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Gymnastic mats are a specialized need, of course – the average person wouldn’t really have a need for such a product. If you currently have a child enrolled in gymnastic classes, this would be an ideal purchase to make; having the ability to hone their skills at home could prove to be quite beneficial in the future. If you want to give your little ones the opportunity to better themselves (or just need some gymnastic mats to use for yourself!), this review article is going to help you out quite a bit. The toughest part has to be identifying the difference between a lackluster gymnastic mat and a good one, something in which newcomers find rather difficult.
Every single gymnastic mat you come across isn’t going to be identical, there are subtle differences that only a seasoned veteran can spot (that might be a little over-the-top, but there are indeed differences to look out for). Some mats are going to be designed for children alone, whereas others are going to delve into other territories (in terms of age). I don’t want you going into this with the idea that these mats are only good for children, as they’re the type of mats you’ll see in martial arts gyms all over the world. They’re convenient, and most of the time, very affordable – which is why they’re such a popular choice.
What Makes Them Good?
When you’re trying to identify the perfect fit, there are many different things to be looked at. If you don’t take all of these factors into consideration before making the purchase, odds are you’ll be left with a mat that doesn’t meet your requirements. If you were to use these gymnastic mats for wrestling purposes, you may want to look out for a thicker build – the materials themselves are going to be a big deal as well. Take it from someone who has purchased plenty of gymnastic mats in the past, you really don’t want to cut corners in this situation! I’m going to go through what I think are the most important factors in a gymnastic mat, and you can use that information as you please. One thing to remember though, is that we all have personal preferences; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (and so on and so forth).
Materials – The materials used in the manufacturing process are important, as they’ll determine how durable your gymnastic mat is going to be. You don’t want a gymnastic mat that’s going to break down after a few weeks of usage, as that’s just not practical. Going about buying brand new gymnastic mats every single month or two is costly! When the materials are proper, there’s no need to worry about durability issues.
Pricing – We all aren’t wealthy, and expendable income doesn’t work its way into the picture. The cheaper options should more than likely be avoided, but that doesn’t mean you need the most deluxe product on the market right now. If you can find the perfect balance of pricing and material quality, you’ll find the most ideal fit possible. However, If you’re a connoisseur, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be willing to spend a bit of extra cash.
Size – The size is going to vary greatly, and it’s probably one of the more important traits to look at. If the mat you’re purchasing is too small, you’ll have to buy a few of them; but in most cases they’ll have a Velcro connection system anyways. That’s something for the next trait tree we’re going to look at, which is (of course)..
Features – Does the mat feature a Velcro connection system? If so, are they located on all 4 sides to ensure maximum connection potential? Some mats will feature one panel, and others will go as high as 4 panels; some may even feature more! I’ve yet to see higher than that, but you never know I suppose!
Those are 4 main traits that I would look at before even considering making a purchase, and hopefully you agree with me! There’s probably more, but these are the main components that go into a gymnastics mat – by keeping them in mind throughout the purchase process, you should be good in terms of buying the right item.
My Top 5 Gymnastic Mat Picks
I’ve compiled a list of gymnastic mats that I feel like meet my standards in every single aspect, so they should be good to go in regards to making a purchase. Like I said before, most of this stuff is about personal preference – what I enjoy may not fit your suit exactly. If it does though, that’s perfect! We’re on the same boat.
This gymnastics mat is 8” x 48” x 30” (HxLxW) in closed dimensions, making it a decent size for just about anybody out there. Whether you’re looking to keep the floors of your children’s playroom safe, or just want a quirky gymnastics mat for practice, this is a reasonable product to consider. Each individual panel sports a dimension of 4’ x 2.5’ and is 2” thick, which is more than suitable enough for most uses. The materials used here are a PU leather, one of the more common cover materials used; it makes the cleaning process a very easy one to handle. The mat is 10-feet of exercising fun! It folds to a quarter of the size with a sewn in handle included, just in case you need to do any transporting of your own.
It’s ideal for Yoga, Pilates and pretty much any other kind of floor exercise you could have in mind. It’s never a good idea to conduct in these exercised on a hard floor, as it’s going to cause knee and back problems at some point. Do yourself a favor and use a proper gymnastics mat from the very beginning! The pricing is quite fair on this product as well, which is something I enjoyed. Here’s a quick overview of the specs and features before we move onto the next choice:
∙ Dimensions – 8” x 48” x 30” (closed) & 10’ x 4’ (2” thick – flat)
∙ Folds to a ¼ of the size
∙ Sewn-in handle for storage and transportation purposes
∙ PU Leather, making it easy to clean
∙ Colorful and priced just right!
∙ A lot of space to work with
Like I expressed initially, these mats are great for many different activities. It’s awesome for tumbling, gymnastics, yoga and even martial arts! Floor exercised of all types will be comfortable with the use of this mat, and it also folds up for storage purposes. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a sewn-in handle with this choice as well – it seems like that’s a very popular feature to include within! They used EPE foam to pad this mat, which makes it a little more comfortable and impact-bracing than others. The PU leather cover is easy to clean, but minimizes breathability – although this is the most common cover you’ll see with these products.
There are 4 individual panels to look at, with a total dimension of 4’ x 8’ x 2”. The panels are built to be fire retardant, and feature eco-friendly materials as well. If you wanted to go the green route, this could be a viable option! It’s not on the pricey side, which means you could purchase a few of these and still be happy (if need be). It comes in blue or a mat that has various colours for each panel, which is perfect for children! A quick overview of the features:
∙ Dimensions – 4’ x 8’ x 2”
∙ PU Leather cover for easy-cleaning
∙ 2-inch thick epe foam (high density)
∙ 4-Panels included
∙ Perfect for all floor exercises
∙ Built with quality in mind
Everlast is a company that is known to support boxing to the fullest, and they hold quite a few sponsorship in that sport. Everlast is pretty much industry-standard when it comes to boxing gear, and that goes for folding mats as well. These mats are good for any sort of fighting sport, which means that kickboxing or even wrestling would apply in terms of usage. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is another sport growing in popularity, and gyms all over the world dream of mats like this!
It’s a very durable mat, sporting a very thick foam (much thicker than any of the previous gymnastic mats we’ve already looked at). It measures 72 inches long, as well as 24 inches wide – it folds for easy storage and features a sewn-in handle for carrying purposes.
∙ Dimensions – 2’ x 6’ exercise mat
∙ Very thick
∙ Foldable design
∙ Sewn-in handle
∙ Durable materials
∙ Manufactured by a very reputable company!
This is the perfect definition of a gymnastics mat, as it’s sports a very playful colour scheme. Not only that, but it’s just as thick as some of the better ones we’ve looked at today. The cheap price throws people off most of the time, but that shouldn’t be the case at all! This is a high-quality product being offered at a very reasonable price. The quality of materials being used here is stellar, and they even talk about how high-quality everything is on their website.
They use 18z knife-coated vinyl and EVA for the construction process, which creates a very comfortable (yet durable) tumbling experience. Whether you’re using it for gymnastics or simply exercise, this is an awesome mat in every single aspect possible. These mats are tested thoroughly and put through the CPSIA test (conducted in 2008) – it’s 4’ x 8’, which is still relatively large. Each mat features folding panels that are 2’ wide, there’s also Velcro installed on the sides of every single unit (which allows you to attach multiple units seamlessly).
∙ Velcro attachment system
∙ Dimensions – 4’ x 8’
∙ Folding system for storage
∙ Sewn-in handle to ease transportation efforts
∙ High-quality materials that most competitors refuse to use (not your traditional EVA or EPE foam, but even better!)
∙ Thoroughly tested mats that are incredibly high in quality as a whole
Soozier is a brand that has been making mats for a long time, all of which sport a very fun colour. If you’re buying a mat for your kids or a young person in general, these would be the ideal ones to work with. They’re awesome for tumbling, exercise or even Pilates – whatever you could think of doing on the ground, these mats will help you achieve it! There’s 4 individual panels included within this option, and the one I chose was pink and purple (for my daughters). The dimensions are 4’ x 2.5 x 2” for each panel, and they were tested using the CPSIA requirements (which tests for lead, formaldehyde and phthalate).
The cover is comprised of durable PU leather, making it easy to clean and long-lasting. There’s Velcro featured on all sides of this product, so if you choose to purchase more than one, you’ll be able to attach them with ease!
∙ 2” thick high-density EPE foam (eco-friendly)
∙ 4 panels included (4’ x 2.5’ x 2”)
∙ Durable PU Leather Cover
∙ Many different colours to pick from
∙ Sealed with a zipper
∙ Perfect for all sorts of activities!
Get Out There and SHOP!
There you have it, 5 individual gymnastic mat choices that should give you a head start of the research process. I know how tough it can be to find the “perfect fit”, as I was in your shoes myself at one point! I took it upon myself to thoroughly research these mats before making the purchase, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Look through these 5 options and see which one is your favorite! If all is well, you could just purchase it and get on with your fitness routine. These mats aren’t just meant for kids – I want to make that as clear as possible!