Image Name Exercise Mat vs Yoga Mat: Which Fits Your Needs Best?

Exercise Mat vs Yoga Mat: Which Fits Your Needs Best?

Certain exercises require us to get down on the floor. While there, we need to make our space as comfortable, and safe, as we possibly can. Mats come in all shapes, sizes, thickness, color, you name it, there is probably a mat out there to fit your imagination.

Today we are going to compare two popular types of mats and break down what they are used for as well as the pros and cons of each. Exercise mat vs yoga mat; which is best for you?

Exercise Mat VS Yoga Mat Comparisons

Exercise Mat

​​​Yoga Mat

Exercise Mat
Yoga Mat
  • Tend to be thicker than yoga mats
  • Typically 1 to 3 inches thick
  • Protects the floor and joints
  • Provides cushioning and support
  • Tend to be thinner than exercise mats
  • Typically ¼ to 1 inch thick
  • Provides cushioning and support
  • A non-slip material is best for safety

Exercise Mat

Young sportsman exercising with dumbbells in gym on sport mat

No matter what type of mat you are considering the bottom line is they are needed for support and comfort when we are using them. The type of workout you are into at the moment will either soar or suffer depending on the type of mat you choose. Different mats offer various amounts of support.

When it comes to types of fitness mats, the exercise types tend to be thicker than the ones used for yoga. This is because the level of firmness you need depends on the type of workout you do.

For example, If you are into weight training routines that involve barbells, kettlebells, or other types of weights then you would need a firmer mat. Softer versions work with bodyweight workouts.

Some people may only associate mats with yoga routines but the fact is, exercise mats are essential for many types of training sessions.

Floor Protection

If you’ve ever spent money or time on installing a hardwood floor in your home then you are less likely to risk it suffering any harm that might leave a gash or scratch. Protecting your floor when you are lifting weights is almost as important as protecting your body.

Skipping Rope With Pink Dumbbells And Measurement Tape On Fitness Mat

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your home so an exercise mat could save your floor some unneeded scarring. Of course, a scar on the floor is fixable, unlike our bodies, which is also kept safe when using an exercise mat.

Joint Protection

Our joints are imperative for nearly every task we complete. Whether it’s making out coffee, putting a dark load in the washing machine, or sitting at your keyboard typing, we are continuously using the hundreds of joints in our bodies. Keeping them in tip-top shape is fundamental to our overall health and well-being.

When you do any exercise on a hard surface you are risking injuring your joints in many ways. You are adding pressure to them with every move and you are risking a fall, which can put you out of commission.

Slip Protection

Floors are tricky. You can have them made from timber, laminate, bamboo, cork, concrete, tile, and carpet. Some are slippery while others are not. When you have a mat at your disposal you don’t have to worry about any of that because they are designed to stay in place.

Yoga Mat

woman meditating on pink yoga mat

  • Tend to be thinner than exercise mats
  • Typically ¼ to 1 inch thick
  • Provides cushioning and support
  • A non-slip material is best for safety

While they might resemble each other in look and length, yoga mats are different than exercise mats in several ways. Yoga mats are essential for the same reasons as exercise mats. They protect your joints while you are holding your poses and they provide support and cushioning for the user.

Yoga mats tend to be thinner typically measuring anywhere between ¼ inch to an inch thick. As you have probably already surmised, yoga mats are used in a completely different way than one would use an exercise mat.

Yoga Vs Exercise

Unlike weight training and ab workouts, yoga is a practice that focuses on the body and the mind. While humans have been lifting heavy objects since the beginning of time, weightlifting first became an actual sport joining the Olympic games in the late nineteenth century.

Asian couple practicing yoga together

Yoga has been used by all types of humans for 5,000 years. It originated in India and has stretched out throughout the word helping all kinds of folks to heal, balance, and bring calm and health into their lives.

What You Need

Because the poses are so intricate and a great deal of our weight is placed on our arms for support, and a downward dog could turn out to be quite treacherous if attempted on a slippery surface. So, most of all, you need a mat that is made from a non-slip material.

Materials Available

When it comes to yoga mats you can find some made from PVC, which is also known as vinyl. There are more natural options like rubber, jute, and even organic cotton. What type of material you need is a personal choice and only you will know when you are choosing the right one. If possible natural is always the best option.


Exercise Mat vs Yoga Mat; Which Do You Need - two smiling pretty woman holding exercise and yoga mats

In the end, what type of mat you need depends on what you will be doing. Since they can be found so inexpensively, you might want to consider purchasing an exercise and a yoga mat. That way you will always have the type of mat you need available. Some experts say changing your workout routine is a healthy habit to get into, so you can rotate from weight training to yoga.

We hope that you found this article helpful. Please let us know in the comments section below. If you know anyone who is torn between the two types of mats please share this information with them.

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