Working out at home has multiple benefits like no gym membership fee, no hassle to travel on a daily basis, and the most comfortable benefit is privacy. You don’t need to face a lot of people to remain fit.
Wood floors have hard surfaces and it will be a stupid idea to do workouts on them directly. Because gym workouts like pushups, situps, yoga, and others can be harmful to your back and knees due to hard surfaces.
But on the other hand, it is also hard to find the best exercise mat for hardwood floors. Doing a workout on the wrong exercise mat can waste your all fitness efforts.
So, after doing deep research I have succeeded in finding the 9 best exercise mats for your hardwood floors that provide you with all the essential features the best exercise mat should have.
Before we start, you should know about the types of exercise mats because they are different.
Types of Exercise Mats
Rubber Exercise Mats
Rubber mats are considered one of the harder and toughest exercise mats. Because they are made of high-quality recycled rubber material.
Also, rubber mats are known as the most durable exercise mats as well due to the toughness of the material. They are more suitable for any type of workout whether it is heavyweight lifting or lightweight workouts.
Moreover, they can be used for a home gym and outdoor gym as well.
The major issue with rubber mats is their toxic smell and hardness. If you are looking for a soft and comfortable mat, rubber mats aren’t your destination.
Horse stall mats are also made with high-quality recycled hard rubber material. They are also used as exercise mats in many indoor and outdoor gyms.
Foam Exercise Mats
Foam mats are popular as the most used mats for exercise because they are more comfortable and soft than rubber mats. They are widely used in home gyms and commercial gyms as well.
But they are less durable than rubber mats because they are less hard. So they are not suitable for heavy weight lifting workouts.
Because whenever you drop heavyweight gym equipment on them, they damage your subfloor.
However, foam mats are more than 5 inches thick. So, they are good for high-intensity training exercises.
The simplest and most comfortable exercise mats are yoga mats. They are thinner than foam mats so they are also considered less durable than foam mats.
They are made of a composition of different materials like cotton, mesh, and rubber. So, they are best for yoga exercises and provide an anti-slip surface.
Further, they are easier to clean and wash than a rubber or foam exercise mat.
Fitness mats are usually used for stretching exercises, crunches, and other general workouts. They are thick, large, and have the ability to absorb impact shock.
Like yoga mats, they are not more suitable for heavy weightlifting workouts. But for general exercises with dumbbells, rods, and plates, it would be a good option.
What Makes an Ideal Exercise Mat For Hardwood Floors?
The ideal exercise mat for hardwood floors should have several different characteristics:
Slip resistance: The last thing you want when working out is to slip or slide around on your mat. Look for a mat with a high-traction surface that won’t slip on hardwood floors.
Durability: A good exercise mat should be able to withstand regular use and should not easily rip, tear or become misshapen over time.
Comfort: You want an exercise mat that feels comfortable to lay or kneel on. Look for one with cushioning so you don’t feel the hardwood floor beneath you.
Easy to clean: Exercise mats can get sweat, dirt, and grime on them during workouts, so look for one that is easy to clean and maintain.
Buying Guide: What to Consider
Exercise mats are available in different sizes. The main thing is which size you need. So, you have to figure out the size of the area where you are going to install the mat.
Then you have to determine your need which means what type of workout you want to do on it.
For example, if you are going to do stretching, sit-ups, yoga, or any other lightweight exercise then a small or medium-sized mat will be enough.
But if you are going to do high-intensity exercises and heavy weightlifting then you should go with a large-sized mat because you need more space. So, you can continue your workout routine without any space issues.
Secondly, you have to determine your workout place. For example, if you need to use an exercise mat for a home gym and you have four to five family members. Then an exercise mat with medium quality and hardness will be enough for you.
On the other hand, if you want to pick one for the outdoor gym or commercial gym then you should choose a harder and tougher material mat.
Because commercial gym mats have to handle hundreds of people daily and only harder mats can bear high foot traffic and every type of workout.
Should have Anti-Slip backing
Unnecessary movement of mats while doing workouts on them is a common issue. This is due to a slippery subfloor surface. For example, hardwood floors have a slippery surface. So, an exercise mat with slippery backing will move on the surface during a workout.
Further, some exercise mats have a slippery upside surface that leads to slips and fall incidents.
So, to stay safe from this type of workout injury you have to make sure to always go with an exercise mat that should have effective grips on both sides.
A thicker exercise mat is the most common requirement for a hardwood floor. This is so because some gym workouts or yoga exercises involve various complicated movements and postures.
Moreover, exercise mats that are thicker and have more density provide enough cushioning for the body parts during movements.
Also, the more a mat is thicker, the more it will be durable and long-lasting.
So, make sure you consider the thickness level of the mat until you want to buy it for a purpose other than exercise.
The durability of a mat is directly concerned with its lifespan. That means how long an exercise mat can last. Usually, an exercise mat lasts for years but durability depends on the type of material.
For example, a rubber mat is more durable than any other exercise mat because rubber mats are made of high-quality rubber material.
So, how durable your exercise mat is depends on what quality and type you will pick.
Type of mat
As I mentioned above, there are multiple types of exercise mats like rubber, foam, yoga, and fitness mats. All types have different advantages and drawbacks at the same time.
So, the type of mat depends on your needs.
Best Exercise Mat For Hardwood Floors
Top Pick Overall
1. Gorilla Premium Large Exercise Mat
If you want to see better workout results and get into shape, your room floor won’t be ideal. You need a spacious, non-slip, and large surface. This Gorilla premium large exercise mat is a perfect surface to do all types of exercises like cardio, Zumba, dance workout, jumping, stretching, and more.
It is more durable because it is made of the highest-grade nontoxic material. It is shock-absorbing so it protects your joints and floor from unpredictable injuries or damage.
Moreover, it provides perfect balance and comfort so it can be used on any type of subfloor like hardwood, tile, concrete, etc. The anti-slip backing stops it from moving on a slippery floor and provides you with a stable surface to continue your workout without any hassle.
Additionally, it has a microfiber towel, storage bag, and two velcro straps to keep it rolling up.
- Suitable for body and joint protection
- Tougher than other foam exercise mats
- Non-slip backing and upside surface
- Premium quality that can last a lifetime
- More than that was promised (Top review)
- Thin as compared to a rubber mat
Best For Yoga
2. IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
If you are looking for a yoga mat, this IUGA pro-non-slip yoga mat would be an ideal option. It has an excellent PU surface made of high-quality polyurethane and rubber materials.
Sweating is a common issue while doing yoga exercises and high sweating makes the mat surface more slippery. But not now because this mat has the ability to absorb sweat quickly with the help of the air permeability function.
It is more suitable over a hardwood floor because it has anti-slip backing. So, it won’t move on slippery hardwood surfaces.
Actually, its back is made of TPE material and specifically designed with anti-slip patterns.
However, it can be used over any type of flooring. Hardwood is more slippery so that’s why I have mentioned it.
- Moisture absorbing surface
- Free from the toxic chemical smell
- More stable with optimal cushion
- Lightweight: Easy to move from one place to another
- 100% eco friendly
- High durability
- Not suitable for gym workout equipment like heavy dumbbells, rods, and plates
- The top and bottom edges are not easy to settle down (A reviewer said)
Best For Yoga
3. LIFORME Original Yoga Mat
There are a few yoga mats available in the market with unique patented alignment systems. So, if you want to pick a mat with the “AlignForMe” system, you can go with this one.
It works as a navigational tool for your yoga practice. So by having this you don’t need to worry about your alignment and don’t need to remember your previous mark or position.
The most important function of this mat is the grip. The manufacturers claim this mat is the grippiest yoga mat of all the other yoga mats currently available on the market.
It is made of sustainable natural rubber but the upper layer is specially engineered eco-polyurethane material. So, it is a non-toxic and biodegradable mat.
- Wider and Longer
- Perfectionist quality with high durability
- Sweat and moisture-resistant
- Non-slip backing
- Suitable for all types of floor surfaces including hardwood
- Expensive than other yoga mats
Large and Extra Thick
4. Gxmmat Large Mat
Workouts include complicated movements and postures that need more space and this Gxmmat large mat is a perfect option for this type of workout.
Thicker exercise mats are more durable than thinner ones. It is suitable for lightweight workouts like pilates, stretching, foam rolling, situps, and power yoga. And also suitable for heavyweight workouts using heavy gym equipment such as dumbbells, rods, and plates.
To make it more stable and comfortable they have used 7mm memory foam. Further, it provides extra support to knees, elbows, and hands during any workout.
Both sides of the mat are moisture and slip-resistant. So, you won’t face any unusual movement during exercise.
- Non-toxic and environment-friendly
- Can be used for multiple workouts
- Long-lasting and more durable
- Enough long, wide, and thick
- Anti-slip sides
- Not fully odor-free
Large and Extra Thick
5. AG ACTIVE GEAR Large Exercise Mat
A trusted workout surface with an ultra-grip design and high-density padding. The anti-slip backing stops the mat from sliding on a hardwood floor or any other slippery floor surface.
The unique dot matrix padding on the upper side prevents you from sliding on the mat during exercise. So, you can continue your workout without facing any instability.
Moreover, this mat is suitable for all types of workouts like cardio workouts, dance workouts, power yoga, and both lightweight and heavyweight workouts.
Due to its 7mm thickness, it is more durable and can resist moisture and sweat.
Additionally, it includes two velcro straps and a carry bag to move it from one place to another.
- Premium durable surface that protects your joints and floor as well
- Non-slip top and bottom
- Value for money
- May left marks on the hardwood floor surface (removable)
Best for Exercise Equipment
6. Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Equipment Mat
Heavyweight exercise equipment can damage a floor surface. So, you need a mat under them before using it.
This mat is specifically designed to be placed under exercise equipment like a treadmill, yoga machine, and other gym equipment. It protects a floor surface from wear and tear, especially hardwood and carpet flooring.
It is made of high-density PVC foam material for greater grip and durability. To reduce noise and vibration it features a softer and textured base surface. But make sure the subfloor surface should be stable.
Moreover, it is available in small, medium, and large sizes. So, you can pick according to your exercise equipment size.
- Lightweight and moveable
- Non-slip and moisture resistant
- Best for flat and hard surfaces
- Heavy duty material
- Easy to clean
- Less durable but less expensive than other mats
Best for Exercise Equipment
7. CyclingDeal Bike Mat
This mat is extremely well-rated as an exercise equipment mat. Because it is specifically designed to protect a carpet or hardwood floor from exercise equipment damage such as treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and stationary.
With a 6mm thickness, it is made of polyvinyl chloride material. So, it is more comfortable and durable.
The anti-slip upper surface and backing stop the equipment from sliding during intense workouts. You can use it on any other hard and slippery floor surfaces like tile, vinyl, concrete, and laminate.
Further, it is easy to fold and carry. So, you can move it from one room to another when needed.
- More suitable for lightweight exercise equipment
- Provide protection to every floor surface
- Non-slip backing
- Can be used for multi-purposes
- Moisture resistant
- Too soft for carpet use
- Light odor in the first days ( Disappear after a few days)
8. Anngrowy Rubber Fitness Mat
Doing intense and heavyweight exercises on a non-shock-absorbing mat can lead to critical back and joint injuries. So, you need a shock-absorbent mat that can also reduce noise.
This high-density rubber fitness mat is fully shock-absorbing and provides cushioning and support to your body.
It is also a fully natural fitness mat with nontoxic material.
Moreover, it is super tough due to rubber material so it allows you to do workouts wearing shoes. Also, it protects your subfloor from damage and scratches from heavyweight gym tools like dumbbells, plates, rods, etc.
The anti-slip and waterproof backing provides a stable and non-slip movement over it.
- Wear resistant
- Made of high-density recycled material
- Toxin and silicone-free
- Cover 40 square feet of area
- Additionally provides a jumping rope
- A little bit tribble smell due to the rubber material
9. ProsourceFit Tri-Folding Thick Exercise Mat
The best budget-friendly tri-folding thick mat is here for you with all the basic features. Its tri-fold design allows you to fold and store it anywhere after use. Also, you can easily move it from one place to another.
The resilient foam material provides joint protection and keeps stable knees, elbows, wrists, and back during exercise.
It requires low maintenance and is also easy to clean.
It can be used for all types of light workouts like situps, pushups, yoga, stretching, martial arts, gymnastics, and more.
- It provides comfortable support
- Easy to fold and carry
- Highly durable
- Thick cushion
- Shock absorbing
- Not suitable for workouts with heavy gym tools or exercise equipment
How to Care for Your Mat?
A mat is an important part of any yoga practice, providing a cushioned surface for a variety of standing, sitting, and supine poses.
But mats can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. The best way to clean a yoga mat is to wipe it down with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar.
Use a cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the mat, then rinse it off with clean water. Once your mat is dry, you can sprinkle it with baking soda to help absorb any lingering odors.
For a deeper clean, you can also add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar solution. Just be sure to test the oil on a small area of the mat before applying it to the entire surface.
With a little care and attention, your yoga mat will provide years of comfortable support.
What you should pick depends on what you need. If you are looking for a mat for yoga exercises. But if you pick a rubber mat then it doesn’t make even sense. Because a rubber mat is not preferable for yoga.
Choosing an exercise mat for hardwood floors can be a difficult task. However, if you keep in mind the qualities and features that make a good exercise mat for hardwood floors, you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
From extra cushioning to anti-slipping surfaces, there are plenty of options available on the market today. Consider checking out some of the five top-rated mats listed above and see which one is right for you!
Are all exercise mats safe for hardwood floors?
Probably yes but excluding heavy-duty rubber mats. Because they are tougher and used for heavy weightlifting workouts. So, it won’t be a good idea to do a heavyweight gym exercise on a hardwood floor surface.
What is the ideal thickness of an exercise mat?
Exercise mats are available in different thickness levels from 5mm to 8mm ideally. It actually depends on what type of workout you are going to do. For example, for yoga exercises, a 5mm thick mat will be enough. For heavyweight lifting exercises, you may need a heavy-duty rubber mat with 7 or 8mm thickness.
Is it safe to exercise on hardwood floors?
Hard floor surfaces are not safe for human joints. wood floors are also hard so they are harmful to exercise or yoga directly on them. However, a soft exercise mat reduces health risks.