For any budding gymnast or even an experienced tumbler, having a dedicated space to practice is invaluable. Gymnastics mats for home use provide that essential cushion and support, allowing for safe and comfortable practice sessions.
After all, if you’ve spent any time around a passionate gymnast, you’d know they can turn just about any space – including the living room furniture – into their personal gym! Investing in a quality mat not only safeguards the gymnast but also your furniture from the enthusiastic leaps, flips, and tumbles.
Best Mats for Home Practice: Our Top 5 Picks
- Gymnastics Folding Tumbling Mat – Great all around mat for home
- Cartwheel Beam Mat – Cartwheel on one side, beam guide on the other
- Dollarmur Flexi-Roll Mat – Get the feel of a competition floor at home
- Folding Incline Mat – Larger incline mats for more difficult skills
- Preschool Incline Mat – Smaller incline mats for beginners
- Bonus: Safe some money with Essential Tumbling Bundle
We recommend reading on for more detail before purchasing a mat for your gymnast’s home practices.
Why Do You Need a Gymnastics Mat at Home?
When you first think of a gymnast practicing at home, you might wonder, “Why the need for a mat?” Well, these mats are not just multipurpose tools for a gymnast; they are essential in creating a safe and productive environment. Here’s why:
- Versatile Practice Ground
Whether your gymnast is mastering the basics like rolls, cartwheels, and handstands, or progressing to advanced moves like standing back tucks and front tucks, the mat offers a conducive space. It’s not just about practicing; it’s about perfecting.
- More Than Just Gymnastics
The utility of a gymnastics mat isn’t restricted to tumbling. It’s a favorite spot for kids during slumber parties, playful activities, and yes, even for mom‘s yoga sessions.
- Safety First
Home is where we all feel safest, but standard home flooring isn’t designed for gymnastics spills and thrills. A gymnastics mat acts as a protective layer, safeguarding against unnecessary bruises and more serious injuries.
- Worthy Investment
Think of a gymnastics mat as a long-term investment. While there’s an upfront cost, the safety, durability, and encouragement it provides will prove its worth over time. And with proper care, these mats stand the test of time, even with daily rigorous use.
- Easy Maintenance
If you’re thinking, “Great, another item to clean,” fear not. Gymnastics mats are hassle-free when it comes to maintenance. A simple wipe down with water and periodic sanitization are all they require to remain fresh and germ-free.
- Boosting Confidence and Practice
A quality mat can make all the difference in motivating your gymnast to practice. It signifies a dedicated space for them, showing that you value and support their passion. By investing in the right mat, you’re not just providing a physical tool but also a boost in confidence.
What to Consider When Buying a Gymnastics Mat for Home Use
If you are considering buying a gymnastics mat for use at home, you need to make several considerations before making a purchase. We have listed the most important features of home mats to consider to help you get the mat you need and want.
1. Mat Thickness
- The thickness of the mat is crucial for ensuring optimal safety and functionality.
- Avoid mats that are too thin, as they won’t provide the necessary cushioning during falls or tumbles.
- Conversely, overly thick mats might interfere with practice as hands or feet could sink during stunts.
- A standard mat typically measures around 1 3/8” in thickness.
2. Mat Dimensions
- Think about where the mat will be placed at home and ensure it provides ample space for practicing various stunts.
- With various sizes available, finding the right fit for your space and gymnast’s needs should be feasible.
3. Skill Level
- Tailor your mat choice to the gymnast’s current skill level.
- Some mats are geared towards beginners and might not be safe or appropriate for more advanced gymnasts.
- Conversely, there are mats designed specifically for practicing advanced skills, while others are versatile enough for all skill levels.
- Mats designed for home use often come with convenient storage solutions.
- Depending on your space constraints, consider mats that can be folded, rolled, or even inflatable versions that can be deflated when not in use.
- The cost of gymnastics mats can vary widely based on size, material, brand, and other factors.
- While it’s essential to stay within your budget, remember that quality and safety should always be paramount. Investing a little more might pay off in terms of durability and enhanced safety.
Different Types of Gymnastics Mats You Can Get
There are many different types of mats to choose from when it comes to home use. The most popular mat types are described in detail below.
Tumbling Mats (a.k.a Folding or Panel Mats)
Tumbling mats, often referred to as folding or panel mats, are among the most popular gymnastics mats used both in gyms and homes. These mats come in various colors and sizes, with the advantage of being foldable for convenient storage.
A common size you’ll encounter is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. Another notable feature of these mats is the Velcro on the ends, which allows for the connection of multiple mats, thereby creating a longer surface for extended routines.
Our favorite pick in the folding mat category is the Tumbl Trak Tumbling Mat. It has just enough padding for tumbling, no slip, easily folds up and connects together if you have multiple units. Perfect for those series of tumbling routines.
Tumbl Trak stands out in durability and performance.. The mat comes in a range of sizes, from 4’x6′, 4’x8′ to 5’x10′, available in either 1-3/8″ or 2″ thickness. Expertly designed by gymnastics professionals in the USA, Tumbl Trak confidently backs their product with a 24-month warranty.
Cartwheel Beam Mats
A cartwheel beam mat is a great home mat option for a beginner or young gymnast. The mat is created with proper hand and feet placement that guides gymnasts in the proper way to do a cartwheel. Even after the gymnast has perfected the cartwheel, the mat can be used to practice handstands and handstand rolls.
Most cartwheel beam mats have a beam option as well. To use the beam option simply flip the mat over and you will find a practice beam. With this matted practice beam, a gymnast can practice beam balance skills and other skills that are normally performed on the beam.
Our top recommendation for this category is the Tumbl Trak Cartwheel Beam Mat. Designed with budding gymnasts in mind, this mat offers clear hand and foot graphics to guide and instill confidence in performing cartwheels. And its dual-purpose doesn’t end there; flip it over to reveal a 4-inch white line, ideal for balance beam practice.
Adhering to Tumbl Trak’s renowned standards, this mat is encased in a durable 18-ounce vinyl cover and is filled with medium-density 5/8” foam, ensuring longevity and safety. This mat is beneficial for beginners as it emphasizes the correct hand placement for cartwheels, accommodating both left and right-handed orientations.
Flexi-roll mats, often referred to as carpeted mats, are designed to emulate the feel of a competition floor. While they might not have the spring-loaded features of a typical competition floor, they come quite close in terms of texture and surface feel. One significant advantage of these mats is their rollable nature, making storage a breeze.
For those who want an authentic experience, we recommend Dollamur Flexi-Roll mats. Known for their precision and dedication to quality, Dollamur mats are favored at national level competitions, which speaks volumes about their reliability.
These mats combine the robustness of high-performance athletic sports foam with a plush, durable 26 oz. carpet, giving you the genuine feel of professional training facilities.
Dollamur stands out in its construction; the carpet is not just laid on top but bonded to the foam. This bonding not only enhances the strength of the foam but also ensures a better impact dispersion, providing a more responsive floor during practice.
And if you’re thinking about the logistics, setting up is straightforward — unroll, and you’re ready to go. When done, just roll it back up and store vertically, occupying less than an 18″ square area. It’s perfect for home training sessions or for setting up a quick practice area anywhere.
As an added assurance, these mats are made in the USA and come with a one-year warranty. Available in dimensions of 3′ x 6′ and 5’ x 10’ with a 1 – 3/8″ thickness.
Incline mats, often referred to as cheese mats or wedges, serve as an invaluable tool for young gymnasts learning rolls—be it forwards or backwards. These mats offer a safe gradient which helps in building body awareness while reducing stress on the body during the learning phase.
Incline mats are not recommended for advanced skills due to the risk of injury. If a gymnast is looking for a gymnastics mat for home use designed for more difficult skills, it’s better to purchase a larger incline mat.
Below are our top picks for incline mats suited to various levels of learners.
Preschool Incline Mats:
- Tumbl Trak Folding Mini Ramp
- Ideal for young gymnasts, cheerleaders, or dancers.
- Foldable design for diverse applications like uphill vaulting, transition training on bars, and basic floor tumbling.
- Velcro flap for secure uphill or downhill use; also secures the mat into a block.
- White center line for guided, straight tumbling.
- Heavy-duty handles for easy transport.
- AAI Incline Mat
- High-density foam covered in vibrant 18 oz. vinyl.
- Foldable wedges double as spotting blocks.
- Available with either a firm or soft top layer for a tailored learning experience.
Intermediate Incline Mats:
- Versatile for progressive skill building in gymnastics, cheer, and acro dance.
- Designed for a range of skills like kickovers, walkovers, and back handsprings.
- Velcro flap on the high end to secure the mat when folded, aiding in shoulder flexibility, bridges, or core body control exercises.
- Available in three sizes and colors, each equipped with heavy-duty handles.
- Slope ranging from 1” to 12” in height.
- Large working surface of 30” wide x 72” long.
- Foldable for easy storage and enhanced versatility.
Essential Tumbling Bundle
If you’re looking to get more value for your investment, Tumbl Trak’s Essential Tumbling Bundle is a worthy consideration. This bundle brings together two fundamental pieces of tumbling equipment: an Incline Mat and a Tumbling Folding Mat, available in your preferred size and color.
By opting for this bundle, you save money compared to purchasing the mats separately.
Other Uses of Gymnastics Mats
Contrary to the name, gymnastics mats are not just for gymnasts. In fact, this type of mat can come in handy for many sports and activities. For instance, wrestlers, dancers, and cheerleaders can make use of a gymnastic mat in their home.
The most popular type of mat for a wrestler, dancer, cheerleader, and gymnast to use in the same home would be the folding or paneled mat. Since paneled and folded gymnastics mats can be fastened together to make a larger surface, they are perfect for use for many different activities
We hope you find this guide helpful!