Choosing a yoga mat goes beyond color, pattern and aesthetic appeal. Your yoga mat should be capable of providing the right amount of support and comfort to make your yoga sessions easier. For those who carry their yoga mat to the studio or when traveling, it also needs to be light, easy to carry around and compact. And for many, it’s also nice to have a yoga mat made from eco-friendly materials.

If you’re looking for a good yoga mat, it can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if this is your first time. Modern yoga mats are made from various materials and sold in a variety of sizes, colors, and thicknesses. Typical mat prices vary from ~$25 all the way up to $100 or more. With an investment like this, it’s always good to ensure that your yoga mat checks off your priorities, whether those priorities are having some light weight or having something with extra cushion or even having a mat that’s extra long or wide.

In this guide, we will explain each of these aspects and more, which will make the process of choosing the ideal yoga mat for you a bit simpler. Closenberg, a yoga mats distributor, says, “When it comes to picking a yoga mat, there is a certain criterion you need to follow.” And since most of us can’t simply try out a mat before purchasing, it’s these things you’ll want to keep in mind as you make your selection.

Choosing The Right Yoga Mat

Materials

The materials used to make a particular yoga mat will determine its texture, sponginess, stickiness, and eco-friendliness. Most yoga mats sold these days are made of either vinyl or rubber. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, durable yoga mat, then go for vinyl yoga mats. Vinyl mats tend to last very long and can take a lot of abuse from all those yoga classes. However, vinyl mats have been criticized for not being eco-friendly. Meanwhile, rubber yoga mats usually have cotton and jute in them which make environmentally friendly, but the mats will feel less spongy. There are mats made of cotton, and these yoga mats tend to be thin and eco-friendly. They provide less support when compared to vinyl or rubber mats, but cotton mats are great at absorbing sweat and increases grip when wet. Yoga mats made of jute offer similar features like cotton mats, but jute being more fibrous, it is slightly rougher than cotton and absorbs less moisture.

Texture

The texture of the mat depends on the amount of traction it has. If you’re someone who tends to sweat a lot during yoga, a grippy mat is ideal for you to prevent you from slipping. If bumpy textured mats aren’t your thing, then choose a smooth mat that can absorb moisture. For slippery individuals, also consider using a yoga towel or even regular towel laid out over your mat during practice.

Thickness

There are three main mat thicknesses: 1/4″ thickness, 1/8″ thickness, and, 1/16″ thickness. The differences among these three thickness levels are significant. If your yoga mat is too thin, you may experience some discomfort on your knees and joints while performing certain poses. If the mat is too thick, maintaining balance and holding a pose will become problematic. We think a yoga mat with 1/8″ thickness is perfect for most people. This level is the most commonly used thickness and has the ideal combination of performance and portability.

Size

A standard yoga mat typically measures 24″ x 68″. There are also mats that measure 72″ and 74″ in lengths, with some yoga mats being as long as 84″.  Most yogis will nicely fit on the most standard-sized mat, but if you’re taller, then you need to buy a yoga mat that is extra-long. To know which length of mat you should buy just place your hands and feet on the mat. If they’re securely on the mat, then the length is enough.

Price

Whether you buy a vinyl, rubber, or cotton yoga mat, try to get the most out of it.  For the most part, standard-sized vinyl yoga mats are a bit expensive than most other mats. The price of the mats also depends on the materials and thickness. Additional features like antimicrobial treatments or patterns/designs on the mats will cost you extra. To make things less complicated, we suggest you choose a yoga mat that matches your level of dedication, personal taste, and experience.

Our Recommendations:

Affordable Choice: You can many inexpensive mats from retailers like Target or Walmart. Yoga mats from these stores range from $10-$50 and available in various colors and patterns.

Best Value Choice: Gaiam offers a nice collection of yoga mats ranging from $21-$90 online. The price will vary depending on the length, thickness, and material.

Premium Choice:  If money isn’t a problem, and you want the best yoga mats, then opt for Manduka yoga mats. These premium quality yoga mats are more expensive than Lululemon but come with a luxurious non-slip fabric-like finish.

About Author:

Katrina D. Keller is a well-known blogger who has a wide variety of interests. She loves to do Yoga and meditation daily. To know more about her you can visit her website https://bestinyoga.com.