Reviews

The Best Yoga Mats

The Best Yoga Mats

By Carlen Oliveira

January 22, 2021

When you think of yoga, what comes to mind? Maybe you’re imagining super-flexible people flowing from position to position without breaking a sweat, outfitted in trendy workout clothes. If you’ve ever tried a 'Yoga With Adriene' video, that may just be the case, but don’t let that scare you away. The reality is, you don’t need to be overly flexible or have expensive gym equipment to do yoga. Yoga is all about you and what your body is able to accomplish. You can show up in sweats and an old stained T-shirt and modify your practice to how you’re feeling each day.

Your yoga mat can be one of the most essential parts of your workout routine. Having a soft place to rest your back or plant your knees can keep you working out for longer period of time. Using a hard floor, carpet or a tool could lead to injury in the long run. Why not protect yourself, and your joints, from harm. Before you buy a yoga mat, there are a few things you need to consider. What’s your style of practice? What amount of thickness, texture and material do you need? How much are you willing to spend? How eco-friendly do you want your mat to be? And the most fun part, what colour or pattern do you want? We'll give you a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each factor so you can have a better sense of what mat is right for you.

1. Editor's Pick: BalanceFrom GoYoga All Purpose, Non-Slip Yoga Mat

ProsCons
  • Easy to carry, lightweight
  • Carrying strap included
  • Two-year warranty
  • Slippery if you sweat a lot
  • Mat may shred after repeated use

Key Specs

Thickness: ¼”
Item Weight: 680 g
Item Dimensions: 68” L x 24” W

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BalanceFrom GoYoga’s all-purpose yoga mat is everything you could ever hope for in a mat. It’s ¼” thick foam is made from high-density, eco-friendly material, lined with a dual-sided, non-slip texture to support your spine, knees and elbows on hard floors. Not to mention, its anti-tear material and easy-to-clean, moisture-resistant technology top things off to make this the perfect lightweight and affordable yoga mat.

2. Best Durable Yoga Mat: Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat

ProsCons
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes carrying strap
  • Non-slip texture
  • Strong initial smell when unwrapped

Key Specs

Thickness: ¼”
Item Weight: 3.5 lbs
Item Dimensions: 72” L x 24” W

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Ideal for all types of yoga, the Gaiam essentials premium yoga mat combines a durable, yet lightweight, foam material that’s ¼” thick for extra cushioning on your joints. This PVC yoga mat gives you the benefits of a PVC mat while excluding all the most harmful materials like DEHP, DBP and DNOP. This mat comes in seven unique colours and includes a carrying strap so you can take it on the go.

3. Best Thick Yoga Mat: BalanceFrom GoYoga Extra-Thick Yoga Mat

ProsCons
  • Seven colour options
  • Includes carrying strap
  • Long length makes it ideal for taller people
  • Material may stretch
  • Product can lose shape over time

Key Specs

Thickness: ¼”
Item Weight: 680 g
Item Dimensions: 68” L x 24” W

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Need some extra cushioning for your joints during your yoga sessions or workout routines? The BalanceFrom GoYoga mat is made extra thick with ½” worth of high-density foam to protect your joints. It also has a double-sided, non-slip surface that will help to prevent any slip-related injuries. Its moisture-resistant technology means that you can still retain traction when wet and includes a two-year warranty!

4. Best High-End Yoga Mat: Manduka PRO Yoga & Pilates Mat

ProsCons
  • Slip resistant
  • Moisture resistant
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Heavier than other models
  • Needs to be worked in for non-slip grip

Key Specs

Thickness: ¼”
Item Weight: 7 lbs.
Item Dimensions: 71” L x 26” W

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If you know your way around a yoga mat and are ready to invest in a high-quality mat, the Manduka PRO yoga mat is a great product. Designed to handle wear and tear over time, this slip-resistant, but non-sticky mat comfortably supports your spine, knees, hips and elbows during your practices. If choosing a mat that is eco-friendly is important to you, you can rest easy knowing your mat is a zero-waste, sustainable product.

5. Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat: Homtiky Yoga Mat

ProsCons
  • Tear resistant
  • Non-slip, waterproof material
  • 10 different colour options
  • Not ideal for outdoor practices

Key Specs

Thickness: ¼”
Item Weight: 820 g
Item Dimensions: 62 x 12 cm

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If having an environmentally friendly mat is a high priority on your must-have list, then this TPE-(Thermoplastic Elastomers)-based mat is for you. Mats made with TPE include a blend of plastic and rubber polymers rather than PVC materials that may be made with toxic plastics. This mat is built with a texturized design, anti-tear net, and double-sided, non-slip surface, making it a reliable mat on all types of floors.

Tips & Tricks about the Product, FAQs, Product Breakdown

Mat Thickness & Weight: Mat sizes can range from thin, compact two-pound mats to hefty ¼” mats weighing up to seven pounds. If you're a first-time yoga mat buyer, instructors usually recommend finding a mat that’s about ⅛” or 3.175 mm thick, which is typically the standard thickness.

Thin Mats: Thin mats are great for yoga sessions with a lot of active and balance poses as they help to increase your stability on the floor. Thin mats are usually more ideal for experienced yogis and can also function as a great travel mat. Tip: Try and find thin mats with a textured surface to help give you extra grip.

Thick Mats: Thick mats are best for therapeutic or restorative yoga that only requires a few poses but are held for longer periods of time. These mats help give your knees and forearms some comfort with extra cushion and support, but may cause some difficulty when trying to balance.

Materials & Durability

The type of material of a mat has a direct effect on its texture, stickiness, sponginess, durability, price and eco-friendliness.

PVC: These plastic-based mats are highly durable, offer great grip and can withstand wear and tear for over a decade. Although easy to clean and latex free, this type of mat is non-absorbent and may become slippery if you sweat a lot. If you’re an environmentally conscious yogi, this material may not be for you as these mats don’t break down easily and cost a pretty penny to recycle.

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer): Made with a blend of plastic and rubber polymers, this style is a more environmentally friendly choice, with some models being fully recyclable. Although less durable than its PVC competitor, TPE mats still provide good traction and durability.

Eco/Natural Mats: These mats are made of a combination of materials: natural rubber, organic cotton, and jute. This style typically has less grip than other mats and a shorter shelf life, but its natural texture provides some traction for your body and is the most environmentally friendly style of mat.

Texture: The amount of texture on a mat will dictate how much you slip and slide around on your mat. If a bumpy texture will distract you from your practice, you can choose a smooth PVC mat. Rubber, jute and cotton mats all have a raised tactile pattern to prevent slipping and are a great alternative if you want to avoid mats made of PVC.

Price: Basic, plain, ⅛” thick PVC mats usually fall into the lower end price range. Once you start adding patterns, designs, logos, thickness and treatments to your mat, the price range will also increase. Eco-friendly mats also usually fall into the higher end price range. Tip: Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money on a product you’re going to use frequently that supports your body.

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