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How Do I Choose the Best Therapy Mats?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 17, 2024
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The first decision you will need to make when choosing among the many available therapy mats is where you intend to use them. If you are buying the therapy mats for home use, it is a good idea to measure the space in which you will most often use them to figure out the best size. You may also want to consider buying folding mats that can be stored easily when not in use, especially if you will be using the mats in a part of the home that is commonly used as a living space.

If you are buying therapy mats for a business, you will need to consider size, shape, cost, usability, and durability. Mats used in a business or medical setting are likely to get far more use than mats used at home, so they should be exceptionally durable and resilient. Make sure to choose waterproof mats as well, as sweat and water may end up coming in contact with the therapy mats during a session. If the mats will be placed in one location and not moved, you do not necessarily need to buy folding mats. Instead, you may choose to buy a therapy mat table, which is elevated off the ground to help the physical therapist aid patients more easily.

Sometimes therapy mats are not simply flat pads. Instead, they may come in various shapes that can accommodate a variety of physical therapy needs. An incline mat, for example, is shaped like a large wedge and can be used for various exercises or activities that a flat mat cannot accommodate. The height of the wedge can vary, thereby making each different mat suitable for various activities or body sizes. Cylindrical mats are also available to act as head support or as a lift for various exercises and activities.

Shock absorption is another key element of all therapy mats. It is important to be sure that the mats will be suitable for the types of activities that will be done on them. If patients will simply be lying or sitting on the mats, a thinner mat with less cushioning may be appropriate. If, however, various types of exercises and stretches will be done on the mat, thicker therapy mats with more cushioning ability will probably be more suitable not only for comfort, but also for safety. Remember, however, that thicker mats can be more difficult to stand on, so if a lot of standing exercises will be done on the mats, a thinner version may be best.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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