Exercising, and yoga, in particular, is one of the best ways to unwind and destress. I’m sure every person reading this will agree. What isn’t so great, however, is exercising on a paper-thin mat. No matter how satisfying or intense your workout, a mat that leaves your joints in pain is not worth it.
As a fellow yogi, I know the difference a lush, thick mat makes. But, to anyone who disagrees, you probably haven’t done yoga on a thin mat placed on a cold, tiled floor! It’s not pleasant. Granted, one of the purposes behind yoga is clearing the mind and accepting what is. However, this is much easier to do when sitting on a cushiony mat!
In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of yoga mats. I will share the benefits of a thick yoga mat, where to purchase them and my top pick. So, get comfortable and read on.
What Is The Point Of Buying A Yoga Mat?
First of all, a yoga mat is meant to cushion your body when you exercise. It doesn’t matter if you are into barefoot bodyweight exercise or, dance workouts, or even jump rope in your own home gym. What matters is the cushioning you have. An extra-large yoga mat is super essential even for a light cardio workout. An extra-large yoga mat is essential for providing traction and cushioning. Additionally, a big mat will be ultra-comfortable.
Yoga mats can be rented from different places. However, it is a good idea to own your own. Even a standard size for a start is not a bad idea. Yoga mats or sticky mats are specially made to prevent your hands and feet from slipping during your yoga or Pilates workouts. Yoga mats have come a long way from their predecessors. Originally, yoga mats were made from animal skins and basic cloth. Today, they are made from PVC, foam, rubber, and different forms of treated leather.
When your yoga mat is made from the highest quality materials, you get a lifetime guarantee. As long as you follow the included care instructions well, then your yoga mat should last for ages. The best part about a high-quality yoga mat is that it’s a one-time purchase. You will need another yoga mat in a few more years because yoga mats are made to be durable. Additionally, some yoga mats are machine washable in case they get dirty.
We have rounded up some of the best yoga mats in the market in the list below. Along with the factors that make them a great addition to your workout routine.
The Best Extra Thick Exercise Mats
Surprisingly, exercise mats and yoga mats differ in their features and functions. Generally, exercise mats are thicker than typical yoga mats because they are used for bodyweight workouts. Even though yoga mats can be equally, if not more, thick, as you will see further on, they are typically designed for lower impact exercise.
What is the extra large yoga mat?
1) SPRI Exercise Mat Bi-Fold Fitness Mat
The SPRI Exercise Mat is designed with a thickness of 2 inches and is highly rated in terms of its comfortability. This is a good option to go for, for many reasons. It’s especially practical for taking to and from places due to its bi-fold feature. This also makes it a pretty great space saver! Not to mention its three layers of high-density foam, which ensures durability and longevity. This mat is without a doubt one of the best thick ones to go for.
It is an excellent mat for light cardio workout and other exercises. Additionally, the mats are available in two sizes. A standard mat and an extra-large yoga mat. The triple-layer high-quality density foam makes it extremely comfortable. It is easily foldable, as mentioned above and takes little room. The price is affordable, and it is a great companion even to people undergoing physical therapy after surgery. It is non-toxic and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. The folding is aided by two straps on either side for easier folding.PROS
- Easy to clean
- Easy to store
- Value for money
- Safe for joints
- Extra-large sizes
Extra Thick Foam Yoga Mat
I mentioned that yoga mats are usually thinner than exercise mats because of their role in low-impact workouts. With this being said, some yoga practices include more exercises where you’re required to lie down. In this case, a thicker mat is the way to go for the safety and comfort of your back.
2) Pogamat Large Non-Slip Yoga Mat
When it comes to choosing a thicker yoga mat, the thickest size people suggest is ¼ inch. This is because you still need to be in close contact with the ground when practicing yoga. The Pogamat Large Yoga mat is ¼ inch with a textured surface, ideal for maintaining a good grip throughout. It’s also very cushiony because of its memory foam element, providing premium comfort to your body!
The Pogamat is also eco-friendly. While this isn’t a requirement in any way, it’s a pleasant added bonus. It’s a practical choice, especially if you’re a yogi who enjoys practicing barefoot. The bottom surface of this mat includes an anti-slip pad, so you won’t go sliding all over the place!PROS
- Good cushion
- Extra large
- No odor
- Easy to clean
- The cushion sinks in
3) Crown Sporting Goods Professional Yoga Mat
Despite the recommended ¼ inch yoga mat, you can still go thicker with a ½ inch, or even a 2-inch, mat. Essentially, the decision is yours. This Crown Sporting Goods yoga mat is one I’d go for if I wanted something particularly cushiony. It’s described as a cloud, so you know it’s going to be good! This mat is 1 inch thick and made from high-density foam. Perfect for those who want comfort and practicality. It also has a ridged texture, which is helpful for drawing in excess moisture. In other words: no slipping!
It is easy to use because storage is easy. Rolling the mat is easy. Additionally, it proves to be durable enough to last for a long time. Furthermore, it absorbs moisture and keeps your hands, joints, and feet dry as you work out. With the highest quality materials, you can easily roll this mat and travel with it. Lastly, it is exactly what you would need if you are always on the move and comes with a carry bag.PROS
- Easy to store
- Easy to use
- Cushions the joints
- Easy to clean
- Easy to stretch on
- Short length
Why Extra Large and Extra Thick Yoga Mats Can be the Best Option
Often, the thickness you choose will be dependent on the type of yoga practice you’ll be doing. For example, if you’re doing yoga Nidra, you’ll be lying down mostly, and you’re likely to prefer some extra padding. On the other hand, if more of your yoga workout is spent in upright positions, something thinner may work just fine. Nevertheless, whatever feels best for you is the option you should choose regardless of the practice.
With that being said, using an extra-large and an extra thick yoga mat can be valuable for different reasons. The most obvious being the larger space you’ll have for your yoga routine. The space available on a mat 6 by 8 feet is enough to have you jumping from corner to corner! It’s also a perfect choice if you’re working out with a partner.
The Best Type of Yoga Mat for Large or Overweight People
Yoga practice isn’t easy for the average person, let alone someone who may struggle with their weight. But that’s not to say nothing can be done about it. Whether you’re a pro yogi or merely a beginner, a mat that can support whatever weight you are is important.
For larger bodies, a thicker yoga mat is recommended. Basically, this will offer significant comfort and support. In addition, poses that are strenuous on the shoulders and wrists, such as downward-facing dog, can be worse on overweight people. For this reason, thicker yoga mats will provide the best suspension.
4) CAMBIVO Large Yoga Mat
A CAMBIVO Large Yoga mat fits the requirements mentioned. It’s ¼ inch thick, and its dimensions are 6 by 4 feet. This is a good size for a larger person who is working out in a group class or alone, as it will provide optimal space for each move. In addition, the bottom surface has a unique protruding texture which helps maintain stability. Anyone who feels even slightly insecure will benefit from this mat and will feel assured of its durability.
This extra-large yoga mat is slippery when you start to use it. However, rubbing it down with a wet soapy cloth should help solve the problem. Additionally, wiping should be done before and after a workout to ensure you don’t slide. You can also lay down a towel before you commence on focusing on a yoga pose that will make you sweat. Finally, keeping this extra large yoga mat away from the sunlight will let it stay long for longer.PROS
- Great for a home gym
- Great for stretching
- Well-cushioned for joints
- Has an odor
What is the Best Inch Measurement for a Yoga Mat?
I mentioned that many people swear by a ¼ inch yoga mat being the thickest anyone should go for. You can, of course, go thinner than that. A standard yoga mat is typically 1/8 of an inch. This thinner mat may be preferred by people wanting supreme stability. Thicker mats may be softer and more cushiony, but this can sometimes lead to weak balance.
With all this being said, the thickness you decide on will be relevant to your lifestyle. If you have joint problems and weak knees, going for extra padding on your mat is a safe bet. The same is true for anyone who may want to do simple yoga and merely enjoy the meditation aspect. Another factor to consider is the surface you’re exercising on. A carpeted floor will be gentler on you, allowing a thinner mat. In contrast, a wooden or tiled floor will be difficult to enjoy without extra cushioning.
Where Can I Find a 2-Inch-Thick Yoga Mat?
A yoga mat that is 2 inches in thickness is one of the less common mats out there. It can still be found, without a doubt. However, as standard mats are much thinner than that, they may require more searching. Though that’s what I’m here for!
5) Z ATHLETIC Folding Panel Mats for Gymnastics, Yoga, Martial Arts, & Tumbling
The first one I’d suggest is this Z-Athletic Folding Panel mat. If you’re looking for quality, extra thickness, and portability, this one’s certainly for you! It’s segmented into three parts, making it very easy to fold and take with you. In addition, the thick padding is excellent for shock absorption and support. It’s definitely not only for those with joint issues or the likes. Anyone can benefit from this spongy, supportive yoga mat. Just don’t fall asleep during your workout!
This workout mat is made of high-density cross-linked polyethylene foam covered in a high-quality 18oz vinyl. In addition, the non-porous vinyl is abrasion-resistant. When you purchase this gym mat, even for a light daily workout, you still get value for money because it is very well made. Additionally, the support it offers your joints is due to it being well-cushioned and extra-large. Finally, it has straps which are helpful when you need to move around with it.PROS
- Value for money
- Offers support
- Easy to transport
- Easy to store
- Good for workout
- Strange odor
The Top Pick for Your Extra Thick Yoga Mat Online
I’ve now shared many options with you regarding premium quality yoga mats. However, as they say, keep the best for last! Although this yoga mat may not be everyone’s first choice, it’s the chosen top pick in the extra thick yoga mat category today. Cork is as popular with producers like Lululemon, etc.
6) Luxury Cork Extra Large Yoga Mat
The Luxury Cork Yoga mat is your go-to if you’re looking for something different but practical. It’s ¼ inch in thickness, and the cork used is helpful in withstanding slipping. The cork is also renowned for being very smooth while still offering good grip. The perfect combination if you ask me! The standout feature of this mat, though, is the alignment lines embedded within the mat. These are extremely useful for helping with posture and balance. If you’re someone who sits at a desk all day, this will be a huge bonus for you!
This extra-large yoga mat is a great option even for kids. The material gets even more grip with more sweat. Additionally, when the mat rolled into a compact piece, it is easy to carry because of the straps. It can fit into a carry bag as well. You can use the mat without any shoes on. This extra-large yoga mat is also versatile because new releases in the same range are common. Additionally, the customer care is excellent, and they issue you a full refund in case of a damaged item. The item is also always in stock.PROS
- Good quality
- Value for price
- Comfortable on any surface
- Easy to clean
- Perfectly flat on floor or carpet
- Strong chemical smell
Yoga is such a peaceful form of exercise, and your mat shouldn’t be the reason you experience otherwise. With the right thickness for your needs, you’ll never want to miss a yoga practice. Finding the right one is nearly like finding the perfect shoes. Though, once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you’ll never look back! We hope you find this extra extensive yoga mat review helpful.
How To Choose A Yoga Mat
With new releases of beautiful yoga mats every other day, sometimes it makes sense to select one that is precisely what you need. For example, an extra-large yoga mat might be the perfect mat for your very own home studio. However, some extra-large yoga mats might not be suitable if you go to the gym due to the space limitation. Either way, we have come up with a buying guide to help you through the dilemma of selecting a yoga mat if you are spoilt for choice.
Workouts can be done in a home studio or gym. Depending on the space at either place, your yoga mat should reflect the same. Some gyms or yoga classes have a recommendation for the dimensions of the preferred yoga mat. For example, a home studio or home gym might be large enough to accommodate an extra-large yoga mat. If you have enough space, then home workouts can be done on an extra-large yoga mat. Additionally, extra-large yoga mats are perfect for any type of workout.
The material used to make your yoga mat determines how long it will last. There are many options, including rubber, PVC and leather. PVC material is a cheap and man-made material. The mats at your local gym are probably made from PVC material. However, PVC doesn’t always mean cheap. In addition, there are very high-quality PVC mats in circulation that will last for ages. PVC mats have a longer break-in period. But they give awesome grip support.
Rubber mats last for very long. However, if you are or you suspect you are allergic to latex products, you should stay away from rubber mats. However, there are latex-free exercise mats that are still a good option. Rubber provides an excellent non-slip surface when working out. Rubber mats are also hard and not spongy. Natural rubber will produce a weird smell at first. The smell will reduce with use. Additionally, there are now other options that mix rubber and polyurethane for a spongy and smell-free mat.
TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) is a biodegradable material that is lightweight, spongy, non-toxic, and doesn’t produce any odor. It is the least popular option because it falls apart quickly. TPE mats are awesome because they provide extra cushioning and grip as well. Some mats need you to lay a towel because they get slippery as soon as sweat drips on them.
Your yoga mat has to be the right thickness. A very thin yoga mat will bang up your knee and even give you a life-long injury. Selecting the right thickness is super important because even a simple stretch on a thin mat is potentially injuring. A standard large yoga mat is 1/8 inch thick. Thin yoga mats are usually purported to be “travel mats” and are 1/16 inch thick. If you expect to keep your knees healthy and happy, try to stay away from super thin mats.
The thickest mats are about 1/4 inch thick. Unlike most thin exercise mats, they are well cushioned and are perfect for barefoot bodyweight exercise. If you don’t like feeling the floor under your mat, then a thick and large yoga mat is preferable. If you travel to places a lot, then a travel yoga mat should do the job because it is easier to store in your travel belongings and doesn’t take much room.
The size of your yoga mat is also important. A large yoga mat can be the perfect addition to your very own home studio. However, large yoga mats might not be the best addition to the small local gym because of the space constraint. However, for such a scenario, there are standard-sized mats that still cushion your body from a strenuous yoga pose. Furthermore, yoga mats come in all sizes, textures and shapes.
Selecting a good size yoga mat is important to attain the perfect balance. It should also be ultra-comfortable because stretching before a workout is important in yoga. The size of your yoga mat should be about having enough space and made with the highest quality materials.
e) Sticky Factor
Most new mats are not sticky right away. They are actually very slippery. However, with a few uses, they develop the stickiness we call the “sticky factor.” The sticky factor gives your mat grip and traction. When using it, you won’t slide or slip and injure yourself. Some mats are more slippery than others. Most PVC mats are the biggest culprits. They are made with a slippery layer. However, after the first few uses, PVC mats settle right in.
Usually, a plain yoga mat is still perfect for workouts. However, there are some yoga mats that have two Velcro straps to make them easier to store. Other mats have a carry bag for easier storage. It all depends on the brand. On the one hand, some brands issue a drying microfiber towel as an accessory, a carry bag, and a few additional straps. On the other hand, a carry bag makes the mat easier to transport, especially if it is the bulky type, for example, yo gorilla mats.
Of course, it definitely goes without saying that the price of the yoga mat matters. The price of an extra-large yoga mat might shock you. However, a quality mat should be worth the price. Additionally, some mats have requirements such as laying a towel down before working out. Such mats are cheaper because they don’t absorb moisture well. Most yoga mats are fine being laid on a carpet as they remain very flat. Considering the size is also factored into the price, you should ensure you have enough room for stretching on your mat. Before working out, stretching is important.
How To Clean Your Yoga Mat
There are two types of yoga mats. Depending on the type of mat, you might want to try different cleaning methods. Not all methods work best on the various types of cleaning mats. Before we dive in, let us explain the various types of yoga mats we are talking about. Firstly, we have the open-cell yoga mat. This type of yoga mat absorbs every drop of moisture you throw at it. It is perfect if you sweat a lot during exercise.
The other type of mat is the closed-cell yoga mat. This is the opposite of the open-cell. It is not porous and doesn’t absorb sweat or moisture easily. Both types of mats can still be of very high quality. However, yoga mats are notorious for being a breeding ground for germs. All the sweat and touching make a large yoga mat harbor germs. Here are some ways you can clean your mat:
i) Washing A Closed-Cell Mat
A closed-cell mat is easier to clean as it does not need a lot of specialized cleaning care. All you are really expected to do is use warm water and mix a little dish soap in it. Using a rag or towel, rub the solution across your large yoga mat in a circular motion. Be careful not to leave out any parts, and focus on stains and dirty areas. You can repeat the circular motions for as long as you want. However, you shouldn’t add too much dish soap to the solution as it will become harder to clean up.
Once you ensure that you have covered all areas of your non-slip mat, you can wipe the soap down using a clean wet rug. Ensure you get all the soap out. Any soap remnants might cause you to slip when working out. If your mat did not come with care instructions, then this is the next best method to clean it. You just have to ensure that it is the correct method for your yoga mat type. After cleaning it, leave it to air dry for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
ii) Washing An Open-Cell Mat
An open-cell mat requires more water. Therefore, in a sink or a bathtub, mix water and dish soap. If you have an extra-large yoga mat, do it in your bathtub. Ensure your mat is submerged in the water. For every gallon of water, a spoon of dish soap is enough. Let your large yoga mat sit in soapy water for a few minutes. This removes most of the dirt, sweat, and grit that can get stuck on your mat during exercise.
After soaking your wide yoga mat for at least 5 minutes, use a rag to gently remove the dirt. You can also re-wash if not all the dirt and grime come out. After this process is done, rinse the mat with clean water and air it out to dry. Ensure your beautiful non-slip mat dries entirely and there isn’t any moisture left. If your mat retains any moisture and you keep using it to work out, it might harbor a lot of bacteria. You can then store the mat in the bag.
The Bottom Line
A good yoga mat should serve you for a long time. It should be comfortable on the floor in any room of your house. Selecting the perfect mat is not hard if you have a strict buying guide as we have provided. We expect you found this review helpful if you are in the market for a good yoga mat.
Meta description: When shopping for an extra-large yoga mat, you need the best reviews and products on the market. We have done that for you.