Even though yoga doesn’t look as heavy as lifting weights and working out while in the gym, some yoga asanas or poses can make your sweat run, that is why you also need a yoga mat that can support the body while moving.

Imagine if you were doing difficult poses on a slippery yoga mat that didn’t absorb sweat well, you would slip more easily, and your yoga practice would be less than optimal.

Buying a Yoga Mat

Buying a Yoga Mat

What to look for when buying a yoga mat?

For those of you who are beginners, choosing the right yoga mat can help you practice safely and more effectively. So here are the ten things that you should look for in yoga mats:

1. The Right Yoga Mat Material

There are many yoga mat materials available today in the market. Popular yoga mat materials are Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), rubber, Polyvinyl (PVC), Cork, Hemp, Jute, etc. TPE is not recommended for long-term use because yoga mats made of TPE tend to be very soft and easy to peel off. Meanwhile, if you have allergies, rubber or any other material is the right choice. 

PVC is the best material with a light material but excellent density, anti-slip, and easy to clean. However, PVC is a highly toxic material and not good for the environment. Different toxic substances are formed during the PVC manufacturing process. These by-products resulting from manufacture are harmful to health, in addition to having a non-negligible environmental impact.

Nowadays, it is possible to find yoga mats in different recycled or natural materials like Hemp, Jute, Cork, Rubber, etc., free of polluting products and which perfectly fulfill their function.

2. The thickness of Yoga Mat

If the mat is too thin, it will make the exercise uncomfortable or even painful when doing the pedestal. However, the too thick mat will also make it difficult to balance. Ideally, a yoga mat should be between 4 and 6 millimeters thick.

3. The texture of the yoga mat material

The texture of the mat material is important because it creates traction and a force of gravity on several movements, thereby eliminating the possibility of slipping. The smoother the texture, like a sleeping mattress, the softer and more comfortable the mattress feels when used.

4. Good Bearing

A good yoga mat should provide enough cushion to support the body not to feel the floor’s hardness. This means that the size of the yoga mat must match your posture and be the right thickness for the type of floor you normally use (whether ceramic or wooden).

For example, a thick yoga mat works better on a hard surface such as a tile floor. Choose a yoga mat that suits your needs. But for beginners, you should choose one that has good enough durability to use for practicing.

5. Markup

Marking helps beginners and practicing yogis. There are lines on the mat that will help track progress and correctly perform asanas without falling in different directions, serving as a guide for a more correct and even position.

6. Portability

If you are the type of person who likes to carry yoga mats around, you need a lightweight yoga mat. Although a denser yoga mat is more durable and longer-lasting, it will be heavier to carry. If you practice yoga at home, then this is not a problem. However, if you frequently attend yoga classes, then consider a yoga mat that is lighter, more portable, and easy to carry.

7. Price

As you can imagine, there are mats of different prices, from the cheapest to the most expensive. We know that when it comes to the quality of a product, the price can influence our final decision. You will find super expensive carpets, as they are from well-known brands, but which do not have any differential that justifies such a price. On the other hand, it is totally possible to find a good yoga mat at a fair price.

For those just starting out and not sure if it will continue, it may be better to invest a little less. As we have already said, very cheap rugs may not be very durable due to the low quality of the material. However, they can be very useful for those who are still a beginner or only practice once a week.

8. Length and width of the yoga mat

The yoga mat should be long enough to cover your head and feet when you lie down on it, so consider that it should be taller than you. The standard length is around 180 cm, but more and more companies offer an XL size that reaches 200 cm. The standard width, on the other hand, is about 60 cm, but even in this case, wider ones can be found on the market.

By choosing a wide mat, you will have the advantage of a greater support surface, while the disadvantage is that it may be too bulky for transport or not fit in the standard mat bags. Always check the length of your mat so as not to find yourself with strange surprises. Keep in mind that very cheap ones tend to be shorter than the standard size.

9. Cleaning the yoga mat

There is no point in buying a good yoga mat if you leave the accessory dirty and loose. Maintaining the hygiene of the mat is essential to avoid allergies or other problems with fungi and bacteria. Accumulation of dirt can actually compromise health. Every time you finish a yoga class, take a few minutes to clean the mat, especially shared ones.

If you’re in a studio, ask someone for a mat cleaner, chances are they have it there. If you are at home, you can use mild soap, vinegar, or water for cleaning. It all depends on the material of your accessory.

10. Look

Once you have narrowed down your choices in terms of thickness and size, material, texture, environment, and price, there is only one thing to consider: the look. There are rugs with alignment guidelines that help many beginners and even more experienced practitioners in the correct positioning of the asanas. In addition to this more functional look, rugs with designs and styles that can match your taste.

So now you understand what things you should pay attention to when choosing your first yoga mat. A good yoga mat will provide comfort, balance, and stability to enhance your yoga practice. Before choosing your first yoga mat, pay attention to some of the qualities above!

(Last Updated On: March 10, 2022)