Gyms and fitness centers have the luxury of space: they do not need to worry about storing equipment, because the equipment is always out and ready for use. When using gym equipment in the home, storage can often become a hassle when the equipment is not in use, so good home gym mats are lightweight, easily stored, and easily maintained. Home gym mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as materials, so before choosing which home gym mats are right for you, it is important to decide what exercises you will be doing the most and how the home gym mats will be used.
Some home gym mats are extremely lightweight and portable, and are intended for use by only one person. For many exercises — especially stretching exercises — a simple yoga mat works just fine. If you will be using the mat for stretching exercises or exercises that do not require a great deal of room, a yoga mat or even a sleeping pad for camping works great. These are usually made from closed cell foam, which is lightweight and easily rolled up for storage. Yoga mats are generally made of thin rubber, and they can be rolled up even smaller than camping mats.
For exercises that require a larger footprint, other options are available. Soft mats with foam in the center and a vinyl cover wrapped around it are ideal for exercises that require the user to spend a significant amount of time on the ground. Wrestling mats work well for this application, as they are soft enough to absorb a blow but thick enough to prevent the user from compressing the foam all the way to the ground. The vinyl cover is easy to clean should sweat drip onto them.
If weight training is your specialty, heavier duty rubber mats may be the best choice. These mats are heavier than other types of home gym mats, and they will more than likely stay in one place in the home. They can be rolled up if they need to be stored, though they can be a bit cumbersome to move. These mats are ideal because they provide sufficient cushioning on the feet when the body is burdened with extra weight, and they can absorb some of the energy from a weight that is accidentally dropped. This may mean the difference between a broken dumbbell and one that remains undamaged.