy on the joints and are more reliable than ever but a more specialized option.

Air — Air can be used for quick reflex bags such as the speedball. These are great but often need inflating again over time.


Firmness Of The Bag


You need a bag that is firm as it’s a better way to develop and work on your power. It allows you to have the responsiveness you need. While your hands and wrists need to be conditioned for punching, you don’t want the bag to be rock hard. If you’re only interested in fitness then a soft bag can be a good option.


How Much Swing Should I Look For?

The amount of swing you want will depend on your needs. If you want to work on power and punching technique then minimal swing is required. If you’re working on reflexes and timing then it’d be better to have a bag that moves around a bit.





How much does a heavy bag cost?

You can pick up a cheap bag for under $50 but others will range into hundreds of dollars. Not everyone has the budget for an elite model but you want to make sure it still has enough quality for your needs.


How to mount a heavy bag?

There are a few ways that you can hang a heavy bag. You must know whether you have the support to hang a heavy bag before you start. This YouTube video gives a good guide on how to hang one.

How to know what weight punching bag to get?

While there is no specific rule on this, the general rule of thumb is to get a punching bag that is half your weight.


Should I get a 70 or 100-pound punching bag?

As mentioned, this is generally based on your weight. You mustn’t overstretch yourself while also considering where you plan on putting the bag and what weight it’d take.


Is a 40 lb punching bag too light?

If you’re talking about a hanging bag, then probably as these bags would be better for smaller users and lighter hitters. A bag as this weight would swing quite wildly for most users.


Can you hit a heavy bag without gloves?

Without gloves, you’re more liable to injury, cuts, and burns. This should be done with caution but for beginners especially, use gloves, or at least wraps.


Can you break your hand on a punching bag?

Yes. With untrained hands and an off-center punch, this can happen on heavy bags. Make sure you’re protecting yourself and hitting the bag with the correct technique.


What size speed bag should I get?

If you’re starting out, the larger the better. As your skills develop you can move on to a more nimble and smaller bag.


Can I fill my punching bag with sand?

Not all bags could support the extra weight and they also need to be stitched well enough to not leak any sand. You should check your manual before doing it.


Can you fill a punching bag with water?

Most likely not. Aqua bags have an internal bladder that regular bags don’t have.


How can I make my punching bag heavier?

Sand is the perfect fill material for added weight but this should be done with caution. Sawdust is also a good material to use.


Are free-standing punch bags any good?

They are great for limited spaces and fitness training. They do have their limitations but can be a good solution for plenty of people.


How do I stop my free standing punching bag from moving?

If your bag is sliding around on the floor then place something underneath, such as a rubber mat. If the actual bag is moving too much then look at filling it with denser material.



As we’ve seen, there is a wide range of different bags available and it’s important to know which one is going to be more suitable for your needs. You don’t want to rush into getting a punching bag and it’s a good idea to refer back to this page if you have any doubts.

If you’re just getting into boxing, a heavy bag is usually the best place to start. There are other great bags that you can add to that in order to work on different boxing fundamentals. After a while, you can start adding to your punching bag collection until you have the perfect gym.


Aidan Lehane has been involved in the fight game for well over 10 and has trained in some of the leading boxing gyms around the world including Sinbi Muay Thai and MTK Global Marbella. He wants to offer as much advice to beginners and pros as possible.

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