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7 Yoga And Exercise Mats To Take Your Home Workouts To The Next Level

18th December 2020

18th December 2020

By Shivraj Bassi

Your living room might not look anything like your favourite yoga studio, but in lockdown, we have to make the best of what we have. 

When gyms and studios are closed, it’s more important than ever to keep up your exercise regime to ensure that your mind and body stays healthy and happy. 

Whether you use a workout mat to practise your vinyasa flow or as a low-impact surface for sit ups, having a good mat can be the difference between smashing your next personal best or lying on the sofa watching Netflix. 

Mats play an important role in exercising. The soft, grippy surface protects your joints, keeps you stable and steady and most importantly of all, means you don’t have to stare at the carpet you forgot to vacuum this week when you’re perfecting your burpee technique. 

The best yoga mat for you will depend on your body, needs and preferences. Do you need something with extra grip? Are you likely to be carrying the mat to the park for a change of scenery? Do you like smooth or textured surfaces?

At Innermost we’re experts on the best kind of exercise mat for your needs, and we’ve sourced some great options for every preference and budget. 

It’s time to give your home gym a makeover. 

Best all-rounder yoga mat

Sweaty Betty Super Grip Yoga Mat


This bestseller sold out during the first lockdown of 2020, which goes some way to demonstrate just how popular it is. Made of natural latex, it’s soft, lightweight and very, very grippy. It’s easy to store as well as being easy on the eyes. 

Dimensions: 183cm x 62cm wide, 4mm thick.

Most affordable yoga mat

Viavito Leviato 6mm Yoga Mat With Carry Strap

If you’re a beginner yogi, on a budget or just want something that will get the job done without being too expensive, this mat is a great choice. It comes in six colours, is 6mm thick so feels pleasantly cushioned and has grip that will hold you securely in downward dog. 

Dimensions: 183cm x 61cm wide, 6mm thick.

Best personalised yoga mat

Personalised Yoga Mat Rainbow Design With Funky Font Initials

Are you the kind of athlete who lives for their Instagram posts? Give your followers something new to talk about with this personalised pastel mat. It’s high quality and completely customisable. One for people who like to lead, not follow. 

Dimensions: 63 cm x 180 cm, 4mm thick

Best exercise mat for grip

Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga

Always find yourself slipping during your workout? This mat is designed to be exceptionally grippy, which is especially useful for hot yoga or HIIT workouts. The alignment printed on the mat is also useful for keeping your form top notch. 

Dimensions: 180 cm x 66 cm, 4 mm thick

Most lightweight yoga mat

Carry Onwards Mat

While no-one is doing much travelling right now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to take your yoga mat to the park for a workout with a change of scenery, or that you won’t want to travel with it in the future. Ultra-portable, it folds up to an unobtrusive square. 

Dimensions: 66cm x 180cm wide, 2mm thick. 

Best eco-friendly yoga mat

B MAT 4mm Everyday Ocean Green

Made with 100% eco-friendly rubber, this mat is both non-toxic and slip-resistant. This mat lets you feel both secure and sustainable. 

Dimensions: 180 cm x 66 cm, 4mm thick

Most comfortable exercise mat

Light Gentle Yoga Mat Club 5mm - Coral

For gentle souls, this soft and supportive mat is a comfortable way to get your workout in. Especially effective for gentle yoga practises, it’s also useful if you’re working your way through injuries. 

Dimensions: 185cm x 61cm wide, 5mm thick.

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This Is How Sleep Helps You Recover From Exercise And Injury
We’ve all been there. You go for a hard workout, pushing yourself as far as you can and … by the end your reward is a new personal best and a series of aching muscles (or worse an injury). In these scenarios, it can feel frustrating. After such an exercise high, the first thing you want to do is to beat your record again and yet you’re now stuck with the muscle pain wondering how long it will take to heal. The fact is that regardless of an individual’s workout experience, sport recovery is fundamental to muscle repair. While there are many ways to speed up the recovery process like taking our Innermost Recover Capsules or slowly rebuilding the muscles through light walks, most of us frequently neglect the most important form of recovery which is adequate sleep. While one-night of low sleep alone won’t impact long-term recovery, figures show that 77% of adults are not sleeping the recommended 8 hours a day and as many as 18% sleep less than 6 hours. As we’ve previously written about the benefits that exercise can have on sleep, we feel its only fair to highlight the importance that sleep has on workout recovery. Why is sleep so important in recovery? As frustrating as it can be, it’s nigh-on impossible to quickly recover from muscle pain and continue to smash those PBs without adequate rest. While getting a good amount of sleep can seem like a small afterthought (perhaps even a luxury) when we have to fit it around our busy lives, a decent night’s rest is where the body is best at recovering the soft and neural tissues after an intense workout. But just why is that? How is it your body heals faster during sleep and what is the science behind it?    Increased Blood flow Interestingly, this occurs during Non-Rem Stage 3 of the sleep cycle in which the body is in the deepest part of sleep. During this stage the body priorities the repairing and regrowth of body tissue, as well as building bone and muscle (sounds like a good exercise-recovery plan to me). While it might seem like it should be the opposite, the faster recovery can largely be attributed to the increased blood flow and therefore greater flow of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged muscles during this sleep stage. Recovery Hormones A well-rested sleep - in line with the internal body clock - also plays a part in the production and regulation of several hormones that stimulate muscle recovery. During the deep stages of Non-REM sleep for instance the pituitary gland aids in the repairing of muscles through the release of growth hormones. Evidence also shows that a well-rested night contributes to improved performance and pain sensitivity as the hormone prolactin – released during this process – regulates muscle inflammation and allows the body to heal itself effectively. Faster reflex times Another perhaps overlooked benefit of sleep on an individual’s recovery are the improvements to cognitive response it can bring during the muscle rehabilitation process. A faster reflex time is a good example of this. In truth, during a light workout after injury the last thing you want to do is put unwanted pressure on a muscle. An improved reflex time allows an individual to react faster and with clearer judgment to any potential hazards and avoiding a recovery setback through injury inflammation. Improved Mental Wellbeing We know we’ve mentioned this before, but a key benefit of exercise is the positive impact it can have on mental wellbeing – thanks to our good endorphin friends serotonin and dopamine. That’s just another reason why recovering from any injury can be a tough challenge; you lose the elation of a phenomenon like runners high and suddenly, your mood can begin to dip. Getting into the routine of a good night’s sleep can actually contribute to improved mental clarity and wellness. This is because the brain’s ability to process positive emotional information is improved during REM - which occurs more frequently from longer sleep. How to get the best possible sleep While it’s true that a deep sleep is really important to recovering from injury, all this means nothing if you’re tossing and turning all night. To this end, there are a few changes surrounding sleep conditions that can vastly improve an individual’s quality of sleep. Sleeping Comfort The idea of comfort being tied to good sleep, who would have guessed? But you’d be surprised how often we take comfort for granted, especially during period of muscle fatigue or after an injury. While the Mayo Clinic recommends sleeping on your side to improve airway clearance, you should try and sleep in a position that best accommodates the muscle injury – the last thing anyone wants to do is to strain the muscle further during a night’s sleep. If you’re not sure on the best position to not further aggravate an injury, consider seeking advise from your doctor or a medical professional. It’s also a good idea to try and invest in a quality mattress that offers healthy pressure relief on injury pain points to better optimise sleep recovery.    Sleeping Environment Often times, the environment with which we sleep in can be just as important as the bed itself in getting a good night’s rest and repairing the muscles. We’d recommend trying to create a restful, cool, and dark environment away from any reminders of day stresses. This does also mean not using your phone before going to bed – something we’ve all definitely been guilty of – as the light from the screen can disrupt the production of the hormone melatonin and disrupt the sleep cycle. If you’re finding that you just can’t get good enough sleep, it can be a good idea to plan a sleep schedule each night based around how much rest you think you can get. This can also be tailored to the injury rehabilitation process to ultimately get the most out of sleep recovery. Essentially it’s about balance. Be kind, plan for the days you know you might have impacted sleep and try to avoid any rehabilitation exercises the next day.        How much sleep should I get? The key question here; how much sleep is the right amount to speed up muscle recovery? While it’s recommended that you should aim for at least 7 to 9 hours per night depending on age, the exact time, speed, and extent of muscle repair varies greatly from person to person. For a more definitive answer, we’d recommend contacting your local physiotherapist – or general practitioner – who can give advice more tailored towards your specific injury and rehabilitation requirements.    At the end of all this, we hope this this will help with any current or future muscle injuries you may have. While it might seem strange, the recovery stage of a workout is arguably as important as an individual’s diet and perhaps even the exercise itself. To this end, it can be a good idea to think of the recovery as another stage of the workout process and sleep as the unexplored treasure that will help you smash the next PB.   Interested to learn more about workout recovery? Wondering on the best ways to fuel your next workout? Perhaps you have some amazing and inspired ideas to share? Don’t hesitate to message us over on our Instagram @liveinnermost. Read more
The 4 Steps To Take Immediately After A Workout To Aid Recovery