The best workout mats are so much more than something to stand on. They enhance and elevate your exercise sessions, helping you to work more, sweat harder, and enjoy it all at the same time.
Great quality gym mats can make the difference between a below-average workout and an exceptional one, whether it’s Box Fit or Bikram.
As far as we’re concerned, the best exercise mats are as important as a personal trainer or teacher.
Your exercise mat will work just as hard as you, providing grip and traction through your planks, pushups, balances, and burpees, and ensuring comfort during stretches and cooldowns. Whether you’re doing endurance training or your favourite yoga sequence, the best exercise mats play a major part in getting those endorphins flowing.
We’ve selected the best workout mats, from the best yoga mats to mats designed for HIIT, as well as extra-thick mats for added cushioning or extra slim fitness mats to take with you on your travels.
The 19 best yoga mats and exercise mats of 2021
|1||Alo Yoga Warrior||Overall best|
|2||No Ka’ Oi||Best premium|
|4||ProsourceFit||Best for hardwood floors|
|5||Alo Yoga Chakra||Best for hot yoga|
|7||Manduka PRO||Best for carpet|
|8||June & Juniper||Best folding|
|9||Retrospec Solana||Best extra-thick|
|10||Liforme||Best with alignment lines|
|11||Gaiam||Best for beginners|
|12||Jade Yoga||Best sustainable|
|13||Manduka eKolite||Best ultralight|
|15||Gaiam Cork||Best cork|
|16||Sweaty Betty||Best no-slip|
|17||Pogamat||Best for HIIT|
To help you find the yoga mat that’s best for you, check our buying guide to choosing the best exercise mat after the list.
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. It’s antimicrobial, dry-wicking, and slip-resistant. It’s 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 rubber Thickness: 4.2 mm (0.16 inches) Dimensions: 189 cm x 67 cm (75 inches x 26 inches) Colours: A range including black, pink, and blue
No Ka’ Oi: Best premium yoga mat
Looking for a fitness mat that adds a touch of luxury to your lunges and leg lifts? This No Ka’ Oi yoga mat is the designer workout mat we don’t necessarily need but most definitely want.
No Ka ‘Oi means ‘the best’ in Hawaiian and this yoga mat is certainly premium stuff with its embossed logo and superlative quality. The soft quilting makes it ideal for barefoot workouts such as yoga and pilates.
Bring star-appeal to your yoga session with this No Ka’ Oi designer yoga mat.
Best for: Adding high-end design to your down dog.
Material: Polyurethane Thickness: 7mm (0.3 inches) Dimensions: 182 cm x 63 cm (72 inches x 25 inches) Colours: Black or pink
BalanceFrom: Best value exercise mat
Looking for a gym mat that will give you cushioning and support but won’t cost the Earth? Check out this bargain exercise mat from BalanceFrom.
Made of high-density foam, it provides plenty of support for spine, hips, knees, and elbows, while the double-sided non-slip surfaces mean you’ll stay strong and stable. Moisture resistant technology makes the mat easy to wash and clean.
Best for: Doing burpees on a budget.
Material: Foam Thickness: 13 mm (0.5 inches) Dimensions: 180 cm x 60 cm (71 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including black, blue, and green
ProsourceFit: Best exercise mat for hardwood floors
These days our sitting rooms double up as studios—which can cause problems if you’ve got hardwood floors. They look nice but they take their toll on our joints. Which is why we need the cushioning comfort of this exercise mat by ProsourceFit.
At 25 mm, it’s one of the thickest exercise mats we’ve come across and perfect for sensitive souls who need a little more padding. Whether you’re doing Pilates, yoga, core work, or cardio, this water-resistant and non-slip mat is the exercise accessory you need.
Show your knees and elbows a bit of love with the ProsourceFit exercise mat.
Best for: Perfect protection from hardwood floors.
Material: Foam Thickness: 25 mm (1 inch) Dimensions: 180 cm x 60 cm (71 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including blue, black, and green
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 grounded—even 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 Yoga’s Chakra Mat.
Best for: Slip-free sun salutations in even the sweatiest hot yoga session.
Material: Natural rubber Thickness: 4.2 mm (0.16 inches) Dimensions: 189 cm x 67 cm (75 inches x 26 inches) Colour: Black
Lululemon: Best antibacterial yoga mat
Never worry about catching something contagious from your mat again thanks to Lululemon’s yoga mat, made from easy-clean spongy polycarbonate with an antibacterial finish that not only kills a variety of bacteria but also prevents odours.
The no-slip design allows you to step fearlessly into all your asanas while 5mm thickness allows for comfort during stretch sessions. It’s also reversible so if one side gets too sweaty, you can flip it over.
Wave goodbye to workout-induced acne and banish microbes from your mat forever with Lulelemon’s antibacterial yoga mat.
Best for: Keeping germs at bay for an even happier happy baby pose.
Material: Polycarbonate Thickness: 5 mm (0.19 inches) Dimensions: 180 cm x 66 cm (70.9 inches x 26 inches) Colour: Black
Manduka PRO: Best yoga mat for carpet
While carpet is soft, it can also be super slippery, so not ideal for high-impact aerobic exercises. Best to invest in a mat like the Manduka Pro to protect the carpet and you.
The Manuka PRO is also the best yoga mat for bad knees that we’ve come across with an above-average cushioning of 6 mm. A closed-cell surface means you can simply wipe this gym mat clean while the high-grip PVC allows you to hold planks and master push-ups, no problem.
Work out in the living room, bedroom, or even the hallway with this Manduka Pro mat—the best yoga mat for carpet.
Best for: Soft cushioning for workouts that won’t leave you bruised and sore.
Material: PVC Thickness: 6 mm (0.24 inches) Dimensions: 180 cm x 66 cm (71 inches x 26 inches) Colours: A range including black, green, and blue
June & Juniper: Best folding yoga mat
This June & Juniper mat is the best yoga mat for travel, designed for those who like to do their lotus poses in exotic locations or don’t want to skip a HIIT session on holiday.
At only 1.3 kg, it’s a perfect weight and can fold up to the size of a book to neatly fit in your luggage or duffel bag. One side is made of a moisture-wicking microfiber that performs well in sweatier climes while black rubber on the other side offers grip and traction.
For jet-setters determined to sweat it out on every continent, you need June & Juniper’s folding yoga mat.
Best for: Wanderlusters wanting to workout from around the world.
Material: Rubber Thickness: 3.5 mm (0.14 inches) Dimensions: 178 cm x 61 cm (70 inches x 24 inches) Colours: Three different patterns available
Retrospec Solana: Best extra-thick exercise mat
For exceptional padding in your pilates session—or wherever else you raise your pulse—this Retrospec Solana is the best thick exercise mat with 25 mm of cushioning.
It’s designed to alleviate stress on all pressure points but doesn’t compromise on stability thanks to a non-slip surface that keeps you steady and focused. The thickness of the material also has the advantage of being extra durable so you can really put this gym mat and your body through its paces.
Work out without annoying either your neighbours or your joints with Retrospec Solana fitness mat.
Best for: The next best thing to working out on your bed.
Material: Foam Thickness: 25 mm (1 inch) Dimensions: 183 cm x 61 cm (72 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including black, blue, and purple
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 Liforme’s advanced GripForMe material for no-slip stability. Meanwhile, the PVC-free biodegradable material makes sure your practice is as planet-friendly as possible.
Liforme’s 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: Rubber Thickness: 5 mm (0.17 inches) Dimensions: 185 cm x 68 cm (72.8 x 26.7 inches) Colours: A range including grey, green, and blue
Gaiam: Best fitness mat for beginners
With its sticky non-slip texture and extra thickness, this versatile exercise mat from Gaiam is ideal for those looking to get started on their fitness adventures.
This Gaiam yoga mat is lightweight enough to carry around but thick enough to provide cushioning. The non-toxic PVC makes it a healthy choice too. Plus, purchase includes a free downloadable yoga workout to get you off to a flying start.
Embark on a quest towards your best body ever with Gaiam’s exercise mat—the best yoga mat for beginners.
Best for: Dream inspiration to begin your yoga journey.
Material: Natural rubber Thickness: 6 mm (0.24 inches) Dimensions: 173 cm x 61 cm (68 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range of patterns including chakras, mandalas, and mountains
Jade Yoga: Best sustainable yoga mat
Nothing says Namaste like a sustainable yoga mat and this Jade Yoga mat is the most eco-friendly yoga mat that we’ve come across.
Not only is it made from sustainable natural rubber but Jade Yoga also plants trees for every mat sold. It’s also got cushioning, traction, and stability, making it ideal for all kinds of workouts.
Kind to your body, kind to the environment, this yoga mat from Jade Yoga is the perfect buy for any planet-conscious yogi.
Best for: Earth-conscious asanas.
Material: Natural rubber Thickness: 4.8 mm (0.19 inches) Dimensions: 173 cm x 61 cm (68 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including black, blue, and red
Manduka eKolite: Best ultralight yoga mat
Planning to hit the gym or studio in your lunch-break or after work? Then you need a commuter-friendly exercise mat like this one by Manduka eKolite. The best lightweight yoga mat we’ve come across, it’s less than half a kilogram and ideal for toting across town.
Despite its lightness, it still has enough cushioning to be comfortable and the natural rubber grip will stop you from slipping. It’s also made of non-Amazon harvested and biodegradable natural tree rubber and the company has taken measures to ensure a zero-waste production process.
Don’t let working out weigh you down—literally—with this ultra-portable Manduka eKolite gym mat.
Best for: Trouble-free transportation from street to studio.
Material: Rubber Thickness: 3 mm (0.1 inches) Dimensions: 173 cm x 61 cm (68 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including blue, lilac, and black
Gorilla: Best large gym mat
Looking for a large exercise mat with plenty of space for mountain climbers, down dogs, or dumb-bell sessions? Check out this enormous Gorilla mat—one of the best exercise mats for your home gym.
It’s significantly bigger than your average exercise mat, making it big enough for cardio, strength-building, jumping rope, or dancing. Non-slip grip prevents it from sliding around while the 6mm cushioning means no more sore joints or scratched floors.
Best for: Plenty of space for everything from summersaults to sumo squats.
Material: Foam Thickness: 6 mm (0.23 inches) Dimensions: 183 cm x 122 cm (72 inches x 48 inches) Colours: Black, blue, and grey
Gaiam: Best cork exercise mat
Not only is cork one of the most sustainable yoga mat materials but it’s also naturally antibacterial, making this Gaiam cork mat one of the best choices for any fitness fanatic.
Cork is moisture-resistant so doesn’t absorb any strange smells, odours or—most importantly—bacteria. In fact, as it gets damper, the cork becomes easier to grip, giving you extra traction in tree pose. It’s also natural, non-toxic and recyclable, bringing the necessary nature-loving vibes to your vinyasa.
Looking for a germ-resistant mat that’s also eco-friendly? Gaiam’s cork mat is the only one up to the job.
Best for: Your favourite cork-related possession after the corkscrew.
Material: Cork Thickness: 5 mm (0.13 inch) Dimensions: 173 cm x 61 cm (68 inches x 24 inches) Colours: Cork and black
Sweaty Betty: Best no-slip yoga mat
Trust Sweaty Betty to make a slip-resistant yoga mat like the Super Grip—perfectly optimised for stability and steadiness.
Whether you’re looking for more solidity in your Goddess squats or more balance in your Bikram sessions, this mat ensures you’re not going anywhere with a natural latex that gives unparalleled grip for a totally secure practice.
Weighing just 2 kg and 4 mm in thickness, it’s both portable and protective. It’s also biodegradable.
A yoga mat that’s just the right kind of sticky, Sweaty Betty’s no-slip exercise mat is one of the best yoga mats out there.
Best for: Staying stable as you transition from arm balances to backbends.
Material: Biodegradable natural latex Thickness: 4 mm (0.15 inches) Dimensions: 183 cm x 61 cm (72 inches x 24 inches) Colours: Grey or red
Pogamat: Best exercise mat for HIIT
If the only kind of exercise you enjoy is the kind that gets your heart rate rocketing and the sweat pouring, then check out the Pogamat—one of the best workout mats for high-intensity exercises.
Enjoy more comfortable callisthenics with this extra-large and ultra-tough mat. The non-slip grip is ideal for cardio while the durable padding will protect the floor from pounding feet.
Put your body through its paces with the Pogamat, a mat made for perspiration-heavy exercise. Time to get the tunes pumping and your body moving.
Best for: A seriously tough mat for seriously intense sweat sessions.
Material: Foam Thickness: 6.35 mm (0.25 inches) Dimensions: 198 cm x 122 cm (78 inches x 48 inches) Colour: Black
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.
It’s made of eco-friendly TPE and, at 6 mm thick, is neither too padded nor too thin. It’s 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 (rubber-like material) Thickness: 6 mm (0.24 inches) Dimensions: 183 cm x 61 cm (72 inches x 24 inches) Colours: A range including blue, green, and brown
Armani/Casa: Most expensive yoga mat
One of the most exclusive exercise mats we’ve ever seen, this Armani/Casa mat is bringing much-needed millionaire-style to your workouts.
You haven’t experienced true luxury until you’ve done a lunge on a designer workout mat like this. Bring some opulence to your pilates classes with this sleek exercise mat from one of the biggest names in high-fashion.
It’s also practical, made from an anti-slip rubber fabric, and comes with a holder with an adjustable strap. Team this Armani yoga mat with some great leggings and your favourite reusable water bottle and you’re good to go.
Best for: Bringing high-end couture to your crow pose.
Material: Rubber Dimensions: 190 xm x 68 cm (75 inches x 27 inches) Colour: Black
Buyers guide: how to choose an exercise mat
Choosing the right exercise mat depends on what you intend to use it for. What kind of exercise do you do? Will you need to carry it around on a regular basis? Here are some things to consider.
Gym mats provide cushioning to protect both the floor and you. The thickness of your exercise mat will depend on whether you plan to be doing high-intensity cardio or less high-impact workouts like yoga. Thinner mats allow for more stability while thicker mats are more durable.
Typically, a yoga mat is around 4 mm thick while mats designed for HIIT can go up to 25 mm in thickness. This is the main difference between yoga mats and exercise mats.
The size of your gym mat will depend on your height and the kind of workouts you are doing. A standard yoga mat is around 173 cm x 61 cm. If you want more space for your workout or you’re particularly tall, you can get a longer or wider mat.
You need a mat with a good grip so it doesn’t slide around on the floor. Yoga mats, in particular, need to have an anti-slip grip to allow for stability in balancing and standing postures. The grip is usually provided with a textured surface or sticky material such as PVC.
An exercise mat weighs, on average, around 1.3 kg (3 lb). But you may want something lighter than this if you plan to travel with your mat. You can buy specialist travel yoga mats that are around 3 mm in thickness, making them very lightweight.
Antimicrobial and antibacterial
Exercise mats can harbour germs so clean yours regularly between uses. You can also go a step further with a mat with an antibacterial finish. Or look for a mat made from cork, which is organic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial.
Open-cell mats vs. closed-cell mats
Mats with open-cell technology are porous, meaning that they absorb sweat and moisture. Closed-cell mats are not absorbent and need to be wiped clean. Open-cell mats can be soaked.
Fabrication and materials
Exercise mats are typically made from foam, rubber, cork, or PVC. Rubber mats are usually thinner and more portable while foam mats provide lots of cushioning.
If you’re allergic to latex, opt for PVC rather than rubber. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your mat, look for one made of eco-friendly materials such as sustainably sourced rubber, cork, or recycled materials.
Other things to look out for when buying a yoga mat include alignment lines to help with your poses as well as a strap for carrying. You can also buy a strap separately—such as this luxury leather yoga mat strap from Cuyana.
Frequently asked questions about yoga mats and exercise mats
The best exercise mat to buy is the popular Warrior mat by Alo Yoga. For a more high-end and exclusive option, check out No Ka’ Oi’s designer yoga mat while a mat from BalanceFrom offers great value for money. For more inspiration, check out our guide to yoga and exercise mats.
A yoga mat is generally thinner than an exercise mat because this allows for greater stability and firmness in poses. They are usually less than 5 mm thick. Exercise mats are for more high-impact workouts and have cushioning to protect joints. They can be as thick as 25 mm.
The best thickness for an exercise mat is anything above 6 mm. If you have wooden floors—or you need to protect your joints —you may want something thicker. Greater thickness also helps to muffle the sound of your workouts—ideal if you’re doing your home workouts in an apartment.
The best thickness for a yoga mat is around 4 mm which is a standard option for most yoga mats made of rubber or cork. However, if you’re doing yoga on a hardwood surface, or spending a lot of time stretching on the floor, you may want something slightly thicker. Thicker mats are also versatile as they can be used for more high-intensity workouts.
You can use a yoga mat for HIIT but they can be too thin. It’s better to use a mat especially designed for high-impact workouts to protect your joints. These are usually made of PVC or foam while yoga mats are generally made of rubber. However, if you have a thicker yoga mat—above 6 mm—then you might find it perfectly adequate for a HIIT workout.