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The Best Workout Mats

Updated on:
May 18, 2022
Fitness
Author: 
Joel Runyon

We would venture a guess that more people than ever worked out from the comfort of their own homes over the past two years. With many gyms enduring lengthy shutdowns during 2020-2021, gym-goers across the world had to move their workouts indoors. Whether you choose to do HIIT (high intensity, interval training) workouts, yoga routines, or strength training, having a high-quality workout mat can make a huge difference when exercising – especially if you are doing it from home. 

There are some specific qualities that separate a decent workout mat from a great one. If you are in the market for a workout mat that will hold up against grueling, sweat-filled workout sessions or a slow and restorative mobility routine, keep reading. We’re going to cover the best workout mats currently on the market. 

What to look for in a workout mat? 

A woman doing crunches on a workout mat

All workout mats are not created equal. Certainly in terms of quality, you get what you pay for. But beyond that, there are many different types of workout mats. There are mats made of different materials, mats made in different sizes, and mats created for different styles of workouts. 

First of all, ask yourself what type (or types) of workouts you will be using that mat for and where in your space you’ll be doing them. 

For example, for yoga workouts, we recommend a mat anywhere between five millimeters and seven millimeters of thickness. You want to look for a mat that’s firm yet has some cushion provided since you need some cushioned support between your body and the floor. We also like yoga mats that offer different textures - one side that offers a more grippy surface than the other. 

For HIIT-style workouts, you want a mat that will hold up to the multitude of movements that high intensity interval training workouts include. Whether you need to do jumping squats, burpees, lunges, or maybe even a workout with dumbbells, you want a mat that can hang with all the variety of movements that you will inevitably put it through. 

If you know that you will be transporting your mat places (say for park workouts, yoga classes, or with you while traveling), the actual weight of the mat might be something to take into consideration. No one wants to lug a heavy, oversized mat around, so it’s best to stick to something on the lighter side. You may even want to get a mat that comes with a carrying strap to make transporting it as easy as possible. 

Before investing in a high-quality mat, it is vital that you consider how you will be using it. Once you have determined that, you can begin your search for the best type of workout mat for you. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are A LOT of options for workout mats out there on the internet. The sheer number of brands and options can be overwhelming. To help alleviate the overwhelm for you, keep reading! We are going to outline our five favorite workout mats currently on the market. No matter what type of workout you enjoy or what your workout space looks like, we will have an option for you. Let’s get into it. 

Nike Training Mat 2.0 - the best overall workout mat 

Nike is a tried-and-true brand and their standard of quality extends to their training mats. One of our favorite overall workout mats is the Nike Training Mat 2.0. At $60, this is a higher-priced mat, but it is durable and will hold up to most all types of workouts. This mat is made up of high-density foam which is especially great if doing workouts on a hard floor hurts your knees. The high-density foam means that you will get maximum cushioning while doing any sort of exercise whether that may be yoga, HIIT, or working with dumbbells. Weighing in at just over two pounds, this mat is easy to transport if you need to take it with you. It rolls up easily and even comes with an adjustable carrying strap. The dimensions are 71.26"L x 24.02"W x 0.32"H. This mat comes in black which is great because we all know black goes with everything. 

Gaiam Yoga Mat - Premium 6mm Print Extra Thick Non Slip Exercise & Fitness Mat for All Types - the best value mat

With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon, this Gaiam Yoga Mat Mat is our pick for the best value mat. At the time of writing this article, the mat is actually 14% off and rings in at $29.99. If you need a great mat but don’t want to spend a lot of money investing in one right now, we suggest swiping this one - especially if you can find it on sale. This mat is 6 millimeters thick which provides a good amount of padding for workouts on the floor. It is on the lighter side and measures 68”L x 24”W.. There are also a variety of colors and prints to choose from like your neutrals gray and black, but also more fun colors such as purple, pink, and blue. This mat is non-slip on both sides so it won’t move around on you while you are doing your workouts. With the purchase of this mat, you also get access to a free downloadable yoga class from Gaiam. It is worth noting that this doesn’t come with a carrying strap, so it may be best for workouts at home. 

IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat - the best workout mat for HIIT-style workouts

If you’re looking for a mat that can withstand the beating that HIIT-style workouts can put a training mat through, may we recommend the IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat. This mat weighs 2.5 pounds and provides 0.5 centimeters of thickness. For HIIT-style workouts, you want a mat that won’t move around on you, and that’s why we love the IUGA option. It’s incredibly grippy and provides the perfect amount of cushion between your body and the floor. Even better, this mat is made from biodegradable and sustainably harvested tree rubber, therefore the mat is completely free from PVC, latex, and other materials. It also has a water-absorbing surface which is important because HIIT workouts can get quite sweaty. The dimensions come in at 72”L x 26”W x 0.2” which is just a bit larger than our other options. Currently this mat is offered in five different colors, includes a carrying strap, and costs around $65. 

LIFORME Original Yoga Mat - the best mat to splurge on

If you are in the market to spend some money and invest in a great mat that will last you a long time, we suggest the LIFORME Original Yoga Mat. This high-quality mat is made out of rubber and includes the Liforme “GripForMe” material that provides an insane amount of grip which comes in clutch for long, sweatier yoga workouts. If you want to choose an eco-friendly mat, this mat is biodegradable and free from PVC material. The dimensions of this mat are as follows: 72.83 x 26.77 x 0.17 inches and it comes in black, blue, green, or pink. This LIFORME mat rings in at just under $150, so again, it is a splurge item. If you are a serious yogi and looking to take your practice to the next level, we would recommend this mat. It does come with a yoga mat bag included, so that is handy if you plan on commuting to classes or traveling with this mat. 

HemingWeigh 1 inch Thick Non Slip Exercise Mat for Indoor and Outdoor Use - best cushioned workout mat

This mat is for people who need the ultimate amount of cushioning for their workouts. The HemingWeigh 1-inch Thick Workout Mat is our go-to. With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, it is a beloved mat of many. It costs just under $35 at the time of this article (which is a steal if you ask me!) and comes with a strapping system to make transport as easy as possible. Made with high-density, anti-tear premium foam, this mat can withstand even the most intense workouts. It’s 70 inches long, 23 inches wide, and 1 inch thick and weighs a little more than three pounds. This mat only comes in black, so if you are looking for lots of colors, you may have to go with a different option. It’s also worth noting that this mat is branded with the “HemingWeigh” text at the top of the mat. We highly recommend this workout mat for people who feel as if working out on the floor is tough on their body. If you have sensitive knees or wrists, this mat could help alleviate some of that pain. 

Conclusion

We hope this article helps you narrow down your options for choosing a great workout mat. Don’t forget to consider all of the factors that determine which type of mat will serve you best. This includes the type of workouts you do, the space you have to do them in, if you will be carrying them with you often, and your budget. Once you have a good idea of everything you will use the mat for, you can proceed with choosing the best option for yourself. 

Get after it!

Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE and the founder of MoveWell. Joel founded MoveWell after sustaining an injury while running an ultra marathon on every continent. Joel is writes about mobility, pain management and health and wellness overall.

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