Best Exercise and Workout Mats For Home Gyms Reviewed
A great and stable exercise mat is one of the most important staples to any home gym. Sure, you could exercise on a cold concrete floor or slippery carpet, but you will run into a few problems.
First, if you are working out in the middle of your living room, you probably don’t want all of your sweat to settle into your carpet or your hardwood floors.
You also want to ensure you have a firm non-slip surface to grip. Carpet is comfortable, but it isn’t ideal for routines such as plyometrics that involves a lot of jumping around. If you don’t have a firm surface to land upon, you run the risk of slipping.
In this guide, we have composed a list of some of our favorite exercise mats out there on the market to keep your living room sweat-free, and your feet firmly on the ground.
In a Hurry? The best exercise mat after 5 hrs of research
Durable vinyl surface
Easy to clean
10 Top Rated Workout Mats
Durable vinyl surface
Easy to clean
Strong chemical odor
The reason we placed this exercise mat at the top of our list is that it is incredibly easy to use and portable. Whether you are working out at home or you want to take your show on the road, this design makes it easy. Plus, it is super easy to store or tuck behind your sofa.
This exercise mat measures to be 6 feet long and 2 feet wide, which is the perfect size for just one person. It is incredibly thick and padded to help protect your joints as you move, jump, or stretch. Plus, the very thick vinyl material is resilient against tearing and is very easy to clean.
What we liked most about this design is that it folds up into three pieces for easy storage. When you are finished using it, simply fold it up three times and tuck it away. It even has a pair of handles along the side that makes toting it to a new destination simple and easy.
If you are looking for an workout mat that is just the right size for you, this is a great option. Users love that it is very comfortable and help protected tired joints. The thick vinyl surface also makes it incredibly durable for those high energy workout routines.
Pick your size
What we liked most about this exercise mat from BalanceFrom is that you can determine just how much room you will need. When it is all assembled and put together, it takes up quite a bit of room in your home gym. However, you have the option of removing some of the interlocking pieces to create a smaller space.
This exercise mat comes in a pack of 36 individual tiles that all lock together to create one large unit that measures to be 144 square feet!. Each tile is about ½ of an inch thick, which is perfect for protecting jointing without sacrificing stability.
The tiles are composed of a very strong and resilient EVA foam. This choice in material is perfect for those that need a reliable non-slip surface for any type of workout routine. Plus, it is really easy to wipe down with a wet cloth when it is time to pack it up.
One of the best features of this workout mat is that it is easy to disassemble and pack up when it is not in use. Each tile measures to be 2 feet by 2 feet and is easily stackable. We found that users love the quality of materials used, and they feel it is a great surface that feels light and springy, but it doesn’t hinder their balance in the slightest.
3. Gorilla Mats
If you love your intense workouts, this exercise mat is constructed to keep up with you. Whether you are doing plyometrics or torturing yourself with burpees- this mat stays firmly in place! It measures to be slightly bigger than many of the other options out there on the market. It is also made from high-quality materials.
When unrolled, this exercise mat measures to be 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. This gives you plenty of room to really stretch out without rolling off of the edge of your mat! While it takes up a good deal of room in your home, it is very easy to roll back up and cinch in place with the pair of straps that are included with purchase.
It is made from eco-friendly foam that you can feel good about using. The soft foam used for this workout mat doesn’t have that strong chemical smell, and it is made from 100 percent non-toxic materials. It measures to be ¼ of an inch thick and has a textured surface on the bottom to keep it firmly in place as you work.
If you are in the market for something that is made from the best materials, this exercise mat from Gorilla Mats is one of your better options. Plus, it comes with a free microfiber towel that you can use to wipe the workout mat (or yourself!) down after a brutal cardio workout.
If you need something that is composed of all natural materials that will not irritate your skin, this exercise mat from RevTime is worth a look. It has an extra large design that allows you to really move and spread out, or you can use it with more than one person. The surface is also designed to be non-slip, even when things get a little sweaty.
This exercise mat measures to be an impressive 8 feet long and 6 feet wide, which is large enough to work out with a friend! It has a more rigid design that your hands will not sink into, and it doesn’t feel squishy. Instead, it lends a stable surface for your cardio routines while still protecting your joints.
The reason that this material is so rigid is that it is made from 100 percent rubber. While rubber is a great natural material for providing stability and comfort, it is very heavy. This exercise mat weighs in at a whopping 34 pounds, so it isn’t something you will be able to roll up and put away when you are finished.
If you are looking for a permanent flooring solution in your home gym, this is the workout mat that you want. It is made from natural rubber that won’t irritate your skin. It is also designed to create a stiff surface that protects joints and keeps your joints protected even when engaging in plyometrics.
Slippery when wet
If stability and traction are two of your top concerns, this exercise mat from Pogamat is a perfect solution. It is made from high-quality materials that stay in place while during your workouts. It also has a few design features to help you get the most out of your workouts, and it is easy to pack up and take with you on the go.
Pogamat workout mat brings one of the larger designs out there on the market. It measures in at 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. While it isn’t the largest design out there, it is large enough for you and a friend to workout together. It is also only 7 mm thick, which is a little on the thin side.
One of the things that we liked most about this exercise mat is that is has a textured surface on both sides to keep it firmly in place while you work. The honeycomb design on the bottom really grips the ground, and the topside keeps your feet from slipping no matter what you are wearing on your feet.
Weighing in at just over 15 pounds, this workout mat is something that you can roll up and take with you on the go. Plus, it comes with a pair of straps that makes it easier to store or pack into the back of your car.
Family owned company
A little thin
Not very breathable
Heavier than expected
Square36 is a small family run company that was founded in 2009. They were founded because they wanted to create an exercise mat that was designed more for home workouts rather than just your standard yoga workout mat. What we loved about this design is that it is made from high-quality materials that will hold up to no matter what you can throw at it.
This exercise mat is one of the only perfectly square options that we have seen out there on the market. It measures to be 6 feet long and 6 feet wide, which is ideal for smaller spaces. It is a little thinner than most, but it still does an excellent job at protecting joints from high impact workouts.
One of the things that we liked most about this workout mat is that has two different textures on the top and bottom. The bottom is composed of a grooved foam material that really grips the floor and stays in place. The topside is a little stiffer, and it is designed to provide a secure non-slip surface even when wearing sneakers.
Users can feel good about his product because it comes from a small family-owned company. Plus, it is made from 100 percent non-toxic that will not irritate your skin. It is also lightweight and easy to roll up. Included with your purchase are two straps to make it easier to take with you on the go.
7. Sunny Health & Fitness
Easy to clean
Foam wears down
Doesn’t stay put
If you don’t want to share your mat with anyone else, this exercise mat from Sunny Health & Fitness is worth checking out! It is designed to be just large enough for one user, and it is made from high-quality materials that are comfortable and easy to clean.
The one thing that users liked most about this design is that it is a lot thicker than many of the other designs out there on the market. If you need premium joint protection, this extra thick exercise mat is the perfect solution. It is important to note that thicker mats come at the risk of stability, however.
If you want something that is easy to pack up and take on the go, this is a great choice. Instead of rolling it up when you are done, simply fold it in on itself three times. Each square measures to be 2 feet wide and 2 feet long, so it will be easy to tuck it behind your sofa or load it up into your car.
The big takeaway when it comes to this workout mat is that it is one of the more portable designs out there on the market. If you like to take your show on the road, this is a great choice. Plus, it offers quite a bit more padding than most which are a great way to protect your joints.
Slippery when wet
Running low on space? This exercise mat from SPRI is much smaller than other options that we have seen so far, but it doesn’t take up that much room. It provides you just enough padding to protect your joints when working out, and it is super easy to pack up and take with you on the road.
This exercise mat measures in at just 48 inches long and 20 inches wide- which is slightly shorter and more narrow than many of the other standard sizes. However, it is a little thicker than some of the other designs, measuring in at ½ of an inch thick. This thickness is perfect for protecting tired joints.
This workout mat is made from poly-foam. This provides users with a lot of extra support and cushioning. It also is squishy and springs back into place when you are done using it. If you need something that feels soft on your hands and body, this is one of your better options.
What we liked most about this design from SPRI is that it is perfect to take with you on the go. It is small enough that you may not even need to roll it up! Plus, it has a build in the handle at the top that makes it easier to carry around with you.
Easy to roll up
Strong chemical odor
Slippery when wet
This exercise mat from HemingWeigh is soft and comfortable and feels great on tired joints. It is just slightly under the standard size dimensions of many of the single-use options we have seen out there on the market. However, it makes it easy to pack up and take with you on the go.
One of the things that we liked most about this option is that it is incredibly thick to protect your joints. Users find that this is one of the thickest and most comfortable mats out there on the market. Plus, the thickness is very dense. This means it will not affect your stability the way poly-foam can.
We also liked the dual textures on both sides of the workout mat. The bottom has a grooved texture which means that it will really grip the floor to keep it securely in place as you jump around. The topside is smooth and feels great against your skin. Plus, it is a little tacky to ensure a really good grip on sneakers or even bare feet.
When you are done with your workout, simply wipe your exercise mat down with a cloth and roll it up. HemingWeigh includes a pair of straps to keep it tightly rolled up as you take it on the go to store it behind your sofa.
10. Incline Fit
Easy to tote
Stays in place
Slippery when wet
Want to workout on a cloud? This super thick exercise mat from Incline Fit is about as close as you can get. It is one of the thickest designs out there on the market without too much give. Plus, it is something that you can roll up easily and take with you on the go.
Some of the loose foam 2 inch designs have a tendency to wear down over prolonged use. While they are incredibly comfortable, the foam becomes less squishy over time. This exercise mat measures in at 1 inch thick (about the size of a quarter), and it holds its form over time. It also measures to be about 72 inches long and 24 inches wide- which is pretty standard.
It has a grooved grip on the base to ensure that it stays in place even during your most intense workouts. The topside is smooth and soft, which offers great protection to your joints. The downside to this design is that it is a little bulky and is slippery when wet.
If you want all of the comforts of a super thick workout mat, but you want to take it with you on the go- this is a great choice. It even comes with a pair of elastic bands held together by a handle to make carrying it from place to place simple and easy.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
To ensure that your exercise mat works for you, it has to be made from the right materials.
Unlike yoga mats or your trusty Pilates mats, these styles of mats are made from exaggerated movements and high impact. That’s why we wanted to make sure that each design that we select was made from the best materials. There were a couple of different material choices out there, and each provides a different purpose.
Polyfoam with a vinyl exterior is found in the smaller and foldable options. The type of foam that is found inside the vinyl is typically very soft and squishy. It almost has the same consistency that you find in outdoor furniture cushions. It is stiff, but it softens up as you apply weight to it.
Polyfoam is very lightweight, and these options typically fold up into a 2 foot by 2-foot square. This makes packing it away and tucking it behind the couch quick and easy. These designs cater to those that just want a quick pop-up gym in the middle of their living room.
High-density foam is what you find in the thinner, larger option. This compressed foam provides a lot of stability for easy and quick movements. It isn’t as soft and squishy as polyfoam, but it much more comfortable than hardwood floors.
When you opt for high-density foam, you can unroll it and roll it back up quickly and easily because it is very lightweight. Due to the fact that it is typically pretty thin, it won’t take up all that much room in storage.
The last option that we considered was rubber. While rubber does have some drawback, it is a powerhouse in impact absorption. It doesn’t feel soft and squishy, and it doesn’t feel soft against the skin. However, it is one of the most durable options out there on the market.
The only downside to rubber is that it is incredibly heavy. This isn’t much of a problem if you need a permanent flooring solution in your home gym. If you want something that is a little more portable, we suggest you skin the rubber options.
The amount of room that you need to spread out is another important thing to take into consideration.
There are a couple of different standard sizes of exercise mats that are built for various needs. Before you make a final decision on what size you want, think about the space you will be placing it, and if you need something that requires a lot of extra space.
The most common size option we ran across is the 8 foot by 4-foot option. This exercise mat seems to be the most popular size because it offers users a lot of room to move in. P90X, for instance, has you moving around a lot. An 8x4 exercise mat is the best option for workout routines such as P90X. It is also ideal for plyometrics as well.
If you opt for an 8x4 option, just be sure that you have enough room in your home. It may not seem like it takes up all that much space, but you would be surprised. Also, if you need something that will be easy to roll up when you are done, skip rubber and go for foam instead.
Looking at the smaller side of things are exercise mats that measure to be about 6 feet long and only 2 feet wide. These designs mirror the size and shape of your standard yoga mat. While they may not be ideal for workouts the requite wide movements, they are a perfect solution for dumbbell work, floor work, or plyo routines that use more isolated movements.
When you opt for a smaller design, they are typically a lot more padded than their larger counterpart. This means that while you may sacrifice surface area, you will make up for it in joint comfort.
Keeping your joints happy is the key to success.
We wanted to select designs that felt good when you used them. It is important to note that thicker isn’t always better. Sometimes thicker designs are loosely packed which wear down quickly, and they limit stability. To gain ultimate comfort, there are a few things to consider.
Polyfoam is, hands down, the most comfortable material out there on the market. If you like to engage in floor routines or simply want something super soft for stretching- polyfoam is your best option.
The downside to polyfoam, however, is that it wears down rather quickly. Just like those old lawn chair cushions on your back porch, the foam compresses down over time.
High-density foam is your second most comfortable option. It doesn’t wear down as quickly as polyfoam. It also has a little bit of softness to it depending on its thickness. If you opt for a ½-1-inch thick high-density foam options, your hands and feet will sink into it a little bit.
Rubber options do not offer much obvious comfort at all. It doesn’t feel very squishy, and it only gives when you really jump into it. However, while you may not feel like you are working out on a cloud, your joints will certainly take notice. Rubber absorbs a lot of the impact from jumping, which makes it the best material to keep your joints happy.
A few extra features on a basic exercise mat is something that can make all the difference.
When we selected our top exercise mats for our list, we wanted to make sure that they were equipped with a few extra features to make your life easier. Below, we have broken down some of our favorite features that we came across.
Textured base: Grooved markings in the base of the exercise mat helps it stay firmly in place while you work. Some brands use a striped design, a dotted design, or even a honeycomb design. The last thing that you want is for your exercise mat to slip out from underneath you as you jump around.
Tacky grip: Whether you are working out in bare feet of sneakers, we wanted you to feel like you really grip the surface. Many of the designs out there on the market have a surface area that feels just a little bit sticky. You may not like this idea at first, but once you start working out you will really feel the difference.
A tacky surface means that when you jump up in the air and land, you can really feel your sneakers sticking to the mat. This feeling will give you more confidence to jump higher into the air without the fear of losing your footing beneath you.
Carrying strap: Most of the designs out there on the market have some type of method for carrying your exercise mat. The foldable options often come with a pair of carrying straps built directly into the mat itself.
For rollable options, we wanted to make sure that they came with a pair of elastic straps to help keep it tightly rolled. Even if you aren’t taking it with you on the go, these straps help keep it from unraveling if you ever need to move it to another room of your home. Plus, it makes it easier to place into storage.
Sometimes, you just want to get out of the house and take your show on the road. We wanted to ensure that we selected a few designs that were easy to fold or roll up and take with you on the go. If portability is important, there are a few features to consider.
First of all, you need to consider how heavy your exercise mat is. If you need something that is easy to carry to your car, we suggest that you skip out on rubber options. Rubber is incredibly heavy, and can often weigh over 30 pounds. That’s like carrying a three-year-old that is 8 feet long!
The next thing that you want to look for is carrying straps. Often, exercise mats can get a little bulky, so rolling them up is a bit of a pain. To ensure that you have an easy time toting your exercise mat from place to place, a pair of straps is key. Luckily, almost all of the options that we selected for your list that were rollable came with a pair of straps included with purchase.
Lastly, you want to consider the size. Designs that measure to be 6 feet long and 2 feet wide are about as big as your standard yoga mat. If you roll it tight enough, you may actually be able to fit it inside of your trusty yoga mat bag!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Sometimes, it is all about being in the right frame of mind. Stepping onto an exercise mat in your home helps your brain kick out of ‘home mode’ and focus on your workout.
Who wants all of that sweat seeping into their carpet? The materials used for exercise mats are incredibly nonporous, so cleanup simply involves wiping it down with a damp cloth or spraying it down with mat spray.
Plyometrics can be murder on your joints! Using an exercise mat provides a soft place to land. It absorbs much of the impact so you can burn calories and build muscles while keeping your joints happy and supporting sore muscles.
Other Factors to Consider
Investing in a great exercise mat will really help you get the most of our your workouts at home. We have talked a lot about stability, traction, comfort, and joint health, but we haven’t discussed the flooring in your home.
Whether you are working our in front of your television in your living room, or you have a nice home gym set up in a spacious bedroom, jumping around takes a toll on your floors. Carpeting is often slippery and wears down quickly, and hardwood floors can scratch and scuff. A good exercise mat can protect your floors from excess wear and tear.
Plus, we haven’t even talked about clean up. When you workout, you sweat. If you don’t have a non-porous surface to catch all of that sweat, it will wind up in your carpet or on your hardwoods. Cleaning a non-porous exercise mat is as simple as wiping it down with a wet cloth!
No matter if you are doing dumbbell work, plyometrics, or you just need a soft space to stretch at the end of a long run- a good exercise mat is a very smart and helpful investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need an exercise mat?
Working out from home can often be a bit of a struggle. First of all, the flooring in your home isn’t quite the same as the flooring that you would find in a gym. When engaging in activities such as CrossFit where there is a lot of jumping around, you want to ensure that you have a soft surface to land.
Carpeting, while soft, doesn’t give you the same level of support that you find with an exercise mat. These mats are specially designed for shock absorption to protect your joints every time that you land. Plus, jumping around on hardwood can sometimes damage the surface. With an exercise mat in place, you not only protect your floors but your joints as well.
You also need something that will provide a firm grip to keep from falling. Many of these exercise mats are made with very specific materials that offer a firm and stable place to land that won’t cause you to fall.
q: What’s the difference between an exercise mat and a yoga mat?
At first glance, these two products may look similar, but there are actually many differences between the two. First of all, yoga mats are typically on the thin size because you need to hold yoga poses for sometimes minutes at a time. Thicker mats will not allow you to hold your balance.
Whether you are don’t the latest Pilates DVD or you popped in your old Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies, stability isn’t as much of an issue. This means that you can opt for exercise mats that have a lot more padding to protect your joints and make a soft place to land.
A thicker exercise mat is also great at absorbing much of the noise that comes from jumping around in your living room. Popping a mat down on top of your hardwood floors means that you can move and jump around as much as you want without disturbing the other people in your home. So, go ahead and fit in that 5 AM workout!
q: Are workout mats very portable?
The answer to this question depends on the size and style, as well as the materials used. If you want something that you can pull out from behind your sofa for a quick workout, we suggest selecting the smaller 6 feet by 2 feet designs that fold into three pieces. These designs offer a lot of support and fold away quickly and easily.
Floor designs that measure to be about 8 feet long and 6 feet wide are a little more difficult to roll up- but it can be done! A lot of these designs actually come with a pair of straps with a handle so that you can roll it up when you are finished with it. This allows you to pop it away in storage until you need it again.
If portability is important, you should stay away from rubber des at all costs! Rubber options are amazing at shock absorption, traction, and support- but they are heavy! Many of that standard 8 feet by 4 feet sizes weigh in at over 30 pounds! Not only does this make it heavier to move, but they are almost impossible to roll back up.
q: Are they easy to clean?
Absolutely! One of the best features when it comes to an exercise mat is that cleanup is a snap. Just think about the mess you would have on your hands sweating and jumping on your beautiful hardwoods floors- which are much, much harder to clean.
To clean most style os exercise mats, you simply need a moist cloth to wipe off all of the sweat and be sure that you let it dry completely before rolling it back up to put it into storage.
Most mats are made from materials that are non-porous, so bacteria and mold won’t really be a problem. However, if you really want to ensure that you get it completely clean and good as new before every workout, there are a few things that you can do.
The first thing is to invest in a small bottle of mat spray. These sprays are generally affordable and sometimes are even infused with pleasant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Simply spray the solution onto your exercise mat, wipe it down with a cloth and you are good to go!
For really tough stains, use a bucket of warm water and a little bit of gentle detergent to wipe the strain clean.
q: How do I know what size exercise mat that I need?
Before you run and get the biggest size you can get your hands on, first consider where you want to place it. If you simply want something that you can unroll or unfold whenever you fire up the DVD player, a small 6 feet by 2 feet pad is all that you really need.
If you have a dedicated space in your home for a home gym, larger options may be better suited for your needs. Designs that measure to be 8 feet long and 4 feet wide are about the standard size for most home gyms. This allows enough room for one than one person to use it at a time. If you are alone, it really gives you the freedom to spread out a lot!
Also, take into consideration the types of workouts you like to do. For smaller isolated movements like those from your favorite Pilates DVD, you don’t need that much room. Plyometrics or P90X, on the other hand, require a lot of space for large movements. In those instances, you may need something that measures to be around 8 feet by 4 feet.