The best exercise mats for home workouts, yoga and beyond

We've found the best excercise mats for all budgets, needs and skill.

Yoga mat

by Ellen Kinsey |

Whether you love yoga, pilates, HIIT training, stretching or meditation - getting the right mat for you will make all the difference. Home workouts have become all the rage over the last few years, and exercise mats, clothes and equipment can be found in all shapes, sizes and prices.

If you are new to home workouts, you may be wondering what exercise mats are good for? An exercise mat or yoga mat will protect you from the floor and protect the floor from scratches or other damages. It will also help prevent injuries in your back when you're lying down or doing stretches. Exercise mats are used for when you are exercising with weights as they can damage the flooring.

If working out is part of your daily routine and you are looking for the ideal mat for your workout sessions, then we have compiled a list of the best exercise mats on the market for all purposes.

What to consider when buying an exercise mat

Mat thickness

According to DIYogi, "Pick a mat that's too thin and you may experience a lot of discomfort in your knees, wrists and ankles when you hold poses for a long time. At the other end of the spectrum, one that is just too thick for you can slow down your movement and keep you from feeling 100 per cent supported – you’ll just hopelessly sink into it."

If your joints need more support, a thicker mat is naturally going to provide that support compared to a thin one. Just don't go too thick so you can't properly perform your yoga poses.

A thin yoga mat is suitable if you like to travel with a yoga mat as it's much lighter to take with you. We'd recommend using a thinner yoga mat on top of the carpet while you practice.

Textured surface or smooth

Fi Clark, Head of Yoga at FLY LDN tells us how to choose the ideal yoga mat for you.

"The surface texture is completely personal; if the mat is good quality, then the pattern or texture should not make too much difference to the performance. Some people like to use mats such as YogiBare and Liforme as they have markings on the mats that help with alignment with some postures, but it has little effect on the experience of grip."

Do different exercises suit different types of mats?

Fi Clark adds, "Practices such as Vinyasa Flow, Rocket and Ashtanga yoga that are pre-dominantly standing and of a dynamic nature where you need to stay stable when holding a posture or transitioning into another will need a medium thickness of mat that has a good grip. The most popular are rubber topped mats as they are non-slip. More mat-based practices such as Pilates, Hatha and YIN need less grip but more padding as you will be either seated or lying down for the majority (if not all) of the class."

The best exercise mats

YAWHO Yoga Mat

The best overall exercise mat (Editor's choice)
YAWHO Yoga Mat Eco
Amazon

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YAWHO is a brand that focus on Yoga products, but is also ideal for home workouts. This dual-layer mat is designed to withstand the test of time to help improve and enhance your practice. It provides extra cushioning to reduce the impact on your joints while still providing exceptional grip and resilience.

Key specifications:

6 mm thick

183 cm x 66 cm

No latex, no PVC, non-toxic or any harmful chemicals.

Liforme Original Yoga Mat

The best exercise mat for sustainability
Liforme Original Yoga Mat
Amazon

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Liforme's mats have been specially designed using eco-polyurethane (an eco-friendly foam), making them fully biodegradable and decompose within one to five years in a landfill. The mats also offer great grip, are fully recyclable, and are delivered to your door without unnecessary plastic packaging. If you're seeking an all-around sustainable yoga mat to invest in, this one ticks the boxes.

Key specifications:

4.2mm thick

185 x 68 x 0.4 cm

Plyopic All-In-One Exercise Mat

The best exercise mat for design
Plyopic All-In-One Exercise Mat
Amazon

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If you are looking for a yoga mat that is your style, then this range of mats come in many cool patterns. The sixteen unique designs have a dotted centre-line guide to make exercises easier. Designed with a soft grip coating to protect the eco microsuede and the natural tree rubber underneath is thermally fused to the microsuede without the use of glue, making it non-toxic.

Key specifications

180 x 65 x 0.35 cm

4.2mm thick

Different patterns to choose from

XN8 Padded Exercise Mat

The best budget exercise mat
XN8 Padded Exercise Mat
Amazon

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This cheap and cheerful, thick and comfy mat from Xn8 is well padded for your workout session. Suitable for any type of exercise and made from nitrile rubber foam, this mat does the job well.

Key specifications

70 x 24 x 24 cm

15mm

9 colours available

Yogi Bare Paws Mat

The best exercise mat for yoga
Yogi Bare Paws Mat
Amazon

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Yogi Bare produces one of the best exercise mats on the market. Ideal for yoga, pilates, HIIT training or meditation, the alignment guide on the mat is neatly detailed and subtle. Plus, Yogi Bare plants a tree for each mat sold in partnership with Hometree.

Key specifications

67 x 12.5 x 11 cm

4mm thick

6 colours available

KAIZENLY Cork Exercise Mat

The best cork exercise mat
KAIZENLY Cork Exercise Mat
Amazon

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Made with a natural non-slip cork surface, this mat gives you a good grip when you need it the most, while the TPE underside stops the mat from moving around during high-intensity sessions. Plus, it is water and sweat-resistant due to the cork providing an even stronger grip when slightly wet - so the mat doesn't stick to your skin when sweating.

Key specifications:

183 x 61 cm

Natural and non-slip cork surface

Alignment marks to aid posture and form

Double-layered and tear resistant

Confidence Fitness Rubber Impact Mat

The best large exercise mat
Confidence Fitness Rubber Impact Mat
Amazon

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This XL mat is perfect for those who need a little extra space to stretch out. This can be used for more than workouts but can also be used as a floor protector to put between your treadmill and flooring.

Key specifications:

5mm thick

113 x 15 x 15 cm

Rubber

streching
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How to clean an exercise mat

To clean a mat, simply add warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid into a spray bottle and spritz both sides of your mat. Then firmly scrub with a cloth. Ideally, you want to do this at least once a month.

Are expensive exercise mats worth the price?

Usually, the higher price mats will come from the materials which have been sustainably sourced to make the mat. If that is important to you we would recommend the Liforme Yoga Mat.

If you are looking for a long term investment, then a mat that is high in quality is a better choice for the planet rather than constantly replacing cheaper yoga mats which are then sent to landfills. Remember, quality over quantity.

Are exercise mats biodegradable?

Not all of them - this completely depends on what they are made from and if those materials are biodegradable. Materials that are biodegradable include the likes of natural tree rubber and cork. It will usually be made obvious from the product description which mats are biodegradable or not.

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