Top 10 Jiu-jitsu, Grappling & BJJ Mats – Best Picks Feb 2021 – Train at Home!

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In the age of COVID every serious grappler needs some training mats.  As jiu jitsu dojos around the World are closing temporarily, and some even permanently, the only way to ensure you will always have a place to train is to buy your own mats.  Which, even pre-COVID, has always been the power move.  We have all seen the YouTube videos of the greats like Rickson Gracie training/teaching on his home mats in his garage.  Also, many of us, like police officers, work odd hours and can’t make it to regular class as often as we would like.  With home mats we can drill with a grappling dummy or run through an hour of solo drills to keep our games sharp and stay fit.  Besides gi and/or no gi attire an argument can be made the second most valuable training tool a grappler will ever purchase are home mats.

Because there are a lot of mat choices with a dizzying array of pluses and minuses we have tested out dozens of them and compiled our list of the top five mats heading in to 2021.  This analysis should help make your choice a bit simpler.

1. Dollamur FLEXI-Roll Martial Arts Tatami Mats

If you live in a hot and humid area like Florida and your training area is going to be out in a garage, which is not air conditioned, then these Dollamur FLEXI-Roll mats should be at the top of your list.   The reason being Dollamur treats them with an Bio-Pruf anti-microbial which is extremely germ resistant.   This means you will have to worry about those pesky skin infections to a much lesser extent.  

These mats measure 5ft x 10ft x 1.25 inches thick.  Just like the Z Mats discussed above you do not need to put these mats together to train.  Simply roll the mat out and you’re good to go.  However, because they are only 1.25 inches thick you may not want to go flying triangle crazy.  

The mats are textured so they don’t get overly slippery.  Which is nice for summer training with no AC.  

The color choices of the Dollamur Flexi-Roll Martial Arts Tatami Mats are limited to red and blue.  

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2. Z Athletic Martial Arts Mats

If connecting foam tiles in order to train isn’t your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon these Z Athletic Martial Arts Mats might be for you.  Simply lay the mats on the floor and you’re immediately ready to drill flying triangles to your heart’s content.  

These mats measure 4ft x 8ft x 2 inches thick.  On all four sides of the mats are hook and loop connections so you can securely connect multiple mats together.  

These mats are made of closed cell, non-toxic, polyethylene foam.  Closed cell foam lasts significantly longer than open cell foam.  Enclosing the mats is high quality vinyl for extra durability.  

These mats are made of closed cell, non-toxic, polyethylene foam.  Closed cell foam lasts significantly longer than open cell foam.  Enclosing the mats is high quality vinyl for extra durability.  

You can choose between black, blue, purple or pink mats.  

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3. IncStores Home Cheer Carpet Top Mats

If you want great mats which give you a number of combinations to choose from you’re going to love the IncStores Home Cheer Carpet Top Mats.  Depending how much cushioning you need you can choose between 1 3/8” or 2” thick mats.  Depending on the dimensions of your training space you can choose between 4’ x 6’, 5’ x 10’ and 6’ x 42’ mats.  If you need an even bigger size you can connect multiple mats together with the heavy duty Velcro strips which are found along the outside edges of the mats.  You also have the choice of eight colors: black, charcoal grey, light grey, grey, blue, purple, red and teal.  

Mobility is another plus of the IncStores Home Cheer Carpet Top Mats.  You simply unroll them to train and roll them back up when you’re done.  

These mats are made of a durable cross-link polyethylene foam which is topped with a antimicrobial, non-slip, needle-point carpet top.  The manufacturers are confident enough in their product to give you a one year warranty.  

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4. Polar Aurora Thick Folding Gymnastics Exercise Mat is a 2’ x 10’ x 2” foldable mat

These mats are the only folding mats which made the list.  This design may suit your needs if you want to be able to quickly lay down/pick up the mats but the roll up style of mats leads to storage issues.   Because each of these mats is made of four 4’ x 2.5’ x 2” thick panels they fold up into a very compact form factor when stored away.  When unfolded these mats extend to 10’ long x 2’ wide x 2” thick.  

These mats are made of a high density, eco friendly, foam which is soft enough to throw on but is not too soft so your feet sink too deep in to the mats which may lead to knee injuries.  These mats are covered in a PU leather which is extremely easy to clean but does get slippery if you are training in a humid, non air conditioned area.  

These mats also have Velcro latches sewn in on both sides of the mats so you can secure multiple mats together if your training space permits.  

The Polar Aurora Thick Folding Gymnastics Exercise Mats also give you the widest variety of colors combinations and styles.  With ten color combinations such as black/green, blue/green, red/black, rose/black, pink/purple and blue amongst others.  

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5. IncStores 1” MMA Interlocking Foam Tiles

These mats are ideal for bjj, mma and any other type of combat sport training.   These foam tiles are 1” thick.  This means they don’t take up as much storage space as the thicker mats when stored away.  Depending on the area you have to cover you can choose tiles which are 2ft x 2ft or 3ft x 3ft.  Both sizes lock together securely.  We had no problems with the tiles coming apart during training.  You can also choose various tile packages ranging between one tile up to 25 tiles (which would cover 225 sq ft).

These tiles are made of non-toxic high density foam.  This means they are light weight, durable and come with a one year limited warranty.  As long as you use them indoors they will last for years.

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How To Properly Clean Your Home Mats

No discussion of home mats would be complete without covering how to clean your mats.   Cleaning your mats is vital because unclean, sweaty, mats will quickly become a hotbed for bacteria, viruses and fungi.  Ringworms, staph, HPV, athletes foot, mold, mildew and herpes simplex are all common dirty mat issues.  So clean mats are a must!

The good news is cleaning your mats is easy.  In short, there are two steps:  

First Step

Remove any loose surface debris.  Use a broom or vacuum to get rip of any dirt, dust, hair and flaked off skin cells.  

Second step

Disinfect the mats.  Lightly cover the surface of your mats with a disinfectant using a spray and/or mop.  Make sure the  disinfectant you use, whether it be natural (tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide both have significant disinfectant capabilities) or synthetic, is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal (both Dollamur and Zebra make cleaning solutions specifically engineered for grappling mats).  Next, use a mop to spread the disinfectant evenly across the surface of your mats.  If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals you can also use UV light to disinfect your mats.  Germbot is an interesting UV light disinfectant system which avoids messy chemicals altogether. (thegermbot.com)

Remember to be especially  thorough cleaning any cracks in your mats.  As this is where the crud muck and critters like to hide and ferment.  

I would recommend cleaning the mats about one hour before each training session begins.  This ensures your mats are going to be 100% clean and it gives the mats time to completely dry off before training commences.  

If you consistently follow these techniques and tactics you will avoid any pesky infections which could interrupt your training.   


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