At first glance, you might think that the type of workout mat you need is a simple question. But then, when you start to think about thickness, size, where you will use it, and what you will use it for, you realize there is a lot to think about when choosing a mat.
Exercise mats are a great workout accessory, offering cushioning and support for your body and, if you workout at home, protection for your floors. Take the quick quiz below and read more.
A Mat for Every Workout
Whether you exercise at home or in the gym, stretch in the morning, or practice yoga at night, there are many different mats to choose from. Getting the right size, texture, and thickness can make all the difference in your workout. Exercise mats are personal since we all have our own requirements.
Different Mats for Different Purposes
Keep in mind a few guidelines when choosing your mat:
Yoga mats – many yoga poses require you to feel the floor beneath your mat, so yoga mats tend to be the thinnest. The surfaces are textured or even a little sticky to help keep you from slipping.
Pilates mats – tend to be thicker than yoga mats, the thinnest you should go for a Pilates mat is a half-inch. This gives you plenty of padding. Pilates mats are generally textured like yoga mats, but not sticky.
Exercise mats – these are the thickest mat. They’re made to give you cushion while working with weights. If you are using your exercise mat for other purposes, don’t go over one inch. If it is strictly for weights, you can go as high as two inches.
Bottom Line for Choosing a Mat
You want something thick enough to give you some protection from the hard ground underneath you, but not so thick that it gets in the way of your ability to workout. It can take some time to figure out which type of mat works best for your body and your workout.