A Game of Inches: 1″ vs. 2″ vs 1.5″ Mats

A single inch is not much, but it’s everything when it comes to the difference between the thickness of martial arts mats. Each type of training mat—from 2” MMA mats to 1.5” grappling mats to 1” striking mats—is ideal for a different type of training, and which one is right for you is all in the thickness. Inches matter, and today we are revealing how something as small as a half inch can completely change your training mats. 

Here’s why thickness matters in your mats. 

It Changes the Stability

Every half inch you add to training mats can make a noticeable difference in your footwork. Thicker mats feel softer, and your feet sink further into them while training. That’s why 2” mats are generally not the choice for standup martial arts like karate, taekwondo, etc. These martial arts disciplines simply do not normally need the added padding since grappling, groundwork, and throws and slams are generally not incorporated much into the training. If you practice these styles of martial arts, you’ll be best served by getting 1” mats or 1.5” mats. 

It Changes the Level of Protection

2” mats provide the highest level of protection, which is why they are generally used by MMA and training disciplines that involve throws, slams, takedowns, and more. While 1.5” mats can be used for this purpose, you find more comfort and protection in our 2” mat options. These mats are great for heavy groundwork and takedown training. They are comfortable and have the highest amount of shock absorption, which not only protects students from injuries, it also helps them train harder for longer. 

1.5” mats are also ideal for this type of training, but they don’t provide as much protection. They are more suited for disciplines like BJJ, where takedowns and groundwork are common, but athletes are not frequently being taken down to the ground forcefully. 

As an additional level of protection, you can also use landing mats for heavy takedowns, throws, and slams. 

Do Thicker Mats Last Longer? 

Unfortunately, no. Just because mats are thicker does not mean they will last longer. All our mat thicknesses have the same life expectancy, which is only changed with frequency of use and level of care and maintenance. Having thicker mats doesn’t mean that you can use them more or get more years out of them. 

Which Mats Are Right for You?

Not sure which mats to purchase? Don’t make the decision alone. Our team is here to help. We’ve helped thousands of gyms and athletes outfit their training spaces with products they love. We can help you choose the right mats based on what and how you train. No matter which you choose, you’ll be training with confidence as soon as your mats are installed!