Tatami Matting: Everything You Need to Know

Read about the many advantages of Tatami Matting and how this traditional flooring solution has never lost its fantastic qualities for Mixed Martial Arts, Fitness, Yoga and More
Eva Foam Matting in an MMA Studio

If you're in the market for some new flooring, you may have come across tatami matting. Tatami mats are a type of flooring that originated in Japan, and they've recently gained popularity in the Western world. It is made from rice straw or other materials and is typically used in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Tatami matting has a distinct look and feel, and it offers a number of benefits. 


In this post, we'll explain everything you need to know about tatami matting. We'll cover its history, how it's made, its benefits, and some tips for using it in your home.

What Exactly Is Tatami Matting?

Tatami Matting is a type of flooring traditionally used in Japanese homes. It is typically made out of rice straw or other natural materials and is often covered with a woven fabric. Tatami mats are usually square or rectangular in shape and are placed side by side to cover the entire floor space of a room.

Japanese tatami mats are not only used for flooring but also for sleeping on. Tatami mat beds are very popular in Japan, as they are said to be comfortable and good for your health. Many believe sleeping on a tatami mat can help improve your posture and relieve back pain.

Increasingly, Tatami Matting has become a staple in the fitness and sports industry with specialist disciplines such as MMA and Boxing creating the style using foam or PVC materials.  The top surface can be smooth or have the traditional Basketweave grid for ultra grip.

The History of Tatami Mats

Tatami mats has a long history in Japan, dating back to at least the Nara period in the 8th century. They were originally used for sleeping and were only available to nobility and upper-class citizens. Around the 16th century, tatami mats began to be used as flooring to cover entire rooms rather than just for sleeping or sitting. At this time, they were still primarily for the upper classes, and Japanese architecture was developing into the style we now associate with traditional Japanese homes.

By the 17th century, tatami mats had become common among all levels of society, and it became normal for most houses to have predominately tatami mat floors. Traditional tatami mats are made of rice straw, and the best quality mats still use this material. However, nowadays, tatami mats are also made from other materials, such as wood or synthetic materials.

The traditional size for a tatami mat is around 1.8 metres x 0.9 metres and they are usually placed side by side to cover a room's floor space. In a typical Japanese home, the living room and other main rooms will have tatami mat floors, while the kitchen and bathroom will not. A Japanese bed is also typically placed on a raised tatami mat platform.

The Traditional Flooring for Martial Arts

Tatami mats has a long history of use in martial arts. They are prized for their firm yet yielding quality and their ability to withstand impact. Karate, judo, and aikido all use tatami mats, and stepping onto the tatami mat is considered a sacred entering of the martial arts space.

Today, tatami mats are still used in some traditional settings, but they have also gained popularity as a martial arts training surface. These mats are often made of thick foam, which mimics the texture of real tatami mats while being more durable and flexible. However, these foam mats are still referred to as tatami in the martial arts community and are still treated with the same respect. Tatami mats provide a soft surface for training and help to protect practitioners from injuries.

In addition, the mat's porous surface helps to absorb sweat and moisture, making it ideal for active use. For these reasons, tatami mats continue to be a popular choice for martial arts training in Japan and worldwide.

Tatami in the Modern Age

When most people think of tatami, they think of traditional Japanese rice straw mats. However, tatami has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now used in a variety of settings, both traditional and modern. Tatami mats foam core structure and unique composition make them an excellent choice for flooring in a number of settings.

Tatami mats foam core structure provides both comfort and support, making them ideal for use as flooring in homes, offices, and even martial arts training facilities. The mats' ability to absorb impact makes them ideal for high-traffic areas and active use. In addition, tatami mats are easy to clean and maintain, and their unique style can add a touch of elegance to any setting.

While tatami mats may have originally been used in traditional Japanese homes, they are now popular worldwide. 

Tatami mats are a versatile and stylish flooring option that can be used in a variety of settings. Whether you're looking for MMA, yoga, or gymnastic mats, tatami mats are an excellent choice. 


Different Uses of Tatami Mats Foam

There are many different ways that people use tatami mats foam in their daily lives. Let's take a look at some of the most popular uses for this type of foam.

  • MMA: Mixed martial arts is a full-contact sport that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Tatami mat foam provides a safe and cushioned surface for practitioners to train on.

  • Yoga: Yoga is an ancient practice that involves various postures and breathing exercises. Tatami mats foam provides a comfortable and stable surface for yoga practitioners to use.

  • Gymnastics: Gymnastics is a sport that requires a lot of physical activity and coordination. Tatami mats foam provides a safe and cushioned surface for gymnasts to train on.

  • Kids' Soft Play Areas: Kids love to play and run around. Tatami mats foam provides a safe and cushioned surface for them to play on.

  • Multi-Purpose Fitness: Tatami mats foam can be used for a variety of different exercises and activities. They provide a safe and cushioned surface for people to workout on.



These are just a few of the most popular uses for tatami mats foam. As you can see, this type of foam has many different uses and can be used in various settings. 

Whether you're looking for an MMA mat, a yoga mat, or a general fitness mat, tatami mat foam is an excellent choice.

Benefits of Using Tatami Mat Foam

If you're looking for a durable and comfortable flooring option for your home, gym, office, or studio, tatami mat foam is a great choice. 

Tatami mat foam offers all the same benefits as traditional tatami mats, plus it's more durable and easier to clean. Here are some of the top benefits of using tatami mat foam:

1. Anti-slip surface

Tatami mat foam has a textured, anti-slip surface that helps prevent slips and falls. This is especially important for MMA and BJJ training, as mats can get sweaty and slippery during intense workouts.

2. Cushioned surface

Tatami mat foam provides a cushioned surface that's gentle on your joints and muscles. This makes it a great choice for flooring in kids' playrooms, home gyms, and yoga studios.

3. Anti Bacterial

When your training gets intense, it's important to have a floor that's easy to clean and won't harbor bacteria. Tatami mat foam is made with an anti-bacterial material that helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

4. Eco-friendly

Tatami mat foam is made from sustainable materials that are gentle on the environment. This makes it a great choice for eco-conscious consumers.

5. Durable

Tatami mat foam is built to last, with a durable surface that can withstand heavy traffic. This makes it ideal for high-traffic areas like home gyms, offices, and commercial gyms.

6. Easy to clean

Tatami mat foam is easy to clean, with a textured surface that resists stains and dirt. This makes it a great choice for busy families and businesses.

These benefits make tatami mat foam an ideal choice for a variety of applications. Whether you're looking for a durable flooring option for your home gym or a cushioned surface for your yoga studio, tatami mat foam is a great choice.

Tatami Mat Care and Maintenance

Anyone who has ever stepped foot on a tatami mat can attest that they are essential for providing comfort and support. Tatami mats have been used in Japan for centuries, and their popularity is only increasing in other parts of the world.

If you're lucky enough to own a tatami mat, it's important to take care of it so that it can continue to provide you with years of comfort and enjoyment. Here are a few tips for taking care of your tatami mat:

  1. Vacuum regularly: This will help remove any dirt or dust accumulated on the mat's surface.

  2. Spot clean spills immediately: Use a damp cloth to blot any liquid spills.

  3. Avoid exposure to sunlight: Ultraviolet rays can damage the mat's surface over time.

  4. Flip and rotate the mat periodically: This will help distribute wear and tear evenly.

Following these simple tips, your tatami mat will continue to bring you comfort for many years to come.


Tatami matting is a versatile and popular flooring option in Japan and around the world. It is made from natural materials, is durable, and has a unique look that can add character to any space. 

Now in the modern age, tatami matting is available in foam form which offers additional benefits like anti-slip properties, easy cleaning, and a more cushioned surface. No matter what your needs, tatami matting is a great choice for a variety of applications.

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