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What are MMA mats made of?

Lisa Hobbie // 2019

Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is a thrilling and exciting full-contact sport that combines skills and techniques from various combat disciplines. From striking and grappling to kicks and twists, numerous safety precautions must be taken to minimize the potential for serious injury. MMA mats are in place to provide a layer of safety and protection on the floor which the athletes perform. and feature numerous qualities to ensure a reliable footing. There are different types of mats for different practices, and the best mats will be those designed for specific disciplines.

Puzzle Mats


Puzzle Mats are among the best options in terms of inexpensive MMA mats. From cheap, at-home and other discount options to professional quality options, there are puzzle mats designed specifically for almost any use and MMA discipline. They are made of a material called EVA foam, which stands for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate. It’s a closed-cell foam with elastic properties that gives these mats a rubbery softness and flexibility.

There are different types of puzzle MMA mats designed specifically for different MMA practices. Pro Taekwondo mats are an economical option for professional dojo, martial arts, and tkd studios that are designed for bare foot use, or, with boots and shoes. They are among the thinnest professional quality EVA foam option (about ¾” or 20mm) with a textured surface which is resistant to scuffs, indentations, and divots.

A slightly firmer surface for stand up work are Greatmats 1 inch thick Karate Mats. They are ideal for Karate, Taekwondo or other Striking Arts disciplines. These mats will usually have a smooth surface finish that works well for bare feet or soft shoes.

For ground fighting skill development and training 1.25 to 1.5 inch thick and surfaced with a no burn tatami top are ideal for BJJ, judo, grappling or Jiu Jitsu style training. The mat surface tatami texture is designed to prevent mat burns and are most suitable for bare feet. Soft shoes can be worn, but they may scuff the matt. These puzzle mats are all waterproof and reversible.


Roll Out Mats


Many MMA facilities enjoy the convenience of a roll out mat, as they are easy to roll out when needed and can roll up when done. These MMA mats are made with 1-¼ to 2 inch cross linked polyethylene foam. Polyethylene is a durable, lightweight, closed-cell material that is resistant to chemicals and moisture. They also feature flame bonded foam to vinyl, with the top vinyl material designed for years of professional use.

The mat’s surfaces are smooth or tatami. Smooth is an excellent choice to prevent burns and provide ease of movement. These mats are suitable for use with shoes or boots and are durable enough for any MMA or grappling activity, such as BJJ, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and even hapkido or aikido. The full size roll out mats are 6 feet wide and can be cut to custom lengths.


Gym Mats


Gym mats work well for training in a home gym or professional studio, and are made with an XPE high rebond foam core. Some also have a layer an open-cell type of polyurethane foam that offers excellent compressibility, cushioning, and energy absorption. Gym mats feature a durable vinyl cover as well as hook and loop connectors on all 2 or 4 sides. In most cases for MMA, you’ll want the connectors on all four sides to create a properly-sized ring.

They are lead free and feature 6P compliant vinyl material.. They fold up nicely so they can be easily transported, and they are light enough to easily maneuver. They work great as MMA mats, because a 5x10 mat provides 50 square feet of coverage area. Two mats connected side by side provide for ample space for practicing throws and other fight moves.

Greatmats Offers the Best in MMA Mat Options!

When practicing mixed martial arts disciplines, training, and strengthening exercises all play an important role in the participant’s success. Along with those things comes the potential of injury and body stress, as well as fear and lack of confidence. A main factor that may truly make or break one’s ability to grow and advance in their practice is the quality of the martial arts mat he or she is working on.

Adequate padding of the floor below, along with a safe level of firmness, allows a person to practice a variety of techniques and maneuvers safely, which is imperative – especially in the learning stages when falls and improper form happens frequently. Not only is the padding important, but the thickness, price, ease of use and maintenance, and many other factors come into play. Greatmats has numerous options to suit any budget and material requirements and can work with you to determine the best MMA mat or mats to meet your needs.
For more on this topic please review our MMA Mats, Grappling Mats product page.