What You Should Know About Yoga Mats
The mat’s material impacts how it works.
There are a few things you should know about yoga mats before deciding which one to pick up. The first is its materialmost of the mats we tested are made of PVC , natural rubber, polyurethane, and/or TPE . PVC is a type of vinyl, a man-made, non-renewable material. Most mats made of this material are sticky enough to prevent slipping, soft enough to offer some cushion, and very durable. Natural rubber is renewable, biodegradable, and also provides texture and tractionhowever, it may be a bit firmer feeling than PVC. Rubber mats can contain trace amounts of latex, too, so they may not be the best option for people with latex allergies. Polyurethane is a blend of plastics that can have a soft, foamy feel or a sleek, smooth one, and is often used as a supplement to mats made of natural rubber. You can also find mats made of TPE, or a blend of plastic and rubber. These mats usually arent as long-lasting as PVC or natural rubber mats, but are often lightweight and can sometimes be recycled. Mats made of cork, bamboo, or jute are also an option, but these arent as popular.
The size of your yoga mat is another consideration. A typical yoga mat is 68 inches long and 24 inches wide, though you can find some that are larger . However, unless youre really tall, 68 inches is probably long enough for most people, and any added length often also makes mats heavier to carry
The Jade Harmony Is The First Natural Rubber Mat
The Jade Harmony is nice- it is extremely nice when you consider it costs less than $80! Jade mats are made in the US and interestingly, they actually started off in the oriental rug business. And then as most moments of business magic or business serendipity, if you will, they noticed a gap in the market.
And lucky of us, that gap was in the yoga mat business. So that is how we had the first-ever natural yoga mat.
Indeed, according to the Jade website:
JadeYoga began in earnest in 2000 after we learned of the fundamental problem with most yoga mats on the market at that time they were slippery. As we were already making natural rubber rug pads, we approached the problem from that angle and developed Harmony, the first natural rubber yoga mat.
As I mentioned above, the Jade Harmony is a 100% natural rubber mat. So what does that mean? Well, it means that it has an almost spongy feeling and is able to offer very good cushioning. But dont get me wrong, think of it like a dense sponge, with the right amount of cushioning.
And so if you practice a grounding practice like Yin yoga or Restorative yoga, this mat will feel very comfortable for your joints.
On the other hand, if you practice a more dynamic form of yoga, like Ashtanga yoga or Vinyasa flow, this mat will be able to offer exceptional grip. Additionally, as it is an open-cell yoga mat, it will absorb your sweat. This means that the grip will not be affected if you tend to sweat a lot during your practice.
Lululemon The Mat Features
- Cost: $78.00
- Larger design means more space to practice 29 x 84
- Made out of natural rubber, polyurethane, and latex = not the greatest smell
- Polyurethane coating = extra grippy, no towel necessary
- Antimicrobial additive to prevent mold and mildew from sticking to your mat
- Heavy at a whopping weight of 3.75 kg
- Cushiony feel at 5 mm thickness
- You need to buy special towels to fit the mat
For over 4 months I used my Lululemon The Mat. I traveled with it through airports, lugged it across country, and used it daily. From the moment I opened the box when it was first delivered The Mat had a distinct burnt rubber smell to it. I asked around my yoga studio and people said just let it air out, the smell will go away with time. So, I let it air out, and then I let it air out some more, and then I cleaned it, and then I tried to air it out again. The Mat laid out in our guest room for more than 4 months, and you know what the smell never went away. Every time I went into childs pose I was struck with the smell. The day came when one of my fellow yogis asked if I had a Lululemon mat because he could smell it from across the heated yoga room. Enough was enough.
The next day I borrowed a friends Manduka Black Mat PRO and it was awesome.
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Best Lightweight Yoga Mat
- Materials: Polyurethane top layer, natural rubber base, antimicrobial additive
- Colors: Available in blue, black, and navy swirl variations
When you’re on the go, you appreciate a lightweight mat that offers cushioning and support. The Reversible Mat rolls up tightly, making it easy to carry about. Because of its thinner cushioning at 3mm, it’s also easier to hold than a thicker rubber mat, which can get quite heavy.
Yogis enjoy this mat whether they’re using it indoors or outdoors. When using outdoors, or when transporting the mat to class and back home, you might be concerned about extra dirt and debris, but there are easy ways to clean a mat.
Its reliable grip, even when damp, is what has many yoga mat users raving up this mat. Light and compact, this yoga staple is ideal for those on the go, and you can feel steady and safe when working out.
- Material: Sustainably sourced natural rubber
- Color: Pink Savannah/White/Pink Savannah, Dusky Lavender/White/Wisteria Purple, Night Sea/White/Delicate Mint, Black/White, and Black
Lululemon educators like to tell customers to take form and focus on their flow, and this Take Form Yoga Mat is highly suited for just that. Transitioning from poses takes balance and agility, and the unique 3D texture of this mat provides a way to stay centered without looking down. The patterned texture is subtle but not distracting.
Best Yoga Mat For Hot Yoga
I love the Para Rubber Yoga Mat made by Hugger Mugger for my hot yoga practice. This mat offers a different dry-grip technology option on each side, and it provides a great balance of both cushion and support. Not only is this mat extremely adaptable, but it is also made entirely from sustainably sourced rubber, making it a great eco-friendly option, says YogaToday instructor, Devin Bailey.
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Jade Vs Manduka: Yoga Mat Throwdown
New York is filled with fitness rivalries: Mets vs. Yankees, Flywheel vs. SoulCycle, and Jade vs. Mandukathe manufacturers of the best-selling yoga mats.
Even though a non-competitive, live-and-let-live spirit pervades yoga philosophy, yogis take sides when it comes to mats. Considering that its the only major piece of equipment required and an important decision, maybe its no wonder?
We spent months sweating on both Jade and Manduka matsand tapped the Well+Good community on and to hear what makes someone a die-hard fan of one mat or the other. Whats the best mat in class? Read on:
Jade is currently New York Citys it mat. It has an all-purpose reputation and a price point considered democratic . All Jade mats are made from tree rubber, and with every purchase, the company plants a tree, which kinda makes it hard to find fault.
Though some yogis are fickle, most readers we talked to loved the stability and stickiness of Jade mats3:1 over Mandukaand Jade loaners seem to be found in more NYC studios .
Other assets mentioned: It doesnt come with that slick just-manufactured film that you have to wash off with apple cider vinegar. And its not heavier than a medicine ball.
The Eko Series For A Grounding Experience
Now on to the eKo®. Each one is hand made with natural non-Amazon harvested tree rubber which gives a unique pattern to every mat. This is the next generation of eco-friendly yoga mats. The closed-cell surface provides a stable practice with dry-grip. We are proud to say that Mandukas eKO mat is manufactured without any toxic glues or foaming agents and is more durable than other natural rubber mats found in the marketplace.
The eKO® Series has a nice firm grip, does not need to be broken in, and is a bit softer for the joints making its beginner friendly. However, the trade-off is that since it is natural, it will not have as long of a lifespan as the PRO mats. The natural rubber will oxidize and break down with time, so youll also need to be more careful with the way you treat and store these mats. Use rubber friendly cleaning agents and never store your mat in the sun.
The eKO mat provides a perfect balance of grip and drag with a springy responsive ride. Perfect for anyone looking for a connections to earth during their practice. Our eKO mats are made of natural tree rubber and are more sensitive compared to mats that are made of synthetic materials, we therefore do not recommend this mat series for Ashtanga or intense Vinyasa practices as the mat will wear out faster. We recommend that Ashtanga practitioners look towards a PRO or PROlite mat, as it is designed to withstand vigorous flows lasting a lifetime.
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Best For Beginners: Heathyoga Non
Suited for yogis just starting their practices, this eco-friendly yoga mat includes alignment lines on the top layer to help you make adjustments with your hands and feet as youre moving through poses. The double layer also provides grip so you dont slip and can maintain balance. We love that it also comes with a carrying strap so you can bring it with you wherever you go.
I highly recommend this mat, whether youre a beginner or a little more seasoned, one Amazon reviewer writes. The quality and features are on par with $80+ pro mats, but at a much friendlier price point!
Manduka Vs Jade Quality
When shopping for yoga mats in this price range youre likely concerned about how long its going to last I would be too. The winner on warranty goes to the Manduka Pro, hands down. It comes with a lifetime warranty which is, as far as Ive seen, the best warranty of any yoga mat available. If something happens to your mat, even ten years from now, you can send it in and theyll send you a shiny new one.
The Jade on the other hand comes with a 30 day warranty which falls a lifetime short of the Manduka Pro. Fortunately its built to last and most people find theyre able to enjoy years of regular use before needing to replace the Jade mat. And by that time, youve probably had a style change and want something new anyway.
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Manduka Vs Lululemon Comparison Chart
|Top-side offers great grip because of polyurethane layer that absorbs moisture||Provides great grip but requires breaking in first|
|Materials||Natural rubber base with antimicrobial additive||PVC, latex-free, OEKO-TKO-certified|
|Polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture||Closed-cell surface that prevents sweat from seeping in|
|71 x 26|
Iii Comfort & Support
When yogis are nailing yoga poses, the support and the comfort from the mat can greatly relive the pain. A good yoga mat should offer adequate support yet can not be too soft. A soft one is often related to unsteadiness, which is a potential threat to yogis who definitely need to maintain balance while sticking to a certain posture. Whats more, if the mat is too tough and strong, yoga practicers may feel painful and eventually fail to complete the training. Therefore, the comfort of the mat should never be ignored.
Fortunately, both the Lululemon Reversible yoga mat and the Liforme Original yoga mat achieve a perfect balance between comfort and support, offering yogis comfortable using experience and indispensable safety. In addition, both of them are characterized by a larger size, suitable for both men and women.
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Best Yoga Mat For Beginners
Gaiam yoga was one of the pioneers in yoga products, says Ezrin. Their classic yoga mat line offers a number of options at a reasonable price rate and they even have a special pack for beginners, which includes a block and strap, she says. The mats are light to carry and easy to store.
Best Investment: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat
Most pros agree that if youre going to invest in a yoga mat, you should consider investing in the Manduka PRO, which has been dubbed the Cadillac of mats. Ive had the Manduka PRO since 2009 and its the only mat I use. I was going through two to three cheap $20 mats a year with my Ashtanga practice so the investment was worth it, Romine says. Its also super cushioned, easy to clean, and quick to dry on its own. The closed-cell surface is designed to prevent dirt and sweat from absorbing, which can lead to funky smells over time, says Quinn Suplina. Plus, Manduka offers a lifetime guarantee for its mats.
But this isnt your lug-around-in-your-backpack thing: Its hefty compared to other mats, but its incredibly durable, Hansen says. I find the extra weight helps keep it in place during practice. The mats can be slippery to start and may take a little while to break in, the experts note, but will last practically foreverits worth the money and time up front.
Additional research by Sanah Faroke
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Is A 5mm Or 3mm Yoga Mat Better
If you’re looking for sufficient padding, you’ll want to choose a 5mm yoga mat as it offers extra support and abundant cushioning for the spine, knees, hands, and feet. In addition to yoga, a 3mm yoga mat serves as a universal accessory suiting different types of workouts like Pilates, stretching, and calisthenics.
Best Yoga Mat For Alignment Support
The lines on this yoga mat serve as alignment markers to help ensure good form. With more people practicing online and at home, this mat can help when a teacher cant see you, says Gina Caputo, founder of the Colorado School of Yoga. For anyone needing more guidance on where to place your feet, hands and where the midline is, the Liforme design can help your proprioception and balanced load in your posture practice.
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Yoga Mat With The Best Grip
I am obsessed with my ALO Warrior Mat, says Erica Gragg, a yoga instructor and founder of Escape to Shape. It has seen me through many at home Zoom yoga class, both teaching and taking, and I truly am not sure how I am going to continue to practice yoga once back on the road without it. It’s that good. Its heavy, but thats because the grip is so good.
Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat
The Jade Harmony professional yoga mat comes in black, jade green, midnight blue, purple and Tibetan orange. Step into your strength and balance with this mat made of open-cell natural rubber, a renewable resource from rubber trees . Its the ultimate slip-resistant mat so you dont need to worry during hot yoga and has an added cushion.
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Manduka Pro Vs Prolite: Yoga Mat Comparison
So youre looking for a new yoga mat but cannot decide between the Manduka PRO vs PROlite?
Youre not alone. Many people ask themselves this very question every day. In fact, we receive several emails each week asking us what yoga mats we recommend.
The goal of this article is to provide you with all the necessary information to determine which yoga mat is right for you!
If You Prefer Hot Yoga
Jade has earned its place as one of the most popular mats on the market and is a favorite of yoga pros everywhere thanks to the brand’s signature top-notch design and commitment to the planet. Each mat is made with natural rubber and without any additional synthetic plastics or PVC.
It’s also worth calling out the superior grip. Other mats on the market are often slippery at first, which means you typically have to break them in. But if you’d rather skip that step, know that you’ll have great traction on your Jade from the get-go.
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Best Overall: Manduka Eko Lite Yoga Mat
When we asked the experts about the best lightweight yoga mat, yoga teachers kept coming back to one mat in particular: the Manduka eKO Lite. This is my mat of choice and has been for nearly six years, Chen says. Its supportive with the right amount of give without too much sponginess and great for Vinyasa classes. Although it isnt super heavy, it has enough weight to keep it in place during your practice.
At just five pounds, its also lightweight enough that Alicia Hansen, a Cleveland-based yoga teacher, likes to take it on the road. Ive put it in my checked luggage for a cross-country trip, unfolded it and it settles back out in no time. Its also one of the more affordable Manduka options, which my wallet appreciates too.