Is Lululemon’s New Workout Mat as Good as its Yoga Mats? We Tried It To Find Out

lululemon the workout mat | two image: one showing a woman exercising on a black lululemon workout mat. the other shows a lululemon workout mat in brier rose

Everything featured on The Nessie is independently selected and rigorously tested. We may receive a small commission on purchases made from some of our links. Also, The Nessie is part of the Ness Card ecosystem. Since you’re here, you’d probably be into it.

Not too long ago, I found myself doing something strange with my yoga mat. For one thing, I wasn’t doing yoga. I was actually taking a virtual combo HIIT/strength training class, and it required both sneakers and weights. I wanted to do the class properly, but I didn’t want to damage the mat. So I kept placing the weights just so off the corner of the mat, so they didn’t leave an impression on the surface, and prancing around the mat to get into various positions so my knees and palms might make contact with it but my workout shoes would not.

This, I assumed, was simply my own bizarre and isolated behavior. But now, based on the just-released Lululemon Workout Mat ($98)—a mat meant for high-intensity workouts, shoes and all—it seems that there may be at least dozens of us. Lululemon sent one over for testing, and I gave it a try by putting it through several rounds of at-home HIIT, strength, and cardio classes. 

The TL;DR: It’s pretty good! What it lacks in the sleekness of a classic yoga mat, it more than makes up for in ruggedness and grit.

What Is The Lululemon Workout Mat?

lululemon the workout mat | woman holding black lululemon workout mat

The Lululemon Workout Mat is a mat intended for—you guessed it—working out. But not the yoga kind of working out. Sweaty, high-impact, Spotify-Beast-Mode-playlist-blasting workouts. With a grippy, 6mm PVB (polyvinyl butyral, an alternative to PVC that’s easier to recycle) surface, it’s meant to provide support through jump squats, burpees, and maybe the occasional dropped dumbbell. This intention shows in its design, with a single Lululemon swoosh in the center surrounded by a forcefield of textured nibs. On the other side, it has a textured pattern that helps it grip tight to the floor. In practice, it feels like a cross between a regular yoga mat and one of those squishy mats that mostly seem to exist in hotel gyms. It has more give than the former and less plushness (and, it seems, a tendency to degrade) than the latter.

The Workout Mat comes in three colors: Black, Brier Rose (pink), and Blue Linen (blue).

What I Like About The Lululemon Workout Mat

lululemon the workout mat
Sara Hendricks / Lululemon

One plus I noticed immediately about the Workout Mat is its smell—or lack thereof. Many new yoga mats carry an odiferous scent out of the box; something akin to a rubber basketball left to bake outside in Death Valley on the summer equinox. The Workout Mat had the slightest rubbery smell when I took it out of its box., but it dissipated within 20 minutes of setting it on the ground. It was also ready to use right away. Despite having been tightly rolled up, I was able to lay it almost entirely flat, with one edge slightly curled up on the end. (This would have been serviceable, but I set two 10-pound dumbbells on the raised part, and after an hour or two, it flattened out.)

Then: The actual workout. Stepping on the mat with my shoes on felt weird and unnatural, considering how accustomed I was to doing everything I could to not step on my mat before. But when I did, the surface felt great—lots of give without being overly plush. No, I couldn’t tell if the surface was actually supporting my “lateral movement patterns typical of dynamic workouts,” as Lululemon claims. But it held up during the five or so sessions of HIIT, weightlifting, and cardio I put it through.

The material itself feels hardy, and once I got into my rhythm, I didn’t second-guess jumping all over it or laying dumbbells (and my full body weight) on its surface for exercises like renegade rows. Just to be sure that the surface was actually as strong as it seemed, I laid a Bowflex adjustable kettlebell, set to its highest 40-pound weight, on its surface overnight. In the morning, I saw a dent, but it faded over the course of the day. 

Finally, the material itself is also—and I don’t say this lightly—a game changer. Like any person with sweat glands, I often start to drip during vigorous workout sessions. This moisture then ends up on the mat, causing me to slip when I’m in a plank or pike position. This wasn’t an issue for me with the Workout Mat, though I didn’t sweat any less than usual. In addition to the nibs that create traction on the skin, the material itself is a little tacky, which helps provide even more traction. No matter how sweaty I was, workouts felt stable.

What I Don’t Like About The Lululemon Workout Mat

If you have one workout-type mat, even if it’s ostensibly intended for yoga alone, do you really need another? I’m not so sure. For my needs—or, more precisely, my limited space—I’d probably have to pick one.

The Workout Mat, as great as it is for working out—I don’t know how useful it is for yoga. Would it kill in a heated CorePower Yoga Sculpt class? Almost certainly. But when I tried it for a quick vinyasa flow in my living room, the raised, textured parts just got in the way. Of course, Lululemon does not claim that the Workout Mat is great for yoga. But if you’re a casual home fitness practitioner who lives in, say, a studio apartment, and you don’t have the space, money, or desire to invest in different mats for your different activities, it’s something to consider.

The texture could also be problematic when it comes to keeping the mat tidy. Its closed-cell material doesn’t absorb moisture (or dirt). Instead, everything sits on top, making it easy enough to swipe off with a washcloth and a little bit of mat cleaner spray. But because the PVB is sticky, it seems to attract everything that might be floating around it—dust, lint, and, I can only imagine, pet hair. I can also see grime getting embedded in its crevices, too, if you don’t clean it after every session. In other words, the Workout Mat is easy to clean. You just have to be willing to do it a lot. 

How Is the Workout Mat Different From Other Yoga Mats?

My main point of comparison for the Workout Mat was my trusty Reversible Mat (also from Lululemon). When compared to this mat, it’s the same length and width (26 inches wide and 71 inches long), but thicker—6mm against the Reversible’s 5mm—and heavier; about 6 pounds compared to the Reversible’s 5.24. The Reversible is also much smoother. Its surface provides the least amount of resistance possible, whereas the Workout Mat holds you tight. 

Also, the Reversible—and any other yoga-focused mat on Lulu’s site—comes in swirling, colorful patterns. The Workout Mat… does not. It doesn’t look bad, but it’s pure utilitarianism monochrome. I have to respect that, but your mileage may vary.

Should You Get The Lululemon Workout Mat?

lululemon the workout mat | two image: one showing a woman exercising on a black lululemon workout mat. the other shows a lululemon workout mat in brier rose

I spent a lot of time thinking about this, but I now realize it’s actually very simple. Do a lot of barefoot yoga classes? Stick with a regular yoga mat. Do a lot of cardio, strength, and HIIT classes, and love the novelty of wearing shoes on a workout mat? Go for the Workout Mat. (If you have an ample home gym and cash to spare, you must, of course, get both.)

Either way, the Workout Mat lives up to all its promises of being a truly functional home workout mat. If that sounds good to you, you won’t be disappointed. Neither will your gym shoes. 

Exploring the health and wellness world is better with a friend.

Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!

 

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
In this article
Articles you might like

Want more?

Subscribe to Nessie Sightings. Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!

The emails are free, the finds are priceless.

A dose of wellness for your inbox

Select

Ness will process your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

“This card is such an exciting addition to my wallet and it’s perfect for someone who values health and wellness but hasn’t found a credit card that rewards me for that. I love getting rewarded for wellness practices like sleeping, meditating, and moving my body—plus extra points on purchases at my favorite places like Whole Foods, ClassPass and sweetgreen. The app is easy to use and the card is designed for your definition of health and wellness, which I love. It’s flexible!”

Kira's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s no secret that wellness is such an important part of my everyday life. I spend a lot of money to help fuel my love of running, recovery, nutrition and mindfulness, so the fact that I can now earn rewards for every dollar I spend with the Ness Card is amazing. My health always comes first, and the Ness Card makes that easy to do. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Andi's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As a new mum, wellness and self-care is a priority for me—so I can, in turn, be able to take care of my baby. I love the incentives that Ness offers for making healthier choices. And to be rewarded along the way for those purchases is such a plus!

Oh, and getting 5x point rewards on my Erewhon $20+ smoothie makes it a little more justifiable.”

Amrit's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I made a promise to myself to find my joy again in 2023. For the past few years, I haven’t been taking care of myself mentally and physically because I’ve just been on the go and focusing on the future instead of being present. I realized that part of the reason I wasn’t happy was because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So, now with the Ness Card—which literally rewards you for staying on top of your wellness journey—I’ve easily been able to focus on my mental and physical journey. Using the card is now a part of my weekly routine, whether I’m buying groceries, going to therapy, spending a day at the spa, or treating myself to a delicious yummy meal.”

Candace's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love life with the Ness Card! The team behind the scenes work really hard to make it valuable and to create a sense of community, which you feel in every newsletter and hand-crafted partnership. The card itself encourages me to be even more curious about where I’m spending my money. It definitely incentivizes me to spend ‘healthier’, which is really unique. On top of that, getting points for taking more steps? There is seriously nothing like it.

David's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“My favorite thing about the Ness Card is that it rewards you for your healthy habits, and not all of them require spending. Yes, you can earn 5x points when you spend at any of their approved health and wellness merchants (think Erewhon and many of your other favorites) but you also earn points for being active daily! So now your sanity walks are literally paying off :) As someone who not only works in wellness but lives and breathes it, essentially most of my expenses live in that realm and with the Ness Card I can now be rewarded nicely for those purchases.”

Kirsty's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love that I have rewards to look forward to when I focus on my health and wellness. As a mom of two and full time photographer/creator, it’s hard to find time to prioritize my health and—as my body ages—I want to make sure that I’m treating it to all the TLC it needs (and deserves)! The Ness Card reminds me to take care of my mental, physical, and emotional health on the daily.”

Valerie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s refreshing to have a card app that is so easy to use. I can track my spending and rewards at the click of a button. I love getting a notification when I get extra points for getting a full night sleep or getting my steps in, though of course those are optional. I work a lot, and I feel like I get extra rewarded for taking the time to take care of myself – whether it’s therapy or simply cooking at home instead of dining out. The points accumulate really quickly, and I’ve already gotten a $1,000 credit at Erewhon in my first four months. I also go visit family in Europe a lot, and no one takes my card there, so it’s so convenient to be able to use my Ness Card without ever paying a fee.”

Mélanie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As someone who spends the majority of her money on wellness, the Ness Card is perfect for me! I love earning 5x points on purchases at healthy businesses that I was already making, anyways. The Ness Card also motivates me to get enough sleep, practice mindfulness and other healthy habits. The app is really user-friendly and I love watching my points add up. I am excited to redeem them for wellness-related items!”

Lauren's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card motivates me to keep up my healthy habits, and has helped me discover new brands and products that are in alignment with my goals. I’m not spending any more with my Ness Card, but the money I am spending on health and wellness is actually earning me rewards, benefits, and even cash back. And because Ness’s definition of a ‘healthy merchant’ is so generous, I’m able to recognize all of the small ways I practice self-care throughout the week. From buying fresh veggies to going to therapy to taking my supplements, the Ness Card is there to cheer me on: ‘Keep being healthy, girl. You deserve 5x points for that.'”

Melissa's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card rewards me when I spend money on health and wellness. Especially because so much of my wellness routine is spent being active, gardening, making food with my husband, getting a massage, or having some me time, it is nice to be rewarded for that with points that are with brands I shop at all the time anyway. It allows my wellness choices to work harder which I love.”

Research Based

This article was rigorously researched and fact checked. We use peer-reviewed journals and reputable medical sources (think: CDC, WHO, NIH, and the like) to back up every claim we make, and also reach out to experts in the field to ensure we’re covering things the right way. We apply these principles to everything we cover—including brands we partner with—and we’ll always disclose sponsorships, ads, and any kind of financial relationship with anything featured on The Nessie. You deserve the best, most straightforward information on health and wellness, and we think this is the right way to do it. You can read more about our testing and review process here.

If something doesn’t seem quite right, let us know at [email protected].