Ever tried to endure a yoga session on a low-quality yoga mat? Well, then you would know that slipping and sliding around on your mat is not only distracting and annoying, it can also be quite dangerous. In short, a fantastic yoga mat is a must to get the most out of our vinyasa.
Fortunately, there are some stellar options available to satisfy yogis of all stripes. We have reviewed the top 10 below, but before that let’s find out what to look for in a great yoga mat.
Ready to shop for a mat? Let’s take a look at the best options for 2016.
#1 Recommendation: Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip Yoga Mat
Most suitable for those hot yoga sessions, the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip yoga mat, is created using a special technology with a moisture-repellent material that allows it to stay dry, and increase the grip as the temperatures soar.
It ensures that you have a slip-free surface which is more secure than any other average yoga mat. Constructed from a PVC material, Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip seals out odor, germs, and bacteria, and is best for those with latex sensitivities.
Moreover, with 5mm of cushioning, it is softer on your joints and additional 7 inches of length allows enough surface for yoga practitioners to use it with ease. It’s also extremely lightweight when compared to other yoga mats.
However, like any other product, it also comes with a downside. Firstly, it has higher than average price tag, and secondly, there are no design options or many colors to choose. But if you can overlook these two minor cons, the Gaiam is simply one of the best options available in the market.
2nd Recommendation: Jade Harmony Professional
Perform your favorite yoga poses on Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat. You will love the excellent balance of stability and comfort while you bend, twist, and turn throughout your next yoga class. It boasts of the best ‘dry’ traction even during those hottest and sweatiest sessions, thanks to it open cell construction.
And since it’s made of natural rubber which is a renewable resource tapped from rubber trees, we can safely label it as eco-friendly. If you are a yogi concerned about the Earth, you will be happy to know that Jade Yoga-the company also plants a tree for every mat sold.
Coming back to the benefits; the thickness of Harmony Professional is 3/16 of an inch which is just enough to find the right balance between weight and comfort. Another interesting thing about this product is that unlike other yoga mats, it comes in several different colors such as raspberry, teal, Tibetan orange, olive green, and more.
So, it’s not just functional and comfortable; it looks great too! The only downside being, because of its materials, it cannot withstand direct sunlight as it can damage the rubber and eliminate the grip and stickiness which is one of the best qualities of the mat in the first place.
3rd Pick: Manduka Black Mat Pro Review
Manduka is considered to be one of the most reputable names when it comes to yoga products, and its Black Mat Pro consistently earns top ratings, and for good reasons.
The yoga mat is known for its durability and comfort level. So much that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, a definite edge over others. After all, who wants to buy a new mat every year?
Moreover, the Manduka mat is designed to endure long hours of yoga practice. It remains stable on the carpet, stone, and hardwood floors, and does not shift or bunch during the practice. In fact, it provides slip resistance and excellent traction and improves with use over time.
It is specially designed to prevent moisture and sweat seeping into the mat, making it an excellent choice for those who do power yoga and other styles that result in heavy perspiration. Not to forget that the Manduka black is “zero waste” mat as it is manufactured using an emissions-free procedure.
The only minor drawback of this product is its weight. Measuring 71 inches long and 26 inches wide, it is a lot heavier than other yoga mats which can make it cumbersome to carry, especially when traveling.
However, the flipside of this extra weight is, of course, additional comfort.
4th Pick : Aurorae Classic Thick Yoga Mat
Available in illuminating color choices, Aurorae Classic is a great mat worth investing. With its low price tag and high quality, it is ideal for beginners and intermediate yogis. At 6mm or ¼ inch thickness, it does make it easier on your wrists, especially when it’s time for that downward facing dog position. Unlike some other mats that break down and lose its shape almost within a few weeks,
Aurorare Classic provides very durable material and can easily last for years. It can easily withstand any stretching or movement no matter what kind of poses you do.
Moreover, the mat has a fantastic grip and zero chemical odor-features we cannot overlook. It is extra long at 72 inches * 24 inches wide making it perfect for those on the taller side. Fabricated using biodegradable, eco-safe, and phthalates free material, Aurorare Classic can be rated as environment-friendly.
Overall, it is a right product to buy mainly for three reasons: it’s eco-friendly, durable, and can better your yoga because of the comfort, thickness, and non-slip grip. The only drawback of this mat is that it is not very sticky making it unworthy for those who practice hot yoga or sweat a lot.
5th Pick : Spiritual Revolution Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
There is so much to consider when choosing a yoga mat, we have already mentioned that. While integrity and quality are both important, don’t forget about pattern and personality. For those looking to introduce some style and individuality to their yoga practice, Spiritual Revolution is the product for you.
Available in various fantastic patterns, they look just as great hanging on your living room wall as they do, under your feet, in dog position.
The best part? All these yoga mats with gorgeous and inspiring artwork are manufactured without sacrificing the environment. Made with recyclable, biodegradable, natural tree rubber, they are 100% PVC free.
The company uses ultra-absorbent suede cloth top with water based inks to transpose the artwork onto the mats. Even the mat wrapper is made from biodegradable plastic.
And that’s not it. These yoga mats are designed for warmer yoga sessions. Due to its absorbent, suede towel top, it performs great during those sweaty practices because it is intended to increase the grip as you sweat.
Another good thing to note about the product is that its low-maintenance-a feature must have for yoga mats. Did we even mention that it comes with an embroidered carrying strap, making it a breeze to transport?
As the mat is designed especially for hot yoga practice, for those who have dry hands and feet, or do not sweat a lot will find it slick. Lightly spraying water on the top surface of the mat can help to enhance the grip at the beginning of the practice.
6th Pick: Aviva Yoga Reversible Foam Yoga Mat
For those who do light yoga, Aviva has created a product for you. It is lightweight and durable and perfect for those who practice yoga at home.
Unlike some other thickly padded mats which are difficult to balance on, this one is padded enough but not to the extreme. In fact, it’s an excellent compromise between stability and padding.
Featuring a wear resistant construction, you can use this budget-friendly mat for years to come without having to replace. And if you get bored, just reverse it for a fresh feel. Yes, it is entirely reversible with two colors, giving you two mats in one.
Aviva foam yoga mat is also very easy to clean, making it low-maintenance. Right of the box, it does not have any plastic or chemical smell, thanks to its environment-friendly production.
Another feature that we found fascinating and unique about the product is embossed markings for body alignment. Both sides of the mat have embossed markings to help you maintain proper body alignment which is much-needed for yoga.
The only con of this product is that it is not capable of absorbing a lot of sweat. Thus, you will find yourself slipping if you have hot sessions.
But we already mentioned that this product is ideal for those who do light yoga. Didn’t we?
7th Pick: Prosource Premium Yoga Mat
Year after year, one product that always makes to the list is Prosource Premium yoga mat. It is incredibly excellent quality mat suitable for all kinds of yoga postures. Being one of the thickest mats available on the market today, at ½ inch thickness, it provides greater comfort and lasts longer.
Manufactured using a unique Prosource Comfort Foam Technology, it offers support every yogi craves for while carrying out yoga practices. It is also non-slip, has a moisture resistant skin, and is available with a small price tag.
We love the fact that it comes in a variety of illuminating colors that are loud and vivacious but not overpowering in their brightness. And as it’s pretty lengthy, you can be sure to fit irrespective of your physical shape and size.
While easy to overlook, another feature that you would care about is that due to its moisture resistant skin it is easy to clean. And once you are finished with your yoga session, a convenient mat sling for easy carrying comes in handy.
Time for the drawbacks? Since it is quite thick, even if bundled up it may not fit in most carrying bags. Moreover, the extra softness may bother some people who are used to less cushioned material.
8th Pick: BalanceFrom Go Yoga All-Purpose
When practicing yoga, it is important to create a sacred, peaceful, and a fulfilling space. And BalanceFrom yoga mat will allow you to create just that.
It is ideal for use at home or studio as it has a thick cushioning to help the body maintain posture and enhance proper alignment. Moreover, its non-slip surface will lend your hands and feet the stability you need to practice those advanced yoga poses while preventing injury.
The mat is also very resilient, so it does not easily succumb to wear and tear. But even if does happen, you can stay worry free as it comes with a 2-year warranty which is quite a deal for such an inexpensive product. The cleaning part is also very easy which can be done using a little water and mild detergent. And while it’s long and wide enough to ensure comfort for people of all shapes and sizes, its length does not affect its light weight feature. Natural strapping provides ease of transportation and storage.
The only downside of this mat is the odor that comes from the ingredients used. Though it may not be harmful, many yogis find it distracting especially when you have your face right down on the mat.
9th: HemingWeigh Exercise Yoga Mat
It is guaranteed that HemingWeigh Mat is comparatively thicker than other yoga mats available on the market. Manufactured using an exclusive thick foam pad, it makes yoga practice more comfortable, cushions spine, knees, hips, and elbows on hard floors. And not just yoga, it is perfect for any exercise minus the pain after.
Due to its double-sided non-slip material, you remain not only safe from slip injuries but also avoid unnecessary movement. After all, who wants a moving mat in between those Surya Namaskars? The best part? Your sweat does not cling on to this product. Simply wipe down any moisture and the cleaning part is over! Easy as that. And once your yoga class is over, the carry strap makes it easy to take it back home.
However, HemingWeigh Yoga Mat comes with a couple of disadvantages. Firstly, it’s considered not very durable and long lasting. Secondly, due to its 70-inch length, many tall users find it difficult to use during stretching exercises.
10th Pick: Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat
Another mat that we love for extra thickness is Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Mat. Made of durable NBR foam with non-skid ridges or stability, it is comfortable and dense. Not only does it provide adequate padding but also holds up extremely well over time.
The mat is washable, lightweight, and ideal for yoga and other flexibility exercises. Measuring 71 inches in length and 24 inches in width, this well-made product is sure to add comfort to your yoga practice.
Additionally, the mat features an integrated carry strap for your convenience and comes in various colors. And of course, the small price tag is an attractive feature too!
Ready for the not so good? Well, we could find any except for the fact that rubber smell comes up strong at first unpacking of the product, making airing necessary before use.
Whether you are planning to purchase your first yoga mat ever or looking for a unique mat for those hot sessions, or just want to stay updated what’s trending in the industry, we have got you covered with these ten choices. So, which one are you giving a thought?
How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat?
Base it on the type of usage
Just as there are numerous types of yoga, there are even more types of yoga mats. Some are designed for classes where you sweat too much, some are lightweight for traveling, and some are environment-friendly. Pick a mat based on the type of yoga you are doing and the amount you sweat. Also, decide whether you will use it most often at home on a tile floor, in a studio on a hardwood floor, or outdoors.
Material and the grip
Mats that are made with rubber or PVC give you a better grip whether you are wavering through Warrior III or chilling out in Child’s Resting Pose. They provide an unstoppable grip during the sweatiest of yoga sessions, thanks to their sticky nature. Alternatively, mats made of recycled materials like jute or organic are more comfortable especially for a less active form of practice.
Consider the thickness
Make sure your mat is padded enough, especially if you are new to yoga. When you are just starting out, building up strength takes time, and a thick mat helps prevent injury. For starters, a thicker mat closer to ¼ inch is the safest bet. Others can opt for a standard mat which is 1/8 inches thick offering full support to the body while still allowing you to stay connected to the ground. Then there are travel mats which are usually around 1/16 inch thick, making them ideal for suitcases.
Don’t overlook the maintenance
It’s important to choose a yoga mat that needs minimal maintenance, ideally the one that requires only an occasional wiping down with a damp cloth. Avoid a machine washable mat as it won’t probably be thick enough to cushion your body. Mats with harnesses and straps are also great to make transportation a breeze.
Choose a fun yoga mat
While not necessary, a patterned or a brightly-colored mat will add to your individual practice and help to contribute to your overall experience. After all, there is no harm in having some fun and adding some creativity to the yoga sessions!