what do you fill a water mat with
what do you fill a water mat with

Have you ever wondered what on earth you should fill a water mat with? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will explore the various options you have when it comes to filling up your water mat and give you some handy tips to make the most out of your water-filled adventure. Whether you’re planning a fun day at the beach or a relaxing afternoon by the pool, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of water mat filling!

Introduction to Water Mats

Water mats are a fun and exciting addition to any summer outing. Whether you’re planning a pool party, a day at the beach, or simply spending time on your backyard, these inflatable mats provide a unique way to relax and have fun. But have you ever wondered what exactly fills these water mats? In this article, we will dive into the different types of filling materials used, the benefits of each option, and factors to consider when choosing the right filling material for your water mat.

Why Use a Water Mat?

Before we get into the filling options, let’s first explore why using a water mat can enhance your outdoor experience. Water mats provide a versatile and entertaining platform for relaxation and play. By incorporating water into the equation, they offer a cool and refreshing surface that can be enjoyed by all ages. From lounging on the water to engaging in water games, the possibilities are endless. These mats also provide a safe and comfortable area for kids to splash around without the worry of deep waters. So, whether you’re looking to unwind or have some energetic fun, a water mat is a fantastic choice.

How Do Water Mats Work?

Water mats work by using a combination of a durable and waterproof material and a filling substance. This filling material provides the necessary buoyancy for the mat to float on water while ensuring stability and comfort. By being partially filled, water mats create a stable surface that can be used for various activities ranging from lounging to water-based games. The filling material determines the overall feel and support of the mat, so it’s essential to choose the right option based on your preferences and needs.

Types of Water Mats

There are several types of water mats available in the market, each designed to suit different purposes and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular types:

  • Floating Lounge Mats: These larger-sized mats are perfect for lounging in the water, providing ample space for relaxation and soaking up the sun.
  • Water Play Mats: Designed with interactive features such as sprinklers and fountains, these mats offer added excitement for kids and create a mini water park experience.
  • Floating Yoga Mats: For those looking to practice their yoga skills on water, these mats offer stability and cushioning, making it easier to strike a pose while enjoying the gentle sway of the water.
  • Floating Exercise Mats: These mats are ideal for individuals who want to incorporate a workout with the soothing effects of being on water. They provide a stable surface for exercises such as pilates, core workouts, and more.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Filling Material

When deciding what to fill your water mat with, several factors should be taken into account. These factors will help determine the overall performance, comfort, and durability of your water mat. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

1. Water

Using water is the most common and straightforward filling material for water mats. It offers natural buoyancy, ensuring that the mat floats safely on the water. Additionally, it provides a cooling sensation during hot summer days. However, if you plan to transport your mat frequently or if storage space is an issue, using water as a filling material can be cumbersome due to its weight and potential leakage.

2. Air

Air is another popular option for filling water mats. Inflatable water mats feature air-filled chambers that provide buoyancy and support. They are lightweight, easy to transport, and can be deflated for compact storage. It’s important to note that air-filled mats may not offer as much stability as other filling materials, so they might not be the best choice for activities requiring a more robust and steady surface.

3. Gel

Gel-filled water mats are becoming increasingly popular due to their unique properties. The gel filling provides a soft and cushion-like feel, adding comfort and support. Gel-filled mats are also known for their temperature-regulating abilities, as they can stay cool for extended periods. However, these mats tend to be heavier and more expensive than other options.

4. Foam

Foam-filled water mats offer excellent buoyancy and comfort. The foam filling supports the body and provides a stable surface, making them ideal for floating or lounging. Foam mats are typically lightweight, easy to transport, and resistant to punctures. However, they may absorb water over time, and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and deterioration.

5. Beans or Sand

For those seeking a customizable and moldable filling material, beans or sand can be used. These materials allow you to adjust the firmness and support of the mat according to your preferences. However, using beans or sand as filling materials can make the mat heavier and more challenging to transport. It’s also important to ensure proper sealing and prevent leakage.

6. Other Creative Options

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore unique filling materials, there are various creative options available. Some water mat enthusiasts have experimented with materials such as rice, shredded memory foam, or even colorful pool noodles. While these options may provide a distinct experience, it’s crucial to ensure they are safe, durable, and do not pose any harm to the environment.

Benefits of Different Filling Materials

Each filling material has its own set of benefits, and choosing the right one for your water mat depends on your specific preferences and needs. Here’s a summary of the advantages offered by different filling materials:

  • Water: Natural buoyancy, cooling sensation, and affordability.
  • Air: Lightweight, easy storage, and portability.
  • Gel: Soft and cushion-like feel, temperature regulation.
  • Foam: Buoyancy, stability, and resistance to punctures.
  • Beans or Sand: Customizable firmness and support.
  • Creative Options: Unique and personalized experience.

By considering these benefits, you can select the filling material that best aligns with your desired water mat experience.


Filling a water mat requires careful consideration of factors such as buoyancy, stability, comfort, and practicality. Whether you opt for the traditional water filling or choose a more innovative material like gel or foam, each option has its own benefits and considerations. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various filling materials, you can select the one that suits your preferences and meets the requirements for an enjoyable water mat experience. So, let’s fill those water mats and dive into a splash-tastic summer!

David Wright
Hi, I'm David Wright and I'm the author behind DockG, a web site dedicated to inflatable dock floating platforms. I'm passionate about providing the best possible information on these revolutionary floating docks, and I'm constantly striving to provide up-to-date, accurate and helpful tips and advice on the subject to anyone who visits the site. As an avid outdoorsman and water enthusiast, I'm constantly in search of the best ways to enjoy time spent on the water, and I'm confident that the content I provide on DockG will help anyone looking to get the most out of their inflatable dock floating platform.