Irrespective of whether you are looking to mat a surface at home for BJJ practice, or looking to re-mat a larger area in an academy, you'll have to navigate through the wide, and sometimes confusing world of BJJ, wrestling and MMA mats.
Any martial arts practitioner worth their salt would tell you that the surface makes all the difference.
You either end up with a great, enjoyable grappling, sparring session, or end up with one where you are too sore from mat burn.
Also, mat choices are very individualistic. What's a great surface for you, might be a terrible one for your partner. You can also use the mat to stabilize your free-standing punching bag while kicking it, when I kick and punch my Wavemaster XXL it moves and putting a mat underneath stabilizes it more, of course for other types of punching bags you won't need a mat. For instance, you can use a punching bag stand with pull up bar for hanging bags.
That said, most martial artists seem to agree that foam mats (both tiles and foldable ones) are a great choice for a wide range of practice drills.
They are economical, portable, easy to set up and offer a reasonable amount of cushioning depending on the thickness.
Top Rated Foam Tile Style Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling and MMA Mats
Based on our experience with these versatile mats, we have narrowed down on the best foam mats for BJJ, wrestling & MMA in this list.
#1 - INCStoresTatami Foam Tiles
- Material – Closed cell EVA foam
Size – 24" x 24" & 36” x 36”
Thickness – 0.75”
Weight – Each tile weighs approximately 2.0 Lbs.
Interlocking tiles can be used to cover a small or a large surface area
Very soft. Zero mat rash.
Perfect for rolling, grapples and light takedowns
Can be prone to punctures or tears if exposed to sharp surfaces
INCStoresTatami Foam Tiles Review
The Tatami Foam Tiles from INCstores are an excellent choice for a variety of arts like Judo, BJJ, MMA and Krav Maga.
These jiu jitsu wrestling mma mats are soft and offer reasonably good cushioning for rolling, grapples and sparring.
The mat tiles are 0.75” thick and of the interlocking variety. While that might make it seem that they can get dislodged easily, they don't. They hold up very well even to vigorous ground practice and stay locked.
They have a tatami style texture on the surface, which works really well to give you a firm grip. If you are practicing kicks on a Wavemaster for example, it gives you the purchase to pivot on your foot without slipping.
The tiles are available in sizes of 2' x 2' and 3' x 3' in black & grey, & blue and red combos, which means that you can buy these in precise sizes to cover a large area.
These look quite attractive, and can also be removed easily if need be.
However, the thickness is not ideal for heavy takedowns and throws. You are going to feel the hard surface below. Also, these are prone to punctures and tears if exposed to sharp edges. So, don't park your furniture on these.
#2 - Meister X-Thick
Material: EVA Foam
Size: 2' x 2'
Thicker interlocking tiles
Very soft, textured surface
Does not cause mat rash
Offers sufficient grip for slip-free practice
May need to be broken in
Meister X-Thick Review
The Meister X-Thick is the thickest, EVA foam tile in the market.
It's 1.5” thick and gives you a cushioned surface with closed-cell EVA foam padding, which is ideal for grapples, sparring, throws and takedowns.
Unlike the Tatami mats, you are less likely to feel the surface below, even if you free fall on the Meister-X.
The tiles are available in sizes of 2' x 2'. Each 4 sq. feet tile comes with a border piece that can be used to create a complete, finished look.
There are five colors to choose from. That's Black, Blue, Gray, Green & Red. You can also mix and match the colors to create unique, attractive patterns on the gym floor.
All mats are reversible and waterproof, which makes them extremely low on maintenance as well.
The surface has a T-pattern texture which is not rough enough to cause mat rash, but is not butter smooth either. Martial artists practicing barefoot, and with socks and GIs have had no complaints whatsoever about slipping on the surface.
However, these tiles have a crust-like coating on the surface for durability, but it needs to be broken in for comfort and safety when using it on bare feet. It may make it seem like a very hard surface initially. But it wears down with a few days of use and turns into a soft and comfortable surface.
#3 – Jumbo Soft Interlocking Foam Tiles
- Material: EVA Foam Rubber
Size: 2' x 2'
Weight: 2 lbs.
Made from kid-friendly EVA foam
Child safe tiles
Lightweight, soft and reasonable cushioning
Can be prone to damage with sharp edges
Jumbo Soft Interlocking Foam Tiles Review
The Jumbo Soft Interlocking foam tiles are made from kid-safe EVA foam that's non-toxic, allergen-free, lead-free & formamide-free.
To top it off, it's a very soft surface, which makes it a great choice for play zones, kid rooms and gyms for adults.
These tiles are 0.87” thick, which is only slightly thicker than the Tatami tiles. There's reasonable amount of cushioning with the closed cell EVA foam. But, it's not an ideal choice for heavy takedowns and free falls. For grapples and ground work though, it works like a charm.
The surface is textured, which offers a firm footing, and the tiles stay grid locked no matter how hard you move around on it.
They are very easy to install and customize too depending on the dimensions of the floor. Each tile features border pieces that allow it to be used as an edge or in the middle of a pattern.
Like most EVA foam tiles, these are prone to scratches, scruffs and dents. Avoid placing heavy and sharp objects on them, and these should last long.
#4 - Prosource Fit Extra Thick
- Material: Foam
Size: 2' x 2'
Thickness: 0.75” and 1”
Available in two thicknesses
Interlocking tiles with a textured, jigsaw pattern
Excellent cushioning and noise dampening
Prosource Fit Extra Thick Review
The Prosource Fit Extra Thick interlocking tiles are available in two thicknesses.
There's a 1” thick variety, that's better suited for open mats where practice activities are not predictable and can go places.
There's also a 0.75” thick variety that's ideal for subtler, everyday practice at home or in the gym.
We quite like that you can pick the one that best suits your intended purpose.
The tiles are made of EVA foam, which means that the cushioning and noise dampening is excellent.
The texturing prevents slipping and allows the fighters to get a firm footing. Based on a lot of customer reviews, there are absolutely no complaints about mat burn.
Installation is extremely easy as each 2' x 2' tile comes with a pair of corresponding edges that make it a complete square. You can easily cover your entire room with this in minutes and dismantle them equally fast if need be.
The lightweight design means that this is portable as well, and there's one less excuse for missing your practice during the holidays.
Overall, these offer a great middle ground between the 0.75” thick and the 1.5” thick varieties that we listed earlier.
#5 - Velotas Martial Arts Mat
- Material: EVA Foam
Size: 2' x 2'
Lightweight cushioned surface for exercise
Ideal for light grapple, groundwork and drills
Perfect for exercises, MMA, Judo, Aikido
Not suited for throws and takedowns
Velotas Martial Arts Mat Review
At just ½” thick, the Velotas Martial Arts Mat is the lightest and thinnest option in this list.
A lot of people prefer thinner mats that can provide a wee bit of cushioning for the knees and ankles during exercise. They don't necessarily need a 1” or 1.5” thick mat.
This fits the bill perfectly.
It's one of the cheapest interlocking mats with the Tatami pattern. So, if you are looking to add some cushioning and minor noise dampening to your garage floor, this is a great choice.
It's made of EVA foam and is available in sizes of 24” x 24”. The textured surface enhances the grip for the athletes using the mat and also helps to an extent in preventing the mat from slipping around.
That said, this is a thin mat and some amount of movement is to be expected, especially if you use it for heavy groundwork. If you wish to avoid the movement, secure the mat with some double sided tape to the floor and you should be good to go.
Another advantage of the thinner mat is that it does not sink in as much as thicker mats do, even if you place heavy furniture on it.
The Velotas mat tiles are available in black, blue and grey.
#6 - ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat
- Material: EVA Foam
Size: 2' x 2'
Lightweight, non-skid foam tiles
Textured surface for martial arts
No Toxic Phthalates
ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat Review
This textured puzzle mat from Prosourcefit is a bestseller on multiple online shopping portals.
The reason is the quality, which is exceptional, and the economical pricing. There are customers who have used this for years with no problems such as tears, rips or frays.
It is a very thin interlocking tile that's very easy to set up. Each pack contains 6-tiles, which is 24-square feet of coverage. It's easy to cut and customize if need be.
The tile has a grid-pattern texture on both the sides, which gives you a firm grip and keeps the mat in place even on slippery hardwood floor.
But if you are going to use it in a martial arts gym, there are two things that you should know.
Secure it at the seams with some double sided tape or Gorilla tape. Heavy ground work will dislodge it at the seams.
The cushioning is not adequate for throws and take downs.
This is better suited for a home gym where you need some padding for your knees and ankles, some shock absorption & a little noise dampening to keep the neighbors smiling.
If you seek some lightweight cushioning for your gym floor without paying through the nose, this is probably your best bet.
Best Fold Up Jiu-Jitsu Mats
Fold Up Jiu-Jitsu mats are a more temporary but durable solution, given that they can be folded and tucked away after use.
These great mats offer much better cushioning than foam tiles and are generally puncture-resistant even under intense no gi jiu-jitsu grappling.
One of the other differences in the two is that these are pricier than the tiles.
If you prefer a fold up Jiu-Jitsu mat, then here are the best ones in the market currently.
#1 - BalanceFrom High Density Folding Mat
- Material: High Density EPE Foam
Expanded Size: 10' x 4'
Folded Size: 4' x 2 ½”
Thickness: 2” when expanded and 8” when folded
Weight: 6 pounds
Lightweight 4-panel folding design
Handles for portability
Velcro on the sides for connecting multiple mats
Slip-proof and puncture-proof vinyl cover
BalanceFrom High Density Folding Mat Review
This High Density Folding Mat from BalanceFrom is a top rated jiu-jitsu mat that's 2” thick and provides ample cushioning for a variety of drills.
It's a 4-panel design where the expanded mat is 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. There are Velcro panels on the sides that allow you to connect multiple of these, in case you are looking to cover a larger surface.
After practice, it can be folded down into a compact 2 ½ feet and 4 feet panel that's 8” thick. The panels have handles on the sides which make it easy to carry after folding. It's very light and can easily be moved around the gym, even by kids.
The mat is high density EPE foam, which is a very soft and comfortable surface for practice. The cushioning is excellent, even for throws and heavy work.
It is covered by a non-toxic, puncture-proof vinyl cover, with double-stitched seams. The cover is a tight fit over the foam, which is very important. There's no slack.
To add to this, it is very rugged and does not tear or fray, but is supple enough to prevent mat burn.
There are children who have used this with no complaints whatsoever.
If you are using this on a hardwood floor, it might move around. So consider securing it to the flooring with tape or glue.
#2 – Z-Athletics Gymnastic Mat
- Material: Polyethylene Foam
Expanded Size: 10ft x 5ft
Folded Size: 2ft x 5ft
Thickness: 2” when expanded and 10” when folded
5 panel folding design
Capacious surface for martial arts practice
Hook and loop closure system for connecting
Heavy duty vinyl cover
Z-Athletics Gymnastic Mat Review
This is a gymnastic mat from Z-Athletics that's used as a landing mat by gymnasts, parkour trainees, cheerleaders and martial artists. You can choose from black, blue, pink and purple ones and even mix and match a few.
It's a 2-inch thick layer of high-density cross-linked polyethylene foam with excellent shock absorption, and impact resistance for your joints. This makes it well suited for a variety of training drills, including throws and takedowns.
For those who are unaware of the tech, the cross-linked, closed-cell foam used in this, is much more durable than open-celled variety. It's less likely to sink with weight, even with repeated use.
It has a 5-panel folding design that's a capacious 10 feet long and 5 feet wide when expanded fully. The edges have a hook and loop closure system that allows you to connect multiple of these to cover a larger area.
The lightweight design means that even kids can drag it around the gym easily.
The panels have a heavy duty 18 oz. vinyl cover that's mildew and odor resistant. It's extremely durable, but makes for a comfortable surface to practice on. Completely water resistant, it's very easy to clean as well.
The vinyl needs to be aired out for a bit before you can use it. There will be a strong chemical odor to it. But it's nothing that some fresh air and Febreze cannot solve.
#3 - Best Choice Products Folding Gym Mat
Material: High-Density EPE Foam
Expanded Size: 10' x 4'
Folded Size: 2 ½' x 4'
Weight: 5 pounds
High-Density foam core for cushioning your falls
Thick PU leather cover
2” thick. Perfect for rolls, tumbles and ground drills
Easy to pair
Best Choice Products Folding Gym Mat Review
This is a 10 feet long and 4 feet wide landing mat that has a 2” thick, high density foam core. If you connect two of these, then it's a roomy surface for 1 on 1 MMA or BJJ practice at home.
Connecting two mats is very easy thanks to the velcro fasteners on all four sides.
The surface is very soft and comfortable, but does not give under your weight. More importantly, the cushioning is top notch. You hardly feel the impact of Judo break falls and takedowns.
It is covered by thick PU layer that's water-proof, puncture and mildew-resistant. After practice, just wipe it with soap and water, and it's as good as new again.
This mat has a 4-panel folding design and there are two handles on the sides for easy transportation. When folded, it's 8” thick. If you have more than one mat, you can stack the folded mats on top of each other as well.
It's not a textured surface like the interconnecting foam tiles. But it's skid-proof even on slippery hardwood. There are customers who have used multiple of these on hardwood floors, with kids performing tumbles, cartwheels and handsprings. The mat hasn't moved one bit.
#4 - We Sell Mats
- Material: Foam
Expanded Size: Available in four sizes
Folded Size: Two, four and five panel folding options
Weight: 2-5 pounds
Crosslink Polyethylene foam
Does not sink
Lightweight and portable
Heavy duty Vinyl covering
We Sell Mats Review
We Sell Mats is the only brand that offers these high quality foldable mats in four different sizes.
The smallest one is 2' x 6', while the largest one is 4' x 10' and there are two sizes in between.
This makes it a lot easier to customize the size according to the dimensions of the room, without having to cut or tape it.
The mats feature hook and loop fasteners on the edges (except for the smallest one), which makes it easier to join them too.
All of these are foldable, lightweight and easy to transport. The largest size one has a four-panel folding design while the smallest one is just two panels.
It features a crosslink polyethylene foam and is 2” thick. It's a very sturdy and comfortable surface with excellent shock absorption.
You can use this for a wide range of exercises and practice drills, including heavy ground work and tumbling. You'd hardly feel the flooring on your joints.
The outer vinyl cover is water-proof and resistant to tears, punctures and frays. It's non-skid and the mat does not move around on the ground.
Another great feature about these mats is that these are available in four solid colors and three multicolor combos.
#5 - GXMMAT Large Exercise Mat
- Material: High Density Micro Foam
Size: 6' x 6'
Large foam surface for martial arts practice
Grooved bottom layer for firm grip
Soft and comfortable
GXMMAT Large Exercise Mat Review
The GXMMAT is a large and thin foam mat that's perfect for a variety of exercises and martial arts drills. You can use this for Yoga, HIIT, weight training, BJJ, Judo, MMA, Aikido and a lot more.
It's a capacious 6' x 6' mat that's also available in a 6' x 8' size by the way.
The surface is a high density micro foam that feels like second skin to the touch. This means that mat burn is unheard of, even if you are practicing bare body or in a GI.
The underside of the mat has a grooved design, that GXMMAT calls ‘Matrix circles'. Well, fancy name, but very effective. No matter how intense your practice drills are, this mat does not budge an inch. It almost has a suction-like effect on the floor and stays put.
After use, you can just roll it up and tuck it away in a corner.
The only possible quibble that we have with it is that it's just 0.25” thick. So, you cannot use this for serious ground work because the cushioning is negligible. At best, this will offer some mild padding for your knees and ankles.
But if you are looking to cover a large area and aren't too bothered about cushioning, then this is a great option.
#6 - CAMBIVO Large Exercise Mat 6'x4'
- Material: High Density Micro-foam material
Size: 6' x 4'
Large Exercise Mat
Double-sided, slip-free design
Reduces noise and vibration
Light cushioning for workouts
Free of latex, silicone and phthalates
CAMBIVO Large Exercise Mat 6'x4' Review
This is another large workout mat from Cambivo that offers you a 6' x 4' cushioned surface for your martial arts drills. It is one of the top rated roll-out workout mats in the market currently.
The upper (usable) side is a high density micro foam, moisture-absorbent surface, just like the GXMMAT. It has a ribbed texture, which prevents you from slipping even if you have sweaty feet.
Apart from high intensity workouts, this can also be used for sparring and grappling sessions. The micro foam is very soft to the touch and does not chap your skin.
The underside features a circled, grooved surface that adheres to the ground and prevents the mat from moving around.
Unlike the foldable mats that we've listed earlier which need to be paired with Velcro, or a Hook and loop system, you can just roll out these mats to cover even a large gym.
It offers excellent noise reduction and also absorbs vibrations to an extent, a feature which be very beneficial in an apartment.
Like the GXMMAT, it's just 0.25” thick though. So, if you are looking for more padding, this is not a great option. Otherwise, this is complete value for money.
By the way, this comes with a full size Yoga bag.
#7 – BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Folding Exercise Mat
- Material: High Density EPE Foam
Expanded Size: 6' x 2'
Folded Size: 2' x 2'
Compact exercise mat for one-person use
Perfect for Yoga, stretching and Martial arts drills
Excellent cushioning for the joints
Easy folding design with handles for carrying
Can stack or join multiple mats
18 oz. thick, vinyl cover
BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Folding Exercise Mat Review
This is a Tri-fold exercise mat from BalanceFrom, one of the best brands in the business. Our #1 pick, is from the same brand. But that's a much larger mat, better suited for home gyms or commercial settings.
This on the other hand, is a compact design. It's 6' x 2' in size and will even fit into a narrow space.
It's perfect for single person use, especially, if you are looking for a thickly padded surface for your stretches and floor exercises. The cushioning on this is excellent and you will hardly feel the flooring when you practice on this.
It has a tri-fold design, which means that it folds down into a very compact 2' x 2' block of foam. There are handles on the sides, which makes it very easy to carry and it's equally easy to store after use.
The 18 oz. outer vinyl cover is completely non-toxic& lead-free, which means that this is safe for use by kids. Talking about kids, the cover is waterproof and non-absorbent. It can be cleaned with plain water and soap in a jiffy. It's also puncture-resistant.
Types of Matts and What They Could Be Best For
Finding the right type of bjj mats or grappling mats or any other home mats for your intended use is certainly not easy.
Finding any type of equipment is hard I spent a lot of time to pick home gym equipment for small a place since I lived in an apartment and didn't have a lot of space, leg stretchers to work my lower body, punching bag for suitable for an apartment or even when I wanted pick MMA gloves to use on my punching bag.
There are so many different types of options to choose from and the fact that most mats look identical doesn't help one bit.
To add to this, brands on online shopping portals make it sound like their products are the be-all, end-all, which makes it quite difficult to understand what the mat is best suited for.
To give you an example, a 0.25” thick roll out mat is often described as a heavily cushioned mat for Judo break falls. God bless the person who tries an Ukemi on that one.
If you are trying to narrow down on the best mat for martial arts, here are some of the different types that you can choose from.
Folding mats are typically made of high density EPE foam and feature a tough vinyl or PU leather cover, which makes them ideal for high impact martial arts training. These are available in different thicknesses. But the average thickness is 1.5”, while most are 2” thick.
If you are looking for a heavily padded surface for break falls, rolling, throws, takedowns, karate techniques and mma training tackles, these mats are your best bet. You can club multiple of these to cover large areas, and fold them up for easy storage.
Jigsaw Mats, also known as interconnected foam tiles are quite popular among MMA, Judo and Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. These are generally made of molded foam and are available in varying thicknesses ranging from ½” to 2.5”. You can choose the exact thickness and the type of cushion and texture that you need for practice. The Tatami textured surface for example, is widely used in Judo. Jigsaw mats are available in tiny blocks of 2' x 2' and are very easy to install and replace.
Judo Mats are multilayered mats that have a rubberized bottom layer bonded to an upper layer of foam, which is then covered with a PVC plastic cover. These are at least 1.5” thick, if not more. Unlike the other two varieties of mats, these are not easy to move around, making them not so great for home use.
Looking to Buy a Martial Arts or Jiu Jitsu Wrestling MMA Mats? Here's What to Look For
If this is your maiden quest to shop for martial arts or wrestling mats, then don't get swayed by fancy advertising and jargon-loaded sales pitches.
Here's a brief buying guide with the factors that you need to consider before splurging your hard earned money.
What Type of Mat Is Going to Be Best for You?
That depends on what you are going to use it for, and the available space in your apartment/house/home gym setup.
If you are looking for heavy martial arts practice that includes ground drills and throws, go for a folding mat that's at least 2” thick, like the 10' x 4' by BalanceFrom. If you do not have that much real estate to spare, then you can check out the 6' x 2' one from the same brand. Apart from the excellent cushioning, these don't slip or move around during the activity.
If you are looking for some light cushioning, check out one of the roll out mats in this list. They cover a large area and are easy to tuck away after use.
For a more permanent solution, check out any of the interlocking jigsaw mats. You can install these, secure them with tape and forget about it.
All the mats in this list have border strips, and are skid-proof, thus creating a firm footing without any unnecessary slide even when soaked in sweat.
How to Clean Your Mats?
Folding mats coated in vinyl surface are the easiest to clean. You can even wipe them clean with soap and water since they are resistant to mildew or mold, and are non-absorbent.
But if multiple people are using the mat, then I recommend mixing some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents to water and giving it a scrub after every practice session.
You don't want bacteria and fungus such as Ringworm (Yikes) and athlete's foot to lurk in your mat, do you?
If you are not too keen on using chemicals, some good old household Vinegar can do a fine job. As a bonus, it also gets rid of offensive odors.
Occasionally, use a steam mop to give it a more thorough clean.
Cleaning the jigsaw mats can be a little tricky because some of them tend to absorb moisture. In this case, use the old Henry Hoover. Remove any dirt, dust and dander that might find its way into the interlocking grooves.
Once the physical stuff is removed, use household vinegar and water and wipe it clean. Just ensure that you don't dunk it in water. It can take a while to dry.
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