As the most important piece of equipment used in yoga, finding the best yoga mats to suit your needs can be crucial to your practice. So, what is the best yoga mat? With so many different varieties, styles, materials, and other factors in each, there’s no one mat that is going to suit everyone.
Where and how we practice our yoga can determine greatly the type of mat we need, so whether you want something to take along on your travels or are after a particularly thick design for added support, there’s likely to be the perfect mat out there for you.
Having your own yoga mat is essential, as these mats have been proven to harbor dangerous germs, bacteria, and sweat when used by other people. They’re a relatively cheap piece of equipment to invest in, so you need to choose the right one.
For those new to yoga, it can be difficult to determine exactly what you need from your mat, but as you continue to practice you’ll find what features and benefits are important to you. Considering just how much use we get out of these devices when we perform our poses, it’s crucial to find the right one to suit your body shape and type, as well as how you like to practice.
If you like to perform your yoga on the move, you’ll need to have the best travel yoga mat for portability. When choosing a yoga mat for travel purposes, the most important features are its weight and transportability. Opt for a lightweight material such as rubber or foam, and choose a design that offers a strap for carrying.
Be cautious of baggage restrictions if you plan on taking your yoga mat on a plane, as some airlines won’t allow you to carry the standard sized mats in your overhead luggage. Provided you can compact it to a smaller size then this would be the ideal choice for a travel mat, with many travel mats being as thin as 1/6 inch.
When you’re just starting out with yoga, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with all of the different options. Finding the best yoga mat for beginners is a matter of choosing simplicity above all else, and not spending too much on your first investment.
Choose a mat that’s eco-friendly and with high-quality materials such as PVC so that you can truly experience how these devices can change your yoga practice. Most mats cost around $20 and there’s no need to spend any more, especially considering it’s your very first one.
If you’re not so new to the game and know exactly what you need from a yoga mat, you’ll already have some personal preferences in mind. Generally speaking, more advanced yoga practitioners prefer a thinner mat which gives them greater stability and less chance of sinking in.
These expert yoga mats generally cost a little more than the beginner variety, but they’ve been built to withstand a lot more use. Depending on how much use you plan on getting out of your mat, it may be beneficial to spend an extra $20 or so for a higher quality device.
For some, thick is the only way to go with their yoga mat. When you think about how thick your yoga mat can be, it may not be all about the actual height but more the density. Beginners especially prefer a thicker mat as it gives them greater support and comfort against the harsh ground underneath.
Most standard yoga mats are around 1/8 inch, with the thicker variety going up to ¼ inch. Some people avoid thicker mats as it may be hard to find stability on them, whereas others prefer the extra support. It’s best to start with a standard size mat first and then see if you prefer a thicker or thinner design.
If you’re looking for extra stability and protection from slipping, you want something with a patented no-slip design. Generally, the plastic and rubber mats crafted from PVC or similar materials offer this non-slip surface so that you’re protected from rain or sweat.
Although there are fabric yoga mats, and these were used traditionally, they simply don’t offer the support that the PVC styles can. If non-slip is a must have for your yoga mat, you should always opt for the plastic or rubber variety.
A relatively new style of mat to the market, the yoga mat towel is used to cover your standard mat for added benefits. These mat towels act as a barrier against bacteria, so they’re ideal if you have to share a mat with others.
Finding the best yoga mat towel can improve your heated yoga practice, as they provide extra support from slipping. These towels have been designed to work better in wet or damp conditions, so they’re a must have for hot yoga varieties. Read our reviews of some of the best towels on the market.
The search for the ideal yoga mat doesn’t need to be complicated, provided you have an idea in mind of where and how you like to practice. Once you know this, you can choose the features of the mat to accommodate your personal style.
Considering most yoga mats are relatively cheap to purchase, some people even like to have a variety of styles. This way you have one ready for traveling with, one for your hot yoga class, and another to keep around the home as a spare.
No matter which style of mat you choose, there’s no denying the benefits it can bring to your practice. With added stability, hygiene, and the sense that you’re working without your own personal space, yoga mats are the most important tool used in this ancient system of exercise.