Which inflatable gymnastics mat is best?
Whether for gymnastics, yoga or martial arts, you need a mat that can absorb impact so you can exercise safely. While foam is the traditional material for gymnastics mats, an inflatable mat has benefits that airless options simply cannot offer.
The best inflatable gymnastics mat will be the size and shape you need. It will also be durable, like ALIFUN’s Tumbling Mat. This gymnastics mat inflates in under a minute and can support up to 330 pounds. It also gives you the ability to jump higher than you could on a foam mat, making it a top choice.
What to know before you buy an inflatable gymnastics mat
Foam vs. inflatable gymnastics mat
- Foam gym mats: These mats are the more affordable and more durable option. A quality foam mat costs less and lasts for many years. While significant, those are the only two benefits foam mats have over inflatable mats.
- Inflatable gym mats: Since these mats are filled with air, they are safer than foam mats. Inflatable mats can also be larger, so a gymnast can practice an entire tumbling run, not just one or two skills. Also, inflatable mats have more spring and are easier to store.
Some inflatable gymnastics mats can be used outdoors
If you have little space in your home or apartment, you might think you don’t have enough room for an inflatable mat. This is not true. If you purchase a mat that is suitable for outside, all you need is a level patch of ground. Alternatively, many (but not all) inflatable mats are waterproof, so you can use them in a pool or a lake. These mats will have a UV coating that makes them able to endure periods of direct sunlight.
What to look for in a quality inflatable gymnastics mat
Most inflatable mats are fine for kids. However, if you are purchasing one for adult use, you must consider its weight capacity.
Do you want to practice yoga and martial arts or do you need to perfect that tumbling run? Smaller mats are for practicing individual skills, while longer mats let you refine a combination of skills.
Some inflatable mats let you splice two or more together to create longer runs. If you would like this option, make sure the mat you are considering has this capability.
When you are rotating, it is easy to lose your place on the mat and tumble off the side. If the inflatable mat you are considering has an orientation strip, this can help prevent injuries.
For ease of transport, you can purchase an inflatable mat that has a built-in handle. If you will be moving your mat often, you will appreciate this feature.
If you can’t inflate your mat, it won’t be very useful. This is why these items typically come with a pump, which may be electric or manual. Additionally, many inflatable mats also come with a repair kit and a travel bag. To get the best deal, look for one that includes all of these extras.
How much you can expect to spend on an inflatable gymnastics mat
A small inflatable gymnastics mat that is best for balance, stretching and yoga costs around $100. For a long mat that is suitable for tumbling runs, you could spend over $1,000.
Inflatable gymnastics mat FAQ
How much bounce should an inflatable gymnastics mat have?
A. You can find the maximum air pressure a mat can handle in the owner’s manual. While the mat should never go above that pressure, it can be a little below. An inflatable mat needs to be soft enough to absorb impact, but firm enough to provide some spring. You may require a little trial and error to find the sweet spot for your needs.
How do you clean an inflatable gymnastics mat?
A. To clean your inflatable mat, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it dry. For a more thorough cleaning, you will need to consult your owner’s manual as some detergents and disinfectants may damage your mat.
How do you store an inflatable gymnastics mat?
A. Before storing your inflatable gymnastics mat, make sure it is clean and dry to deter mold growth. Since folding creates weak spots in the material, after deflating, roll up your mat. Store it in a cool dry location that does not experience extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
What are the best inflatable gymnastics mats to buy?
Top inflatable gymnastics mat
What you need to know: This is a quality tumbling mat that comes in a wide variety of lengths and colors.
What you’ll love: The weight capacity of this rugged inflatable mat is 330 pounds. It is made with a durable, waterproof PVC tarpaulin and features a drop stitch design for rigidity. It also has an orientation strip, and the included air pump can inflate the mat in less than a minute.
What you should consider: A few reviewers noted the pump is not as durable as the mat.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top inflatable gymnastics mat for money
What you need to know: If you are looking for an inflatable mat that has a compact design, this circular model is your best choice.
What you’ll love: This disc-shaped mat has an anti-skid surface for safety. It can support up to 220 pounds and is 8 inches thick for maximum shock absorption. After you inflate this mat, it will hold the air for days. The built-in handle lets you transport the mat without hassle.
What you should consider: This is not a tumbling mat – it is best for balancing and stretching activities.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This versatile tumbling track comes in a variety of sizes and colors to match personal preference.
What you’ll love: You can use this mat on the ground or in water. The top has an orientation strip so you can see, at a glance, where the center of the mat is. The hook-and-loop fasteners let you connect more than one mat together for longer runs. This product includes the mat, a pump, a carry bag and a repair kit.
What you should consider: Occasionally, a mat that leaks during the first few uses slips past quality control.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.