FITNESS

Best Yoga Mat: 10 Ways to Keep Up The Poses

Yoga mat review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Many people are looking at new ways to get in shape the best way possible and they’re trying to find ways to relax and relieve stress all at the same time. So what do you do? How do you improve your fitness, your stress levels and your relaxation all at the same time? You can actually do it with yoga.

With the best yoga mat you can be well on your way to becoming a yoga guru in no time at all. That’s because your mat is what’s going to keep you comfortable while you’re going through the poses, and it’s going to let everyone else know that you’re a true master.

Choosing A Yoga Mat

When you choose a yoga mat you want to make sure you’re choosing something that has the quality and capabilities that you’re looking for. It’s not just about a surface that you can stand and move on. It’s actually a little more technical to determine just what you want or need in your yoga mat.

Choosing A Yoga Mat

You may be able to pick up just any old mat at the store and use it, but if you really want to get into yoga you’re going to want to find something that combines all of the features that you’re really looking for to make you perform your best.

Thickness

One of the first things you want to think about is how thick your mat should be. Mats come from 1/16 inch thick all the way up to ¼ inch thick so you have to decide what’s going to be the most comfortable for you. Thin yoga mats can be difficult because you find yourself connecting too hard with the ground when you kneel or perform other poses.

If the mat is too thick however, the opposite is true and you don’t connect enough with the ground. That means you could have trouble keeping your balance when you’re trying to do more advanced poses.

Material

While you may think that all yoga mats are made the same this is actually not true at all. You want to pay attention to what the mat is made out of before you start using it because some are going to be softer than others and some are going to be stickier as well. Not to mention this is going to affect things like texture, wear and how eco-friendly (or allergy-friendly) your mat is.

Yoga mat different material

For example, some mats are made with latex, which can be dangerous for those with a latex allergy. If your mat says it’s made with natural rubber this could mean some combination of latex and other rubber. PVC however is the most common and generally the most all-around.

Texture

Next, the texture of your mat is going to help you determine how comfortable you are on it. A bumpy texture is common in yoga mats, but your mat doesn’t need to be overly bumpy. You just want to make sure it has enough texture that you’re not going to slip and slide while you’re moving through the poses.

Some are extremely smooth and soft while others have an extremely rough and bumpy feel. You can choose the balance that works best for you. Remember, you do need a little bit of texture in order to keep your balance in more advanced poses.

Style

There are all different styles of yoga mats to choose from with different companies making completely new patterns and options available. You can pretty much take your pick of different patterns and colors and you’ll easily be able to improve your style. Don’t be afraid to try out something interesting and enjoy the way that your mat really reflects your own style.

There’s a whole lot involved and you’re going to love showing it off. All you need to do is decide what you like best and you’ll be able to get on your way to the next yoga class. It’s as easy as that.

Size

Some yoga mats are considered best for travel because they’re smaller and thinner. Others may be larger.

Pile of yoga mats

You want to make sure the mat you choose is large enough for you to comfortably work out and that you’re going to feel good enough moving around as well.

You’re definitely not going to want something that is too large either, because it’s going to be too difficult to carry around and it’s not going to lay out as well in a traditional yoga studio where you’re going to be surrounded by a number of other patients. That’s how you’re going to use it in most cases after all.

The Best Mats Out There

Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat

Jade Harmony Professional 3 16-Inch Yoga Mat

Weight: 4.5 lbs.

Dimensions: 68” or 74”

Specific Features: Available in variety of colors, 3/16” thick, open-cell, natural rubber

Best For: Allergies to latex, softer mat

Description: The Jade Harmony Professional yoga mat is definitely a great option if you’re looking to get to your next class with something that really improves your poses. This mat offers a variety of colors and two different lengths so you can choose what works for you. It’s made without PVC and cleans quickly with just a little soap and water.

No matter what happens it’s also non-slip so you can easily run through all of your poses without trouble, even when you get a little over warm. With a moderate weight and a moderate price, this is a high-quality product that you’re definitely not going to want to miss out on. That’s because this mat has more than enough great features and it’s going to look good while you’re exercising too.

Kulae The Elite Hot Hybrid Yoga Mat

Kulae The Elite Hot Hybrid Yoga Mat

Weight: 1.5 lbs.

Specific Features: 100% Rayon, mat & towel in one, clean in washer, lightweight

Best For: Travel with your mat, want organic material

Description: If you’re looking for a yoga mat that is going to keep you more comfortable while you go through poses you’re definitely going to want the Kulae The Elite Hot Hybrid. You’ll find that it really is comfortable because it combines the features of a towel and a traditional yoga mat.

Made entirely of Rayon, this is a great mat for the environment and you can easily clean it by throwing it in the washer and hanging it to dry. That means you don’t need to worry about wiping it down after each session.

Not only that but it doubles as your yoga towel to keep you moving easier. You won’t need to towel off while you’re working and will be able to just keep going through the motions and getting from one step to the next. Enjoy your workout with this one, even for hot yoga.

prAna E.C.O. Yoga Mat

prAna E.C.O. Yoga Mat

Weight: 2.4 lbs.

Dimensions: 72” long

Specific Features: Recyclable materials, Allergy & germ-free, color options

Best For: Lightweight, suffering allergies or weak immune

Description: If you really want to protect the environment and you’re looking for something comfortable at the same time the prAna E.C.O. yoga mat is exactly what you’re looking for. Completely reversible, this mat has a textured surface on both sides as well as an excellent grip so you don’t need to worry about keeping it the right way.

You get to choose from several options that are all made with 100% Thermoplastic Elastomer, which is entirely recyclable, as well as UV resistant, PVC, chloride and latex free and made to keep out germs no matter what.

You’re going to love carrying this mat to the studio with you every day because it’s really going to reflect your own style. Not only that but it’s plenty long enough for even taller yoga lovers and it’s going to help you stay on track with exactly what you want to do.

Manduka PROlite Yoga and Pilates Mat

Manduka PROlite Yoga and Pilates Mat

Weight: 4 lbs.

Dimensions: 71” or 79”

Specific Features: Many colors available, lifetime guarantee, fabric surface

Best For: Long-term use, germ-free

Description: The Manduka PROlite yoga and Pilates mat is perfect for your next trip to the studio. You can use it on any surface and you’re going to have the perfect amount of padding as well.

This fabric-style form is really going to improve the longevity and comfort of your mat. Not to mention the materials are designed to keep from getting moisture into the weave and that keeps bacteria from forming.

Not only that, but you’re going to have no problem with this mat wearing out because it’s designed to last and give you all the choices you’re looking for with a standard or long option and plenty of colors as well. Because it’s a more basic option, you’re going to be able to take it for anything you want without any problems.

prAna Indigena Natural Yoga Mat

prAna Indigena Natural Yoga Mat

Weight: 6.2 lbs.

Specific Features: Entirely organic, wood grain texture, still cushion

Best For: Hard surfaces, eco-friendly

Description: Looking for something fun that you can use for your next yoga session? Well you’re going to love the prAna Indigena Natural yoga mat that offers you everything you’re looking for.

Made with 2 layers of tree rubber that provide a wood grain texture, you’re going to have a perfect grip that way on any surface. There’s plenty of cushion and a single scrim design as well.

You also get a moderate weight and a variety of different colors to make it exactly what you’re looking for. It does have a little bit of a stronger smell because of the natural material, but that starts to wear off over time. All you need to do is wipe it down when you’re done for the end of the session or you can even put it in the washer to clean it.

prAna Synergy Towel Mat

prAna Synergy Towel Mat

Weight: 1 lb.

Specific Features: Bright pink color, eco-friendly, low price

Best For: Cheaper needs, lightweight

Description: This beautiful yoga mat comes in a bright, festive pink color that you’re going to love and it’s designed to give you plenty of grip on any type of surface, whether it’s soft or hard.

The prAna Synergy Towel Mat is made primarily of polyester though there’s also a nylon base made with rubber. This allows you to feel completely comfortable while you’re using it and the cute pattern across the top doubles as a way to grip with your feet as well.

The biodegradable rubber is going to make the entire thing eco-friendly and you’re going to love the price, which is lower than most of the mats we’ve looked at. It’s perfect for anyone who really wants to get into yoga but isn’t ready to spend a whole lot of money on something you’re just working on this is great. It will work for you even as you continue on to become more advanced but it’s easy for beginners too.

Manduka LiveOn PLUSfoam Yoga Mat

Manduka LiveOn PLUSfoam Yoga Mat

Weight: 1 lb.

Specific Features: Super lightweight, 3mm or 5mm options, color options, eco-friendly

Best For: Eco-friendly, recyclable, no chemicals

Description: For anyone that’s looking to get eco-friendly without having to spend a fortune doing it, you’re going to absolutely love this mat. It’s lightweight, so you can take it anywhere and the Manduka LiveOn PLUSfoam mat is made with no chemicals and practically no waste when it comes to manufacturing.

It’s entirely recyclable and it comes in several colors and thicknesses so you get exactly what you want. There’s a textured side and a smooth side that both provide a great grip for your feet as well as the mat on the floor and all you need to do is pick out which class you’re going to take it to. You’ll be plenty comfortable while you work out and your mat is going to be prepared for all of it.

Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat

Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat

Weight: 9 lbs.

Dimensions: 70” long

Specific Features: 100% natural rubber, recyclable & biodegradable, great grip

Best For: Super stiff for any type of yoga, easy wash and dry

Description: This mat is going to quickly become your favorite. Made with natural rubber, the Hugger Mugger Para mat has a non-slip surface on both sides so you don’t have to worry about slipping while you’re going through your set and you don’t need to worry about it slipping on the floor either.

The natural rubber is entirely renewable and recyclable and it is ¼” thick to provide comfort and support. With a moderate price tag, this mat is a little heavier, but it definitely has plenty of staying power.

You’re going to have no problem keeping it for as long as you want and you’re going to love the marble effect of the colors as well. Though you’re probably not going to be staring at the colors too much.

Kharma Khare Hybrid Bliss Non Slip Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

Kharma Khare Hybrid Bliss Non Slip Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

Weight: 8 lbs.

Dimensions: 72” long

Specific Features: Hybrid mat, eco-friendly, double sided

Best For: Moderate price, thick cushion

Description: With the Kharma Khare Hybrid Bliss Non-Slip mat you’ll have no problem staying exactly where you want to be or giving back to the environment.

This 5mm mat is made with recycled car tires and natural rubber latex and that means it’s non-toxic and eco-friendly. Not only that but you’re going to have plenty of color options and it’s a moderate weight.

Flip back and forth between the different sides to get exactly what you want and to make sure you have the perfect amount of traction. You won’t even need a towel along with you to keep you moving through the entire class.

Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats

Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats

Dimensions: 68” long

Specific Features: Patterns and colors available, 5mm thick, PVC mat

Best For: Inexpensive price, plenty of options

Description: If you’re really looking for a mat that’s going to show off your style and favorite things then you’re looking for the Gaiam Print Premium mat because it’s available in plenty of fun colors and patterns.

With a very low price, compared to other options here, you’ll have no problem picking this up for your next session. What’s really great is it’s extra-thick to provide plenty of cushion and you’re going to get a PVC mat free of phthalates.

It even comes with an extra workout so you can start your activities before you even head into the session. At the perfect length, this mat is also 5mm thick so you can feel great while you’re going through each of the poses and you won’t need to worry about anything at all while you go from easy to more advanced.

Start Your Journey to Relaxation

When you’ve chosen your favorite out of these yoga mats or any other you’ll be ready to head out to the studio and get your next activity on. You’ll definitely enjoy yourself and you’re going to have a great experience as well. But that’s enough of us talking. Now it’s your turn.

Professional_yoga_mat

We want to know what you like to do in your yoga class. So let us know what your favorite pose is and why you like it. We want to know all about your sessions and just how these yoga mats are going to help you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Mike Walker

    The Kulae The Elite Hot Hybrid yoga mat has improved my practice and let’s me focus on the class and my posture. I love the towel built into the mat. I’ve been using it every day and no matter what type of yoga I’m practicing, it works great for me. Good grip, nice to the touch, doesn’t get slippery on hot or normal temperatures. Also it looks really cool.

  • Mark Foster

    Yoga mats are not created equal so make sure you choose the best one based on your preference or need. Some people have allergies to latex, so consider other options available in the market. The Kulae is a great choice and has merged aesthetics with functionality. Today most people go for organic and natural materials so you may also want to look into that.

  • Jim Clark

    A lot of research led me to the Hugger Mugger Para mat . It is truly the most amazing mat ever – I cannot believe I went so many years with a mat I slipped on! This mat has the ultimate “stick” factor AND provides cushion (I use my mat for plyometric work outs in addition to yoga). The ripple design is beautiful. My only wish was that it was slightly bigger, it’s just nice to have a little extra width in particular (I am average size at 5’6″). Anyways, I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Mark Foster

    A good yoga mat can really affect your poses and the way you exercise. I can’t emphasize enough – go for quality, durability and safety. Make sure it’s non-slip so you won’t have any accidents when doing your poses. The Hugger is an exemplary mat – 1/4 in thickness so your body remains protected.

  • Beatris Bronson

    PrAna E.C.O. is very soft yoga mat. The thing I like the most is that it rolls easily and it stays rolled. It also cleans quite quickly. Price is also reasonable. Not slippery at all. It’s thick enough, yet it’s lightweight. I am so happy with this mat! Also, the colors are great 🙂

  • Mark Foster

    This is a very affordable mat, yet the quality is great. The materials are made of polyester, yet there are also rubber mats for those who prefer those. Also, the PrAna is eco-friendly with its biodegradable rubber, so you’ll be pleased to know you’re helping the environment with your purchase.

  • Jack Wilcox

    My wife has had the Jade Harmony mat for around a year and she seems to be getting on well with it. Chose this mat initially as she was keen to get an Eco Friendly mat. It’s perhaps not as cushioned as some of the other mats – the Manduka for one – but it does the job! The only downside is that she has to use a towel underneath it to stop it from slipping but I’m led to believe most of the mats do slip a bit. Is that right?

  • Mark Foster

    People who are allergic to latex materials are better off with the Jade Harmony yoga mat. If your wife has no allergies to rubber, and finds the mat slipping, I recommend she tries the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat. It has a non-slip upper and underside for those seamless moves.

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