Ommm: Many of the tested yoga mats were rated as "good" by Stiftung Warentest
Photo: Sus Pons / Westend61 / IMAGO
Be more mobile and flexible - and finally get rid of the pain in your right shoulder?
If yoga and gymnastics are also high on your list of New Year's resolutions, we have good news: you don't need to break the bank for a comfortable surface for floor sports.
Stiftung Warentest has examined eight yoga mats and eight gymnastics mats - and reveals which ones might be right for you.
Yoga is about the connection of body, mind and soul.
Nice side effects: those who regularly practice downward-facing dog, warrior or cobra strengthen muscles, prevent stress and improve sleep.
Aerobics, Pilates, spinal or pelvic floor exercises also help to improve fitness.
What connects both sports: exercises on the sports mat that often seem breakneck.
What you should consider when buying
In order to be able to practice yoga well, the mats should be thin and the material should be non-slip and tear-resistant.
Cushioning is also important to support the body and protect the joints.
For the right size, the professional testers recommend a model that is at least shoulder-width and body-length.
Would you rather try planks, burpees and other fitness exercises?
Exercise mats can be a little thicker, but they must also absorb well.
If you want to throw in a quick round of yoga or gymnastics on the go, you should make sure that the mat is light, handy and easy to transport.
Not all mats come with a carry bag or grab strap.
The test winners – and the losers
Almost all of the tested yoga mats were found to be good.
However, with an overall rating of 2.1, the underlay made of natural rubber by JadeYoga did best.
According to the professional testers, it was "particularly non-slip and dimensionally stable even with intensive use" (price: 90 euros).
The only drawback: the intense smell of rubber, which had not disappeared even after the end of the test period.
The yoga mats from Amazon and Decathlon were convincing with their price-performance ratio: both cost only 30 euros each and were rated with an overall grade of 2.2.
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When it came to gymnastics mats, the professional testers voted the Alex Air-Pro from Galeria the test winner (overall rating: 2.2).
It costs 50 euros and, at 1.7 centimeters, is the thickest mat among the test objects.
It offers particularly strong cushioning and supports the human body best in comparison, according to the Stiftung Warentest.
This is followed by the Airex Fitline 180 for 70 euros with an overall rating of 2.3.
The other six gymnastics mats were not all convincing: the professional testers attested four mats a satisfactory performance, two a poor one.
The reason for the bad ratings: the experts found harmful substances in too high concentrations in many, for example the plasticizer DEHP.
According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, it impairs fertility and can harm the unborn child of pregnant women.