In this article, we’re going to look at the different types of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mats, and help you pick the best BJJ mats to fit out your home gym or academy.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu involves a lot of ground work, as well as some impact and falls. That’s why it’s important to have a quality surface to work on, which means high-quality mats of the right thickness and material.
This review will help you choose the right mat for your needs and budget, as well as reviewing some of the top Jiu Jitsu mats on the market today.
Different Types of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mats
First off, let’s look at the different Jiu Jitsu mat types you have to choose from.
There are a few options here. None are necessarily better than the others. Each have pros and cons, so whichever type you go with is really up to personal preference.
Tatami Mats vs Smooth Mats
First is the surface of your BJJ mats. You have tatami mats, or smooth, canvas mats.
Tatami mats have a textured surface, whereas canvas mats are completely smooth. As mentioned, there’s no “right” answer to which is best between the two.
A tatami mat provides less slippage and surer footing, especially when it’s wet and sweaty and the mats. They tend to be softer on the skin as well, which means less mat burn.
The downside is that these mats tend to absorb moisture easier, making them less hygienic and harder to clean.
In contrast, with smooth mats, moisture kind of sits on the surface. This can be seen as a pro or a con. On the plus side, they’re easier to clean, as you just mop and dry them like you would any other surface. But the downside is that they can get incredibly slippery, especially if you’re training somewhere hot, like Southeast Asia.
These mats are generally made from high-density foam, covered in synthetic materials, usually some kind of vinyl. This surface material tends to be harsher than the surface of tatami mats, and leads to more mat burn.
Jigsaw Mats, Rollout Mats and Folding Mats
We looked at the different types of surface. You’ve also got different shapes. Your options include interlocking puzzle mats (also known as jigsaw mats), square/rectangular folding mats, or rollout mats.
Puzzle mats come in square sections, which interlock together like a jigsaw. They’re easy to put together, and this style makes it very convenient to put together as many mats as you need to fill up the space you have available.
On the other hand, folding mats or rollout mats are already set in larger sections, which roll up or fold together if you need to store or transport them.
This can result in small gaps between sections, which is not ideal. And they’re not as convenient, as you need to use mat tape or velcro to fit multiple sections together.
The upside of folding and rollout mats is that they’re generally more durable. Puzzle mats are convenient in the way they lock together, but the small parts on the edges tend to break off, which means you end up with holes in the middle of your mats.
The final thing to think about is the thickness of your mats.
Most martial arts mats are made from high-density EVA foam, but the ideal thickness can vary, usually based on the type of martial art.
You want thicker mats if you’re going to have a lot of impact and falls. Increased thickness means increased impact absorption.
The downside of thick mats is, as they have more give, they’re harder to perform dynamic movements on. For example, planting and pivoting, as you do in Boxing, Kickboxing, Taekwondo and Karate, is more difficult.
For BJJ and MMA, mats are most commonly between 0.75-1 inch thick (20-25mm). However, if you want to work more standup techniques, you’ll be better served going for mats at least 1.5 inches, or 40mm thick. This is the optimal thickness for Judo mats, as well as for things like wrestling and gymnastics.
The Best Jiu Jitsu Mats: Our Top Picks
Here are some of the best martial arts mats you can find online today. We’ll give you a number of different options, for various types of mat, as well as thickness, to help you pick out the perfect surface for your needs.
- Protective, portable flooring - dense, durable tiles protect floors and withstand gym equipment and heavy...
- Covers 24 sq. Ft. - each tile measures 24" x 24" x 1"-thick. Includes 6 tiles and 12 end borders for a...
- Simple Assembly - lightweight pieces quickly Connect; easy to disassemble and move. Great for gyms,...
- High-quality foam - high-density EVA foam provides excellent support and cushion; contains no Toxic...
- Safe & low-maintenace - non-skid textured surface provides traction; water-resistant and noise-reducing...
These are your standard foam tatami puzzle mats. They’re extremely easy to fit together, and versatile to fit whatever training space and storage space you have available.
They come in square tiles, with border strips to fit on the edges of your mat space. The surface is a very light pattern, a weave pattern similar to pearl weave Gis.
You have blue, black and grey color options, with two options for thickness – 1 inch and 0.75 inches. This makes them a little thin if you’re doing a lot of throws and takedowns, but should work fine for primarily groundwork.
- EVA FOAM MARTIAL ARTS MAT: Made from high-density EVA foam, each square tile measures 24" x 24" and is...
- TATAMI TEXTURE FOR SECURE GRIP: Tatami-pattern, ribbed textured surface provides traction to prevent feet...
- GYM FLOOR MAT FOR COMMERCIAL GRADE GYM: Ultra durable and sturdy interlocking puzzle floor tiles fit...
- EASY TO INSTALL & CLEAN-UP: Assemble in minutes over any hard floor or flat indoor surface for additional...
- ANTI-FATIGUE CUSHION SUPPORT: Support the body by reducing strain on feet, knees and back during...
These interlocking puzzle mats also feature a soft tatami surface, and everything you expect from your basic jigsaw mats. There are three color options, black, light grey and red.
In terms of thickness, at 3/4 inch, they’re right at the minimum you’d want for BJJ mats. But it does make them versatile, if you also want to use them for other martial arts training (specifically striking arts).
- Protective Workout Flooring - Durable, Non-Skid Textured Tiles Protect Floors While Creating A...
- Easy Assembly - Lightweight Puzzle Pieces Connect Quickly And Easily, And Can Be Disassembled Just As...
- Versatile - The Water-Resistant And Noise-Reducing Design Is Easy-To-Clean, Great For Use In Garages,...
- Covers 24 Sq. Ft. - Each Tile Measures 24" X 24" X ½"- Thick From The Highest Point Of The Texture;...
- High Quality Foam - High-Density Eva Foam Provides Excellent Support And Cushion; Contains No Toxic...
You’ve got much the same features here as the other ProsourceFit mats we showed earlier. The big difference is the thickness – they’re thinner than the other options on this list, at half an inch. This is maybe a bit thin for a BJJ mat. But they may work for MMA training.
The surface is different too, with a more pronounced tatami pattern, which gives more of a non-slip feature.
Due to the thickness, be hesitant about using these mats purely for BJJ, unless you’re exclusively training ground techniques, and there’s no hard surfaces (such as concrete) underneath the mats. They’re perfect if you’re putting these mats on top of a softer wood floor, for example, or if you have a second layer of mats underneath.
- DURABLE - Made from high-quality foam with gentle tatami surface, these jiu jitsu mats are built to...
- COVERAGE - Each 10 pack provides 38.75 square feet of coverage.
- VERSATILE - With these double-sided and double-color mats, you can easily create a design for your home...
- EASY TO INSTALL - Expand your floor as needed, easy to assemble and relocate with no adhesive needed
- NON-ABSORBENT - Because these BJJ mats do not absorb liquids due to the EVA closed cell foam, they help...
The Great Mats product is an excellent fit if you’re concerned about safety. At 1.5 inches, they provide the cushion needed to absorb takedowns and avoid impact injuries.
The tatami surface is very soft, which means less abrasion, but may slip a little more than others.
One nice feature of this BJJ mat is the different colors on each side, which you can use to create distinct, separate sections on your mat area.
- GYMNASTICS MAT FOR JOINT PROTECTION: Home gymnastics floor mat comes in 1. 5”-2” thickness for a...
- EASY TO CARRY AND STORE: Foldable design makes it portable and compact for storage, with hook and...
- VERSATILE USAGE: For many lifestyle and activity needs, our Gym Tumbling Mats provide safe cushioning...
- PERFECT FOR KIDS & YOUNG GYMNASTS: Durable and cushioned pads provide safety and reassurance for your...
- EASY CLEAN-UP: Unfold over any hardwood floor or flat indoor surface for extra padding needed when...
If jigsaw mats aren’t your preference, you might want to consider this option.
These folding mats are primarily made for gymnastics, but work perfectly as BJJ mats as well. They come in four-piece sections, which can be folded up for storage. To create a rolling area, you’ll want to get a few pieces, which can be linked together using hook-and-loop/velcro fastening.
They’re available in 1.5 inch and 2 inch thick options, making them amazing for standup work.
- INCREDIBLE VALUE: This regulation sized 10x10 ft mat is great for wrestling, jiu jitsu, bjj, and judo....
- QUALITY MATERIAL: Our custom designed mat is extra thick so that it holds up over time and they have...
- TRAIN HARD SAFELY: This mat is made of tatami so that it doesn't collect dust or damage. The mats are...
- 6 MONTH WARRANTY: We offer a warranty on all mats within 6 months of your purchase date, no questions...
- A BRAND TO TRUST: Gold Medal Sports is one of the most trusted brands in combat sports. We are a family...
This 10ft x 10ft wrestling mat is another great option if you want extra safety to drill takedowns.
As a rollout mat, it’s easy to pick up and transport, wherever you need a training space. And at 4cm (a little over 1.5 inches) thick, it’s extremely safe.
It comes as two mats, with a velcro fastening to connect both sides and make the square you see in the photos. It maybe doesn’t make the best fit as a permanent mat for martial arts academies – in this case you’d be better suited with one of the puzzle mats we showed above.
- Light weight, easy roll up
- 5'x10'x1.25" Wrestling Mat
- 24 oz. vinyl surface
These Dollamur mats are another rollout option. Made from polyethylene foam, with a vinyl coating, making for smooth mats which are easy to clean.
1.25 inch thickness is right in the sweet spot for rolling mats, which aren’t too cushiony, but have enough give to allow you to start your rolls from standing.
Be aware that they don’t have an easy way to attach multiple sections together – you’ll want to get some durable mat tape if you’re installing these on a somewhat permanent basis.
- 10 feet long 4 feet wide at 2-inch thick firm high Density EPE foam is ideal for activities and exercises...
- Surface is made of non-toxic lead-free durable 18 oz puncture resistant and non-absorbent vinyl. Moisture...
- Velcro on all sides make it easy to hook several mats together to make a large workout area or tumbling...
- A foldable, 4 panel design and handles on each mat make it easy to store and Transport your mat. Expanded...
- All genuine BalanceFrom products are covered by a 100% BalanceFrom satisfaction guarantee and 2-year...
The BalanceFrom folding mats are a great all-rounder. They’re very portable, simple to fold up, with handles to easily transport them. They work great as mats for home, as you can easily pick up and store when not in use.
With velcro connectors, it’s easy to buy a couple of sections and fit them together.
The thickness is a plus too – at 2 inches thick, they’re extremely safe as an all-round martial arts mat.
If you’re running a gym, and looking for a more professional option, check out Fuji Mats. They offer a more extensive range, better suited for academies than home mats, with better pricing options if you’re buying in bulk.
They’ve got a ton of different choices, to fit whatever your preference for BJJ mats – if you prefer a smooth mat, tatami, rollout, jigsaw, and varying levels of thickness.
They also sell wall pads and pole pads – everything you need for a professional academy. You can find prices on their site, or you can contact them for a custom quote to fit out your whole gym.
BJJ Mats FAQs (Read This Before Setting Up Your Gym)
We’ll finish by clearing up some commonly asked questions we get asked about BJJ mats.
Are Jiu Jitsu Mats Different to Other Grappling Mats?
Different martial arts have different needs in regards to mats, specifically the thickness. Mats for striking arts, like Boxing and Karate, are thinner and harder. While a Judo or Jiu Jitsu mat should be thicker, to be able to absorb the impact of falls.
How Thick Should Jiu Jitsu Mats Be?
BJJ mats should be at least 0.75 inches thick (20mm). This is suitable if you’re mainly just working on the ground. If you’re doing throws and takedowns, you’ll want your mats to be thicker, in the area of 1.5-2 inches (38-50mm).
How Often Should You Clean Your Mats?
Ideally you should clean your mats after every training session. With bare feet, sweat and a whole lot of bacteria floating around, mats can become a hygiene hazard if not cleaned regularly. This can lead to skin infections, such as ringworm and staph.
It’s important to clean puzzle mats asap, as these absorb moisture and bacteria easily. Thus you’ll want to clean them while all of this is still on the surface. You can get away with leaving vinyl-covered mats for longer, as they don’t absorb moisture the same way.
How to Clean Your BJJ Mats
There are several things you can do to clean your mats.
First, you’ll want to use a vacuum, to get rid of any dirt and debris on your mats. Using a vacuum, rather than just a broom or brush, is particularly important if there are any gaps between different sections of your mat, where dirt can easily accumulate.
Then you’ll want to regularly mop your mat down with a cleaning solution. You don’t want to use any kind of harsh chemicals here, as these may damage your mats, as well as potentially irritating the skin.
Be sure to clean your mop after each use, or replace the mop head, or else you could simply end up spreading bacteria again next time you use it.
Make sure any excess moisture has been removed, and leave your mats to dry in a well-ventilated space.
Storing Your Mats
If your mats aren’t going to be a permanent installation, you’ll want to store them in a clean space when they’re not in use.
Depending on the length of time between uses, you may want to give them a fresh clean after you take them out of storage, as they can easily accumulate dust and dirt.
It’s also important to clean your mat before your store them away, to stop bacteria from bedding in deep in the foam. Give them a wash using your solution, and make sure they’re completely dry before packing up your clean mats and putting them away.
Final Thoughts: Choosing the Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mats for Your Gym
Unlike a lot of products, there’s really many right answers when it comes to the best Jiu Jitsu mats.
Many gyms use puzzle mats – foam tiles that link together like a jigsaw. These are versatile and portable, easy to pack up and install as needed.
Yet you might prefer a different type of mat – smooth ones, thick mats, even mats designed primarily for wrestling or gymnastics.
They can all work well. So figure out your needs, and whether you need thick mats to support takedowns and throws, or you prefer MMA mats, which are thinner.
Whatever you’re after – mats for home, for your academy, or anything else – the recommended products in this article have you covered.