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Are Gymnastics Mats Waterproof?

By Paige Cerulli Created: February, 2024

Gymnastics mats are a must-have for any gymnastics facility, but they’re also great for home training and tumbling practice, too. Gym mats are plenty versatile, but it’s also important to understand their limitations so you can maintain them and maximize their lifespan.

Can Gymnastics Mats Get Wet?

If you’re planning on using your gym mats outdoors and there’s a chance that they’ll be exposed to water, you may want to think twice. Gymnastics mats are not waterproof, so exposure to moisture could leave them waterlogged and damage the mats.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use the mats outdoors. Gym mats are suitable for temporary use outdoors on days when the weather is nice. The mats should not be left outside or used in the rain.

using gymnastics mat outside with kids and mom

Material Quality

Always consider the quality of the materials used to construct a gym mat. There are some cheaper gymnastics mats out there for sale that use low-quality materials, such as thin vinyl covers that won’t hold up to significant use. It’s always best to invest in the highest quality mat that you can afford.

At Greatmats, we carry gym mats crafted with quality foams and thick vinyl exteriors. Many of our mats feature seams that are double-stitched for extra durability, and features like handles and hook and loop tape edges increase the mats’ versatility.

Type of Mat

We also carry several different mat designs to serve various purposes, so we can meet all of your gym mat needs.

Folding Mats

Folding mats, also referred to as panel mats, are a highly versatile choice. These mats can be used for tumbling and can be connected together end-to-end for larger passes, or for large classes of students.

blue folding gymnastics mat

The mats can also be partially or fully folded, creating a raised surface needed for skills building. They can help athletes with conditioning drills, such as vertical jumping or balancing on a raised edge. The mats combine shock absorption with traction, so they’re ideal for cartwheels, jumping jacks, and more.

Once practice is done, you can simply fold up and store the mats away. This space-saving design is a major advantage when you’re working in tight areas, or when you need to be able to load your mats into a vehicle to transport them to another facility.

Skill Building Mats

While folding mats can be used for skill building, buying an assortment of specialty skill building mats will help to complete your program. These mats are designed to give athletes the support they need to safely and properly learn new skills, and they’re essential teaching tools.

skill building incline wedge cheese mats

Octagon mats can help to develop skills like forward rolls, tumbles, leaps, and back handsprings. The mat’s shape is also ideal for torso bending. The mat’s design allows gymnasts to perform these new skills with support, then attempt the new skills over the mat, using the mat to shorten their fall if their attempts are unsuccessful.

Incline gymnastics mats also help athletes learn the body control needed for new skills, like walkovers and handstand rolls. These mats are available in multiple sizes and colors.

Safety Mats

Safety mats, or crash mats, offer extra cushion and shock absorption to maximize athlete safety. These mats are thicker, often around one foot thick or more, offering more of a “fluffy” texture that helps to dissipate impact to prevent potential injuries. Safety mats are ideal for skill building and supporting athletes during dismounts off of bars or vaults.

How to Clean Gymnastics Mats

Since gym mats aren’t waterproof, you can’t use significant amounts of water to wash them. Avoid soaking the mats in water or a cleaning solution.

how to clean gymnastics mats

However, keeping the mats clean is relatively easy. You can sweep or gently vacuum the mat to remove any loose debris. Then, use a mild soap mixed with water and wipe down the vinyl exterior with a damp sponge or rag. Then, wipe the mats dry, and be sure that they’re thoroughly dry before you fold them up or store them tightly against other mats.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or brushes on the mats, which could potentially damage the vinyl exterior.

How to Choose Your New Gymnastics Mats

Adding new gym mats to your home practice space, school, or training operation can help with skill building and athlete safety. At Greatmats, we carry a fantastic selection of different types of gym mats suitable for home and professional use

As you explore the gym mat options available at Greatmats, contact our customer service team with any questions. We can help you to decide which product is best for your needs, can place orders for custom mat colors, and can provide shipping quotes. We’re here and ready to help you get started, so contact us today.