Today I got another load of these gym matts delivered for part of my home gym. This is my review of the BeMaxx interlocking floor matts (Amazon) – a budget priced flooring for a home gym or fitness area.
What are they?
These are tiled gym mats designed for home use. They’re dark gray squares (12.6″ / 32cm) each. They’re made from compressed foam which is springy and tough. You can combine them in pretty much any shape you want to and they have a number of uses for home gyms.
You get 18 mats per pack and they have jigsaw edges which holds them together. They come in a squarish stack with 3 main parts:
- Main square mats
- Straight edge piece
- Corner edge piece
What can you use these cheap gym tiles for?
There’s a few main ways people are using these gym mats. Here’s my take on it, having tested them out myself:
To cover the entire floor of a home gym or garage gym
This is likely the main thing people will be interested in these packs of interlocking mats for. If you want a simple and easy way to cover a smaller garage or home gym, these are perfect. You’d need a few packs to cover a larger floor but they feel great underfoot and they look fantastic on the space I’ve used them in.
As a standalone training mat
If you’ve got a little space tucked away at home and need a good surface to workout on, these mats might be worth a look. Having trained on all kinds of surfaces in the past, this is one of the nicest feeling mats and is way better than a yoga mat, or those flimsy roll up surfaces.
To rest weights on
Because you can combine these mats into several smaller mats, each with their own edge pieces to make them look neat, you could get some of these to put down to protect other surfaces from kettle bells or dumbbells. They give a nice bouncy feel so even if you drop the weights from a short distance by accident at the end of your set, it won’t be the end of the world.
To go under other training equipment
While you can get proper tiles to put under treadmills, ellipticals and other machines, these mats also do a good job for that. I’ve got some under my dip station, as part of a mini gym in my home office and I love them. They station sinks down a bit into them and gives it a nice sturdy feel.
What shouldn’t you use these mats for?
Are they any good for martial arts?
It’s say these mats wouldn’t be a good idea for flooring for a martial arts gym.
Moving around with bag drills would eventually move the mats apart. They’re also too thin for Ju Jitsu or wrestling and wouldn’t’ absorb enough impact during throws. For that, you’ll need the larger versions which are an inch or more thickness.
These tiles are clearly better suited to home gyms.
Which side up?
One thing that confused me with this set of gym mats is they’ve got a kind of bumpy texture on one side and a much softer one on the other. I’ve seen photos of people doing both with these mats.
I’m guessing the textured side is to offer some grip on the surface you put them on. To be honest, I really like the feel of the bumpy side when I’m training on these mats, so I have that facing up.
What do they feel like?
Everyone I’ve shown these mats to when I was reviewing them really liked how they look and couldn’t wait to jump on them and have a go. Although they’re actually less than 1cm thick, they have a good quality, bouncy feel to them that makes them feel thicker.
I laid some out on a solid wood floor to test and you’d think you were walking on padding an inch thick. I’ve no idea if that feel will last, but the feedback so far is really good.
Tile Durability & quality
I’ve been using mine for around a week and so far they’ve held their shape perfectly, despite me chucking some decent weights around on them, doing loads of work on the floor, and jumping around a fair bit too. Weights can leave a bit of an indent (that does mostly lift with time).
As for long term durability, I’ll have to report back.
What are the main plus points with these gym mats?
They stay where you put them
The tiles literally hardly weigh anything and for some cheaper gym mats I was expecting them to slip around and not stay put. I’m happy to report the opposite. The BeeMaxx mats have a fair bit of grip on them and stay don’t slide about at all.
I’ve jumped around, crawling, doing weights, push-ups and more and they seem to hold their position extremely well, regardless of whether you run them wall to wall, or have them as a standalone mat.
You can swap out any that have problems
Another thing I like about the jigsaw mats in general is that you don’t need to glue them down. This means if you want to swap out an old worn mat, you can do that easily. I’ve ordered some more today and will keep some spare (unless the children steal them).
They’re REALLY bouncy
I don’t know if it’s just because these mats are new, but they have a lot of spring in them. If you’re doing any HIIT stuff with jumps in them, or skipping or running, they’re just so good. You get a lot of shock absorption and lift on your jumps. I think these mats will be good for your joints compared to running on a hard floor.
Kind on your knees, elbows and the rest of your body
If any of your exercises take you down on the floor, like simple crunches, yoga or anything else where you’re in contact with the ground, these mats make it really comfortable to work there.
Despite the fairly narrow gauge of the mats, there’s a lot of padding here. Whether you’re just sitting resting or lying back for bench presses, they’re supportive and feel a lot thicker than they are.
Easy to put together
My kids love putting these mats together. It’s like a giant, easy jigsaw puzzle. If you’ve not seen this kind of mat before, they’ve got an interlocking edge you line up and smack together lightly with your hand. It’s really fast to to – even if you’ve got a lot of them. And, a lot of fun actually.
The edge pieces look great
One thing I wasn’t expecting with these gym mats was the cool little ‘edge’ and corner pieces they come with. Once you’ve set the main squares out and done that part of the assembly, you get a choice of edge and corner pieces which snap into place like the other parts. This gives your training area a sleek, finished off look that is really professional.
There’s also plenty of spares of these edge bits which was good.
What I don’t like about these mats
Weights and other heavy things will leave an indent
I’d left a set of 22.5kg hex dumbbells on my newly laid out mats and was a bit peeved the next day when I lifted them up and the indentation was still there. I initially thought, OK It will come out with time”. Sadly, that’s not the case. So take care and put your weights back on the rack. While this is one of the downsides to this foam material, it’s not ideal.
The edge pieces come off easily
I did hesitate about mentioning this as it’s seriously nit-picky! But if I am lying on the mats and push out with my feet against the edge of the mats, or a dumbbell is resting on them, the edge pieces can move away easily and need to be pushed back in. They could have done with a bit more width to them. Not a huge issue but something I noticed.
Conclusion – should you buy the BeMaxx mats for your gym?
Yeah, I really love these mats.
The BeMaxx tiles are a brilliant covering for any home gym. They’ve got a lot of potential uses and have a luxurious, bouncy feel to them. They definitely feel a lot thicker than their 1cm width.
Aside from the slight problem with weights leaving an impression from time to time, this is a fantastic set of cheaper mats for any home gym. They seem very durable and the locking edges hold each tile together perfectly. They also look really modern and have updated my gym area a good bit.
Can you take these apart after each session?
I have done this in the past and I think these mats would stand up to it. Having said that, it’s not ideal as they are smaller mats and unless you fancy doing a time consuming jigsaw every time, you might be better off with larger mats, or something you can roll up. Technically yes. But practically a bit of a pain!