Now, if you’ve ALREADY decided on which mat to buy…stop right there! Just spend 10 minutes to read what I have to share. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.
My name is Mandy and I’ll be discussing about the best yoga mat and excite you with yoga mat reviews. This is the site to explore as I share personal tips and guide you on how to choose, use, and care for your yoga mats.
How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat
Yoga was and still is my greatest passion. For that, I am pretty particular about yoga mats because they play a very important role in the whole experience. Those who aren’t aware may think, “Why the big fuss about MATS?” But yoga practitioners will know that the overall experience goes well when you have a trusty mat by your side.
Yoga mats basically differ by size, price, and quality. To find out whether you have the best yoga mat, you should answer YES to the following questions:
1. Does the mat grip well even though I sweat?
The best kinds of mat are those that give firm grip even though you sweat profusely. You’ll need to feel that you get a good hold of the mat despite all the dampness because in yoga, balance is crucial. Your Asanas (position) is also affected by the quality of mat. Therefore, choose a mat with excellent grip. You can test the mat by rubbing your palms to stimulate sweat and then rub on the mat to determine wet friction.
2. Will it endure multiple washings?
It’s natural that after a good yoga session, your mat will be soaked with sweat and grime. Certain mats cannot endure frequent washings (which say a lot about the quality). Good mats can be washed without easily being worn-out. Look for dense yet lightweight mat texture; usually they’ll be able to withstand regular washing.
3. Is it easy to clean particles and dirt easily?
Despite its name, it’s easy to clean dirt off “sticky mat” or the traditional mat. Most mats today come with extra cotton padding to provide comfort and extra stability. Some materials attract dirt and particles more easily. Even so, cleaning yoga mat shouldn’t take too much of your time. If that’s the case, you can consider getting better quality mats with hassle-free cleaning process.
4. Is it lightweight?
If you’re always on the move (i.e. business trips); you’ll need a lightweight mat that’s easy to roll and lug around. Most manufacturers today have recognized this need and come up with efficient designs. However, the weight should not compromise the mat’s thickness and durability. In your mat choice, choose one that gives you the best of both worlds (yes, there are such mats).
Besides the points mentioned above, you should already know that a yoga mat must be able to give you balance and stability. It should also be slip-free (this is a MUST) because slippery surfaces can cause injury, especially if you practice complicated poses. Many mats today come with designs to enhance your ability to focus and eco-friendly features. What’s important is that you’re comfortable with the choice of mat. In my opinion, everything else is a matter of preference as long as you’ve got safety, stability, comfort, and durability covered.
Best Yoga Mat Reviews
Now here are my top pick yoga mats. I have chosen a few that are the best yoga mat in its category, since we all put different weight on our priorities when it comes to choosing a mat.
Best Thick Yoga Mat – Manduka BlackMatPRO 85-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat
If you are looking for the top product in yoga mats, this is what I’d recommend. The Manduka BlackMatPRO 85-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat is likened to Bentley (in cars) where exclusiveness and superior quality is used as a benchmark. What’s so special about this mat? Well, I own one (bought from Amazon) and here are a few highlights of this mat:
1. Great anti-slip feature
I sweat much and just tend to lose grip on some of the other mats after awhile. Not with this mat. The surface isn’t sticky yet it has powerful slip resistant feature. I like the fact that even with my sticky hands and feet, the mat just wouldn’t budge from the floor. That gives me assurance that it’ll do justice as I try out difficult poses.
2. Unquestionable durability
I’ve owned this Manduka BlackMatPRO 85-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat for 3 years now and it still works great. It lasted way longer than I expected it to and for a moment I thought I don’t need other mats. Of course I still bought other mats to try out but this mast lasted the longest. It’s also important to keep it clean so that it’ll last long.
3. Thick material provides comfort
With this mat, I can rest comfortably while doing different poses. Some mats are designed lightweight but with markedly less thickness. This mat’s thickness feels just right to give comfortable cushioning.
Best Budget Yoga Mat – YogaAccessories 1/4″ Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat
“Buying an excellent yoga mat for less than $25? Is this even possible?” so I was asked by my sister who started practicing yoga two years ago. Indeed possible with YogaAccessories 1/4″ Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat. Of course, the excellent offer only comes from Amazon. But before I go there, I’d like to say that this is a mat that doesn’t compromise on quality despite its reasonable price!
Here are 2 major plus points about this mat:
1. There is wide range of colors to choose from
The YogaAccessories 1/4″ Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat offers a wide range of vibrant colors to choose from. The colors aren’t overpowering but pleasant to look at. Having bright colors around also helps you to focus your energy.
2. Thick cushioning makes yoga enjoyable
The thick cushioning (in fact one of the thickest in the range of mats) makes every pose practice a pleasant experience. An experienced practitioner will know that budget cannot substitute comfort because you’ll need that in many poses. I’ll give this mat a two thumbs up for combining comfort and affordable price into the same product.
The mat does have a chemical smell to it when I first got it. I tried washing it with soapy cloth and the smell worn off after a few washes. The chemical smell lasted longer than most mats and that’s the biggest disadvantage of this mat.
Best Hot Yoga Mat – Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Yoga Towel
To be clear, Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Yoga Towel is a mat-towel, meaning that you can either place it as a mat (on carpeted surface) or place it on an existing mat for sweat absorption and skid prevention. I first took note of the towel a few years back when my friend commented that it’s a great addition to her hot yoga practice. Being a practitioner myself, I bought this mat-towel and tried it out. What can I say, it works terrific!
Unlike usual mats, the mat-towel has high sweat absorption ability and functions as a barrier between you and the mat. Having this means that your mat won’t be as dirty; it’s also much easier to wash the mat-towel than the mat.
Two things I like about this mat are:
1. It absorbs sweat like a sponge!
I told you in my other review Best Durable Yoga Mat that I sweat a lot during yoga. So, you can imagine my happiness when I discovered that this mat-towel actually takes in all my sweat and helps me maintain a slip-free surface. It’s an accessory I’ll invest in for my yoga practices.
2. Skid-free claim is true
The product claims to be skid-free but I was skeptical at first. I’ve tried different mat-towels and none of them seemed to be able to live up to that claim. The Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Yoga Towel however, delivered the promise.
The mat-towel bleeds so don’t throw it into your laundry load. Wash separately until the bleeding stops. Other than that, this is an excellent product.
Most Comfortable Yoga Mat – Aurorae Yoga Mat
The Aurorae Yoga Mat is worth checking out because I regard it as the most comfortable yoga mat. Besides its comfort boost due to extra thick material, it also prides itself on being SGS-certified to be Phthalates-free. Read on to know more about this comfy mat:
1. Cushioned comfort for knees and joints
The 1/4” thickness gives optimal cushioning to prevent discomfort when you conduct poses with knees and joints on floor. In fact, compared to the other mats I find this to still be most comfortable. Of course, having colorful designs to choose from brings out the best in yoga as the unique focal point helps to calm and relieve stressed nerves.
2. Phthalates-free mat for better health and well-being
Phthalates is a form of substance added to plastics to increase their flexibility and durability. This is a substance that can be potentially harmful to health and is being phased out in many products. Knowing that the product is safe for use even during prolonged exposure gives me peace of mind.
3. Also a quality and highly durable product
My sister uses this product in a variety of settings (outdoors and indoors) and finds that it last well. I’d only use it indoors and yet find it to be long lasting as I wash and clean it repeatedly. This is an excellent product overall.
Best Travel Yoga Mat – Manduka 71-Inch PROlite Travel Yoga and Pilates Mat
This is the product you’ll need if you’re always on the move (i.e. traveling to gym) as it’s lightweight and easy to roll up. Formerly known as Purplelite, the Manduka 71-Inch PROlite Travel Yoga and Pilates Mat is meant for performance, comfort, and easy-carry for travel purpose. Like all Manduka mats, quality is the best feature. This mat also displays longevity or durability that surpasses expectations.
For those looking for the best mat that’s easy to take around, look no further. Here’s why you should choose this mat:
1. It is not as bulky, yet delivers exceptional performance
This Manduka 71-Inch PROlite Travel Yoga and Pilates Mat suits most people despite its reduced thickness (3/16” instead of 1/4”) because honestly, I couldn’t feel a stark difference of comfort level between both. Unless you are heavier than average, this mat will work just fine.
2. Gives excellent grip and stability
No flimsy, slippery surface as the mat holds study despite much dampness. I’m glad I bought this mat and am planning to get one for my sister in-law. As a busy executive and often on the road for business trips, she keeps to her yoga regimen. She’ll appreciate this mat indeed.
Though it has some chemical smell, I find it to be at a tolerable level. If you’re uncomfortable with any sort of chemical smell, you may want to consider other mats.
Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat – Manduka eKO 71-Inch 5mm Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
Eco-friendly mats are the way to go these days as consumers are increasingly aware of the damage caused by chemicals and non-biodegradable products to the environment. Good news for you if you are looking for an eco-friendly yoga mat. The Manduka eKO 71-Inch 5mm Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat should be your first choice of mat. Here’s why:
1. Made from all-natural rubber tree
This mat prides on being a durable, eco-friendly mat that gives excellent grip and cushion. Developed by yoga practitioners, you can be sure that this is a product that meets your yoga needs for comfort and stability.
2. No harmful chemical additives
If chemical smells are hard to bear with, you most definitely should choose this mat. Manduka eKO 71-Inch 5mm Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat is a mat that won’t last a lifetime but it’ll degrade/decompose completely at the end of its useful life. It has a distinctive rubber smell but to break-in, leave it unrolled for a period of time. At least the rubber smell is not harmful to health.
3. Great comfort level
It felt firm even when other mats don’t and equally comfortable with 5mm thickness. I always emphasize comfort in my reviews because it’s crucial as you move on to poses that require you to be on your knees or joints. That’s when you’ll realize what difference a good mat does.
Do Yoga the Safe Way – 5 Safety Tips
Yoga is a great activity to de-stress and improve your inner core strength. Over time, you’ll develop better endurance, a toned body, and overall improvement in health. It’s important not to force yoga practices as you need time to allow your body to tune in to the various poses. In any form of exercise, injury can happen if the exercise isn’t executed correctly. Though yoga may seem like a mild-mannered exercise, you need tremendous discipline and concentration to harness its full benefits. Here are 5 yoga safety tips to practice:
1. Seek guidance from a reputable instructor
A good instructor should be able to gauge your limitations and not rush you into trying certain difficult poses. Instead, you can request that your instructor modify the pace or suggest alternative poses. Needless to say, your instructor must be certified (usually a trusted friend can recommend one). Remember to inform your instructor if you suffer from any injuries. There should be an open, two-way communication at all times.
2. Dress comfortably
When I first started out in yoga as a young girl, I wanted all the fancy gear and relentlessly asked my parents to buy them. Silly me! In yoga, you don’t have to buy all the latest gears or clothing line. What you need is comfortable, stretchable clothing that aren’t too baggy. Also, remember to take off any jewelry or accessory before the start of each session as it’ll inhibit the flow of energy.
3. This isn’t a competition!
Many people have the tendency to compare themselves whilst in yoga class. You don’t have to do that. In fact, start with basic poses (your instructor will guide you on this) before moving on to difficult ones like Ashtanga, Bikram, and Power Yoga. Take a deep breath, pace yourself, and be attentive to instructions given by your instructor.
4. Always warm up before you start a yoga session
Warm up alerts your body that you are going into a deeper workout phase. Besides that, you’ll also improve your blood circulation, stretch your muscles, and increase your flexibility by doing proper warm up.
5. Avoid distractions
It’s important to be prepared prior to attending yoga sessions. Don’t start yoga on an empty or overly full stomach if you don’t want to feel lightheaded or queasy during the session. A better practice would be to drink plenty of water before the session because it helps to detoxify your body. By eliminating these distractions, you’ll be able to concentrate in the session and increase your performance.
Regardless of the type of yoga practiced, you ought to pay attention to these safety tips and proceed with ease. Yoga is a way of life. It is all about pacing yourself and strengthening your personal development.
How to Keep Your Yoga Mat in Tip Top Condition
Whenever my friends want to try out yoga, they’d ask me for advice. Not that I dish out the best advice but having practiced yoga for so many years now, I’ve learned a thing or two about this ancient art. Recently, one of my friends asked me a question I thought would be worth sharing here in this post. She asked me for tips on how to keep her yoga mat in tip top condition.
First off, if you are keen on practicing yoga, I’d advise you to get your own mat. I cannot imagine sharing a gym or studio mat as it’s laden with grime, dirt, sweat and germ. Sharing mat is an unhygienic practice and a yoga mat doesn’t really cost very much these days. If you already own a mat and you wonder how to keep it in best condition possible, here are some quick tips:
Tip 1: Wipe clean after every use
You can use a mild liquid detergent to wipe your mat after every use. Follow up by wiping with clean, damp cloth. If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can also make your personal mat freshener spray by mixing 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, peppermint, and lavender and dilute the concentrate in distilled water. Spray on the mat and wipe down with a cloth. Remember to hang your mat in an airy space for quick drying.
Tip 2: Use a washing machine for thorough cleaning
Most mats today are designed to be washing machine-friendly. If the instruction manual allows this, all you got to do is put the mat in the washing machine along with mild detergent and cold water and send it through a gentle cycle. Remember not to use the spin cycle as it’ll damage the mat. Don’t tumble dry your mat. You can opt to wash your mat once every two months; depending on how frequent you use it. I’d wash mine once every two months because I religiously wipe clean my mat in between classes.
Tip 3: If your mat is really soiled, you’ll need to scrub it
I find doing yoga outdoors to be liberating and pleasurable at the same time. Whenever I practice in my backyard, my mat gets pretty soiled. To get rid of grime effectively, I would soak it in my bathtub and add a few drops of concentrated detergent. I’d also give it a good scrubbing and rinse the dirt from mat. This usually does the trick.
Using a clean mat is really important because you won’t want to end up having fungal infection or anything like that. Also, read the cleaning instruction that comes with your mat to ensure proper cleaning. Some mats require special care because they have cotton padding. Whatever the cleaning process may be, it helps to be consistent and thorough. Treat your mat like your toothbrush. If you won’t share your toothbrush with anyone else, you shouldn’t share your mat too.