To stay fit and healthy, our body needs at least half an hour of exercise each day. From doing basic yoga poses to aerobics, Pilates, and strength training, there are so many forms of workouts that a person can do. Each of these forms requires the right gear and equipment to do them correctly.
When it comes to workout, a person needs to be aware of the right gear and equipment and their uses. Amongst so many yoga gears available in the market today, the most common one for any workout is a mat.
If you are among those people who love to do yoga as a part of their routine, there is a category of mats designed especially for you lot. This particular category of mats is known as Yoga Mats. These mats are specially fabricated for low impact exercises such as yoga. This article aims at guiding and helping you in choosing the best yoga mat for you.
What Is A Yoga Mat?
Yoga mats are specially fabricated mats for low impact exercises such as different types of yoga. It provides the user with a cushioned and a non-slip surface. This makes it easier to perform yoga asanas carefully without slipping.
Yoga mats usually are 6 feet long and 2 feet wide. The thickness of the yoga mats ranges from 2mm to 6mm. Some of the yoga mats also come with alignment guides printed on them. Yoga mats cling to most surfaces allowing the users to focus on their balance instead of their mats.
Yoga mats define the boundary of the user’s practice. It establishes a setting. Yoga mats prove to be helpful in poses where you need your feet or hands to grip. They are made thinner than the regular workout mats. Some yoga asanas need the user to establish a strong connection with the floor. This is an important factor when practicing yoga, hence the thinness of the yoga mats.
Yoga mats are sold worldwide now. They come in an array of varying vibrant colors, sizes, and shapes. The first yoga mats produced commercially were ‘sticky’. They were made of PVC (Polyvinyl chloride). They have a smooth surface and are cheap as compared to those that are produced nowadays.
Yoga mats are manufactured using different materials such as PVC, organic or natural cotton, jute fibers, and recycled rubber. Each of these materials provides a different level of sponginess to the mats. The ones that are preferred by most practitioners are the ones made of PVC. However, PVC is toxic material. What we need nowadays are eco-friendly materials to be used in all products as far as possible.
Why Is A Yoga Mat Necessary?
Yoga is a Hindu spiritual discipline associated with the human body, its movements with the right kinds of posture, breathing, and meditating. While performing yoga asanas, one needs to stretch his body from different angles. This sometimes results in slipping, especially when practiced on a flat surface. The body muscles are subject to cramps and fatigue if it gets slipped, be it on a wooden floor or a marble floor.
This is where we need a Yoga Mat. Due to its anti-slipping nature a yoga mat allows the practitioners to keep their hold strong on the surface. It also provides a sort of insulation between the practitioner’s body and the ground. This prevents any loss of heat or energy from the body to the ground. If you don’t use a yoga mat, there would be no insulation between your body and the ground. Hence, the generated energy would be lost due to the grounding effect. Won’t that be a waste of all your labor?!
Exercise Mats Vs. Yoga Mats: Their Difference And Similarity
With so many different types of mats available out there, it is understandable that most of us are left confused. It is but natural that we ask ourselves if we are investing our money in the right gear, the gear that would serve our intended purpose.
That being said, each type of fitness mat serves a different function. There is a peculiar difference as well as the similarity between a regular exercising mat and a yoga mat.
The major difference between an exercise mat and a yoga mat is their thickness. Generally, exercise mats are thicker than yoga mats. There is a variation of ¼ of an inch in their thickness. This variation is needed because certain yoga asanas call for a strong connection to be established between the user’s body and the floor’s surface.
The exercise mats are made thicker because they are expected to provide cushioning to the user’s body during high-intensity workouts. Because of this extra cushioning, the users can relax and focus even while making the most uncomfortable moves.
On the other hand, the exercise mats and yoga mats have a similarity as well. The most common exercise mats and yoga mats are made of PVC. This is because PVC is very durable. It is easy to clean and lightweight. PVC is also affordable, making it quite accessible in a very diverse market.
How To Choose The Best Yoga Mat: Factors To Be Kept In Mind
1. Consider Your Body Type:
Every person has its own needs and comfort levels when it comes to workout. To an extent, the type of yoga mat every person needs depends on their body type. If your joints get sore easily then you may need a thicker yoga mat. Thicker mats have extra cushioning that can be easier on the joints.
If you are tall, you may want to keep in mind the length of the mat. The standard yoga mats are normally 6 feet long. However, this could be a problem if you are taller.
2. Type Of Yoga That You Practice:
The type of yoga mat you purchase also depends on the type of yoga you practice.
If you are a beginner, then you can compromise with the quality of the mat. You can go for a basic mat ranging from $10-$20. You may decide after a while that yoga is not for you, so you might not want to invest a lot of money on an expensive mat.
As you figure out how your body responds to yoga with time, you’ll get better at figuring out which type of mat is ideal for you. So, in the beginning you may want to cheap out on the mat and choose a more expensive one after you get a better idea.
However, if you practice yoga or go to yoga classes on a regular basis, you would be needing a yoga mat with more adhesion to keep your arms and legs in place.
3. Consider Where You’re Doing Yoga:
If you practice yoga at home, you don’t have to worry about the portability of the mat that much. But if you take yoga classes outside your home then you may want to look into the weight and portability of the mat. The weight of the mat is also an important factor if you travel a lot and don’t wish to miss your yoga routine.
4. Speculate The Material Of The Mat:
Most of the yoga mats and exercise mats are made of PVC. Polyvinyl chloride is the most commonly used material for making yoga mats. They are easily accessible, as well as highly cushioned. However, some studies have shown that PVC may be a carcinogen. It is also hard to recycle. Therefore it is debatable whether or not to use PVC mats.
People who are health conscious and avoid using PVC mats, prefer using mats made from natural rubber. It is as easily accessible as a PVC mat. It also has a better reputation among yoga practitioners. Rubber mats are somewhat inexpensive. Hence it may be a good idea to use rubber mats if you are just starting out.
People whose yoga asanas require a lot of sitting and lying down can use padded mats. These mats are made of two parts: an inside part made of foam and a removable outside cloth covering. These mats provide a lot more support as compared to an average mat. However, they don’t provide a good grip. They can only be partially washed. The inner foam is non-washable.
People can also look into cotton mats. It is a more natural element as well as easily washable. It is soft, yet it provides a better grip than padded mats. A cotton mat can retain sweat more easily. However, cotton mats may require frequent washing.
5. Consider The Texture Of The Mat:
In terms of personal comfort, the texture of the yoga mat makes a great deal of difference. Yoga mats come in a variety of textures. So before making a choice, be sure if you want a sticky mat, a non-stick mat, or a smooth mat.
Sticky, as well as non-stick mats have a rougher texture. They tend to irritate the skin. However, they can prove to be useful during intense yoga asanas. If you want a smooth mat, a PVC mat is your best bet.
6. Look For The Right Thickness:
If you are a beginner, you’d be needing yoga mats with more padding, i.e., more thickness. If you travel a lot, a mat with in-between thickness is good for you. This way, you can roll up your mat and transport easily. It is quite difficult to roll up your mat and carry it. So go for a mat made of lightweight material. While buying, make sure that the mat is easy to maneuver.
7. Keep Your Budget In Mind:
Yoga mats not only vary in material and texture. They also vary greatly in price. A PVC mat with no padding and stickiness is cheaper. However, mats with extra padding or cushioning, good texture and thickness greater than ⅛ inch get pricier.
If you plan on doing yoga long term, you can always go for a pricier mat from a good sports or yoga company. But if the decision of doing yoga long term is debatable, go for a cheaper yoga mat. However, if you think that the extra features like padding and stickiness are important to you, they are worth the extra cost.
Top 11 Best Yoga Mats of 2022
1. GoYoga All-purpose Extra Thick Yoga Mat With Carrying Strap By Balancefrom
The 71-inch length and 24-inch width of this yoga mat make it ideal for people of all heights and sizes. The mat is made of high-density foam material. Due to this, the mat provides cushioning to the spine, hips, knees, and elbows on hard floors.
The mat is provided with double-sided non-slip surfaces, which provides excellent slip resistant advantage to the user. This prevents injuries. In order to help you maintain better balance during any intensity yoga asanas, this mat provides exceptional resilience.
The GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat is manufactured, keeping easy washability in mind. The mat’s moisture resistant technology and high-quality material make it easy to wash with soap and water. This mat comes in various vibrant colors.
To enable its users’ portability, the mat is manufactured with lightweight material. It is also provided with a free carrying strap so that the user can take it anywhere and everywhere without a burden.
This mat by BalanceFrom is exclusively sold by BalanceFrom Amazon store. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
The mat comes with a thickness of ½ inch and is made of premium material. This makes the GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat one of the best thick yoga mat.
2. Sivan Health And Fitness Yoga Mat
This mat comes in an array of eight different vibrant colors. With the dimensions 71*24 inches, this mat is suitable for almost everybody regardless of their height and sizes.
Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat comes with ½ inch ultra thickness. This provides excellent cushioning and comfort to the user. It is ideal for practicing yoga, toning workouts, pilates as well as stretching. The thick NBR foam protects the users’ knees and other joints. It is specially designed for superior impact.
This mat comes with a removable carry strap for easy transport. If you don’t practice yoga at home and go for special classes or to parks, this mat can prove to be a great purchase for you. It can be easily rolled up in case of storage.
This Sivan Health and Fitness mat is easy to clean and has a slip-free surface. The slip-free surface provides for a better grip so the user can focus on the asanas instead of the mat’s grip. The non-skid ridges provide for better balance and ultimate stability while working out.
The NBR foam technology used provides best thickness yoga mat.
3. Aurorae Classic/Printed Premium Eco Safe Yoga Mat
With the dimensions 72*24 inches, the Aurorae All-Purpose Mats are for men, women as well as kids. These mats are developed to draw out the potential within all the users.
These mats come in many different colors and exciting New Northern Lights/Impressions designs. The vibrancy of these designs illuminates energy and makes it fun to use.
This mat is of just the right weight for doing pilates, aerobics, yoga, and even outdoor activities like camping. They are made with premium materials, hence are lightweight. Their light weight makes them easy to carry and transport if you go out for classes or love to go camping or fishing.
These mats by Aurorae have been tested for toxins and have been concluded to be non-toxic. No traces of phthalates, phenols, PAHS, latex, silicone, or rubber have been found while testing. Thus, these mats are eco-safe with rosin included.
This mat comes with padding and helps the users’ feet, and hands grip really well so that they feel grounded securely during their practice. There is no unpleasant odor associated with these mats to interfere with feeling good about taking deep breaths while on the mat.
These mats are easy to wash with soap and water. However, washing them requires some squeezing to drain out the excess water. In between washings, a simple wipe down with a damp rag does the trick.
These mats by Aurorae provide its users with a magical experience while working out on it because of its smooth texture. Because of its ability to provide a great grip and adequate padding, it is one of the best rated yoga mats.
However, this mat might not be your best bet on the best yoga mats if you are a hot yoga practitioner. But if you are more into aerobics, stretching or basic yoga, then these mats by Sivana Health can prove to be the best yoga mat for you.
4. Reehut ½ Inch Extra Thick Yoga Mats
This yoga mat by Reehut comes with 1/2 inch ultra thickness that provides a good base for all types of yoga asanas. It comes in 7 different colors including red, blue, black, etc.
It is made of high-density NBR foam that provides perfect cushioning to the users’ body parts while doing pilates and all types of workouts. This mat is the best thick yoga mat for people with sore joints or pressure points.
This mat is 71 inches long and 24 inches wide. This is not one of this mat’s highlighted features as these dimensions are common in most of the other mats included in our list.
This mat by Reehut keeps you from slipping. This is an important feature especially when it comes to intense balance asanas. This yoga mat can be used at home or on the go. It is provided with a free strap. It is not only portable, but also convenient. Because of the removable strap it is easily portable.
The mat’s NBR foam technology makes it quite lightweight and easy to use. If you are looking for a premium quality yet inexpensive yoga mat, this mat by Reehut is the right choice for you. It can also be quickly cleaned with soap water or diluted white vinegar, and can be pat-dried with a towel.
This yoga mat has been approved by ROHS, PAHs, 6P and REACH to be non-toxic and eco-friendly. It is very durable. So if you are a long-term practitioner or even a beginner, this yoga mat can prove to be one of the best yoga mat for you.
5. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
This mat is made using natural rubber and provides a superior level of traction. This mat comes in different vibrant colors and sizes that you’d definitely be left bewildered by so many choices in front of you.
This mat comes with a thickness of 3/16 inches and provides great traction. They provide exceptional cushioning to the users’ body better than any synthetic material like PVC, PER, TPE, etc. This mat is ideal for all types of yogas including Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot, Bikram, Iyenger, and other varied practices.
This mat, made of natural rubber, offers a grip stronger than other yoga mats. This helps the user to maintain their focus as well as stability during all types of yoga asanas and even stretching or toning workouts.This mat is designed to utilize only the high-quality materials to ensure outstanding performance and durability.
Making sustainable products has always been Jade Yoga’s first priority. This brand is known for its long-lasting products. Natural rubber is one of the most sustainable materials for yoga mats. However, this range of mats by Jade Yoga are expensive. But because of its exceptional quality and non-slip surfaces, it might prove to be worth your every penny.
As per the reviews of many experienced users of this particular mat, it is rest assured the best yoga mat for men. This is because of its exceptional traction. Men tend to perform more vigorous workouts as compared to women in general. This mat provides optimum traction, sustainability and non-slip grip for all types of vigorous workouts.
According to this mat’s popularity and demand, it is one of the best rated yoga mat.
6. Amazonbasics ½ Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat
This AmazonBasics mat gives you an ultimate user experience with its textured surface. It is available online in seven different colors, including red, green, blue, black, grey, pink and purple.
This extra-thick yoga mat with ½ inch thickness is comfortable to use. The cushioning that this mat provides, makes it ideal to be used by people have pressure point problems as well as sore joints. The textured, smooth surface of this mat provides optimum traction for Pilates and other various workout routines.
The type of enhanced traction that this mat by AmazonBasics provides is essential for stability. It helps in maintaining balance for poses ranging from the warrior ones or the downward dog to the extended side-angle pose or plank. This mat is as useful for beginners of floor-workout routines as it is to the experienced practitioners.
This mat is designed to withstand everyday use. It is made from high-quality durable foam that is not only lightweight but also strong. The carrying strap provided with the mat adds to its easy portability. It prevents the mat from unrolling when propped up in the closet or the car. It is one of the best yoga mats for home or studio use.
If you are looking for a mat that is of premium quality and durability yet inexpensive, this AmazonBasics mat is a great option for you.
7. Gaiam Yoga Mat
These yoga mats are 6mm thick with dimensions 68*24 inches yet lightweight.
These premium yoga mats by Gaiam are available online with so many exquisite prints that will totally startle you at the first glance itself. Coming in 41 different prints and colors, there are extensive options to choose from.
These mats feature a sticky non-slip texture that prevents the user from slipping and losing balance during pilates, floor exercises, and other various exercises. This non-slip texture provides enhanced traction and an ultimate grip for vigorous workouts.
The extra thickness of these mats offer additional cushioning that your joints need during yoga or other fitness routines. The superior grip prevents you from slipping and helps with the stability while maintaining balance. The stylish design also keeps you motivated and focused.
These Gaiam Yoga Mats are proven to be free from toxins such as PVC, DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP as well as DNOP. This makes the mats non-toxic and eco-friendly. For best results from these mats, unroll and air them out for two to three days before use. This completely removes the odor that might be present while unwrapping.
When purchased online from Amazon, this yoga mat includes a free bonus downloadable yoga workout to help you get started. This is extremely helpful for beginners and might be one of their best options.
With so many added advantages of these mats, they are not as expensive as they might be thought of. They are lightweight and thus are easy to carry if you go out for yoga classes. As reviewed by many users, these mats by Gaiam top our list of the best yoga mat 2019.
8. YogaAccessories High Density Yoga Mats
Available in an array of 30 different colors to choose from, these mats by YogaAccessories are ¼ inches thick.
Made of the highest quality materials, these mats are two times as dense as the average yoga mats. With ultimate thickness, these mats provide luxurious cushioning to its users. These mats are a staple for people who love to Shavasana in comfort and style. These thick non-slip mats are best for restorative poses. They are also great for all types of yogas.
These mats are strong and vivacious and come in many vibrant colors to choose from. However, they are not overpowering in their brightness. The non-slip grip has made these mats by YogaAccessories one of the most popular mats in the market. They are ideal to use at home, yoga studios as well as schools.
For better results, wash the mat for removal of any residue from the manufacturing process. In order to clean these mats, you can use a mat cleaner or a ½ teaspoon of mild detergent with ½ gallon of water. Scrub the entire mat with a soft cloth and rinse it with clean water. Failure in following these instructions may result in slippage and injuries with these mats.
These mats are free from latex and phthalate. Its unique combination of open and closed cell material provides an exceptional mixture of sweat-absorbing grip and joint-saving density. These mats are manufactured keeping the users’ safety in mind and are heavy metal-free.
With high density and premium thickness, these mats by YogaAccessories are ranked in the list of the best yoga mat 2019 and are amongst the best rated yoga mats on Amazon.
9. Manduka Pro Yoga Mat
This brand has built its reputation as one of the world’s most respected brands for yoga accessories for more than twenty years.
This mat is made to be ultra-dense with a thickness up to 6mm. The ultra thickness offers the user high-density cushioning. This cushioning is optimum for its users’ joint protection and al;so provides them unmatched support.
The surface texture of the Manduka PRO improves with use, you just need to practice, practice and practice to make the most out of it. Its closed-cell surface prevents sweat from seeping into the mat.
This is one heavy-duty solid mat. It looks tough as much as it feels tough. The mat is dense is extremely firm for all the yoga asanas as well as vigorous workouts.
The mat guarantees to provide ultimate grip which improves over time. However, most of the customer reviews have proven otherwise. Even after all the treatments, such as using salt-water, vinegar, etc. the mats remain too slippery to use after not more than half an hour of workout.
This mat is also heavier than the average yoga mats. This obviously doesn’t make the mat portable. It is alright to use this mat at home but it is not as good for outdoor use as the other products on our list.
Considering the reputation of this particular mat, this range of yoga mats by Manduka are not up to the mark. So this might not be the best yoga mat you would want to use.
10. Bettergrip Yoga Mat By Clever Yoga
This mat has done justice to its name by providing exceptional grip to its users. With reversible non-slip surfaces, this mat gives you the confidence to perform your workout without thinking about how you may slip if you lose your balance. The wavy underside of the mat prevents it from sliding or losing its grip.
Available in eight varying colors, this mat is a delight to look at and workout on them even though they are not printed. Being 72 inches in length and 25 ¼ inches wide, this mat is suitable for short as well as tall practitioners.
This mat comes with a 6mm thickness to ensure the most comfortable yoga experience. It protects the joints without compromising support or stability. It is a great option for people with sore joints.
The subtle texture of the mat’s surface prevents the hands and feet from slipping out of position, hence avoiding injuries. This mat by Clever Yoga is fit for hot yoga, meditation, Pilates or stretching.
This yoga mat is made from TPE foam is free from PVC, phthalates, silicone, latex and other toxic materials. However, its memory foam tends to be a bit unstable. It is 100 percent toxin-free and premium quality eco-friendly. Truly safe to use. These mats are one of the most durable ones. Designed to withstand the toughest workout sessions, this mat will hold up to wear and tear of routine practice.
In order to keep germs, bacteria and stinky odor at bay, this mat’s surface is made using closed-cell technology. This mat is also easy to wipe and clean. In order to retain the grip of the mat after heavy perspiration, you just have to swipe it off with a towel and it is ready to use again!
This mat by Clever Yoga offers good grip, non-slip surfaces and durability. Weight and colors are the bonus factors. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or a beginner, this mat may prove to be one of the best thick yoga mat. It also offers a faint unpleasant odor which can be easily treated.
11. Heathyoga Eco Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat
This yoga mat is more expensive than an average yoga mat but is worth your every penny. Heathyoga has added the TPE technology to their yoga mats. TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomers.
TPE are generally low modulus and flexible materials. The mats made using technology can be stretched repeatedly yet will provide superior durability, slip-resistance as well as exceptional cushioning.
This mat comes with alignment lines so that you no longer have to focus on your hand and feet positioning during yoga practice and other workouts. The mat’s double-layer design, it perfectly matches different non-slip requirements from your body as well as floor.
Each side of the mat has a raised texture that provides the grip needed so your mat stays put. This prevents you from slipping while practicing yoga or any other workout for that matter.
Heathyoga uses SGS certified TPE material. The mat ensures the best cushioning and slip-resistance at the same time. The extra large size of the mat is perfect for spacious practice. The 6mm thickness of the mat offers perfect cushioning and balance.
Despite its large size and 6mm thickness, this mat is lightweight. A great option for you if you go out for classes, this mat is easy to carry and store.The mat is available in six distinctive colors.
With the TPE technology used for ultimate durability and cushioning, this mat is one of the greatest competitors on our list of the best yoga mats.
12. ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat
Available in eight distinctive colors, this mat is 71 inches long, 24 inches wide and ½ inches thick.
The high density NBR cushioning of this mat provides support for sensitive joints. The ½ inches thickness of the mat makes it versatile for yoga yoga, pilates, stretching and abdominal workouts. The cushioning allows you to focus on your flow and balance.
The ribbed material of this mat provides a great grip for your hand and feet so that you don’t slip. The mat provides exceptional traction when used on wooden floors or other slick surfaces.
This mat is made from water-resistant NBR rubber. The high performance of this mat is durable as claimed by ProsourceFit. The material prevents the sweating from being soaked in, thus preventing unwanted odor. It can be quickly wiped down with a damp cloth. Hence, is easy to clean.
This yoga mat excels in poses such as savasana, boat pose, bridge pose, camel pose, etc. This mat can also help you with painful areas of the body. Try this mat for slow, restorative yoga to bring restoration. This mat if one of the best quality yoga mat because of the high-density TPE technology used for manufacturing them.
Best Yoga Mats – Your choice?
We have been reminded of the importance of exercise time, and time again. Exercising for at least half an hour a day can improve not just our physical health but also our mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. However, most of us sometimes take exercise for granted because of the rapid advancement of technology and our continued reliance on it.
If you don’t want to indulge yourself in vigorous workout routines, practicing yoga and meditating can be suitable for you. However, you cannot practice any type of workout without the right gear. The first and foremost important gear for yoga practitioners, be it a beginner or an experienced one, is a yoga mat.
In this article, we have discussed the factors to be considered before buying a suitable yoga mat for yourself. In addition to this, we have also provided you with a list of some of the best yoga mats. Some of the above mentioned mats are the best rated yoga mat online.
So if you are facing difficulty in purchasing the right yoga mat suited for you, you need not worry! Research online, ask your friends who have been practicing yoga, or take the help of the above wholesome buyer’s guide. Just be sure to invest in a good quality yoga mat so that you get the best bang for your bucks.