Zebra MMA Mat Product Comparison

November 6, 2012


Zebra MMA Mat Product Comparison

Zebra Mats introduces the most durable and longest lasting products in to these gyms where the Return On Investment shines through.

Example, there are cheaper mats out there, and that’s exactly what you get, a cheaper mat. Dealing with cheaper Chinese made mats can equal much higher cost of ownership in the long term. That is why Zebra products are so great, they outlast any competitor’s product by more than 4 times (average lifespan is 20 years).

As you can understand with cars, you get what you pay for. A Mercedes cannot be compared to a KIA – just as so, not all mats are created equal.


Short Lesson:


            Competitor                                                                    Zebra

Made in China – imitation knock offs of the Judo Mat Made in Germany, inventor of the Judo Mat. German engineering baby!


Weighs 35lbs/mat


Weighs 55lbs/mat
Foam used in China is lightweight compressed sponge at 230/kgm3 – after 1 year that foam becomes like mush and forces the corners to blow out creating gapping and unsafe training environments. This foam is also less dense and more prone to having an impact related injury Foam used in Germany is a Multi-Density Rebond Foam at 14/lbs-cu or 230kgm3. Same as China, but because this foam is super compressed prior to being made into a mat, there is no more opportunity for the foam to soften. This mat will only lose up to 10% of its density over a 10 year period of use where the Chinese can lose more than 80% of its density in the first 5 years!


Vinyl is adhered to the foam using a rolled glue. The problem here is that the Plasticisers in the vinyl do not work with the adhesive. It creates an adverse effect and attacks the foam, separating the vinyl from the foam. This can happen with out having any usage on the mats. This becomes most problematic when in use because with the vinyl separated from the foam, friction while in use causes the vinyl to wear down considerably, to the point where you burn holes in areas of the vinyl and the foam shows through.


Vinyl is adhered by a powder epoxy and put under extreme heat and then compressed and cooled. This bonding process is the “secret sauce” of the Zebra mat, and ensure a lifelong bond of the vinyl directly to the foam core. The only way to separate the two is to cut the foam away with a knife.
The vinyl in china used for matting comes with a sheen that invokes slipperiness and causes ‘mat burns’ easily when grappling Zebra has a Smooth surface Grappling mat called the MMA Mat which is a Patented Vinyl surfacing with low sheen that does not create ANY mat burns, is easier to clean, and friction tests conclude that it offers more traction that of tatami textured mats.


Comes with 1 year warranty, and replacement is not even guaranteed, it is at the discretion of the company that you bought from how they handle or repair, or decide to do nothing.


Comes with an undisputed 10 year warranty
All 4 edges and sides are sealed and no exposed foam (this is good so that no bacteria gets into the foam and breaks it down)


All 4 edges and sides are heat sealed and no exposed foam (this is good so that no bacteria gets into the foam and breaks it down)
Lifespan 2-5 years Lifespan 20 years


Cost of Ownership: (Over 15 year period)20×20 space = $2160 Year 5, 50% of mats require replacing = $1080 

Year 10, 75% of mats require replacing = $1680


Year 15, Aggravated, Full Mats Replacement =



Total Cost of ownership over 15 year period =






Cost of Ownership: (Over 15 year period)20×20 space = $3059.82 

Year 5, 0% Replacement = $0


Year 10, 0% Replacement= $0


Year 15, 0% Replacement = $0




Total Cost of ownership over 15 year period =




There is a saying that my father always used to say, “a poor man pays twice.” It’s always smarter to fork out that little extra in the beginning, to ensure you don’t pay BIG in the end. It’s better to do things right the first time, because going back to fix things always costs much more.


Testimonial Review

by MMACanada.net

No one can deny that Zebra Mats are an asset and one of the wisest decision that a business owner could incorporate in both their striking and grappling arts curricula.  This means for the martial artist that they get the best protection from mat burns, high falls, slams, and throws; yet is definitely firm enough for stand-up martial arts training.    The non-slip vinyl covering that that bonds to the high-quality, multi-density rebonded foam core will not separate and provides superior impact protection (six times more foam protection than the other mats). Its softer foam core makes it perfect for those lengthy rolling and grappling sessions.  Another feature is the unique anti-skid waffle pattern that keeps the mat stable from shifting when laid down. In comparison other mats seem to separate after a few years of moderate use, have soft cushion ‘spots’ and separate from each other greatly risking injury, and lose of value and overall aesthetic look and design.  Zebra Mats is a German made product has an industry leading warranty of 10 years and a life expectancy of 15+ years. 

As a kinesiologist, fitness instructor, mixed martial art artist and aspiring athlete I have to have trust in the products, and tools to avoid injury and maximize safety wherever the match and training take me and have a product that is durable and able to withstand repeated use day in and day out.  I believe in this product and there are two important questions that one must consider before purchasing matting.

“One is to think why big organizations and training academies like the IBJJF, Canadian Forces, emergency services, Gracie Jiujitsu and famed martial artists like Randy Couture, Renzo Gracie, Marcelo Garcia, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, Brock Lesnar, Claude Patrick have embraced Zebra Mats into their gyms? And the other is why you wouldn’t want to embrace this product?

For Zebra mats, their responsibility and duty is to make sure that the quality and reputation of the mats and the famous ‘Simply Z-Best’ slogan is being represented properly in their workmanship, technology back by scientific research, and as a company can handle any large project and renovation from start to finish.  As a consumer an impression is made when walking into a Zebra matted training facility which is one that stands out well with having customized colours and logos.


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