Exercise Mat vs Yoga Mat: Which One is Right for You?

Since we all know that exercising should be a part of everyone’s daily routine, no matter whether you workout in a gym, do HIIT in a park, or do some light workout like Yoga or stretching. Using the right equipment for your workout is pretty necessary.

Aside from the equipment, you also need to choose the right exercising mat for yourself, for both indoor and outdoor workouts. Some people believe that exercising mats that are used in gyms and the yoga mats are the same thing.

That’s a wrong statement as there are plenty of differences between both the kinds of mats which can affect the level of comfort while exercising if you are using the wrong kind of mat. That’s why we are here to discuss all the major differences between exercising mats and yoga mats so that our readers can buy the right product for themselves. So, let’s get to it.

What is an Exercise Mat?

Exercise Mats are often called Gym Mats as well because most people prefer to use them in gyms. Generally, these kinds of mats can be thick up to 3 inches for certain reasons. These kinds of mats are suitable for those exercises that put pressure on the floor such as planks, jumping jacks, burpees, and even skipping.

Almost all exercises that include in HIIT workouts should be done using an exercising mat only. Because these mats are generally made out of dense foam covered with vinyl covers, they are good at absorbing the heavy impacts. Since they have vinyl covers, these are extremely easy to clean as well because you can wipe off any marks only with using a wet cloth.

What is Yoga Mat?

Unlike exercising mats, yoga mats are slightly different. This type of mat is usually made less thick than exercising mats, about ⅛ inches to ¼ inches thick only. Hence they are considered to be more suitable for the exercises that put less pressure and have light impacts on the floor.

Since doing Yoga or Stretching does not involve much jumping, a yoga mat is perfect to use. Such exercises require more grip which you get perfectly from a yoga mat because they are usually made out of PVC material or rubber. Although you can use mats made from jute or cotton, they require more maintenance and get dirty quickly.

Difference Between a Yoga Mat and Exercise Mat

To find out the differences between Yoga Mat and Exercise Mat, we can compare both of them based on certain factors which are as follow:


The main purpose of using a mat while exercising is to have a comfortable and safe surface to workout. Talking about yoga mats, they are made out of PVC material, and rubber that offers superior grip. When you sweat, the surface of the yoga mats become even stickier to give you more support and grip. Hence, there is a very low risk of slipping on the mat.

On the other hand, exercise mats are pretty comfy as they have a thick foam base that absorbs most of the impact. And since, you are supposed to be wearing sports shoes while you exercise, you get additional grip from that. Although you won’t slip on an exercise mat, even if you do by any chance, the mats are usually thick and comfy enough that you will not get any injury.


If we compare exercise mats and yoga mats based on durability, exercise mats are the clear winner here. The reason is that exercise mats are made of foam and rubber covered with vinyl covers. They are built to take impacts and used roughly, which they do very well and last for almost a year without any wear or tear.

However, yoga mats are not that strong as they get dirty very quickly and if proper care is not taken, they can get damaged easily. One reason why they are less durable is that they are not very thick and moisture is their worst enemy. That’s why most people have to replace two or three yoga mats per year if used daily.


If you are a frequent traveller, we will prefer a yoga mat for you because they are clearly more portable because of lesser thickness. You can easily fold the yoga mats and take them with you anywhere pretty easily. At the same time, yoga mats take very less space after folding which makes them pretty easy to store as well.

Talking about Exercise Mats in this regard, they can also be folded, but usually, they are heavier as compared to a yoga mat. Hence, exercise mats are not quite portable. Also, even after you fold an exercise mat, due to its thick construction, it takes a lot of space in the closet.


If maintenance is concerned, exercise mats get the points here as they are super-easy to maintain. Since they are less portable, you will prefer not to take them from one place to another which will eventually get them less dirty. In addition, to clean any sweat or dirt from the mat, you can do it easily with the help of a damp cloth.

But, if we compare yoga mats alongside, they are highly prone to moisture and can get dirty pretty easily. That’s why you need to wash them regularly and take good care of them if you want them to last for a long time.

Tips About Choosing Which One

If you are still confused about whether you should pick an exercise mat or a yoga mat for yourself, we would say that depends on the type of exercise you wish to do. If you prefer doing less impacting exercises such as stretching or Yoga, a Yoga mat is good enough for you as it will offer you optimal grip on the floor and help you in exercising.

On the other hand, if you like doing push-ups, planks, burpees, or any sort of HIIT workout that involves rapid movements like jumping, a gym mat or exercise mat is just made for people like you. Because exercise mats have thick foam bases which are good for absorbing shocks and heavy impacts.


We hope the differences between a yoga mat and an exercise mat are clear to you all after reading this article. So, next time you go to the market to purchase a mat for yourself, make sure you pick the one that is suitable for you according to the kind of exercises you do.

While the yoga mats are highly portable and good for light exercises, the gym mats are a perfect choice for heavy exercises such as gymnastics, HIITs, and similar activities. Depending on your choice of workout, you should always pick the right kind of mat if you want the most comfortable and safest experience.

That’s it, do let us know if this article was helpful for you, and also share what kind of workout do you prefer to do, all in the comments section below.