I often find myself with enough time for a training session, but not enough time to commute back and forth to the gym, which sometimes takes an hour each way. So what to do in those situations? What I do is break out my BJJ mats and indulge in a solo session. It’s not the same as grappling with another practitioner, sure. But practicing things like hip escapes, bridging, forward and backward rolls and more allows me to build muscle memory and stay sharp until the next gym session. Your home solo session won’t be much good though unless you have the right mats to train on. So below, I’m providing my choices for the best BJJ mats for home training.
Review:Everlast has been making high-quality athletic gear for more than half a century, and it’s not very often that they lay an egg. Their Folding Mat is another feather in their cap, especially for those who just want to get in a bit of light exercise between visits to the gym. It’s reasonably thick, folds down pretty small, so storage isn’t a big issue and has an integrated handle to make moving it around easier.
Being an Everlast product, you won’t find this on many lists of cheap BJJ mats. But it’s not outrageously priced either. Considering the build quality. If BJJ practitioners are going to have an issue with it, it’s because it’s too narrow by itself to be of much use for BJJ workouts. You’ll definitely need to set up two or more side by side. Which, of course, increases the price substantially. You’ll also need to tape them down to the floor to keep the mats from separating. All this is certainly doable. Just more work than some practitioners will want to do.
Easier to set up than jigsaw mats.
It’s so thick there’s almost no chance of making contact with the floor.
The moisture-resistant shell does a good job repelling sweat.
Has a handy carrying strap that makes it easy to move around.
It won’t absorb sweat, but you’ll need to clean it off yourself.
Review: The IncStores Roll Out Wrestling Mat has a lot going for it. It’s comfortable, thick and has a nice grippy surface. It’s also light, durable and comes in several colors. Because it rolls up into short rigid sections like a garage door, it actually has quite a bit of structural integrity and provides a nice firm platform when opened up. Put two of these together, and you’ll have plenty of area on which to conduct your solo BJJ workout.
While I like the firm but forgiving support provided by this mat it suffers from the same shortcoming as some other rolling or folding mats. And that is that by itself it’s too narrow to be of much good to a BJJ practitioner. And yet there’s no ability to lock two of them together side by side as you could easily do with puzzle mats. So you’ll likely need to tape them down in order to keep things in place. If you’re just looking for something to conduct an occasional light workout, it’s probably fine. But if you’re looking to set up a Jiu Jitsu home gym, you’ll want puzzle mats.
Super easy setup. Just roll it out and get to work.
Very durable crosslink vinyl polyethylene foam core.
Vinyl covering is easy to clean and maintain.
Available in 9 different colors.
They may need to be taped down on carpeting or hardwood flooring.
Review: Speaking of puzzle mats… IncStores 1 Inch Interlocking MMA Mats allow you to choose just how big or small your Jiu Jitsu home gym or temporary workout area is going to be. I personally prefer this type of mat because the sections fit together quickly and easily and create a unified workout surface that won’t hold you back. These particular mats are an inch thick and fashioned from durable high-density EVA foam that’s firm without being punishing.
You can use a mat like this for just about anything. From laying down a floor in your weight room to creating a temporary workout space when you can’t get the gym to grapple with someone else. If you don’t like the idea of jigsaw pieces leaving jigsaw edges around the side of the mat, don’t worry. They come with finished edges you can snap in and out at any time. They’re also waterproof. And lastly, for the environmentally aware, these particular mats are made mostly from various recycled materials.
They come with detachable edges, so you don’t have open jigsaw sides.
They’re made from environmentally friendly recycled material.
They lock together quickly and firmly and provide a unified surface to work on.
They don’t slide around as much as some vinyl Jiu Jitsu mats.
Review: If you can get past the corny name of this company(Yes4All) you’ll find they actually make pretty decent foam workout mats. They’re not the best on the market, but they’re not too far off the pace. They’re light, tough, durable and affordable and they snap together quickly to create whatever size workout area you need. They’re also grippier than many other BJJ mats. And that goes for both sides. So you won’t slip while practicing your moves and the mat won’t slip when you push this way or that.
But while they have a lot going for them, it’s important to note that they’re only 1/2 inch thick. That may not be enough for some practitioners. Especially larger boys and girls who may wind up bottoming out on the floor. You can always stack one set on top of another. And there’s a good chance your stack will retain its integrity. But that’s not an optimal setup. That said, these should be more than adequate for lighter individuals and they make a great floor in a home gym.
The set includes 12 tiles each 1’ x 1’ and 1/2 inch thick.
The surface on both sides is no-slip. So they’ll stay in place and so will you.
They go together very easy and quick.
They’re covered by a 1-year warranty.
The rough texture means they take longer to clean than some other mats.
Review:Greatmats Home BJJ mats come in a pack of 10 each of which is 2 feet square. Of course, if you want to construct a square workout platform, you’re going to find out you have an extra puzzle piece. But that’s no big deal. Always good to have one in reserve. What I like about these jigsaw mats is that they’re 1 1/2 inches thick. Which is thick enough for anyone and any type of workout. So you have flexibility you simply don’t have with thinner mats. Will they take up a little more space in the closet? Sure. But to me, it’s worth it.
Not only are these mats thick, they’re also dense. So there is zero chance you’re going to bottom out. The density also generates plenty of resistance to play off of. And the traditional tatami surface lets you replicate gym conditions in your bedroom. You won’t wind up with scuffs or abrasions on your skin either. Read Best BJJ Spats article to minimize the chance of getting mat burn even further.
They’re a little bit more than some other puzzle mats. But you get a higher quality mat too. So it’s not just price gouging.
They’re both antifungal and waterproof.
They provide outstanding protection from dangerous floor contact.
The traditional tatami surface and won’t burn your skin.
They snap together easily and form one unified surface.
Review: IncStores makes another appearance on this list of best BJJ mats for home with their Tatami Foam Tiles. The main difference between these and their other jigsaw mats is that these sport that tatami surface I’m so enamored of. While the others have a good but generic surface. The tatami surface allows you to replicate the gym environment so you can really optimize your home workouts. It’s grippy but comfortable, durable and (relatively) easy to clean.
These tiles snap together in no time and stay together regardless of whether you’re grappling or just practicing your Jiu Jitsu positions and techniques by yourself. They won’t soak up your sweat, but they will need to be wiped down after every use to ensure they don’t wind up harboring bacteria. If I had to pick just one type of mat for my home BJJ workouts, I’d have a hard time selecting anything else. They’re that good a value.
The traditional tatami surface provides plenty of grip and won’t hurt your skin.
They go together easily and provide a nice unified surface.
They resist slipping and sliding on carpet and hardwood better than others.
They’re completely waterproof and won’t soak up sweat.
Edges are included, so you don’t have open jigsaw sides.
Review:Get Rung Interlocking Martial Arts Mats are another brand of puzzle mats that I’m personally fond of. They set up really easy and form a rock-solid bond that ensures you have a nice reliable platform to work on. The mats are composed of high-density EVA foam that's free of harmful chemicals, latex and lead. And while the surface doesn't provide the subtle pleasures of the tatami mat, it's nonetheless reliably grippy and won't force you to change your technique to accommodate it.
Each package has 9, 40 inch by 40-inch squares along with a dozen border sections. Each square is an inch thick. Which, because of the firmness of the EVA foam, should be thick enough for just about everybody. They're also waterproof and won't play host to colonies of mold or bacteria as long as you keep them clean. If there's a downside, it's that the company didn't spend a lot of time on aesthetics. But that's pretty small potatoes considering how well the mats work.
At 1 inch thick, they provide plenty of impact protection.
They come with detachable edges that prevent jigsaw sides.
They’re waterproof so they won’t absorb your sweat and get smelly.
The EVA foam is firm but forgiving.
The grain on different sections doesn’t always line up.
Review: You’re likely to find ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mats in garage gyms and places like that. And why not? They’re durable, grippy and low maintenance. Oh and they’re affordable to. But while they don’t have a tatami surface and they’re water-resistant rather than waterproof, I still find them to be very agreeable Jiu Jitsu home gym mats. That’s because they’re easy to assemble, easy to maintain, they’re grippy as I mentioned already and they’re dense enough that the 1-inch thickness is not likely to be an issue.
Another thing I like about these ProsourceFit mats is that you can purchase them individually. This allows you to make your workout platform as big or small as you want without forcing you to buy a bunch of squares you may never use. As can often be the case when mats are sold only in sets. Beyond all that, they never get in the way, never force me to adjust my technique to accommodate any weaknesses in them, and they’re easy on my bank account. Which is always a welcome development.
They’re available in either 3/4 inch or 1-inch thicknesses.
The EVA foam is non-toxic, doesn’t smell too bad and is very durable.
They’re relatively easy to clean and maintain, as long as you do so regularly.
They’re easy to assemble and disassemble.
The 3/4 inch version likely isn’t enough for BJJ workouts.
Review: The Dollamur Flexi-Roll Wrestling Mat is fashioned from cross-linked polyethylene foam that provides robust shock absorption. At 1 1/4 inches thick, it also won’t bottom out and allow your elbow or knee to make contact with the floor. The padding here is considered “athletic grade,” which means it exhibits a great deal of durability and integrity, even when pushed hard.
At 10 x 10 feet, one of these mats is plenty big for a home workout. The smooth vinyl surface is really easy to clean. And because it’s been subjected to an antimicrobial treatment, it won’t play host to any nasty microbes that could become a health hazard. It does, however, produce that unmistakable vinyl smell. Although that will lessen somewhat over time. That aside, the vinyl shell is heat laminated directly to the foam core so you won’t experience any separation.
At 10 x 10 feet, it will be plenty big enough for most solo workouts.
The circle lets you practice staying in bounds.
The antimicrobial treatment prevents odors and mold.
The vinyl surface provides more than adequate grip.
Putting 2 of these together is impractical.
If you don’t have space under the bed, storing it can be an issue.
Review: These are big, thick, durable workout mats that can be rearranged as you see fit and which are certain to last a good long time. Each one is 2 inches thick so they’re not only good Jiu Jitsu mats they’re also good judo mats and gymnastic mats. They come in a variety of sizes though none is smaller than 4 feet wide by 10 feet long when fully unfolded. BJJ practitioners will note right away that 4 feet is not wide enough even to practice solo moves. But each set features hook and loop connections on each side so you can purchase another set and create a minimum of 8 feet in width.
The mats are sheathed in 18-ounce vinyl that’s essentially waterproof and is easy to clean. They unfold and set up quickly and break down just as fast. If there’s a downside here, it’s that one set is a pretty large package to store away. And 2 sets are going to be even tougher to find storage room for. But if you’ve got the space, or you can simply leave them out, then you’ll find a lot to like here.
They do a good job of protecting you from contact with the floor.
When opened, it provides a large area for training.
The high-density foam fill is firm without being hard.
The hook and loop closure system lets you determine the size of the practice area.
Review: The final item on my list of best BJJ mats for home are these Exercise Floor Mats from We Sell Mats. The utilitarian name aside these are pretty good mats that would be perfect for youngsters just getting into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. That’s because they’re too thin (3/8 inch) to be of much use to full-size adults. But hey, kids need mats too and these will be a great choice for your budding BJJ star.
They’re also available in an incredible 15 colors which makes them an even better match for the kids. You can not only set up a safe environment for them to work out in at home, but one that’s colorful and fun too. We Sell Mats Exercise Floor Mats are durable, reliable, and easy to clean and are available in sets of 4 to 40.
The surface texture provides outstanding grip.
They’re available in 15 different colors.
They’re waterproof so they won’t wind up smelling if you keep them clean.
They’re available in various size sets to suit your needs.
At 3/8 inch thick they aren’t thick enough for serious grappling.
A full BJJ mat is often as large as 10 x 10 feet and is comprised of a number of "tiles." These tiles are fashioned from polythene foam, and the best have what's known as a "tatami" surface. The tatami surface mimics the texture of the traditional Japanese tatami mat, which has a face composed of woven rush grass.
BJJ mats are thick.
Usually 1 full inch or more.
Why do You Need This Kind of Mat?
You need this kind of mat to protect your joints from potentially harmful contact with the hard floor and to protect your skin from scrapes and bruises. The thick mat absorbs the force of the contact with the floor, which can be considerable even during solo training. The tatami surface provides your feet something to grab hold of. Which isn’t the case with the often slick surface or regular workout mats. The tatami surface also helps to minimize so-called rug burns. You can minimzie it even futher by wearing bjj spats and taping your feet with some bjj finger tape.
Are There Different Kinds of Jiu Jitsu Mats?
There are 3 primary types of mat you will find most practitioners using at home. Which one is right for you will depend on how much space (including storage space) you have to work with and how much time you want to spend setting them up. As well as your budget, of course.
Puzzle Mats – Puzzle mats are perhaps the most affordable option for training at home. They also happen to be my favorite because they’re comprised of square sections that snap together like a jigsaw puzzle. That means that no matter what the pieces are not going to be sliding around on you. You also have the ability to choose exactly how big your workout area will be by locking together a different number of sections depending on the needs of the day. They also have the most agreeable surface for practicing BJJ. IMHO.
Roll out mats – A roll out BJJ mat is without a doubt the easiest to set up. Just lay it on the floor and roll it out. However, roll out mats for BJJ are not the same as roll out mats for doing situps. BJJ roll out mats are thick and wide and heavy and can be a pain to store. They’re also more expensive than puzzle mats and don’t typically have the tatami surface that’s so important for avoiding burns and getting a grip.
Folding mats – Folding mats – sometimes called “judo mats” – can be useful for BJJ training. But they’re large and clumsy and require a lot of storage space. The surface is also often less than ideal for Jiu Jitsu and tends to get sweaty and slippery. That said, there is no denying they provide lots of impact protection and joint support. If you also engage in gymnastic or other martial arts training, they can be very useful.
There are other types of mats available to be sure. But they’re mostly employed in professional training environments, not in your bedroom or living room.
Can You Place Mats on Hardwood Floors?
Hardwood floors can be a very slippery foundation to lay your BJJ mats on. And if your mats are sliding around unpredictably under you, it can open the door to all kinds of muscle strains and worse. If you must lay your mats down on a hardwood floor, you may have to use two-sided tape or find some way to establish an immovable border.
Are Jiu Jitsu Mats Waterproof?
Most puzzle mats and some roll out mats are waterproof. That is, they won't absorb water or sweat and can be cleaned up very easily using a damp cloth. Other mats, however, are not always waterproof and may require more involved cleaning using disinfectants to prevent mold and bacteria from gaining a foothold.
How Long do the Mats Last?
Exactly how long the mats in your Jiu Jitsu home gym will last depends on a number of factors, including:
How often you use them.
The intensity of your workouts.
Whether you use them simply to practice form or to grapple with others.
What type of surface you lay them out on.
Whether or not they are stored properly.
Now that we have a better idea of what BJJ mats are and why they're important, let's look at my picks for the best BJJ mats for home training.
For my money, the best BJJ mats on the market right now are the IncStores Tatami Foam Tiles. And I'll tell you why. They're easy to set up and break down, they're waterproof and comfortable, they stay put even on slippery hardwood floors, and they feature the traditional tatami ribbed surface that lets me replicate the feel of the gym right in my home. On top of all that they're affordable, thick and covered by a 1-year warranty. And maybe most important, they'll provide you with the ability to get in a quality workout even when you can't make it to the gym.
The best BJJ mats for home training are not necessarily the biggest or the most expensive. They’re the ones that provide ultimate usability for a reasonable price. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the IncStores Tatami Foam Tiles.