What Factors Should You Consider Before Buying Yoga Mats
Back in the day, yoga mats were available in just a few colors. But over time, numerous alternatives have been introduced in the market, and now there is a large variety available in different sizes, colors, textures. To choose the yoga mat that best suits your needs, here’s what you need to pay attention to.
The Material of Yoga Mats
The material is the most crucial factor that must be observed while buying yoga mats. You need to consider the yoga mat’s durability because it will be the cornerstone of your yoga routine. The standard mats that are widely available for many years are made from PVC. Besides that, other options such as eco-friendly, rubber, jute, and cotton mats are available.
The Thickness of Yoga Mats
Thickness is the second major factor that you should carefully observe. The thickness of the yoga mat has much to do with its comfort. If you are new to yoga, you need to opt for a yoga mat with thicker padding that’ll keep you from getting hurt.
Size of Yoga Mats
Yoga mats are available in a range of sizes. The standard thickness is 1/8 inch, but sizes vary depending on requirements, portability, and how much space you have. Besides that, a good yoga mat does not carry much weight and can easily be transported.
The Stickiness of Yoga Mats
Yoga Mat Styles
Best Yoga Mats Buying Guide
Yoga mats have been used extensively for several years for exercise. Over the years, the trend is shifting, and people are increasingly turning to healthy lifestyles. People prefer an early morning workout that helps them reduce stress and anxiety. Previously, people used to do yoga on animal skins such as tigers or deer. But times have changed, and people now prefer something softer and more sturdy for their daily yoga practice.
If you plan to start yoga and want to purchase yoga mats, here are some necessary factors that must be considered while making a purchase. You must consider the type, sizes, and prices of the desired yoga mats. To that end, we explained everything in detail below in this buying guide.
Q: How Do You Clean A Yoga Mat
A: Like any item we use with any degree of regularity, a yoga mat will also need to be cleaned. One of the simplest ways to clean a yoga mat is in the washing machine. If you can get your mat into the machine, then all you need is a small amount of a mild detergent and wash the mat on a cold, gentle setting. Keep in mind though, that even if your yoga mat can fit in the machine, you need to check the manufacturers care instructions before you try this.
If youre not comfortable with machine washing your mat, all you need is a spray bottle with a few drops of detergent. Spray over your mat and wipe clean. If your mat is a little on the smelly side, you may need to dilute some baking soda with a touch of detergent and give it a good rub down.
There are two important things to remember when you are cleaning your yoga mat. Firstly, you should always follow the cleaning process with a wipe down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any detergent residue and secondly, always allow your mat to completely air dry before rolling it up again.
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How We Tested The Yoga Mats
To make our list of the best yoga mats, members of the Verywell Fit editorial team tested 16 yoga mats in The Verywell Testing Lab to see how they performed in key areas including unboxing padding and thickness grip and feel portability, storage, and care, and overall value. Seven testersincluding a certified yoga instructor, certified personal trainer, certified barre instructor, and four other experienced yogisspent an entire day doing more than 160 sun salutations. Prior to our first Mountain Pose, we unrolled the mats and took note of any lingering chemical smells and evaluated how well the mats laid flat. Our testers were keenly observant of how well the mat stayed flat under their hands and feet throughout the test.
We tested each mat twice through a guided vinyasa flow. Before the second test on each mat, each tester sprayed their hands and feet with water to see how the mats would hold up to moisture from external factors like sweat and humidity. We evaluated the padding and thickness of the mat and made note of how supportive the mat felt under our hands, feet, joints, and head throughout a series of poses during both tests. We also focused on the grip and feel of each matin both dry and wet conditionsnoting how much our hands and feet slid around in poses like Downward Facing Dog.
Verywell Fit / Nick Kova
Catherine Song / Verywell
What Are The Types Of Yoga Mats Available In The Market
As we have noted, people adopt a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. It is important that you allow yourself time to relax. As of now, you have seen the characteristics of yoga mats. Let’s look at the types of yoga mats that are available on the market.
Basic Sticky of Yoga Mat
The basic yoga mat is the most commonly used kind, widely available, and purchased by most beginners. It is sticky, which helps to stay steady and is convenient.
Cotton and Hemp Yoga Mat
These yoga mats have a soft and breathable texture that works well when you’re performing yoga in extreme weather conditions. The best thing about cotton and hemp is it is easy to clean. They are comparatively longer in size, giving you more room to practice your moves freely.
Travel Yoga Mat
Some yoga mats are specially designed to be carried with you wherever you go, even in the luggage when you travel by air. Most yoga mats available in the market are lightweight and portable, but you need to check if your yoga mat’s dimensions are compatible with your suitcase.
Eco-friendly Yoga Mat
Eco-friendly mats are made from recycled material and aren’t as bad for the environment as regular mats. These mats are made up of natural materials and are preferred by people who want to impact the planet positively.
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Yoga Cloud 1 Inch Yoga Mats
A great alternative to your traditional ¼ to ½ yoga mat is the 1 thick Yoga Cloud Mat. Probably one the more popular brand, this mat is the perfect fit for yoga, meditation, Pilates, and any other exercises that can be hard on your knees or back.
Made with high-density foam, the Yoga Cloud has a non-slip surface, is moisture-resistant and easy to clean.
Whether at home or on the go, the included carry strap will hold the mat together for storage or to conveniently take along to yoga class.
- Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, Red
- Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 1 inches
Our Best 5/8 To 1 Inch Thick Yoga Mat Reviews
The following list consists of 6 extra thick yoga mats we have found online and researched extensively. These mats come in many different colors and various thickness levels. Our first four mats are all 1 inch thick yoga mats followed by a 5/8 and a 3/4 thick mat. We figured for some users the 1 may be too thick and so we took the liberty of adding two more options to meet everyones needs.
There is no one size fits all. For example, a mat that is comfortable for a 150lb person may not be thick enough and comfortable enough for a 240lb person.
I have also included my Editors Choice and Runner-Up yoga mats to hopefully help with your decision making process.
So without further ado lets get started.
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Primasole Yoga Mat Eco
- Eco-Friendly Material Non Toxic & Free PVC yoga mat. Made with material known as PER. PER is a material that does not generate harmful substances such as dioxin even when incinerated.
- NON-SLIP, SECURE AND STABLE: Double-layer design perfectly matches for your core strength, posture, balance, and flexibility exercises. Embossed surface ensures stability during all types of training. Perfect for hot yoga, ab crunches, or Pilates as well as yoga floor and standing poses.
- SIZE & LIGHTWEIGHT Mat Size is 68 × 24 inches. Total weight is 3.3 LB. ½ extra thick provides comfort and stability. Perfect yoga mat for hard floor or carpet at home and gym. It is more suitable for people with sensitive or injured joints.
- CARRYING CASE AND STRAP both case and strap are including.
How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat
Finding a good mat isnt tough , but when youre shopping, keep in mind all of your specific needs. Maybe you find thicker mats more comfortable for joint pain. Maybe perfect alignment is your goal, and you want a mat that provides you with ample space to stretch your legs out in Warrior II pose. And if you sweat a lot during your practice, a mat that reduces slipping might be top of mind.
Next, consider the mats portability. If youre looking for a mat you can carry with youeven if its just into the backyard for some outdoor yogaor a mat compact enough to stow under your bed, you may want to choose one that fits in a yoga strap or rolls up easily to fit inside your yoga mat carrier.
And especially in these stressful times, it can be helpful to think outside the mats functionality for a minute and choose one that just brings a smile to your face with its design and feel. Need some inspiration? Below, yoga instructors and fitness pros walk us through what they consider the best yoga mats for all types of practices and bodies.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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Cotton & Hemp Yoga Mats
Also known as Mysore yoga rugs, yoga mats made of cotton, organic cotton, and hemp are eco-friendly and recyclable.
They are typically hand-woven by craftsmen rather than mass-produced in factories using tons of chemical substances. So if youre a natural fiber lover, you can stop researching your yoga mats right here.Cotton and hemp yoga mats feel great on the skin and have a nice natural texture that softens with every wash. Oh, and you can even wash those in the washing machine .
Both materials are very absorbent, so theyll fit great a hot yoga setting or a sweaty yoga class.
Cotton and hemp yoga mats are relatively thin and light, so theyre also great for taking on a trip or a short outing to the park or the beach.
On the downside, cotton and hemp yoga mats are not as sticky as the average mat. It might be unusual/problematic for beginners since they dont yet have the required grip strength. On the bright side, its always better to go through the initial body break-in period and build strength rather than always rely on the stickiness of your yoga mat.
Be prepared that cotton and hemp yoga mats slide on tile and laminate surfaces.
The Comprehensive Yoga Mat Guide
No matter where you are in your yogic journey, a great matcan help ease the way. We’ve identified the top characteristics every yogineeds to consider before making the all important purchase.
Before we dive deep, a word of caution. We have foundthroughout years of our own practice, that the most important thing to listen towhen purchasing a yoga mat is your own body. It will be the first to tell youwhat it needs to succeed, whether it be more cushion for achy knees or evenless if you can’t retain balance during specific asanas.
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Yoga Mat Thickness And Weight
Yoga mats range from super thin and compact travel styles that weigh a mere 2 lbs. to cushy quarter-inch beasts that weigh up to 7 lbs.
If youre not sure where to start, choose a mat thats about 1/8-in. thick , a pretty standard thickness. These mats are excellent for those in a strong, flowing practice. They allow solid contact with the floor, which helps with stability during a variety of poses. Compared to thicker mats, they are also less likely to catch and get in your way when you flow from pose to pose.
Thinner mats can help increase stability for styles of yoga with more active poses or balanced, focused poses. Look for mats with textured surfaces to maintain better grip when the poses get more strenuous.
Thicker mats provide extra cushioning and are best for more therapeutic practices. If you enjoy restorative yoga, a style with fewer poses that you hold longer, for example, you may prefer a softer, more cushioned mat. Thicker mats are also more comfortable for forearm and kneeling poses and for yogis with tender knees or achy joints. But they can be more difficult to balance on during standing poses.
If your yoga plans include air travel, look for a travel mat thats specifically designed for portability. Travel mats are very thin and light and pack down smaller than traditional mats, so theyre easy to take along in your luggage. Keep in mind that you will sacrifice some cushioning with a travel mat.
Retrospec Solana Yoga Mat 1& 1/2 Thick W/nylon Strap For Men & Women Non Slip Exercise Mat For Yoga
- Extra thick for comfort and balance: Solana firm ½-inch extra thick fitness mat w/ mat strap alleviates stress on pressure points such as joints, hips, hands, and knees. 72 x 24 x ½
- Non-slip surface: Solanas non-slip material keeps you steady and balanced while staying securely on the floor, preventing injury and allowing you to focus on your practice or workout.
- Durability: Solanas thick, durable material allows for everyday use, regardless of the intensity of your exercise. Ideal for your home or studio practice.
- BPA free: our products are free of Phthalate, heavy metals and latex. Your mat may initially release a harmless odor. If so, unroll your mat and air it for a day or two before using.
- Easy to clean: Solana is easy to keep clean and fresh for your next workout. Use a mix of gentle soap and water, wipe clean, and hang it to dry. Do not submerge.
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Incline Fit Ananda 1 Thick Mat
The Incline Fit Ananda is one of my favorite mats. Constructed with extra 1 thick padding it is made for comfort and durability. The Ananda is a great exercise mat for home but is also very practical with its easy-carry strap for on the go.
The carry strap is not only an easy way to transport your mat but also functions to secure the mat into place when rolled up for easy storage. This strap can be completely detached from the mat so as not to interfere with your yoga routine in any way.
This workout mat is very safe and with non-slip material will keep you securely on the mat and keep the mat from moving or slipping on bare floors.
If you are concerned about bacteria, germs, or dirt, this 1 inch thick yoga mat can be hand washed with a wet towel and soap and hung to dry.
For health safety reasons, this product is BPA free, has no Phthalate, heavy metals, or latex.
High Quality at a great value. Youll never want to go back to your regular mat after using this one.
TIP: New yoga mats may have a harmless odor fresh out of the bag. To remedy this issue, simply unroll the mat and let it air out for a day or two.
- Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 1 inches
- BPA free
Yoga Mat Materials And Durability
When selecting the material for your yoga mat, you can choose anything from inexpensive PVC to environmentally friendly natural rubber. Which material you choose will affect the mats price, weight, grip and durability. Generally, thicker mats last longer than thinner mats. That said, mat durability is also related to the material the mat is made from.
PVC is a plastic-based material that is highly durable, easy to clean and offers excellent floor grip. However, PVC mats are non-absorbent and can become slippery when you sweat heavily. PVC is latex-free, a benefit to those with latex allergies, however, it is not biodegradable or as environmentally friendly as other options.
TPE is a man-made blend, usually of plastic and rubber polymers. TPE mats may be more environmentally friendly than PVC, and some are fully recyclable. TPE mats are generally less durable than PVC mats of the same thickness, but still deliver good traction.
Eco / naturalmats come from a variety of sources, including natural rubber, organic cotton, and jute. Compared to other options, eco mats are slightly less grippy on the floor, but their natural texture provides traction for your body. Eco mats lack the decade-long durability of PVC, yet they top the list if sustainability is your priority.
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Extra Thick Yoga Mats
If you are looking for an extra thick yoga mat, youll be spoiled for choice. Most mats that are very thick are made from materials such as PVC or foam, which are the most common materials being used to make exercise mats out there.
Many such mats range from 6mm to as much as 10 or 12 cm in thickness, which is about as thick as a woolen blanket and may well be *too much* for your regular practice. One of the downsides to these mats is that the materials they are made out of are not eco-friendly and therefore may contain toxins that get released into the environment long after the mat has been discarded. Simply put, this may not be the kind of material youd wish your skin to rub against every day or with every workout, so the best advice for taking care of yourself and our planet would be to avoid mats made out of synthetic materials.