Suitable for yoga and pilates or HIIT and plyometrics – for use at home, in the gym or on the go – these are the best exercise mats for 2023, tried and tested by us.
If you’re looking for the best home gym equipment, good quality exercise mats are often the best place to start. Unless you want to risk discomfort or injury, you can’t really carry out prone stretching exercises or more dynamic plyometric exercises on a hard gym or home floor.
The best way to perfect your pilates or hammer out your HIIT sessions in comfort and safety is with an exercise mat. Despite their relative simplicity, though, not all mats are made equal. They vary in dimensions, cushioning and thickness, material, grip, weight and portability, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs.
We tested out a wide range of options to find the very best exercise mats available on the market in 2023.
How we tested to find the best exercise mats:
Our testers put these exercise mats through their paces in a range of workouts, from HIIT sessions to yoga, to bring you the best of the best. In particular, testers were looking to see how grippy the mats were, how comfortable they were to exercise on and how easy they were to transport on the go. Bonus points were also awarded for durability, design options and value for money.
These are the best exercise mats in 2023
- Best for value: Body Power Never Quit Fitness Mat (£19.99 / not available in the US)
- Best for taller users: The Lululemon (Big) Mat ($124 / £108)
- Best for extra width: Karma Fitness Extra Wide Mat (£69 / international shipping available)
- Best for grip: Myprotein Yoga Recovery Mat ($38 / £29)
- Best for design options: Kimjaly Yoga Mat ($49.99 / £44.99)
- Best for longevity: Gymshark Studio Mat ($68 / £50)
Keep reading for our full reviews of the best exercise mats.
BEST VALUE EXERCISE MAT
Body Power Never Quit Fitness Mat
BUY IT NOW:
£19.99, fitness-superstore.co.uk (not available in the US)
Materials: Nitrile butadiene rubber | Dimensions: 71.7 x 24in (182 x 61cm) | Features: 10mm cushion / carry strap | Colour: Black
The Body Power Never Quit Fitness Mat is the cheapest exercise mat we tested but you wouldn’t know it. Its generous 10mm-thick nitrile butadiene rubber construction has a luxurious, comfortable and foam-like feel.
Its non-slip textured surface gives plenty of grip, and that 10mm cushion feels plush underfoot and will absorb impacts from more dynamic workouts. It has a carry strap and is double-sided too, making it even more versatile.
Overall, the Body Power Never Quit Fitness Mat holds its own in the company of the best exercise mats over five times its price.
Read our full Body Power Never Quit Fitness Mat review
BEST MAT FOR TALLER USERS
The Lululemon (Big) Mat
BUY IT NOW:
$124 / £108, lululemon.co.uk
Materials: FSC-certified natural rubber | Dimensions: 83.9 x 27.9in (213 x 71cm) | Features: Reversible / antimicrobial additive | Colour: Six multi-coloured designs
The Lululemon (Big) Mat may seem pricey but its FSC-certified rubber construction has such a quality, long-lasting feel that it could easily be your mat for life. Its top layer absorbs moisture and an antimicrobial layer keeps mould, mildew and bad smells at bay.
It’s worth noting that this is substantially bigger than any other mat on test, around 10cm wider and a whopping 30cm longer than regular mats. It’s reversible too, so you can swap between smooth and grippy surfaces depending on your workout. The Lululemon is available in six eye-catching marble designs, too.
Read our full The Lululemon (Big) Mat review
BEST FOR EXTRA WIDTH
Karma Fitness Extra Wide Workout Mat
BUY IT NOW:
£69, karma-fitness.co.uk (international shipping available)
Material: Dual-layer waterproof TPE | Dimensions: 72 x 31.5 x 0.4in / 183 x 80 x 1cm | Colours: Yellow / Red / Blue / Grey / Dark Grey / Black
If you often find yourself teetering on the edge of your workout mat, give the Karma Fitness Extra Wide a try. While it’s length is fairly standard, the width is whopping – at 31.5in / 80cm it’s the widest on test. It’s plush and comfortable too, and easy to clean and carry thanks to the included strap and optional mat cleaner.
Read our full Karma Fitness Extra Wide Mat review
BEST EXERCISE MAT FOR GRIP
Myprotein Yoga Recovery Mat
BUY IT NOW:
$38 / £29, myprotein.com
Materials: High-density foam | Dimensions: 72 x 24in (183 x 61cm) | Features: 6mm cushion / textured surface / strap included | Colour: Blue / Grey
The Myprotein Yoga Recovery Mat is a lightweight, inexpensive mat that’s an ideal option for stashing in your gym bag. It comes with a strap and rolls up nice and compact, despite having a soft and spongy high-density 6mm foam cushion.
It’s just the right thickness to provide a strong, stable base for your feet, despite its soft and cushioned feel. Wavy grooves also provide plenty of grip. Although this is one of the cheaper options on our list of the best exercise mats, it stands up to plenty of wear and tear for a foam mat.
Read our full Myprotein Yoga Recovery Mat review
BEST FOR DESIGN OPTIONS
Kimjaly Yoga Mat
BUY IT NOW:
$49.99 / £44.99, decathlon.com
Materials: Foamed natural rubber / polyurethane | Dimensions: 72.8 x 25.6in (185 x 65cm) | Features: Available in 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 8mm thickness / alignment lines | Colours: Various
The Kimjaly mat is available in a wide array of versions (Light, Comfort, Grip+, XL), all with different thicknesses ranging from 3mm to 8mm. The 5mm Grip+ version feels soft and well-cushioned. It also provides a plush platform to protect spines from hard floors without compromising on grip.
The smooth elastomer top layer wicks away moisture, so your hands and feet lock firmly in place while on the mat. At 820g it’s lightweight and compact when rolled up. There’s a carry strap, too, making this suitable for taking to the office for after-work gym sessions.
Read our full Kimjaly Yoga Mat review
MOST DURABLE EXERCISE MAT
Gymshark Studio Mat
BUY IT NOW:
$68 / £50, gymshark.com
Materials: 100% natural rubber | Dimensions: 70.8 x 25.9in (180 x 66cm) | Features: Full-length screen-printed logo / strap and band bought separately | Colour: Black / Brown / Hibiscus Pink
The Gymshark Studio Mat is a quality piece of kit. Made from 100% natural rubber, it feels soft underfoot with a reassuringly grippy surface. It’s hefty too, so it won’t budge on the floor. However, that does make transporting it a bit of an effort.
There are three colour options, each with the striking Gymshark logo emblazoned across the front. Plus, if you do want to take it out and about, there’s an optional strap and band, which you can also use for banded exercises. Overall, a robust exercise mat that should last you for years.
Read our full Gymshark Studio Mat review
What to look for in the best exercise mats
A good grip between your hands, feet or other contact points and the mat surface is key to performing exercises with confidence, and therefore with proper form. The last thing you need when stretching out your hip flexors is a knee or groin strain caused by slipping off the mat. Look for options with a non-slip or textured surface that let you plant your limbs with confidence.
Stability is another important factor to consider. After all, a mat that moves beneath you is as likely to annoy, distract or even injure you as one with little grip on the top layer. Heavier rubber or cork mats tend to lie flat more easily without curling at the corners like lighter foam ones, for example. Look out for mats that tend to bunch up in the middle, too – you want to avoid trip hazards mid-burpee if possible.
There’s usually a tradeoff between comfort and portability. This is because thicker, heavier mats are harder to roll up and carry. But don’t ignore the comfort factor, particularly if you plan to work out on hard surfaces. There should be enough cushioning to do crunches without crippling your spine, but not too much that you lose your balance holding one-legged yoga poses. The average mat tends to be about 4-8mm thick, though there are some exceptions here.
How long your exercise mat lasts will depend greatly on the material it’s made from and its thickness. Rubber mats, or those made from other natural fibres such as jute, will most likely last longer than foam ones. You’ll be more likely to take a lighter foam mat out to evening classes too. This will add to its wear and tear. Durability is worth bearing in mind especially if you plan to wear shoes on it, or to use weights or medicine balls.
Kit out your home on a budget with the best cheap home gym equipment
Another thing to consider is portability. The mats in this list range from 500g to well over 3kg so some are easier to lug around than others. Not all mats come with straps or a carry handle either (though sometimes a bag or strap is an optional extra). It depends what’s important to you – if you want to do regular classes after work, you’ll want a smaller, lighter and probably less durable mat than one set up permanently in your home gym.