Yoga Mats Review
When it comes to yoga mats, two names stand out – Manduka and Jade earning praises for their traction and comfort during use. Jade can also be used as a travel mat. We would be looking at the best mats and towels for yoga in this report as well as a buying guide – explaining what the best yoga mat have and what to look out for before making a purchase.
Types of Yoga Mats
Yoga mats provide a slip-resistant for all styles of yoga that you might want to engage in. It could take time to figure out what kind of mat works best for you but it is recommended by experts that you go for thicker mats for anyone who needs a bit more cushioning between the limbs especially for yoga that moves slowly between each pose. Ashtanga or hybrid yoga-cardio class where a lot of stability and solid connection to the ground is necessary would require a thinner mat. The best mat for you is also the one that lets you focus on practicing yoga.
Travel Yoga Mats
A major advantage of yoga is that you can practice it wherever you go. Travel yoga mats are usually rolled up tightly and placed in the trunk of your car. Most weigh a few pounds at most. There are some travel mats that can be folded so you can keep them tucked away in a suitcase. These kind of mats are usually very thin – you might need to consider this if you enjoy working on thicker mats.
Hot Yoga Mats
Hot yoga mats are usually very sticky due to the amount of sweat that that slide around during these sessions. Hot yoga classes are held in rooms that may be as hot as 100 degrees which makes sweating a lot a natural occurrence. The type of mat to be used here has to be very sticky to prevent you from sliding around. Hot yoga mats are made of natural rubber with an open-cell surface which makes them absorb sweat instead of repelling them.
A yoga towel is an addition to the yoga mat that you use during your sessions. It complements the yoga mat especially when the mat is not sticky enough. They are laid on top of the mat to provide extra traction, comfort and cushioning. Yoga towels are designed to absorb sweat even during rigorous sessions. They are easy to clean and maintain.
1.) Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Best Yoga Mat
Size: 71″ X 26″
The Manduka PRO comes with a hefty price tag and it is worth every penny because it can outlast all the other mats in its category even when used daily. It is extra thick and has a great dry traction perfect or advanced moves or anyone who needs that extra level of cushioning. Instructors favor this mat for students for its thickness and due to the ease of cleaning and maintaining it. It is 2 inches wider than its competitors and is available in extra length.
2.) YogaAccesssories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat – Best Cheap Yoga Mat
Size: 74″ X 24″
The YogaAccessories is perfect for beginners who want a great mat like the Manduka PRO yoga mat at a cheap price. It provides that extra level cushioning and top notch support that you would find in mats used by the pros. At 74 inches, it offers extra length over the Manduka PRO. It offers newbies more stability than other budget mats on the market and it is available in a range of colors.
3.) Jade Travel Yoga Mat – Best Travel Yoga Mat
Size: 68″ X 24″
Material: Natural rubber
The Jade travel yoga mat is a versatile option for yoga and it provides stability even for hot yoga that requires extra cushioning and thickness to avoid slipping. It is quite portable and this doesn’t affect its performance. It is made of natural rubber which is super absorbent and eco-friendly. The Jade Travel Yoga Mat comes in two length variations so you can decide to keep things light or get a much longer version for extra room.
4.) Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat – Best Hot Yoga Mat
Size: 68″ X 24″
Material: Natural rubber
When it comes to hot yoga, you need a mat that provides traction, cushioning and thick surface which is quite comfortable. The Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat provides excellent traction even for the sweatiest hot yoga classes. he Jade Harmony mat has open-cell surface that locks away moisture to prevent slipping during sessions. It is made of natural rubber which is eco-friendly. Jade Harmony yoga mat is available in both extra width and length.
5.) Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Towel – Best Yoga Towel
Size: 68″ X 24″
The Yogitoes Skidless premium mat size towel has a strong grip on your mat during hot yoga. It has absorbent microfiber that sucks moisture during sessions and it also provides comfort. The Yogitoes towel is quite durable and strong. According to owners, it worked well even after being washed and dried several times over. It comes in a range of different colors and patterns.
We created this buying guide to inform you on a couple of things before you decide to buy a yoga mat. Yoga mats are made from different materials. You need to know what material the mat is made from before you buy. Most mats are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), this is common in yoga mats because they are durable and cheap to manufacture. However, they contain a number of questionable substances that have been linked to reproductive and health issues. PVC materials are also not recyclable and isn’t eco-friendly. An eco-friendly option could be natural rubber. The problem with rubber is that they are not as durable as PVC mats. If you have allergies, then you could also look into cotton or jute mats or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) which is biodegradable.
You also need to consider the weight of the mat. This is important if you would be travelling with your yoga mat. You could look into a lightweight mat (2 to 3 pounds maximum) that can be folded easily and stashed inside a luggage.
The smell of the mat is something you should know about before you purchase a yoga mat. Yoga mats made from natural rubber tend to stink when they are new. It can take weeks for these smells to fade. If this would bother you, you should choose a synthetic material with less pungent smell. You could also reduce the smell by hanging the mat outside for a couple of days or you could wipe it down with vinegar and water.
About colors, you are better off with a dark color as it shows less dirt or lint as compared to lighter colors.
Here are the top 4 things to look for in Yoga mats before you buy.
Most yoga mats come with thickness around the recommended 1/5 inch but some premium options could have something lesser while super-thin yoga mats and towels come with 1/20 inch. Top professionals prefer thin mats because of it allows them to feel more stable on the ground.
2.) Adequate size
You need a yoga mat with the adequate length and width size. Most mats come in 24 inches and 68 inches long. Premium yoga mats could be slightly larger. Taller individual would need yoga mats that have more room especially in a crowded yoga class.
Yoga mats would go through a lot of use and the material it is made from would determine its durability, as well as the ease of maintaining it. PVC and TPE yoga mats are more durable than natural rubber. Yoga mats can be cleaned in different ways especially by using mild soap and water but it is advisable you follow the manufacturer’s directions. Closed cell mats which repel moisture are easy to clean by wiping off stains and dusting off dirt, unlike open-cell mats that absorb moisture.
4.) Easy to grip surface
You need a yoga mat that is easy to grip especially when you are practicing hot yoga or styles such as Ashtanga. A textured mat is easier to grip but the stickiest options are mats made from natural rubber. Yoga mats made from natural rubber are easier to grip because they have an open-cell surface that helps absorb sweat and moisture.