8 Best Exercise Mats | March 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether your workout is at home or at the gym, you'll find a comfortable landing spot on one of the exercise mats from our list. We've included models ideal for gymnasts and yoga practitioners, as well as tougher options good for more vigorous routines. Skip to the best exercise mat on Amazon.
8 Best Exercise Mats | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
8
The Angeles Rest germ-free exercise mat is specifically designed for kids' gymnastics. The cover is radio-frequency sealed to prevent any moisture from seeping in, and to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs.
7
The Sunny Health & Fitness tri-fold exercise mat is a good value for the price, and an excellent entry level product for novices. It has handles sewn onto it, which makes for easy transport to and from the gym or yoga studio.
6
The GoFit GF-AM6 aerobic mat is perfect for floor exercises and floor routines, such as sit ups, crunches, or extensive yoga practice. At six feet in length, it's a full-body mat for users of most heights.
5
The SPRI Folding exercise mat has a soft center layer for extra comfort during exercise. The thick cover means more durability. It comes with clear instructions for care that will help maintain the mat for years.
  • triple-layer high density foam
  • used at professional gyms
  • dual panel makes for bulkier storage
Brand SPRI
Model 05-58642-P
Weight 15 pounds
4
The Apollo Athletics high density foldable mat has firm density, making it perfect for exercise on hardwood floors or thin carpets offering little or no padding of their own. This mat is a bit pricey, but well-liked by its users.
  • hook and loop fasteners for easy storage
  • warranty comes included
  • may be too firm for some users
Brand Apollo Athletics
Model MAT-F-1.5
Weight 10.1 pounds
3
The Everlast Folding Mat is tough and durable and ready to stand up to the footwork of a boxer's practice routine or the pounding of a gymnast's tumbles and rolls. It is quite a good value given how long it should last.
  • reliable brand name
  • comes in blue or black
  • non-absorbent shell is easy to clean
Brand Everlast
Model pending
Weight 9.5 pounds
2
The Giantex Folding Mat features a tough, comfortable four panel design that is ideal for basic gymnastic instruction or yoga practice and then folds up into a compact package when the workout or routine is done.
  • cover unzips for convenient cleaning
  • velcro on edges for easy linking
  • durable enough for outdoor use
Brand Globe House Product
Model pending
Weight pending
1
The Giantex Folding Exercise Mat is a high quality, durable gymnastic pad that folds into quarters for easy storage and provides plenty of support when laid out flat. From children's gymnastics to adult yoga courses, it's a go-to.
  • eco friendly, high quality foam
  • handy carry belt for quick transporting
  • panel zippers for replacing damaged core
Brand westernb2k
Model pending
Weight pending

What Separates a Good Exercise Mat From a Great One?

The most important feature of any exercise mat is its cushion. Most top-of-the-line mats provide at least 2-3 layers of foam. While thickness is largely a matter of how compact a mat's cushion is, you probably want a mat to sit at least a couple of inches off the floor. This way there's no risk of knees or elbows sinking in.

Any worthwhile mat should be at least 4 ft. long, and it should fold down for easy storage. Generally speaking, any one-person mat should weigh at least a few pounds (otherwise there may not be sufficient cushion), and it should come with a handle for easy transport.

You may want to consider whether you need an exercise mat for indoor or outdoor use. In addition, you'll want to confirm that any mat is waterproof and frequency-sealed. Check to see what type of material the mat's outer-lining is made of (vinyl and polyurethane are the most common). Is that material easy to clean? Is it resistant to germs and bacteria? In the event that the cushion or the liner begin to wear, can either of them be replaced?

Once you've found an exercise mat that meets your needs, it pays to read a few of that model's online customer reviews. What you're looking for is a general consensus. The value of reviews is that each customer has had some time to live with an exercise mat. As such, these reviews represent the most honest and reliable gauge of determining whether a mat might hold up, or whether it's highly prone to wear and tear.

Several Little-Known Uses For an Exercise Mat

At its best, any exercise mat that's purchased for personal fitness will get used for 2 hrs a day. During off-months, that mat may not get used at all. So how do you get more value out of an exercise mat? The first step is to be creative. Try and think of that mat as a lightweight, cushioned surface that can be used for any variety of purposes, both indoor and out.

If you attend outdoor concerts or tailgate parties, for example, you can lay that mat down to create a comfortable seat. If you own an SUV or a family-sized truck, you can lay that mat down across the rear bed, thereby allowing the kids - or even the pet - to sit comfortably across the back.

Kids can sit on an exercise mat while they're playing video games. Toddlers can sit on an exercise mat to avoid spilling drinks on the floor. Family members can recline on an exercise mat whenever they're watching TV. During the warm-weather months you can use the mat as a porch cushion outdoors.

If you're an artist, an exercise mat is perfect for doing work while kneeling in front of a flat canvas. If you're a gardener an exercise mat is perfect for easing the burden on your knees. If you're a mechanic, an exercise mat is perfect for doing any type of engine work that requires you to lie on your back. If you live at the shore, an exercise mat's windproof weight might make it ideal for the beach.

How Better Materials Made For a More Durable Exercise Mat

Up until the 20th Century, personal exercise mats were little more than a flat pad that could be rolled up and tied together for storage. There were several issues with these early foam mats, not the least of which was that the foam absorbed sweat, which led to bacteria and odors. In addition, the early style of foam wasn't very resistant, which led to peeling and abrasive surfaces.

Flat mats became more resilient thanks to the introduction of polyurethane foam during the 1950s. In addition to a stronger cushion, post-World-War-II exercise mats were built with a polyvinyl liner, which protected the inner-cushion from perspiration and wear. Polyvinyl could be wiped down or scrubbed, which meant an average mat could go from lasting several months to lasting several years. Certain exercise-mat liners were designed with zippers, which meant that the liner could be removed, as well.

The incorporation of a liner meant that most mats needed to folded down as opposed to being rolled up. Folding mats came with nylon handles for ease of transport, and - as of the 1960s - a lot of folding mats were also being designed with Velcro fasteners. These fasteners allowed for connecting several mats along a hardwood floor.

Today, a number of high-quality exercise mats are being manufactured with memory foam and a bacteria-resistant liner. Certain mats are even eco-friendly, and biodegradable. Almost all of today's exercise mats are designed to be more durable. That durability is the result of using stronger materials, combined with better science.



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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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