Play Mats for Indoor & Outdoor Use - Best Choices

Play mats are an essential part of creating a safe space for children to have fun. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor play, you need the right environment that gives parents peace of mind and allows children to run around safely. 

In this article: 

  • Indoor vs Outdoor Play Mats 
  • How Thick Should Plays Mats Be for Children?
  • 5 Best Play Mats for Indoor and Outdoor Use 

Indoor vs Outdoor Play Mats 


The best play mats for children depend on the space you have available and whether it’s indoors or outdoors. When you take play outside, you need to consider if play mats are waterproof and have UV protection. If you put unsuitable play mats outside, they won’t drain properly and could end up with pooling water. This creates a higher risk of slips and falls, which is what you’re trying to prevent in the first place. 

When it comes to children’s play, safety is paramount. As children run, jump, and play, it’s easy for them to fall over. By creating a space with non-slip flooring and cushioning, it helps to reduce the risk of falling. Although non-slip flooring with plenty of traction helps to lower the chances of slips and falls, children still find a way to fall over. The right play mats will create cushioning so that if a fall does occur, it’s less likely to result in serious injury. 

How Thick Should Plays Mats Be for Children?


The answer to this question depends on how you plan on using the space and the height of any climbing equipment. For example, an indoor play area for young children and toddlers will likely not include any climbing frames. Whereas, an outdoor play area may have a tall climbing frame for older children. These two play areas have very different needs. 

For outdoor play areas with climbing frames, children’s flooring will have a fall height rating. The fall height is the highest point a child could fall from. For example, if your flooring has a fall height rating of four feet, this means that a child could fall from four feet without serious injury. The flooring has a good fall height and shock absorption to minimise serious injury. If a child were to fall onto concrete, they are much more likely to injure themselves. In general, the fall height and shock absorbency is determined by the thickness of the play mat. 

5 Best Play Mats for Indoor and Outdoor Use 


Depending on your play area, equipment, and environment, the best play mat for you may vary. By figuring out where you want your play area, who will be using it, and what equipment you plan on installing, you can make the right decision and create the safest space possible for play. 

1. Play Turf


For outdoor areas, Play Turf is a fantastic option. The artificial grass solution uses high-quality, short fibre grass that imitates the look and feel of natural grass. It’s suitable for creating a soft play area outside as well as use on patios and over decking and existing lawns. This is ideal for ball games and outside play areas, but not overly tall climbing frames. 

2. Safety Playground Mats

When it comes to kids playground flooring, Safety Playground Mats are a must-have. Mats is a good solution for installing serious climbing and play equipment. These are ideal for garden play areas (see our garden rubber tiles), school, and community playgrounds. The tiles come in both 20mm and 40mm and meet the majority of critical fall height criteria. The anti-slip play mats use premium rubber with UV particles to withstand all weather conditions. With maximum shock-absorbency and anti-fatigue properties, the playground mats create a comfortable and safe environment for children. 

3. Foam Tiles


For indoor, soft play areas, these Dual Colour Reversible Foam Tiles are a great solution. The foam tiles are light, easy to install and double up as a good base for your home gym. The tiles come in either an interlocking puzzle edge or straight edge and can be laid loose or with adhesive. This means that you can easily move the mats depending on where your child is playing. 

4. Rubber Play Mats


Rubber outdoor floor tiles are ideal for patios and children’s outdoor play areas. These Outdoor Rubber Tiles have multiple applications including outdoor gyms, patio seating areas, and children’s play. These play mats can easily handle high traffic, constant play, and changing weather conditions. 

5. Coloured TPE Mats

TPE topped rubber mats in various colour options are a great option for a bright and soft floor option that fully supports kids play activities while offering complete protection and shock absorption.

You have many choices to consider when it comes to finding the best play mats for children. From indoor soft play areas to outdoor climbing equipment, you need the right flooring to protect children and reduce the risk of serious injury. By choosing the best play mats for your needs, you can put your mind at ease and build a safe playing environment.

June 17, 2021 — Richard McKay