50 Ways to Reuse Your Yoga or Fitness Mat

Garage-band soundproofing, tree ornaments, crib mobiles, draft dodgers, workbench grippers ... We asked users to tell us about the resourceful, earth-conscious ways they reuse a yoga or fitness mat when it's time for a new one. Add your own ideas!

Comment on this article to add your own ideas!


  1. Tree ornaments -- just use holiday cookie cutters! – T.C., Arvada, CO

  2. Dog & cat dishes stay put. Cut to size required. – A. O., Trumbull, CT

  3. Donate to homeless shelters as sleeping pads. – R. N., Minneapolis, MN

  4. Use an exacto-knife to cut out shapes, letters, numbers, etc. Perfect for little fingers. – C. M., London, ON, Canada

  5. While taking my dog to the vet or groomer or just for a ride with the top down, her feet would scratch the leather going around curves. So I decided to take an old yoga mat and roll it out over the back seat of my car. Viola! She is comfy and can do her own version of Downward Dog without scratching my seats! – L. S., Powell, OH

  6. Drop off your old mat at an animal rescue shelter. Most of these places need soft, durable mats, rugs, towels, & blankets to line crates. The poor helpless and homeless animals need comfort too! – P. O., Highland Park, NJ 

  7. My children love play dough! This mat will be excellent for play dough and other messy projects because it will make cleaning up a lot easier. – F. F., Owings Mills, MD

  8. I have used an old mat in my wood working shop to keep wood from slipping on my workbench while using power tools on them. – M. C., Lee's Summit, MO

  9. Line kitchen shelves — glasses won't scratch and hold better to the sticky surface. – J. S., Madison, WI

  10. Smother weeds in your garden. Just place the mat over a section of your garden and the mat and the sun's heat will smother weeds and their seeds. Then when it is time to sew your seeds just remove the mat and move it to another spot in your garden. – J. M., Woodbury, CT

  11. Cut the mat into squares and use them as "bases" while playing baseball with the kids. Easy to carry and easy to clean! – J. C., New York, NY

  12. Mat gripper — place it under an area rug for no-slip gripping. When you're ready to work out, just roll back your rug and presto — yoga in an instant. Best used with a sticky yoga mat. – S. F., Brooklyn, NY

  13. I made one of those garden knee pads to kneel on by cutting the mat into even sections and binding the ends with twine. – K. F., Manassas, VA

  14. Wash, then cut apart to use as drawer liners. – C. L., Mason City, IA

  15. Cut it up to make mouse pads. – L. E., Fort Worth, TX

  16. Grommet the corners and suspend the used yoga mat from the ceiling of a parking garage (such as at the yoga studio) to prevent door dings. Keep that centered, calm feeling going! – F. H., Los Angeles, CA

  17. Use it on the beach instead of a towel.  – A. B., San Diego, CA

  18. Shred and use for a backyard jungle gym, at the end of the slide. Ooh, comfy landings! – R. N., Minneapolis, MN

  19. Grip pads to open jars. – A. F., Grapevine, TX

  20. Cut to size and use as foot pads for the bottom of furniture that is on a wood or ceramic floor. Glue on pieces with a non-toxic adhesive. One mat will go a long way! – E. W., Tampa, FL

  21. I like to use my mat at soccer games or anywhere I need to sit. It keeps me from sitting in the wet grass, mud, or bird poop on a bench. I can just hose it off and let it dry. – – C.G., Westminster, CA

  22. Cut into pieces for holding artificial flowers in vases. – G. B., Winnipeg, MB, Canada

  23. My husband has a sweet restored 1971 truck with a new paint job. When he went to put his toolbox onto the back of the frame, he needed something to pad the lip of the bed where the toolbox came in contact with the finished paint. An old mat worked great! – C.J. S., Millfield, OH

  24. Place it under your sleeping bag for extra padding when enjoying the outdoors. It reduces pack load for those who like to do yoga on camping trips. – S. F., Brooklyn, NY

  25. I am in law enforcement and had to go to training for fifle qualification. Part of the training is lying down and shooting. It was raining for three days and everyone else had old blankets, which soaked through. I used one of my old yoga mats to lie on and was the driest person there. – H. S., Chowchilla, CA

  26. When traveling with your infant it's a great idea to take an old mat along for safe bath time. Simply place it on the bottom of the tub and you don't have to worry about your little one slipping around! – K. S., Spearfish, SD

  27. Cut into strips and use for drainage in flower pots. – J. A., New York, NY

  28. Make covers for sharp corners like in a parking garage or school. – L. S., Miami, FL

  29. No more messy packing peanuts! Old yoga mats get a new life as a protector of valuables while moving or shipping. Perfect for glassware or anything else that you don't want chipped, broken, or otherwise damaged. Simply cut into the appropriate sizes, wrap and voila! – J. F., Dexter, MI

  30. With camping, I have used the mat as a "door mat" outside my tent. It is a great way to take your shoes off and kneel down to get into your tent and you are not sitting on the ground. – J. S., Cincinnati, OH

  31. My sweet dog is 13 years old now and cold wooden floors don't do much for her joints. My old exercise mat makes an instant pad for her when we're a floor away from her usual sleeping spot. – V. R., Irvington, NY

  32. Use cookie cutters to make an adorable and funky mobile. You can also cut it into a big square then fold and cut it into snowflake ornaments (just punch a hole in the top). – J. A., New York, NY

  33. My pet carriers get sticky mats so my pets have good footing when being transported to the vet, especially my cats who can more easily slide around.  – S. L., Indianapolis, IN

  34. Make children's toys: Cut circles out and make frisbees; cut holes and create masks, hats, costumes and props; cut into shapes and letters for tub and pool toys. – R. N., Minneapolis, MN

  35. No more slippery steps! Reuse your old yoga mat to create safe and colorful step treads for stairs. Cut your mat into rectangles slightly smaller than the size of your stairs — glue on for a permanent solution or let the mat's inherent stickiness hold it in place is you'd prefer easy removal. You can use these on outside or inside stairs. And they're easy to wipe clean, too! – J. F., Dexter, MI

  36. Cut and put down by the kitty litter box. It's not hard on paws and stops the litter. – C. W., St. Joseph Township, MI

  37. Plug up drafty places and save energy — windows, doors, under window air conditioners. – R. N., Minneapolis, MN

  38. Work on your car to avoid high maintenance costs. My dad loves to use one to make the concrete just a little warmer and more bearable. Hose it off afterward to keep it clean. – C. R., Baltimore, MD

  39. Make "Sit-Upons." Great for those hard bleachers when watching sporting events. Easy to store, lightweight, washable, reusable, and comfortable. Cut the mat into equal pieces to make one top and bottom (the size of a newspaper laid flat). Next, punch holes about every 2 inches all the way around (both top and bottom). Then, take a couple of days worth of newspapers and lay them between the top and bottom. Use yarn, ribbon, rawhide, etc. to lace the holes and tie off. To re-stuff, untie and add new newspaper. Enjoy! – J. H., Shingletown, CA

  40. My old yoga mat makes a great liner under my house plants. It protects my rug from water marks great. You can even cut it to fit each plant! – D. T., Battle Ground, WA

  41. Cut rounds or squares for coasters. You can also glue laminated pictures on top for prettier coasters. – R. R., Morris Plains, NJ

  42. I glued cut pieces to the bottom of beautiful ceramic tiles to make hot pads as gifts (the pads protect tables and prevent sliding). – H. K., Mesa, AZ

  43. Cut to fit closet floors or place in foyers as a place for muddy shoes. – J. F., Fort Myers, FL

  44. For garage music studios — hang and tack against walls for a nice aesthetic effect while also providing sound-proofing. It can also be tacked to the back of an upright piano for the same purposes. – C. A., Long Beach, CA

  45. Give to nursing homes for people to have next to their beds so they don't slip while getting in and out of bed. – P. W., Kennedyville, MD

  46. Put one between your surfboard & car to protect both from abrasion. – A. B., San Diego, CA
  47. Using it in my SUV when it's really hot. I lay it over the dashboard and steering wheel.  – J. T., Los Angeles, CA

  48. My husband loves working on the electrical components of his beautiful guitars. We have a workbench that is the length of the guitars and he has a cushion for the headstock of the guitar, but the rest of the body is not protected and often slips while working on the stainless steel surface. The body of the guitar can be easily scratched and dented. We plan to run the yoga mat across the surface of the workbench to create a safe work space for the guitars — it's cushioned and prevents slippage. – A. H., Riverside, CA

  49. Cut into shapes and use as stamps with non-toxic paint. Glue a couple of layers together to make the stamp thicker and easier to handle. – J. A., New York, NY

  50. Keeping an old yoga mat in the car is great for those spur of the moment picnics, keeping groceries from sliding around in the trunk, a padded seat at a sports game or a myriad of other uses limited only to your imagination. –K. H., Lancaster, CA

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Jane426's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/08/2008

As instructors and studio owners, my husband and I cut our old mats into "baby yoga mats" that we use in our Iyengar based asanas to protect knees, feet, hands in the ropes, etc...
Jane, New Jersey

Lotus422's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 02/27/2008

There are shoes that feature yoga mats as insoles on two new sandals for Spring 2008. Check out the Original Dr. Scholl's "NIRVANA" (Now available) & "LOTUS" (coming in April).

lassie's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 05/02/2007

I cut an old mat into rectangles, roll tightly, and tape to stay closed. I call them knee-savers, for those in yoga class whose knees are tight - put it behind the knee, then bend the knee to hold in place. It helps the knee open gently.
Fonda Davis, Milan, MO

RecycleYogi's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 11 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/05/2008

Or, you can RECYCLE YOUR MAT via www.recycleyourmat.com. We take yoga mats and put them into a new product life cycle.

LO's picture
User offline. Last seen 7 years 32 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/08/2009

Before putting your bike rack on your car, put an old yoga mat down, so that it ends up being under the rack and under the bike to protect your car from scratches.

bestcleanse's picture
User offline. Last seen 5 years 29 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 01/31/2011

Aww, that's a very cute idea, Jane. I never really stopped to think how useful yoga mats could be. I have 3-4 laying around in the garage. I'll be taking some of these ideas to heart, and putting them to use soon!

arleziana's picture
User offline. Last seen 5 years 6 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/28/2011

Yoga is not just fitness and exercises it is a way of life. Get some proper yoga teacher training and you will really learn its secrets and how to lead a healthier life.

kvilla87's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 41 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 11/11/2012

Has anyone tried using it as a puzzle mat? It may not be high enough but I may try cutting it in half and taping it.

kathrine's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 38 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12/03/2012

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Anonymous's picture

Yoga mats can be used in a mud room for those muddy boots, shoes or cleats. They make great bath mats in the shower or tub to prevent falls.

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