At the Core, What’s Inside Our Martial Arts Mats?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding our MMA and martial arts mats is, “what makes them different than other types of mats?” Customers also ask, “why are your mats more expensive than your competitors?”

There are several different answers to each of those questions, but at the center of it all is the amazing core within our mats.

The Anatomy of a Mat

Foam, adhesives and vinyl, these are the elements that make up a mat.  The right mat, with the right materials, when properly cared for, will last you over 15 years.

Traditional style mats (1m x 2m sections) are typically made up of Re-bonded Polyurethane Foam that is bonded together with an industrial polyurethane binder, creating the solid, multi-colored blocks seen in our mat samples.  This product is then wrapped in a polyester scrim-backed vinyl. Adhesives are used to assure uniformity, safety and durability.

Our Mats Are Different

Most mat companies cut corners to reduce their costs. They understand that by the time the average mat begins to breakdown, a customer feels they have gotten their money’s worth and will simply reinvest.

As seen in the photo below, there are different types of foam, but it’s the details that are important. While they may look the same, they are not. There are many features people overlook when selecting the right flooring system for their space.

Particle Size

Fine-cut, small diameter foam lacks the proper surface area for quality adhesion, making it more apt to separate, bubble or warping. Over-sized particles can also create too much separation between adhesives and foam.

This all results in the premature breakdown of your mats. Additionally, some manufacturers add old, weathered and dried out reclaimed products (sold at a discount) to their blend. While this helps reduce costs, it also makes mats less safe due to variable densities. Properly sourced foam is the single most important component of your mat.


Adhesive is a major component of mat production, but only a handful of manufacturers get this right. Most companies use a cheap spray-on adhesive, simply coating the foam with a thin layer of product, wrapping it and then sending it out the door.

Always verify that your mats are finished with a Heat-Activated, Powder-Based adhesive. This is more expensive, but assures that the adhesive gets into the pores of the foam. This results in a tighter bond and ultimately increases the durability and life of your mats. Longer life = Better Investment.

Vinyl Covers

This is an easy way for manufacturers to “get by on the cheap.” They will often use fancy-sounding terms to create buzz and fleece their potential customers into buying mats that aren’t worth their money.

Low-Profile vinyl simply means “Thinner,” and when you subject your mats to the spins, kicks, sprawls, falls, drops and throws the last thing you want to worry about is the surface of your mat fraying, tearing or ripping. This will not end well for your students.


When a mat company “sources” their materials from different vendors, the result is a lack of quality control. This can be evident in the lack of consistent finished product, color, feel, and even size.

We’ve talked with numerous clients over the years who have ordered from a competitor only to get mats that don’t match, are improperly sized or even have different textures. When it comes to the look and feel of your space, impressions are essential. If your flooring is sub-par, what message does that send to a prospective student?

To learn more about what makes our mats a step above the competition, contact us today!