The best inflatable gym mat
It's important to have the correct type of protection in place when engaging in potentially dangerous activities, such as gymnastics, martial arts, or aerial cheerleading moves, but you might not have space to store extra-thick gym mats or have them set up all the time.
Inflatable gym mats offer all the same protection, but you can deflate them and roll them up into a compact package when you're not using them. Our top choice of inflatable gym mat is made by Sinolodo. We chose it for its versatility and durable construction.
Considerations when choosing inflatable gym mats
From compact three-foot options to 30-foot behemoths, inflatable gym mats come in a range of sizes. They usually have a standard width, however, around either three feet or six feet wide. Choose an inflatable gym mat of an appropriate size for the activities that you want to undertake.
Inflatable gym mats need to offer enough protection in case of falls or difficult landings. We'd recommend a minimum depth of four inches, but a six-inch depth is even better.
The majority of inflatable gym mats have polyvinyl chloride (PVC) outer layers. This is often two or three plies for extra durability. However, that's not all there is to these gym mats. Inside is a fabric layer to make them even more rugged. This is usually double-walled or drop stitched. Mats also tend to have rail tape around the outside to protect the seams and the valves.
Pump: Some inflatable gym mats come with a manually operated pump, others come with electric inflators and still others come with no pump at all, in which case you'll need to purchase one. You'll want to consider the time and physical effort of a manual versus electric pump.
Dual valves: Dual valves make it easier to control the air pressure inside the mat. It's important to get the right air pressure, as it needs to have enough give for a soft landing while still offering support.
Orientation markings: You may have noticed that inflatable gym mats tend to have a thick line running down the center of the mat lengthwise. This gives you a mark to help you remain centered, which is vital for certain activities. Some mats also have a cross line, dividing the mat into four equal parts.
Carry handles: Carry handles are a useful feature on an inflatable gym mat as they let you pick it up and reposition it once inflated, which would be tricky without handles.
Connector strips: If no single inflatable gym mat is large enough for your purposes, you can buy two or more separate mats and affix them together with connector strips. These may be included with your gym mat or you may need to buy them separately.
Inflatable gym mat prices
The price of inflatable gym mats tends to be dictated by the size of the mat and the overall quality. Compact three- to five-foot mats generally cost between $50 and $100. Mid-size 10- to 16-foot mats cost around $150 to $400. Larger 20- to 30-foot gym mats tend to be priced between $1,000 and $2,000.
Q. Can I use my inflatable gym mat outdoors?
A. Yes, the majority of inflatable gym mats are suitable for outdoor use, though some recommend you use a protective barrier between the mat and the ground to lessen the chance of puncture from stones and other sharp objects.
Q. How should I store my inflatable gym mat between uses?
A. First, make sure your mat is completely dry, if not, wipe it down or leave it to air dry, otherwise mold and mildew could form. Fully deflate the mat and roll it up tightly. Rolling is better than folding, as you won't have deep creases form, which could lose structural integrity over time. If your chosen inflatable gym mat has a carry bag included, you can place the rolled mat inside to store it.
Inflatable gym mats we recommend
Best of the best: Sinolodo Gym Mats Tumbling Track
Our take: This high-quality inflatable gym mat is available in a wide range of lengths from three to 20 feet.
What we like: Commercial grade PVC material is rugged but rolls up to a compact size when not in use. Includes a hand/foot pump and storage bag. Five color choices.
What we dislike: Larger sizes are slow to inflate with manual pump.
Best bang for your buck: EZ GLAM Air Track
Our take: If you're looking for good value, this mat combines an affordable price with solid quality -- what more could you want?
What we like: Wide range of size and color options available. Made from durable double-wall material. Electric pump included.
What we dislike: Some users report it loses air more quickly than they'd expect.
Choice 3: Darget Gymnastic Air Track Tumbling Mat
Our take: An extremely well-made mat that comes at a reasonable price, but we do wish more sizes were available.
What we like: Durable construction with double-wall fabric and three-ply PVC. Cross orientation markings. Sturdy carrying handles.
What we dislike: Some users had issues with the included pump.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.