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Why You Need Flooring for Martial Arts
The main purpose of training mats is to protect yourself while training. Mats help to protect your feet from hard flooring or concrete. They also help cushion falls and lessen impact to vulnerable parts of your body like your head.
That said using mats doesn’t mean you don’t have to practice break falls, even for striking arts. I witnessed a muay thai fighter get swept and snap his arm because he didn’t know how to break fall. It was brutal to see first hand. Don’t be that guy.
How To Pick the Best Mats For Home
There are a lot of mats on the market, but not all are created equal. Here are a few things you need to consider when buying:
- Thickness – Different styles of martial arts all require different thicknesses. If you’re just going to be doing muay thai boxing you shouldn’t need mats thicker than 1″ made of high-density foam. If you’re going to be doing a lot of groundwork like in brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, and wrestling you’ll need mats that are at least 1 1/4″ thick for added protection.
- Texture – The texture of the tops of mats will affect your ability to pivot when throwing kicks for muay thai. Too much grip will strain your knees. For BJJ and MMA you want some grip for hitting takedowns, but not so much grip that it causes rug burn.
- Durability – How long will the mats last and how easy are they to keep clean?
- Storage – Will the mats be permanently laid out in your garage or basement? Or do they have to be put away? Consider getting rollup or folding mats if this is the case.
- Price – This is a big factor for a lot of people. Mats are just one of the many, pricy things you need for your home gym, but good quality mats will last you for years.
Best Mats for Muay Thai Kickboxing
The following muay thai mats are suitable for home use. If you need mats for a commercial gym or studio consider getting looking at our MMA picks.
Best Overall Muay Thai Mats: IncStores 1″ MMA Interlocking Foam Tiles
- Modular system
- Thick foam
- Right amount of grip for kicks
- Break-in period
- Not thick enough for constant grappling
These puzzle tiles from IncStores are great for your muay thai kickboxing home gym, and they come in 4-225 sqft packs with edge pieces.
The modular nature of puzzle mats makes them easy to customize for your space. Simply buy the amount you need based on square-footage (plus 10%) and cut as needed.
They’re made of one-inch thick high-density EVA foam, so they’ll be hard enough to withstand stand up training on the heavy bag, pads, or while shadowboxing. If you already have some experience doing sweeps, you can probably safely drop your training partners on these mats if they know how to break their fall.
The texture is a little slick when you first install this flooring, but once you break it in it’s perfect. The mats have just the right amount of grip allowing you to pivot freely without slipping.
BalanceForm also backs these mats with a one-year warranty which is nice if you need it.
Best Budget Muay Thai Mats: BalanceForm 3/4″ Puzzle Exercise Mat
- Two-year warranty
- Slightly more grippy
- Not thick enough for sweeps
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, then check out the 3/4″ mats from BalanceForm.
At 3/4″ the mats are thinner than our best pick, so don’t start doing a lot of sweeps unless you have additional padding like underlayment or padded carpet.
They’re textured on both sides, so the mats won’t slip too much while training. That also means there will be a little more grip when throwing kicks.
The best thing about these affordable mats is that they also come with a two-year warranty.
Best Mats for MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Both MMA, BJJ, and other grappling arts like judo and wrestling have different requirements that muay thai.
For one thing, practitioners spend a lot of time on the ground. They hit the floor hard, scramble, and roll, so they require thicker and slightly softer mats.
They also frequently get their faces on the mat while rolling, so mats have to be easy to clean.
Best Premium Mat for BJJ and MMA: Dollamur 10’x10′ FLEXI-Roll Wrestling Mat
- High quality
- Easy to store after use
- Easy to clean
- 1 1/4″ thick great for grappling, but not too thick for striking
- More expensive
Dollamur Sports Surface is THE brand when it comes to mats. The company is the official mat of USA Wrestling and USA Judo.
They make these 1 1/4″ roll-up mats that are perfect for your home gym.
The FLEXI-roll system makes these mats easy to roll out and then store when you’re finished training. They are thick but light enough to move on your own or load up into a pickup truck or SUV.
One thing you’ll have to consider is that these are two 5’x10′ mats so you have to tape (one roll included) them together. Dollamur also has their FLEXI-connect system which uses velcro if taping is a hassle.
The 1 1/4″ thick closed-cell foam is perfect for protecting yourself while grappling. The mats are not too thick for muay thai either. You can practice sweeps and dumps while striking too.
The top is covered in vinyl and treated with antimicrobials, making it both highly durable and easy to clean.
That was our list of some of the best mats for BJJ, MMA, and muay thai. Hopefully, our research helps you with your decision on which ones to buy.