Is There A Difference Between A Fitness Mat And A Yoga Mat
Theres an almost overwhelming number of training mats available on the market right now, and most can be split into two categories: yoga mats and exercise mats.
An exercise mat will be slightly thicker and more durable, able to take the strain of dropped dumbbells and rugged footwear as users blitz through HIIT and weights sessions. If that sounds like your bag, our tried and tested edit of the best exercise mats you can buy should be your next port of call.
Yoga mats, meanwhile, tend to be slightly thinner, with most mats between 0.4mm and 0.6mm thick. They will usually be made with slightly more delicate materials like rubber or latex, providing a stickier surface for your hands and feet. Unless the manufacturer says otherwise, it’s best to avoid wearing shoes on these mats and complete your practices bare foot so as not to damage them.
Alo Yoga Chakra: Best Mat For Hot Yoga
Another one from cult brand Alo Yoga, the Chakra Warrior is the ultimate mat for hot yoga addicts who prefer their exercise drenched in sweat.
Embrace the perspiration with a yoga mat designed to keep you firm and groundedeven as the celsius soars. The no-slip and dry-wicking surface draws moisture away, keeping you sturdy and solid no matter how sweaty it gets.
Rubber backing provides cushioning and the asana-guiding grid is yet another bonus, encouraging you towards perfect practice and immaculate alignment.
Break a sweat, feel the burn, and enjoy your body at its best with Alo Yogas Chakra Mat.
Best for: Slip-free sun salutations in even the sweatiest hot yoga session.
Material: Natural rubberThickness: 4.2 mm Dimensions: 189 cm x 67 cm Colour: Black
Pogamat Extra Large Workout Mat
Take your fitness game to the next level with this huge mat. Its the perfect option for a home gym, dance studio, or an outdoor session. The thick padding works well with bare feet or shoes and is durable enough for daily use. The large size allows you to stretch, move and jump without falling off the sides, and the comfortable support is perfect for your joints, and it prevents injuries.
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Retrospec Solana Yoga Mat In Blue
Take the stress out of your body and fully relax into this mat from Retrospec. The Solana yoga mat is thick and provides a non-slip surface to prevent injuries and support your joints. You can work your way through the entire body without falling over the edge, thanks to its 72 length. You can easily clean it, roll it up and travel anywhere its an excellent accessory for those who love to work up a sweat.
Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat
Best sweat-proof yoga mat
Reasons to avoid
The Manduka PROlite has a lot of fans, who rave about the closed-cell surface that repels moisture, sweat and dirt. In fact, a lot of reviewers say they use it for hot yoga. The high-density foam is easy on joints, so you can do cat-cow poses or forearm planks without undue stress on your knees and elbows. Manduka boasts that the mat wont peel or flake and backs that up with a lifetime guarantee.
One REI customer wrote, I usually do yoga right after I run so I am already super sweaty, but my manduka STILL keeps me from sliding around . Also, I like doing yoga in the sun and this mat works super well in these conditions, too. A reviewer on Mandukas website raved, I love that I can grip it well without sliding. Definitely worth the investment! I’m obsessed and always thinking about the next time I get to use it.
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Manduka Pro Yoga Mat 6mm
All hail the Manduka Pro! This is by far my favorite mat for its durability alone. True story: I was gifted a Manduka Pro black mat in 2010 before I started yoga teacher training and just threw it away summer 2020 when I was moving into my new houseand there was nothing wrong with it! I just felt that the mat had a lot of history and it was time to retire it and start fresh. I literally used this mat for thousands of hot yoga practices and workout sessions. I had an emotional attachment to it and for many years no other mat felt like my mat.
What I love about the Manduka Pro 6mm:
- Weight. Weighing 7.5 pounds, this is a heavy mat. If you tend to carry your mat around, walk to class or travel a lot, this might not be the mat for you.
- Price. This mat runs around $120 which is definitely in the high-end of yoga and fitness mats but rememberlifetime guarantee! How many of the $10-$15 cheap mats might you go through in 10 years?
- Grip when sweaty. The Manduka Pro is a super grippy mat unless you are practicing hot yoga or get super sweaty during a HIIT workout. In that case, I recommend a mat towel overlay to prevent of hands or bare feet.
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Alo Yoga Warrior: Overall Best Yoga Mat
The Warrior mat by Alo Yoga is here to support you through all your sequences and flows and has been rigorously tested and optimised for perfect performance.
This yoga mat has got just enough cushioning to be comfortable without compromising on stability. Its antimicrobial, dry-wicking, and slip-resistant. Its also made of non-toxic materials and is PVC and formaldehyde-free. And the slightly bigger than average dimensions give you ample size to stretch out at the end of your session.
For all your asanas and other athletic endeavours, this Alo Yoga Warrior mat is our top choice.
Best for: A high-quality and high-performing treat for any yogi.
Material: Natural rubberThickness: 4.2 mm Dimensions: 189 cm x 67 cm Colours: A range including black, pink, and blue
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Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5mm
To be honest, while I almost exclusively practice and workout in lululemon apparel, I was not a fan of their yoga mats for many years because they had an off-putting odor when first used and would not stay in place on the floor. Im not sure when they changed the construction of their mats but I bought The Reversible Mat 5mm last fall when I was out of town and needing a mat to teach a virtual class and its become a favorite!
What I love about The Reversible Mat 5mm:
- Super grippy during hot yoga or sweaty workouts. I have never used a mat towel with this mat. This mat actually has a polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture to help with grip.
- Cushioned feel. While this mat is not quite as thick as the 6mm Manduka Pro, its still plenty thick and cushioned and I dont get that feeling of the hard floor underneath me when Im on it.
- Antimicrobial additive that helps prevent the mat from getting mold and mildew.
- Stays put. In the past I always found that lululemon mats bunched together in the middle while practicing but this one stays put. Note, while this is a reversible mat I always practice with the grippier/rubbery side down and the smooth side up. I think that helps with the movement.
- Pretty design. There are currently nine colors and designs to choose from.
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Who Should Buy The Rogue Yoga Mat
- Yogis looking for a basic, matte black yoga mat without any extra frills.
- Athletes who want a mat with a textured, non-slip surface that helps with grip.
- Anyone who wants a compact mat they can throw in the car and bring to a yoga class.
- Buyers who want a thin surface that still allows them to feel each yoga pose through the mat.
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What To Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat
To get the most out of your yoga practice, your mat should offer the following:
Support: Most mats are made from a soft rubber material, or similar, thats designed to cushion your spine and limbs from unforgiving surfaces. If supporting your joints is a priority, we would recommend looking for a mat which is at least 0.4mm.
Grip: Bare hands and feet should remain firmly planted on your mat this is crucial for keeping you stable during precarious poses like the crow.
Stability: Your mat should grip both carpet and tiles without sliding about, even during energetic vinyasa flows.
This must-have trinity aside, consider sustainability credentials, innovative features such as 3D texture that will help you master more advanced techniques, and portability. Mats that roll up tight and come with carry straps make great companions for a spot of al fresco ashtanga.
Liforme: Best Yoga Mat With Alignment Lines
This popular Liforme Yoga Mat is one of the top-rated exercise mats for a reason. It actually makes you better at yoga with alignment lines to guide you through poses and get your positioning right, helping to prevent injuries and take your yoga to new levels.
The mat also features Liformes advanced GripForMe material for no-slip stability. Meanwhile, the PVC-free biodegradable material makes sure your practice is as planet-friendly as possible.
Liformes yoga mat with alignment lines is almost as good as having a teacher in the room with you.
Best for: Next-level precision and perfection in all your yoga poses.
Material: RubberThickness: 5 mm Dimensions: 185 cm x 68 cm Colours: A range including grey, green, and blue
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June & Juniper Travel Yoga Mat
This June & Juniper yoga mat is super lightweight and is perfect for travel. Its six feet in size, so you can stretch out, touch your toes and practice Shevasana with ease. The ultra-thin material is comfortable enough for daily use and is environmentally friendly, meaning you can take care of yourself and the planet all at once.
Best Workout Mats With Pros And Cons 2021
From a classic yoga mat to a high-intensity training mat, different workout mats are specifically designed to suit your needs. Apart from the cushion, these mats provide you with the necessary balance and support while working out. But, do you know that the material used in manufacturing the exercise mats and their thickness can affect your workout routine? So, how to choose the best workout mat that suits you? Read on to find out about the best and frequently bought fitness mats on Amazon for home and gym workout sessions!
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Our Favorite Exercise Mat For Home Workouts In 2021
There’s a reason why so many at home workouts are based on yogaand Pilates routines. These kinds of workoutsare friendly for every body type, require no special equipment, and have a hugerange of health benefits, from strengthening and toning the body, to helpingwith weight loss and even boosting the metabolism.
For that reason, our top pick for the best exercise mat for at home workouts is the Lululemon Reversible Mat because of its overall utility. It has an excellent grip, lots of cushioning and uses an anti-microbial additive that reduces odor and bacteria. It’s durable, easy to care for, and attractive.
So if you want a great exercise mat, then I’d recommend checking out this option on Lululemon.
Sivan Health & Fitness Comfort Foam Hiit Mat
Yoga has become a regular fitness routine for many due to its extensive range of benefits. There are exclusive mats that cater to the needs of those individuals who practice yoga daily.
The Sivan exercise mat is a good pick for those traveling regularly or even for doing warm-up exercises or stretches on a day-to-day basis.
Take it wherever you go with the help of shoulder straps provided with the mat. The mat is made of 0.5-inch memory foam that protects the joints and knees from any impact while performing HIIT training.
Never worry about slippage, as the ribbed surface on one side of the mat provides an excellent grip on hands and feet and traction on the floor.
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Toplus: Best Budget Exercise Mat
On the hunt for cheap yoga mats? Your search ends here with the TOPLUS workout mat, providing comfort, cushioning, grip, and traction, all for under $25.
Its made of eco-friendly TPE and, at 6 mm thick, is neither too padded nor too thin. Its lightweight for easy carrying and the double layer structure provides perfect grip for more professional pushups.
Shed pounds, save pennies with this TOPLUS exercise mat.
Best for: A wallet-friendly fitness mat for expense-saving exercising.
Material: TPE Thickness: 6 mm Dimensions: 183 cm x 61 cm Colours: A range including blue, green, and brown
What’s The Best Yoga Mat
Theres no point splashing your cash on a slippery mat that offers no support. To help you out, the Runners World Lab tested 18 of the best yoga mats on the market to find those that strike the perfect balance between grip and comfort. These are their eight favourites:
- Best for hot yoga:Yogi Bare Teddy Yoga Mat
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Jil Sander Logo Print Yoga Mat
Enjoy your surroundings and truly connect with your body let the Jil Sander yoga mat do the rest. This stylish and sustainable accessory is the ultimate tool for your next workout. It offers soft and comfortable support for your body and will keep you feeling and looking great while working out. The crisp white design is perfect for minimalist lovers, complete with a delightful logo print.
Liforme Original Yoga Mat
Optimize and maximize your at-home or gym workout with this sturdy and innovative yoga mat. This comfortable tool features eco-polyurethane, allowing you to move freely without harming the planet. The AlignForMe system helps guide our body and prevent any injuries or sprains while training. Its the mat made by Yogis, for Yogis around the world, no matter your skillset.
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Best Overall Choice: Lululemon Reversible Mat
The Lululemon Reversible Mat is a fantastic all-around yoga mat. It has excellent grip when wet, a rubber base for non-skid stability, gentle cushioning, and an anti-microbial additive that reduces odor and bacteria. It’s durable, easy to care for, and attractive, so it’s got all your needs covered with one convenient mat.
The Lululemon Reversible Mat has a polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture to keep you dry and provides excellent grip even when wet. In fact, it grips better when damp than it does when dry. The natural rubber base provides supportive cushioning and a textured grip on the base to keep the mat in place. It has an anti-microbial additive helps to prevent mold and mildew and reduces odors.
The Lululemon Reversible Mat is available in two thicknesses3mm and 5mmthe different thicknesses are two different product listings, with different color options in each thickness. It measures 26 x 71 inches.
The thick foam of the BalanceFrom All-Purpose Mat provides great cushioning for those that need extra comfort in their back, knees, or other delicate areas. It’s non-slip on both sides, moisture resistant, and durable. It’s also light weight and easy to carry with the included carrying strap, making it a versatile all-around exercise mat for yoga and all kinds of activities.
The surface is moisture-resistant and cleans easily with soap and water. This yoga mat is light weight and comes with a free Velcro carrying strap for easy portability.
Finer Form Exercise Mat
The Finer Form Exercise Mats anti-slip surface was designed specifically to keep exercise equipment in place. Its water resistant as well, so even if you start sweating onto the mat, it wont affect your stability throughout your session. Its 6 mm thick and 6 feet long by 3.3 feet wide, so theres plenty of room for all types of strength work, bodyweight HIIT, yoga, and recovery stretches though its worth mentioning that the 6-foot length may feel a bit short if youre big on lateral movements or happen to be as tall as Shaquille ONeal. After youre done, simply roll this mat up and store it under the bed or in a closet corner its compact enough to squeeze pretty much anywhere in your home gym space.
The Finer Form Exercise Mat’s anti-slip surface was designed to hold exercise equipment and humans in place. When things get sweaty, its water resistance will keep you stable no matter how intense your HIIT cardio session gets.
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Hiit Yoga Second Cardio Burst: Plank Jacks
Our second cardio burst! 30 seconds of plank jacks. Remain in a plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrist and your pelvis tucked under. Maintaining a flat back, jump your feet off your mat as if you were doing a jumping jack, and then jump them back in. Perform this for 30 reps or 30 seconds!
Know The Density Before Thickness
As a buyer, you need to be aware of the role density plays hand-in-hand with thickness. Almost every area of practice experience affected by thickness is also affected by density. Whilst thickness of yoga mat is the distance between the base layer and the top layer, density is how closely the mat material fibers are packed within that distance. If the thickness itself generates the base property for your mat, density determines the quality of that property.
For instance, a thick yoga mat means that it will have more cushion. However, the feel of the cushion will be determined by the density. Densely packed materials will give the mat a firm cushioning, whereas, loosely packed materials will give a soft cushioning. When practicing yoga a firm cushion will also give better grip and support.
The bottom line is, your thickness wont mean a thing until it has the right density within. You will find many cheap EVA yoga mats that have low density but decent thickness, and with extensive usage compresses and flattens out. Now, you also dont want mats with very densely packed materials, it will make your mat less flexible, less breathable, and heavyweight. Medium to medium-high dense should be your target, and accordingly, filter out your mats before choosing the thickness.
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