What Should I Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat
Jazzy patterns catch the eye, but put them aside and youre left with four simple criteria:
Grip: This applies to both the top and underside of the mat. Its impossible to enjoy a relaxing yoga session when you cant plant your hands in downward dog without slipping. Consider mats made from sticky materials, such as rubber, or those with a non-slip coating. Your mat should lie flat on any surface, from carpet to tiles, and provide the most stable base possible.
Support: Look for a mat thats thick enough to protect your spine from hard floors but not so cushioned that your limbs will sink into it, throwing you off balance. Mats that are between 4mm and 6mm thick tend to be just right.
Durability: Your yoga mat wont have to withstand intense HIIT workouts or dropped dumbbells , but it should emerge unscathed from dynamic practice, without any rips or dents.
Portability: A mat with great get-up-and-go credentials can be a great yoga companion if youre a fan of an al fresco session. Look for thinner mats that roll up easily and have a carry strap if you prefer Pilates in the park to flows in your front room.
On our quest to find the best yoga mats, we also considered sustainability, style and any original features before naming our favourites.
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.
Q: Are Yoga Mat Towels Necessary
A: Many yoga mats come with their own towel, but you can also buy yoga mat towels separately. While they may not be necessary, there is some wisdom to using them. Yoga towels are fantastic at absorbing sweat and this is a great advantage to keep the microbes from multiplying on your mat. If you do use a yoga mat towel, you will only need to give your actual mat a quick wipe down after your workout, instead of a full wash down. Yoga mat towels also double up as a towel to pat yourself dry during exercise. Once your routine is done, the towel is easy to throw into the washing machine and be ready for use the next time.
When The Width Of Yoga Mats Matter
In addition to the standard 24-inch width, you can also find yoga mats with 28 or 30-inch widths.
These wider yoga mats are great for those who want a little more wiggle room for poses on the back of the mat.
Plus, wider mats are great, if you need extra space for poses such as gate pose, or wide legged forward fold, where hands, legs, and feet tend to go off the mat.
This is also a good option if you want more space between you and the person next to you in class since yoga classes can sometimes be jammed pack.
One negative of longer widths is that they will not fit in a regular yoga bag. However, a with straps on each side of the rolled yoga mat would work just fine.
Also, if youre taking a yoga class, and the teacher uses the teaching cue, bring your feet mat-width apart, take notice that you will probably need to move your feet a bit inward from the sides of the mat since your mat is wider than standard.
If you think youd benefit from a wide, yoga mat, Id love for you to check out these additional suggestions.
The first I recommend is Pranas highly reviewed, , which comes in black or indigo, and is 30 inches wide and 78 inches long, perfect for yogis that are also tall.
Secondly, I have to mention that Jade Yoga makes a Fushion XW that is 28 inches long and comes in 71 or 80-inch lengths.
Sorry to sound like a broken record talking about Jade Yoga over and over, but they specialize in making yoga mats, and Jade yoga mats are amazing.
Birds Cork Lightweight Yoga Mat $68
It easy to see why this mat is the brands most popular item. Its lightweight build makes it easy to transport and its nature-friendly texture even makes it resistant to mold and bad smells.
42 Birds makes a terrific product, Brower said. Their mats are eco-friendly sourcing and have no rubber scent! I love their cork mat for my home practice.
Medium Thick Yoga Mats 4 To 5mm
Most Yogis find the mats with the thickness of 4 to 5mm to be the most diverse ones. They are generally lightweight and flexible, but only when made of synthetic materials. If you have a 5 mm yoga mat of materials like natural rubber, jute, and cork, flexibility and weight will take a hit. However, that is the only point that you could consider as a downside.
The mats in this thickness range will have the perfect cushioning for regular yoga poses, and will support a variety of yoga styles as well. The medium thick mats can sufficiently absorb moisture and fluid. And finally in this range of thickness you will probably find a greater variety of material options.
Who needs medium thick mats?
- Someone looking for a versatile mat.
- Someone looking for the best quality natural rubber, cotton, cork, or hemp mat.
- An intermediate practitioner who is planning to upgrade difficulty level.
- A practitioner who needs a lot of cushions, yet not completely cut from the feel of the ground.
- Someone who has a lot of advanced level yoga poses in routine like, handstand, peacock pose, and crow pose.
- Someone who is looking for a long-term investment in a yoga mat.
Yogi Bare Paws Yoga Mat
The best yoga mats: Lightweight, portable, good looking, and eco-friendly. What more could you want?
Hard-pressed that you will find a yoga mat better than the Yogi Bare Paws. This mat is undoubtedly the best option available on the market , and why are we so smitten over this one?
Good for the planet
Easy, let us start with the basics: this made is constructed from 100% natural PU rubber, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and recyclable . We live in a world where sustainability is essential, and this mat will make strides in reducing our carbon footprint.
In the event you lack grace or coordination, rest assured, you’re not alone. This mat will not only help with your stability but provide the marks you’ll need to perfect your position. But how? Here, users will notice a ‘central line design’ that acts as a marker where you should place your hands and feet. All you have to do is follow them to the end, and ta-da you’re look like a pro, whether you are or not.
The design features an extreme non-slip grip; that offers an extra firm perforated rubber surface to stop sweaty hands and feet from slipping during practices. Which if asking us? Absolute magic!
Here, you can endure rigorous exercises for hours on end and never have to interrupt your workout to wipe your mat down.
Manduka Yoga Mat Options
The usual size for Manduka mats is 71 inches lengthy. Some mats are available prolonged sizes for taller yogis: 79 and 85 inches lengthy. Solely the PRO mat comes within the 85-inch size.
Manduka mats are available stable colour decisions and some marbled kinds . Most colour choices are muted or impartial, like black, gray and darkish colours. Just a few mats additionally provide brilliant colours, like coral and fuchsia.
Manduka additionally makes youngsters mats as a part of their PRO sequence. The Youngsters PRO mat is available in two sizes: normal and lengthy. The usual is 51 inches lengthy, and the lengthy measures 60 inches. These mats are 2.5 millimeters thick and dense however not too heavy in your baby to hold.
The PRO sequence of Manduka mats is Oeko-Tex licensed, which implies these mats are freed from over 100 dangerous chemical substances generally utilized in textiles. In different phrases, these mats are protected in your physique and your family.
The eKO Superlite mat is the most cost effective Manduka mat at $45, adopted by the entry-level Start mat at $55. The Lite variations of Manduka yoga mats vary from $80-$100. The most costly mat is the Manduka PRO in 85 inches that prices upwards of $140 .
What Is The Best Thickness Of A Yoga Mat
The right thickness of yoga mat really depends on personal preference. If you have joints that ache after exercise choose a yoga mat above 3mm thick. This will make sure there’s enough cushion to support you whilst you move. If. you like to feel the floor/ground beneath you , plump for 3mm or below.
Giam Golding Yoga Mat
BEST TRAVEL PICK
Even if it comes with a carrying strap or bag, toting around a non-slip yoga mat isnt exactly convenient. Thats why we love this genius folding option from Gaiam, which has creases pressed in, ensuring the mat sits flat and doesnt pop out of its folded shape. It has a sticky texture for stable moves on the go and works well on carpet. It doesnt offer the thickness of bulkier alternatives, so if you have joint issues, consider pairing with a towel.
More from SPY
Best Yoga Mat Overall: Lululemon Reversible Mat 5mm
Lululemons Reversible Mat topped our list for a lot of reasons, chief among them that the mat has two sides, making it the most versatile option we tested. After all, who doesnt love a twofer? Users can choose between a smooth or textured mat , and we found that regardless of which side you use, the mat provides superior stability its hand and feet gripping is unmatched, and it never slipped when placed on hardwood or carpeted flooring.
The mats top layer is coated with polyurethane, which we found to be excellent at absorbing sweat, and it feels silky smooth under your hands and feet, with a sticky effect thats great for sweatier workouts. The textured natural rubber base layer is definitely geared more toward low-sweat workouts but provides equally superior traction when in use.
We found the Reversible Mats 5 millimeters of cushioning ample enough to provide support to sensitive areas , masking the hard floor underneath. Its also slightly larger than the standard yoga mat , coming in 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than most enough to provide you a bit more coverage without being too huge. That said, if you do want huge , this exact mat comes in a much bigger format.
What Type Of Yoga Are You Practicing
If youre practicing Hatha yoga or Yin yoga, youll be okay with a more standard mat it doesnt have to be of highest quality. Youre not necessarily getting sweaty with these styles of yoga, so the traction an average mat provides will be just fine. If you practice Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Hot Yoga, then youll need to invest in a mat that will absorb your sweat and will provide super-strong traction. You can also look into adding a textured yoga towel on top of your mat.
Thin Yoga Mats 2 To 4mm
Thin yoga mats are widely loved and appreciated since they offer decent cushion upgrade over ultra-thin ones. These might not absorb fluid well, but they manage to absorb moisture. The thin mats like its ultra-thin variant, are competently flexibly, lightweight and portable. Since most of the natural fibers weigh heavy, they are usually found to be in this range of thickness. The natural fibers being naturally dense, a thickness of around 3mm allows them to provide a sufficient cushion.
Who needs thin mats?
- Anyone who travels a lot and requires decent cushioning as well.
- Intermediate to advanced level practitioners who can adjust at different cushion levels.
- Someone who wants natural fiber as a material and is willing to pay slightly higher.
- Someone who wants a multipurpose usage of both traveling and storing.
- A practitioner who prefers to feel the ground through the mat, to feel more grounded.
Choosing The Right Yoga Mat
Shopping for your first yoga mat or even just a new one can be an overwhelming experience. Deciding between the various materials, sizes, and thicknesses can feel like an overwhelming amount of information. This guide will cover each of these aspects and more, and should make the decision process a bit simpler.
As you read this, be mindful of who will be using this yoga mat. The yoga mat you choose should reflect your experience and dedication. Basically, if youre new to yoga you should be looking more at basic, entry-level mats.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Yoga Mat
When youre buying a new yoga mat, ask the following five key questions. These will help you get the eco-friendly, ahimsa-friendly mat you need:
The kind of mat that works for you will depend on the style of yoga you practice. Other considerations include where you practice, your budget, and whether you prize comfort over stability. A good mat will be able to cushion your highest-impact lunges but keep you stable in your poses. Your ideal mat will also last for years without degrading and wont off-gas toxic chemicals that undo all your good work for mind and body.
Why Use A Yoga Mat
The yoga mat is the basic material that we must acquire to start practicing Yoga. Yoga mat protects us from the cold of the ground and prevents our body from contacting dirt and germs on the surface. This mat will also be very useful when we do yoga outdoors because it will provide us with greater stability and comfort.
It is important that you choose a yoga mat that suits you since you must be comfortable when you perform your activities properly. With this article, we will help you buy the one that best suits you for the type of yoga you practice, your preferences and your budget. We assure you that once you acquire your yoga mat it will become essential and you will not be able to live without.
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Since it will probably take a while before things are completely back to normal, finding your zen is of utmost importance, and yoga can help.
Yoga is a great way to unwind and relieve your anxiety and experts say that practicing the popular discipline can help to reduce COVID-induced depression and stress.
So if youve been looking to improve your health or want to bring some relaxation into your life, yoga is a great option. And luckily, there are mats that will fit any kind of exercise, budget or style.
Whether you are into hot yoga or a beginner who is just getting started, there is a perfect fit for you. Here are some of the best yoga mats that we could find, and we even got input from some of the best yoga instructors around.
Q: What Is A Yoga Mat
A: A yoga mat is in essence, a fitness mat especially designed for use during a yoga routine. Their main purpose is to cushion and support the spine and joints and prevent hands and feet from slipping and sliding during the various poses a yogi may perform during the exercise. This allows for a more natural alignment of the body which results in getting the optimal benefit from the routine.
What Should I Look Out For When Buying A Yoga Mat
Sifting through the myriad mats on the market is a veritable minefield. As befitting a growing field, all manner of mats are available across a wide price spectrum. While some of the cheaper models are respectable, they start getting better at around £30.
Some key aspects to consider include:
- Thickness: If it’s too thin, it can be slightly uncomfortable or painful. Too thick and you’ll lose your connection to the ground . Yoga mats range from about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch.
- Material: This will affect the performance. There are several materials to consider, with different textures, levels of stickiness and sponginess. Traditionally, most were PVC. There are now many eco-friendly alternatives, like recycled rubber, organic cotton and cork.
- Texture: Texture is crucial as it provides traction, helping to prevent slipping in certain positions and movements. Some mats are therefore bumpy, which you might like or find annoying. I found the smoother ones more comfortable, and the best smooth ones guard equally well against slipping. Also, a smoother, slightly slippery mat can with time become fine.
- Stickiness: Again, stickiness stops you from sliding, ensuring you remain aligned. Personally, I think you can go too far on this front the stickier mats made my hands extremely claggy so look for something that strikes a balance.
- Weight: If you’re taking your mat to and from classes, perhaps with a commute factored in, you won’t want to be lugging around something that’s too heavy.
Best Cork: Gurus Sprout Yoga Mat
Anyone with sweaty hands and feet can attest to slipping on a yoga mat at least once, but this travel mat is made of a sustainable material thatll keep you in place. Unlike foam mats, cork reacts to the sweat on your body by becoming more grippy, giving you extra traction even if youre doing an impressive handstand. And because cork is naturally antimicrobial, you wont have to clean it as much.
I have very sweaty palms and feet, which is always a problem with yoga, but with this mat I never have to even think about slipping, let alone feel it, says one Amazon reviewer. Ive found much more stability in my practice, even in poses like crane where I never thought thered been a problem before.
Best For Carpet:manduka Pro Yoga Mat
While carpet isnt ideal for yoga, as it can cause instability and sliding, some mats fair better on this surface than others. The Manduka PRO Yoga and Pilates Mat offers one of the grippiest surfaces in the game and performs well on carpet.
The latex-free PVC mat is sustainably engineered, using high-quality materials that wont peel, flake, or fade, and it’s made without dyes or phthalates. It provides a sticky, sturdy grip, allowing for seamless transitions between . Plus, its closed-cell surface prevents sweat and bacteria from seeping in. Thanks to its extra-long build, it can fit a person up to 7 feet tall.
The mat comes in a variety of colors and in two different lengths71 inches and 85 inches. With a 6-millimeter-thick construction, it provides the ideal balance of support, cushion, and stability. As an added bonus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Thickness: 6 mm | Material: PVC | Size: 71 x 26 in and 85 x 26 in | Weight: 7.5 lbs and 9.5 lbs | Style: Closed-cell
The Pros And Cons Of Thick Mats
Just as with thin mats, thick mats also provide a series of advantages and disadvantages that every yogi should know about before purchasing one:
- Because of the extra padding that thick mats offer, they are a better choice for people who have different medical conditions or to those who often experience pains and aches.
- Those who practice outdoor yoga will also benefit greatly from the extra cushioning provided by thicker mats, especially if the ground is not leveled or is filled with debris.
- One of the first disadvantages of buying and using a thick yoga rug is the fact that you might not get enough contact with the ground. This could stand in the way of more complicated poses, as the extra thickness prevents proper balance.
- Needless to say, thicker yoga mats are heavier and bulkier, making them more difficult to carry around.
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 practiceand it only gets better with use.
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.
What Size Of Yoga Mat Do I Need
The size and weight are something that you must consider when buying your yoga mat. As I mentioned above, you must think in advance where you will use your yoga mat. At home or in your yoga class?
As for the size, if you are very tall, there are mats that adapt to you. There is also who looks for it a little wider.
For example, the one I bought, it has measures of 61 cm x 173 cm x 1.5 to 2 mm and weighs 0.9 kg. Total light! It is super easy to store and fits anywhere, even in my backpack!
Choosing The Right Yoga Mat Thickness
While Yoga Mats are meant to support, cushion and protect your body, many factors such as where you practice and what kind of practice you do can help you choose the right yoga mat thickness for your specific needs.
Yoga Mats vary in length, material and thickness. Although there is not a specific rule on deciding which thickness you should use, there are a few things to consider.
Finest Bang In Your Buck Manduka Yoga Mat
Our take: A fairly priced Manduka mat for novices or superior practitioners preferring a cushier mat.
What we like: This reasonably priced yoga mat gives a beneficiant 5 millimeters of cushioning. If yogas not your factor, this mat is a superb health club or Pilates mat. It includes a reversible, two-color design so youll be able to swap issues up.
What we dislike: Just like the PRO, the closed-cell floor may be slippery at first and even after the break-in interval.
Fitness Mad Evolution Yoga Mat
Why we like it: Grippy, thin, light, and very well priced.
I usually find kneeling on wooden floors quite uncomfortable but, while this mat was thin at just 4mm, it was comfortable enough. This is thanks to a delicate sponginess and spring.
It was very grippy, both in socks and barefoot, and I didn’t slip once while going through my routine the sign of a good yoga mat. It has a flat surface, and it’s not too sticky, proving you don’t need excessive patterning or stickiness to maintain a firm grip. Like the Liforme, it’s made of recyclable PVC a latex-free material.
I like that it come with a carry string, and it’s light, at just 1kg. Overall, this is a very solid mid-range option; at the price, it should work well for beginners or people who do yoga a couple of times a week.
The Airex Calyana Prime was tested by The Telegraph’s Olivia Walmsley. Here are her thoughts:
“This mat is a collaboration between Swiss company Airex and the yoga teacher and physical therapist Buket Akkus. It’s a good everyday mat: sticky enough so your hands or feet don’t slide, but allowing some movement when you want it .
“It provides a nice amount of cushioning, and doesn’t curl up, which is always very annoying. Minor gripes: it’s pretty heavy , so I’d probably leave it at home rather than haul it around town. The colour ocean blue also feels a bit institutional. Other than that, a solid mat for a beginner like me.”
Yoga mat FAQ