What is the Best Tape for Mat Burn? [Top 4 Picks]

Are you a BJJ practitioner who has experienced the dreaded BJJ mat burn on knees, elbows, toes, or feet? Mat burn is a common injury in BJJ and wrestling that occurs when the skin rubs against the mat, causing friction burns. Mat burn can be painful and take a while to heal, which can affect your training schedule. But, worry not, as there are ways to treat mat burn and prevent it from happening in the first place. In this blog post, we will discuss the best tape for mat burn and the top 4 picks that you can consider using.

What is wrestling mat burn?

Mat burn is a common condition in grappling sports that affects many athletes. It occurs when the skin rubs against the mat, causing friction that leads to redness, irritation, and pain. Mat burn is particularly common on the knees, toes, elbows, and feet, and can make training uncomfortable and affect your performance.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat mat burn, such as using tape.

How to treat mat burn?

Mat burn treatment involves cleaning the affected area with soap and water, then applying a protective barrier such as ointment, cream, vaseline, or liquid bandage to prevent further irritation.

It’s also essential to keep the area clean and dry and avoid training until the skin has healed completely. However, prevention is the best approach, and using tape can help to reduce the risk of mat burn.

Here are some tips on how to treat mat burn:

  • Clean the affected area with soap and water.
  • Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Cover the affected area with a bandage or tape.
  • Avoid training until the mat burn is healed if you have a severe case.

Can you tape your feet in BJJ?

You even should tape your feet in concrete situations.

For instance, you can tape your feet in BJJ to prevent mat burn. Protecting your feet in jiu jitsu is often one of the essentials for most practitioners.

How do you tape your feet for mat burn?

How do you tape your feet for martial arts?

Foot taping is particularly important for grapplers, as the skin on the feet is more prone to mat burn. Taping your feet can also provide extra support and stability during training.

What kind of tape do you use for BJJ?

There are several types of tape that you can use for BJJ, including athletic tape, kinesiology tape, and adhesive bandages. Each type of tape has its benefits and drawbacks, and the best tape for mat burn will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

Top 4 Picks for Mat Burn Tape

Now that we have discussed the most common questions around mat burns, let’s take a look at the types of tape that you can use for mat burn and top picks for each type available on the market.

Athletic Tape – Best Tape for Mat Burn – Most used option

Athletic tape is a popular choice for grapplers as it’s durable, easy to apply, and provides excellent support and protection. It’s also relatively cheap and widely available, making it an affordable option for regular training. Athletic tape is ideal for mat burn on the knees, mat burn on elbow, and other areas that require extra support and stability.

Kinesiology tape

Kinesiology tape is a flexible and breathable tape that can conform to the body’s shape, making it ideal for mat burn on toes and other curved surfaces. It’s also water-resistant, so you can wear it during training without worrying about it falling off or losing its adhesive properties.

Kinesiology tape can be more expensive than athletic tape, but it’s worth the investment if you need more flexibility and range of motion.

Kinesiology tape study on skin wounds

During clinical research “Kinesio Taping for Skin Wounds”, made and published by Kiyotaka Oka, Office Ikuno, September 2010, it was found that kinesio tape contributes to healing skin wounds (abrasions, burns, cuts) cleanly and rapidly.

In all cases of this study, kinesiology tape was applied to the wounds moistened with tap water or deep sea water for skin care.

mat burn treatment
Image caption from the “Kinesio Taping for Skin Wounds” study
  • Wash your wound with tap water. No disinfectant is needed.
  • Prepare a pad made from a piece of tape (folding it on itself so two layers are created) to be placed on the wound.
  • Put another piece of tape over to cover the pad on the wound and a bigger area around it.

Adhesive Bandages

Adhesive bandages, also known as band-aids, can be an effective solution for small mat burns and blisters. They’re easy to apply and can provide a protective barrier that allows the skin to heal.

However, adhesive bandages are not suitable for large or irregularly shaped mat burns, as they may not provide adequate coverage or support.

Bonus best pick – Liquid Bandage – Effective healing method

A liquid bandage is not cotton or made from any other fabric tape but we want to add it to the list as it gives effective features for healing mat burns.

It’s a type of liquid adhesive that can be applied directly to the skin to create a protective barrier. It’s ideal for mat burn on toes, fingers, and other areas that require a thin, flexible layer of protection. Liquid bandage is also water-resistant and can last longer than traditional adhesive bandages, making them a more convenient option for regular training.

However, liquid bandage can be more expensive than other types of tape, and it may not provide as much support or stability as athletic tape or kinesiology tape.

It is recommended to apply multiple layers of liquid bandage.

Additional tips for using mat burn tape

No matter which type of tape you choose, there are a few tips to keep in mind when using mat burn tape:

  • Make sure the skin is clean and dry before applying the tape.
  • Apply the tape firmly but not too tightly, as this can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort.
  • If you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing tape, remove it and seek medical attention if necessary for further healing advice.


Mat burn is a common condition in BJJ and wrestling, but it doesn’t have to be a regular occurrence. By using the best tape for mat burn, you can protect your skin, reduce the risk of injury, and improve your overall training experience.

Athletic tape, kinesiology tape, adhesive bandages, and liquid bandage are all viable options, so choose the one that best meets your needs and preferences. With proper treatment and prevention, you can train safely and comfortably, without having to worry about mat burn on your knees, toes, or other areas of your body.

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