10 Best Exercise Mats Tested & Reviewed

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Whether on a quest to find our inner zen, or on a mission to crunch our way to be in the best shape, having a high-quality exercise mat is a necessity.

Being the backbone of home workouts and many studio classes, exercise mats are designed to prevent injuries and support the body through its movements. But just like living a healthy life, the best exercise mat needs to have the right balance, which in this case is between its amount of cushion and its amount of traction.

When it comes to breaking a sweat, the last thing we want is to start slipping when transitioning into a downward facing dog or going down to hold a plank.

With so many different brands and types of exercise mats on the market, it can be hard to determine which is the best option. We researched all the most popular and highly-ranked exercise mats, so you can focus more on working up a sweat from working out rather than from shopping stress.

Last Updated: March 29, 2018
By Richard Haberkost:

Stunningly impressive and very current choice of best exercise mats, especially the top three selections. We put in a lot of in-depth comparative research to ensure we locate the best options for you. Keep returning to check on updated mats or new releases which qualify to join this list. To understand how we do this take a read through our criterion used for reviewing and researching. In our FAQs section, you will see answers to popular questions.

Manduka PRO
  • Manduka PRO
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Jade Harmony
  • Jade Harmony
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Portable
  • Price: See Here
Gaiam Sol Studio Select
  • Gaiam Sol Studio Select
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Eco-friendly
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Exercise Mats

 

Manduka PRO

When it comes to performance, the heavy-duty Manduka PRO will not disappoint. Built to last and with a lifetime guarantee, this is hands down the best mat for all types of yoga, Pilates and other floor exercises. That’s thanks to its thick, dense cushion for optimal comfort and joint protection, and its impressive reliability that makes it an investment with outstanding merit.
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Cushion / Comfort
The dense 6mm of cushion makes this exercise mat doughy, perfect for those looking to workout on a clouded surface. The foam is bouncy, so joints will have the cushion they need, without it feeling like a pillow under the feet. Balancing is only slightly more challenging because of the thickness, but is firm enough to go into Vriksasana pose without anxiety. In comparison, the PRO is more comfortable than Manduka’s PROlite, but it is more bulky.

Durability / Longevity
The thing about the PRO is that the material will not break down. It is truly is built to last, even for those who hit up hot yoga classes frequently. There won’t be peeling or flaking, even with heavy use. Manduka does provide its customers with a lifetime guarantee, if and when it breaks down, which may be a very long time.

Because it is chunky, this mat is heavier at 7.5 pounds, so it’s best to use the PRO for home workouts, unless you don't mind beefing up their arm muscles while taking it to class. The good thing is that is comes in both 71-inch and 85-inch length options for those who need the extra space.

Anti-slip / Sweat resistant
The closed-cell surface prevents moisture from being absorbed into the mat, and while it prevents germs from being absorbed, it make it more slippery from sweat. However, its proprietary dot pattern on the bottom does help avoid slips. The grip does improve the more it is used, but, being anti-slip both when wet or dry just isn’t in its nature. It needs to be worn in, or used with a towel for those sweaty workout sessions, but what it lacks in this department it makes up with in every other feature.

Maintenance
Because of its closed-cell texture, cleaning the PRO mat is not difficult at all. Manduka mats are also safe to leave out in the sunlight too.

Odor
This exercise mat can have a strong rubber smell, but the odor will eliminate after airing out and after a few washes.

Value
Even though the PRO is the most expensive mat on this list, the consumer will be making a smart investment on this one because of its long life. With its promise not to fade or flake, and its lifetime guarantee, it would be a mistake not to buy this mat. It’s one of best when it comes to comfort, support and longevity.
Pros
  • Ultra-comfortable
  • Durable
  • Made to last
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Slippery when sweaty
  • Expensive

Jade Harmony

As one of the most popular mats, the Jade Harmony is one of the best for Bikram classes because of it puts traction at the highest level of importance when it comes to its features. Sticky enough for hot and sweaty workouts, there is just the right amount of cushion without it being too voluminous.
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Cushion / Comfort
Thinner than other mats at 3/16-inch, some may think the padding is lacking when using on hardwood floors, concrete or tile, but this could also be a positive for those who don’t want too much cushioning. The length of this mat is perfect for those who are tall since it comes in 68- and 74-inch options to ensure the user’s feet won’t be hanging off the mat when transitioning.

Durability / Longevity
Because it is biodegradable, eventually with heavy use it will start to fall apart. For most, this means about a year or more.

Non-slip / Sweat resistant
Those looking for a sturdy mat where they can focus on their movements and not if the mat will move or not, then the Jade Harmony is your best bet. It’s all about the strong grip here, allowing the user to feel stable and secure. It has an open-cell construction to absorb sweat, preventing it from getting slippery.

Odor
There is a strong natural rubber smell with this mat, so make sure to unroll to air out or use a mild yoga mat cleaner to help dissipate the odor.

Maintenance
Because of its open-cell surface, sweat and odor can get trapped in over time. This can make is harder to clean. After washing do not leave in direct sunlight, as this can reduce the amount of grip the mat has.

Value
Recommended by many yoga teachers and reviewers, the Jade Harmony is stable, yet soft, with one of the best grips on the market. Made from natural rubber, this environmental-friendly mat is not closed-cell which means no slipping. Plus, the company will plant a tree with every purchase, making it the best mat for those looking for an eco-friendly option. It comes in a variety of colors, and is lightweight. This is a premium mat delivers when it comes to performance, well worth the more costly price.
Pros
  • Extremely sticky
  • Comfortable
  • Portable
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Breaks down over time

Gaiam Sol Studio Select Dry-Grip

Lighter than the Manuka PRO, but thicker than the Jade Harmony, this mat features an absorbent surface and a strong grip, which gets better the hotter it gets thanks to its moisture-repellent material. It’s also longer and wider than other options, and is slip-free.
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Cushion and Comfort
At 68” L x 24” W, what this mat is lacking in length, it makes up for in comfort. With 5mm of cushion, joints are in safe hands with Gaiam. It’s a bit more comfortable than the Jade Harmony, but more comparable to the Manduka Black Mat Pro in terms of cushion. That means its slight cushy, but enough to still feel the floor.

Durability and Longevity
This mat is proven to have years long lifespan if cared for. It will last—even with some visible wear, but eventually, the top layer of the mat does break down and start peel away from the foam. Another close to rare issue is it could sprout some bubbles after a few month of use. However, there is a lifetime guarantee, and for most it takes a long time before worn down.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
This mat will grip on to the floor and won’t be moving, even when the temperatures rise, so bring on the sweat. Because its truly a non-slip mat, this is the one to get for hot yoga. The only downside is that it can be hard to do sweeping motions with that powerful grip.

Maintenance
The surface of this exercise mat prevents germs and bacteria from seeping in, which causes for simple cleaning instructions- just don’t leave out to dry in the sun or it will fade.

Odor
Smell isn’t a major concern here, as long as it is unrolled to breathe. But it can retain that sweaty gym smell if not cleaned regularly.

Value
This is one of Gaiam’s best selling yoga mats, and its specs are a testament as to why. At a fair price, the user gets the comfort and portability they need, but may need to get a replacement after a few months depending on use. Favorable for all types of yoga, as well other kinds of home or studio workouts, this exercise mat is worth the price.
Pros
  • Portable
  • Sticky
  • Eco-friendly
Cons
  • Surface breaks down over time
  • Slightly pricey

Manduka PROlite

Manduka PROlite
The PROLite is highly-rated based on its performance just like its brother product the Manuka PRO, but is is lighter and thinner, making it perfect for taking on-the-go and. It is known for it’s quality, which means little peeling, and is less slippery, but only if cared for properly.
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Cushion / Comfort

The PROLite is 4.4mm thick, which is dense enough for ample support without the user feeling like they are sinking into the mat. It is not as cloudy as other mats, but it won’t hurt the hands, knees or back when getting on the floor.

Durability / Longevity

This is one sturdy, well-made exercise mat, ideal for those who will use it multiple times a week or want to invest in a high-quality product that will last. This is the kind of mat the gets better over time. There is very little peeling and the material won’t fade or deteriorate over time, but it does have a lifetime guarantee so feel free to use it to the ground.

It also comes in two size option, the standard coming in 71 inches long and 24 inches wide, the long at 79 inches wide and 24 inches wide for taller consumers, and is also nontoxic and latex free.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant

The PROLite features a proprietary slightly texturized dot pattern to prevent sliding. Although the grip is said to improve over time, many report that there is some slipping and sliding on this mat, making it hard to keep stable during Bikram.


Maintenance

This mat has a closed-cell surface, making cleaning painless. However, because it is on the slippery side, it’s recommend to break it in with sea salt.

Odor

There is a slight “rubbery” smell at least, but not as stinky as other mats. The odor will decrease after leaving out to vent.

Value

The PROLite is a favorite for many yogis, and is often ranked the best exercise mat to buy. It’s lightweight (4.2 pounds), and promised to last a long time. Dense cushioning helps to make movement easy on joints, yet stiff to promote stability while in poses since the foam isn’t overly thick. While this exercise mat is well worth purchasing, it can be too slippery for some. But its overall performance of this mid-range product gives this a high value score, justifying the price.
Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Dense without being too soft
  • Built to last
Cons
  • Needs to be worn in
  • Slightly expensive

HemingWeigh

HemingWeigh
This HemingWeigh is one of the thickest mats available, putting comfort in the forefront, as it’s easy on the back and knees during floor work. It’s non-slip surface means the user won’t be sliding, and it is sturdy enough for high intensity workouts. Plus it has a moisture-resistant surface, which makes cleaning sweat easy.
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Cushion / Comfort
With memory foam at 5/8 of an inch (15 mm) thick, those looking for extra cushioning should pick up the HemingWeigh. Being one of thickness mats on the market, there is more than ample support without it becoming compressed.

Durability / Longevity
Expect minimal tears or cracks with light yoga or Pilates, but for more intense workouts it will wear more quickly. Some tears near the carrying straps can be expected if lugging around constantly. It is heavy duty enough for regular use, but will get worn after extensive usage, resulting in a shorter lifespan.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
Double-sided with a non-slip surface, this exercise mat has enough traction to keep it in place with minimal stretching for most forms of yoga and other floor work. But users should take caution: this mat does get a little slippery when wet, so you might want to use with a towel.

Odor
This mat is ranked high on the smelly scale. Some describing it as having a fishy odor, while others a “really horrible” animal smell.

Maintenance
Because of its moisture-resistant material, cleaning this mat is a piece of cake.

Value
Plush and foamy, this double-sided mat is for those looking for a little extra cushion. At over 23” W x 70” L, it is perfect for most types of Yoga, Pilates, stretching and floor work, plus it is light and portable with its carrying strap. Best part? Users get all this without breaking the bank.
Pros
  • Soft cushion
  • Extremely portable
  • Great price for good quality
Cons
  • A bit firm, so can be hard to balance
  • Cracks and tears over time

Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2 Inch

Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2 Inch
A great buy for those who care about comfort when pushing through tough workouts. It’s also the best option for those on a budget, being the cheapest mat on this list. It doesn’t cut corners on quality since there is more than enough support to cushion joints, and non-skid ridges to avoid slips and injury. It’s also said to last long, is portable and comes in many colors.
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Cushion / Comfort
The 12mm foam makes it one of the densest options available. However, all that padding might make balancing poses a bit more challenging for beginners.

Durability / Longevity
While comfort is key here, this mat is also long at 71 inches and 24 inches wide, giving the user enough space to strike their poses and transition. It’s made with long-lasting rubber material called NBR that makes it resilient, so users won’t need to be purchasing a new mat for some time. On the downside, it may easily tear after frequently use.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
This mat features a ribbed surface with non-skid ridges on one side that grip the floor with close to minimal slips. On the other side is a smooth surface. However, this mat isn’t the best for hot yoga.

Odor
There is a strong odor with the Sivan mat, so make sure to leave out to air dry for a day or two.

Maintenance
Consider this an easy to clean mat thanks to its smooth surface.

Value
This exercise mat comes highly recommended, perfect for both home and class workouts of various kinds because of its durability, traction and soft cushion. It might be too pillowy for some, but well worth it for its low price. It comes in a few color options, folds up easily and comes with a carrying handle and is light enough to travel with.
Pros
  • Extra thick for comfort
  • Great traction
  • Versatile when it comes to workouts
  • Portable
Cons
  • Wears and tears more easily than others

Aurorae Classic

Aurorae Classic
This family business has put its name on the map with many of its active lifestyle products, including the Classic mat. This high-quality mat is sturdy, yet soft, non-slip, lengthy and roomy, and portable — all while being easy on the wallet.
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Cushion / Comfort
At 1/4 of an inch thick, this mat features specially designed memory foam for extra comfort for wrists, knees, and back, while not being too dense to throw the user off balance when moving from Tree Pose to Warrior III.

Durability / Longevity
No tears, creases or other wear to be found here, and don’t even worry about it stretching. However, some weathering can occur over time but there is a two year guarantee.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
Textured on both sides, this mat is sticky when dry even on hardwood floors. Although it could be a bit slick before breaking it in, many report being able to use it straight out of the box. It does come with a non-slip rosin bag that does reduce any unwanted gliding, but those who practice hot yoga or other sweaty exercise might want to use a towel.

Odor
Since it contains no toxins, phthalates, phenols, PAHS, or silicone and rubber (plus its biodegradable), it doesn’t have that chemical smell than can be expected with a new mat.

Maintenance
The company provides a guide and video on how to properly care for the mat. It’s safe to hang to dry in the sun.

Value
With 12 color options, and a rising moon focal point for those more challenging poses, this mat is a worthy contender for beginners and intermediates alike. At 72 inches long, it’s roomy, lightweight and eco-friendly, making it a quality product that doesn’t have a high cost. Plus it comes with a free non-slip rosin bag and carry strap.
Pros
  • Stable, yet soft
  • Easy to clean
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Can be too slippery for hot yoga

Prana E.C.O.

Prana E.C.O.
At only 2 pounds, this yoga mat is perfect for fitness enthusiasts who head to classes multiple times a week. It’s affordable, holding its own among the other pricer options when it comes to its comfort, support and non-slip capabilities thanks to its closed-cell design and textured surface. It’s the best bang for your buck, plus its sustainably made and recyclable.
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Cushion / Comfort
A touch thinner, coming in at 4mm thick, this mat is more firm that others while still having that “squishy” feeling to support the body during movements.

Durability / Longevity
There might be some cracks or flaking after using regularly over a long period of time, so don’t expect a super long lifespan.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
The two-sided textured surface on this mat provides more than just ample cushion. It also has a decent grip. It isn’t as slippery as other exercise mats, although in comparison, there is less traction than other popular options like the Jade Harmony. It’s not as sticky when wet, so it is a better for slower forms of exercise, or as a starter mat.

Odor
Because of the closed-cell makeup, germs won’t get trapped inside and so there won’t be any smells after a workout. It also doesn’t have that strong plastic smell some mats have when first purchased.

Maintenance
While cleaning this mat is easy because of its structure, the main maintenance concern here is creasing cause by folds. Make sure to leave the mat flat to dry and roll up when not using it.

Value
The mat is made with 100 percent TPE material that is also UV resistant, latex free and contains no PVCs. It’s recyclable, making it great for a green consumer. It’s long, light, comes in four color options, and available for a great price.
Pros
  • Thinner, but enough cushion
  • Eco-friendly and recyclable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Creases, cracks and flakes over time

Everlast Folding

Everlast Folding
Designed to fold in half instead of rolling out for easy storage, the Everest Folding Mat is tailor-made for those high intensity workouts. Built tough, this mat is all about the thickness, with 1 5/8 inches of foam, making it as comfortable as it is resilient.
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Cushion / Comfort
Being thick is an understatement here. At almost 2 inches thick, there is ample padding that is needed to just about any kind of physical activity (from MMA to Pilates), making it extremely versatile.

Durability / Longevity
Weighing in at 10 pounds (and 2' x 6' (1 5/8" thick), this is a monster of a mat. This exercise mat is sturdy and made to withstand many uses. Just make sure to only use barefoot in order to prevent rips and tears.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
Expect to slide some on wooden floors or concrete, but not enough to cause for major concern. Working up a sweat is encouraged since it features a moisture-resistant shell to absorb sweat.

Odor
Very faint odor, close to none on this exercise mat. Just open to air out upon purchasing.

Maintenance
Cleaning is a breeze thanks to its non-absorbent shell. This mat should be left to air dry for a few minutes, and then folded up for neat storage.

Value
Those looking to get multiple uses when it comes to the variety of their workouts should consider the Everlast mat. It’s not as expensive as the top tier yoga mats, and comes in two colors, black and blue. This is the one of the best mats for any gym junkie.
Pros
  • Thickness of the foam
  • Versatility
  • Price
Cons
  • Heavy

Gaiam Premium Print Reversible

Gaiam Premium Print Reversible
Packed with personality, this mat features various designs that makes it stand out in a sea of boring black options. But more than just a pretty face, this product is made from Gaiam, one of the most reputable companies that make exercise mats, so it doesn’t sacrifice quality for its appealing appearance. Lightweight, durable, portable, and affordable, this mat is great for the home and studio.
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Cushion/Comfort
Coming in at 5 mm thick, this mat offers the standard level of comfort for sensitive hands and knees. However, at 68 inches long, it might not be as comfortable for those who prefer to spread out or who are tall.

Durability/ Longevity
Because this mat is reversible, it’s like having two mats in one. The darker colors hides the inevitable scratches that come with long-term use, but there is a lifetime guarantee when wear and tear does occur.

Non-slip / Sweat-resistant
With enough traction to prevent sliding on wooden floors, users can enjoy a nearly slip-free experience thanks to the grippy texture of this mat. However, expect to break it in during the first use.

Odor
This mat is made without latex, and without the top six most harmful phthalates, but a strong, harmless smell can be expected.

Maintenance
Lay the mat out at first to eliminate odor, and make sure to clean between uses. The colors may also start to fade if left in sunlight for long periods of time, so it’s best to store the mat in a bag.

Value
This mat is a beauty with its vibrant colors, which is a main selling point. At an affordable price, it has an equal balance of traction and cushion, making it ideal for beginners. Weighing in at only 2.5 lbs, it’s light enough to take to class to be showed off.
Pros
  • Reversible with fun designs
  • Light and portable
  • Free of chemicals
  • Affordable Price
Cons
  • Not as much traction as others
  • Strong odor
  • Smaller length

 

The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Exercise Mat

With so many options available both in stores and online, selecting the best exercise mat should be based on a lot more than its design, or if it has a brand name. That’s why we thoroughly researched the most important features of these products to ensure that consumer knows which mats are of the highest quality, and perform the best.

Since everybody is different and has different needs when it comes to which exercise mat is best for them, we ranked the products on this top 10 list based on the following metrics:

Grip
Having a strong grip is necessary when it comes to avoiding accidents. When practicing yoga, being able to keep balance and alignment is crucial, so slipping and sliding would be a major hurdle. Keep in mind that stickiness of the mat is related to how adhesive the mat is in relation to the user’s feet. You should feel secure on the mat, yet able to move, without feeling like you are glued to it.

Thickness
How thick the mat is helping define its level of comfort, firmness, and support which are all important in order to avoid injury. It also influences the stability and balance. Mats vary in thickness but are often 1/8” (3mm) thick, 1/9” (5mm), or 1/4” (6mm).

Durability
How long will the exercise mat last? Will it crack, crease, scratch, fade, or peel? The lifespan of mats depends on the type of material it is made from, how often it is used for what kind of activity, and how well the user takes care of it.

Portability
Is the mat being used at home or the gym? The lighter the better for those who plan to take theirs to class, and some options feature detachable straps or carrying bags.

Value
Does the quality justify the cost? We took into account all the other metrics to see how much value the exercise mat has and if it’s worth that price.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Size
Mats come in various sizes in terms of both length and width. The average yoga mat is 68” L x 24” W. While this is suitable for most, those who are tall or want more space to move should look at mats at least 72” and longer.

Slip
Most exercise mats need to be broken in. Think of this as stretching and breaking into a new pair of jeans before it has the perfect fit. The more stretching and sweating is done on it, the more it will get worn in and the stickiness will improve. It’s recommended that the user breaks in their mat by using a salt scrub before use and as often as needed to make it less slippery.

Odor
Many consumers who purchase new mats complain about the smell mats have at first. No matter what the mat is made of, all mats should be un-rolled in order for them to “breathe” and air out. Over time the smell will go away, but washing it can help make it fade faster.

Type Of Workout(s)
Depending on the thickness and grip and texture, many exercise mats can be used for multiple kinds of workouts. While many people pick up a mat for yoga or Pilates, some are also fitting for more high-intensity workouts like PX90, martial arts, or can be used for simple stretches or exercises like leg lifts, ab work, planks, pushup or lunges.

FAQs

Q: How do I clean my yoga mat?

A: Apply mild soap or yoga mat cleanser with warm water with a washcloth. A mat cleanser can be made at home by combining vinegar with water and essential oils like tea tree oil. Make sure to always leave the mat unrolled to dry, keeping in mind that some mats cannot be dried in sunlight because it will break them down faster. It’s not recommended to ever put an exercise in a washing machine or wash with a hose or in a running bath.

Q: How often do I clean my mat?

A: It’s best to clean an exercise mat after every use, particularly after sweaty workouts. How easy it is to clean an exercise mat depends on if it has a closed- or open-cell surface. Open-cell mats are like sponges, making them harder to clean since germs and bacteria can build up. Those who are health conscious should look for closed-cell mats since they are easier to clean by just wiping off the perspiration after use and giving it a good clean every so often.

Q: How thick should my exercise mat be?

A: The right amount of thickness depends on each consumer. The thicker 1/4” options are best for those who need maximum cushion; however, this could be too thick and thus less stable for those who want to focus on poses that require balance.

Q: How long does a yoga mat last?

A: It’s advised to replace their exercise mat every six to 12 months. But this depends on how often the mat is used and for what kind of activity. While small wear and tear are expected with frequent use, some mats are more durable and made to last for at least a year. Many companies also offer a lifetime guarantee.

Q: Does buying a mat from Amazon mean the company warranty is included?

A: Yes, the warranty is included in the seller is the mat’s maker. If a problem arises, contact the company directly with any information about their mat including the model, serial number and include photos.

Q: What size mat should I buy?

A: Most average height consumers will fit on the standard 68” L x 26” W mats, but mats are sold up to 86”, with 72” and more best for taller consumers.

Q: What is the difference between a yoga, Pilates, and exercise mat?

A: The difference lies in a mats thickness. Exercise mats are thickest of the three, perfect for all kinds of workouts including yoga and Pilates. Those who practice Pilates should also look for thicker mats for padding for moves that require them to be on their backs or side. Yoga mats are typically the thinner of the three, which might not have enough cushion for other activities.

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