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. 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…
The Best Extra Thick Exercise Mats
Surprisingly, exercise mats and yoga mats differ in their features and functions. Generally, exercise mats are thicker than normal 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.
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.
The second exercise mat worth mentioning is the Ultimate Body Press Exercise mat. Again, this mat is 2 inches thick and it’s made with high-density foam and premium vinyl. Your body will seriously start to love your workout time when it feels so cushiony! In addition, this mat has four-folds, resulting in easy storage and carrying. Perhaps you think it’s unnecessary right now, but once you use it, you’ll want to take it everywhere.! It’s also skillfully designed large enough to accommodate both men and women’s workouts.
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.
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!
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!
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. If you’re doing yoga Nidra, you’ll be lying down mostly, and you’re likely to prefer some extra padding. 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.
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If you’re on the lookout for a mat large enough for two people, or simply to have greater space for yourself, this Gxmmat Extra Large one is highly recommended. It’s ¼ inch, meaning it’s the suggested thickness in terms of thicker yoga mats. It also has the benefits that high-density memory foam provides, like cushioning and shock absorption. It has a non-slip element that works with or without shoes.
It’s always nice to have that option. I find barefoot yoga workouts are the best, though sometimes you don’t want to get your feet dirty. In this case you need a mat that won’t have your trainers slipping all over!
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. 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.
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. 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.
A Jade Fusion yoga mat is also a highly rated choice for overweight people. Again, it’s a ¼ inch thick and it’s designed from natural rubber. This basically means it will be more durable and firmer while preserving its cushiony feel.
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. Whereas 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!
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 in three parts, making it very easy to fold and take with you. In addition, the thick padding is great 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!
A mat that is both large and thick is this Polar Aurora Yoga mat. Again, if you’re on the hunt for a 2-inch-thick mat, you can satisfy your desire here. This is another good option for overweight people as well because it is larger than most yoga mats too. It’s also designed with four segments that are easily folded. The PU leather material means it’s sweatproof too, which is always a bonus. Plus, it’s extremely easy to clean!
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, ect.
The Luxury Cork Yoga mat is your go-to if you’re looking for something different but for practical. Its 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!
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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!