Every Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practitioner needs a rolling mat for training.
Every BJJ gym will have a rolling mat, but sometimes that mat will have limited availability for you to practice the moves you want to practice.
For example, your instructor might want to train armlocks, but you want to practice break falls. You either have to wait until open mat day or wait until your instructor gets around to working on break falls.
On the other hand, your BJJ gym may also be full of annoying people that make open mat an annoying experience. We all know the type.
If you’re looking for:
- more freedom in what moves you train, when you want to,
- the ability to practice your own moves at home, or
- mix up your training with other styles that your instructors don’t teach,
then having rolling mats for home training can be a necessity.
Thankfully, there is a decent selection of quality rollings mats for home BJJ training available on the Internet to buy at decent prices.
Sure, you can train in some martial arts at home without a rolling mat. However, you can’t really train train BJJ effectively and realistically without a mat.
Let’s find some great ones.
Don’t want to read the whole post? Check out my top pick, the Z-Athletic folding mat, on Amazon now.
Top Overall Pick: Z-Athletic Gymnastics
The Z-Athletic Gymnastics folding mats offer a slightly different alternative to the other mats I review below. That’s why it’s the best overall, though.
This mat has a 2-inch thick polyethylene foam surface, which makes it ideal for rolling, breakfalls, and for some takedowns. Each one is anywhere from 4ft x 10ft x 2in, 5ft x 10ft x 2in, or 4ft x 12ft x 2in, so plan accordingly for how many you need.
It also has a hook and loop connections on all four sides of the mat. This allows for easy connection to other mats to make an extremely large surface that fills the size of your training space.
Since this mat is a folding one, that means you can easily fold it up and store it in your closet at the end of the workout.
This saves floor space for other martial arts activities (and things like weight lifting). It also prevents damage to the mat from high-heels, animal claws, and other fairly innocent punctures that happen when you leave your mats out.
- 2-inch thick foam makes this mat less taxing on the body
- Comes in variety of sizes
- Easy to fold and store in your closet
- Hook and loop closure to attach other mats to each other
- 2-year factory warranty for any part that breaks
Does not fold down particularly small, so make sure you have the room to store them
This is our favorite overall, and should be a great choice for any bjj, judo, or other martial arts practitioner.
Top Premium Option: the Dollar Mu Flexi-Roll Mat
The Dollar Mu Flexi-Roll Wrestling Mat is my top choice for a recreational rolling mat for BJJ training, if you’ve got the budget for it.
The mat has a total area of 100 square feet (10′ x 10′). Dollar Mu uses the exact same materials for this mat as their competition-grade wrestling mats.
This means you get a closed cell polyethylene foam that provides all the shock absorption you need for your jiu jitsu needs.
The Flexi-Roll mat can easily withstand the rigors of BJJ training.
The vinyl also has antimicrobials to that protect against the odor that often forms on rolling mats. This also helps prevent the polyethylene foam from deteriorating from sweat.
- Polyethylene foam provides plenty of shock absorption
- Antimicrobials prevent odor and deterioration
- Large size means you never have to worry about running out of room
- Practice circle with starting marks (for wrestling and sport practice)
It has a higher price than other products
This is an amazing wrestling and rolling mat for those with the budget, who really take their training seriously. Competition-level materials make this a perfect choice for home practice.
Top “Jigsaw”-style Mats: IncStores Tatami Foam Tiles
The IncStores Tatami Foam Tiles are great for a more permanent training mat solution.
These mats are actually jigsaw mats, which means they fit together just like a jigsaw puzzle. You don’t have to worry about having a big enough space for this mat. You can build the mat in some fairly small rooms and then disassemble the mat afterwards, if you must.
Though, to me, it’s easier to use these in a dedicated training room where they stay put.
Also, every mat has removable edge pieces. Any mat can be used on the corner, the border, or in the center, for the full “jigsaw” effect.
The mat is made of “closed cell” EVA foam. Closed cell means this product will not smell as bad after prolonged compared to an open cell foam.
Keep in mind, the foam on this is somewhat thin. It can comfortably be used for rolling, but takedowns on this type of mat might cause some discomfort.
- Jigsaw feature means you can build the mat in any location, in different sizes and shapes
- Easy assembly and disassembly
- Closed cell EVA foam keeps things clean
- Lower price point than a rolling mat
- Manufacturer warranty covers any defects
Might be prone to slipping
I love that these jigsaw mats come in a number of sizes, allowing you to customize your training space and perfect for those with oddly-shaped rooms to train in. You can’t go wrong with this one, but if you’re doing a lot of falling, you may want to go with one of the other choices.
Other Considerations before purchasing rolling mats
We’ve all been there:
You want to make a purchase, but have no idea what kind of things you need to be aware of.
That’s why you came here, so let me help.
Obviously, there are some things you should look for when selecting a mat:
- Quality of materials
- Ability to cushion you
- Size and weight
But here are some other things to think about before buying mats for your home:
One of the most important things to note before buying a rolling mat for home is being aware of who else is around.
If you have any clawed pets (dogs, cats, bearded dragons, etc.), then you should ensure that they not step on the rolling mat, as this can tear the vinyl. At the very least, you should control access to the room where they’re laid out, and put them away after training, if possible.
Shoes, especially high-heels, may also damage a rolling mat. Everyone in the household should know not to step on the rolling mat with any type of shoes on their feet.
I say that you should take a lesson from the Japanese, and have special “gym-only” shoes. Or, better yet, go barefoot while training.
Finally, these mats may be prone to slipping.
This really depends on the surface of the floor, your weight, and the intensity of the workout. If you do experience slipping, then place an anti-slip mat underneath the rolling mat. I recommend an anti-slip yoga mat from Amazon to place underneath your rolling mats. These yoga mats are not particularly expensive and will increase the comfort of your rolling sessions, both by reducing slippage and by adding a bit more padding.
Be sure to have enough to cover the number of mats/floor space required.
Wrapping it up
All 3 of the above rolling mats would make an excellent choice for your home or training space. Now, my personal recommendation is the Z-Athletic Gymnastics – Folding Mat because it provides the perfect combination of price, thickness, and flexibility.
The 2-inch foam will really save your back if you plan on using the mat long term. This thickness also means that you can train just a little rougher and more realistically than you would normally train with a slightly thinner mat.
The flexibility of the mat is also one of the main benefits. You can easily store it in your closet, spare bedroom, or attic.
Ok, I don’t recommend the attic, unless you like going up and down that wooden ladder with a heavy mat and fixing your ceiling after each training session.
Overall, purchasing a rolling mat for home BJJ training should increase your enjoyment and development of jiu-jitsu. You’ll have the freedom to train how you want at home, like we discussed in the beginning.