HOW WE CHOOSE THE BEST YOGA MATS ON THE MARKET:
I do not pamper my yoga mats and use them in a variety of styles. One week, I’m going to practice yoga in Mexico, and the next, I’m teaching 50 students outdoors on the beach or in a park in New England. I always practice vigorous vinyasa both in and out of a warm room and teach smoother flow to athletes who are new to the practice.
There are a number of important features that make some yoga mats better than others, and these factors should be considered before purchasing your own. Altogether, I spent over 50 hours analyzing yoga mat reviews, reviewing online posts, and researching the technology, history, brands, and various qualities of superior yoga mats. I drew on my previous experience and researched over 100 yoga professionals, teachers, and students (of all levels and practice styles) to get an idea of what people are looking for the most.
I consulted with 10 yoga professionals, including:
2014 Boston’s Best Yoga Instructor, Sadhana Studio owner Glen Cunningham, who has been sanitizing on a mat for over 16 years.
Orange County Core Power Yoga Manager and instructor Lacey Calvert.
And international yoga teacher Goldie Graham.
Blogger and popular YouTuber and yogi Candace Moore.
Yoga teacher and Rasamaya Studio teacher Carrie Tyler, who has been teaching for 20 years.
Some 30 initial products were taken into consideration after analyzing Amazon reviews, REI, and yoga consumer reports. I’ve also checked out over 50 posts (like PopSugar Fitness, Mind Body Green, and Outdoor Magazine) and popular yoga blogs (like Ekhart Yoga, Yoga Journal, and DoYouYoga). I narrowed the list down to 15 of the best yoga mats based on my criteria, positive reviews, experience, acknowledgments, and ultimately what other consumers had to say. This strategy helped me come up with a manageable number of the best products so I could physically test them myself.
I did research in various studies and tested the mats in temperatures above 100 and below 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I also tried on a wooden floor, and in the comforts of my own home. I have used the mats in two different formats, restorative and vigorous, and in both hot and non-hot conditions. I kept testing the mats at home through various poses and practices.
In my survey talking to other yoga teachers and students, the responses showed that the drawbacks of today’s mats were a heaviness, difficulty cleaning, poor traction, and a short lifespan. The data also showed that most people want traction and comfort. So in order to find the best yoga mats for the masses, I focused on the ability of a mat to provide the right amount of traction, density, comfort, and stability. Other criteria that came into play were weight, size, ecological impact, and color assortment. I also wanted to make sure I was mindful of the price, even though most buyers said they were willing to pay for the mentioned qualities. Best yoga mats on the market,
OTHER YOGA MATS TO CONSIDER
The most ecological
Jade Harmony Professional Mat
The Jade Harmony Professional is a favorite among yoga professionals for its balance of weight and traction. It is made of rubber, which makes it ecological. Also, JadeYoga plants trees for each mat
The best for the pocket
Gaiam Print Premium
Investing in a trusted mat is important, but if you’re not sure about making that investment yet, try the Gaiam Print Premium. It sells for under $ 30 and is backed by a lifetime warranty. It has a variety of fun FFcolors and designs.
A COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE BEST YOGA MATS ON THE MARKET:
Manduka PROlite: Better overall
If you want a mat for life, and you are also interested in grip, portability, and comfort, the Manduka PROlite is your choice. This mat beat its category contenders for its longevity. It is an extremely durable, high-performance mat stamped with a lifetime warranty. Yoga teachers everywhere (including myself) agree that the Manduka PROlite gets better with age the more it is used, like a baseball glove.
The PVC material and the density of the mat make it competent under any conditions – outdoors, in a heated room, in an unheated studio, and with gentle to vigorous practices. I took this mat through a multitude of restorative and standing poses, sun salutations, arm balances, and inversions. I’m not the only one who ranks this mat at the top of the list. 2014 Boston’s best yoga instructor and owner of Sadhana Studio, Cunningham, has been using the Manduka Pro series mats for 14 years.
I have been using Manduka rugs since 2001 and I still think they make the best overall mats out there in terms of grip, comfort, thickness, feel the size, and durability. I have been teaching for over 15 years and have seen a lot of mats on the floor of the studio, but I have never seen a worn Manduka Mat. Best yoga mats on the market.
Glen Cunningham, Owner of Sadhana Studio
In asanas that tend to be a little more demanding on the knees, like Ustrasana (camel pose) and Anjaneyasana (low lunge), this mat provides just the right amount of support and cushioning to feel comfortable and comfortable throughout the pose, even when it is maintained for long periods of time. The mat also provides stabilization and joint protection during asanas that require more stability, balance, and impact (think: plant the tree, step on it and jump back to chaturanga). At the same time, it does not compromise the ability to feel stable and grounded.
In terms of texture, grip, and comfort, I give this mat my go-ahead too. Non-slip traction is kept moving as little as possible. The surface, which is not super sticky, allows gliding transitions through fast vinyasas. The transition into or out of a lunge is effortless compared to when mats made from a different textile material (as some of the natural rubber floor mats did).
Its closed-cell technology makes it incredibly easy to clean after class, and weighing in at around four pounds, it is lightweight and easy to carry. The mat comes in an assortment of colors and in two different sizes (71 and 79 inches) to accommodate style preference as well as the tallest yogis out there. It is quite expensive for a yoga mat, but with a lifetime warranty, it provides exceptional value.
Manduka PROlite is always my choice. It’s easy to travel with, stays well for years, and [is] easy to clean since I sweat a lot! I don’t always use a towel because I don’t need one with this mat. Lacey Calvert, Manager, CorePower Yoga, Orange County
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Based on research, and in many conversations with other yoga practitioners, Manduka is considered the holy grail of yoga mat brands. He continually tops the charts in reviews. The Manduka PROlite series is a lighter and more portable version of the beloved Manduka Black Mat Pro, which has been on the market for 15 years. The PROlite mat receives praise from all kinds of popular magazines and publications. It was voted Top Pick Award by OutdoorGearLab, voted a must-have by Yogi Approved, and is sold and used by the most popular yoga studios in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.
Orange County’s Core Power Yoga regional manager Calvert says the Manduka PROlite is her favorite, and it’s the one the company carries in her studios across the United States.
We see over 500 clients a week using our Manduka bar and Best yoga mats on the market. I teach and take classes with them, and I have no complaints – they are super durable. We had Jade, but we switched to Manduka because they work better overall.
Lindsey James Manager and Instructor at Barre & Soul in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Located in various locations around the Boston area, Barre & Soul Studios offers PRO Manduka series mats to their members for use in class.
Manduka recommends that consumers rub the mat with coarse sea salt before use, which helps remove a thin layer that is applied in the manufacturing process. Continued use really helps improve the traction of the mat. This process may be a bit more laborious than you would prefer, but there is something comforting about having a mat that improves over time and adapts to you. Cunningham compares the process of rolling the mat to that of a new baseball glove: then it fits like a glove. Best yoga mats on the market,
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It is not for you if …
Although some people, such as Calvert, find that the mat has a very good grip with moisture, some clues point to some problems. In an email from the company, Manduka suggests that the mat requires a break-in period (although this is not always the case for everyone), which means it might feel very slippery during various uses.
Traction for the PROlite Manduka is best in dry conditions with minimal humidity, so ultra-sweaty practices and those performed in a heated room may not benefit from this mat without the use of a towel on top of it. I recommend Lululemon’s «The Mat» for these conditions.
In ecological terms, the mat is made with PVC instead of natural rubber or another more environmentally friendly material. However, no toxic emissions are released during production, and its lifetime durability produces less waste, making it a safe option for the general environment. If you are interested in practicing on a mat that is made of environmentally friendly material and still high performance, my recommendation is the Jade Harmony Professional
The finalists for the best yoga mats on the market
Don’t discard these mats just because they were not my first choice. As I said, yoga mats, like yoga, are not created equal and the choice depends on the style and the individual. Depending on what you are looking for, these mats might be more suitable for you.
Jade Harmony Professional Mat
About half of the yoga instructors I interviewed suggested Jade Harmony as their favorite yoga mat, and it made an appearance as a mat of choice in almost every review post I read. The Jade Harmony offers a robust grip with open-cell technology and texture to provide great overall performance. It is comfortable, light, and is a fantastic alternative for those looking for an ecological mat, one hundred percent natural rubber. Best yoga mats on the market,
This mat comes out well against the best contenders, but natural rubber makes it more prone to breakdown under certain conditions (such as heat and sunlight) and does not include a lifetime warranty. In my experience, the Jade Harmony wears out quite quickly with constant use and needs to be replaced more often than others. To maintain its qualities, it should not be used or left in direct sunlight. The open cell technology of this mat means that it retains sweat (good for grip, but bad for bacteria) and oils, making it more difficult to clean.
Warning: Those with a latex allergy should not use the Jade Harmony Professional Mat.
Manduka Black Mat Pro
Except for width and density (it’s wider and thicker), it’s pretty much the same as its little sister, the Manduka PROlite. However, at its weight of seven to nine pounds, and a stronger price, the PROlite is more attractive overall. If you are looking for a more robust version of the PROlite Manduka, and you are not worried about carrying a few extra kilos, this mat could be for you.
Hugger Mugger For Rubber
It has a good traction and I found that it can provide more cushioning than its eco-friendly companion, the Jade Harmony. The texture, however, made the transitions on the mat a little more difficult for me. As for durability, I observed signs of wear (albeit minimal) in the first week of use.
PrAna Revolutionary Sticky Mat
This mat is firm and not too fluffy. But it is not only the heaviest but also the largest mat we have ever tested. She just couldn’t carry it from one studio to another or use it anywhere except at home. However, consumer reviews suggested that taller and wider people benefit greatly from the length and width of this mat.
I love this company’s green initiatives, and its unique recycled tire material gives the mat undeniable grip. However, this mat failed the durability test as there was a small tear on the first use.
This mat was a little too light for my practice and moved on a hardwood floor. It also did not lie flat on the floor, which can be a hassle when getting in and out of postures. It is a more economical, ecological, and latex-free mat, making it an option for those looking for these specific needs.
Gaiam Print Premium
If you are looking for a cheap mat, this is not a bad selection. In my opinion, and all the professionals interviewed agree with me, it is definitely worth investing in a quality mat for comfort, injury prevention, and improving your practice.
Lululemon ‘The Mat’: The best non-slip yoga mat
Lululemon’s «The Mat» is the other best-rated mat, which you should consider, especially if you practice hot yoga and you tend to sweat as part of your weekly routine. Yoga classes done in a heated studio are popular these days, so I wanted to find a mat that would provide the best performance in super sweaty conditions without having to rely on the use of a towel.
April 7, 2017 – The Lululemon Mat was originally one of our top picks for a non-slip yoga mat, but is currently not available. We have contacted Lululemon for an update on The Mat availability.
The Mat has an innovative moisture-wicking design made to increase grip with higher humidity. The mat features double-sided technology, which means you can adapt it to your own practice. The top side of the mat, the sticky side, is made of moisture-wicking polyurethane material (hence the grip). The bottom is made of natural rubber that provides more cushioning. It also comes in two different thicknesses: 3mm and 5mm, and a few colors to choose from.
I was very impressed by the amount of grip I could maintain through sweaty and hot power vinyasa classes. I felt very safe practicing my forearm for a few minutes while shedding sweat, and I felt like I could keep the dog down deeper and more comfortably, in a class at 40 degrees and 40 percent humidity.
And not the only one to proclaim his incredible grip. Graham, an international yoga teacher, says she will never use another mat.
I am unbiased when it comes to yoga mats because I have tried them all! The best mat for all yogis is The Mat by Lululemon. You won’t need a yoga towel, and it’s antimicrobial. I will never use any other type of mat. Best yoga mats on the market,
Goldie Graham, Yoga teacher
NOT FOR YOU IF …
As an advantage, Mat has antimicrobial properties that help keep it clean. With that said, I found it to stain easily. Within the first few uses, there were signs of dirt and evidence of accumulated sweat. Consumer reviews also suggest that this is one of the downsides to the mat, especially if you go for a light color, like me. Therefore, a tip is to choose black or a darker shade of this mat.
Compared to some others, I have found this mat to be a bit awkward, with common asanas like child posture. My forehead felt like I was resting on a hardwood floor (I have the thinnest 3mm version of the mat).
Another thing to mention: it has a very strong smell. I have not used it enough to confirm if this smell disappears, although there is consensus that it does.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST RIGHT YOGA MATS ON THE MARKET FOR YOU
Choosing a yoga mat simply comes down to your preferences, your needs, and your practice. As it should be, not all yoga mats are created equal, and there are variables you will want to consider before purchasing your own yoga mat. First things first, let’s start with the basics.
Since there are mats available in almost all studios, one may even question the need to own one.
The truth is, no, you don’t need a yoga mat to practice. In fact, the whole phenomenon of practice on a mat is relatively new. But currently, and when practicing in traditional studios, it is recommended to practice on your own yoga mat. Yoga mats not only provide traction against sweaty palms but also represent personal space. And yoga teachers agree that while mats are not required, you should absolutely use one in class for safety reasons. Best yoga mats on the market
Mats are useful for getting people-focused, instead of getting frustrated with a bunch of other variables like being uncomfortable, exertion, etc.
Glen Cunningham, Owner of Sadhana Studio
Additionally, for hygiene reasons, as this New York Times article suggests, you should invest in your own yoga mat due to germs on common matting in studios.
Materials to consider
The mat material determines its stickiness, durability, comfort, texture, and whether or not it is environmentally friendly. The material of the yoga mat is a matter of personal preference, beliefs, and how it reacts to your body.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): This is the material that gives the minimum slip and is durable. The problem with PVC, without going into too much detail, is that it contains phthalates – substances that have been linked to health problems and negative impacts on the environment.
MATERIALS RESPECTFUL WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Cotton: A cotton mat helps absorb sweat and can increase grip when wet.
Natural Rubber: It may not be as sticky as a PVC mat, but it will still provide good traction. Those with a latex allergy, however, should avoid this type of mat.
Jute: Made from jute plant fiber, this material keeps you in place due to Environmental Polymer Resin (PER), a non-toxic material. Jute has the added advantage of having antimicrobial properties. Best yoga mats on the market,
Bamboo, cork, or hemp are other materials to consider when choosing a mat.
Other factors to consider before buying a mat
Aside from the materials, there are a number of other factors that go into choosing the best yoga mat for your practice.
STRUCTURE OF CLOSED CELLS VERSUS OPEN
There are two other factors to consider: closed-cell structure and open cell structure. Open-cell ones absorb sweat and oils and maintain grip even under wet conditions. This, however, also makes your mat more difficult to clean.
DENSITY, THICKNESS, AND WEIGHT
The density of a mat will determine its comfort level, the support of the joints, and the stability in balance postures. If a mat is too thin, kneeling postures may not be comfortable. But if a mat has too much cushion and not enough density, the connection to the ground may be lost; Balance poses can feel unstable; and the wrists, knees, and hip joints may suffer. The thickness and density of the mat determine its weight.
The durability of a carpet will determine whether it will withstand thousands of Surya namaskars (sun salutations) for years with minimal wear. Some rugs, like Manduka Pro and Manduka PROlite, offer a lifetime warranty. Natural rubber and some eco-friendly mats will hold up well. However, lack of proper care (such as not cleaning or leaving them in a hot car) and using them in outdoor or heated environments can cause the material to decompose fairly quickly.
Like many other things, on yoga mats, you get what you pay for. The price of yoga mats ranges from 10 to more than 100 euros, which is a considerably wide margin. The lowest price range can typically be found in department stores, but you probably won’t invest in a reliable, quality mat.
The price increases with the brand and the materials used. A quality mat is worth the investment.
YOGA STYLE AND PLACE
Keep in mind the type of yoga and where you will practice more frequently before making the purchase since the best type of mat can vary depending on the style of class. For example, comfort can be a priority when practicing more restorative yoga. For styles like Bikram and other hot yoga classes, you won’t necessarily need a sticky mat, but you may want a mat (or invest in a towel) that absorbs sweat and is easy to clean. For more vigorous styles of yoga, like power yoga and ashtanga, you’ll want a mat with a non-slip grip to provide traction once it starts to soak in sweat.
LENGTH AND SIZE
This is pretty simple: You want to make sure that your yoga mat covers your entire body when you lie down. When you buy a mat online, make sure of the measurements. If you’re in a store, ask if you can lie down on the mat to try it out.
What should a good yoga mat have?
The most important qualities in my opinion are padding (enough to protect the joints, but not too much that you lose your balance), weight (easy to take to class), and durability.
Candace Moore, yoga teacher and blogger
The question is not necessarily what makes a yoga mat good, but what qualities it must have to make you feel good in a practice designed to make you feel good. A good yoga mat depends on the person. If you want to invest in a high-quality yoga mat, I have outlined the most important features below.
The 8 most important features
Durability and longevity – The ability of a yoga mat to withstand even the harshest practices over time.
Sufficient cushioning for the joints – can reduce discomfort in kneeling postures.
Stability – A firm and dense mat can help you feel stable in standing and balancing postures.
Portability – The weight and size of a mat will determine whether or not it can be loaded. Since most people walk or bike to class, an easy-to-carry mat is an important feature.
Traction and Stickiness – It is important for a mat to provide traction both to prevent slipping and to stay connected to the ground.
Texture – Mats have different surfaces, but most yogis agree that it is best to have a mat that feels more natural.
Environmental Considerations – Buying an eco-yoga is important to many practitioners. If it is for you, consider buying a mat made from natural matter.
Size – Your yoga mat should cover the length and width of your entire body. Not all yoga mats come in various widths and sizes, so be sure to check measurements before purchase.
Other extra features to consider:
These don’t make a better yoga mat per se, but they do add a nice touch, depending on your own interests and beliefs.
Donations: Many brands are part of a larger cause, participate in recycling programs, for each mat sold they give something to an NGO, etc.
Color Selection: Not all brands offer an assortment of colors, patterns, and sizes, although most offer neutral colors. It is nice to be able to choose from.
Smell: This seems strange, but depending on the material used, the mats can have an undeniably strong odor. Although, most of the manufactured odor disappears over time.
Like your practice, your yoga mat should be something you invest in, something you keep coming back to, and something that supports you with every inspiration and exhalation. It should feel like a small island that you feel like your home for every practice.
The Manduka PROlite allows me to practice in a variety of settings and teach a variety of yoga styles while ensuring a lasting relationship with my mat. Another favorite among yoga professionals, Harmony Mat Jade is a sturdy, one hundred percent Best rubber yoga mats on the market.
If things get extremely hot and sweaty, I suggest the Lululemon The Mat make sure you don’t slip. Don’t be afraid to try some mats on your own and ask before making a purchase. If you find the perfect yoga mat for you, that can make a difference in your practice.
Translated from: insayoga.com