You might be a veteran who starts the day with a yoga session to get the blood pumping. Or you might be a beginner and are still trying to figure out which foot goes where.
Whether you are a seasoned yogi, newbie or a full-time yoga enthusiast, having the right yoga gear is crucial if you want to have a blissful and effective yoga experience.
Although it is important to wear the correct type of clothes and shoes, it is even more important to get the right yoga mat.
A yoga mat can be quite effective in cushioning you from a fall or the discomfort of hard floors that can make your yoga experience unenjoyable. Although there is a wide array of yoga mats in the market, not all of them a created equal.
Regardless of your level of expertise, the best yoga mat will make your practice more enjoyable. Every yoga mat is different. Some provide more support, others offer better grip, while some make it easier to get into the right pose.
The best mat will cater to your preferred practice style. Below, you will find reviews of four of the best mats on the market.
Best Yoga Mats Reviews – 2018
Non Slip Yoga Mat by Clever Yoga
The BetterGrip Mat from Clever Yoga is ideal if you’re looking for an affordable mat with good grip. It’s also extra thick, so if you have joint trouble, this mat is a good choice.
The BetterGrip Yoga Mat is 72 long and 25 1/4” wide, making it slightly larger than many other mats and ideal for someone who is taller than average.
At 6mm thick, this mat is great if you need extra cushioning for your joints. You can also use it on hardwood floors and other hard surfaces without worrying about bruises.
However, it’s still thin enough to provide good support and stability, and you won’t get that uncomfortable sinking feeling.
What’s It Made Of?
This mat is made from TPE, which is eco-friendly, recyclable, and non-toxic. So, the BetterGrip Yoga Mat is the perfect choice if you’re allergic to latex.
TPE is also odorless and UV-resistant, so you won’t have to deal with unpleasant smells or sun damage.
It’s also easy to clean. All you have to do is wash the surface with mild soap and let it air dry. The mat is also unlikely to rip or stretch, no matter how much you use it, thanks to the non-tear technology used in its construction.
What’s the Surface Like?
Both sides of the mat feature raised textures. The top side provides great traction so you won’t slip while trying to hold a pos. The bottom has a wavy texture that grips the floor and prevents the mat from sliding.
The mat is available in a wide array of colors, from bright shades like purple and lime to more subdued tones like black and navy.
The Clever Yoga BetterGrip Mat is the perfect option if you’re a beginner. It’s affordable, provides good grip and support while protecting your joints.
However, after unrolling, the ends tend to curl up, and it takes a few minutes to flatten out. It also doesn’t come with a bag, or straps, making portability a bit more complicated.
Liforme Yoga Mat
The Liforme Yoga Mat offers excellent grip, is very comfortable, and comes with a printed guide to help you get your hands and feet in the proper positions. It is expensive, but it’s worth every penny.
The mat is 73” by 27”, making it approximately 5” longer than standard mats. It gives shorter people plenty of room to stretch out, but taller practitioners can also use the mat confidently without worrying about their hands or feet ending up on the floor.
The mat is 4.2 mm thick. For some, the thickness will be perfect, people with joint problems might find it a little painful.
What’s It Made Of?
Most of the Liforme Yoga Mat is made from naturally sourced sustainable rubber and is PVC free. The top is polyurethane, which has been heat-bonded to the rubber base to prevent the use of toxic chemicals and glues.
Even the alignment markings have been etched on, to ensure that no harmful substances have been used in the construction of the mat.
What’s the Surface Like?
The Liforme mat has a rubber base that has great grip. It doesn’t slide around at all, no matter what surface you put it on.
Despite the top being smooth polyurethane, it is sticky enough that you won’t slide. However, it’s not so sticky that you’ll have trouble gliding from one pose to the next.
Also, sweating won’t be an issue as the mat seems to become even stickier when you perspire. The polyurethane is also very easy to clean.
All you need to do is wipe it down after each session. Every once in a while, use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner with a sponge for a more thorough cleaning.
The Liforme mat also has alignment markings etched onto the surface to help you maintain symmetry and balance. If you’re not sure how to use the markings, the company’s website provides full instructions.
However, they are pretty intuitive and a great help, especially for beginners.
The Lifeforme Yoga Mat is an excellent option thanks to the excellent grip, quality materials, and alignment markings. It even comes with its own storage bag.
However, it is a bit on the pricey side, and the thickness might not be ideal for someone with sensitive joints.
Sivan Health and Fitness Extra Thick Yoga Mat
The Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat is (or nearly 13mm) thick and provides a lot of cushioning to protect knees and joints.
It features a ribbed surface to grip onto the floor and a smooth top.
The Sivan Yoga Mat is a decent size at 71” long and 24” wide. It’s slightly shorter than some of the bigger mats, but a bit longer than most standard ones.
Most people won’t have any problem stretching out on it, but if you’re on the taller side, you might find this mat a little short for your needs. The mat is extra thick at offering a lot of cushioning for knees and joints.
While most people appreciate the cushioning, some might find it difficult to maintain their balance as it is pretty thick for a mat.
What’s It Made Of?
The Sivan Yoga Mat is made from NBR foam, which is a form of synthetic rubber. It’s water resistant and has a high density. You might find that it stretches a little and that you leave imprints.
However, you don’t need to worry because it will go back to its original shape. NBR foam is also durable and holds up well to constant usage. Thanks to the foam, the mat is also easy to clean.
What’s the Surface Like?
The bottom of the mat features a series of non-skid ridges, designed to ensure a good grip on smooth surfaces. The top of the mat is smooth.
The Sivan Health and Fitness Extra Thick Yoga Mat are great for people who have back, knee or joint problems and don’t want to spend a lot on a yoga mat. The extra thickness provides invaluable cushioning.
However, it can also cause issues with balance.
Manduka PROLite Yoga and Pilates Mat
The Manduka PROLite Yoga and Pilates Mat are firm and solid. It’s also highly durable and great features with despite being only 4.7mm thick, this mat still provides more than adequate protection for your hands, knees, and feet.
The Manduka PROLite is 71” long by 24” wide, making it a mid-sized mat. So, taller yogis might need to look for a bigger mat. At 4.7mm thick, this mat provides more than enough support and cushioning for your joints and even your back.
However, it should be noted that someone with boney or very sensitive joints might need a somewhat thicker mat.
What’s It Made Of?
The Manduka PROLite is made from eco-certified PVC that is free from all toxins, including phthalate.
It’s completely non-toxic and free of latex, too. The mat is also highly durable, It’s promising the mat will not flake, peel, or fade.
What’s the Surface Like?
The mat is made with a closed-cell surface, ensuring that it doesn’t absorb sweat or dirt. This eliminates the chance of strange smells and makes cleaning very easy.
It has an excellent non-slip texture and features a proprietary dot pattern on the bottom that will stop the mat from sliding, no matter what surface it’s on or how hot the room gets.
The Manduka PROLite is an excellent option if you’re looking for a mat with good support that will last. Its thickness is sufficient for most people, but if you have very sensitive joints, you might want to look at other options.
Finding a good yoga mat is essential if you want to enjoy yoga. There’s nothing worse than a mat that doesn’t provide adequate support or doesn’t provide sufficient grip.
In fact, if it doesn’t have a good surface, it can be downright dangerous.
Jade Fusion 68 inch Yoga Mat
The Jade Fusion Yoga mat ideal for people prefer a mat with a standardized dimension or have limited yoga space for that matter. It comes in at 68 inches long and 24 inches wide.
Its thickness comes in at about 0.3 inches (5/16″). Its combination of length, width and height make it quite easy to carry from one place to the another.
This mat is made from all natural rubber. This makes the user feel comfortable when using it rubber is also good in providing grip and hence preventing instances of sliding.
Any person who has done yoga knows that falling or sliding is always a possibility, especially when a new style is on the cards. The Jade Fusion yoga mat can help cushion some if not all of the impact of a fall consequently preventing injury.
For those who are conscious of the environment, rubber is a renewable resource, meaning that once the Jade Fusion mat has reached its lifespan, it can be used over and over again and replaced naturally.
Since it does not contain any synthetic materials, it is biodegradable.
Lastly but not least, Jade has partnered with an organization known as trees for the future. This initiative ensures that, for every mat sold, a tree is planted.
A good initiative if you ask me!
Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat
Although the Gaiam Premium Print yoga mat is priced the least of the bunch, it certainly not inferior when it comes to the features that it offers.
In fact, it offers a wider array of attractive print designs and colors compared to a lot of yoga mats.
The reason this yoga mat is cheap stems from the material used to make it. It is made from 6P free PVC. This means that it is free from Phthalates such as DBP, DEHP, DINP, ONOP, BBP, and DIDP.
For those who are wondering what Phthalates are, they are chemicals used soften vinyl and plastics which research has shown to be harmful to the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys.
The Gaiam premium mat comes in at 68 inches long and 24 inches wide or 78 inches long and 24 inches wide. The thickness remains at a constant of about 03 inches (5/16″).
Another reason why this yoga mat is one of the tips picks is its textured non-slip surface. This provides good traction whether you are in a home environment or office setup.
Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat
The Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat is compact and comfortable all rubber mat. It comes in at 70 inches long, 24 inches wide and slightly thinner compared to the rest of the mats at 025 inches (1/4″).
Although it appears to be thinner, it feels very comfortable in the real sense. It is made from pure rubber obtained from the rubber plantations located in Malaysia and Indonesia.
These mats have a very long lifespan, which can be compared to 50,000-mile tire. Natural rubber is very durable and provides a sturdy feel.
Although rubber tends to have a natural grip on them, the Hugger Mugger Para mats have a marble effect on them. This increases traction and prevents episodes of sliding off no matter which floor type you place it on.
Both sides of the mat also have a non-stick surface. The Hugger Mugger Para rubber mat is renewable and biodegradable which means that you will not have to worry about endangering the environment once it has reached its end.
One drawback to rubber yoga mats, however, is that the can get sweaty and attract a foul smell if not cleaned on a frequent basis. It is important that it is cleaned and left to dry completely.
Balance From GoYoga All-purpose Exercise Yoga Mat
This is the longest yoga mat on the list. It comes in a 71 inches long and a standard 24 inches wide. The striking thing about this yoga mat is that it comes in at 05 inches (1/2″) thick which is clearly thicker the rest of the bunch.
This helps cushion body parts which are sensitive to impact and hard floors such as the spine, elbows, knees, and hips. The mat surface is made in such a way that it is non slip on both sides.
Since rubber based yoga mats tend to absorb moisture in terms of sweat and other body fluids leading to the foul smell of the mats, the BalanceFrom all-purpose exercise yoga mats have moisture resistant surface.
This prevents any episodes of body fluids being absorbed and leaving the mat with a bad smell. Compared to other yoga mats, the BalanceFrom All purpose exercise yoga mat is the heaviest of the bunch.
Thankfully, the yoga mat comes with an adjustable strap and velcro for easy carrying. This increases its portability and carrying experience.
Things to Consider Before Buying Yoga Mat
When choosing a yoga mat, you need to consider more than just the pattern and color of the mat.
The mat you go for has to keep you stable when posing. More so, it needs to be portable and storable. You may also consider getting a mat that is environmentally friendly.
Such aspects of your mat depend on what it is made of, its thickness and the texture of its surface. Below is a guide that can help you get a mat that suits your lifestyle, values, budget, and priorities. Cross check the following features:
The material used to make a mat dictates its stickiness, texture, sponginess, eco-friendliness, and durability. Most yoga mats are made of PVC.
Modern variants that seem to be much more eco-friendly are made of jute, organic cotton, natural and recycled rubber. Yoga mats made of natural rubber may not be the best choice if you are allergic to latex.
PVC yields a durable mat that will serve you longer than a decade. The sponginess of a mat varies with different blends of materials. Generally, PVC produces the best yoga mat quality compared to other materials.
The comfortability of your mat will greatly depend on its thickness. A thin mat may get your knee banged up, for instance, during a crescent lunge.
Thicker mats are comfy as they make it hard for you to feel direct contact with the floor. The standard yoga mat goes for around 1/8 inches in thickness. The thickest options are roughly 1/4 inch while wafer-thin mats are a mere 1/16 inch thick. The thinner the mat, the more it folds with ease making it easily portable.
The thickness you choose should be based on how much space you have to place your mat, your preference for the degree of comfort and how often you need to move it around portability. In most cases, the standard 1/8 inch proves to be the most suitable option.
Stickiness prevents you from sliding all over the surface and assists in maintaining your alignment as you switch poses, or as you hold a single pose for long.
According to statistics, PVC yoga mats are the most sticky on the market. When it comes to making a choice on which yoga mat you need, a PVC mat is the best especially if you need assistance holding your pos.
You should, however, keep in mind the fact that the degree of a mat’s stickiness holds only when it is clean. Wash it thoroughly immediately after purchase and anytime you feel slippery about it.
The yoga tradition upholds the tenet of ahimsa (non-violence). This makes practicing yoga on a mat that may end up polluting the environment troublesome.
Typical eco-friendly yoga mats are made from either natural or recycled rubber. They also include natural components such as organic cotton or jute.
On the basis of eco-friendliness, avoid PVC mats as they are non-biodegradable and costly to recycle. The known eco-friendly materials are jute, cotton, and rubber. As long as they meet your requirements, it is recommendable to go for them.
The degree of traction of a mat depends on its texture. The rougher the texture, the less likely you are to slip on your mat while practicing yoga. Since texture affects how a yoga mat feels, it contributes greatly to the overall comfort.
Texture can either be artificial or dictated by the material used. Generally, jute mats have an organic roughness while PVC mats feel softer. Yoga mats made from rubber, jute or cotton are the best of you like a slip-free mat.
The additional grip provided by the raised texture helps maintain your position regardless of how vigorous or sweaty the exercise becomes. If you prefer a smooth mat, a PVC one will serve you to your satisfaction.
Most people prefer pocket-friendly purchases. However, it dictates the cost of any commodity in the market. Typical PVC yoga mats have prices ranging towards the low end.
Other factors that determine the cost of a mat include the design and brand or the mat, patterns, antimicrobial treatments, texture, and thickness.
As much as eco-friendly mats are better to practice yoga on, they cost more in the market and form the most expensive mats. However, the quality of the mat is worth its cost as it may end up saving you the recycling cost.
Practicing yoga is not all about the skill. The mat on which you do it matters a lot. These mats differ greatly depending on their strongholds. For instance, a mat may be cheap but less sticky or very thin.
When buying a mat, take your time and reflect on what you really want from the mat. Come up with a number of qualities that will lead you to the perfect mat for you.
Do not rush to pick any mat or buy a similar mat to your friend. You should know that everyone has different preferences and work with your preferences to get the worth of your money. If you consider the six factors above, expect to get the best mat for you in the market!
How to choose your yoga mat
There is no doubt that yoga is good for the soul, mind, and body. However, to achieve the maximum benefits of yoga, the conditions such as donning the correct gear and using the right yoga mat.
Although there are numerous yoga mats flooding the market, these yoga mate reviews have highlighted the best quality that the market has to offer right now. Whether you prefer a rubberized mat or a PVC type mat, the expert review will help you find the perfect yoga mat for you and your family.
Once you’ve found a good option, deciding on the best yoga mat is a matter of personal needs.
The Sivan Yoga Mat, for example, is great for people with joint issues. The Lifeforme yoga mat is great for anyone who needs a little guidance and is willing to pay a little extra for quality.
The Clever Yoga mat is perfect if you’re looking for a good grip, while the Manduka PROLite mat is a great option for almost everyone.
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