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Practicing gymnastics at home is a great way to improve your skills without having to go to the gym every time. With that said, if you are looking for a tumbling mat for home use, you shouldn’t go for the first mat you find on sale – you should go for the very best gymnastics mat for home to ensure that your sessions are effective!
If you’ve been struggling to find the right kind of gymnastics mat for your needs, then let the Jump-Life.com introduce you to 6 great options. They are mainly aimed at children and beginners, but some of them could be great for adults as well.
And to help you pick the right mat, we’ve crafted a handy buyer’s guide that comes right after the gymnastics mat reviews!
But let’s start with the comparison table first!
Best Gymnastics Mat for Home – Our Top Picks Compared
Gymnastics Mat Reviews
We Sell Mats 4×8 Feet Gymnastics Mat
This 4×8 feet gymnastics mat from We Sell Mats (yup, that’s the name of the manufacturer) seems like a good option if you want a durable and expandable surface for working out.
The highlight of this tumbling mat is the hook & loop attachments situated on the front and right edges. Thanks to these attachments, you can connect as many mats as you want to create a larger, more convenient gymnastics surface.
If you are strongly worried about space efficiency, then the We Sell Mats gymnastic mat should be great as well. It has a 4-piece design that becomes quite compact when folded.
This gymnastics mat is also amply sized– 4×8 feet, which makes it one of the larger mats on our roundup. Thickness-wise, the mat is also solid – it’s available in 1.5 and 2 inches thick options. This is great but isn’t the thickest on our list, which should allow this mat to stay fairly low-profile when folded.
When it comes to materials, We Sell Mats uses dense yet lightweight polyethylene foam encased in tear-resistant vinyl that is easy to clean. However, the mat has been smelly out of the box for some people, though the small should quickly go away.
As for durability, this mat seems to hold up well even under heavy and brutal use. Many people have successfully used it for martial arts, which should be a good testimony to its longevity.
- 4-piece foldable design.
- Hook & loop attachments to connect other mats.
- Available in 2 thicknesses.
- Various color options.
- Easy to clean and tear-resistant vinyl surface.
- May smell out of the box.
Why we like this mat
The We Sell Mats tumbling mat is an all-around great mat. It’s not too thick, meaning that it is compact while providing good impact absorption. Apart from that, it has great quality and should easily withstand heavy use.
BalanceFrom 6×2 Feet 2-Inch Thick Tri-Fold Exercise Mat
The BalanceFrom exercise mat is a good choice if you are really concerned about space and don’t need a large gymnastics mat.
Sized at 6×2 feet, this exercise mat is the most compact mat on our list. With that said, it’s also the narrowest. This won’t necessarily be a problem for you, but for some movements, 2 feet may not be enough.
However, the size of this mat is great for children. But since it is not advertised for kids’ use specifically, we are pointing out this mat’s small size as a con.
The BalanceFrom mat is 2 inches thick, which should be good enough for impact absorption while keeping the mat low-profile when folded. And this thing is indeed quite compact when folded – 24 x 24 x 6 inches, while the We Sell Mats mat has folded dimensions of 24 x 48 x 8 inches (for the 2-inch thick mat).
Like the We Sell Mats mat, BalanceFrom’s exercise mat is made from vinyl that is claimed to be puncture-resistant. Apart from that, it is advertised as non-absorbent and easy to clean.
An important thing to know about this mat is that it does not have Velcro attachment points, although the product description suggests that it does. You could still stack a few mats together, but the surface probably won’t be too stable without Velcro.
- A good option for kids.
- Compact and space-efficient.
- 3-piece foldable design.
- Handles for easy transportation.
- Puncture-resistant, non-absorbent vinyl surface.
- 4 colors to choose from.
- Only 2 feet wide.
Why we like this mat
Storage efficiency is the key benefit of this gymnastics mat. It doesn’t have Velcro strips and is pretty narrow, but if space is all that matters to you, then perhaps this will be the best home gymnastics mat for you.
Tumbl Trak Gymnastics Folding Tumbling Panel Mat
Tumbl Trak offers a wide variety of sizes for their gymnastics mat – from as small as 6×4 feet to as large as 5×10 feet.
Some mats have two thicknesses to choose from as well – 2 or 1-3/8 inches. The latter is a good option if you don’t want too much cushioning but want your mat to stay compact.
All available sizes offer expandability thanks via Velcro attachment points. However, the product images make it difficult to determine where the Velcro is for each size – at least, on Amazon. The images are mixed up and do not always correspond to the chosen size.
With that said, larger sizes seem to have Velcro on one of the long sides, while smaller sizes have Velcro on the short sides.
When it comes to materials, Tumbl Trak mats employ polyethylene foam along with reinforced vinyl fabric that is resistant to tearing and peeling.
And since this is a pricey mat, we’d expect it to deliver great long-term durability and resistance to impact.
- Multiple large sizes and color options available.
- Two thicknesses to choose from.
- Foldable design.
- Reinforced vinyl fabric.
- Expandable via Velcro.
- Difficult to tell from product images where the Velcro strips are.
Why we like this mat
Among other things, we like Tumbl Trak gymnastics mats for their variety of sizes. Many people are likely to find the size that fits them the best.
And no matter which size you choose, you will get great durability, expandability, and storage-efficiency at the highest level.
Tumbl Trak Junior Practice Mat
If you are shopping for a kids’ mat, then consider this Junior Practice Mat from Tumbl Trak.
It has many of the benefits of previous mats but offers added impact absorption thanks to its thickness of a whopping 4 inches, which is the thickest on our gymnastics mat reviews.
This tumbling mat is also compactly sized at 6×3 feet, 1 foot wider than the BalanceFrom 6×2 feet mat reviewed earlier.
However, despite just the 1-foot difference, the Junior mat will be much less compact than the BalanceFrom mat. This is partly because it is 2 inches thicker.
Apart from that, the Junior Mat only folds in half, so it measures 36 x 36 x 8 inches when folded down.
For expandability, this gymnastics mat has Velcro on one of its short sides. Apart from that, thanks to its non-skid bottom, it shouldn’t slip while your kid is working out.
None of the other mats appear to have problems with slippage, but the Junior may be a little better in this regard.
- Great for kids.
- 4 inches thick.
- 2-piece folding design.
- Has handles for convenient carry.
- Has Velcro strips for expandability.
- Non-skid bottom.
- Pricey for its size.
- Only 2 color options.
Why we like this mat
The Tumbl Trak Junior Practice Mat is an excellent option for kids if you are worried about safety. It’s pretty large, thick, and convenient. It’s a bit expensive for its size, but you probably won’t find anything better for children.
Z Athletic 4×8 Feet Tumbling Mat
This 4×8 feet gymnastics mat from Z Athletic is similar to the We Sell Mats mat reviewed earlier. The two mats are priced close and offer nearly identical benefits, so they serve as great alternatives to each other.
At least, this applies if you want a 2 inches thick mat because Z Athletic does not offer 1.5-inch options.
Like the We Sell Mats mat, Z Athletic’ gymnastic mat is very durable and seems to hold up well under heavy use, even in martial arts.
Its vinyl fabric is likewise easy to clean and puncture-resistant, while the polyethylene foam maintains its firmness pretty well with use.
For expandability, the Z Athletic gymnastic mat features Velcro connections on the top and side – just like the We Sell Mats mat. This allows for both side-to-side and end-to-end connection to other mats.
And in terms of space-saving, this mat is also excellent – it has a 4-panel design that folds into a compact 48 x 24 x 8 inches.
- 4-piece foldable and space-saving design.
- Can be connected to other mats side-to-side or end-to-end.
- Easy to clean and puncture-resistant vinyl cover.
- Several colors available.
- Outer material may be a bit loose.
Why we like this mat
Like the We Sell Mats gymnastic mat, this mat is a great all-around choice for any type of training. The Z Athletic mat is sized decently, is very space-saving, can be expanded, and can take quite a beating.
ZENOVA 6×3 Feet Gymnastics Mat
Finally, we have ZENOVA’s 6×4 (and 8×4 option) feet gymnastics mat with extra 3-inch thickness. We think it’s a nice, cheaper alternative to the Tumbl Trak Junior mat reviewed earlier.
The two gymnastic mats are very similar, but this one is a more pocket-friendly option. Plus, since it’s cheaper, we suspect that it won’t be as long-living as the Junior mat.
But despite its relative cheapness, the ZENOVA mat has many of the benefits we’ve seen in other mats so far.
These benefits include durable, puncture-resistant Velcro, space-saving design, Velcro strips for expansion, handles for convenient carry, and several color options.
- Not too expensive.
- Excellent for children.
- 3 inches thick.
- Folds in half.
- Non-absorbent and puncture-resistant vinyl surface.
- Expandable via Velcro.
- Handles for easy transportation.
- Only 3 color options.
Why we like this mat
Offering nearly the same benefits as the Tumbl Trak Junior mat, the ZENOVA gymnastics mat costs noticeably less. It may not be as durable, but if you are expecting your kid to quickly grow out of the mat, this might not even matter.
Things To Look For In The Gymnastics Mat For Home Use
Now that we are done with our gymnastics mat reviews, it’s time to talk about the features that you should be looking for when shopping for the best tumbling mats for home use.
Types of tumbling mats for home
Gymnastic mats come in different designs, which can impact their convenience for home use along with suitability for different types of training. Below is a description of common mat types.
Folding / Panel Mats
Folding or panel mats consist of several panels that are designed to be folded onto each other for storage. Compared to other mats, folding mats offer better space-efficiency.
As you could have noticed, all mats on our tumbling mat reviews are panel mats.
How space-efficient a folding mat is depends on the number of folding panels. The more panels a mat has, the smaller it will be while folded.
However, a higher number of panels will also make the mat taller while folded. A 2 inches thick mat with 2 panels will be just 4 inches tall while folded, while a 4-panel mat with the same thickness will be 8 inches tall. If you have very limited space for storage, this may matter to you.
Panel gymnastic mats also often have Velcro strips on the sides. The Velcro allows you to connect several mats to form a larger training surface.
In terms of comfort, protection, and durability, folding mats are no worse than other types. However, they do not have any special equipment or guiding lines to help with performing gymnastic movements, which is their main downside.
Cartwheel mats have foot and hand placement guides throughout their surface, which makes them excellent for beginners. The printed guides are mostly there to help gymnasts perform cartwheels (hence their name), though configurations for other movements may be available on the market as well.
Many cartwheel mats also have the so-called beam options where a thick straight guide is printed on the mat’s reverse side. This “beam” is used to practice beam balance, as well as improve movements performed on a beam.
Cartwheel gymnastics mats may be foldable just like panel mats, so they can also be pretty space-efficient.
Flexi-roll mats are designed to look and feel like competition floors. They aren’t as springy as real floors, but they offer a decent similarity – enough for you to get a feel of competition floors while training at home.
Flexi-roll mats can be rolled up, which perhaps makes them the most space-efficient gymnastic mat option out there. The not good thing about these mats is that there aren’t too many options available out there.
Incline mats are wedge-shaped gymnastic mats. These mats are also called cheese or wedge mats due to their shape.
The purpose of incline mats is to help beginner gymnasts do backward or forward rolls. Apart from that, these mats can help gymnasts develop body awareness.
On the other hand, it’s typically recommended avoiding performing difficult tricks on incline mats – this is because if you fall, you may injure yourself from the mat’s edges. So, incline mats are best for those who will be performing safer and simpler movements.
Incline mats are pretty bulky and less space-saving than other mat types. However, they’re not too bad because most wedge mats available out there can be folded.
RELATED POST: You may also like our reviews of Best Gymnastics Cheese Mats
Standard gymnastics mats are 1-3/8 inches thick. For many people, this thickness will provide sufficient cushioning. But if you are worried about impacts, then you could look for a thicker mat.
Adult mats are usually 1-3/8 to 2 inches thick, whereas kids’ mats can be as thick as 4 inches. A thicker mat will offer more cushioning and shock absorption.
If shopping for a thick mat, know that thicker mats can sometimes be too soft, making your hands and feet sink into the foam.
Manufacturers typically do what they can to ensure that their mats are equally firm no matter their thickness, but just to make sure, read user reviews to see how the desired mat has worked for people.
Most gymnastics mats intended for home use are sized at 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. For many people, this is going to be an ideal size – 8×4 feet mats are roomy enough for a wide variety of movements, and they also don’t occupy much space.
PRO TIP: The 4-feet-wide mats will be also a good choice for most gymnastics horizontal bars to serve as safety mats.
If you are looking for a kids’ gymnastics mat, then sizes like 6×2 or 6×3 feet should work great. You may go bigger if you want the mat to satisfy your child’s needs as they grow.
For maximum comfort and safety, we suggest that you go for the biggest mat that you can afford and that you can easily store. Pay attention to the dimensions of the desired mat both when folded and unfolded.
Some mats may also have Velcro strips on their side to allow you to expand the training surface.
Apart from checking whether a mat has Velcro or not, check where exactly they are situated. The most versatile mats will have two Velcro strips – one on the long and the other on the short side.
Some mats may only have a single Velcro on their long or short side, limiting your expansion abilities.
There’s not much choice when it comes to mat material – manufacturers generally use the same materials when making their gymnastic mats.
The core of tumbling mats is typically made from polyethylene (PE) foam. This material is fairly durable and provides an optimum amount of support and cushion.
The cover that encases the core is usually made from 18-ounce vinyl. These vinyl covers are mostly tear-resistant, non-absorbent, very easy to clean, and provide excellent traction.
With that said, some mats may have denim covers. Denim doesn’t sting as much as vinyl during high-impact landing, but it may be more difficult to clean than vinyl.
Gymnastics Mats – FAQ
Why are gymnastics mats so expensive?
Gymnastic mats are intended to take high impact and not break down through months and years of use. To ensure this, manufacturers use more durable materials than in other types of mats that are not designed for high-impact activities.
With that said, some gymnastic mats may cost more than others based on differences in material. Pricey mats are likely to last longer. So though a gymnastic mat is quite an investment, its benefits outweigh the costs.
Can you use a yoga mat for gymnastics?
You sure can, but you shouldn’t.
Yoga mats are not designed for high-impact exercises. Yoga practitioners do not perform backflips, cartwheels, aerials, throws, or other movements that put a lot of force onto the mat. No yoga mat will live long if regularly subjected to impact.
But even more importantly, yoga mats are much thinner than gymnastic mats – usually from 1/8 to 1/4 inches. This means that they cannot provide adequate cushioning upon impact, so you are very likely to injure yourself if you do a wrong movement on it.
What is a gymnastics mat made of?
Gymnastics mats have two main components – the core and the cover. The purpose of the core is to provide cushioning and support to you while performing gymnastic movements, while the cover is there to protect the core and provide better traction.
As mentioned in the guide above, the mat core is made from dense foam – typically polyethylene foam. The cover is mostly made from tear-resistant and non-absorbent 18-ounce vinyl. But since vinyl can sting you back upon impact, some covers are made from denim.
Best Gymnastics Mat For Home – Final Words
As final words, avoid very cheap gymnastics mats altogether. These will not deliver long-term value because they will likely wear out very quickly.
We think that the best gymnastics mat for home use would be a pricier one, like the one from We Sell Mats or Tumbl Trak. These are great, quality products that will not disappoint you. With that said, don’t forget to consider your needs and situation.
Though it would be great to have a higher-end mat, if you, say, expect your kid to grow out of it quickly, there may be no point in investing in a very expensive gym mat.
Last update on 2020-04-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API