Finding the best yoga mat that is right for you can be quite a mission. Yoga mats provide a slip-resistant surface for all styles of yoga. They also provide a bit of cushioning between your limbs and unforgiving studio floors or uneven outdoor terrain.
You’re certainly not alone if you struggle to find the best yoga mat. After all, there are so many different kinds to choose from, and superficially, they all seem similar enough.
Do You Need A Yoga Mat?
Probably the first thing you need to do is ask yourself how much yoga are you going to do?
If you just want to exercise and maybe do a little yoga also then a general purpose exercise mat may be good enough. These are usually thicker mats and can provide you with enough support for general exercising, like calisthenics (pushups, crunches, lunges).
If you are going to do more yoga and have determined that you need a proper yoga mat then it’s good to research a little in order to choose the right mat for you.
Yoga mats are a lot thinner than general purpose exercise mats and you only need so much cushioning for yoga. They are easy to roll up and carry around while being effective at supporting you during your yoga sessions.
Yoga mats also have a non-slip surface which can help you with those trying yoga sessions. It can prevent you from slipping and sliding all over the place.
Your yoga mat supports you through the joys and trials of your practice. Do you have slippery or dry hands? Need more support? Eco-minded? Economical?
These questions come up all the time and we want to find the right mat for us.
Which Yoga Mat Is Right?
There are several things to consider in choosing the right yoga mat.
With yoga mats, most roll up for storage, but some fold; some are thick, while others are thin; some have texture, but others sport a smooth surface. Also there’s the big question of whether it’s worth it to shell out for an expensive mat.
When it comes to buying the best yoga mat, you simply can’t compromise on the quality. If you don’t know what it means, experiment with a low-quality mat and count the number of times you slip or slide during the workout session.
If you are confused by the number of mats out there, we don’t blame you. There are several types to choose from and you need to pick and choose what you want according to your needs.
Recommended Yoga Mats
Colors: 2 and 3 Colors
Size: 3mm or 5mm
Price: $44.95 – $54.95
Website: Hugger Mugger
The unique dry-grip texture of this biodegradable, recyclable mat is perfect for eco-minded yogis and lightweight mat lovers.
The Earth Elements 3 mm Mat is made with very lightweight, eco-friendly TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and features dry-grippy traction and an extra-soft texture. This mat features a closed-cell construction that prevents the absorption of moisture, making it easy to keep clean and great for sweaty yogis.
Due to the biodegradable properties of this mat, it should not be left in sun, extreme heat, or extreme cold for an extended amount of time.
- Nontoxic, biodegradable TPE is healthy for you and the planet
- Outstanding grip
- Very lightweight, perfect for travel
- One of the first sustainable yoga mats ever made
- Recyclable, biodegradable
- Patterned surface with fun colors
- Also available in 5 mm thickness
Colors: 4 Colors
Size: 68, 74 or 80-inches
Price: $39.95 – $49.95
Website: Hugger Mugger
Upgrade your practice by pairing comfort with stability. This extra-cushiony version of our original sticky mat provides padded support in any asana.
Proudly made in the USA for almost 30 years, the Tapas® Ultra Mat has a unique, soft, cushiony feel. It follows the same quality-tested formula as our famous Tapas® Original Mat, but provides double the thickness for bones and joints. It is economical and lightweight with a sticky surface that will keep you stable in any asana.
- Stable, sticky, and durable
- Outstanding 1/4″ cushioning supports bones and joints
- Available in 68″ (standard), 74″ and 80″ (extra long)
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Made in the USA
Colors: 4 Colors
Website: Hugger Mugger
Nonslip? Check. Eco-friendly? Yup. Easy on the knees? You’ll love the cushion! Take your practice to the next level with this mat’s unmatched stability and support.
This teacher’s favorite features a natural, nonslip surface that brings a more connected feeling to your practice. Each side provides a different grippy texture, making it excellent for any practice that’s enhanced by grip or cushion. You will enjoy this versatile, high-performing mat for years to come!
- Superior, non-slip grip on both sides
- Natural rubber is durable and long-lasting
- 1/4″ thickness with excellent cushion and shock absorption
- Streaked with a colorful, serene pattern
- Also available in XL size
These are a few of our Recommended Yoga Mats and there are many more at the Hugger Mugger website to see.
Once you start investigating the differences among yoga mats, they actually do have nuances that can make for a more fruitful practice.
A Thicker or Thinner Mat?
It can take some time to figure out what kind of yoga mat works best for you, but experts often recommend thicker mats for anyone who needs a bit more cushioning. Also a thicker mat is good for yogis that enjoy practices such as Yin or restorative yoga that move slowly between each pose.
On the other hand, a thinner mat might be a better choice for advanced moves that require a lot of stability and a solid connection with the ground, like in a hybrid yoga-cardio class.
What it really comes down to is that the best mat for you is the one that lets you focus on yoga, not whether your hands are slipping or your elbows are aching.
Yoga mat thickness is really the choice of each person. Most mats range between 3/16-inches to 1/4-inches thick which is often listed as 5mm or 6mm.
The 1/4-inch thickness mat makes it a bit more forgiving for newbies who want extra cushioning if they slip, or for more advanced students who want a mat that is thick enough for trickier moves.
This also holds true with mat weight. Some mats are rubber and can weigh as much as 7lbs. while thinner mats will weigh more like 3-4 lbs. For their yoga practice, some people do prefer the thicker mat because these feel quite secure and they have adequate cushioning.
Most mats are 24″ by 68″ or 72-74″ in size. Some are extra long (80″) but most fit in this size range.
As for price well the prices can vary alot. Some basic mats are low in price while the best mats can go for a much higher price.
Beginners or those who only do yoga occasionally will probably be just fine with a basic mat, and there are several types to choose from. But as we have mentioned before, it is good to choose a quality mat because some say the yogi is only as good as his mat. You want to stay focused during your practice and nobody wants to slip and slide because of a cheap mat.
When buying a mat some things come to mind like: long-term durability, weight, easy portability, grip or stickiness. Other things to consider are whether a mat is prone to rips and tears, does it have a manufacturer’s warranty, is it good against peeling and fading, or ease of cleaning? Also it’s important to see how the mats stand up in day-to-day use.
Some good qualities to look for in a mat are: pairing comfort with stability, outstanding grip and cushioning, many yogis prefer lightweight but thick enough. Also many yogis are eco-minded and might prefer a mat that’s extra- cushiony or extra-long that can provide padded support in any asana.
Yoga mats are easy to carry around and store while also being easy to clean. Plus with use and washing your mat should become softer and stickier.
If you practice yoga every day, you may want to wash your mat once a month, especially during hot weather. The more soil you see on your mat, the more likely it needs to be thoroughly washed. Also remember to air out your mat regularly.
A common question people ask is how long should you keep a yoga mat?
The answers may vary but we know that between the sweating and stretching and balancing, it will eventually show signs of wear and tear that will impact your yoga practice. The general rule of thumb is you should replace your mat every six to 12 months, but with everyone’s yoga practice being different, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs like stains and soil.
Also, we don’t recommend that you buy used mats because of the issues of cleanliness and hygiene.
Mats Can Have Germs
Mats have been found to have Staph, yeast build-up (a form of fungus), fecal matter, allergens, and millions of bacteria, to name just a few of the findings.
Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean and Germ-Free!
See the good mats below >>>
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