Commercial Exercise Mats – Definitive FAQ Guide

Are you looking for commercial exercise mats for your gym? Search no more. You will find here everything you need to know about training mats to equip your gym.

Exercise mats are suitable for yoga, Pilates, general fitness, or gymnastics. As a gym owner, you must provide your athletes with the right type of exercise mat for their training.

You may have questions about commercial exercise mats. So we prepared the following FAQ guide to help you choose wisely. 

Let’s start.

Table of Contents

What are the types of commercial exercise mats?

To suit all types of workout sessions, manufacturers produce several types of exercise mats. The most common exercise mats are:

  • Fitness mats
  • Pilates mats
  • Yoga mats
  • Professional gymnastic mats
  • Foam mats
  • Air exercise mats

Fitness Mats 

Fitness mats are some of the most wanted pieces in fitness centers worldwide. They are thick and large, ideal for stretching exercises. Fitness mats are manufactured to provide some amount of protection during general training. It acts as a cushion between the trainee and the floor. 

Figure 1 Fitness exercise mat

Pilates Mats

The mats for Pilates are normally longer and medium thick. They are made with increased firmness. Pilates mats are suitable for calm motions, are friendly to use, and provide more protective support. Pilates mats have some texture for a good grip. 

Most of the Pilates exercises are made laying down. The surface is not sticky because slipping is normally not an issue. 

Figure 2 Premium Pilates exercise mat 

Yoga Mats 

Yoga mats are slightly thinner than Pilates mats. These mats are manufactured to provide support for lower impact exercises. Yoga mats are some of the most variated and versatile exercise mats, made from different materials. 

They are sticky and grip well on the floor. Yoga practitioners must have a good cushion, non-slip, non-injury for safe training.

Figure 3 Yoga exercise mat

Professional Gymnastic Mats

Gymnastics mats are used in professional sports halls. They are thick and can absorb most shocks that might damage the knees, ankles, neck, or spine. Gymnastic mats are easily recognizable because they are bulky and foldable. Sometimes it can be difficult to store them. 

Figure 4 Gymnastic exercise mat 

Foam Mats

Foam mats are normally square shaped, manufactured with interlocking edges. They are mostly used for cushioning during martial arts training. It is also an ideal choice for athletes who practice high-intensity exercises. The thickness of foam mats is used to absorb impact shocks and provide protection to the joints. 

Figure 5 Foam mat

Air Exercise Mats 

Air mats are a special type of gymnastic training mat. These mats are inflatable, have tough construction and internal pressure. Are just as good as foam gymnastic mats. But many athletes use this outside the official training place. 

Ait mats are used mostly for tumbling experiences. However, their price is high and is problematic to store.  

Figure 6 Air tumbling mat

What is the thickness of commercial exercise mats?

Commercial exercise mats have different thickness levels. The thickness represents the amount of foam and the level of firmness of a mat. Here are the most common:

Yoga mats are the thinnest exercise mats of them all. Normally, yoga mats are about 5 mm ( ¼ “) but they can range from 3 mm (⅛”) to 10 mm (0.5”). The firmness level of a yoga mat is medium. For yoga training, thinner mats can help in achieving active or focused poses. A thinner mat increases stability during balanced poses. 

Pilates mats must be thicker than yoga because these exercise mats must protect the hips and back. Thus, it acts as a cushion. The minimum thickness must be 10 mm (0.5″). But for less strain on the trainee’s body, it better be 20 mm (1″) thick of foam. The level of firmness is greater and ensures better support for training. 

Gymnastics mats are the thickest of them all to prevent most body injuries. Quality gymnastic mats must have a minimum of 35 mm (1.5″) of thickness. High-quality mats have 50 mm (2″) of thickness. The level of firmness is high and the foam is dense. So these mats are used for intense training.

Foam mats are extra-thick, just like gymnastics, have hard foam, and are anything above 35 mm (1.5″) of thickness. This is very helpful for practitioners which train for therapeutic purposes. Less strain, less pressure on joints, and lower impact on the body. 

Figure 7 The thickness of exercise mats

What is the length of commercial exercise mats?

The standard length of a commercial exercise mat is about 144 cm. This is perfect for yoga mats or fitness. 

But the length can vary between 157 cm (62”) and 182 cm (72”) long. Some even reach 218 cm (86”) long. 

Figure 8 The length of the exercise mat

Is the width of the exercise mats important?

Yes. As a gym owner, you must provide exercise mats with different widths. You will have many categories of athletes at your gym and they must find a suitable dimension for them. 

A wrong dimensioned mat will create lateral waves or their body parts will hang over the edge. For optimal training, athletes must have multiple dimensions of mats, with different widths to choose from.  

Figure 9 The width of exercise mats

What is the material of commercial exercise mats?

Commercial exercise mats come in a wide variety of materials, but the most common use is foam. 

Fitness mats are normally made of dense foam. Additionally, they have a vinyl cover to make maintenance easier.  

Pilates mats are normally made with closed cell TPE foam (thermoplastic elastomer). This type of material construction is more durable and resistant to intense use, such as gym centers.  

Yoga mats are delivered in many materials, such as closed cell PVC foam, cotton, mesh, or rubber. 

Gymnastic mats are normally made from standard or extra-dense foam but have a different construction method to ensure firmness. Just as fitness mats, gymnastic mats are also covered by a layer of vinyl. 

Foam mats are made of extra dense foam to ensure maximum shock absorption. 

Figure 10 Example of firmness foam

Which exercise mat material is natural and which is synthetic?

Generally speaking, exercise mat materials can be divided into two wide categories: natural eco-friendly fibers and synthetic materials. 

Natural fibers are more pleasant to feel. They include bamboo fibers, cotton, hemp, jute, and latex. Normally, natural fibers are also skin-friendly and prevent any irritation or redness to the skin. However, latex is an exception and can cause skin allergies. 

Synthetics include rubber, microfiber, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Each material has specific characteristics. Make sure you inform well before making a purchase. 

Not all materials used for exercise mats are sustainable. The plastic-like mats are difficult to recycle and must be disposed of in special places. 

Yanre Fitness premium commercial grade exercise mats manufacturer provides mats of superior materials. We believe in a healthy Planet, thus, our materials are recyclable and photodegradable. 

Figure 11 Jute exercise mat

Are the materials of commercial exercise mats harmful?

Yes. From both an environmental and health standpoint, exercise mats made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are one of the most harmful plastics. As gym owners, you expose your athletes to PVC through inhalation and dermal absorption.

But this is also an accessible material for exercise mats. However, there are many choices to select from, fabric, non-PVC, and others. Other suppliers recommend covering the mat with a microfiber material. 

You must also take into consideration the manufacturing process of mats. Large mat production makes use of industrial glue to stick the materials together. This can also be harmful and possibly release toxins while in use. 

Yanre Fitness exercise mats supplier believes health comes first. So we do not use any carcinogenic substances or toxic components. Natural fibers are perfect for repelling moisture, bacteria, and odor. Our advantages for exercise mats are:

  • Non-toxic
  • Non-smell
  • Anti-slip
  • Anti-tear
  • Non-solvent bonding 

What is the manufacturing process of yoga exercise mats? 

Commercial grade yoga mats are made from 3 layers of materials. These are bonded or glued in between to become a single strong and compact surface.

A quality yoga mat will have 3 layers of natural fibers, such as: 

  • The first layer of natural rubber. This will keep the mat securely attached to the floor.
  • A second layer of cotton. This material ensures antibacterial function. It will also give a more comfortable feeling in use. 
  • The third layer of eco-friendly polyurethane. This is to ensure the mat has all the grip it is famous for. 

Some manufacturers use industrial dangerous glue to tie together the three layers. But the bonding process of a quality yoga mat is not industrial glue. Instead, the manufacturer uses the heating process to stick the layers together.

When buying yoga exercise mats for your gym, make sure you ask the supplier about the manufacturing process. 

Yanre Fitness manufactures high-quality yoga mats of superior cushioning. Our yoga mats have a superior grip in both wet and dry environments.  

For professional yoga practitioners, Yanre provides the popular center line. This is a great help for athletes during their yoga training. 

Figure 12 Three layers of material for yoga mats 

What is the difference between the gymnastic mat and standard exercise mats?

The main difference is the core and its construction method. While most exercise mats are made of foam, gymnastic mats have a polyethylene core. 

A gymnastic exercise mat must have a high level of firmness, not just softness. To provide enough firmness, gymnastic mats use a cross-linked construction method of polyethylene foam. This results in a stable surface for all gymnastic practitioners. 

If you want to reduce the risk of rolling an ankle or spraining a wrist, gymnastic mats are your best option. These are thick enough to absorb most shocks. 

Standard exercise mats are much thinner, made of softer foam. The main purpose is to have some cushion while still connecting to the ground. However, most exercise mats are constructed to resist a variety of uses.

Figure 13 Section of gymnastic exercise mat

What is the difference between open and closed cell foam manufacturing processes for exercise mats?

The difference between the two processes is the density of the final material. The manufacturing process is essential to provide exercise mats with durability and firmness. Many yoga, Pilates, and gymnastics foam material is made of closed cell foam. 

Both open and closed cell foam is suitable for obtaining quality exercise mats. 

Open cell foam means that the cells that form the foam are not completely encapsulated. The resulting foam is thus softer and more flexible. But it is vapor permeable, thus water can be absorbed. 

Closed cell foam means the cells are completely encapsulated. The resulting material is harder and firmer. The closed cell foam is less springy and water-resistant. 

For high-end exercise mats, the foam is made of Polyurethane. This is an organic compound, very qualitative.

Figure 14 Open cell foam vs closed cell foam at exercise mats 

What is the difference between floor mats and exercise mats? 

The main difference between the two mats is their function. While floor mats protect the gym floor, the exercise mats are used to get down and train on them.  

Floor mats or floor protectors, look-alike exercise mats. They are long enough and made of good materials to absorb shocks. Normally, these are used as a base for training. Athletes place their special exercise mat on top of floor mats. 

Some trainees work directly on it but it is not recommended as bacteria spreads fast. The bottom side of floor mats is normally non-slip. Thus, it ensures a steady and stable base for training. 

Also, many gym owners prefer to use it under training machines such as exercise bikes, rowing machines, or treadmills. It will prevent damage to the floor caused by the machine’s motions. 

Exercise mats are used for performing any type of fitness exercise. They are padded and sometimes covered with vinyl for easy cleaning. The athletes will never use this as a non-slip base for training machines.

Figure 15 Floor mat

Figure 16 Exercise mat on top of floor mat

Is the commercial exercise mat waterproof?

Yes. Vinyl-encased commercial exercise mats should be water-resistant surfaces. They also give a convenient feeling during use. The surface is covered in vinyl, which is a resistant material and non-absorbent. These are ideal for repetitive use in fitness or gym centers. 

However, if the exercise mats are only topped with vinyl or carpet are not waterproof. Thus, they can absorb water through the base. 

Figure 17 Vinyl cover exercise mats 

Is there a difference between the two sides of the exercise mats?

Yes. The main difference is durability. The top side is for training and more durable, while the bottom has a small circle pattern and is less resistant. 

The top side is normally the one athletes use during training. It is shiny, smooth and promotes the gym’s logo. This can be used with or without shoes. It provides enough durability and resistance for intense use. 

The bottom side is the foam side, with small circles. This goes against the floor and it isn’t as durable as the top side. But this ensures the attachment to the floor thus, is the non-slipping part of the mat. 

Both sides of the mat have some texture to stick to the floor and help the trainee have a good position catch. The top side is sticky to avoid slipping, even if they sweat. 

Recently, manufacturers have started to produce some fully reversible exercise mats. These mats can be used on both sides. So both the top side and bottom side have similar properties. 

Figure 18 Top and bottom sides of exercise mats 

What is the best type of flooring to place the exercise mats on?

The ideal gym flooring for any exercise mats is the hard surface floor. This can be hard wood, tile, cement, or laminate. 

Normally, commercial exercise mats can work on carpet too, but be aware of shifts. In this case, it is better to buy a larger size of exercise mats. Large and heavier exercise mats are less likely to shift during training. 

Figure 19 Concrete floor for gym 

What exercise mat should I buy if my gym floor surface is not even?

If your gym floor surface is uneven, you may buy exercise mats with a thickness of a minimum of 6 mm. It should be enough material to provide comfort and safety during use. By providing 6 mm of thickness, you ensure your trainees with sensitive joints are protected from injuries. 

Note that classic exercise mats normally have about 1.5 to 3 mm of thickness on flat surfaces. 

What is the wholesale price of commercial exercise mats?

Commercial exercise mats are quite expensive because of the materials they are made from. 

The wholesale price starts as low as 3$ per piece. But the more quality the material, the more expensive the mat. Quality and eco-friendly exercise mat can reach up to 12$ per piece. 

Foam is a complicated material to produce. Covers too have high prices. All these characteristics make exercise mats expensive to manufacture. Thus, the wholesale price can be quite high. 

What to consider when buying commercial exercise mats?

Buying commercial exercise mats in bulk can be challenging. You must consider some things, such as the type of activity, comfort, size, and durability.

The type of activity. It determines which type of mats you will need for your gym. Most gym owners acquire fitness mats that are usable for yoga, Pilates, or general training. 

If you want to attract other categories of athletes, such as gymnasts, you must provide more. Extra thick foam exercise mats are a must for competition athletes. 

Comfort. You must ensure the mats are made of quality material. They must feel good at the touch and be comfortable while training. 

Size. Size is important, so you must provide several sizes of exercise mats. You must cover a large type of gym customers. 

Durability. Even though it may cost you more, quality mats will have a longer lifespan. This will eventually bring your money back. As a gym owner, you must eliminate low-cost products or any possible injuries caused by them. 

Are there carrying handles available for commercial exercise mats?

Yes. The exercise mats can come with handles or straps. When it comes to transportation, additional handles ensure a comfortable way to move them around. But these are extra and you will find them included only in high-end products. 

Contact Yanre Fitness to confirm if handles can be provided together with the mats. 

Figure 20 Exercise mat with strap

Do the exercise mats smell bad?

Yes. Exercise mats in general have some smell. Rubber mats have a specific scent. But the substances from the manufacturing process smell too. This derives from the VOCs, compounds of rubber and other materials. The scent will slowly fade with time. 

The manufacturers mention that even if there is a scent of rubber coming out of the mats, this is not toxic or harmful. However, this is not the case of chemicals from PVC, which could harm your athlete’s health. 

Figure 21 Exercise mats smell

How to clean and sanitize exercise mats?

Exercise mats are easy to clean. For daily maintenance, just use a vacuum cleaner for dust or dirt. For deeper cleaning, wipe the mats with a wet cloth.  

To prevent the growth of any type of bacteria, you should sanitize the mat before and after each use. Wipe the mats with disinfectant solution, low odor, and bacteria-free. 

For carpet topped surfaces, use special shampoo types of cleaners to eliminate all possible germs. 

Figure 22 Sanitizing exercise mats

How to store commercial exercise mats?

Unless otherwise specified, most commercial exercise mats should be stored in a rolled position. If you can, you can even leave them open in the designed workout area. Over time, the folded position can cause creases and damage to the exercise mats. 

However, avoid storing them in a bag. Bags prevent the exercise mat from properly air. This can lead to rapid damage to the mat. 

Figure 23 Exercise mat storage

Can I order a custom-size exercise mat?

Yes. Custom sized mats can better fit spaces with unusual designs or flooring. 

Yanre Fitness is a premium wholesale exercise mats and gym equipment provider. We are a self-design manufacturer that can provide any custom-sized exercise mats. 

Additionally, we can print your logo on the exercise mats. This can create a professional look at your equipment. 

Our factory can customize more than just your mat’s size. We accept to personalize colors, layers, thickness, and other features. You name it, we do it. 

Final words

I hope the above guide has answered most of the important questions about commercial exercise mats. 

If something remains questionable, contact Yanre Fitness for professional assistance. 

Now that you have decided which type of mat to order, let Yanre take care of your order. We have a fully dedicated sales team at your disposal. Let’s equip your gym right now!