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The Best Yoga & Exercise Mat Deals, from Manduka to Liforme

Women's Health UK Logo By Yanar Alkayat, Morgan Fargo, Courtney Smith, Harry Bullmore of Women's Health UK | Slide 1 of 36: The best yoga mats and exercise mats are a hot topic and for good reason: how else are you going to smash your home workouts while keeping your joints safe?Investing in a new yoga mat can be just the thing if you're planning to finally start up that few-times-a-week stretch sesh habit, maybe as a New Year's resolution or just a proven mood-booster (honestly, the benefits of yoga are endless) as we head into the bleak mid winter.From protecting your body from injury by keeping you steady and stable during yoga asanas (poses) to providing a softer surface for chest-to-floor burpees (vom), a yoga mat is the bread and butter of a great exercise kit. What's the difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat? First off, it's totally OK to just buy one mat and use it for both your yoga sessions and your home workouts – you don't need to fork out for both.But, having said that, a yoga mat tends to be thinner, longer and more grippy than a standard exercise mat. Exercise mats can be a bit thicker to offer extra support for any higher-impact movement. They might be ribbed or made of foam too. So, think about what you're going to use your mat for the most before getting click-happy online. How thick should a yoga mat be?How thick a yoga mat should be really depends on personal preference. If you have joints that ache after exercise (or just generally), choose a yoga mat above 3mm thick. This will make sure there's enough cushion to support you whilst you move. If you like to feel the floor/ground beneath you (some do for extra sturdy vibes), plump for a yoga mat of 3mm or less.What to look for in an exercise mat / yoga mat: There are five main factors to be aware of when adding to cart:What level of grip does the exercise mat provide?How heavy and portable is the mat to manoeuvre around every day?Are you diligent with the anti-bac after a workout? (If not, shop antimicrobial workout mats like the Cork Space Nomad Yoga Mat.)Do you like smooth or textured surfaces on a yoga mat?How long is your exercise mat? Will it work for yoga flows?Many mats nowadays have been created with sustainability in mind, like the innovative Yogamatters Aqua Evolve Yoga Mat, which is made using algae.How to clean your workout mat:For those who answered yes to the anti-bac point above, you may be wondering what the best way to clean your workout mat really is. Wipes or a cleaning spray applied in circular motions to both sides of the yoga mat with a towel are a good call for a quick fix between classes, but at some stage you are going to want to give your exercise mat a deep clean. The best course of action depends on the workout mat you have so check the label or instructions it comes with.Some workout mats are machine washable (rejoice!), in which case giving it a deep clean is as easy as throwing it in the machine, putting it on a cold gentle cycle with mild detergent and air drying it afterwards.Other yoga mats require just a bit more effort. The safest way to deep clean a yoga mat is by using a gentle cloth and warm water with either dishwashing soap or a mild detergent. Once you have cleaned both sides, make sure to use clean water and rinse the surface of the mat with the cloth before giving it a quick dry with a towel and leaving it to air dry. Now that you know how to care for one, it's time to get purchasing. We've done our best to source yoga mats, exercise mats, workout mats that not only fit every budget but that are also definitively great. From luxe athletic brands to more affordable options it's time to shop – and ship – your new yoga pal.WH Lab Approved Keep an eye out for any mats that have our WH Lab Approved badge proudly displayed on their picture. Think of it like a Where’s Wally for quality products, as these items have all been given our resident PT and yoga expert’s seal of approval. Our pro put a total of 20 mats through their paces, seeing how each one performed during yoga, yoga nidra (a form of guided meditation), HIIT and even weights sessions. They were scored based on how grippy, comfortable, portable and stable they were (with bonus points for eco credentials), and only their favourite few made it on to this list.But, if you fancy a bit more choice, never fear. Our editors (no strangers to a soothing stretching session) have listed their top picks for a spot of at-home yoga.

The best yoga mats and exercise mats are a hot topic and for good reason: how else are you going to smash your home workouts while keeping your joints safe?

Investing in a new yoga mat can be just the thing if you're planning to finally start up that few-times-a-week stretch sesh habit, maybe as a New Year's resolution or just a proven mood-booster (honestly, the benefits of yoga are endless) as we head into the bleak mid winter.

From protecting your body from injury by keeping you steady and stable during yoga asanas (poses) to providing a softer surface for chest-to-floor burpees (vom), a yoga mat is the bread and butter of a great exercise kit.

What's the difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat?

First off, it's totally OK to just buy one mat and use it for both your yoga sessions and your home workouts – you don't need to fork out for both.

But, having said that, a yoga mat tends to be thinner, longer and more grippy than a standard exercise mat. Exercise mats can be a bit thicker to offer extra support for any higher-impact movement. They might be ribbed or made of foam too.

So, think about what you're going to use your mat for the most before getting click-happy online.

How thick should a yoga mat be?

How thick a yoga mat should be really depends on personal preference. If you have joints that ache after exercise (or just generally), choose a yoga mat above 3mm thick. This will make sure there's enough cushion to support you whilst you move. If you like to feel the floor/ground beneath you (some do for extra sturdy vibes), plump for a yoga mat of 3mm or less.

What to look for in an exercise mat / yoga mat:

There are five main factors to be aware of when adding to cart:

  • What level of grip does the exercise mat provide?
  • How heavy and portable is the mat to manoeuvre around every day?
  • Are you diligent with the anti-bac after a workout? (If not, shop antimicrobial workout mats like the Cork Space Nomad Yoga Mat.)
  • Do you like smooth or textured surfaces on a yoga mat?
  • How long is your exercise mat? Will it work for yoga flows?
  • Many mats nowadays have been created with sustainability in mind, like the innovative Yogamatters Aqua Evolve Yoga Mat, which is made using algae.

How to clean your workout mat:

For those who answered yes to the anti-bac point above, you may be wondering what the best way to clean your workout mat really is.

Wipes or a cleaning spray applied in circular motions to both sides of the yoga mat with a towel are a good call for a quick fix between classes, but at some stage you are going to want to give your exercise mat a deep clean. The best course of action depends on the workout mat you have so check the label or instructions it comes with.

Some workout mats are machine washable (rejoice!), in which case giving it a deep clean is as easy as throwing it in the machine, putting it on a cold gentle cycle with mild detergent and air drying it afterwards.

Other yoga mats require just a bit more effort. The safest way to deep clean a yoga mat is by using a gentle cloth and warm water with either dishwashing soap or a mild detergent. Once you have cleaned both sides, make sure to use clean water and rinse the surface of the mat with the cloth before giving it a quick dry with a towel and leaving it to air dry.

Now that you know how to care for one, it's time to get purchasing. We've done our best to source yoga mats, exercise mats, workout mats that not only fit every budget but that are also definitively great. From luxe athletic brands to more affordable options it's time to shop – and ship – your new yoga pal.

WH Lab Approved

Keep an eye out for any mats that have our WH Lab Approved badge proudly displayed on their picture. Think of it like a Where’s Wally for quality products, as these items have all been given our resident PT and yoga expert’s seal of approval.

Our pro put a total of 20 mats through their paces, seeing how each one performed during yoga, yoga nidra (a form of guided meditation), HIIT and even weights sessions. They were scored based on how grippy, comfortable, portable and stable they were (with bonus points for eco credentials), and only their favourite few made it on to this list.

But, if you fancy a bit more choice, never fear. Our editors (no strangers to a soothing stretching session) have listed their top picks for a spot of at-home yoga.

© Women's Health UK

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