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Exercise Mats are Necessary: How to Choose the Right Type

By on Last modified: September 21, 2017

An exercise mat is an essential piece of fitness equipment that can be used in many different ways and for so many different exercises to keep your body comfortable during the routine. To be able to perform your workout effectively, you need to use a good exercise mat. An exercise mat can provide enough cushioning as to protect your body from the stress caused by high-impact exercise  as well as protect your body while working out on a hard floor.

Although fitness centers provide mats for their members, if you want to practice at home, purchasing an exercise mat may be a good idea. At a first glance, you may think that all exercise mats available for sale are the same or very similar, but if you take a closer look you will see that there are differences in terms of width, thickness and length, as well as the material the mat is made of, and the texture of the surface.

Exercise Mat

Exercise Mats

As a rule of the thumb, exercise mats are thicker than yoga mats. They are 1.5 to 1.9 cm thick, 1.40 to 2.15 m long, and 60 to 100 cm wide, and they have a gripping surface on the bottom of the mat to ensure the mat does not slide across the floor. The upper side of the mat, on the other hand, is designed to allow sliding as to make certain exercise movements possible.

Yoga Mats

These mats are generally thinner than exercise mats and they actually allow users to feel the floor underneath them. Yoga mats also often have more traction to prevent slipping. They are usually about 0.3 to 0.6 cm thick, 55 to 80 cm wide and 1.20 to 1.90m long. Typical models are made from PVC but there are models that are made from natural materials such as jute, recycled rubber, and similar materials.

When it comes to choosing the right exercise mat, there are a number of considerations to be made, for example, what design to choose, whether or not to select a mat with any special features and how to take care of it.

Colour and Design

Available in a wide range of colours and designs, there are exercise mats to fit basically any style. Select a color or design that you love and express your unique style while exercising too.

Special Features

Depending on how often you will be using your mat, you may want to consider a mat with special features such as moisture and odor resistance or antibacterial properties if you a person concerned about germs. To be able to use your mat on a slippery surface like hardwood floor, you should consider a mat that offers a good gripping surface. Keep in mind that mats which come with more features usually cost more, but if you plan to use your mat frequently, the extra expense may be worthwhile.


Another factor to keep in mind in order to choose the right mat is how easy it is to clean it. While most mats are fairly easy to clean, it is wise to check the instructions as to avoid damaging the mat. Keep in mind that some models are machine-washable, which is something you may want to consider when purchasing your exercise mat.