Yoga Mats


Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are an essential accessory for anyone practicing yoga, offering a dedicated space to perform various yoga poses and exercises. Designed to enhance the yoga experience, these mats are crafted to provide comfort, safety, and stability during practice. The texture, thickness, and material of a yoga mat play a crucial role in determining its effectiveness and suitability for different yoga styles.

The top 10 Yoga Mats

Product name Image Rating Pros Cons Best Price More information

TOP PICK

Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat


Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat
5 star review
  • Incredibly durable
  • Grippy even when sweaty
  • Great for hot yoga
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Expensive
  • Considered heavy by some
  • Takes time to “break in” and become less grippy
Coming Soon!

BUDGET PICK

Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat


Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable for various fitness activities
  • Wide variety of colors
  • Not as thick or supportive as some mats
  • Can become slippery when sweaty
  • May not last as long as pricier options
Coming Soon!

PREMIUM PICK

Liforme Travel Yoga mat


Liforme Travel Yoga mat
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Boasts helpful alignment markers printed on the surface
  • Eco-friendly polyurethane (PU) material provides superb grip
  • Thinner than Standard Mats (2mm thick)
  • Premium Price point
  • Not as Stable on Hard Surfaces
Coming Soon!

Gaiam Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm


Gaiam Yoga Mat - Premium 6mm
  • The 6mm thickness provides ample cushioning for sensitive joints and knees
  • Offers good value for its thickness and quality
  • Offers this mat in a wide range of colors, letting you personalize your practice with a touch of style
  • Some users report the mat becoming slippery, especially when sweaty
  • Heavier and bulkier than thinner mats
  • Some users report the mat showing signs of wear and tear over time
Coming Soon!

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat


Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
  • Eco-friendly
  • Biodegradable
  • Natural rubber provides excellent grip
  • Supportive for sensitive joints
  • Strong rubber smell initially
  • Heavier than some mats
  • Price can be steep
Coming Soon!

BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat


BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat
  • Extra thick and plush for comfortable cushioning
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Includes carrying strap
  • Can be too thick for some yoga styles
  • May not offer enough grip for sweaty sessions
  • Takes time to flatten completely after unrolling
Coming Soon!

Yoloha Aura Cork Yoga Mat


Yoloha Aura Cork Yoga Mat
  • Sustainable and Eco-friendly
  • Cork’s naturally grippy surface enhances traction even when sweaty
  • The Aura Mat’s 5mm thickness provides ample cushioning for sensitive joints and knees
  • Aura Mat can be on the pricier side
  • Unlike PVC mats, cork needs a bit more TLC (Tender Loving Care, including wiping down, and storing in less humid places).
  • Cork can feel cold to the touch in colder environments
Coming Soon!

Premium Clever Yoga Mat


Premium Clever Yoga Mat
  • Provides ample space for taller yogis
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Top layer is extra grippy, while the bottom layer provides extra cushion
  • Not as grippy as some mats
  • Can be bulky to roll up and carry
  • Longer length may not be necessary for everyone
Coming Soon!

Merrithew STOTT PILATES Deluxe Pilates Mat


Merrithew STOTT PILATES Deluxe Pilates Mat
  • Double-sided with different textures for versatility
  • Good grip even when sweaty
  • Comfortable for various levels
  • A little on the pricier side
  • Can be slippery on the smooth side for certain poses
  • Slightly heavier than some mats
Coming Soon!

Retrospec Solana Yoga Mat


Retrospec Solana Yoga Mat
  • Food-based calcium with digestive support
  • Contains added enzymes for improved digestion
  • Free from gluten, wheat, and dairy
  • Some users reported a strong aftertaste
  • Pill size might be an issue for some
  • Contains spirulina, which might not be preferred by all
Coming Soon!

The Benefits of Yoga Mats

Yoga mats offer numerous benefits that enhance an individual’s yoga practice, supporting both physical and mental aspects of yoga. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved Traction and Stability: Yoga mats are designed to prevent slipping. They provide a stable, sticky surface that helps maintain balance during poses, particularly when practicing more challenging asanas that require good grip. This stability is crucial for safely executing poses and can be particularly beneficial in styles of yoga that involve a lot of standing or balancing poses.
  • Cushioning and Joint Protection: Yoga mats offer cushioning that reduces impact and protects joints during yoga practice. This is especially important for poses where your body weight is concentrated on smaller areas, such as your knees, elbows, or spine. The cushioning helps prevent discomfort and potential injuries, making poses more accessible and sustainable.
  • Spatial Awareness: A yoga mat defines your personal workout space. This is particularly helpful in a class setting, where each person’s mat marks their area. It helps in managing personal space in crowded classes and ensures that everyone has enough room to perform various poses without encroaching on others’ space.
  • Enhances Focus: Having a designated “sacred” space for practice can help in mentally preparing for yoga and meditation. The mat becomes a trigger for relaxation and focus as soon as you step on it, separating your practice space from the rest of your environment, which may help deepen your practice.
  • Hygiene: Using a personal yoga mat is more hygienic than using shared mats provided by gyms or studios. It keeps your body from direct contact with the floor or a mat that others have used, which can be full of germs or sweat. Cleaning and maintaining your own mat ensures you practice in a clean and healthy environment.
  • Portable and Versatile: Most yoga mats are lightweight and come with easy-to-carry straps, making them portable and convenient for travel or outdoor practice. This versatility allows practitioners to maintain their routine anywhere, whether they are at home, in a studio, or outdoors.
  • Enhanced Alignment: Some yoga mats come with markings designed to help users position themselves and maintain alignment in various poses. These visual guides can be particularly beneficial for beginners who are still learning the correct positioning in yoga.

Who should use Yoga Mats

Yoga mats are highly beneficial for almost anyone practicing yoga, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Here’s a summary of who should consider using a yoga mat:

  • Beginners: For those new to yoga, a mat is essential for learning poses with proper alignment and safety. It provides the necessary grip and cushioning to help prevent injuries and makes learning easier and more comfortable.
  • Experienced Yogis: Advanced practitioners also benefit from using yoga mats, especially those practicing more dynamic and physically demanding styles of yoga. Mats provide the stability needed for complex poses and sequences.
  • People with Joint Sensitivity: Individuals with sensitive joints or chronic pain conditions will find that yoga mats offer necessary cushioning to protect their knees, elbows, and spine, making yoga practice more accessible and sustainable.
  • Practitioners of Hot Yoga: In styles of yoga like Bikram or hot yoga, where sweating is significant, a good yoga mat with excellent grip is crucial to ensure safety and performance as it helps prevent slipping.
  • Outdoor Yoga Enthusiasts: Those who practice yoga outdoors will find yoga mats useful for protecting against uneven or hard surfaces and creating a clean space on which to practice.
  • Home Practitioners: For those who practice at home, a yoga mat helps define a dedicated space for yoga, supporting a routine practice. It also protects the floor and provides a boundary that helps maintain focus.
  • Yoga Students Attending Classes: For hygiene and personal comfort, having your own yoga mat in class is preferable to using communal mats provided by studios, which may not be as clean or may wear out faster due to extensive use.

Who should NOT use Yoga Mats

While yoga mats are beneficial for most people practicing yoga, there are a few situations where using a yoga mat might not be suitable or necessary:

  • People with Allergies to Mat Materials: Some individuals might be allergic to materials used in yoga mats, such as latex, PVC, or certain rubbers and foams. These individuals should seek hypoallergenic mats made from natural materials like cotton or jute, or practice on alternative surfaces that do not trigger their allergies.
  • Practitioners of Certain Yoga Styles: In some traditional forms of yoga, such as certain schools of Iyengar or Ashtanga, practitioners often use cotton rugs or towels instead of sticky mats. These materials allow for slight movements and sliding of feet and hands, which can be integral to the practice.
  • Those Who Prefer Natural Surfaces: Some individuals may prefer to practice directly on a natural surface such as grass, sand, or even a carpeted area, especially if they find the mat’s texture or smell distracting or uncomfortable.

Pros and Cons of Yoga Mats

Pros

  • Yoga mats provide a non-slip surface that helps prevent slipping and sliding during poses, enhancing stability and safety, especially in more dynamic or sweaty practices.
  • Mats offer cushioning that protects joints and bones from hard surfaces. This is particularly beneficial for poses that put pressure on the knees, elbows, or spine.
  • Using your own yoga mat is more hygienic than shared mats at studios, which can harbor bacteria and sweat from multiple users. Personal mats can be cleaned and maintained according to individual standards.
  • In crowded classes, a yoga mat delineates your personal space, providing a sense of order and personal area for practice.
  • Most yoga mats are lightweight and come with straps or bags for easy transport, making them convenient for travel and outdoor practice.
  • Mats can be used for various purposes beyond yoga, including other fitness exercises, meditation, or as a general exercise pad at home.

Cons

  • Some yoga mats, especially those made from PVC or other non-recyclable materials, can be environmentally harmful. These materials are not biodegradable and can release toxins during production and disposal.
  • New yoga mats, especially those made from certain synthetic materials, can emit a strong chemical smell that may be unpleasant and potentially harmful to sensitive individuals.
  • High-quality or eco-friendly yoga mats can be expensive, which might not be accessible for everyone. Budget options are available but might not offer the same quality of grip or durability.
  • Yoga mats require regular cleaning to prevent the build-up of sweat, oils, and bacteria. Some materials also require special care instructions, which can be a hassle for some users.
  • While most mats are portable, some, especially thicker or denser mats, can be bulky and heavy to carry, especially for commuting or traveling.
  • Standard yoga mats may not suit everyone’s body size or personal preferences. Taller individuals or those needing more space might find standard mats too narrow or short.

Studies regarding the benefits of Mats

Title: Enhancing yoga participation: A qualitative investigation of barriers and facilitators to yoga among predominantly racial/ethnic minority, low-income adults

Summary: Yoga is not as commonly practiced among racial/ethnic minorities and low-income groups. To increase engagement within these communities and to prepare for an upcoming clinical trial, we carried out a qualitative study. This research was guided by the Social Contextual Model of health behavior change and aimed to uncover both obstacles and encouragements related to yoga that might influence participation in the study.