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

Advertising Disclosure

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 mats heading in to 2021.  This analysis should help make your choice a bit simpler.

Top 10 Mats

1. Dollamur – FLEXI-Roll – 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.  

For more information, check out Amazon.com

2. Zebra 10’x10’ Puzzle Mat Package

Zebra’s 10’x10’ puzzle mat package includes nine puzzle mats which click together and twelve border strips which create straight lines on the edges of your training area.  

Each individual puzzle mat piece measures 39.375 inches x 39.375 inches x 1 5/8” thick. Made of dual density EVA foam these mats are durable and provide the cushion needed to train takedowns.  Though to drill high velocity throws safely we recommend you also get a 4” thick crash landing mat. 

These mats are one color on one side and another color on the opposite side so you can create colored borders, checkerboard patterns or solid colorways as you choose.  You are given a choice between black/grey tiles or red/blue tiles.  

For more information, check out ZebraAthletics.com

3. Fuji Home Roll Out Mats

The reputation of Fuji’s mats is well known.  Each roll out mat is 5 foot x 10 foot.  So, using the math skills the seven year old me swore I would never need later in life, two mats fitted together will give you a good 10 foot x 10 foot training space.  At 1 3/8 inches thick they are great for grappling but might be a bit thin if you are drilling a lot of high velocity throws like Osoto Gari.  

If you are yearning to release your inner Picasso the color choices are a bit limited.  Blue and/or black are the only available colorways.  

Fuji’s roll out mats are made of closed foam and topped with vinyl which makes for a very durable mat.

The cost for one 5’x10’ mat is $259.  If one buys two mats for $518 to create a 10’x10’ training space Fuji will throw in a roll of mat tape for free.  

For more information, check out Fujimats.com

4. 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.  

For more information, check out Amazon.com

5. Z Athletic Martial Arts Mat

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.  

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

For more information, check out Amazon.com

6. 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.  

For more information, check out Amazon.com

7. WE SELL MATS 4 foot x 10 foot x 2 inch Exercise Mat

These WE SELL MATS are made of a crosslink polyethylene foam core which is covered in a heavy duty vinyl.   These mats fold up which makes for a compact storage package.  However, the lines where these mats fold create a bit of a groove in the mat when laid out in the floor.  So, we would recommend these mats if their primary purpose is solo drills, drilling reps on a grappling dummy and controlled drilling with a live partner.  We do not endive these mats for full on sparring sessions because it is possible for a foot/toe to get caught in the grooves of the mat which might result in an injury.  If the intended use is sparring we recommend one of our other mat options.  

On all four sides of these mats are hook and loop fasteners which make it easy to connect multiple mats.  This allows the user to cover just about any floor of any size.  

There are multiple colors to choose from: black, blue, purple, pink, green/blue and green/red/yellow/blue.

For more information, check out Amazon.com

8. ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat

When unfolded this mat measures 6 foot x 2 foot x 1.5 inches thick.  This is too narrow to be of much use as a grappling floor mat.  However, it is perfect to run along the walls of your home dojo to prevent your head from punching any unnecessary holes in your drywall after your training partner overindulges in the ol’ pre-workout powder and stacks you with more enthusiasm than expected.  We would recommend attaching heavy duty Velcro to the wall and the back of these mats and you’re good to go.

These ProsourceFit mats are covered in an easy to wipe clean vinyl.  They come in black, blue, grey, pink and purple.  

For more information, check out Amazon.com


9. 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.

For more information, check out Amazon.com

10. We Sell Mats 4 Inch Thick Bi-Folding Crash Landing Mat

If drilling takedowns, throws and standing sweeps is part of your training plan we can not recommend having a crash pad to supplement your floor mats highly enough.  At 4 inches thick your training partner will wholeheartedly thank you for having this mat after you hit your 50th osoto-gari repetition.  

The mat measures 4 feet x 8 feet x 4 inches.  It folds in half for easy storage and portability.  Throw it down on top of your floor mat, hit your takedown reps and fold it back up and store it store it away.  

This crash mat is composed of sponge-core foam for extra cushion, a vinyl top and mesh sides.  

You have the choice of black or blue (insert bruising related Dad joke here) mats.  

Again, we can not recommend having a crash mat highly enough. 

For more information, check out Amazon.com

FAQ about Home Mats:

Tatami Or Smooth Mats?

When deciding whether to get smooth or tatami (textured) mats you have to weigh three main issues:

(1) The potential for mat burn vs the potential for creating a slip and slide in your home.

Tatami mats are mats which have a textured surface.  Some company’s  tatami mats are rougher than others.  Depending on the technique being drilled, mat burn will become a part of your life if drilled on a tatami mat.  As an example, if you are drilling single leg takedowns the top of your back foot drags across the mat as you step through.  Do that a few dozen times in bare feet on a tatami mat and athlete’s foot will be the least of your irritations.

On the other hand, smooth mats are, well, smooth.  Mat burn becomes less of an issue but a sweaty, smooth mat, in bare feet creates an ice like situation which may lead to some videos that top 500,000 views on YouTube.  

Thus, some relevant questions may be: are you practicing inside your air conditioned house where sweat puddles can be lessened? Or are you going to be drilling out in the scorching, hot, garage where you break a sweat just looking at the mats much less training.

2) Are you a gi or no-gi practitioner 

We recommend tatami mats if you are gi focused.  Counterintuitively, gis seem to stick more to  smooth, sweaty, mats than tatami mats (the textured surface of the tatami mats creates mini channels so less of your surface area is contacting the mat as you shrimp around).  Also, your gi gives most of your body protection from the mat burn issue associated with tatami mats.  

If your focus is no-gi you should consider smooth mats.   When you are training in shorts mat burn can become a real nuisance if you are on a tatami mat. 

(3) Are you going to be drilling a lot of throws or will the majority of your drilling be centered around ground techniques. 

Sweaty, smooth, mats and bare feet can lead to a lot of slipping and sliding.  Therefore, we recommend tatami mats if you are going to be drilling a lot of throws/takedowns.  The added texture/grip of the tatami mats lessons the chance of injury if your feet were to slide out from underneath you at an inopportune moment.  

Final Thoughts

In our opinion the best all around mats, for most people, are going to be lightly textured tatami mats like our number one rated Dollamur FLEXI-Roll mats.  

A number of the members of the team at Grappling Insider have used the same Dollamur mats for almost daily home drilling/practice sessions for over ten years.  The mats are as good as day one except for a few chunks which were eaten by a family of mice which managed to infiltrated the home security system (aka an extremely lazy cat named, ironically, Maxi).

Anyway, hope this helps your decision making process and best wishes for another decade of great training. 

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.   


admin

Author @ GrapplingInsider.com

admin has 93 posts and counting. See all posts by admin