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Is it possible to use a yoga mat as a treadmill mat with good results? Will doing this have any negative effects on your treadmill of floor? Here we’ll go through the pros and cons of using a yoga mat and if it’s better to get a treadmill mat for your situation.
Yoga mats are usually too small to cover the floor under a treadmill. If large enough, a yoga mat will be as effective as a treadmill mat at keeping dust out of the treadmill and protecting the floor but, a treadmill mat will dampen more noise, be more stable, durable and reduce treadmill movement.
So while you can use a yoga mat for your treadmill, it’s usually not optimal and it doesn’t fit in the first place. Let’s get into what the exact differences between the two types of mat are and what’s best for your situation.
- Your treadmill won’t be damaged by placing it on a yoga mat.
- Yoga mats are softer and less durable than proper treadmill mats. This means a slightly less stable base and quick wear on the yoga mat.
- Yoga mats are usually too small to use as a mat under a treadmill. The ideal mat size should extend about 3 inches on all sides of the treadmill to provide sufficient coverage and stability.
- While the standard size of a yoga mat is 2 feet wide and 6 feet long, they are generally narrower than treadmills. Most treadmills are about 3 feet wide, requiring a mat that is at least 10 inches wider than a standard yoga mat. 6 feet is often too short as well.
- Choosing a dedicated rubber treadmill mat will yield better long-term results. Rubber mats last very long, dampen more noise, and can handle higher loads and impacts.
What Is a Treadmill Mat For?
To know if we can use a yoga mat, we first have to know what you should expect from a treadmill mat.
There are a few very good reasons why almost any treadmill needs a mat under it;
- Protecting your flooring
- Preventing dust and dirt from getting into the treadmill
- Preventing the treadmill from sliding around
- Reducing noise and vibrations
- Easy to clean
- Providing a stable base
Even if you’re just looking for one or two of those benefits, it’s a good idea to put a mat under your treadmill.
Besides the reasons you want a mat under your treadmill listed above, treadmill mats tend to have the following characteristics;
- Thickness: Treadmill mats are usually around 3/16″-1/4″ thick but can be as thick as 3/4”
- Looks: Because it’s something pretty large, a treadmill mat has to look good in the room. A good treadmill mat will look pretty slick and not draw attention to itself.
- Material: Treadmill mats are made of either PVC or rubber.
- Weight: Treadmill mats are quite heavy and not easy to move around.
- Size: Treadmill mats are obviously made large enough to put a treadmill on.
- Pliability: Treadmill mats deform very little under the weight of the treadmill.
Now let’s look at what a yoga mat is/does and how it compares to a treadmill mat.
Yoga Mat: Versatile and Comfortable
Yoga mats are designed with specific characteristics to cater to the needs of yoga practitioners. They come in various materials such as PVC, rubber, EVA foam, and TPE. While natural materials like jute, cotton, hemp, and cork are also available, we’ll focus on the commonly used PVC, foam, and rubber mats. Here’s what you can expect from a yoga mat:
- Feel: Yoga mats provide a pleasant tactile experience as they are constantly in contact with your body during exercises.
- Thickness: Standard yoga mats are usually 1/8″ thick, but they can range from 1/16″ to 1/4″, offering different levels of cushioning.
- Grip: A yoga mat should provide excellent grip, even when you’re sweaty, to ensure stability during yoga poses and exercises.
- Breathability: Yoga mats allow for breathability, ensuring air circulation and preventing excessive heat buildup.
- Skin Contact Safety: High-quality yoga mats are free from harmful chemicals that could leach into your skin during prolonged use.
- Comfort: Since yoga sessions involve spending a significant amount of time on the mat, it should provide sufficient comfort and support.
- Flexibility and Weight: Yoga mats are designed for portability and ease of use during yoga classes, making them lightweight and flexible.
- Easy to Clean: Given the perspiration that occurs during yoga, a yoga mat should be easy to clean to maintain hygiene.
While yoga mats excel in their intended use, they may not possess all the characteristics required for an ideal treadmill mat. Let’s dig deeper to understand the differences.
“Discover the unique qualities of both yoga mats and treadmill mats and find the perfect balance for your exercise equipment.”
The Benefits of a Treadmill Mat: How Does a Yoga Mat Compare?
When considering whether a yoga mat can serve as a suitable substitute for a treadmill mat, it’s essential to understand the specific benefits that a treadmill mat provides. Let’s explore these benefits and see how well a yoga mat performs in each area:
- Protecting Your Flooring: Both yoga mats and treadmill mats act as a protective layer between the treadmill and your floor. A yoga mat can do a reasonably good job in this aspect by providing a soft barrier that prevents damage to your flooring.
- Preventing Dust and Dirt: Yoga mats are equally effective in preventing dust and dirt from getting into the treadmill, keeping it clean and free from debris.
- Preventing Sliding and Movement: While yoga mats offer some grip, a rubber treadmill mat provides better traction and stability, minimizing the chances of your treadmill sliding or shifting during intense workouts.
- Reducing Noise and Vibrations: Yoga mats excel in absorbing noise and vibrations due to their soft composition. However, they are generally thinner than treadmill mats, which limits their ability to dampen vibrations effectively. Over time, the compression of a yoga mat under the weight of a treadmill can further reduce its damping capabilities.
- Easy to Clean: Both yoga mats and treadmill mats are equally easy to clean, ensuring hassle-free maintenance.
While a yoga mat can provide satisfactory performance in protecting your floor, preventing dust, and ease of cleaning, it falls slightly short in reducing noise and vibrations, providing a stable base, and preventing movement. For these aspects, a dedicated treadmill mat designed with harder rubber or PVC tends to outperform a yoga mat.
“While a yoga mat can work in a pinch, investing in a high-quality treadmill mat will offer superior performance and ensure an optimal workout experience.”
Considering the aforementioned differences, if you haven’t purchased either mat yet, it’s advisable to opt for a dedicated treadmill mat to fully maximize the benefits. However, if you already own a yoga mat and need a temporary solution, it can serve the purpose until you can upgrade to a treadmill mat. Ultimately, the decision depends on your priorities and preferences.
Pros and Cons of Using a Yoga Mat Under a Treadmill
|Pros of Using a Yoga Mat||Cons of Using a Yoga Mat|
|Cost-effective||Reduced Noise and Vibration Damping|
|Floor Protection||Stability and Grip|
|Dust and Dirt Prevention||Durability and Longevity|
|Portability and Easy Cleaning||Yoga Mats Are Too Small To Fit Most Treadmills|
|Pros of Using a Real Treadmill Mat||Cons of Using a Real Treadmill Mat|
|Superior Noise and Vibration Damping||Higher Cost|
|Enhanced Stability and Grip||Less Portability|
|Increased Durability and Longevity||Heavier Weight|
|Customized Fit and Size|
|Easy To Clean|
Pros of Using a Yoga Mat:
- Cost-effective: Yoga mats are generally more affordable than dedicated treadmill mats, making them a budget-friendly option for providing some level of protection and stability.
- Floor Protection: Both yoga mats and treadmill mats offer floor protection by preventing scratches, scuffs, and damage to your flooring.
- Dust and Dirt Prevention: Both types of mats help to minimize the accumulation of dust and dirt inside the treadmill, keeping it cleaner and potentially prolonging its lifespan.
- Portability and Easy Cleaning: Yoga mats are lightweight and easy to transport, making them convenient for use in different locations. However, if there is a treadmill on top, that’s pointless anyways. They are also easy to clean and maintain.
Cons of Using a Yoga Mat:
- Reduced Noise and Vibration Damping: Yoga mats are generally thinner and less effective in absorbing noise and vibrations compared to dedicated treadmill mats. This may result in increased noise levels and less effective vibration reduction.
- Stability and Grip: Treadmill mats are specifically designed to provide stability and grip, ensuring that the treadmill stays securely in place during use. Yoga mats may offer less stability and grip, potentially causing slight movement or slippage.
- Durability and Longevity: Yoga mats are not engineered to withstand the constant weight and movement of a treadmill over an extended period. They compress or wear out faster, leading to reduced durability compared to dedicated treadmill mats.
- Customized Fit and Size: Treadmill mats are designed to perfectly fit the dimensions of the treadmill, offering full coverage and stability. Yoga mats, on the other hand, don’t provide the same level of coverage or match the size requirements of the treadmill.
In summary, using a yoga mat under your treadmill can offer some cost-effective floor protection, dust prevention, portability, and convenience.
However, it may lack the same level of noise and vibration damping, stability, grip, durability, and customized fit provided by a dedicated treadmill mat. If your treadmill doesn’t actually fit on the mat, what’s the point?
Yoga mat size vs. treadmill size
Besides the things named above, there’s also the size of the mats. Is a yoga mat big enough to use under a treadmill? First, let’s look at how big a mat under your treadmill should be;
You want the mat to stick out about 3” on all sides of the treadmill.
Part of the reason for that is that this creates a reasonably sized pad to absorb vibrations and pressure. It’s also useful for if the treadmill ‘walks’ a little. Having 3” of room on all sides means you’ll probably see it moving in time. You don’t want one leg to fall off the mat on one side. Of course a good mat should be grippy enough to prevent this.
So the outside dimensions of the treadmill aren’t as important as how far the feet are apart. It’s much easier to Google your treadmills dimensions than measure how far the feet are apart although both aren’t very difficult.
Frankly, it just looks better if the mat sticks out around the outside of the treadmill. If the mat covers the feet but not the full size of the treadmill, it looks like an elephant standing on a little step stool; funny but not very aesthetic. On most treadmills the feet are close to the corners anyways.
Now if you know how big your treadmill is, you can figure out which size mat you need. Just add 6” to the width and 6” to the length of your treadmill.
I’ve written a whole post about how big the average home treadmill is here.
The average size of a home treadmill is; 33.9” (w) x 75” (l) x 57.9” (h).https://homegymresource.com/how-big-is-a-home-treadmill-how-much-floorspace-do-you-need/
So if we add about 6” to every side of the average treadmill size, we can see that the average treadmill needs a mat that measures 39.9” by 81”
But of course not every treadmill is the same size so it’s worth to check for your model.
Not every yoga mat is the same size either although they’re much closer than treadmills. The standard size of a yoga mat is 2’ wide and 6’ long. The length varies between mats. Most yoga mats are between 68” and 74” long. The width is almost always 2’/24”/61cm.
So we can see a problem here already, standard yoga mats aren’t wide enough. Pretty much all treadmills are wider than 2’ otherwise nobody would actually be able to run on them. An average treadmill is about 3’ wide and you want the mat to be about 10” wider than that.
Ok, so what about using 2 yoga mats next to each other? That would give 4’ of width which will absolutely work. However, then we still have to look at the length. 74” long yoga mats will work with many smaller treadmills or if the feet are a little inside from the corners. On most treadmills you’ll be able to make this work. Some of the large ones will need a longer mat though.
So if you have one yoga mat, it’s likely not large enough to put a treadmill on. And if you have to buy another one, why not just get a treadmill mat? Compared to the price of a treadmill, the mat is a small extra.
Using a Yoga Mat for Other Exercise Equipment
Now, let’s shift our focus to other exercise equipment. While treadmills have their specialized mats, what about using a yoga mat for other types of workout equipment? Let’s uncover the potential suitability of yoga mats for alternative exercise machines.
Here’s a little secret: Most treadmill mats are essentially gym flooring designed in a different size. This means that the differences between yoga mats and treadmill mats are also applicable to mats used for other exercise equipment. However, it’s important to note that certain considerations, such as noise reduction and movement limitation, are often less critical when it comes to other workout machines. As a result, a yoga mat could potentially be a more favorable option for these alternative exercise equipment.
If you haven’t made any equipment purchases yet and are considering the mat options, I recommend opting for rubber gym flooring. Not only does rubber gym flooring tend to have better durability, but it also offers an enhanced aesthetic appeal. Additionally, rubber flooring is designed to cater to a wide range of exercise equipment, ensuring optimal performance and functionality.
By choosing rubber gym flooring, you can benefit from its longevity, visual appeal, and overall superior performance compared to using a yoga mat. It’s a wise investment that will serve you well in the long run. Yoga mats are just not made for placing heavy equipment on top.
Remember, while a yoga mat can still be suitable for other exercise machines, selecting rubber gym flooring specifically designed for this purpose will offer the best overall experience.
Can I use a yoga mat as a mat under my exercise bike?
Yes, using a yoga mat under your exercise bike can provide several benefits. It helps protect your floor from scratches and scuffs caused by the bike’s movement, reduces noise and vibrations, and adds stability. However, keep in mind that yoga mats are typically thinner than dedicated exercise bike mats, so they may offer less cushioning. If you prefer a thicker and more cushioned mat, consider purchasing a specialized exercise bike mat for optimal performance.
Will using a yoga mat under my treadmill cause any damage?
In general, a yoga mat should not damage your treadmill. Yoga mats are designed to provide a soft and protective surface. They help prevent scratches and scuffs on your floor, absorb vibrations, and reduce noise. However, since yoga mats are thinner than dedicated treadmill mats, they may compress over time, potentially affecting their ability to absorb vibrations effectively. For maximum protection and stability, it is recommended to use a dedicated treadmill mat specifically designed for heavy equipment.
How Do I Prevent My Treadmill from Sliding on the Floor?
1. Use a non-slip treadmill mat or rubber mat underneath the treadmill to provide traction and grip.
2. Ensure the floor surface is clean and free from dust, dirt, or moisture that can contribute to slipping.
3. Adjust the leveling feet of the treadmill to ensure stability and even weight distribution.
4. Regularly check and tighten any loose bolts or screws that can affect stability.