If there’s one piece of workout gear that has more uses than the rest, it has to be our exercise mat. These mats are ideal for fitness lovers of all kinds and can be beneficial for everything from yoga, through exercise equipment like exercise bikes, to strength training, so there’s no limit to who can benefit from their versatility.
Finding the right mat is a matter of personal preference, of course, but it also comes down to finding one that’s well made, comfortable, and stable to use, which are three of the key benefits that these mats need to offer.
Therefore, the search for the best exercise mat can get a little tricky and to find your way through the sometimes crowded fitness market can become almost like a workout in itself.
That’s why we’ve constructed this thorough buying guide that can help you source the best exercise mats to suit your needs. There are quality mats available in all price ranges and with some having more prominent benefits than others, so it all depends on what you’re looking for.
We’ve gone through the top rate exercise mat reviews to find those worth considering so that you don’t have to waste your time any longer on the search for the best fitness mat.
Whether you’re a hot yoga lover or someone with an array of cardio machines to work out on, a fitness mat will be the most important piece of gear you own. Finding the best workout mat is a matter of finding one that best suits your workout style.
From there, your main focus should on quality and support, so we’ve made the search easy and rounded up the best exercise mats that can tick all of these boxes and more.
Our Recommendations For Best Exercise Mat
With so many exercise mats on the market, it’s too hard to narrow them down and find just one that would suit us all. For that reason, we’ve separated the top-rated fitness mats into their categories and found the ones that work for all kinds of workouts and the situations when you need them to perform at their best.
Best Large Exercise Mat
Winner: Square36 Large Exercise Mat
When you’re into epic workouts, you’ll need an epic mat to match, and that’s why we’ve chosen the Square36 large exercise mat as our top pick. The mat is definitely the best large exercise mat on the market because not only does it dominate in size, but also quality, so you always feel like you can rely on it for any type of workout.
Measuring in at 72 inches by 6 inches and with a thickness of around 6mm, this mat will be big enough for even the largest bodybuilders. Marketed to be a cardio mat there’s a whole lot more than this mat is useful for and it’s been enjoyed by fitness fanatics for things like jumping rope, kettlebell swings, punching bags and high-intensity workouts.
That means you can use just one mat for all of your exercise needs and not have to worry about its durability ever giving up. The only real issue that there seems to be with this mat is the price, and only a few of the online reviewers commented on it.
While it does cost a little more than others of this size on the market, you’re getting value for money here when it comes to quality and support, and these are two huge features that should take preference when shopping for an exercise mat.
There are plenty of nice little extras that Square36 has added to your mat, including a handy travel bag that makes it easy to carry around. If you’re not using your mat just at home, then you’ll be able to easily transport it to classes with this bag and keep your investment protected, so that’s a great bonus to have.
They also include two storage straps so that it stays firmly in place when traveling, but just be sure to let it out at times so that you don’t cause a permanent curl on the edges.
This cardio mat has also been made to work with the Square36 Yoga Mat, so if you like to mix up your intense cardio workouts with something more relaxing, the two go well together.
Overall, you won’t find better quality when it comes to exercise mats, and because it’s constructed completely of non-toxic materials, you don’t have to give your health a second thought either.
Runner-up: Gorilla Mats Extra Large Mat
Another contender for the best large exercise mat but one that falls just slightly short of the Square36 mat is the Gorilla Mats product. This is an extra large sized mat with dimensions of 96 inches by 48 inches and a thickness of around 6mm.
The rectangular shape of this mat makes it great for exercises where you’ll be moving in one direction, so if you need more freedom in movement, then it might be best to shop for a square shape.
The Gorilla Mats range is made from non-toxic materials so you won’t be worried about dangerous chemicals during your workout, but that doesn’t mean the mat isn’t tough.
The mats have been made to be supportive, high density and nonslip, so even if you’re getting sweaty and giving the mat everything you’ve got, it won’t break or become unstable under your feet.
Gorilla Mats have included two Velcro straps which allow you to roll your mat up and keep it tight when not in use. You can also travel with this mat by holding the straps, but just be sure to give sufficient time for it to uncurl itself when you’re setting up.
Another nice bonus is the microfiber towel included so if you’re working out and getting sweaty you can give your mat a quick wipe down to soak up any excess moisture.
These mats have been built so toughly that Gorilla wants you to leave your shoes on when you work out and notice just how little impact it has. With their unique circle bottom grips, they’ll keep you stable on the mat, and it will last for years when cared for correctly.
The only real issue people found with stability was when they tried to use the mat on the carpet and found it slipping around, so it’s better suited to other types of flooring.
Although one of the more expensive options on the market there’s certainly a lot of worth in the Gorilla Extra Large Fitness Mat. This is the perfect choice for a cardio style mat that can take a beating, so if you’ve been looking for something high density that will last for months and years to come, you can’t pass this one up.
Best Hot Yoga Mat
Winner: Yoga Design Lab Combo Yoga Mat
If you’re one of the many people who enjoy hot yoga these days, you’ll know just how important it is to have the right mat for this unique style of workout.
As the name suggests, hot yoga can get a little hot, and your body will do its natural functions and sweat up a storm, so you need a supportive and stable yoga mat to suit.
The Yoga Design Lab Combo Yoga Mat can offer just that and give you extra grip when you sweat. Thanks to the unique design that combines both a mat and a towel you’ll get the best of both worlds and can stop carrying all of that gear to class.
As an added bonus, you can throw it all in the washing machine for an easy clean that won’t destroy the mat, and then simply hang it out to dry.
Unlike other fitness mats that get slippery when you sweat, the innovative technology used to design the Combo Yoga Mat means that as you sweat your grip improves.
This makes it the obvious first choice for the best hot yoga mat and one that will keep your body firm and in place so you can focus on your breathing and achieving your poses.
Judging by the online reviews, this seems to be one of heavier options out there for Bikram yoga, with people being torn over what they prefer. If you like a bulkier mat for yoga, then this is still a great choice, but for those who prefer flexibility and a lightweight feel to their mats, you’ll want to continue your search.
This is one of the only truly eco-friendly mats on the market made from a range of natural ingredients and materials which puts it a step ahead.
With recycled bottles, water prints, and natural tree rubber being used to craft this unique yoga mat, you’ll feel as if you’re doing your part for the environment while you enjoy some healing yoga.
Best Travel Yoga Mat
Winner: BalanceFrom Exercise Yoga Mat
Yoga is one of those great forms of exercise that seems to be even better when you mix up the scenery, and if you’re a fan of attending classes or doing your yoga poses on the go, you’ll really appreciate the BalanceFrom Yoga Mat.
This is our top pick for the best travel yoga mat because it’s lightweight and durable, making the perfect combination. The BalanceFrom Yoga Mat measures in at 71 inches long and 24 inches wide so there’s more than enough space to do all of your favorite poses.
This is quite a thin mat which is the preference of many yoga lovers, however, if you prefer something with more thickness you probably won’t be very impressed. With ½ inch thickness, many people will be happy with this size, so it all depends on what you’re used to.
Although this mat performs well for a while, some of the online reviews indicate that the mat began to wear after a few months and was no longer providing adequate support.
However, this is an insanely cheap mat when compared to others, so it stacked up quite well against comparatively priced mats, it all depends on what you’re after.
The lightweight feel and ease to carry it around make this mat a great choice for traveling purposes. BalanceFrom includes an adjustable Velcro strap that lets you wrap your mat tightly and take it with you, even on the plane, so you can practice wherever you go.
Some might even like to keep a spare one in their car, so it’s ready for use anywhere, and because they’re so affordable it wouldn’t be much of a hassle at all to have a few on hand.
This is certainly one of the cheaper options out there for yoga mats, but if you’re looking for something lightweight and dependable that you can travel with, then you really can’t go wrong with the BalanceFrom Yoga Mat.
With adequate support and a stable base to practice your moves, you’ll find yourself comfortable and supported with this under your feet.
Best Folding Exercise Mat
Winner: Best Choice Products Folding Mat
When you’re after more of a solid foundation for your fitness mat but also like the flexibility to take it with you wherever you go, you might prefer a quality folding mat instead.
The Best Choice Products Folding Mat offers a unique way to work out on the go with a mat that can be folded out anywhere but with more thickness and stability than you’d find on a regular workout mat.
Best Choice Products has covered this folding mat with PU leather which means it won’t absorb sweat and can be easily cleaned. The downside to having this type of material is that it can get somewhat slippery compared to rubber mats, so if you’re planning on doing something like hot yoga you might want to reconsider.
Within the mat is two inches of high-density EPE foam, so you’re protected from any high impact sports or hard falls, making it ideal for people working out with activities like gymnastics.
This mat is a lot thicker than you’ll find in a standard workout mat but not as heavy duty as a professional gym mat, so it’s the perfect in between for working out on your own.
The mat measures 120 inches by 48 inches, however, it has Velcro edges that allow you to attach as many additional mats as you might need. This is especially helpful in gymnastics if you want to practice tumbling or something that requires more space, and it means you can always alter your workout space to suit whatever you might be doing that day.
This mat is the ideal traveling companion thanks to a few design features that Best Choice Products have included, especially with the carrying handles.
The mat has been made with a four-piece folding pattern that means you can pack it up in mere seconds and have it ready to go when you need to, so there’s no bulky equipment lying around at home or tricky setup involved.
Best Exercise Bike Mat
Winner: ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat
For those who love the intensity of an exercise bike workout, you’ll probably already know how hard it makes your job when you’re riding on an uneven or soft surface.
The ProSource Puzzle Mat is our top recommendation for the best exercise bike mat thanks to the support it gives you as you ride, meaning you can put all of your focus on your RPM and less on trying to feel stable. This unique exercise mat is six mats in one, and they use a special locking system to keep them all in place.
You have the freedom to buy many more if you want and use them to cover a larger space since they all click in together, so there’s no limit to just how much ground you can cover and how many bikes you can own with the ProSource Puzzle Mat.
Each square in the set measures 24 inches x 24 inches and is an inch thick, and when put together you can create any combination you want to make different shapes of varying lengths.
Thanks to the extra thickness these mats have versus a regular exercise mat, there’ll be no need to worry about damage being done to the floor below from your bike, so it’s especially great for people with sensitive surfaces underneath.
Some people have commented that if you like to mix up your workout and do some burpees or squats next to your bike, then this padding just won’t do.
You’ll find yourself slipping quite a bit, so it’s really only useful for heavy equipment like an exercise bike. For large gyms or areas with a sole space for cycling though, this shouldn’t pose a problem.
This is a great mat for those who want freedom in their workouts and like the chance to change things up and move around their exercise space.
Because the set of six mats from ProSource is so affordable, there’s really no limit to how much area you can cover with them, so long as you’re sure only to stick to bike riding when you’re on top.
Best Exercise Equipment Mat
Winner: Amazon Basics Exercise Mat
When you’ve got your home gym or own a professional fitness center, there’s no doubt you’ve got quite a few pieces of exercise equipment on show. This equipment is heavy duty and bulky, easily doing damage to the floor underneath and not keeping stable and steady as you work out if you’re not careful about where you place it.
The Amazon Basics Exercise Mat is a simple solution to this problem and one that’s affordable and easy to set up.
Amazon Basics has created the perfect exercise mat for all kinds of workout equipment, machines, and gear, so anyone with their own gym would be wise to invest. A set comes with six pieces that cover 24 feet in total, with each individual square measuring 24 inches x 24 inches.
These squares are just half an inch thick, but they’re durable enough to withstand the weight of your heavy machines, so don’t be fooled by how small they sound. The best thing about the Amazon Basics Exercise Mat is that you can use it for almost anything you can think of, so you’re not just limited to storing equipment on it.
Because the mats are covered with a special grip surface, you’ll get excellent traction, so they’re perfect for doing all kinds of workouts and then hopping on your exercise equipment to finish the session.
There are a few online reviews that state the mats can get a little slippery if you’re doing other exercises on them, but these are more for things like hot yoga and other sweaty workouts.
If you do plan on building up a sweat and jumping around on the mat be aware that it has a slick coating on it that could be dangerous in this circumstance. If you’re looking for something specifically for this purpose, a specialized hot yoga mat or mat with extra traction might be preferable.
Regarding price they’re extremely affordable, however, Amazon Basics has put a limit on how many you can purchase. For most home gym owners, though, it should be more than enough to cover your space, so there’s no need to fear.
To keep your floor protected and your exercise equipment steady, there’s no better choice than the Amazon Basics exercise mat.
The Essential Features To Look For In Your Exercise Mat
For such a simple looking piece of workout equipment, there’s quite a bit that goes into choosing the perfect mat for you. We’ve shown you our top recommendations for fitness mats in all budgets and to suit all types of workouts, but there are some questions you need to answer for yourself before you make this important investment.
What Design Is It?
The first thing you’ll need to consider when looking for your fitness mat is its design, and there are actually quite a few to choose from. Common workout mats include yoga mats, cardio mats, gymnastics mats, and gym equipment mats, each with a sole purpose.
Yoga mats are lightweight with good grip whereas a cardio mat is a little more heavy duty to provide resistance to high impact workouts. Mats for holding gym equipment need to be tough and durable, but a gymnastics mat needs to be portable and needs to have more padding for the type of moves one will perform on it.
Can You Wear Shoes On It?
While it might seem like an odd question, some of these fitness mats weren’t designed to have people walking or working out on them. Many of the mats made to hold bulky gym equipment aren’t ideal for cardio workouts or yoga as they don’t provide the non-slip protection.
Also, gym mats are quite thin and lightweight and really only ideal for performing yoga on, and so shoes are not recommended.
Is It Designed For Equipment?
If you’re shopping for your home gym and find that you have quite a few different exercises you like to do, you’ll no doubt have a piece of gym equipment somewhere in the mix.
Not all mats have been designed to withstand the weight of these bulky machines, and they can even do more damage to your floors if not carefully used. The most obvious sign of a heavy duty mat is its thickness, so nothing less than ½ inch should be used to hold equipment.
The Type Of Workout You’re Using It For
We all have our preferred workout style or activity, and your mat should be a direct reflection of this. There are mats made with specific purposes, so it’s best to shop to this if you have a particular workout you like.
Some common types of mats include yoga mats, cardio mats, and gym equipment mats, each designed to keep you comfortable and stable while you work out in your favorite fashion.
What Materials Is It Made From?
This feature may not be of importance to everyone, but the materials used in your mat will have a lot of impact on your workout.
Some might prefer to source those made from natural materials like plant rubber and recycled goods whereas others will not mind a synthetic material so long as it can keep them stable and prevent them from slipping around. Usually, the natural materials are more costly, but they have the bonus of longevity and durability, so it’s all up to the user.
Weight And Size
There are two main areas to look at when talking about the size of an exercise mat folded and set up. Most mats come with both options and rarely is a mat just a mat with no other purpose, so it needs to fit your workout space.
The folded dimensions of a mat will be important if you travel so look for something that can get compact, especially if you plan on traveling on a plane with it. Once assembled, the mat should have larger dimensions that will fit your workout style.
If you are using just a machine on top, then it won’t have as large of a footprint, but if you plan on aerobic and cardio style workouts, you’ll want space to move.
How Easy It Is To Setup
Those who plan on taking their mat around with them, whether it’s a yoga class or to work out in the park, you’ll need to know about all its setup. Some mats simply roll out and ready to use, others click into place with interlocking joints, and some fold out into a larger design.
If you’re not savvy with these types of things, it’s best to look for one with a setup that’s as straightforward as possible.
How Easy It To Carry Around
Many people like the option of taking their mat with them, and this is especially true for those searching for the best yoga mat. Look for additional features like carrying handles or storage straps and bags that have been designed to make it easy to travel with.
If you’re purchasing a mat that doesn’t come with straps, there are options to purchase these separately, however many quality brands already have them included for the customer’s convenience.
How You Can Benefit From Exercise Mat
Fitness mats are one of those products that you might not realize you need until you’ve used one and you feel the phenomenal difference they make.
When you think about the low cost compared to the numerous benefits, these simple pieces of fitness equipment are a must have for people of all backgrounds and fitness levels, and here are just a few reasons why.
When you think about how much we spend on gym memberships or fitness clubs that we never use, a simple investment in a gym mat can save you thousands of dollars over the year.
You’ll even have some leftover to get extra equipment so you can set up your very own home gym and workout whenever you want.
More Effective Workout
Having the right exercise mat working with you will improve your workout significantly, regardless of what you like to do.
A quality yoga mat will provide you with stability and a great base to center yourself, and a solid cardio mat will keep your feet from slipping out when you’re performing tough tasks like burpees and pushups.
Protection For You
It should come as no surprise that exercise can be damaging to your body if you’re putting too much pressure on it. Having a thick and high-density exercise mat underneath when you jump, lunge, and skip means your joints will be protected from the hard impact.
Anyone who does cardio shouldn’t be without one of these mats for the protection they offer alone.
Protection For Your Home
While it’s great to have your workout gear at home and access to a gym whenever you want it, having all of this heavy exercise equipment and jumping around on your floors can be doing the damage.
Choosing the best thick exercise mat will not only protect your body but also any surface you work out on, which is especially helpful if you’re using heavy equipment.
Anyone who loves a sweaty yoga workout will know just how bad it is when you forget your mat for class and are forced to use one of the shared ones, as the mere thought of all the germs and bacteria present will be enough to send you running.
Having your own mat means you’re the only one who uses it and in between your workout classes you can wash it or air dry to keep it smelling and looking fresh.
Personal Workout Space
Having your workout mat gives you a sense of individuality and independence as you work out, as you have a personal space to call your own. These mats can be used in public settings like the park or gyms but having a mat means you are within your own space and feel comfortable.
They’re great for yoga and other shared exercise classes but just as helpful if you’re setting up a home gym and want to map out your area for workouts.
Who Could Benefit From An Exercise Mat?
One of the biggest bonuses of these mats is just how versatile they are, and that’s proven when you look at the many different types of people who can use them. Here are just a few groups of people who could benefit from owning an exercise mat and why.
The intense and high impact nature of cardio means you’re always putting your body through a lot, so having a thick and supportive mat underneath is essential for anyone who likes to get their heart rate up.
Mats can keep the pressure and strain off your joints and keep your feet steady even when you start to break a sweat.
Yoga And Pilates Fans
Even the very earliest yogis had mats of some description, and these essential pieces of yoga gear and often all you need to enjoy a session. Pilates mats are equally as important to provide stability and a non-slip surface, so both types of exercise require them.
If you have a set of weights at home and keep them on the ground, you’ll likely be doing a lot of damage because of the sheer weight of them all. A simple gym mat underneath can keep them protected and keep your floor protected, too.
The quick feet and constant movement required when boxing means you need a stable base to work out and train on. Many boxers have some form of gym mat underneath that can help them move quickly but stay stable, so if you have your punching bag at home, then you shouldn’t be without one.
Although many gymnasts use a professional gym to practice, it’s great to have the portable mat that you can take along with you for whenever you want to spend some time perfecting your moves.
These mats are portable and lightweight but fold out to resemble a gym surface, so every serious gymnast should own one.
Patients With Illness Or Injury
If you’ve been intruded by a medical professional to do rehab workouts, you’ll want them to be an as low impact as possible to prevent further injury.
A thick and supportive gym mat can provide exactly that and works for all different kinds of workouts in every part of your body.
Those who own a commercial gym will want to create a uniform look for your space and having all of your gym equipment on the same type of mat will help you achieve it. These mats can keep the equipment safe from scratches and keep the gym floor protected at the same time.
Finding The Best Exercise Mat For You
As you can see, shopping around for the best exercise mat can be a tricky thing to do, especially if you have no real direction about the type of workout you want to do.
It’s always best to have some goals in mind for the exercise equipment or style of exercise you’ll be doing at home and then let that lead you in the right direction to find the perfect mat.
Many people often think of their exercise equipment or boxing gloves as the most important piece of fitness gear, but these mats are so supportive and versatile that they really can’t be beaten.
A quality exercise mat can be helpful in all kinds of workouts and for people of all skill levels, and because they’re so affordable, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in one for your home or commercial gym.
The right gym mat should be directed at improving your workouts, but ultimately they need to be comfortable and supportive.
When you consider the weight and impact that these mats endure in a simple 30-minute workout session, it’s not an item that you want to cheap out on just to save yourself some money, so support should be key.
Once you’ve purchased the best home exercise mat, you’ll be amazed at how much better your workouts are, thanks to the stability they provide and how they keep your workout gear steady.
No gym, either home or commercial, should be without at least one type of mat, and these versatile mats could be the key to the workout success that you’ve been searching for.