How to choose a home exercise mat

A fitness mat is an inexpensive but useful accessory for home workouts and gym activities. An incorrectly selected and / or cheap model can significantly impair the results and quality of the exercise, sliding along the floor surface and breaking prematurely. Therefore, when choosing a product, you need to focus not on cost, but on the main characteristics of the product.

home workout mat

The need for application

Even if you work out at the gym, we recommend that you buy your own mat rather than using a common mat (which is usually cleaned once a month).

The high quality accessory is multifunctional:

  • Protects from drafts walking on the floor;
  • Protects the head, feet, palms, knees, spine from painful sensations and injuries;
  • Provides comfort during workouts (exercising on a "bare" floor is uncomfortable and hard);
  • Absorbs sweat;
  • Reduces noise. Putting kettlebells and other sports equipment on the matted floor will be noiseless.

In addition, a colorful rug can become a stylish attribute, additionally mounted on regular fitness.

Important: Some beginners mistakenly believe that a specialized sports mat can be replaced with a travel EVA foam. The latter has thermal insulation characteristics and softness, and is used in hiking (it is placed on stones and ground). But it does not have the qualities that are required from the "mat" for sports training - the EVA film will slide on the floor and also get wet easily.

Criterias of choice

choosing a fitness mat

When buying a rug for sports, you need to consider:

Product dimensions

The thickness ranges from 1.3 mm. up to 8 mm. An inventory of 3-4 mm is considered a universal option. - on such a coating will be both warm and soft. Also consider the following guidelines:

  • For uneven surfaces (for example, yoga in the open air and rocky terrain), you need a mat with a thickness of 6 mm;
  • 5-6mm models are recommended for people with sensitive joints;
  • 1.5-3mm mats are created for calm classic aerobics and yoga workouts on flat surfaces;
  • The mats, 15-19 mm thick, are intended for potentially traumatic Pilates exercises.

Important: thick mats allow you not to dig into the floor with your knees and elbows. However, they are not as stable as their thin counterparts. Therefore, we will once again point out the need to take into account the intensity of the classes.

The standard width is 50-80 cm. If you choose equipment for home workouts, then this parameter can be anything. If you plan to carry the rug with you, then the wide model may not be the most comfortable.

Length - 120-220 cm. If you are training at an intensive pace, add 30 cm to your height, and you will get a suitable mat length. If you prefer yoga and other quiet activities, +10 cm for height will suffice.

Weight is not the most important criterion. On average, it is 1-2 kg., And depends on the material of manufacture.

Production material

Rugs are made from materials such as:

  • Cotton. The only advantages are considered to be pleasant to the touch and environmental friendliness. But cotton mats slide perfectly on the floor - buy such an accessory only if the flooring in your apartment is non-slip by itself;
  • Rubber. Long-lasting natural raw materials that cannot absorb moisture. A characteristic disadvantage is the relatively large weight. A good solution for practicing at home, when you do not need to carry a rug with you for long distances;
  • Thermoplastic. Tactilely pleasant and soft material. Products made from it are universal and suitable for all types of physical activity. The only drawback is the higher cost;
  • PVC. Advantages - ease of cleaning, variety of colors, not the ability to fade in the sun. PVC mats are not suitable for yoga.

Important: if in class you relax and do not sweat a lot, the mat may be the cheapest - for example, made of PVC. If the training is intense, the PVC model will not work - the production material must have open pores (this can be rubber, a cork mat or the PER + Jute system).


The main types of rugs:

  • Mind body. Versatile yoga and fitness option with excellent cushioning;
  • Mind body
  • Workout mats. Foldable accessories with multiple segments. Can be recommended for gymnastics;
  • Workout mats
  • Ab mats. Specialized models with high rigidity and thickness, compact dimensions. Designed to work out the abdominal muscles (absolutely not suitable for other types of training).

  • Ab mats

Additional factors

We also advise you to remember:

  • The product should not stretch. The best options have a reinforced frame with internal polyester fibers. The higher cost fully pays off with durability and convenience;
  • The shape should not have roundness, which over time can lead to bending of the rug;
  • The surface must have anti-slip properties. At the same time, it should not be sticky. Specialized fitness models are made with two types of surfaces - the first for grip on the skin of the hands, the second for connecting to the floor covering. Surface colors are usually different;
  • Too soft models wear out earlier. Bacteria and dirt begin to accumulate on damaged surfaces.

Try to choose an accessory with antibacterial impregnation. These products can also be washed - this will not lead to premature damage.

Pamela Reif - Home Workout Plan 2022