Is a Yoga Mat Substitute for a Sleeping Pad? (Yoga Mat vs Sleeping Pad)

Last Updated on April 10, 2022 by DAVID

A yoga mat is not recommended as a sleeping pad for camping trips. Yoga mats provide less comfort and insulation than sleeping pads as mats for camping. However, thicker Yoga Mat can Work as a Sleeping Pad because it is usable in warm temperatures.

Yoga mats are used by yogis to avoid slipped hands and feet as well as to provide traction during yoga. On the other hand, outdoor sleeping pads are lightweight, popular among backpackers, and provide stuffing and thermal insulation.

Normally amateur travelers, or if anyone has a tight budget, they want to utilize a yoga mat as a sleeping pad- a try to do two things with one. But if we compare midst yoga mats and sleeping pads for camping, yoga mats are not a good choice, aside from an unusual case.

Why do Yoga Mats can’t work as Sleeping Pads?

Yoga mats and sleeping pads, the uses of these two things are different. They are prepared from different stuff, and so there is a vast variance in weight. Also, constant comfort will be different among them. So, it is better to keep a sleeping pad for camping and a yoga mat for yoga.

Sleeping pads are most popular for their insulation and padding – somewhat that a modest yoga mat merely fails to provide.

Yoga mats can’t provide padding and backing; it is also unsuitable for uneven surfaces because of its thinness. When yoga mats use for outdoor sleeping, they do not provide proper insulation during cold weather for their rubbery material. The toughness and stability of the yoga mat make it hard to carry and to line inside the knapsack during mountaineering and other outdoor activities. For these reasons, yoga mats can’t work as sleeping pads.

Some issues about thick yoga mats; these thicker yoga mats will be significantly better compared to the thinner yoga mats, yet will they be adequate for outdoor sleeping? It relies upon a few aspects, like, temperature and owns convenience level. Thick yoga mats are fine in the summer. However, if you want to use it as an alternative to sleeping pads in winter, it will not protect you from freezing.

What’s more, with regards to comfort, it truly relies upon your solace levels. If you think that any yoga mat will be suitable enough for camping, why not give it a try? It can be matched with the level of your convenience.

Yoga Mat vs Sleeping Pad:

As we already know that, a yoga mat does not provide similar insulation and comfort as a sleeping pad. Also, both have variations in weight and portability. Here are brief discussions.

Dissimilarity in Insulation

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats do not provide any insulation; they aren’t intended that way. These will not be very effective in preventing the body from heat loss. Yoga mats are only somewhat usable on the warmest night. The elastic material captures bit air and makes it an unsuitable protector against heat loss over ground transference.

Sleeping pad

Sleeping pads are intended to maintain temperature and keep you warmer. These are suitable for cold weather and retain body temperature. They likewise go with an “R-value,” which implies resistance value. This value acts as how well the sleeping pad can resist heat loss. Depending on the environment in which you set up camp, you can get different sleeping pads with varying “R-value.” It’s a good idea to carry a good sleeping pad for beautiful camping.

Dissimilarity in Weight

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are mainly produced from rubber and cotton materials. There are other elements as well, but all are heavier than sleeping pads. Yoga mats are normally weighing 4 or 5 pounds. Several of them are made denser, which means extra weight.

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads consist of foam-type material and are lightweight. Foam pads generally weigh less than a light pound. The weight will differ with the material but usually not more than 2 pounds.

Dissimilarity in Portability

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are usually much heavier than sleeping pads. Good yoga mats weigh 4 to 5 pounds. It does not weigh much, but every single pound matters to carry. So yoga mats are not convenient for camping or backpacking.

Sleeping Pad

Typically, sleeping pads are not heavier than a few pounds and are also durable. So, the portability of the sleeping pad is good for outdoor camping. Sleeping pads are the best choice for backpackers who want to keep the pack light.

Dissimilarity in Comfort

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are quite comfortable for doing yoga instead of for a long time sleeping. The elastic elements they are made of are not the best compatible with your body. Assuming you are a side sleeper, you are in a lot of hurt. These are thin and solid, which does not make them ideal for rest on hard ground. Indeed, these are intended to get you a bit active.

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads are intended for camping sleep. These are plenty restful and useful to protect against hard ground feeling. You fall asleep faster on the sleeping pad in any situation all over the night. According to the material, some sleeping pads are more relaxed than others but always provide better sleep than yoga mats.

Different types of sleeping pads

Self-Inflating Open-Cell Foam Pad

A self-inflating open-cell foam pad is a sequence of open-cell foam insulation and air. Self-inflation is consummate as a consequence of open-cell foam also our aptitude to seal the foam within fabrics thru a controlled way for air to pass in. So, a Self-inflating open-cell foam pad was built-in with these three parts- open-cell foam, fabric seal, and valve. Opening the valve permits the foam to enlarge and gets air spontaneously. Few are explicitly intended for hiking, and possible to fold the lengthways and afterward moved up to apt within your pack. Rests are intended for car camping and are moved up except folding. Self-inflating pads provide you a varied sort of choices for size, warmth, and cost.


They are comfy and squeezed. They provide great insulation. You can amend their density thru adjoin or take out the air. They are usually too long-lasting than air pads.


They are weightier and more costly than general foam pads and not as squeezed as air pads. They can be leaked; however, field fixing is not tough.

You may read: How To Speed Up Memory Foam Expansion?

Closed-cell foam pad

Closed-cell foam pads are prepared with thick foam loaded up with little closed air cells. They’re normally moved up in a Z shape.


Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are low-priced, lightweight, and long-lasting. Provide constant insulation in all environments and no hustle about leaks. They work incredibly under different kinds of pads to expand insulation and avoid leaks. These sole pads are possible to carry outside of the pack without the risk of damage.


They are not as comfy. They’re somewhat hardened and inflexible, and will in general, be heavy.

Air Pad

Air pads are available in different types of design, lightweight pads are ideal for hiking, and extra-thick pads are amazing for the campsite. Utmost air pads now have insulation as well as reflective element to raise warmth. Lots of air pads emphasize substitute inflation strategies; thus, you can protect your breath.


Air pads are a very comfy, weightless, and squeezed kind of pad for packing. These have the option to adjust the hardness by freeing or adding air through the valve. The design and purpose end-use varies greatly. Make sure the one you choose has an R-value matched to the expected conditions.


Air pads can be leaked, yet field fixes are conceivable if you have the proper fixing tool. If the outside temperature varies, air pads will feel as though they are losing air, hence check and modify the solidness before going to sleep. Some air pads make an uproarious wrinkling noise when you move around, which can be irritating to yourself or tent mates. So, this is wise to check the pads in the store.

Don’t miss: How to Prevent Air Mattress from Deflating?

Important features of sleeping pads:

Important features of sleeping pads


Ultra-lightweight pads are recommended for camping, though they are high-priced. You can save weight by picking a tightened shape that shrinks size and packs smaller.


Your arm and buttocks should adjust in the pad. Customary and extended pads will protect your legs and feet. Small or 3/4-length pads weigh not as much of and pack more modest.


Almost all pads provide a common width of 20 inches. But for a tall and fat person, 25 or 30-inch width is comfortable.


Several pads ensure a high-capacity inflation valve and deflation valve; these release air to stream in or out. Few pads have distinct inflation layers or chambers; if one layer doesn’t work, the other will provide you some padding.


For a hectic sleeper, coated or brushed-fabric surface is the best. This helps keep you and your sleeping bag from slipping at night. It could be even noiseless.


How do you insulate a sleeping pad?

Purchasing a high-quality sleeping pad will lead to the facility of maximum insulation. However, for more insulation-

  • Can use an extra blanket,
  • Can double up sleeping pads thru adding closed-cell foam bellow the self-inflating pad,
  • Use a fit camping mat because heat will escape for extra space between your body and sleeping pad,
  • Dress properly,
  • Warm your body as much as possible before using a sleeping pad.

How thick should a sleeping pad be?

With regards to comfort, thickness is probably the major factor of sleeping pads. Closed-cell foam mats are very thin, around 1 inch or less thick, and the comfort represents itself with no issue.

Backpacking Sleeping Pad Thickness

2.5 inches is the standard thickness for air pads and self-inflating pads. This thickness feels comfy from the hard ground but not so high that it worries. Also allows plenty of air for insulation.

Camping Sleeping Pad Thickness

4 inches or more is the thickness of luxurious models of car camping sleeping pads. Maximum car camping sleeping pads are self-inflating and do not concern about weight.

Is a yoga mat good for camping?

Surely, a yoga mat is good for camping for those who want to keep on yoga practice throughout camping time. But it is not recommended to use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad while camping. Because yoga mats provide less warmth and protection, a combination of a camp bed or sleeping cot and sleeping pad will arrange more comfortable camping. A sleeping cot is a portable and lightweight, small bed. But carrying a sleeping cot is not convenient for hikers.

Is it healthy to sleep on a yoga mat?

Sleeping on yoga mats is not harmful to health. But if you have an allergy to rubber, escape natural rubber mats. And try using yoga mats made with jute and natural cotton or organic cotton.

Can I use a yoga mat under my sleeping bag?

Yes, you can. Using a yoga mat under the sleeping bag will help keep you a bit more insulated.

Do yoga mats have an R-value?

It is difficult to determine the ‘R value’ of yoga mats since they are not intended to resist body warmth like sleeping pads during camping.

In the final verdict, we can say that a yoga mat as a sleeping pad is not practicable. Use yoga mats for practicing yoga or physical exercise. And use sleeping pads for outdoor sleeping, camping, or adventure. Hopefully the answer of the question – Can a Yoga Mat Work as a Sleeping Pad, is clear now.

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