When picking the right mat for your workout, you might think there is no difference between fitness mats and yoga mats, right? Wrong. Whilst the differences aren't massive, they are designed for different uses. It can be helpful to know what these are to make sure you have the right one for your workout.


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Fitness Mats

woman doing kettlebell exercises on a fitness mat in the gym

Usually found in gyms, fitness mats are designed to give you that extra bit of cushioning whilst working out. Unlike yoga mats though, they are generally thicker. Their thickness is to absorb the shock and impact of your exercises and to aid in preventing injuries. If you are looking to practice any kind of exercise that isn't yoga, then a fitness mat is your best bet.

If you are looking to buy a fitness mat, check the thickness, how comfortable they are, and make sure they are moisture resistant. These factors are vital to ensuring you are safe and can get the most out of your workout.

Yoga Mats

Woman doing yoga at home on a yoga mat with a yoga block

Yoga mats are designed for low impact exercises like yoga and meditation. They are thinner than fitness mats and have a strong grip surface to make sure you can't slip whilst practising yoga poses. Yoga requires you to make a strong connection with the ground, and a yoga mats thinness is designed to provide this whilst also being comfortable.

Yoga mats can be made from lots of different materials; PVC, vinyl, cork and even recycled products. This means you can really choose what you think will best suit you.

The final small bonus of a yoga mat is that they are easy to carry around. That way, if you are planning on practising yoga on your travels, a yoga mat could be a great choice. You can even buy travel mats if you need one.

The Differences

Key differences are:

  • Yoga mats are for low impact exercises.
  • Yoga mats are often 1/8-inch to ¼-inch thick.
  • Fitness mats can absorb shock from exercises and prevent any possible injuries.
  • Fitness mats are one to two inches thick.

There really aren't that many differences between fitness mats and yoga mats. An important point to make, however, is that you don't need to be going out to buy both. Go for the option that best suits you. If you will be doing more fitness than yoga, go for a fitness mat, and vice versa. Both will suit your needs, but you just need to make sure whichever you choose provides enough grip and cushioning to keep you safe.


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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.