Many players these days want to know what are the best MTG playmats and I thought I would take some time and review what’s on the market.
A huge trend in Magic these days is playing the game on custom playmats. Back when I started playing in the early 90’s, we played on any flat surface we could find, but things have certainly changed. Nowadays there are so many MTG accessories (storage boxes, custom dice, binders and sheets, etc.) that your mind would be blown to see all of the options out there.
But for MTG playmats, there are certainly quite a few to choose from and I wanted to narrow down the best ones for you. Some prefer plain, others like the ones with Magic designs. It’s all really about aesthetics when it comes to design but they all don’t feel the same so I’ll try to tell you about LOOKS and FEEL so you can make the best decision. So here we go…
|Top||Ultra Pro Black Lotus MTG Playmat||Prime||24" x 13.5" x 1/16"||Check on Amazon|
|Top||Inked Playmats Lotus Puddle MTG Playmat||Prime||24" x 14" x 1/16"||Check on Amazon|
|Top||Paramint Dark Lotus MTG Playmat||Prime||24" x 14" x 1/12"||Check on Amazon|
BEST MTG PLAYMAT – Ultra PRO
Ultra PRO has been a force in the collectibles accessory market for as long as I can remember. The company originally hit the scene in the 1950’s and they have been a mainstay when it comes to binders, 9-pocket sheets, top loaders and anything else a sports or TCG (Trading Card Game) collector would want.
It’s only natural that they now have a huge position in the Magic: The Gathering space as more and more collectors and investors are looking to preserve and protect their cards. As we all know, cards can get dinged up pretty quickly when playing the game so Ultra PRO has come up with a VERY popular line of MTG playmats that not only look great, but they also have a soft fabric top that helps protect your cards during play.
Ultra PRO is easily the #1 playmat in this category as they win on both design and protection. Because they have a licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro), they’re able to provide players with playmats showcasing many of Magic’s favorite scenes and artwork. In addition, much of the artwork is exclusive to Ultra PRO so you won’t find any other playmats on the market with the unique images and scenes like they have.
Price-wise, they’re competitive and reasonable. Most of Ultra PRO’s Magic game mats are in the $20-25 range and very often you’ll find them on Amazon for discounted prices. And if you’re on a budget and would rather spend your hard earned money on MTG booster packs, Ultra PRO also offers a line of plain color playmats that can get your price down closer to $10-12 each.
Best MTG Beginner Playmat
For someone just getting into Magic, I would probably push them to spend their money on cards first, playmat second. That being said, an entry level playmat that does the job would definitely be the Ultra PRO 13.5″ x 24″ SOLID color playmat. It’s no frills and costs about $10-12 less than the Ultra PRO mats that have Magic art and scenes.
It’s a great MTG beginner playmat in that you don’t have to spend a lot, it has great reviews on Amazon and it’s a very popular and trustworthy brand in Ultra PRO. On top of that, it’s machine washable so when you freak out after losing a game and you spill your Coca-Cola on the table in a fit of rage, you can toss it in the washing machine and it’s good as new!
Here’s some positive things people said about it:
- 5-STARS – “The texture is great, cards don’t “float” across the mat, and there’ s just enough give so you can pick up a card without bending it or having it suction down to the table.”
- 5-STARS – “It’s the same quality as the spendy ones, just this one has no fancy image on it.”
- 5-STARS – “Nice mat, simple, good price. Highly recommended.”
The only negative I saw was that the playmat comes delivered (as I believe all of them do) rolled up so it does take some time to get it flattened. Most just leave it out for a few days and eventually like any polyester/rubber mat, it flattens naturally over time. Also, the colors may be a little different from what’s shown on Amazon, but that’s normally not a big deal either. I’m partial to the black one myself so if it’s a bit off-black, I don’t mind. The price is certainly right.
Best Custom Magic: The Gathering Playmats
Sometimes you just can’t find a playmat that has the Magic art you wanted. Try and find a playmat that has a Hypnotic Specter or maybe you want the creepy Niall Silvan from The Dark set with his weird smiling face on your playmat. No one makes those! That’s when you go custom and the best place to do that is INKED GAMING.
Inked Gaming custom playmats are the most popular ones out there right now. Their website is easy to use and prices are very reasonable for custom mats. And the best thing is you can pretty much upload any image on your computer or mobile phone within seconds and Inked Gaming will customize a 24” x 14” playmat just the way you want it.
The cost is very reasonable too. Custom Magic: The Gathering playmats start at $24.99 for a basic mat and you can also upgrade it to have stitched edging for $5 extra or playzones for any TCG for just $4 extra. You can also choose to have Inked Gaming edit and preview your image to make sure it’s the best possible quality for an additional $15.
If you chose every option, you’re looking at $48.99 for the playmat plus shipping (which runs from $5.95 on up to faster more expensive options.) So this is not a cheap option, but when you’re spending $25 for most Magic playmats on the market, spending double is not too bad to get exactly what you want.
Inked Gaming has over 6,000 5-STAR reviews on their site with an average of 4.8 stars! You don’t get that many great reviews unless you’re doing something right. Here’s what they’re saying in the reviews:
- 5-STARS – “Fantastic work, worth every penny.”
- 4-STARS – “Honestly…these playmats turned out way too good!”
- 5-STARS – “The mats are well made and the pictures were very clear. Will be buying more in the near future.”
I took time to check the negative reviews and it seems a few were shipping related (but those looked like they were USPS/UPS related problems as we all have encountered since Covid.) The other negatives had a common theme and it appeared to be the quality of the image on the mat. Some mentioned it was blurry, others just mentioning it wasn’t what they expected quality-wise. That led me to believe that it would be well worth the extra $15 to have Inked Gaming edit and preview the image just in case. I’d rather have them check the image and confirm it will be exactly like I wanted rather than trying to save a few bucks and finding out my image was not the best quality and that affected the playmat.
Otherwise, the reviews were stellar so I would recommend Inked Gaming for your custom Magic The Gathering playmats if you can’t find one you want on the market. They are probably the BEST out there in this category.
Best Cheap MTG Playmats
I would have to say the best cheap MTG playmats are probably going to be the Ultra PRO Solid Blue, Red or Black mats. They may not have the fancy Magic artwork but for about $12 (subject to change) you probably won’t find a better playmat out there delivered for that price.
And let me qualify what I mean by “cheap.” In this case I’m not saying the playmat is made of substandard materials and will fall apart after using it a few times. What I mean by cheap is the lowest possible price for the best possible playmat. There are playmats out there that might be a dollar or two cheaper, but they’ll be some crazy off-brand mat made overseas with unknown materials. Stick with the Ultra PRO solid colors as in my view, they are the best cheap MTG playmats on the market.
Best of the Cool MTG Playmats
I think when it comes to the best cool MTG playmats it’s a toss up between Inked Gaming and Ultra PRO. I’m a huge fan of the Magic: The Gathering designs on the Ultra PRO playmats so I think those will be a favorite for most players. However, the vibrant colors and really cool designs that Inked Gaming has come up with are sure to be a hit amongst even the most hardcore players.
Below are some of the coolest of the cool when it comes to Ultra PRO Magic game mats and Inked Gaming mats. Although there are lots of different designs to choose from, I think these are easily some of the best playmats you can find.
|Ultra Pro Magic Playmat-Celestial Swamp||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Ultra PRO Zendikar Rising Branchloft Pathway Playmat||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Inked Gaming Toad Rider Playmat Inked||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Inked Gaming Masterpiece Black Lotus Playmat||Prime||Check on Amazon|
|Paramint Island Ethereal Mana - MTG Playmat||Prime||Check on Amazon|
So to wrap it up, I think Ultra PRO, Inked Gaming and Paramint all make the best MTG playmats when it comes to design, price, options and durability. I’m partial to the Magic: The Gathering designs that Ultra PRO has to offer and the reliability of a company that makes the products I use every day with my personal collection. But I’m also a BIG fan of the Inked Gaming mats, their vibrant colors, awesome designs, customization options and the flexibility in sizing.
The bottom line is you won’t go wrong no matter which option you choose. All of these playmats are in the same price range (give or take a few bucks) and are all equally well made. Find one you like and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!
Brian CooperBrian is the founder of Magic Card Investor and has been collecting and playing Magic since 1994. Since that Golden Era of Magic, he's accumulated a nice collection from Revised on through today's newest sets and cries nightly about that massive collection (including ALL Beta Moxes) that he sold back in the late 90's for peanuts! Brian continues to try and build that collection back up to this day and writes about his adventures in investing in and collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and other Trading Card Games here on Magic Card Investor.
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