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Yoga Mat As Sleeping Pad

What Is Camping Mat

How to Sleep on a Yoga Mat : Yoga Fashion & Supplies

The camping mats principal use is to be utilised when camping and doing adventurous trips. The softness of camping mats is a problem. Anti-slip camping mats are rare. The thickness of camping mats is absurd. When compared to yoga mats, camping mats are smaller in size.

Sleeping is the primary function of camping mats. When it comes to insulation, camping mats are a superior option. Camping mats are compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport. When it comes to camping, however, a yoga mat will not provide you with the same level of insulation, comfort or compact design as a camping mat.

Camping mats are known by different names. Some people call it a ground pad and others call it a thermal pad. However, it is also called by names like roll mat and sleeping pad. This is quite common among travellers, backpackers and hikers. The main purpose of these types of mats is to provide thermal insulation and padding.

A Multipurpose Environment Which Improves My Focus

As you can see from the images, each day I lay down the yoga mat and 2 layers of thin sheets on top, to create the bed. Then, each morning, I roll it up again, and I can see the floor! For someone living in a small condo, this feels like doubling my room size.


Having the area free of clutter, or anything at all, has noticeably improved my mood, as if my mental clutter was reduced as well. I only came to this set up after lots of trial and error though – for many months when I first began, I left the yoga mat on the floor as a permanent fixture. Dust accumulated horribly and it was a mess. I much prefer rolling it up and creating the bed every day.

In the day time, I use the free space for a chair, to relax and unwind while being away from my monitors and facing the sunlit cityscape view from my floor to ceiling windows. Awesome for morning journaling!

Storage Boxes And Bags

Some yoga mats are made of soft, waterproof materials. These types of mats are perfect materials to repurpose as storage boxes, colorful pouches, and bags. Simply sew the yoga mats as you would a normal fabric. However, be sure to use big and sturdy needles so that it wont break during the creation of your new waterproof pouches.

Read Also: Can You Burn Calories Doing Yoga

Can I Use A Yoga Mat Under My Sleeping Pad

Well, this is a pretty easy question. Yes you can use a yoga mat under your sleeping pad. It will provide you an extra layer of comfort. Also it will protect your sleeping pad from direct connection to the ground. Thats it. You can also understand that its just an optional choice. We think you will not carry 2 pound extra just for an extra layer right?

Foam Yoga Mats Are Similar To Foam Sleeping Pads

183 * 61 CM * 4 MM Yoga Mat Non slip EVA Foam Yoga Pad ...

A traditional rubber yoga mat wont offer much protection against the ground, but thick foam mats will add a little bit of insulation. Thick 3/4 foam mats really arent meant for yoga since they have too much give below your fingers, but a lot of people confuse them with yoga mats.


Foam mats are designed for basic stretching since theyre slippery and your hands/feet will sink down into the padded surface. Thats horrible for yoga, but it does make them into a halfway decent sleeping pad. You will get the added comfort of a foam pad, but its hard to say what the R-Value would be.

If I were to take a guess, a foam mat would be close to R-Value 1.5, which is similar to the old school green military surplus sleeping pads. For comparison, a sheet of 3/4 plywood has a 1.25 R-Value rating so it wont offer much insulation, but it will be good enough in the summer.

The only problem is foam mats are bulky and heavy to carry. Thats not a big deal on a family camping trip out of your car, but it will be an issue if youre backpacking. The foam yoga mat pictured above weighs 2.5 pounds, whereas a traditional backpacking foam sleeping pad is less than 1 pound.

You cant beat the price of a cheap Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest Pad only weighs 14oz. Personally I prefer the Z Lite Model thats the same weight with a slightly lower 1.7 R-Value, because it folds into a compact rectangle, but either pad would be better than a Yoga Mat.

Read Also: How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn In 60 Minutes


Evaluate How You Sleep

First, you need to be mindful of how you sleep and your sleeping patterns. Determine which sleeping position helps you fall asleep faster then take note of the kind of support that that sleeping position requires to maintain the natural curve of your body.

If you are a side sleeper, you would need bedding that can naturally support the contour of your body while providing cushioning for joints that will be subject to the weight of your body. Hence, you might want to invest in a bed that has a firm structure and a soft surface. Air mattresses and water beds are some examples of beds that embrace your body as you sleep while also providing you with enough head support.

If you find that sleeping on your back makes you more comfortable at night, flat and even surfaces are your best bet when it comes to bedding options. Bed with microbead or foam fillers are some examples of bedding that might make you comfortable to sleep in this position. The flat surface allows your spine to rest and does not force it into awkward and uncomfortable angles while also providing it with enough cushioning to support your tailbone from hitting hard surfaces.

Can You Use A Yoga Mat As A Sleeping Pad

We all need to make some sacrifices when picking out camping gear. Backpacking and camping can be an expensive hobby and most of us arent millionaires. Sometimes that means buying heavy gear that costs less and other times you try to make substitutions with things you have lying around the house. Some substitutions work and others are better left in the idea stage.

So is there any way to get around buying an expensive sleeping pad? Yoga mats look like they would be close to the same thing, but do they offer the same benefits of a sleeping pad? That leads to a simple question: can you use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad?


A yoga mat should not be used as a sleeping pad. A thick padded yoga mat might add a little bit of support/comfort below your sleeping bag, but it wont offer insulation against the cold ground. This wont be a big deal in the summer, but you will be freezing on cold spring/fall nights.

Sleeping pads and yoga mats might look similar, but theyre designed for different uses. You will be much better off with a proper sleeping pad that offers insulation against the cold ground. Even a basic Therm-A-Rest Zlite Pad or Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest Pad will be more comfortable than sleeping on a yoga mat.

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Main Differences Between Yoga Mat And Camping Mat

  • The primary work of the yoga mat, as suggested by its name, is used for doing yoga. On the other hand, the primary work of the camping mat is used at the time of camping and adventurous vacations.
  • Yoga mat is too hard. On the other hand, camping mats are too soft.
  • Yoga mat is usually anti-slipped, to protect people from getting bruises or getting hurt. On the other hand, camping mats are generally not anti-slipped.
  • Yoga mats are thin. On the other hand, camping mats are way too thick.
  • Yoga mats are generally bigger in comparison to camping mats. On the other hand, camping mats are smaller in size when compared with yoga mats.
  • The main purpose of yoga mats is practising yoga or doing any type of physical exercise. On the other hand, the main purpose of camping mats is for sleeping.
  • Yoga mats are not successful in resisting heat loss or maintaining temperature. On the other hand, camping mats are a better choice when insulation is concerned.
  • Yoga mats are heavy, hence are not portable. On the other hand, camping mats are light in weight and hence easily portable.
  • Is A Yoga Mat Same As A Camping Mat

    floor sleeping positions + what my “bed” looks like (yoga mat)

    In short, a yoga mats functionality is best for doing yoga while a camping mat is made to provide insulation and comfort for sleeping. A camping mat has nothing to do about yoga.

    To give a clear answer, allow me to break it into parts to give you an idea about where a camping mat and sleeping mat are similar and where it is different.


    Read Also: Yoga Poses For Degenerative Disc Disease

    Klymit Inertia O Zone

    With weight conscious bikepackers and hikers in mind, Klymit has once again stripped away unnecessary material and focused on ultralight design, packability, and durability. The surprisingly comfortable Inertia O Zone has several innovative features. Aside from skimming weight, the byproduct from these cutout areas are what Klymit calls loft pockets. Theoretically, these allow a down bag to settle in to the pockets and retain loft, and in turn, retain R-value. We havent had the chance to test the pad in cold weather yet, so will update this post when we do.

    Another great feature of the O Zone is an integrated pillow. The pillow has a separate valve, allowing it to be inflated and adjusted independently, while its integration ensures it stays in just the right position. Additionally, the pillows X cutaway design centers your head on the pillow. The valves on both the pillow and the body of the mat feature an easy to use push-pull mechanism pop it out to inflate, and push it in to prevent air from escaping. Speaking of inflation, the minimal volume provided by the cutouts allow this pad to be fully inflated in 5 or 6 breaths. It deflates easily as well.

    • Dimensions: 72 x 21.5 x 1.75 / 183 x 54.6 x 4.4 cm
    • R-Value: Dependent on Sleeping Bag
    • Packed Size : 3.5 x 7.5 / 8.89 x 19.05 cm
    • Includes: Stuff sack, patch Kit
    • Fabric: 30D Polyester Top / 75D Polyester Bottom
    • Price: $90
    • Weight : 13.4 ounces / 381 grams

    Weight: Yoga Mat Vs Sleeping Pad

    Sleeping Pads

    Sleeping pads for camping are much lighter than yoga mats. Specifically, closed-cell foam pads are made of dense foam filled with tiny closed air cells. This material is much lighter than what yoga mats are made from. The foam pads can often weigh less than one pound, which is very very light. The weight of sleeping pads will vary depending on the material you choose, but even so, it is uncommon to see a sleeping pad over 2lbs.


    Yoga Mat

    Yoga mats come in a variety of different materials but are primarily made out of rubber materials. This rubber material is not so lightweight as foam sleeping pads. In fact, they usually would weigh 4-5x more. This puts the average yoga mats at least 4lbs or 5lbs. Some of them are made even thicker, which means even more weight. They do have lightweight travel mats that are closer to 3lbs but that is still 3x heavier than the foam sleeping pad.

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    Compare Thickness And Softness

    When choosing a sleeping pad, of course, you shouldnt immediately purchase the first bedding you see. Be sure to inspect and compare each type of bedding material with one another before finally deciding which one will be best for you. When choosing, it is important to note the thickness and softness of the mattress. Thicker mattresses tend to be firmer and sturdier while softer mattress tends to provide cushioning and support.

    Difference Between Yoga Mat And Camping Mat

    Topumt Yoga Mat 4mm EVA Eco

    Yoga has become a very popular pastime for individuals from all walks of life in recent years. If youre familiar with the sport, youre aware that it necessitates the usage of a yoga mat. These spongy floor liners make yoga considerably more comfortable, and they are often so soft that you fall asleep in your last resting pose.


    A yoga mat wont give you the same level of comfort, compactness or insulation as a camping mat or sleeping pad. There is a difference between a yoga mat and a camping mat. At first look, they may appear to be similar, and to be honest, they are in many ways.

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    Using A Yoga Mat As A Sleeping Pad

    Sleeping mats and yoga mats might look similar, but theyre completely different products. Yoga mats are fairly comfortable for doing yoga, but they dont have the cushion and insulation for going under your sleeping bag. Real yoga mats are made out of rubber to provide grip while youre going through your routine.

    The rubber material will protect your bag from the ground, but it wont provide the comfort/warmth of a real sleeping pad. Thicker foam stretching pads will work similarly to a foam sleeping pad, but theyre heavy and bulky to carry. Its better than nothing, but its worth spending the extra $10-20 for a real foam sleeping pad.

    It should be obvious that sleeping pads are meant to be slept on so theyre designed to increase comfort and insulation against the cold ground. Some pads are more comfortable than others, but a sleeping pad will always be better than using a yoga mat. Foam stretching mats are comparable to the comfort/insulation of a foam sleeping pad if you already have one lying around your house, but it will be heavier and bulkier to carry on a pack.

    Here are a few reasons why you shouldnt use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad.

  • Heavier Weight: A typical foam sleeping pad weighs just under a pound, while my Manduka Yoga Mat weighs almost 7.5 pounds. That might not be a big deal if youre camping out of a car, but its a major factor for backpackers.
  • What Are The Differences In Weight

    Sleeping Pads

    Sleeping pads for camping are much lighter than yoga mats. Specifically, foam pads are made of a dense foam that has tiny air cells, which help with padding and thermal or r-value. This material is inherently much lighter than yoga mats. The foam pads are often lighter than yoga mats this is beneficial for long-distance hikers where every gram matters. The weight of sleeping pads made for camping or hiking will vary depending on the material you choose, but it is uncommon to see a sleeping pad that is over 2 2.5 lbs in total weight.

    Yoga Mat

    Yoga mats come in a variety of different materials but are primarily made out of a dense rubber. This rubber material is not as lightweight as foam sleeping pads. In fact, they usually weigh around 4 times more than the average sleeping pad. This puts the average yoga mat at least 4lbs or 5lbs in total weight or about 3 lbs over that of the average sleeping pad. Some of them are made even thicker, which means even more weight. They do make lightweight travel mats weighing closer to 3 lbs, but that is still fairly heavy.

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    Getting Used To The Yoga Mat

    Days passed and I did not retrieve the mattress. Weeks passed, and I was still on the fence. It did seem kind of strange to be sleeping on the floor. In addition, my neck and shoulders were starting to feel very uncomfortable from it, although it had initially been an improvement to my back. So I took a trip to Ikea to get a replacement mattress. Walking around the mattress section, I knew I would never purchase the same foam mattress model again – at only 2~ years it had pretty much reached the end of its life.

    However, the other mattresses seemed of quite poor quality as well, so I decided to read more reviews and perhaps purchase a mattress somewhere else. In the meantime, I did get a memory foam pillow to tide me over on the yoga mat.

    The memory foam pillow turned out to completely solve the neck and shoulders issue with the yoga mat. So fast forward a year and a half later, Im still sleeping on a yoga mat. I did buy a thicker yoga mat though, after the second move.

    So how on earth did I get used to sleeping on a yoga mat? The simple truth is that, it simply is comfortable for me to get high quality sleep – if it were not, I wouldnt be able to do all these extracurriculars like machine learning side projects, steering committee, dancing, and game development, on top of my full time job. I simply wouldnt have settled for less than what can fuel me to do all that I can do.

    So what did I learn from sleeping on a yoga mat for 1.5 years?

    Q How To Store A Sleeping Pad

    why how I sleep on the floor (on a yoga mat)

    A: For closed-cell foam pads, they are easily rolled or folded up and can be stored naked or in a case. Open-cell foam pads can be rolled up as well but for long-term storage, it is a good idea to keep it semi-inflated so the foam doesnt stay compressed. Air core pads can be simply stored in their carrying case after deflating and rolling them up.

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