Exercise mats are non-slip mats used during floor-based workouts. This is used to protect your hands, feet, back, and body so you can get your workout done safely. While these mats are affordable, there’s still several things to consider before getting your exercise mat. So we’ve picked the best exercise mats on the market for every body type and every type of workout as well as give you some tips on how to get the best exercise mat for you.
Let’s get to it…
Quick Answer: Top 7 Exercise Mats
- Best Overall: ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Thick Exercise Mat
- Top Premium: Gxmmat Large Exercise Mat
- Most Durable: SPRI Hanging Exercise Mat
- Great Value: TOPLUS Yoga & Exercise Mat
- Best Travel Exercise Mat: Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Mat
- Best Cheap Option: Gaiam Yoga & Exercise Mat
- Thickest Mat: BalanceFrom GoYoga Extra Thick Exercise Mat
Best Exercise Mat Review
ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Thick Exercise Mat
Why we love it: It’s 1.5” thick and dense which is ideal for sensitive joints and hard surfaces. It’s also easy to clean and moderately easy to transport.
If you prefer outdoor exercises or simply workout on hard floors then you’ll appreciate the padding that the ProsourceFit provides. The surface is a durable vinyl while the inside is a dense foam. If you’ve even been to a boxing gym or gymnastics studio and felt the exercise mats they have there, this is exactly like that. Needless to say, it’s optimal cushioning and perfect for a dedicated exercise mat.
The outer layer is very easy to clean since it’s vinyl and doesn’t absorb any moisture. You can simply wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe or soap and water. Being that it’s not moisture absorbent, it also dries very quickly.
When it comes to moving it around or storing it in the house, the tri-fold design comes in handy. When folded, there are handles on both sides which make it easy to carry and it’s just 24 x 23.5 inches so you can put it in the closet or under the bed pretty easily.
There have been a few reports of the stitching around the seams coming loose but that doesn’t seem to be very common. Aside from that, if you’re looking for an exercise mat that lasts longer, the ProsourceFit is an excellent choice. It’s affordable, durable, and has everything you need built right in.
Who should buy the ProsourceFit exercise mat?
If you’re looking for the best of all worlds and need something specifically for exercise, this is an excellent choice.
What makes it special?
- Extra thick & durable
- Tri-folding design
- Very easy to clean
- Resilient foam with vinyl surface
- Tri-fold design for compact storage
- Size : 72″ x 24″ x 1 1/12 ”
Gxmmat Large Exercise Mat
Why we love it: Best choice for large mats perfect for your various fitness activities!
The Gxmmat extra large exercise mat gives you the most space possible. At 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, it’s the largest exercise mat on the list and it’s ideal for garages, living rooms, and workout rooms. Made from a 7 mm thick PVC that’s non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals, it provides great cushioning on a large surface for an affordable price.
Both the top and bottom are non slip so you can get pretty active without slipping or sliding. It also comes with free gloves, a storage bag, and straps. Gxmmat extra large exercise mat is perfect if you have the space and want something far bigger than a yoga mat. Overall, there’s nothing bad to say about the mat. It’s great for exercising alongside your kids or even with your spouse.
Who should buy the Gxmmat Large Yoga Mat?
This mat is perfect for anyone who has large spaces at home and wants to enjoy more freedom in their movement and fitness routines.
What makes it special?
- 4′ x 8′ surface area
- 7 mm thick PVC padding
- Closed cell, easy to clean surface
- Unrestricted workouts (Dimensions: 72” x 48” x 7mm)
- Made of non-toxic materials
- Double-sided non-slip surface
- Cushion: 7mm
SPRI Hanging Exercise Mat
Why we love it: Multiple lengths and thicknesses available, reinforced holes for hanging the mat up, durable material.
The SRPI hanging exercise mat has some unique qualities that make it stand out. First, the mat has reinforced grommets built for hanging the mat up when you’re not using it. They sell a wall-mounted rack but you could also build one yourself if you wanted to. Second, it’s built for use in commercial gyms. This means that it’s durable enough to withstand dozens or even a hundred people using it every day without breaking down.
Other notable features are that it comes in multiple lengths and both ⅜” and ⅝” thicknesses. If you need more padding, the ⅝” one is perfect. It’s constructed from a dense foam with a closed cell surface so it’s just a simple wipe down after your workout to clean it off. It dries quickly and you can simply hang it up and out of the way when you’re done.
Who should buy the SPRI Exercise Mat
If you need a super durable exercise mat that’s lightweight and hangable, this is an excellent option.
What makes it special?
- Built for commercial use durability
- Special reinforced holes for hanging
- Multiple sizes and thicknesses available
- Hanging exercise mat
- Reinforced Hanging Holes
- High-Quality closed-cell foam
- Sizes Available: 56 or 71-inch length, ⅜ or ⅝ thickness
TOPLUS Yoga & Exercise Mat
Why we love it: One year warranty, made of Eco-friendly material, it’s lightweight, and works equally well for both traditional exercise and yoga.
We’ve recommended the TOPLUS before as a quality affordable yoga mat. But because it’s ¼ in thick, it also works well as an exercise mat even on harder surfaces.
Unlike most exercise mats, the TOPLUS mat is made of thermoplastic rubber (TPE) material that’s very durable and easy to clean. It’s made from two layers with the bottom being designed to grip the floor so it doesn’t move around when you’re working out. The top layer has a diamond pattern to prevent slipping. The top and bottom layers are also different but complementary colors which gives it a very cool look.
Although this exercise mat is only 6mm thick, the TPE is dense so it’s going to provide nearly the same cushioning as a thicker exercise mat made from softer material. It’s also relatively lightweight, weighing just over 2 lbs and comes with a carrying strap so it’s easy to take it with you on the go.
And if you sweat a lot while you exercise, you don’t have to worry about your mat getting grimey. The TOPLUS has a closed cell surface meaning it’s not porous and doesn’t store bacteria within tiny holes. After a workout, you can simply wipe it down and you’re good to go.
Who should buy the TOPLUS Yoga Mat?
This exercise mat is perfect for any users including kids as it is made from natural and non-toxic material.
What makes it special?
- Made from durable TPE
- Works for yoga & exercise
- One-year warranty
- Product weight: 2 lbs
- Mat thickness: 6 mm Mat dimension: 72” x 24”
- Made from TPE Material
- Dual-layer and dual color
- Unique non-slip texture
Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Mat
Why we love it: Great for traveling, natural rubber, great grip.
Manduka is a brand that we constantly recognize for making the best yoga mats. That being said, if you’re a fitness enthusiast on the go, it doesn’t get much easier than the eKO Superlite.
The Manduka eKO Superlite is super thin and portable and made of 100% natural tree rubber. It’s not only made of biodegradable materials but is also free from toxic plasticizers and harmful chemicals that can be bad for your health. And if you have latex allergies, you’ll be happy to know that it’s made 99% latex-free, so it’s safe for most users with latex sensitivities.
We recommend this as an exercise mat only if you need something on the go though. For example, if you plan on jogging to the park and need a mat as a surface to keep you from getting dirty. Otherwise, it’s just 1.5 mm thick so it doesn’t provide a whole lot of cushioning for working out on hard surfaces and isn’t designed to be your main mat.
And after using it in the park, you’re going to want to clean it. Fortunately, it’s made with a closed cell surface so cleaning it is a piece of cake.
Who should buy the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat?
Overall, it’s a great exercise mat if you need something to fold up and tuck into your purse or backpack.
What makes it special?
- Folds down to fit in any bag and purse
- Easy to clean surface
- Made from 99% latex free natural rubber
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Cushion : 1.5 mm
- Product dimension: 68 x 24 x 0.1 inches; 2.08 ounces
- Closed cell surface technology
- Lightweight and durable
Gaiam Yoga & Exercise Mat
Why we love it: Stylish designs and colors, affordable, versatile.
The Gaiam yoga mat is a durable yet lightweight mat that can be used for all types of yoga, pilates, and even floor workouts. It’s similar to the TOPLUS yoga mat in thickness but made from PVC rather than TPE. PVC is almost as dense as TPE but not quite and also not as environmentally friendly. That being said, Gaiam goes the extra mile to ensure it’s non-toxic and doesn’t contain anything that’s harmful to your body.
At 6mm, it’s just thick enough to work as both an exercise mat and a yoga mat at the same time. Being that it’s primarily designed for yoga, it comes in plenty of stylish designs and has a non-slip sticky surface that’s great for pushups, planks, and other downward facing exercises.
And on another high note, they include a free downloadable yoga workout that can help you to get back into shape.
The drawback of the Gaiam is that it’s not as environmentally friendly and pretty basic feeling. That being said, if you like the design and need something simple that’s also cheap, it’s a solid option.
Who should buy the Gaiam Yoga Mat?
If you want a versatile mat that works for both yoga and exercise, you don’t have overly sensitive joints, and you don’t have much of a budget, it’s a good option.
What makes it special?
- Lots of designs available
- Made with non-toxic materials
- Great for both yoga and exercise
- Lightweight and thick yoga mat
- Dimension: 68” L x 24” W x 6 mm thick
- Sticky Non-Slip Texture
- Free Yoga Class
BalanceFrom GoYoga Extra Thick Exercise Mat
Why we love it: Simple design, extra thick, multiple colors, easy to clean.
Enjoy a comfortable workout on the BalanceFrom GoYoga exercise mat with its high-density foam material that is perfect for all shapes and sizes. Even on hardwood floors, this exercise mat gives you a fantastic cushion to protect your spine, knees, hips, and elbows with its ½ inches thickness.
The exercise mat comes with a double-sided non-slip surface that does a good job at staying in place. It is very easy to maintain because it has a moisture-resistant surface so you can just wipe it down with a little soap and water to remove bacteria. It also comes with a free adjustable yoga mat strap for easy transport and storage.
The downside of this mat is that it’s flexible and not something that would be useful for yoga. If you’re using it for an extra layer of cushioning when doing abs and planks, then you’re going to like the mat. But if you need a mat for yoga, this isn’t the one.
When putting pressure in opposite directions like you would in Downward Dog, the mat stretches and interferes with balance. There were also a few reports of this mat indenting pretty easy. We didn’t have any issues with that but it’s worth mentioning.
Who should buy the BalanceFrom GoYoga Exercise Mat?
This is perfect for anyone of any shape and size and is looking for an affordable yet good-quality product.
What makes it special?
- 1/2″ thick
- Very affordably priced at the time of this writing
- Moisture-resistant technology for easy cleaning
- Free adjustable-strap with velcro
- Lightweight and portable
- Mat dimension 71″ long 24″ wide
How to Choose the Best Exercise Mat
What Will You Use it For?
Before getting an exercise mat, consider the type of exercise you’ll be doing. Since exercise mats have their own unique design and build, it may not be compatible with the type of workout that you do. If you’re using it for yoga or pilates, get an exercise mat that is portable, lightweight and around 6 mm thick so it doesn’t interfere with your balance. But if you’re exercising mostly at home and aren’t a yogi, opt for one of the thicker ones that’s built specifically as an exercise mat.
You want to make sure that the material of the exercise mat is durable, comfortable, and non-slip. Here are a few of the most common materials:
- Rubber – comes from natural resources and is known to be dense with just the right amount of give. However, if you have a latex allergy, stay clear of natural rubber unless it’s had the latex removed like the Manduka eKO Superlite.
- Foam – this is a common material used on exercise mats providing a comfortable and often thicker cushioning. However, some exercise mats that are made from inexpensive foam material may change its color when exposed to UV light and may crumble and tear in damp environments. Foam is often the cheapest option and doesn’t hold up as well.
- TPE – another common material used and is known to be eco-friendly. TPE mats can handle higher temperatures and moisture.
- Vinyl – this material is known to be durable and is often only used as the covering over an exercise mat. The one example on this list is the ProsourceFit Tri-Folding exercise mat.
Most exercise mats don’t exceed 1.5” in thickness and will depend on what you’ll be using it for. For Yoga, we recommend at least ¼ inch to ½ inch thickness at most. Any thicker than that and you’ll find it hard to maintain balance. For a dedicated exercise mat, go thicker and make sure the material is dense. Ideally, your mat should be at least ½” thick but the thicker the better.
If you plan on doing yoga on your exercise mat, then grip is a definite factor. You’ll want something with a textured, non-slip surface. However, when it comes to using it specifically for exercise, this isn’t as big of a deal. The reason being that, when doing yoga, you often put pressure in opposing directions (think Downward Dog) which has a high potential for slipping. With an exercise mat, you may be doing push-ups but the force on your hands is straight down and against the floor. The chances of you slipping during a push-up are pretty small in comparison.
The portability of your exercise mat may or may not be important to you. If you’re setting it up in your house and just need to move it from the closet to your workout space, then you can ignore portability. However, if you travel often or like to do outdoor workouts, then consider something that’s both lightweight and durable.
Easy to clean
Exercise mats can be a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to odors and a poor experience. So when it comes to choosing your mat, consider how easily you can clean it. Closed cell exercise mats are the easiest to clean because they’re not porous and therefore don’t store dirt and bacteria under the surface.
Most exercise mats are affordable and some are downright cheap. That being said, we don’t recommend buying solely on the price. Choose one that meets your needs and has the quality features you’re looking for. It’s better to wait and get the best one than to buy something cheap that isn’t up to your standards.
Exercise Mat FAQ’s
How can I benefit from using an exercise mat?
Using an exercise mat is very important. Its padding protects your knees, back, elbows, and hips during your workout to help you avoid long term damage. It also gives you a dedicated workout space that you can get sweaty and clean without ruining your carpet.
How should I clean my exercise mat?
Cleaning your exercise mat depends on what material it’s made of. Mats that are made from vinyl and other closed cell materials can be cleaned with a cloth or sponge with soap and water. Those that are made from open celled materials can be wiped with a sponge with warm water but need to be deep cleaned every month or so. Don’t blow-dry or sun dry your mat as it may become brittle and tear. Many of them are made from eco-friendly materials which are designed to break down in the sun.
How often should I clean my exercise mat?
If you’re getting sweat on your mat, then you want to wipe it down after every use. This will prevent the buildup of bacteria.
What’s the ideal thickness for an exercise mat?
The ideal thickness depends on what you’re using the mat for and whether or not you have sensitive joints. If you have sensitive joints, then the thicker the better. We recommend at least ½” in this case. But if you’re using it for both yoga and exercise, then opt for one that’s around 6 mm thick. This gives you the best of both worlds.
Should I wear shoes?
It depends on the workout you’re doing and the exercise mat you purchase. Some are perfectly fine to wear shoes with and others will get damaged. Check the product before purchasing to see if it’s okay to wear shoes while you’re using it.
Summary & Our Top Picks
With the wide variety of exercise mats available, making a decision can be overwhelming. But after reviewing a large number of mats we’ve come to our top three choices overall:
- ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Thick Exercise Mat – Best overall
- Gxmmat Large Yoga Mat – Top premium pick
- SPRI Hanging Exercise Mat – Most durable
We chose the ProsourceFit as our top choice because it’s affordable, extra thick, dense, easy to clean, and very versatile. You won’t find better support from an exercise mat.
We chose the Gxmmat extra large as our premium choice because of its size, cushioning, and the fact that you can work out with a partner or your kids.
And we chose the SPRI as our most durable choice because it’s extremely tough, affordable, and offered in multiple sizes to accommodate users of different heights. It’s built for commercial use so it holds up under pressure without curling, indenting, or tearing. It’s definitely high-quality and worthy of being called one of the best exercise mats.