This article will briefly introduce you to the different types of mats. In the points here you will find their pros and cons of all common types. The article aims to specify for whom and for what use the given type of mat is suitable.
There are 3 basic types of mats. The basic type is an aluminum mat (so-called alumat). The standard mat, which almost everyone has at home, is a foam one. The most modern are inflatable or self-inflating mats.
small dimensions - space-saving
low insulation properties
low sleeping comfort (you can feel every stone through it)
works well even if it is pricked or burnt through
higher sleeping comfort than on alumats, but lower than on inflatables
larger dimensions, not very compact (you can usually forget to carry it inside a backpack)
high sleeping comfort (incomparable with other types)
small dimensions (of quality manufacturers)
good insulating properties (again incomparable with others)
you can adjust the hardness
can be used also for lying on the water surface
it is not as "foolproof" as a foam one - even if the materials are durable, it can simply be damaged, e.g., when sitting close to a fire (hot carbon that no one will notice until it burns through)
theoretically it is possible to damage the valves (this can be prevented by buying a quality mat and proper care of it)
Alumat is suitable for emergency sleeping, otherwise we do not recommend it very much. For those who do not want to take care of the mat, have no problems with their backs and "count every dollar", a foam mat is the best choice. On the contrary, for those who want to have practical storage equipment, sleep comfortably and at the same time not have a giant mat attached to a backpack, the best choice is a modern inflatable mat.