Training time is vital for progression in BJJ. So investing in BJJ mats for your home could be the best thing you've ever done for your game.
Any BJJ gym has a quality set of mats to train on. Without mats, BJJ gyms would be a graveyard of injuries by falling and rolling around on the hard ground all day. Mats are the reason we can pick ourselves up and fight again the next day.
For a lot of us, our time in the gym just isn’t enough. To get an extra edge, you want to be able to train 24/7. That means getting a set of mats for home. Whether you’re doing solo drills or drilling with friends, the extra time you get to spend training will be invaluable for your progress.
That’s why this guide has been put together - to help you find the perfect set of BJJ mats, to build the perfect home gym.
This guide will also be relevant for anyone starting up a new academy. Chances are, when you're starting out you’ll have to transform your location into your dream dojo, and setting up a matted area is the first step. With our help, you’ll see it’s pretty easy to pick up a set of mats that will make your new academy look professional as hell.
What To Look For In BJJ/Grappling Mats
You don’t want to pick up just any mats for your home gym or academy. You want to make sure they’re high-quality, and suitable for grappling. This is going to be the foundation for everything you do.
One important feature is the mats' thickness. Ideally you want 1-1.5" thick mats, to give sufficient protection. Going too thick is not ideal, as it can hinder movement. But around 1 inch or a little thicker puts you in the sweet spot.
Compared to other martial arts, BJJ mats should be thicker than karate mats, but not as thick as judo mats.
Durability is a key factor too. Your mats are likely to come under some punishment. You don't want the material falling apart - this is bad aesthetically and safety-wise.
Also consider convenience - how they'll fit into your home gym or academy. If you're planning to move around often, you might want to consider going portable, with a set of fold-up mats.
Finally, pick up something that's easy to clean. Cleanliness is vital for your mats. You need to clean the mats often to get rid of buildups of bacteria that can cause skin infections like staph
BJJ Mat Types
There are two styles you're likely to find for BJJ mats:
The first, and in my opinion the best, are “jigsaw” mats. These are made from a rubbery foam, and come in square pieces with jigsaw fittings on the outside. You get as many tiles as you need, and they lock together.
Jigsaw mats are great because they lock in place very securely, and which is a must from your mats. You don’t want your mats sliding around and gaps opening between the mats, because that’s when injuries happen.
This style of mat also performs great, being soft and firm, creating a fantastic surface to train on. There are just a couple of negatives. The jigsaw pieces can break off after a long time, at which point they may not stay together securely. Also, they can be a little harder to clean. If you don’t take the effort to deep clean them properly, sweat and bacteria soaks into the foam and creates an unsafe surface.
The alternative to foam jigsaw mats is folding or roll out mats. These mats are more general-purpose, commonly used for things like wrestling, gymnastics or yoga. The surface is usually a kind of plastic or canvas, with foam padding underneath. They will come either in a roll or rectangular sections, which you’ll place down in the area you want.
The pro with folding or rollout mats is the water-resistant surface, which makes it a lot easier to clean. All you need is some disinfectant spray and a mop, and you can just wipe them clean every day. That being said, some canvas mats are a little too water-resistant, and after a hard roll on a hot day, the mats turn into a slip and slide.
The other downside, compared to jigsaw mats, is that the sections are harder to put together, usually without a built-in way to connect to each other. That means you need some heavy-duty duct tape to ensure your mats don’t slip apart.
Best BJJ Mats For Home Gyms Or Academies
If you want to build a legit, professional-looking and safe home gym or academy, here are the best BJJ mats to choose from.
- Item comes with 24 tiles and 48 end borders, covers 96 square feet. Each tile measures 24"x24"x3/4"
- Double-sided high-density EVA foam non-slip surfaces
- Exceptional resilience allows you to keep your balance during any exercise style.
- Moisture resistant Technology makes the mat to be easily washed with soap and water
- Interlocking feature, lightweight
- All Balance From products are covered by a 100% Balance From satisfaction guarantee and 2-year Balance From Warranty.
These mats are the #1 best seller on Amazon in their category. That tells you there’s a lot of good feedback on these mats. As do more than 2500 5-star ratings.
These are the jigsaw-style mats - buy as many as you need to fill your gym or training area, and easily lock them together. The mats also come with end borders, which round off the edges of your matted area to create a clean square or rectangle.
They are two-sided, with a secure non-stick surface facing the floor, and a moisture resistant weave pattern on the top side, making them safe and easy to clean.
The mats come in ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1 inch variations. Pick up the one inch mats for the highest quality surface for your BJJ gym.
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Like the previous entry, these are jigsaw mats made from high-quality, durable EVA foam. They lock together easily, and are super lightweight, making it easy to pick up and rearrange without any help.
They’re a little under 1 inch thick, which is still more than enough to protect against falls. Get double legged over and over by that one white belt who is a suspiciously good wrestler, and you’ll still get back up in one piece every time.
These mats are made in a convenient reversible color scheme, either blue/red or black/grey, which makes it easy to arrange your BJJ mats with separate and defined areas.
- 6 tiles included, covering 24 sq ft. Each tile measures 24”L x 24”W x 7/16” thick from the highest point of the texture
- Non-skid textured and shock-absorbing surface of the EVA foam provides a comfortable feeling to exercise on and help relieve pressure on your body, preventing injuries
- Easy 5-minute assembly
- Water-resistant and noise-reducing design makes the mat easy to clean and wipe, further increasing durability.
- Available in 5 different choices regarding colors and the number of tiles. The mats can also be cut so as to fit in customized workout areas of your choosing
Yes4All mats are made to professional standards, specifically for gyms, yoga studios and martial arts academies. They’re designed with a non-stick bottom surface and a durable upper surface. The texture on the surface is a non-skid design that will help you keep your footing, while keeping excess patches of moisture from becoming a problem.
They’re a little thinner than the others at ½ an inch, so not quite as good if you’re planning to do a lot of standup grappling, such as judo or BJJ competition training.
- Flexible rolling system for easy setup, transport & storage
- Perfect for home wrestling, BJJ & MMA
- Purchase multiples to create larger areas
- Can also be used for some floor home exercises
The IncStores roll out mats are designed primarily for wrestling, and work perfect for BJJ too. They come in a convenient roll, which makes installation and transportation pretty easy. For that reason, they’re a good option if you want a more portable setup.
The surface is a durable vinyl finish, which is easy to clean and sanitize. As for thickness, these mats come in either 1 ¼ inch or 1 ⅝ inch, making them extremely safe and a great option for powerful standup work.
The only downside here is that you will need to get a couple of rolls and some heavy duty tape to create a larger square area, as the mats don’t naturally connect together.
- Perfect for BJJ, gymnastics, Pilates, dance, parkour, weight training, general exercise, cheerleading and so much more!
- Hook and Loop connections on all four sides allows for side to side AND end to end connection to other mats.
- 2in thick mats for the highest quality and firmest support. 4ft x 8ft x 2in unfolded. 4ft x 2ft x 8in folded.
- Made of high-density cross-linked polyethylene foam covered in a high quality 18oz vinyl.
- Lead-free and meets all CPSIA standards. This easy to clean nonporous vinyl is mildew and puncture resistant.
- Simple cleaning with washcloth, soap and water.
Made primarily for gymnastics, these mats are a huge 2 inches thick, so they’ll be sure to absorb all the punishment you (or the visiting Judo black belt) want to dish out.
The design is pretty easy to assemble. Each unit comes with four rectangular panels which conveniently folds up for transportation. To make a larger area, just connect multiple units via the hook and loop connections.
The vinyl surface is strong and puncture-resistant, but soft enough to help you avoid mat burns. It’s easy to clean and won’t absorb moisture with prolonged use.
- High Density and Eco-Friendly EPE Foam
- Polar Aurora 4'x10'x2" Constructed of 4 panels, each 4' x 2.5' x 2"
- Consists of four panels that can be easily folded. Two handles are sewn in both ends of the mat and are easy for to hold and carry
- Durable PU Leather, easy to clean
- Velcro latches are built in both ends of the mat which enables you to add extra mats
Polar Aurora’s mats are a great choice for any home BJJ gym or professional academy. Like Z Athletic’s mats, each unit is a 4-panel set which can be easily connected with other units via hook and loop. They also come with a carry handle for easy transport. Perfect for the BJJ nomad.
These too are 2 inches thick, for the highest level of safety possible. It isn’t quite as firm as some of the other mats on this list, though.
The standout feature of these mats is the design options - a range of options gives you a lot of flair and really helps you make your gym stand out.
- Available in 3 sizes with 2" foam thickness for a cushioned, supportive surface that protects knees, wrists, elbows & backs
- Lightweight, foldable design makes it portable and compact for storage, with carrying handles for convenience
- Ultra-durable and sturdy cross-linked foam is designed to handle personal fitness and bodyweight exercises
- Durable and cushioned pads provide safety and reassurance
- Unfold over any hardwood floor or flat indoor surface for extra padding needed when exercising. Vinyl surface resists tearing and is easy to wipe clean with a simple soap and water solution.
Unsurprisingly, We Sell Mats sells great mats. 2 inch thick, high-density foam gives a great support cushion. They can be folded up quickly for easy storage or transportation.
All the materials used are high-quality, non-toxic, and won’t degrade over time. That’s an important feature for BJJ mats, which are likely to come under a lot of punishment. The surface specifically is lead-free 18 oz vinyl, which doesn’t tear and cleans easily.
A really convenient and reliable set of mats, which are suitable for grappling, BJJ and all kinds of martial arts.
Best BJJ & Grappling Mats - In Summary
Whether you're building an academy or a small home gym, it's important you pick up a high-quality set of mats. The mats are literally the foundation of your gym. It's worth investing in good mats, or it will be something that bugs you every time you train.
Check the list above for the best options available in both jigsaw and canvas mats.