The 10 Best Gymnastics Mats for Kids 2021

The 10 Best Gymnastics Mats for Kids 2021

Let’s face it: it’s hard to keep kids entertained. You may be looking for toys or games to help your child have some fun, but why not get them something that will encourage fitness and flexibility too?

Buying your child a gymnastics mat is a great way to get them to exercise more, but if you take a quick look at the options on the market today, you may find that making a decision is harder than you thought. You shouldn’t worry, though, because we’re here to help you find the right gymnastics mat for your child. Let’s get started!

What Makes a Good Gymnastics Mat for Kids?

Gymnastics mats may seem like an easy purchase to make, but there are several factors to consider when making your decision. We’ve ranked our product recommendations in this guide based on these factors.

  • Convenience: It’s always nice to have a gymnastics mat that makes storage and transportation easy, as it’s not typically something you just leave out. Some mats include handles for easy carrying, or are lightweight or foldable. Finally, mats that are easy to clean make maintenance less of a hassle, which is especially useful for children’s mats as children tend to be messier.
  • Comfort: If you’re buying a gymnastics mat for your child, you’ll want one that provides ample cushioning for all of their rolls and falls. A thickness of 1-2” is sufficient, provided that the material gives your child the necessary cushion and support.
  • Durability: Gymnastics mats can be an expensive purchase, so you should choose those that are more likely to endure years of regular use. It’s better to get one that’s stretch and puncture-resistant. Kids can be hard on their toys, and gymnastics mats are no different.
  • Versatility: Gymnastics mats can actually be used for several sports in addition to the one’s they are marketed for. You’ll want to find a mat that works for multiple activities so your child has some variety in their exercise sessions. Some mats also have Velcro or hooks on their edges so you can link several of them together and provide more mat space for your child.

Types of Gymnastics Mats

Gymnastics mats that are suitable for kids come in a wide variety of types, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and ideal uses.

Panel

Also referred to as folded mats, panel mats extend across several panels and can be found in many colors and sizes. They’re useful for a wide range of activities from gymnastics to stretching to martial arts. They can also be folded up and put away when not in use if you want to clear up some floor space for a bit.

Cartwheel

As you’d likely guess, these mats are intended to help kids practice their cartwheels. They include marked spots for hand and foot placement so young gymnasts can perfect their cartwheeling technique. Many of these mats have a beamline on the other side so kids can practice their balance.

Flexi-Roll

This mat type is easily the premium option as it offers a high-quality foam surface and is made to imitate the feel of a competition floor. It’s a great choice for experienced, professional gymnasts – but there is no reason a beginner couldn’t get good use out of them. These mats can also be easily rolled up and stored away since they don’t have panels.

Incline

Also referred to as cheese wedge mats due to their shape, these mats are great for practicing tumbling and rolls. They come in different sizes, lengths, and colors. You should carefully consider what size and length of mat you want to buy. The right size and length for your child depends on their age and height.

Puzzle

These get their name from their appearance as they resemble puzzle pieces. They come in bundles and fit together easily. Puzzle mats don’t provide as much cushioning as other types, but they’re a good choice if you don’t want a thick mat. They still pad the ground and make slips and falls less dangerous, plus they work well for indoor or outdoor use. They can be pieced together to create unique shapes and floor patterns too.

Now that we’ve discussed the types of children’s gymnastics mats and what qualities you should look for in them, let’s take a look at the 10 best gymnastics mats for kids available today! In our full guide below, we’ll go into more detail about how to find the right mat for your needs.

Top 10 Best Gymnastics Mats for Kids 2021

1. Best Overall Mat: ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat

ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat

Why we like it: If you’re looking for great all-around performance at a reasonable price, the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat is the way to go.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 6’x2’x1.5”

The ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat offers strong performance across the board. Its tri-fold design makes storage easy, and the two carrying handles on the side allow for simple transportation. The vinyl surface is also easy to clean, and provides plenty of cushion while remaining firm. When you factor in the wide array of activities the mat can be used for and its resilience, it’s easy to see why it’s a fantastic gymnastics mat for kids.

If the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold has any drawbacks, it’s the mat’s limited color options. It comes in gray, black, blue, purple or pink. While this isn’t the worst selection, there are other mats that provide greater variety.

Convenience

Like we mentioned before, the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold is remarkably user-friendly due to its tri-fold design and carrying handles which provide easy storage and transportation. Add in the ease of cleaning the mat’s vinyl surface, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more convenient choice.

Comfort

The expanded polyethylene (aka EPE) foam inside the mat is firm but comfortable. It’s made to protect the user’s joints so your child’s knees, hips, wrists and elbows are less likely to suffer injury.

Durability

The mat’s thick, strong foam interior keeps its shape over time and the vinyl surface is tear and stretch-resistant. That being said, the vinyl is somewhat thin and might not last under lots of heavy use, though that might not be an issue for your child.

Versatility

The ProsourceFit Tri-Fold works for lots of activities including child gymnastics, yoga, wrestling, core workouts, martial arts, tumbling and stretching so your child is unlikely to get bored and will find plenty of uses for it.

Pros

  • Easy to store and transport
  • Strikes a great balance between firmness and comfort
  • Resilient foam interior is made to last
  • Can be used for many different kinds of physical activity

Cons

  • Not the best color selection
  • Thin surface may not stand up to repeated heavy use

2. Best Premium Mat: Giantex Incline Gymnastics Mat

Giantex Incline Gymnastics Mat

Why we like it: There’s no better choice than the Giantex Incline Gymnastics Mat for those who want a great incline mat for their kids.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Incline
  • Dimensions: Varies depending on the size

The Giantex Incline Gymnastics Mat is both convenient and durable. It has two carrying handles on each side and can be folded into a cube-like shape either for storage or so your child can use it for other activities. The mat is also intended to retain its firmness and shape over a long period of time. It’s made for frequent use and won’t get damaged easily.

The only major downside regarding the Giantex Mat is that it’s easy to order the wrong size. The mat is mostly made for smaller children, and you should buy the largest size if you’re shopping for a child that’s 5 years old or older. Your child won’t get much use out of the mat if it’s too small for them.

If you want a mat that will provide your child with more space and is large enough for bigger kids, consider the BalanceFrom All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat.

Convenience

Like other options on this list, the Giantex Mat has carrying handles and is foldable. You can easily clean the outer PVC material with a wet cloth, and the zippers on the mat’s sides let you change its padding whenever you want. You can also remove the padding so you can more easily clean the other layer.

Comfort

The mat’s interior contains high-density EPE foam which gives firm but comfortable support.

Durability

The EPE foam’s resilience ensures that the mat retains its firmness over time. The mat doesn’t scrape easily and its strong stitching is tear-resistant.

Versatility

As we mentioned before, incline mats are a great piece of equipment for tumbling, rolls and other forms of gymnastics. However, they’re also great for stretching and yoga, so they won’t run out of uses for the Giantex Mat. Although they make some activities better, they’re not as general-purpose as other mats on this list.

Just take a close look at the mat’s measurements before you make your purchase so you don’t get one that’s too small for your child. It comes in a small, medium or large size, so choose carefully.

Pros

  • Easy to store, transport and clean
  • Resists scrapes and tears
  • Resilient EPE foam interior

Cons

  • Mostly made for smaller kids
  • Incline mats are more specific in their use than general mats

3. Best Budget Mat: BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Exercise Mat

BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Exercise Mat

Why we like it: The BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Exercise Mat gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It offers you excellent quality at a low price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 6’x2’x2”

The mat offers many of the same great features that other products on this list have, including carrying handles and a tri-fold design that allows for easy storage and transportation. It also takes little time to wash and is surprisingly durable considering its price. Finally, the mat’s 2” thickness gives your child enough padding for all their tumbles and falls.

If there is one area where the BalanceFrom Mat’s low-budget nature becomes obvious, it’s the seams. The stitching can fall apart rather quickly at times, and in extreme cases the mat can split into two pieces. Luckily, the product comes with a 2-year warranty in case you come across these kinds of issues.

If you want a mat that shares many of the same benefits but doesn’t have the aforementioned seam problem, take a look at the Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat.

Convenience

Thanks to the BalanceFrom Mat’s light weight, carrying handles and foldable 3-panel design, neither you nor your child will have trouble storing or transporting it. The non-absorbent vinyl surface can be easily washed with soap and water, so any maintenance will be quick and your child will be back to tumbling in no time.

Comfort

The 2” of firm, high-density EPE foam is enough to cushion your child’s joints while they’re practicing their moves.

Durability

This is the only area where the BalanceFrom Mat seriously falters. On the one hand, it’s remarkably resilient and the vinyl surface is puncture-resistant. On the other hand, the stitching isn’t always the best and there’s a chance the seams can come undone while the mat is in use. If this occurs, contact the manufacturer and exercise the product’s 2-year warranty.

Versatility

The BalanceFrom Mat is great for children’s gymnastics, but it can also be used for yoga, Pilates, aerobics and martial arts.

Pros

  • Easy storage and transportation
  • Easy to wash with soap and water
  • Provides plenty of cushion/padding

Cons

  • Stitching can be weak

4. Best Puzzle Mat: BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat

BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat

Why we like it: When it comes to well-rounded performance from a puzzle mat, the BalanceFrom Mat wins the top prize. It also lets you customize the shape and size of your child’s gymnastics area, so they get just the right amount of space.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Puzzle
  • Dimensions: 24”x24” (per tile); thicknesses of ½”, ¾”, and 1” available

The BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat boasts solid performance in each of our categories, and since you build it yourself out of the puzzle pieces, you can make a gymnastics area for your child that’s whatever size you want. The mat is available in several different thicknesses and with various quantities of tiles and border pieces, so you can buy exactly the amount you need. We recommend you buy tiles with a 1” thickness since, as we stated in this guide’s introduction, 1-2” of thickness is best for your child’s safety.

The BalanceFrom Mat’s greatest negative is that it’s sometimes easy for holes, scratches and tears to appear. There are also occasional slight differences in thickness between tiles from the same set, which can make balancing on the mats more difficult. The mat only comes in black, gray or blue, which isn’t the widest selection of colors and not particularly kid-friendly.

Convenience

The BalanceFrom Mat excels here since the tiles are small and lightweight enough to make storage and transportation easy. Cleaning is also a breeze: just use soap and water! Assembly is literally putting together puzzle pieces, so you’ll have your child’s gymnastics space set up in no time! And it can be interactive and great fun to do with your child.

Comfort

The tiles remain sturdy thanks to their high-density EVA foam, but they still provide lots of cushion for your child’s joints when they practice gymnastics. The top surface is slip-resistant as well, which improves the user’s balance.

Durability

The BalanceFrom Mat is a mixed bag in this category. The tiles can endure months of heavy use and their strong interlocking means they won’t separate in the middle of a gymnastics routine. However, it’s sometimes easy for holes and tears to appear. Luckily, the manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty.

Versatility

Your child has plenty of options for using the BalanceFrom Mat besides gymnastics. With the tiles’ strength and support, a child can safely perform all kinds of fun activities on them.

Pros

  • Easy storage, transportation and cleaning
  • Comfortable but still sturdy
  • Interlocking keeps tiles firmly together
  • Good for lots of activities besides gymnastics

Cons

  • Occasional irregularities in thickness between tiles
  • Holes and tears appear easily
  • Only available in three colors

5. BalanceFrom All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat

BalanceFrom All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat

Why we like it: If you want a massive, well-cushioned gymnastics mat that gives your child lots of space to perform their routines or you want to dedicate an entire room for gymnastics practice, then the BalanceFrom All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat is your best choice.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 4’x10’x2”

The BalanceFrom All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat takes up a whopping 40 square feet, and that’s only if you don’t use the Velcro on its ends to attach several of these mats in a row. It covers all of that floor space with a firm but comfortable surface that’s suitable for gymnastics and many other sports. The All-Purpose Mat is a great way to give your child a large, safe space to practice their moves.

The product’s most serious disadvantage is its stitching. Sometimes the stitching holds up well, but on other occasions the seams can fall apart even if the mat is brand-new. Make sure you use the 2-year warranty if you encounter any severe issues.

For a product with similar benefits but without the BalanceFrom’s seam problem, check out the Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat.

Convenience

Like other BalanceFrom products, the All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat has carrying handles and a foldable design (4 panels) for hassle-free storage and transportation. It can also be washed easily with soap and water.

Comfort

The mat’s high-density EPE foam is firm yet comfortable enough to break falls and greatly reduce the risk of pain or soreness after intense exercise.

Durability

As with other products from this brand, the All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat has a mixed record regarding longevity. It’s puncture-resistant and the vinyl surface is securely fitted with minimal slack. However, it shares the seam problems of its fellow BalanceFrom products since the stitching can sometimes come apart on new mats. If the stitching on your mat fails, send BalanceFrom a picture of the destroyed stitching and exercise the product’s 2-year warranty to have them send you a replacement.

Versatility

The All-Purpose Gymnastics Mat certainly lives up to its name. In addition to gymnastics, it works well for yoga, aerobics, Pilates, martial arts and other activities. You can also use the Velcro straps on the mat’s ends to attach other mats and create an even larger gymnastics space.

Pros

  • Easy storage, transportation and cleaning
  • Padding is firm but comfortable
  • Works well for many different activities
  • Provides lots of space for kids to practice gymnastics

Cons

  • Seams might fall apart easily

6. Best Cartwheel Gymnastics Mat: Z Athletic Cartwheel Practice Mat

Z Athletic Cartwheel Practice Mat

Why we like it: If your little one is having trouble getting their cartwheels right and you want a mat that will help them out, look no further. The Z Athletic Cartwheel Practice Mat is great at helping kids perfect this essential gymnastics move.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Cartwheel
  • Dimensions: 2’x6’x1.5”

Cartwheels can be intimidating for a beginner gymnast, but the Z Athletic Cartwheel Practice Mat is here to help. One side of the mat has imprints that show your child where to put their hands and feet when they’re doing right or left-handed cartwheels. The other side has a beam drawn down the middle, which helps your child practice their balance.

As for negatives, the mat does have a strong rubber or plastic smell when it’s brand-new. You can lay it out and wait for the odor to disappear over time, leave the mat outside to air it out, or wipe it with a lemon/water mixture.

Convenience

The Z Athletic Mat can be easily cleaned with soap, water and a washcloth as the vinyl surface is nonporous, but most cleaners also work. It doesn’t fold or have any carrying handles, however, so it’s a bit harder to store and transport than other mats.

Comfort

The mat offers enough padding for your young gymnast’s falls while they practice their cartwheels. The gentle open-cell polyethylene foam interior and vinyl covering create a soft, cushioned surface.

Durability

The vinyl surface is mildew and puncture-resistant, so the Z Athletic Mat is built to last.

Versatility

The mat is intended to help beginner gymnasts improve their cartwheels, and it more than achieves that goal. Kids can also use it to practice handstands and somersaults. Its softness may be a detriment to those who want a firmer mat as mats that are too soft don’t provide gymnasts with the support they need. However, the Z Athletic Mat strikes the right balance for most users, and instructors might consider having new students try it first so they have an extra-safe training space.

Pros

  • Great at helping kids get their cartwheels right and improve their balance
  • Easy to clean
  • Plenty of cushioning to break falls

Cons

  • Strong smell when brand-new requires you to air the mat out or wipe it down
  • Lacks some of the convenience features found in other mats

7. Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat

Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat

Why we like it: The Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat is another fantastic all-around mat that covers lots of floor space. Between its large area, reliable performance, and great price, it’s a safe choice.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 4’x10’x2”

The Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat square footage rivals or matches the other large mats on this list. Additionally, Polar Aurora is frequently acclaimed for its superb customer service, providing reimbursements and/or replacement products to users who inform them when their ordered mats don’t arrive or they show up damaged.

If the Polar Aurora Gymnastics Mat has any serious downside, it’s that the PU leather covering can be punctured by dog or cat claws. Make sure you keep it away from any sharp-clawed pets.

If you want a great panel mat that’s less likely to get its surface torn, take a look at the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat.

Convenience

Like many products on this list, the Polar Aurora Mat is foldable (4 panels), lightweight, and has carrying handles, so storage and transportation won’t be an issue. The polyurethane (PU) leather covering is non-absorbent and easy to clean. Finally, the mat comes in over a dozen different color schemes so you can choose one that matches the décor.

Comfort

The mat’s high-density EPE foam is soft and comfortable, but firm. The PU leather cover provides a smooth surface. The mat is safe for children to use as the 2” thickness provides plenty of cushion for your little gymnast’s tumbles and rolls.

Durability

The aforementioned covering is durable enough to withstand months of daily use with no signs of wear, and the interior foam is made to last. However, the covering can be punctured by sharp objects including cat or dog claws.

Versatility

The mat works for all sorts of activities including gymnastics, yoga, dancing, stretching, wrestling, martial arts, Pilates, and general exercise. There’s also Velcro on both ends of the mat so you can attach several of them together.

Pros

  • Manufacturer provides excellent customer service
  • Easy storage, transportation and cleaning
  • Soft but firm surface is great for children’s gymnastics
  • Works well for many different activities
  • You get lots of square footage for your money

Cons

  • Covering can get punctured by dog/cat nails

8. We Sell Mats Exercise Mat

We Sell Mats Exercise Mat

Why we like it: The We Sell Mats Exercise Mat gives you lots of cushion for your child, a durable foam interior, and an easily-cleaned surface.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 4’x6’x2” (also available in 4’x8’x2” and 4’x10’x2”)

We Sell Mats Exercise Mat is a reasonably priced quality mat for your child. It comes in three sizes, each with a 2” thickness that simultaneously provides enough firmness for exercise and sufficient cushion for kids. Like other options on this list, it’s easy to store, transport and clean the mat.

With performance this solid across the board, it can be difficult to find any serious issues with the We Sell Mats Exercise Mat. That said, the mat’s range of color choices is okay, but not great. Other mats offer more color variety so you can find one that fits your child’s playroom.

Convenience

The We Sell Mats Exercise Mat is lightweight, foldable (4 panels), and has carrying handles. The vinyl surface makes cleaning easy since you can just wipe off any liquid that is spilled on the mat and/or apply soapy water every now and again for regular maintenance.

Comfort

The 2” thick vinyl surface does a great job protecting the user’s joints and striking a balance between cushion and firmness. The mat provides plenty of padding for children’s gymnastics, and it’s also firm enough to support bodyweight exercise.

Durability

The cross-linked polyethylene foam interior is made to endure bodyweight exercise and the vinyl surface is heavy-duty and tear-resistant.

Versatility

As we mentioned before, the We Sell Mats Exercise Mat is soft enough to keep kids safe when they practice gymnastics, but it also has the firmness needed for bodyweight exercises. You’ll find plenty of uses for the mat, especially since you can use the Velcro on its ends to attach several mats and create a larger gymnastics or workout space.

Pros

  • Easy to store, transport and clean
  • Soft enough for children’s gymnastics
  • Firm enough for bodyweight exercise and other activities
  • Tear-resistant vinyl surface

Cons

  • Color selection is fine but could be better

9. Giantex Gymnastics Mat

Giantex Gymnastics Mat

Why we like it: The Giantex Gymnastics Mat is a large, premium panel mat. It’s expensive, but it justifies the price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Panel
  • Dimensions: 4’x10’x2”

The Giantex Gymnastics Mat is a well-rounded choice, which makes it ideal for home gymnastics. It has the same user-friendly features as other mats on this list, and it’s soft and thick enough to cushion your child’s tumbles and falls when they practice their moves.

The mat’s major shortcoming is its durability. The 2” layer of high-density EPE foam is highly resilient and firm, but its PU leather covering, carrying handle, and seams are a different story.

Convenience

Like other products on this list, the Giantex Gymnastics Mat is lightweight and has a 4-panel foldable design, a carrying handle and an easy-to-clean, waterproof surface. Storage, transportation and cleaning won’t be a problem.

Comfort

The mat is really comfortable, providing softness without compromising on firmness. It’s firm, but also soft enough for cushioning falls. Kids can even sleep on it if they want!

Durability

The Giantex Gymnastics Mat’s greatest strength here is its high-density EPE foam, which is well-built to remain firm over time. Unfortunately, it can fall short in other aspects of its construction.

While the manufacturer markets the PU leather covering as wear-resistant, its effectiveness is a mixed bag. At times the 0.6 mm covering withstands months of frequent use, but sometimes it can tear. The same is true for the handles, which sometimes get ripped off easily. The seams can also quickly stretch or come apart. We should mention that many people won’t encounter these issues at all, but they have been known to occur.

Versatility

The mat has many uses including children’s gymnastics, Pilates, stretching, yoga, martial arts, and general exercise. You can also attach several mats together to create a larger fitness area.

Pros

  • Easy to store, transport and clean
  • Remains firm but is soft enough to cushion falls
  • Foam interior keeps its resilience over time

Cons

  • Handles, seams and PU leather surface sometimes tear or fall apart easily

10. Best Flexi-Roll Mat: Dollamur Flexi-Roll Mat

Dollamur Flexi-Roll Mat

Why we like it: For those who want a giant mat that imitates the feel of the competition floor, the Dollamur Flexi-Roll is the way to go. It’s a great choice if your child wants to seriously pursue gymnastics.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Flexi-Roll
  • Dimensions: 5’x10’x1-3/8”

We’ve shown you lots of great gymnastics mats on this list, but the Dollamur Flexi-Roll Mat is the only one that can bring an accurate representation of a studio or competition floor into your home. It’s one of the largest mats we’ve discussed, but it remains lightweight. Plus, its lack of panels means it’s easy to roll up and store when you’re not using it.

As for downsides, the Dollamur doesn’t come with any accessories to attach it to other mats. The manufacturer will throw in a strip of Velcro, but only if you buy the 10’x10’ mat. Otherwise, you’ll have to get the Velcro somewhere else. The mat’s surface can also be slippery at first, so your child shouldn’t wear socks until they’ve broken it in. Rubbing chalk onto their hands and feet is also a good idea.

Convenience

One of the Dollamur Mat’s best features is that it can be easily rolled up for storage since it lacks panels. It has a strap you can fasten once the mat is rolled up, which makes transportation easier. It’s also surprisingly lightweight for its size.

Comfort

The mat is sufficiently soft, but not at the expense of firmness. The surface can be slippery on brand-new mats, so your child should practice their moves while barefoot and apply chalk to their hands and feet until the mat is broken in.

Durability

The Dollamur Mat’s cross-linked polyethylene foam is shock-absorbent, resilient, and allows the surface to handle repeated compression. The foam also maintains its size and softness over time.

Versatility

Given its massive size, the Dollamur Mat is a great training area for all sorts of gymnastics moves. It can also be used for other activities like yoga or general exercise.

Pros

  • Great for gymnasts who want to practice for competitions
  • Lightweight and easy to roll up
  • Large mat size means your child has plenty of practice room

Cons

  • No Velcro or other attachment devices included to link multiple mats together
  • Surface can be slippery at first

Everything You Need to Know About Gymnastics Mats for Kids

young girl doing back stretch

As we’ve discussed, there’s no shortage of great gymnastics mats for kids on the market today. However, you might still wonder whether or not buying one is the right decision for you, and if it is, which one you should purchase. In this section, we’ll tackle those questions head-on and also discuss how to properly maintain your mat of choice.

How to Find the Right Gymnastics Mat for You

By now, you know that choosing a gymnastics mat requires several considerations, including what moves your child needs to practice and their skill level.

Practice

If you want a mat for general gymnastics practice, then a panel mat is the best. Consider the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat or the BalanceFrom Tri-Fold Exercise Mat.

Tumbling

If your child needs to work on their tumbling or rolls, think about buying them an incline mat. The Giantex Incline Gymnastics Mat is the best choice for this variety. For cartwheels or handstands, you’ll want a mat like the Z Athletic Cartwheel Practice Mat.

Competition

Let’s say your child already has some gymnastics experience, and they want a mat that will help them practice to perform at a competitive level. In that case, go with a Flexi-Roll mat like the Dollamur Flexi-Roll Mat.

Flexibility

Lastly, if you want a mat that lets you change its dimensions, go for a puzzle mat. We recommend the BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat if you want this variety.

Benefits of Kids Having a Gymnastics Mat

If you buy your child a gymnastics mat as a gift, they’re more likely to practice at home and get more exercise. Any form of regular exercise or sports significantly improves a child’s health, and gymnastics is no different.

Regular gymnastics training yields an abundance of health benefits including better flexibility, motor skills, posture, balance, coordination, cognitive functioning, self-esteem and bone and muscle health.

As you’ve probably gathered from the list we just mentioned, the benefits your child can enjoy from gymnastics are by no means limited to their physical health. As this article explains, gymnasts also tend to have improved social skills, self-esteem, and work ethic.

Clearly, gymnastics does wonders for long-term health, and the sooner your child starts their lessons, the sooner they can start reaping the rewards we’ve just mentioned.

How to Clean a Gymnastics Mat

Obviously, gymnastics mats will occasionally need cleaning as more people use and sweat on them. As mats get dirtier, they accumulate more bacteria and can spread germs, viruses and other diseases if they’re left uncleaned for too long.

The cleaning processes you should use for your mat depends on what type you have. Luckily, most methods are fairly simple, and some of the products we’ve discussed only need soap and water to stay clean. Read the directions for any disinfecting product or sanitizer you use before applying it and test it out on a small portion of the mat’s surface before you use it on the entire mat.

Vinyl Mats

This method works for every mat type with a vinyl covering except puzzle mats.

  • First, sweep or gently vacuum the surface to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Next, dampen a rag in soap and water and wipe the mat’s surface. Make sure you don’t use too much water or it’ll seep into the foam layer and cause mold or mildew to appear.
  • For extra protection against disease, you can also use a disinfectant product. Just don’t use any product with chlorine as this can damage the mat.
  • Give the mat time to air dry before it’s used again.

Make sure you don’t forget to sweep/clean/disinfect the crevices between each panel if you’re doing this for a panel mat.

Puzzle Mats

This method is similar to the one for vinyl mats except for the second step.

  • First, sweep or gently vacuum the surface to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Next, carefully take the mat apart, one piece at a time, and lay each piece out on the floor.
  • Use a rag dampened with soap and water to wipe down each piece’s surface. Be sure to get the edges and sides as well. Then, spray or wipe the same areas with a disinfectant product.
  • Give the pieces time to air dry, then flip them over and repeat the last step for the other side of each piece.

Carpet Mats

This method should be used for Flexi-Roll mats as they sometimes have a carpeted surface. You should approach cleaning these mats like you would a regular carpet.

  • First, sweep or gently vacuum the surface to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Next, use a carpet shampoo to sanitize the mat.
  • Give the mat time to air dry before it’s used again.

Time to Get Tumbling!

There’s no shortage of fantastic gymnastics mats on the market today that would be perfect for the young athlete in your household. All you have to do is find one that fits your needs, and you’ll have given your child a gift that will encourage them to exercise and lead a more active lifestyle. Not to mention, it’ll make finding something for them to do when they’re bored a bit easier. Good luck!