Men's Journal

The Best Workout Mats, Ranked

A bad workout mat is like a bad relationship — you don’t realize just how unsupportive it is until you replace it with something better. And, newsflash: That $20 mat from the discount store isn’t offering you the support you deserve. If you’re ready to level-up your workout mat, check out these six options — they’ll make you actually want to hold a plank for longer than 30 seconds. 

1. Pogamat XXL

At 4 feet wide by 6.5 feet long, the Pogamat XXL is perfect for home-based plyometrics, HIIT workouts, and couples yoga. It’s also twice as thick as the average yoga mat, providing a sturdy surface for strength training and ab work. Justin Fauci, the co-founder of Lean Muscle Project, always recommends this mat to clients because it provides a slip-resistant, odor-free, versatile surface that’s easy to clean.

Price: $110, amazon.com

Drawbacks: At 17 pounds, it’s not as easily transportable as lighter-weight mats.

2. Yoloha Nomad Cork Mat

Hot yoga classes are guaranteed to make you sweat, which can lead to a potentially slippery (and dangerous) situation. According to Nick Wolny, a private yoga instructor from Houston, Texas, the Yoloha Original Cork Mat offers the best slip-proof surface he’s ever tried. “It’s the only brand I’ve seen where guys don’t need to put a towel over their mat to get a good grip in a high-sweat class,” Wolny says. Plus, cork is naturally antimicrobial, has no “break in” period, and is eco-friendly.

Price: $100, amazon.com

Drawbacks: At six pounds, it’s heavier than most standard yoga mats.

 

3. WellnessMats FitnessMat

You will not find a more comfortable mat than FitnessMats by WellnessMats. The half inch of support is made with the company’s proprietary Advanced Polyurethane Technology that suspends body weight and reduces impact. This makes the mat perfect for ground work — ab exercises, stretching, and higher-impact moves like burpees. It’s also extra heavy, pretty much guaranteeing it’ll stay put during intense bouts of exercise.

Price: $140, amazon.com

Drawbacks: It doesn’t roll up like a yoga mat — if you need to transport it, your best bet is the 5-foot, 9-pound MobileMat that folds in the middle.

4. Manduka PROlite

Manduka has a cult-like following in the yoga industry because its mats provide almost unparalleled durability and a lifetime guarantee on PRO products. Alex Samet, a Yoga Alliance RYT 200-hour yoga instructor points to the PROlite as her all-time favorite mat because it’s lightweight and cushiony, making it a good on-the-go option. Plus, it comes in an extra-long size, so tall guys don’t need to feel cramped during downward dog.

Price: $65 to $203, amazon.com

Drawbacks: It can be slippery the first few uses — if you tend to sweat, pair it with a hot yoga towel. 

5. Manduka X

If your favorite workout takes place in a park or a parking lot, you know you need a mat that’s easy to transport, won’t blow away, and offers enough support to protect your hands from gravel and dirt. The Manduka X mat is the perfect solution — it rolls up like a yoga mat, it’s heavy and sticky enough to stay put in the elements, and it offers substantial support for cross-training exercises. Plus, it’s easy to clean, which is ideal for dirty, outdoor workouts.

Price: $58, amazon.com

Drawbacks: The surface can be a little slippery the first few uses.

6. Liforme

Nailing proper alignment on every pose is paramount to a great yoga practice, and that’s exactly what the Liforme Yoga Mat is designed to help you do. Each mat features AlignForMe markers to help you correct your form, a feature that’s especially nice for new yogis or those practicing at home. The mat is also supportive, grippy, and longer and wider than most standard mats.

Price: $140, amazon.com

Drawbacks: It’s made from natural rubber, which initially has an off-putting smell.


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