So you want to start yoga or pilates, and you want to choose the best yoga mat for yourself. This is wise, as a yoga mat is a great investment, especially when the right type and size is chosen.
And if the proper material is chosen, your new yoga mat will also provide you comfort and security when things can get slippery with sweat.
Here’s some questions to ask which will help you decide…
Question 1 :: Where will you be practising?
This will affect the thickness of the mat you choose. Of course if it’s a hard floor or ground level, a thick yoga mat is best, however, if it’s a soft and cushioned floor, then a thin mat is most likely more suitable.
Question 2 :: How sensitive is your body?
If you are strong and tough, a thin mat may be fine, however if you are sensitive, or have injuries, a thick mat may be more suitable.
Question 3 :: How big are you?
If you are tall or short, then the length and width of the yoga mat is best matched to you size. Ideally the mat should be about 1 foot bigger then your height.
Question 4 :: Do you have any allergies?
The product a yoga mat is made of can affect your health, so be aware of your allergies and sensitivities. Latex may be preferable if you are sensitive.
Question 5 :: How big is your yoga space?
Do you have a large or small area to lay your mat out in? Or do you need a “buffer zone” from the proximity of other bodies in a group class? Larger mats offer a bigger boundary, however they will take up more space when rolled up and in storage.
Question 6 :: Do you want to be eco-friendly?
Yes there are eco-friendly yoga mats made from rubber, jute, TPE, Tatami, Cotton and more…. It is recommended you investigate their performance first and how suitable that is for you and which offer care for the environment, generally with no PVC, and minimal emissions (remember that shipping causes emissions so buying local is very eco-friendly).
Question 7 :: Do you want a “good looking” yoga mat?
Yes folks do love to “look good” in the yoga world and yes there are a huge variety of prints and patterns. And if something inspires you to be ON it, then its well worth considering. Some folks even like to choose the colours that resonate best for them, the main ones being orange, purple and blue.
Question 8 :: Do you want to buy local or imported?
Yoga mats are made worldwide, of course buying local is wiser for the planet, however, yoga mats are produced in China, Germany and the USA and these may suit you better. A google search of “yoga mat manufacturers” should reveal potential sources. Or your local yoga mat or yoga accessory store may already have these in stock, so ask them.
Question 9 :: What is your budget?
You always get what you pay for and I’ve found this to be VERY true regarding yoga mats. I consider my yoga mat a vital tool for my health and sanity, and so plan to spend a reasonable amount on it, but I do price check around first. Ideally your yoga mat will last a long time so you will most likely get your money’s worth from it.
I hope this all helps you decide and gets you on your yoga path, the best path in the world.
Check out the 11 Best Yoga Mats on the market right now:
1. Manduka PRO Yoga and Pilates Mat
The Manduka PRO won’t just support your practice, it will elevate it. Made with an emissions-free manufacturing process and guaranteed to last a lifetime, the PRO isn’t just the only mat you’ll ever want, it’s the only one you’ll ever need. Nontoxic, 100% latex free, and has an emissions-free manufacturing process. Proprietary dot patterned bottom prevents sliding. Standard: 71” X 26”; 6mm thick; 7.5 lbs. Long: 85” X 26”; 6mm thick; 9.5 lbs.
2. Yoga Design Lab The Combo Yoga Mat
Biodegradable natural tree rubber and water based print inks. 3.5mm of natural tree rubber is bonded to an ultra-absorbent microfiber towel layer. You no longer need to bring a separate mat AND towel to class! All-in-one product. This extra durable mat offers superior grip and cushion to support your daily yoga practice. Just throw it into the washing machine then hang to dry. Includes carrying strap.
3. Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat
Jade Yoga’s most popular premium mat, the Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-inch mat offers a perfect balance of traction and cushion. Jade mats are made with open-cell, natural rubber, which is well known for offering terrific slip-resistance. As a result, you no longer have to worry about slipping on your practice mat–even if it gets wet with perspiration. Jade mats also offer exceptional resilience, unmatched compression-set resistance, and incomparable cushioning, so you’ll stay comfortable with every pose. And because natural rubber is a renewable resource tapped from rubber trees, the company’s mats contain no PVC or ozone-depleting substances. Jade mats–which are made in the U.S. in compliance with all U.S. environmental and labor laws–are perfect for the yogi concerned about the Earth. Jade Yoga also plants a tree for every mat sold in partnership with Trees for the Future. The Harmony Professional comes in 68- and 74-inch lengths and is available in a variety of colors. The Jade can be hand washed with mild soap and warm water, and then hung or laid flat to dry out of direct sunlight.
4. Manduka eko Lite Yoga and Pilates Mat, Midnight, 4mm
The Manduka echo Lite Mat is the only choice for those who want a high-performance, durable yoga mat that’s lightweight, easily portable and easy on the planet. The top surface is an innovative, proprietary closed-cell natural rubber. The sea-grass texture finish and superior cushioning are kind to your body and the environment. This natural rubber mat uses a toxic-free softening process and is completely free of foaming agents and plasticizers found in other mats. The echo represents a bright future for yoga mats – it leaves behind no footprint in landfills, but will definitely make a lasting impression in the studio.
5. Square36 Large Yoga Mat 6ft x 4ft (72 Inch x 48 Inch) & 6mm Thick
Premium, highest grade, non-toxic 6ft x 4 ft (72 inch x 48 inch) large yoga mat. Double the size of a standard sized yoga mat & 6mm thick. Plush, cushioning, sticky large foam yoga mat. Designed for yoga & stretching without shoes. For cardio workouts with shoes check out the square36 cardio mats (available in 6’x4′, 6’x6′ & 8’x6′ sizes). Can be used in conjunction with the square 36 6’x4′ cardio mat-as an underlay for additional absorption. Used together square36 yoga 6’x4′ & square36 6’x4′ cardio mat provide the ultimate at home exercise flooring solution.
6. Aurorae Printed 5mm Thick Yoga Mat with Free Non Slip Rosin
5mm thickness provides the perfect surface to protect your knees and joints while still allowing you to grip the floor for balance poses; their research shows that thicker mats are difficult to hold balance poses and create an unstable unsafe surface; thicker is not better. The mats are durable, lightweight, odorless and easy to care for. This mat has been oeko-tex 100 tested and approved and are hypoallergenic, no phthalates, phenols or pahs, free from latex, rubber or silicone. The patented per are free from phthalates, phenols, pahs, latex, silicone and rubber and does not emit any chemicals or gases. please note that per is a patented product and not pvc as many less expensive products. The mat has been successfully tested against harmful substances; oeko-tex standards class-1- baby articles and US Fda approved by Sgs;
7. Peak Fulfillment Premium Non-Slip Memory Foam Yoga Mat With Carrying Strap
Made of high-performance material which provides great traction while being comfortable. Dual texture mat offers two distinct experiences – one side gives a more traditional yoga mat experience, while the other provides a higher level of traction and comfort. The mats are 100% recyclable for the earth, and tested to be free from toxic materials for you. The yoga mats allow you to focus on your yoga routine instead of whether your feet and hands are slipping, or if your knees are sore because the mat is too thin.
8. Prosource Premium 1/2-Inch Extra Thick 71-Inch Long High Density Exercise Yoga Mat
Tired of yoga mats that provide more stick than cushion? Turn to the ProSource Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates mat, which stands 1/2 inch off the ground–far thicker than most competing yoga mats. The mat offers superior impact absorption and comfort. No more sore ankles while you sit in lotus position, as the mat is ideal for all types of yoga and Pilates, especially restorative poses. In addition, the mat’s high-quality construction ensures that it will last far longer than most standard foam mats. Additional features include a nonslip surface that grips the floor securely; a moisture-resistant skin that’s easy to clean; and a total footprint of 71 by 24 inches. The mat is available in a variety of colors and comes with a handy carrying case.
9. Aurorae Classic Thick 6mm Yoga Mat with Free Non Slip Rosin
1/4″ thick, 72″ long, 24″ wide with rising moon focal point icon to help your focus with illuminating colors. The mats are durable, lightweight, odorless and easy to care for/wash. mats have been tested and safe/non toxic. No phthalates, phenols, pahs, latex, silicone or rubber. Aurorae all-purpose yoga mats are for men, women and kids. at 72″x24″ and 1/4″ inch, it’s great for pilates or aerobics, outdoor activities like camping or fishing.
10. DynActive Fitness Yoga Mat by DynActive- 1/4″ (7mm) Thick Premium Non Slip
The TPE material is the latest technological improvement to the traditional yoga mats. Performs better than a thicker competitor due to its inherently superior, denser and unique composition. Factory tested and proven to have the highest traction (grip) index compared with any other yoga mats. Durability that can last a lifetime! Made from SGS tested and approved premium TPE material which is non-toxic, PVC free, phthalates free and free of any harmful chemicals unlike the traditional pvc, nbr, eva or eco-pvc (still a pvc) yoga mats which all contains carcinogen components. It is also latex-free unlike rubber yoga mats. Closed-cell structure – locks out moisture, dirt and germs. Getting healthy has never been this easy and simple! You’ll be the envy of the class with this mat! Lightweight material, perfect for travel and home use. Guaranteed to provide the best protection for your joints and knees. High density construction stabilize your balance, offer firm base. You won’t sink while doing your Tree Pose.
11. Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats (5mm)
Extra-thick (5mm) Print Premium Yoga Mats provide a stable, non-slip surface for your yoga practice. Perfect for home or studio use, this mat provides additional cushioning to help protect joints. Lightweight, durable and extra-thick for additional cushioning. Textured non-slip surface for excellent traction. 6P Free! These PVC mats are free of the Phthalates DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DNOP. 68-Inch x 24-Inch x 5mm or 78-Inch x 26-Inch x 5mm.