Looking for the best gymnastics, tumbling, or cheer mats for kids? That means you either have the next Simone Biles on your hands or a kid who will definitely never reach the Olympics but will likely become a local celebrity at your pediatrician’s office for Most Impressive Injury. We all know that feeling of panic the first time we watch our LO attempt a backflip on a backyard trampoline, in a bouncy house, or off the couch. Let’s face it, your kids are going to do somersaults and cartwheels all over your house whether they are intentionally pursuing gymnastics or just pretending to be Batman, so you might as well throw down some extra padding to reduce your emergency room copays.
As a matter of fact, a kids gymnastic mat or tumbling mat is a great piece of kid gear for any kind of indoor play. It’s also useful if you have a toddler who’s a new walker and/or has a death wish who needs more cushion than your typical baby play mat. They create a designated play space and provide an extra layer of cushion between your precious youngster and the hardwood floor. But not all mats are created equal, so there are a few things you’ll want to look for.
What is the best gymnastics mat to buy?
First, you want something with a non-scent-absorbent cover. Don’t let the size of children’s feet fool you – they are more than capable of reaching adult-level funky if given the right conditions. And you’ll want something that can be stored away with minimal effort, and something that can be transported from basement to garage to living room to yard without throwing your back out.
What is the best thickness for a gymnastics mat?
If your child is seriously into gymnastics and tumbling, it’s always best to ask their coach or instructor what the best type of mats and equipment to use (material and thickness) for their age and skillset to prevent rolled ankles and other injuries.
That said, we rounded up the most highly-rated options out there, and included info like material and thickness so you can choose from the best of the best. So here are the best gymnastics mats, cheer mats, and tumbling mats for your little acrobat, as well as some gymnastics gear, to really round out the daredevil experience.
Best Gymnastics Mats
With a four panel foldable design and carrying handles, this portable mat extends to 4′ x 10′ and is constructed of a 2″ thick high density EPE foam. The non-absorbent vinyl washes clean with soap and water, so you don’t have to worry about sweat or dirt building up.
If you’re a little tight on space, this bright mat is slightly smaller at 4′ x 8′, but you still get 2″ of thick foam to cushion those falls. The PU leather cover is mildew resistant and fire retardant with a thick zipper closure, all great features, sure, but we love the Jem and the Holograms color-scheme most of all.
With a 4-inch thick cell foam core, this royal blue landing mat is the perfect medium-soft surface to practice those landings. And at 6′ x 3′, it provides plenty of surface area in case your LO can’t quite land on their feet. The vinyl covering is puncture-resistant and the mat folds in half to save space in storage. Bonus: it comes with a 2-year warranty juuuust in case.
If your 3-5-year-old is ready to jump feet first into gymnastics, this incline mat might be the ticket to effortless tumbles. The 12 lb mat has handles for easy carrying and its small dimensions (24 x 16 x 34 inches) mean it can easily be used indoors. Just because it’s for smaller kids doesn’t mean it can’t handle a beating; it has an anti-tear vinyl surface and commercial-grade assembly.
Best Tumbling Mats
This fold-and-carry lightweight mat is super easy to transport since it’s only 7 pounds, and at 4′ X 6′ with a 2″ thickness, it’s great for mini tumblers who are finding their footing. Amazon Reviewer Henry Mcclary Jr. says “My 8-year-old granddaughter who is in gymnastics uses this mat for practice in my home. Perfect size for her to do her gymnastics. Mat is durable and padded well. I highly recommend after owning this mat for two months.”
This bubblegum pink mat is 2″ thick and comes in a slightly smaller 6′ x 2′ size for tighter spaces. The tri-fold design is great for simple storage and it even has carrying handles for easy transport. The PU leather is non-odor absorbent, so it won’t get all stinky, either.
For a full gymnastics experience, this commercial-quality kip bar and mat combo comes in all the color combos to match your home gym or playroom. The bars adjust between 36″-58” to accommodate kids of all heights, and the mat is covered with thick vinyl and made of 2″ thick PU foam.
Ok, wow: This enormous 10′ X 3.3′ X 4″ inflatable mat has over a thousand 5-star reviews and comes in larger sizes (up to 40 ft) for serious tumblers. The air pump is included, and it holds inflation for days. Amazon Reviewer Andy Marx says, “We just needed something for our little tumbler to be able to safely practice forward rolls, cartwheels, and handstands on. This is a very high-quality material with the perfect ‘stiff to give’ ratio when inflated. Inflation holds for several weeks even when Dad (200 lbs) tries to join the fun. As always should be done under some supervision but very good to let them practice.”
Best Cheer Mats
Made of 3/8″ thick Polyethylene foam and a carpet top, this purple cheer mat comes in 8 colors. (If you need to create a larger practice space, you can purchase additional mats and join them together with an included velcro strip.) When it’s time to break down, just roll up this bad boy and roll out.
If you’re looking for something firm with slightly less thickness, this EPE foam mat is 1.5″ thick and a compact 6′ x 2′. Its tri-fold design makes packing up a breeze, and the travel handles and easy-to-clean vinyl cover make this a perfect mat for tumble sessions in the park or backyard.
Best Gymnastics Equipment For Kids
This 9′ foam balance beam is only 2.5″ off the ground so it’s great for beginners or anyone who’s accident-prone. It has a 4″ surface and a 6″ base so it’s extra stable for wobbly little ankles that are still developing skills. When you’re done practicing, it folds in half for easy storage.
This 8″ long suede balance beam is 4″ wide and adjustable to heights between 7″ and 23″ so your gymnast can incrementally build skill while they practice at home. It has a solid wood core, steel support beams, and comes in 5 different color options.
For kids ages 3-7 (and up to 150 lbs), this sturdy triangular structure is just the thing to get them cozy with kip bars. It folds up for storage and it adjusts from 2.8″ high to 4.5″. Amazon reviewer Rabbit raves, “My littles LOVE this! They have been playing on this every day since we bought it for our 7-yr-old daughter. 4-yr-old son can do all sorts of tricks on it too! We’ve tested weight of up to 130lbs & had no issues. Very sturdy & easily adjusts height & storage. Recommend.”
With a soft EPE pearl foam core and easy clean PVC cover, this octagon tumbler is a great tool to teach walkovers, handsprings, and splits for kids who are ready to bend over backward (literally) for their favorite sport.
For the mini-est tumblers, this set of gymnasium blocks is a great tool to help your little gymnast develop early movement skills. The set includes 5 different shapes with non-skid bottoms. Plus, they’re lightweight enough for your child to rearrange for different play set-ups.
If you don’t have stirrup pants, do you even do gymnastics? These nylon spandex pants have an elastic waist and triple thread stitching so your tumbler can move with ease. They’re great for gymnasts and dancers for either practice or performances.
You’ll get major My Little Pony vibes with this polyester spandex leotard, which is perfect for competition but inexpensive enough to use during play or practice time, too. Amazon Reviewer AmyH says, “So cute and sparkly and fit just right. Sizes are spot on, high-quality material and good stitching. Will buy again. It made our unicorn very happy.”