When you’re putting together the pain cave, the turbo trainer mat is probably the last thing you thought about.
That’s what the carpet is for, right?
The mat is the interface between your trainer, you, the bike, and all the sweat that is coming off you during that Zwift session. Oh, and they also protect hard floors from dents and vibrations.
So we’ve put together the best ones in terms of value and protectiveness. Whatever your cycling surfaces. And there is a buying guide below if you want to get your own.
But if you just want to get to the pick of the best trainer mats, we’d suggest the Pedal Pro Shock Resistance Mat for value and performance.
The Best Turbo Trainer Mats
The Best of the Rest
Best Value Mat – PedalPro Shock Resistant Trainer Floor Mat
Size: 180cm – Width: 70cm – Thickness: 0.6cm
Sometimes you just want something to do the job. If that is you, then this is what you want. The Pedal Pro comes in a decent size and is over half a centimeter thick.
Sure, it’s not the biggest trainer mat here (it’s close though) but it will stop vibrations on the ground and there is enough of it to pick up your sweat. It can be rolled up for storage. And it’s good value.
- Good size and thickness
- PVC – so waterproof.
- Lacks the branding
Best by Big Brand – Wahoo KICKR Trainer Mat
Size: 198.1 x 91.4 x 0.6 centimetres
The Wahoo Kickr Trainer mat is the most expensive one here. But you get a fair amount of your money.
If you have space then this mat is the biggest one going. You will appreciate that if you see it laid out. There’s something nice about having a bit of space around the bike and it catches sweat so your floor doesn’t.
There is some similarity to the PedalPro mat. They are largely of the same material and similar thickness. But the Wahoo is bigger. On the downside, though you have to put up with the branding, and if you don’t have one of the trainers that might be an issue.
- Good size – so it catches sweat.
- Thick – minimizes vibrations
- PVC – so waterproof/sweatproof.
- The branding i- a bit of a put-off. Especially if you don’t have a Wahoo trainer.
Best for Storage – Tacx Folding Training Mat
Size: 172cm – Width: 73cm – Thickness: 0.5cm
Ok, first off. This is one of the smaller mats on the list. But this one has a secret weapon. It is made up of several layers that work together for a better ride feel and protection.
The top layers is designed to absorb moisture while the bottom ones are designed to stop this from reaching your carpet/ flooring.
It also has a nice feature storage-wise. The mat folds up as opposed to rolling, as many of the others do here. It is a small thing, but sometimes rolling up can take more time.
- Foldable – so it stores easily.
- Composite materials – absorbs moisture without it hitting the floor.
- Slightly smaller.
Thickest Mat – Kinetic by Kurt Floor Mat
Size: 181cm – Width: 81cm – Thickness: 1cm
If you are looking for a large mat for a massive pain cave – this is it. It is only slightly smaller than the Wahoo one. It uses a similar material design to the Tacx, absorbing moisture on the top and while stopping it from getting to the floor.
It is also the thickest here. So it will absorb any vibration – especially if you are riding on a hard floor. However, it does feel a little ‘deep’ when you step on it. Mind you, some like that.
Overall, a decent mat and slightly cheaper than the others. However, stock isn’t always easy to come by.
- Thickness – for harder floors
- Size – it’ll catch everything that comes off you
- Hard to get hold of.
Best Multi-Purpose Mat – York Fitness Mat
Size: 182cm – Width: 76cm – Thickness: 0.5cm
Well, this is the only one here that is multi-purpose, ie designed for other types of gym equipment. Ok, it’s not made by a recognized trainer brand but this is about size and material. Turbo trainers might be heavy but so are rowing machines.
This mat comes in a decent size. It is designed to stay in one place and keep the sweat off your floor. The only downside is that some people have reported that it sheds bits on the underside – so you might have to get the hoover out.
- Cost-effective – not bad for the price.
- Decent size- it’ll catch everything that comes off you
- Questions over durability
What To Look For In A Bike Trainer Floor Mat
There are two main reasons to buy a mat.
First off, the vibrations. The sounds these create can be quite unpleasant – especially if you are in a flat or have a hard floor. Floorboards can especially take a hammering.
Second, the sweat. We lose tons of salty liquid, not to mention sloppy energy drink. Thanks to gravity we know where it’s going to head. So let the mat take the brunt of it.
Last word – cost. Don’t spend to much on this. Just get one with a decent amount of thickness and is waterproof. Everything else is extra – depending on what you need.
Noise reduction and dampening vibration
Well, this really depends on what surface your dedicated turbo trainer is sitting on. But, especially if you are using a smart trainer, the chances are it is going to be pretty heavy.
Additionally, if you are riding on Zwift or Trainerroad, you will be putting a lot of power into that back wheel.
So if you are on a hard surface floor, like floorboards or even concrete, the job of a bike trainer mat is to disperse sound and vibrations coming through the legs of the trainer.
This is going to be achieved in a couple of ways. First, the type of material that is being used, and secondly it is how thick it is.
Many of these trainers reviewed here have a similar thickness. But this is worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of using something like a yoga mat to noise reduction and dampening vibration.
Lastly, remember that you are peddling around 80 to 90 rpm on average on Zwift. Whatever the resistance is in the trainer will transfer that power through the turbo trainer’s legs.
Sweat comes out of the body keep it off of the floor
Face it, the body is designed to remove heat in the form of that salty liquid that appears in your skin. Even with the best fan for indoor cycling this will collect and fall downwards.
First off it’s important to keep it off your bike. The salt can cause big damage especially to areas that use bearings such as the bottom bracket or the headset.
A lot of it will fall on the floor. And you really do not want on your carpet. So protect the floor from sweat.
Good bike trainer mats will be designed to absorb or deflect that liquid as it evaporates. In most cases, a decent turbo trainer mat will be made from rubber or PVC.
Some include multiple layers, so it soaks in but it doesn’t sit on the surface. The rationale for this is that you will not have stinking sweat on your mat. This is probably good if you’re temporarily using a room in the house.
Lastly, although not strictly related to the material, try to pick a spin bike mat that has a non-slip pattern on it.
Make Sure it’s Big Enough for You, the Bike, and the Trainer
Size matters as they say. It’s not just about a base for the bike.
When it comes to buying a turbo trainer might consider how much space your setup takes. Many turbo trainers, especially the direct-drive models, use wide legs for stability.
Try getting something that is wider and deeper than the dimensions of the trainer and bike. It’s always good for getting on and off the bike. And again it also better collects all the sweat you lose.
One final thing, it’s nice to have a bit of space ranging around you – providing you have space to play with – it makes the setup feels more complete.
Trainer Mat Thickness
The thicker the exercise training mat, the more likely it is to protect your floor from sweat and unwanted sound and vibration.
The thickness of the exercise bike mat you should buy depends on the material. Generally, if it is around half a centimeter thick should be fine. Two thick and your kid will sink into it and it will feel like you are a rubber mattress.
Storage If You Need To Put It Away
Not everybody has the space to have a turbo trainer set out permanently. That is the case being able to store the night away is important.
Generally speaking, exercise trainer mats come in three forms of storage.
Firstly there is the rolling variety. As you might think is just a case of rolling out like you were carpet the only issue with that is that you need something to keep it in that state.
Then there are folding mats. These are a little less common but they are incredibly easy to store if a little bit hard on the budget.
Last, there is the tiled version of a trainer Matt. Here it fits together like a jigsaw again this is not something we would go for. Although they make good night territory mass they take too long to set up by our reckoning.
So what’s the big deal? Bike trainer mats are surely just a case of a rubber sheet with some cushioning support.
Well, that’s not my case. But there are some alternatives that you can go for. Speaking personally I have actually used a yoga mat. But I was using a small Cycleops magnetic trainer. That mat and would not be suitable for the Tacx Neo I now use.
In addition, many people I know have used camping mats. But they simply don’t have the width you need – the mat just covers the length of your body so be prepared to spill some sweaty side.
I have also heard of people using kids’ play tiles. Action these aren’t too bad unless you have a problem with the colors that you get up. No one wants to cycle on something that is branded as Dora the Explorer.
Speaking personally, no pain cave is complete without a decent trainer mat. Once you get one, it creates a bubble or space around you and the bike.
The key is don’t overthink it. It’s just about the space you have available and the surface. If you have specific requirements like folding for storage – that is covered here. Otherwise, play it simple.