Which Yoga Mat Matches Your Soul?
There are SOOOO many factors that you COULD take into account when looking into picking your first yoga mat. However there are only a few factors you SHOULD take into account. So let's figure YOU out first and then, which is the best yoga mat for you.
What are your highest priorities?
Price - "I want a cheap yoga mat. period"
Durability - "I want a durable yoga mat that will last my ENTIRE life"
Grip - "I want a sticky yoga mat for my slippery hot yoga adventures"
Environment - "I want an Eco Friendly Yoga Mat"
Length - "I'm an extra long human being (like Matt) and I want to fit as much of me as possible on the mat"
Thickness - "I want to be as gentle as possible on my tender knees"
Thinness - "I want to really connect with the earth and have the best travel yoga mat option available"
Pattern - "Even if I can't pull off all the fancy yoga moves, I want to look yogi when I roll out my mat"
The No Yoga Mat Option - "I want to be totally unique and use something other than a yoga mat"
What Are Your Priorities?
Maybe you are just dipping your toes into the yoga world and really only think you'll be stepping onto your mat every once in awhile. I would generally still recommend going for a quality mat, but there are some budget options available for those who want a lower investment threshold.
Yoga Accessories has a decent 3mm (1/8") thick, 68" long by 24" wide yoga mat. Unlike other really cheap yoga mats, this one is actually pretty durable.
You can check it out and see all the specs on Amazon.
Cheap Yoga Mat Pick
YogaAccessories 1/8'' Lightweight Classic Yoga Mat and Exercise Pad - $12.99 - $15.99
This is one of my personal priorities when it comes to a yoga mat. If you practice yoga frequently over a consistent period of time, you'll soon start to see some wear on your mat (especially if you use a cheaper option out there). For our durable yoga mat pick we have chosen the Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat.
This PROLite is made of eco-certified PVC and polyester and sizes in at 4.5mm (3/16”) thick, 71" long and and 24" wide.
Another big bonus of purchasing a Manduka yoga mat is that they are the only company I know of that offers a Life-Time Guarantee. This means you could choose to never purchase another yoga mat for the rest of your life!
Check it out on Amazon.
Durable Yoga Mat Pick
Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat - $68.00 - $141.66
Now I don't know about you, but Bikram and hot yoga turn me into a dripping slippery mess. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love hot yoga. It helps me get deeper into poses and I feel amazing after. It's the slipping around part that I don't love.
While many mats have great grip, we found in polling other hot yoga lovers that the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip Yoga Mat came out the favorite. This mat is 68-Inch x 24-Inch x 5mm and manufactured free of the top six most harmful phthalates. Gaiam says that "the Moisture wicking material increases grip as temperatures soar". Sounds pretty awesome to me.
Check more details out on Amazon.
Non Stick / Hot Yoga Mat Pick
Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip Yoga Mat (5mm) - $49.90 - $69.98
I would say the majority of us yogis are pretty aware of our environmental footprint. But let me ask you this; do you know what your yoga mat is made of? Is it made of PVC, PER, TPE, EVA or something else? These are all synthetics that are very commonly found in yoga classrooms. Jade Yoga's eco-friendly yoga mats are cool because they use a natural rubber tapped from a rubber tree in a sustainable way. If eco-friendly is your top priority, you'll love the Jade Yoga Mats.
The Jade Harmony Professional Mat comes in 68" and 74" lengths and is 3/16" thick. These mats are great because they are durable yet also eco friendly.
Check them out on Amazon.
Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Pick
Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat - $69.95 - $79.95
Now for length. I am a 6' 2" yoga dude who is always hanging over one end or the other of my yoga mat. I'm cool with the body that I came to earth with, but at times it can be inconvenient (I even hit the lady next to me a couple weeks ago while trying to stay within my mat boundaries..). That being said, there are some awesome options for tall people.
My favorite option is the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat. When looking at this option however you have to be sure to select the 85" option. Yes I said 85 inches! Isn't that awesome? All of the mats we've reviewed above are 68 to 74 inches long. If that's not enough of an incentive for you taller folks, remember that the Manduka also has that super cool Life Time Guarantee we talked about earlier.
Longer people can check this mat out on Amazon.
Extra Long Yoga Mat Pick
Manduka PRO Yoga Mat (85-Inch Option) - $128.06
Some people really like hugs! Maybe that's you? What if it felt like you're feet and hands were perpetually hugging you during your yoga practice. Now imagine in Savasana! Okay, okay, I know that's not the real reason to get an extra thick yoga mat, but it might contribute to someones reasoning out there.
Some of us have a heightened sensitivity in our knees or other parts of the body right? For those of you who are looking for a little extra cushion we recommend the Hugger Mugger mats. These mats have an awesome design and will give you the extra give you are looking for. The Hugger Mugger Nature Collection mats are an awesome 1/4" thick.
Check them out on Amazon.
Thick Yoga Mat Pick
Hugger Mugger Nature Collection Ultra Mat - $28.99 - $39.95
On the opposite end of the spectrum from our last priority (Thickness), we have those yogis out there who love to feel connected to the earth! Heck they might not even really need a yoga mat at all, but use one to stay clean. Whether you want to be close to the earth, have the best travel yoga mat, or foldable yoga mat, you're really going to love this option.
We're back to Manduka with their Manduka Standard Superlite Yoga Mat. This light weight yoga mat weighs only 2 lbs (perfect for you traveling yogis out there). It also folds up really nicely, but when you stretch it out, it sizes in at 68" by 24".
Check it out on Amazon.
***NOTE - If you're willing to pay a bit more for the eco friendly version of this mat it's called the Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat and it is totally awesome!
Travel Yoga Mat Pick
Manduka Standard Superlite Yoga Mat - $22.99 - $42.00
For those of you who want to roll into the studio and roll out a totally hip and cool patterned yoga mat you need to check out the Vagabond Goods Printed Yoga Mats. Very Unique and a lot of fun.
Check their different patterns out on Amazon.
Patterned Yoga Mat Pick
Vagabond-goods printed yoga mat - $84.00
The No Yoga Mat Option?
Here's another totally unique option that you may not have thought about. What if you just want to wear your yoga mat? Is that possible? If you'd like to try them, Yoga Paw's could be a pretty cool option for you. They are yoga socks and yoga cloves that actually work really well. You don't get all the benefits of the traditional yoga mat, but they are easy to carry and you can literally throw them on anywhere. There is a picture on the Yoga Paws website of a girl using them to do yoga in a tree.. Yes, in a tree.
You can also check out Yoga Paws on Amazon.
Yoga Socks and Yoga Paws Pick
YogaPaws size 2 Women's Reg/Small - $44.95
Our Pick For "The Best Yoga Mat"
Obviously this is a matter of opinion right?
Seantay and I, while we enjoy using the other brands of yoga mats listed above, our favorite by far is Manduka. Specifically our favorite is the Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat. We've had ours for years and we really need to get a second one because we always look awkwardly at each other, trying to decide who gets it on days when we practice yoga together. They are durable, have that awesome life time guarantee, grip well, give well, and look great.
Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat - $68.00
If you'd like help choosing which would be the best yoga mat for you, don't hesitate to contact us. We've learned a lot and would love to help you out how we can.
I'd love to hear your feedback on the yoga mat you currently use. Answer in the Comments below:
- Mat type
- Do you like it?
- Why / why not?
- Which mat do you feel matches your soul? =)