The Best Yoga Mats
In order to start practicing yoga, you don’t need hundreds of dollars of equipment, unlike most activities that are good for your body. Each yoga studio usually offers yoga mats that you can use while you figure out which yoga mat you would like to purchase. In addition to this, yoga mats should be regularly cleaned in order to avoid unpleasant experiences. In this buying guide, we are going to offer some of the best yoga mats on the market that will lift up your mood and make you look forward to your next class.
After finding the type of yoga and a suitable yoga instructor in your area, the next step is choosing your yoga mat. Considering the great popularity and the crowded yoga mats market, doing so is not an easy task. The more time you are planning to spend on your yoga mat, the higher yoga mat quality you are going to need. After a while, your yoga mat will become your personal space where you can work on yourself, grow and deal with your ups and falls that are inevitable in life!
There are various reasons why you would need a yoga mat. The first one is connected to the wonderful weather outside that it is a pity not to take advantage of. Imagine doing yoga on the beach or between trees in nature. Although this sounds amazing, without a yoga mat, you would feel a bit more than it is pleasant the terrain under you and the truth is, sand is slippery.
Another reason is that by having a yoga mat with a nice quality, you will tend to practice more. This means that you would probably want to do sun salutation asanas in the mornings that you are feeling positive. Or maybe you prefer catching a break between tasks and “roll” on the dharma wheel. Even though exercising on the floor is doable, it is definitely not recommended; neither is it comfortable and soul fulfilling.
Our Top 3 Picks
- I am Athletics - Jute Mats
- Jute construction
- VHR TPE Mat
- Carrying handle
- Manduka Yoga Mat
- Dot pattern grip
A good quality yoga mat will provide a higher motivation. Everyone has moments of laziness. However, once you step on your yoga mat, you have a feeling of entering your own personal space, creating your intimate atmosphere. Once you get to that step, everything else is kind of easier. The energy flows through you and around you and even the darkest and rainiest day becomes brighter.
In addition, we are presenting and suggesting some of the best yoga mats on the market. Most of them are currently on promotion and limited-time offers. They are made from high-quality materials and each of them is the best yoga mat in their range. However, they also have disadvantages which are also mentioned in the review. After testing many yoga mats, we have agreed that these are the final 5 choices that give you the best features for the price offered. We hope that you will enjoy this reading and we will help you in finding the best yoga mat for your needs.
4 Best Yoga Mats
NATURAL JUTE YOGA MATS – I am Athletics
It is made from Jute material combined with Linen and Eco PVC. It is eco-friendly and non-toxic material that lets you express your emotions in a healthy environment. Even though it has some Eco PVC in its content it is a low percentage and it provides the mat the density and firmness that is required for some more balancing positions in power yoga styles. This material which is often avoided is also providing the durability of the mat. By combining a soft and light material such as jute with Eco PVC, a specific material blend is obtained that will allow you to use this mat for years. The Jute is also making the yoga mat easier than with any other material so that you can transport it more easily.
Weight, thickness, and size
The total weight of the mat is 3, 4 lbs which is not so light although it is not too heavy as well. You would be able to carry it with you if you are practicing yoga somewhere other than the comfort of your home. The thickness is 5 millimeters which would usually be too soft if it wasn’t for the PVC component in the mat. The size is 72’’ x 24’’ which is a bit longer compared to the regular size. This suggests that the yoga mat is intended for more difficult yoga positions that would require more space and stability. Having these features in mind it is safe to conclude that this yoga mat provides the user the perfect amount of comfort, traction and cushioning.
The main concern when practicing yoga, especially when learning the more challenging poses, is the slipping on your yoga mat. However, the “I am Athletics” company has solved this issue by making both surfaces rougher, therefore producing an anti-slip yoga mat that you can trust while practicing. Simply step on your mat and forget about the environment including the ground under you. You are safe and centered with this yoga mat.
The mat also has carrying strap doubles that come in black only and are with good quality, so you would be able to comfortably walk to your yoga studio. The product is currently on promotion and if ordered from the link provided you will get a free shipping as well.
It is also suitable for practicing Pilates or fitness although softer mats are more convenient for such sports.
Not so lightweight
middle price range
TPE VHR Mat
Having in mind the above-mentioned arguments, it is up for you to decide if the TPE material is Eco-friendly or not. However, the manufacturing company is promoting it as such. Even though it is debatable whether it is beneficial for the environment or not, it certainly has advantages for the user. It is extremely durable and nonslippery. With it being the healthy substitution of PVC, it is safe for the user because of the absence of lead, phthalates, heavy metals and rubber materials.
Weight, thickness, and size
The length of the yoga mat is longer than the standard one and it measures 72 inches. Higher quality yoga mats are usually longer in size although this rule doesn’t always apply. It is also extra thick which is allowing you to practice power yoga styles with a greater stability while feeling safe. It can be used both sides and it offers a different density on each side. One offers you a harder surface for more challenging yoga poses and the other one is the softer side which is more convenient for the relaxing yoga styles. However, both surfaces are nonslippery and they both attach well on the ground and feel nice on your skin. Their surface is rougher on the one side and smoother on the other side. However, both surfaces are rough enough so that you don’t slip in case the mat is wet. The weight of the yoga mat is only 2, 4 lbs which makes it one of the lightest mats on the market. This makes it more suitable for transporting it to longer destinations.
The mat is also odor-free and hypoallergenic on both sides. All TPE yoga mats are considered hypoallergenic since they are free from the harmful chemicals that could affect your body if you breathe them in or they get in touch with your skin.
The cushioning it provides is excellent for your knees and joints.
The manufacturer also offers a guarantee if you are not satisfied with the mat for any reason. Either money back or a replacement of the product is possible. The company does so because it believes that once you have tried a high-quality product such as this one, you will never want to come back to low-quality mats again.
The maintaining of the TPE yoga mat is very simple and it is a lot easier than PVC since it can endure harsh chemicals without getting damaged or change its properties. Washing it in a machine is not recommended. The maintaining process is as natural as it gets and you only have to have home products for washing it. Simply soak it in vinegar and warm water, rinse it and you are ready for your next yoga session!
free from toxic chemicals
two usable sides
Not machine washable
not a natural material
Manduka PRO Yoga and Pilates Mat
Although this Manduka mat is entirely made of synthetic materials they have a certain technology of production that is preventing the toxic emissions of the PVC materials to get released into the air. The Pro line of yoga mats, however, does contain PVC which also adds up to the weight of the mat. If you are looking for a lightweight yoga mat option, look among our other suggestions. The synthetic blend of materials that Manduka is using in this line is safe for the environment and safe to be in contact with your skin. Their products are also approved and certified by OEKO-TEX.
The material of the mat is designed to last the user a lifetime. It is economically more efficient for you to get one high-quality yoga mat than to replace them every once in a while with cheaper versions. However, this is a personal decision and you should decide a budget for a yoga mat you will be content with. This is a yoga mat that you will only be getting once in a lifetime, it could never wear out.
Weight, thickness, and size
The company offers two lengths of yoga mats. The standard one is 3, 4 kg and it is 6 millimeters thick. The thickness implies that the mat is not suitable for more difficult poses, however, the density of the mat makes up to the thickness. This mat will provide you a stable surface for any yoga pose. The thickness of the extra long mat alternative is the same, although it is a bit heavier. With its weight of 4 kg this mat suggests that it is not convenient for transport unless you are traveling to your yoga studio with a vehicle. The extra long mat comes in 215 cm x 66 cm dimensions.
This mat is usually used from yoga instructors and people who have practiced yoga for years and challenge their bodies on a different scale. However, if you intend on practicing yoga for a long time, this mat will improve your postures as well as your overall performance.
Because of the almost smooth surface of the mat, there is a possibility that it gets slippery if you tend to sweat excessively. However, it does have a closed cell surface that will prevent the sweat from seeping inside the mat and cause slipping. It is also important to mention that the first few times you would be using the mat it is a bit slippery. However, after a while the performance grip improves. If you mind this, you could wash it with salt water and it will provide a great support from the start. The slipping layer is actually a protective layer on top of the mat which is added in the manufacturing process.
slippery if there is sweat
The mat is made from PVC material, therefore its stability and durability. However, they use a specific type of PVC material that is free of phthalates that are extremely harmful to the human body as well as the environment. The rough surface offers a great traction. However, once you purchase the mat it can be slippery since it is covered with a layer of protective material. In order to get rid of it, you must wash it with warm water. After this, the grip performance is excellent.
Weight, thickness, and size
Although there are many variants from this mat that you could check out from one of our links, this particular version is a standard one with a length of 68 inches and it is wide 24 inches. The thickness is 5 millimeters which is the standard thickness for a good quality yoga mat. The mat is thick enough and it provides a great cushioning on your knees and joints. The weight of the mat is around 3 pounds which means it is pretty lightweight.
Although the mat doesn’t come with a strap to carry it, it does offer a free yoga workout download. Although this mat offers a great support, it is not recommended for hot yoga as it tends to get slippery because of the nature of the PVC material. However, if you are determined to make it work, simply put antiperspirant on your hands and feet or even better, get a towel mat and use it during your practice.
slippery when sweating
Criteria for Evaluation
How to choose the right one for you?
Once we have all agreed that purchasing a yoga mat is essential to your yoga practice, we will explain how to do so. A thorough research and the review of various yoga mats from different companies have shown that some factors are more important to consider than others. In addition, we will share with you the most important features you should consider when choosing the best yoga mat for your needs and budget.
Type of yoga you are practicing
You should choose your yoga mat according to the type of yoga that you are practicing. For a more static type of yoga (bikram, iyengar, sivananda…) you should choose a thicker and softer yoga mat. And for the more dynamic ones, choose a yoga mat with a firmer surface that will support your poses. If you are sweating excessively, it is a good idea that you also purchase an additional cotton mat that should be placed on top of the yoga mat so that they absorb the moisture and prevent slipping during your performance.
Before even thinking about purchasing a yoga mat, you should decide the budget you are willing to set aside. The cheapest yoga mats are made from PVC materials and the more expensive ones are made from a recycled rubber material, organic cotton, and other similar cotton friendly materials. Cheaper yoga mats are more suitable for usage for a certain period of time only since they usually start to fall apart after few months. Having a cheap first yoga mat is not recommended since it might influence your overall performance. It is not the best option neither for your wallet, nor the planet. Regardless of whether you are a professional or a beginner, if you are practicing yoga regularly every day, you should invest in a more quality yoga mat.
The material it is made from
Pay a special attention to the structure of the yoga mat. If your ultimate goal is for the mat to be less slippery, then it is recommended that you avoid PVC material and go for the rubber ones. The reason PVC is not a convenient option for a yoga mat is because they are known as slippery, unlike some of the more natural alternatives. However, their color doesn’t fade and they are extremely durable. They are also highly resistant to damages and this is definitely a nice feature for traveling. PVC yoga mats are also the easiest to clean since they can be washed with any detergent or cleaning chemical.
Also, consider the structure of the surface of the mat. The ones that are rougher tend to be less slippery and if the bottom surface is also rough it will be better attached to the floor. All in all, your yoga mat should enable you to practice yoga without standing in your way and by allowing you to focus on the practice itself instead of your discomfort.
Thermoplastic elastomer yoga mats are soft and pleasant to touch. They also tend to keep their shape even after long mechanical influences. This mat could be used in any environment; even outside since it is also very durable. The mat will absorb the sweat and the maintaining of it is also easy. It is non-slippery; however, the price of these mats is a lot higher than the PVC ones.
The natural material on the other side is more flexible and some of them heavier. The rubber mats, for instance, are very heavy, but they don’t absorb any moisture. The rubber yoga mats are very soft and elastic; they keep their shape well and don’t cause static electricity. However, rubber is a natural material and the price is high as well.
How to choose your yoga mat size depends on of few factors that you should consider before choosing your best mat. The size of your yoga mat will greatly depend on your own preferences.
Yoga mats usually have standard sizes (60 x 180 cm); however, some brands offer longer or wider alternatives. If possible, wash your yoga mat before using it in order to take off the rubbery smell from the mat. However, if you choose a longer or a wider mat, keep in mind that the weight of your mat will also be increased.
The length depends mainly on your height and the type of yoga you are practicing. So, if you are a part of a yoga group that is not too dynamic, deciding your perfect mat length would be easy. Simply add 10 more cm to your height and you should be able to go through the session. However, if your practice is dynamic, add 20-40 cm to your own height so that your yoga mat isn’t too short for some poses and you feel comfortable with its length.
The wideness of your yoga mat should be in the range between 60 and 80 cm. How to decide also depends on your personal characteristics. Of course, it is always better for your practice to take a wider mat. However, if you are walking to your yoga studio or taking public transportation, this might be a bit harder. A wider mat, in this case, means increased weight to carry, as well as taking more space. Even though if this is the case, a wide yoga mat is not recommended, keep in mind that a too narrow mat could make your practice more difficult. And if this happens, your mat stops being of use.
The thickness of your yoga mat is also an important factor. Generally speaking, it could vary from 1, 5 to 6, 8 centimeters. It is best that you focus on the mat’s density instead of its thickness. Some yoga mats are thicker, but they are soft, with a lower density. Yoga mats with a higher density tend to be higher quality and they will protect you from the ground temperatures. They also act as a kind of isolator between you and the ground and since yoga mats are not something to be purchased every season; this is also a feature to consider. In winter weather conditions, when the temperatures drop, a yoga mat with a high density will be greatly significant to you. This kind of yoga mat will also ensure maximum comfort during your practice since you wouldn’t have any inconvenience while standing on your knees and elbows. That said, the optimal thickness of the yoga mat is 4, 5 – 6 millimeters. There are also thicker mats, but they are not recommended since they could prevent you from feeling your own body.
When carrying the yoga mat to your practice, it is recommended that you use a waterproof cover with a practical handle that you could carry around. This will protect the mat from the outside moisture and ecological influences, and at the same time, provide the user comfort while carrying the mat.
If you are planning on carrying it around with you or you are traveling often consider choosing a lighter yoga mat. There are also, so called travel mats that are a lot lighter than the standard ones. There are also yoga mats for children who should have the same features except their sizes are smaller.
Maintaining your yoga mat
The way of maintaining your yoga mat is also very important. Although some yoga mats are machine washable, most of them won’t fit one and are not suitable for such maintenance. Another simple way of maintaining it clean is by washing it in your bath tub. Fill your tub with few inches; just enough for your mat could float. After this, put some detergent on it and wash it with a sponge. After doing so, spray it with clean water in order to get the detergent of. By following this process your yoga mat should be clean and ready for use. An additional step in the cleaning process is adding essential oils in your bath tub that your yoga mat will absorb. This way, while practicing you will feel the pleasant and fresh smell of the essential oil you choose.
Generally speaking, maintaining the yoga mat greatly depends on the material it is made of. Having this in mind, here are the recommendations for each and every mat material:
- Thermoplastic mats should be washed only manually
- Rubber yoga mats should be only wiped with a moist towel or a sponge.
- PVC yoga mats can be washed in a washing machine or however you wish.
- When rolling the mat, keep in mind that you shouldn’t roll it too tight since it could create changing of its form.
- Detergents are only to be used with PVC materials, other materials require more gentle cleaning chemicals that are convenient for such materials.
In order to best help with making the search a little bit easier, we did a little research to see what people were asking. Here are a few of the things that we found when looking through many of the concerns and questions hat both shoppers and users had.
Q: Which kind of yoga mat is best for Bikram?
A: The points you will want to take into consideration are thickness, durability, traction and the ability to use both sides.
- Thickness – You’ll want enough cushioning to last through the class. Especially in hot environments, many types of foam rubber tend to soften. This means that if you have a mat which isn’t thick enough, the softening of the material may not offer the same cushion that it might in a cooler place.
- Durability – This point really goes for just about anything you buy, which will undergo continuous use. When it come to Bikram, or hot yoga, the constant use from hot to cool temps if you tend to switch up your style of practice. The sweat and constant need for cleaning are also factors which may affect the longevity of the mat as well.
- Traction – Whereas you won’t want to have something that is gritty and uncomfortable, you will want to chose an option that provides adequate grip, especially for Bikram where the heat is cranked up, causing you to sweat much more. though you may have to wipe the sweat off once in a while during a session, the better traction could mean a few less interuptions.
- Reversible – Going back to the point above, you will tend to sweat a lot more with Bikram. For that reason, it is a good idea to find a product which is reversible, allowing it to simply be flipped over when too much sweat settles on it.
Q: What is the best way to clean a yoga mat?
A: It may sound like something that might not much attention, but these mats can get pretty dirty. The combination of sweat and the floor, you’d be surprised what they can look like after a few sessions. The sweat alone will attract bacteria if not cleaned regularly, so this part is quite important.
There are a few ways to clean them, some with cleaning solutions, and some with natural recipes. There are some products which are machine washable, but most are better of being washed in a tub of hot water.
Whether natural or not, you will want to use a mild but effective soap or solution to ensure the product isn’t ruined. Plus, you probably won’t want to sweat and have contact with harsh chemicals while in use. Unless you are using some kind of natural cleaning recipe, dish soap or mild laundry detergent should work just fine.
As the foam will absorb everything, it is important to rinse really well to get all of the residual soap out. You will also need to get all of the excess water out. But, no matter how tempting it might be, it isn’t a good idea to ring the mat out. This could likely cause tearing or even altering the shape. The best way to do it, is to lay it on a thick, dry towell and roll them both up together. Once rolled up in the towel, you can add pressure to help get the water out even more.
Q: Are there any natural cleaners available to use for cleaning yoga mats?
A: There are many cleaning products available out there. Some in the form of sprays, some in solutions, and some in a wipe form. There are also ways to clean naturally. It seems that the best and most popular way to clean naturally, is to use recipes with natural ingredients that you can mix up yourself at home. There are a ton of recipe ideas which can be found online, mostly on yoga or healthy living forums.
By looking through our suggestions you would without a doubt find what you are looking for. The trick is to know what you are looking for. Before purchasing a yoga mat make sure you know where and how are you going to use your mat for. Whether you are going to travel few times a week to a yoga studio or you prefer practicing in the comfort of your home. A yoga mat that you are planning on using at home could be a luxury one with greater thickness and your studio yoga mat could be ultra lightweight. Also if you have some allergies avoid synthetic materials and focus on the most natural yoga mats. Last but not least, decide which color you would like your mat to be. Even though the quality of your mat doesn’t depend on this preference, it might change your mood for the better of worse. Colors have a way of influencing some people’s mood. Even if you don’t believe so, it is always pleasant to look at your favorite color for some reason.
Is your yoga mat with good quality? If you need assistance in choosing one for your next yoga session pop us a question in the comment section below! Namaste!