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Working out at home has become the new normal and many of us are trying to modify our workout equipment to fit with our space. One of the most important items you’ll need to complete (or start) your make-shift home gym is an exercise mat, but with the large variety of options out there, the search for the right one might get a bit intimidating.
The best exercise mats (also known interchangeably as workout mats or fitness mats) are designed to give you
You have to consider size, material, durability, price and more. Not to mention, you have to consider if your mat can withstand consistent heavy-duty workouts over time. To help you out, we’ve done the research. Keep on reading for everything you need to know before you invest in a workout mat of your own.
What Makes a Good Exercise Mat?
There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for the best exercise mats online. Here’s what to look for to find the best workout mat for you.
Size: Are you planning to do yoga or core exercises while lying flat on the mat or do you work out standing up? How much floor space do you have to place your new mat? These are all questions to consider before you purchase your new exercise mat. If you live in a studio or are low on space and need something that can be stored easily, pick a regular 68 to 72-inch (around 5.6-feet) mat. If you’ve got a dedicated home gym and want a large multifunctional mat that can even hold your equipment, choose one of our ultra-wide options.
Material: Exercise mats can be made out of PVC, rubber, foam and even cloth. Rubber mats are more likely to stay in place but might not be as plush as a PVC mat. They’re both great though, sot it ultimately comes down to what you plan on using this mat for. For high-intensity workouts, it might be important to have a workout mat that stays in place, likely made out of rubber, for instance.
Thickness: The best exercise mats can be as thin as 0.125 inches (3.175 mm) or as thick as an inch. Most exercise mats are usually 0.5 inches thick. It all depends on how much support you think your joints need. I personally use a one-inch-thick fitness mat to support my lower back during core exercises but if you have a floor that’s usually carpeted or a dedicated gym floor, you can buy a mat that’s a lot thinner — even one that’s 0.125 inches thick.
Durability: PVC mats are extremely durable and generally easy to clean. They also have the most ‘give’ and can last a long time. But, they might not be the best option if you get very sweaty during your workouts. In that case, you’ll want a rubber or jute fitness mat. They’re more earth-friendly, and are also exceptionally durable, as long as you regularly clean them. All in all, a well-used exercise mat should last you a year on average.
1. ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat
If you’re looking for a foldable mat, this one from ProsourceFit is a huge hit thanks to its durability and versatility.
It’s 1.5 inches thick, making this the thickest option on our list, so if you’re looking for ample cushion during your workouts, this is a good choice for you. It’s also pretty long at six-feet (72 inches) making it easy to settle your entire body onto this mat.
The surface is vinyl which is both easy to clean and durable since it’s tear-resistant. Once you’re done using it, simply fold your exercise mat up and use the carrying straps to take it with you or store it against your gym wall.
This mat is best for people prone to muscle aches and pains or those who’re looking for something fit for gymnastics and martial arts.
2. innhom Gym Mat
If you’re a fan of puzzle-style mats that can be easily put together, you’ll like this workout mat, which also comes in multiple sizes and colors. The one we recommend is the 12-pack which covers a whopping 46.5 square feet in total.
Each foam tile is extremely lightweight for trouble-free transport and storage. It’s also waterproof, making it easy to keep this home gym essential clean. The tiles are about 0.375 inches thick, which means you should be able to comfortably lay down or work out standing up. It does feature a textured non-slip grip surface which might not be the most comfortable if you’re on the floor for long periods of time, but it does mean you’ll be able to place all sorts of exercise equipment on it.
Pro tip: if you’re looking for a quick way to redesign your gym floor, grab the 48-pack and just set all your equipment directly onto this multipurpose mat.
3. Gxmmat Large Exercise Mat
If you’re constantly working with ropes, weights or if burpees are part of your everyday workout, you’ll need an ultra-wide fitness mat like the Gxmmat Large Exercise Mat. It measures six-feet long and four-feet wide, which means your body may never touch the floor, even during the stretchiest yoga poses.
The material is high-density foam about 7mm thick (0.27 inches) which is on the thinner side but it still provided the right amount of support for our joints. The bottom of the mat has a grooved non-slip surface while the top is smooth for added comfort.
You’ll also get booth storage straps and a carry-on bag included with this pick, making it easy to transport or store.
It’s slightly costlier than some of the other options on this list but it’s well worth your buck since it’s both latex-free and eco-friendly.
4. BalanceFrom All-Purpose Mat
The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose mat is well-loved by thousands of users for its comfort and portability. The mat comes with its own carrying strap so you can roll it up and take it with you to work, to the yoga studio or, just keep it at home.
It’s is available in seven different colors and is 0.5-inches thick with a foam build for maximum comfort. The mat’s a little over 5-feet long (71 inches) which should give you just enough space to carry out your yoga and core exercises, although your feet might dangle off the ends a bit.
The brand does say that this option features anti-slip traction though, so that means even if you’re jogging in place on it while playing Ring Fit Adventure, your mat should keep you from slipping. It’s also easy to clean featuring moisture resistant technology so you’ll be able to wipe it down after your grueling workouts.
That said, many customers complained about the durability of this mat, so while it’s a great option at a stellar price, it might not be the best for long-term use.