Martial Arts Mats Buying Guide: Practice your craft safely with the right flooring
This ultimate Martial Arts Mats Buying Guide will help you find the best mats for safely practicing and perfecting your craft. Whether you’re opening a martial arts studio or looking to practice at home, use this guide to find the right martial arts mats for your application.
Martial arts requires a lot of thought, but your floor mats shouldn’t; the way we see it, the better the mat, the less you have to worry about along your journey! That’s why in this buying guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about getting the right floor padding so you can get back to practicing.
Learn what qualities to look for in MMA mats, what they are made of, and how to install the mats in this martial arts mats buying guide.
What Martial Arts Mats are Made Of
Let’s talk about what makes quality wrestling mats so special: the foam! Most martial arts mats are made of EVA foam, or cross-linked polyethylene foam; both excellent mat materials with high shock-absorbency. Depending on the mat you’re looking for, our selection of mats offers you both types of foam. But what are they, really? Just fancy names for foam? Not exactly.
EVA foam is an essential quality in martial arts floor padding. This material consists of ethylene and vinyl acetate, resulting in a soft but durable polymer that is perfect for high-impact workouts and sports. With a good amount of cushioning, EVA foam provides a safe surface for martial arts practice.
Mats with EVA foam: interlocking tiles
Cross-linked Polyethylene Foam
Getting its name cross-linked from the grid-like material, this foam is flexible and ready for the heavy hitters; being extremely shock-absorbent this material can bear excessive pressure then return to its original shape.
Even though it’s stiffer than other foam, this material is also incredibly flexible. So lay it out, work out hard, then roll, or fold it up to store it where needed. What more can you ask for?
Mats with cross-linked polyethylene foam: rollout mats, folding mats, and landing mats
Types of Martial Arts Floor Padding
The best martial arts mats will be durable and shock absorbent to ensure your safety. Frequently performing quick strikes and jumping and landing puts stress on your feet, ankles and knees. All that heavy impact can lead to injury with cheap floor padding.
Martial arts mats can come in a few different forms: interlocking foam tiles, roll-out mats, folding mats, and landing mats. Think about where you plan to use your mats and the type of movement you’ll be performing on them to determine which of these products will work best for you.
Interlocking Foam Tiles
Interlocking foam tiles are a popular martial arts floor padding choice in MMA and karate dojos. They are easy to customize to get a specific look in your martial arts studio or home gym. You can choose from a variety of surface textures, sizes, and colors to get the look you want.
Looking to make a small practice space at home? Simply order the number of tiles you need, lock the pieces together when it’s time to practice and store them away when you’re finished. Yes, interlocking foam tiles are easy to install and break down, which makes them an extremely portable solution for martial arts mats.
Made of closed-cell EVA foam, these tiles are shock absorbent and great for beginner to intermediate martial arts moves. They’re non-porous and easy to clean. But keep in mind that EVA foam can be punctured, so it’s best to keep sharp objects and animals away from the surface.
Pros of Interlocking Foam Tiles
- Soft and durable: The perfect combo for the beginner who’s spending a lot of time falling and getting back up
- Shock-absorbent: These tiles will absorb the impact of your landings, helping to keep you safe from injury.
- Easy to carry and store: Take these lightweight tiles with you on the road for practice anytime, anywhere.
- Waterproof: Don’t worry about getting sweat on your mat. These tiles are non-porous and mold and mildew resistant, making it a safe place for you to do work.
Cons of Interlocking Foam Tiles
- Can be punctured: Be sure to keep animals with sharp nails away from your mats.
- They can separate: It’s possible for tiles to separate with some more involved, or advanced moves.
Roll Out Mats
Roll-out mats are a popular option for residential and commercial gyms. They are super easy to install and store. Simply roll them out and you’re ready to go!
These mats feature a vinyl top over a thick crosslink polyethylene foam bottom, which in English, means they are durable and shock absorbent. Since roll-out mats feature a non-porous vinyl top, they are also easy to clean and sanitize.
Even better, roll-out mats can be connected together by mat tape to make larger mat sizes.
If you’re looking for wrestling mats specifically, roll-out mats are the way to go. These mats are thick and durable, meaning they will stay put through your practice. Of course, they still work well as karate mats, Jiu-Jitsu mats, and MMA mats.
Pros of Roll Out Mats
- Shock-absorbent: These mats will absorb the impact of your landings, helping to keep you safe from injury.
- Easy to install: Simply roll out your mat and lay it where you want it. Done!
- Easy to clean and maintain: The durable vinyl surface is easy to clean with the quick wipe of a cloth or even a light sweep to remove dust and dirt.
- Great for a variety of workouts, skills and skill levels: Use these mats for everything from home wrestling and martial arts to bodyweight and high-impact workouts.
- Non-slip vinyl top: No slipping and sliding on this mat. Get your sweat on!
Cons of Roll Out Mats
- Not great for use with weights: Weights may damage a foam mat.
Folding mats are great for home martial arts mats, school gyms and martial arts studios. They’re easy to work with – simply unfold them and lay them out where you need them. When you’re done, fold them right back up and store them away.
You can easily customize your space with folding mats. If you need a larger practice area, use mat tape to connect your mats. Layout as many folding mats as you want to cover the space you need.
These mats come in a variety of fun colors as well. If you want to represent your school, you may want to go with your school’s colors. Or maybe you’re going for a specific theme in your martial arts studio – you have lots of options for a cool design with folding mats!
Pros of Folding Mats
- Versatility: Offered in different colors and sizes, folding mats can be installed anywhere, with style.
- Easy to clean and maintain: Folding mats are constructed of durable closed vinyl fabric. This means that no liquids can penetrate the surface and the folding mat will be extremely resistant to punctures and tears.
- Easy expansion: Simply connect multiple mats together to cover a larger space.
Cons of Folding Mats
- Heavy lifting: These can be difficult to transport for one person.
- Separation: If attaching multiple mats together, you may see some separating during heavy use, or advanced moves.
At 8 to 12 inches thick, landing mats are the ultimate choice for martial arts mats. These mats provide the highest level of shock absorption by using a built-in mesh that releases air upon landing. This means that nothing gets hurt or bruised when you fall, except maybe your ego (but brush yourself off and get right back up!).
Landing mats are perfect for those who want to start learning advanced moves that might have you falling on your butt more than usual. Made with compression foam that is encased in durable vinyl, landing mats provide great cushion for your joints and help protect you from injury. With a reliable landing mat, you can let go of any fear of falling and fully commit to your practice.
Pros of Landing Mats
- Mildew- and mold-resistant: This material prevents liquids from penetrating the surface, so sweat all you want!
- Maximum shock absorption: These mats will absorb the impact of your landings, helping keep you safe from injury.
- Cushions the blow: With built-in mesh that releases air upon landing, this mat isn’t too stiff during a hard landing.
Cons of Landing Mats
- Difficult transportation: Landing mats are heavier to transport on your own. Enlist help for moving these mats.
Martial Arts Mats Sizing and Thickness
Different sports require different thicknesses for proper safety. You wouldn’t want to practice that hard-to-do MMA moves on a yoga mat, would you?
Your martial arts mat should have enough cushion to protect you properly.
|7/8” – 1″||Suitable for low impact workouts. Intermediate gymnastics, martial arts, wrestling, and other tumbling moves.|
|1 1/4” +||Ideal for both low and high impact workouts.|
|2” +||Suitable for high impact workouts.|
|8″-12”||Landing mats designed for advanced moves and stunts.|
Where to Use Martial Arts Mats
Martial arts mats are versatile and can support many sports and types of workouts, including wrestling, gymnastics, cheer, high-impact exercise and much more. You can use these mats in a home or commercial gym, martial arts studio, dojo, dojang, boxing facility, to name a few!
Martial arts mats are typically light and portable, so it’s easy to set up a practice space anywhere, any time. Traveling for a competition? Pick up your mats and take them with you for an extra practice session in your hotel room.
If you’re not sure about some mats handling your practice of martial arts, you’ll be happy to know, martial arts mats are fit to handle any type of MMA including:
- Kung fu
- Krav maga
- Tae kwon do
- Tai chi
Maintaining Martial Arts Mats
Cleaning your martial arts mat couldn’t be easier! Thanks to the vinyl tops and casings on each mat, be it dirt or sweat, a simple sweep of the area and a wipe down with a damp cloth will do the trick. No liquids can get through the vinyl fabric, so you don’t have to worry about your mats getting ruined from sweat or spills.
While simply wiping off the dirt from your mat is great, regularly disinfecting your martial arts equipment is an important part of maintaining your mat. Even though these mats hang tough against sweat and spills, thanks to EVA foam and crosslink polyethylene foam, bacteria is still a factor that can be addressed with the right disinfectant. Fortunately there’s a sanitizer designed specifically for exercise equipment that disinfects and deodorizes for you. So when you find and buy your awesome new mat, do yourself a favor and stock up on mat sanitizer too!
Martial Arts Mats FAQ
From cleaning and maintenance to getting the best use of your martial arts mats, here are our answers to a few more common customer questions.
What are martial arts mats made of?
Martial arts mats are primarily made of closed-cell EVA foam rubber. This material consists of ethylene and vinyl acetate, resulting in a soft but durable polymer that is perfect for high-impact workouts and sports. With a good amount of cushioning, EVA foam provides a safe surface for martial arts practice.
Currently, our selection of martial arts mats have mats made of EVA foam, and some that are made of cross-linked polyethylene foam; both excellent for shock-absorbance!
How do you clean martial arts mats?
Martial arts mats are extremely easy to clean since water cannot pass through the surface. If your mat appears dirty, we suggest using a rag or synthetic mop with a mild soap-and-water solution for stuck-on stains and a broom for any large debris.
While there is not a specified number of times for sanitizing your mat, disinfecting your mat after every use, be it practice or a match, is highly recommended. Clearing it from any dirt, or bacteria is crucial when maintaining your mat for a long period of time.
Are foam tile martial arts mats a good choice for a home gym that will be used for cardio equipment, light weights, yoga and aerobics?
Interlocking foam tile mats can be used in your home gym for lightweights, yoga, and aerobics. We don’t suggest using foam under large equipment as you may see some indentations, but furniture sliders can help mitigate the indentions. For some aerobic exercises, you may get some movement. To help reduce this, we recommend using double-sided tape to keep the tiles from moving.
Will martial arts mats slide on hardwood floors?
There is a possibility for all martial arts mats to slide on hardwood floors if not installed in a whole room installation. To prevent this, we recommend using double-sided tape or a rug pad to keep them in place.
Can these mats be used outdoors?
Martial arts mats and interlocking tiles can be used outdoors. Keep in mind that the foam material may degrade over time in outdoor conditions. Also, since foam is not UV stable, your mats may fade in direct sunlight. With interlocking tiles, however, you can easily replace a damaged tile with a new one.
Are martial arts mats made with chemicals like Formamide and Phthalate?
Our selection of mats are very safe and Formamide and Phthalate free. They do not have a chemical smell, but there may be a slight odor similar to a new toy. You can mitigate this with a little soap and water.
Martial Arts Mats Reviews
Still not sure which floor padding is best for you? Check out what customers are saying in these martial arts reviews:
Nim Crotts from Lambsburg, VA wrote about the 1″ MMA mats…
“Use these mats every day. They’re durable and very nice for throwing and grappling. As well as sport karate.”
TJ from Ponte Vedra wrote about the Deluxe Home Wrestling roll-out mats…
“I bought them to practice wrestling with my boys but today I did burpees on the mats during my workout. I also figure my girls can practice their cheer stunts and flips on the mats.”
Anonymous from Wyoming wrote about the 4’x8’x2″ Folding Mats…
“This is a very versatile mat. Wrestling, karate, exercise. We use it for all. Rubber Flooring is fast and effective with getting the product to the location.”
The right martial arts floor padding is a must to safely master your craft. By absorbing the impact of your landing and helping prevent injury, martial arts mats have a lot of responsibilities!
With its durable, trustworthy features, you can trust that your mat is the right one for the job, no matter the mat you choose. Now the decision is, which type of mat best fits your needs?