Mats are an important piece of safety equipment that can often go overlooked.
No matter if you are getting mats for your gym or for your home, they should ideally be of the highest quality in order to provide maximums amount of protection and padding...
That’s why it’s important to spend time doing your due diligence and find the best mats for BJJ and other disciplines.
Fortunately, we’re going to show you how to go about finding the right mats, as well as what it takes to be counted among the top options out there today.
To do this, we are going to take into consideration things like thickness, type of material, dimensions, and types of stitching.
Don't worry, we'll also show you some of the best available options that you can easily buy online.
Let's get to it.
Table of Contents
Comparison of Our Top Picks
To save you a bit of time scrolling through our list, below is a quick comparison table of our top picks.
IncStores Puzzle Martial Arts
Great Mats: Home MMA Mats
Z-Athletic Martial Arts Mats
Everlast Folding Martial Arts Mat
We Sell Mats
AK Athletics Wrestling Mat
Benefits of Having High Quality Mats
At a Gym
The mats that you’re going to have in the gym are designed for people to roll on and get taken down on. The benefit of having great mats is that they are going to have to be built from the very best materials.
They’re going to last longer, show less wear and tear, and give your club a good image instead of shoddy one. You wouldn’t want to sign up for any place that claims to be professionals if they don’t have good equipment, right? So mats that are worn thin are going to stand out.
Comfort is another thing that you have to take into account as well. You are going to spend time on these mats one way or the other. It’s better to be in a gym that has the best mats for MMA or whatever discipline you’re into rather than ones that might as well be made of brick.
When you have a good set of mats at home, you can train more safely. The bottom line is that homes, carpeted or not, can still cause a lot of damage to a person because they aren’t designed to absorb impact like mats.
The other reason that you want good mats at home is so you can train in peace. Instead of getting steam trained every time you step into the gym, you can work out at home. You’ll get in some extra reps that are going to help you gain experience and close that skill gap between you and other people.
Tips for Training at Home
If you are looking to train at home, it’s best to be safe so you don’t end up sorry.
Here are some basic tips that you can use to ensure that you are going to get a quality training experience.
First things first, remember to always keep it simple.
Don’t try any crazy flying submissions that you haven’t practiced in class already or you’re going to end up hurt, or hurting your training partner.
Along that same line of thinking, make sure that when you are learning new techniques from home, they come from quality sources. Anybody can claim to be someone they’re not and make a Youtube video.
If you’re going to use Youtube, make sure that person has a good background on the website and has some credentials. Otherwise, get some older videos on dvd or blu-ray from professionals and use them to learn a thing or two.
Alright, you should also keep in mind that you should bring along some passionate friends to help you train. That way you can do grappling moves while working with someone that has experience. Failing that, you can always get yourself a decent grappling dummy.
Remember that if you guys end up sparring, don’t go all out. Focus on your technique and spar at a lower intensity than when you're at a class.
Below is a video from a respected BJJ coach, black belt and You Tuber, on how to train at home. If you're into BJJ, I would highly recommend browsing his channel, as it's full of helpful information.
What are the Different Types?
Before we get into looking at some of the best options, we’re going to look at the different styles available to you.
There's a ton of different styles and designs, but the two most common are roll out, and puzzle mats, which we'll discuss below.
Just like the name says, this is made to be easily and quickly rolled out from a stored position somewhere at home or in the gym.
This is a great type to use when you can’t keep a mat on the floor all the time, like at home or in a gym that has other functions.
It’s quick to unravel and easy to store and comes with a lot of great features.
You might have seen something similar to these used in classrooms and daycares even. They are giant jigsaw puzzles that are designed to stay in place wherever you place them.
The benefit of using these is that they can be built upon to get as large as you need by adding pieces.
The downside is that they are going to take up a lot of space. It’s up to you to determine which of these types are going to be the best for you.
List of the Best BJJ Mats
Right, now that we know what to look for, let's go over some of the top available options you can get online.
IncStores Puzzle Martial Arts Mats - Best for gyms
We’re starting off strong with a great contender for the best BJJ mats for home or professional gyms. These are very thick, measuring about 7/8” compared with just 1/2” that you get with most other mats.
That means you can be tossed all over these and still be protected very well. Each of the tiles comes at 4Sqft, so they are definitely large enough for both homes and the gym
Another great part about these, is that they're very simple to set up. You lock them together like puzzle pieces and you’re good to go.
Of course, you’re going to have to step down on the edges at first to make sure they all fit, but that’s with any puzzle design. They stay together really well due to that extra bit of thickness and aren’t going to come apart as you’re moving around on them.
Best of all, the company is really customer-friendly.
They offer an entire 1-year warranty when you buy the tiles. It’s not often that you see a company that is willing to back up their product like that, so we definitely enjoy it when one does.
With a bunch of colors and a moderate price point, everyone that wants a great set of mats should take a look here for sure.
Home MMA Mats
These Home MMA Mats are pretty self-explanatory, in that they should only really be used in the home for practice.
These are very thick, which make them good for being placed over some of the floor materials that are common in most homes. Yet, the material is a bit of a drawback since it is so dense.
There are a lot of good things about these tiles that users will love. They are the kind that you want out in your garage since they are completely waterproof, have no latex in them, and are anti-fatigue. They definitely aren’t going to be the kind of tiles that become uneven after a few months of some tough practice.
These fit together pretty well considering just how thick they are and they fortunately don’t need to use any adhesive for them to stick together.
Like most other types of puzzle mats, you can expand them as needed by quickly adding some extra tiles. All in all, these are a really good option that have a low price.
Z-Athletic Martial Arts Mats
These are another form of martial arts mats that are really only good for your home gym. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t a high quality mat though.
They are made from cross-linked polyethylene foam which has the right amount of cushion and density to make your time on the mat comfortable and safe.
The fact that they're so thick is definitely a plus because you can take some pretty potent throws without having to feel the impact as much. That’s why it’s definitely one of the best mats for Judo practice at home.
The mats themselves are pretty large and if you bought four of these you’d have a pretty large area. Each mat is 4’x8’x2’ so you can just use the hook and loops to link them up with each other. It can be a pain to stick them together until you get the technique down, but it’s still not that difficult overall.
You’ll get the chance to pick from four different colors: blue, pink, purple, and black, so you can definitely have some that will look different from the unprotected sections of your home gym.
All in all, these are really good mats that have the benefit of being easy to clean and are resistant to puncturing.
You’ll definitely get a good value out of these.
Everlast Folding Martial Arts Mat
Everlast is known for producing exceptionally good fighting gear, so don’t expect any different from these.
The Everlast Folding Mat is a 2’ x 6’ that folds in half and is easy to carry because of the handles that are sewn on to the sides. There are several reasons that this is one of the best mats for BJJ and it starts with the filling.
The inside is made from 1 5/8” bonded foam so you can count on this to absorb a lot of the impact that you feel when being taken down or while rolling. The outside of the mat is very resilient so that it doesn’t wear through quickly and it is non-absorbent as well.
There are only two colors available for this mat, but the quality and versatility makes up for the lack of options.
After all, you can easily fold this mat up and toss it in the back of a van to take with you no matter where you go. It’s a pretty solid mat overall, and it’s hard to beat for the low price point.
If you have a couple of these to stick together, you’ll be able to create a nice dojo/ gym for you to get some practice in.
We Sell Mats: Home Martial arts tiles
The We Sell Mats option is a puzzle type of mat that will suit most forms of martial arts due to the thickness and ease that you’ll have expanding the tiles.
Each of the tiles comes in either 24” or 40” squares, so they are certainly big enough to interlock for just about any area that you have in your home.
You can’t use these on carpets or they’ll slide all over the place, but they are perfect for harder floor surfaces. The EVA foam is 3/4” thick so you it can absorb quite a bit of impact for you but you’ll still know when you get tossed really hard.
Another great thing about these tiles is that they come in all sorts of colors. If you want colors to match your gym or specific colors like green, blue, grey, yellow, pink or others, these are perfect for you.
I'm not a massive fan of the corrugated design, but that's more of a personal preference. It is supposed to help you maintain a good grip with the mat, but for me it's a bit unnecessary.
All in all though, these are very good mats that are a little bit on the higher end of the price scale, but still worth every penny that you’ll spend on them.
AK Athletics Wrestling Mat: Best MAt For Wrestling
If you’re in the market for a mat that is thick and strong with a small requirement for “building” this is a great option.
This mat is 8’ x 8’ so it is big enough to be used solo without buying any additional pieces.
The only downside is that it comes in two separate pieces that have to be taped together before use. Again, this is something that is better as a long-term solution instead of something that you’re going to build before every practice.
The material is nice and strong, designed from cross linked polyethylene foam. It’s also 1 3/8” thick so it’s going to soak up a lot of the punishment that is meant for your body.
Even though the padding is thick, it’s not super dense so you don’t have to worry about your time on the mat feeling uncomfortable.
When you roll the mat up, you might have to use some mat tape to keep it from unfurling the first few times and that is probably the most annoying thing about this mat.
If you can look past that, then you have one of the best mats for wrestling in your hands
Should I Buy an Underlay?
Firstly, and underlay mat is a mat you use to put in between the floor and your specialised martial arts mats. Having an underlaying mat helps for two reasons. It prevents the specialised mats from sliding around and also provides a bit more cushioning (which is good if you're practicing throws and/or take downs).
This isn't strictly necessary, but can definitely help.
How do I keep them Clean?
At the end of the day, if you're going to be training regularly, that means you're going to be sweating on these mats. Plus, the chances are you're going to be barefoot.
This means you'll need to keep them clean in order to maintain an appropriate level of hygiene. You can buy specialised mat cleaner online for fairly cheap.
You can then use this every other week or so to keep the mats looking and feeling clean.
Can I Make My Own?
While you can make your own mats, it is more than likely going to be more cost effective to buy some pre-made. Plus, the chances are they're going to be better quality, given that they're factory made.
That being said, if you fancy yourself as a DIY specialist, go for it.
If you do make some of your own mats, let me know in the comment section below, as I'd love to know how you've approached it.
I Don’t Have a Training Partner, How Can I Still Train at Home?
There's a couple of ways you can still make use of your home martial arts gym. Firstly, is by getting a grappling dummy. While these don't provide any resistance, they are pretty lifelike in their dimensions and weight. These allow you to practice different techniques without the risk of injury.
Secondly, there's a plethora of solo drills you can run at home. Check out the video below for 8 different drills you can use to train on your own.
Best Mats for BJJ, MMA, Wrestling & Judo: The Verdict
Alright, the time has come to render a verdict about what we consider to be the very best mats for Judo, MMA, BJJ, and Wrestling.
We put a lot of thought into the quality of the products while making our choice and it came down to finding a mat that provided great quality, an unbeatable price, and a guarantee behind their product.
For all of those reasons, we decided that the best mat is the IncStores Puzzle Mat.
This mat puts its money where its mouth is and gives the buyer a one year guarantee on their mats. That’s incredible considering the amount of punishment that you can expect something like this to handle in that period of time.
They are made from resilient closed cell EVA foam, give you color versatility, and can interlock to take up the amount of space that you need them to and not bit more. The price is also very admirable on this product, so you won’t go broke putting this down at your home or in the gym.
All in all, these mats would make a great addition no matter where you want to put them. As always, thank you for taking some time out of your day to read our thoughts.
Feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you think about our verdict or to ask some questions if you have them!