Time for a new yoga mat? Let us help you choose the right one! Not all mats are created equal, so make sure you know what kind is right for you. This guide will help you narrow down what qualities you are looking for in a mat and offer some suggestions.
A thin yoga mat is about 1/16-inch thick and ideal for practicing balance postures, giving you a strong connection to the floor. The downside to a thin mat is that it provides less cushioned support for you. A 1/4-inch yoga mat is considered thick and may be more ideal for back support during core work, inversions, and other postures that cause your bones to dig into the ground. If you would like a happy medium, go for the standard yoga mat labeled 3.3 mm or 1/8-inch thick.
The material of a mat will determine the texture, stickiness, sponginess, and eco-friendliness. Most yoga mats are made of either vinyl or rubber. Vinyl mats last a long time and can endure many yoga classes. Rubber mats typically have jute and cotton in them making them more eco-friendly but less spongy.
The mat’s texture will control the amount of traction it has. If you sweat a lot in yoga class, a grippy mat will keep you from slipping around. If the bumpy texture bothers you, make sure the smooth mat has a moisture control mechanism.
• Staff choice: Yoga mats from Lululemon have proven to provide the best of everything for the yoga enthusiast at YogaFit Corporate. They have a polyurethane layer on top to wick away sweat and absorb moisture. These mats range from $58-$108.
• Affordable choice: If you are just getting into yoga or do not practice regularly, get an inexpensive mat from a store like Target or Walmart. The yoga mats at these super stores range from $10-$50 and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
• Happy medium: Gaiam offers a wide selection of mats ranging from $21-$90 online. You have the freedom to pick your length, thickness, and color within your budget.
• Pro choice: Similarly to Lululemon mats, the Manduka yoga mats are of premium quality. Although they are pricier than Lululemon, these mats boast a luxurious density with a non-slip fabric-like finish. They come in different lengths and thicknesses, and even have a kid’s size!
Exhaust your resources! When browsing mats online, be sure to read the reviews to get more information about the mat. At your next yoga class, talk to a few people and ask them what they like about their mat, where they got it, and how much it was. Yoga teachers typically have a favorite mat so be sure to ask your instructor too!