The 10 Best Exercise Mats

Updated June 16, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Exercise Mats
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether your workout is at home, at the gym, or in the park, you'll find a comfortable landing spot on one of the exercise mats from our careful selection. We've included models ideal for gymnasts, yoga practitioners, and Pilates enthusiasts, as well as tougher options appropriate for more vigorous routines, such as martial arts training. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best exercise mat on Amazon.

10. Angeles Rest Germ-Free

The Angeles Rest Germ-Free is specifically designed for kids' gymnastics, and features a vinyl cover that is radio-frequency sealed to prevent any moisture from seeping in, and to protect against the growth of bacteria. That also means it's easy to clean.
  • certified for children and schools
  • recommended for ages 3 and above
  • not a very high quality product
Brand Angeles
Model AEL7130
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Reehut Extra Thick

The Reehut Extra Thick is a good value for the price, and an excellent entry-level option for anyone just getting into yoga or Pilates. The 1/2-inch, high density foam NBR material provides a comfortable cushion for your spine, hips, knees and elbows on hard floors.
  • includes strap and handles
  • nontoxic and eco-friendly
  • surface can be very slippery
Brand Reehut
Model 048
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. ProSource Tri-Fold

The ProSource Tri-Fold is perfect for floor exercises and routines, such as sit-ups, crunches, or general stretching. Its supple foam interior means it should keep its shape through many uses, plus it folds up nicely for convenient transport and storage.
  • good for kids' wrestling practice
  • comes in three different colors
  • may be a little small for some users
Brand ProSource
Model ps-1951-tfm-grey-P
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Athlos Fitness Ab Mat

If your exercise routine involves a lot of sit-ups, you're going to love the Athlos Fitness Ab Mat, which features a contoured design that supports your lower back and protects your tailbone from the floor. It also helps isolate your abdominal muscles for a better workout.
  • works with all body types
  • backed by one-year warranty
  • panels can come apart
Brand Athlos Fitness
Model MAT-F-1.5
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Pogamat Large

This Pogamat Large is the size of four or five individual mats combined, making it suitable for fitness sessions with a partner or a friend. The top surface is durable enough to be used with shoes, while the bottom can be laid on anything from grass to cement.
  • good for taller users
  • backed by lifetime warranty
  • thinner than other options
Brand Pogamat
Model pending
Weight 15.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Airex Coronella

Though you'll pay more for it than competing models, the Airex Coronella comes highly recommended by fitness professionals thanks to its superior cushioning and lightweight design. The closed-cell foam includes an anti-bacterial agent, which should satisfy germophobes.
  • easy to roll up
  • it emits no smell
  • does not come with strap
Brand SPRI
Model AR-CLG
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Mat Expert Gymnastic

The Mat Expert Gymnastic is for anyone -- not just gymnasts -- who could use a little extra space to move while getting in shape. Each of its four panels measures four by two feet, giving you plenty of room to tumble, roll, or spread out to your heart's content.
  • pu leather exterior
  • velcro on edges
  • inner foam is removable
Brand Mat Expert
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. ProSource Puzzle

Installing a fitness room in your home? You're going to want the ProSource Puzzle, a versatile floor mat made of interlocking EVA foam tiles capable of covering up to 24 square feet. The six panels connect without much hassle, and can be configured in multiple ways.
  • contains no toxic phthalates
  • great for use under gym equipment
  • textured non-skid surface
Brand ProSource
Model 810244021378-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Spri Pro

Coming in either a 55- or 71-inch length option, the Spri Pro should give most users enough cushioning on which to do their morning workout. It also incorporates a textured nonslip surface that provides support and traction during really strenuous moves.
  • can be stored flat or rolled
  • springy poly-foam material
  • suitable for fitness trainers
Brand SPRI
Model MAT-140B-P
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Everlast Folding Mat

Whether you're a martial arts fanatic, a professional gymnast, or simply an occasional gym-goer, the Everlast Folding Mat is tough enough to stand up to whatever abuse you subject it to. The shell is non-absorbent, so you don't have to worry about sweating all over it.
  • reliable brand name
  • comes in blue or black
  • thick but also firm
Brand Everlast
Model pending
Weight 9.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 on June 16, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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