I’ve had a lot of my bodybuilder clients look at me as if I had two heads when I ask them about the floor exercises they do at home.
Even if you don’t do yoga or pilates, exercise and yoga mats can be a huge asset for your workout routines.
The comfortable joint cushioning could make a big difference during stretching or free weight exercises. But the problem is always quality and durability.
I’ve had too many mats that tore to shreds within weeks, so we decided to test some of the most popular ones to come up with this list of best exercise mats.
Our Top Exercise Mats
1 - HemingWeigh Extra Thick Yoga Mat (Editor's Choice)
I’ve had one for over a year and firmly believe it might be the best exercise mat.
At 1 inch, it’s a thick exercise mat that suits me during my extended stretching routines.
- Dimensions : 70 x 23 x 1 inches
- Material : Nitrile Butadiene Rubber
- Positive comments about the non-slip surface even when you sweat
- Uses only non-toxic material to reduce skin reactions
- Easy to clean with a damp cloth
- It’s long enough to suit taller people
- It has a strong smell when you first unpack it
2 - Sunny Health & Fitness Tumbling Mat
Sunny Health & Fitness has a range of exercise mats, and we picked this one as it’s extra thick.
We also liked the non-slip surface, which might be great for HIIT routines.
- Dimensions : 72 x 24 x 2 inches
- Material : Synthetic nylon
- Folds up easily with a zip to hold it together
- Extra padding suits people with joint problems
- Positive comments that it wipes clean easily after intense workouts
- It might not be dense enough for heavy-duty use
It’s not a high-density one to support heavier people and might lose its shape a little.
3 - Manduka Eko Superlite Yoga Mat
If you need something small and light for your gym bag, then this might just be the answer.
It’s also a non-slip exercise mat that you could use for some dumbbell workouts.
- Dimensions : 68 x 24 x 0.06 inches
- Material : Biodegradable tree rubber
- Nice and light design makes it a more portable option
- Improves your grip even on smooth, hard surfaces
- Suitable for machine washing after use
- It’s thin by design, which might not suit everyone
4 - ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Exercise Mat
While the interlocking tiles make this a slightly larger mat when folded down.
It might give you the thickness you need for certain yoga poses that might strain your joints.
- Dimensions : 72 x 24 x 1.5 inches
- Material : Vinyl
- Folded foam tiles make it easier to store under a bed
- Vinyl materials are more suitable to avoid movement and stretching
- Easy to clean with a cloth and doesn’t seem to smell
- Might not stand up to high-intensity floor exercises
5 - Gaiam Yoga Mat
This is another one of the thinner workout mats that we noted as feeling like it’s almost stuck to the ground.
That might be helpful if you have wood floors where some other mats could start to slip.
- Dimensions : 68 x 24 x 0.25 inches
- Material : 6P free PVC
- Positive reviews about the non-slip material
- Comes with some guided yoga class videos
- Available in some great color options and designs
- The thin design might not suit people with joint issues
6 - AmazonBasics Thick Exercise Mat
This is possibly the longest non-slip exercise mat you’ll find.
At 74 inches, it should suit taller athletes with many types of yoga and pilates exercises.
- Dimensions : 74 x 24 x 0.5 inches
- Material : NBR foam
- It’s one of the longest yoga mats we could find for taller athletes
- Suitable for hardwood floors as it doesn’t seem to slip
- The surface is textured, which helps improve traction during yoga
- It may receive some tears from high-intensity workouts
7 - BalanceFrom GoYoga
If you do some HIIT or CrossFit type exercises at home, then you need a mat that won’t tear easily.
And this mat has a lot of positive comments that highlight that may be more tear-proof than most other mats.
- Dimensions : 74 x 24 x 0.5 inches
- Material : Synthetic foam
- The high-density foam is suitable for heavier people
- Straps detach so they don’t get in the way of exercising
- Easy to wipe clean even after intense workouts
- It tends to slip a bit on hard surfaces
8 - Everyday Essentials Large Yoga Mat
I disagree with the name a bit, as it’s not really a large exercise mat.
But it does come with a lot of positive feedback about providing a lot of traction and grip.
- Dimensions : 71 x 24 x 0.5 inches
- Material : Synthetic foam
- Positive reviews about the mat not slipping on a wood surface
- Moisture-resistant foam should avoid it getting smelly
- Seems to provide good traction for home yoga exercises
- The foam could be a bit denser to reduce pressure on joints
9 - SPRI Exercise Mat
Some people just want a small mat for their gym bag to support their back during a yoga workout.
At just 48 inches long, this is one of the smaller ones, but it may work surprisingly well.
- Dimensions : 48 x 24 x 0.5 inches
- Material : Poly-foam
- Small enough to fit in your gym bag
- Users like that it provides good traction and less slipping
- It’s easy to keep clean with a damp cloth
- It’s pretty short so won’t suit all types of exercises
10 - Gxmmat Workout Mat
The final one of our recommended exercise mats is an oversized one that could be large enough for two people.
A lot of people like it for HIIT and plyometric exercises as it gives you way more square feet to work with.
- Dimensions : 72.05 x 95.67 x 0.28 inches
- Material : Micro-foam
- Extra large workout mat ideal for cardio
- Rolls up into an easy to store package for
- Includes workout gloves for HIIT exercises
- It tends to get a bit slippery with a lot of sweat
Here are three important things you need to keep in mind when making a buying decision.
1. Optimum Materials
You’ll find some cheaper mats that use EVA foam. It might feel nice and soft, but it misses a few important things.
Not only is it not dense enough to withstand some more intense exercises, but it might also tear quite easily.
If you need something that provides good padding and will last a long time, rubber is possibly the best choice.
Our best exercise mat recommendation uses a nitrile butadiene rubber, which has two important advantages.
It gives it a non-slip surface, but it’s also very easy to clean.
2. Size And Thickness
Most mats are about 24 inches wide, and the longest ones will be about 74 inches long.
If you’re over 6 feet tall, then make sure you get a 74-inch mat.
But what’s probably more important is the thickness.
A thick exercise mat of about 1.5 to 2 inches may be ideal if you have some joint issues where pressure tends to cause some pain.
But they might also help if you do a lot of stretching where you might spend a long time in a certain position.
3. Roll-Up Or Fold-Up Design
Both of these are easy to store, but you might find the roll-up mats would be easier to fit in your gym bag.
I know many people who bring their own mat to the gym for hygiene reasons, and that’s where a rolled-up mat is ideal. Just make sure that you get one where the carrying strap detaches.
I find the ones where the strap is permanently attached to the mat end up with bits hanging off it where your feet can get tangled up.
Is There a Difference Between a Yoga Mat and an Exercise Mat?
Yes, there is a difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat. Most yoga mats would be thinner than exercise mats, normally ranging between 1/4 and 1/2 inches thick. Exercise mats tend to be 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
How Thick Should an Exercise Mat Be?
An exercise mat should be 0.5 to 2 inches thick. The thicker they are, the more suitable they might be for a high-intensity workout. Thinner ones tend to be more portable if you want to bring it to the gym.
Which Of These Best Exercise Mats Should You Choose?
Our top pick for the best range of flexibility is the HemingWeigh mat. It’s suitable for all types of workouts, and I regularly use mine for yoga, pilates, and stretching.
It’s durable enough to withstand the odd dumbbell being dropped, and you might find it easy to keep clean as well.
Order yours today and let us know how it worked out for you.