Smooth vs. Tatami - Comparing Pro Martial Arts Mats

By Greatmats Staff Created: July, 2017 - Modified: July, 2021

Let's compare traditional 1x2 meter martial arts mats - and their puzzle style counterparts.

These professional martial arts mats are designed to provide a safe and hygienic training surface for martial arts training and competition.

Here we'll discuss two styles of traditional 1x2 meter martial arts mats that have been approved for international competition by governing bodies such as the International Judo Federation and PanAmerican Judo Federation.

Traditional martial arts mats are available in either 1.5 or 2 inch thicknesses option. The 1.5 inch thick Judo mats feature a tatami textured vinyl surface for increased grip, while the 2 inch thick MMA mats offer a smooth surface that is less likely to contribute to skin burns.

Both utilize a 100 percent rebounded polyurethane foam core known for providing superior cushion against falls. The difference is - the foam in the Judo mats is slightly more dense than the foam in our MMA mats - a difference of 15 pounds per cubic feet vs. 13.11 pounds per cubic feet.

Both are custom handmade and utilize a hygienic vinyl cover and anti-skid waffle bottom surface. These mats are made of the highest quality materials in Europe and craftsmanship and carry 5 year warranties.

Smooth Tatami Puzzle Mats

When it comes to a tatami mat that won't damage your skin or become damaged by water, you'll want to check out one of Greatmats no-burn tatami surfaced puzzle mats.

Available in either 1.25 or 1.5 inch thicknesses these tatami mats are much lighter weight than the traditional alternatives, making them a better solution for portable judo mat installation both at home or for schools or competition venues. The are also designed to prevent floor burns or mat burns.

If you have a space that is prone to water, these are also a better option as the closed cell EVA foam will not absorb water. Should they get wet, simply lift the tiles dry them and/or allow to air dry and re-lay the mats.

Vinyl wrapped judo or MMA mats generally have an open cell foam that will absorb moisture and is very difficult to dry once water reaches the core. This would increase the risk for the growth of mold or mildew and likely cause a need for complete mat replacement.
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.