Best Tumbling Mats

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

43 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
361 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best tumbling mats

Last Updated October 2019

Tumbling mats are a basic but highly useful piece of sporting equipment. The name might imply that these mats are strictly for use in gymnastics, but that’s not the case. They are used for a number of indoor sports, including gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, cheerleading, dance, aerobics, and pilates. Tumbling mats are usually made of a vinyl or polyurethane outer shell with foam filling.

Although tumbling mats have a simple design, there can be quite a lot of variation between brands and models. Everyone has different things that are important to them in a tumbling mat, be it surface material, thickness, durability, or even color. The activities for which you plan to use your mats dictate which traits are most important and how you should balance those traits with cost. Further, tumbling mats may need to be purchased in multiples, depending on the activity you’re doing. Keep this in mind when assessing your choices.

Read our convenient shopping guide to learn what you need to know to buy the right tumbling mats for your sporting needs.

Tumbling mats aren’t only for gymnastics. Use them for any athletic activity where you have a need for a soft landing, like martial arts or yoga.

Key considerations

When buying any sporting equipment, one of the most important things is the durability of the product. Sporting goods are meant to take a fair amount of abuse, and tumbling mats are no exception. Consider the sport for which you use the mats, the make and material of the mats, and how often they’re used.

Dimensions

Tumbling mats come in three primary sizes: 4 x 6 feet, 4 x 8 feet, and 5 x 10 feet. The size you choose depends on a number of factors including your sport, the size of the person/people using the mat, and the number of mats you need to purchase to cover a given area. Carefully consider all these factors when choosing your mat dimensions.

Thickness

Thickness is also a very important thing to consider when shopping for a mat. Tumbling mats are available in a number of different thicknesses. The most common are 3/8 inch, 1 inch, 2 inches, and 4 inches. Thicker mats are generally used for sports like gymnastics and martial arts in order to provide safe landings. Thinner mats are used for aerobics, yoga, and low-contact or aerial-related sports.

Outer material

The outer surface of most tumbling mats is made of either knife-coated vinyl or polyurethane leather. Polyurethane leather is made by coating a backing material such as cotton, while vinyl is completely synthetic. Because of this design difference, polyurethane leather is usually a little more expensive than vinyl. However, it does have a major advantage over vinyl. Polyurethane leather is more pliable than vinyl and is less likely to crack over time. Even stronger is the less-common PVC-coated Oxford material that can be found in a few brands.

Foam material

The kind of foam used inside your tumbling mat is more important than you may think. The two most common foam fillings are EPE high-density eco-friendly foam and EVA cross-linked polyethylene foam. The EPE foam is more similar to memory foam, and the EVA is more similar to the foam of a bed topper. EPE foam is more likely to function well as a shock absorber, while EVA foam offers more bounce or recoil to the user.

Durability

Note the build quality of your tumbling mats. Features like double-stitching and polyurethane leather construction can go far in maintaining the integrity of your mats for years to come. Once they start to fail, they can become a safety hazard, so purchase tumbling mats made from materials that will last.

Folding vs. roll-out mats

While the majority of tumbling mats are designed to be foldable, some are designed to be rolled up. Roll-out mats are usually an inch or less in thickness. They are used for wrestling and aerobics rather than gymnastics or martial arts. They’re preferable for people who want a mat to take up less space when not in use.

EXPERT TIP

Tumbling mats can be used in a recreational room in your home for kids to have a safe place to play.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Fasteners or Velcro

One advantage of tumbling mats is that many have the means to connect to one another to create a larger continuous surface for your athletic activities. Some use hook-and-eye fasteners, others use “s” fasteners, and the rest use velcro. Velcro tends to wear out sooner than the others, but it’s still a viable option for connecting your tumbling mats.

Carrying handles

Most foldable tumbling mats come with carrying handles attached. This makes transport and movement of the mats easier, since some of the thicker ones are extremely heavy. Pay attention to the durability of the straps when shopping — you don’t want carrying handles that will break easily under the weight of a heavy tumbling mat.

Anti-slip bottom coating

Tumbling mats are typically made of the same material on both sides, though some manufacturers use an anti-slip rubberized material on the bottom. This is helpful when you won’t be attaching your tumbling mat to a large group and you’re concerned about the mat slipping or shifting during use.

EXPERT TIP

Try not to mix different tumbling mat thicknesses on your floor surface. This could cause you to trip.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tumbling mat prices

Inexpensive: You can expect to spend between $25 and $50 for vinyl-covered tumbling mats with Velcro connectors.

Mid-range: From $50 to $75 are thicker mats with a mix of vinyl and polyurethane leather coverings.

Expensive: The top price range for tumbling mats is from $75 to $150. These mats are almost exclusively polyurethane leather and are the most well-made and durable.

EXPERT TIP

If you find that you have joint pain with thinner tumbling mats, try using thicker ones to absorb more of the shock.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Never do dangerous tumbling, gymnastics, or martial arts routines without a mat. Mats are intended to keep athletes safe during these activities.
  • Don’t allow small children to move thick and heavy tumbling mats. They could overexert themselves causing muscle strain. Help children move heavy mats when needed.
  • When connecting multiple tumbling mats, make sure they are connected tightly. Gaps or loose connections can cause injury.
  • Attempting advanced gymnastics maneuvers without a spotter can be dangerous. Always use a spotter when trying advanced moves.
  • Move tumbling mats out of the way when not using them. Although soft, they can be hazardous if left in the way.

Other products we considered

Some tumbling mats that didn’t make our shortlist are still well worth a look. In the inexpensive category, the BalanceFrom 2” Thick Tri-Fold Mat is a light yet durable option. If you’re looking for a mid-range choice, consider the ZEYU Sports Children’s Gymnastics Mat. It has Velcro lining one side, making it perfect for multi-mat use. On the pricier end is the Hazli Gymnastics Tumbling Mat For Kids. This mat meets all Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act standards, so you know your child is getting a safe and high-quality product.

When using a tumbling mat in a space with others, make sure you’ve labeled it with your name to avoid confusion.

FAQ

Q. Why do I need to use a tumbling mat?
A.
Tumbling mats are useful for softening falls and landings during gymnastics, martial arts, and other athletic activities. They also offer protection for your joints over time because they cushion your landings, putting less stress on your bones and ligaments.

Q. Are tumbling mats required for all gymnastics schools?
A.
No. They are not required for all activities, but they are almost universally used for advanced gymnastics techniques.

Q. Is there a minimum number of tumbling mats I should purchase for any activity?
A.
No. You can use as few tumbling mats as you like as long as you are meeting the safety needs for your given activity.

Q. Can I mix and match tumbling mats, connecting different models together?
A.
This is not recommended. Even if your tumbling mats have similar connectors, they are likely not exactly the same. This can be dangerous when the mats are placed under the stress of use.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Moriah
    Moriah
    Writer

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