Whether you are an experienced yoga player or a beginner, your yoga mat should be comfortable and easy to maintain. We chatted with more than a dozen yoga teachers for a month and enjoyed the best in our offices, at home and in our yoga studios.
How we selected the best yoga mat
A good yoga mat should follow the line that it is marshy enough to relieve the joints and at the same time close enough to provide a stable base. Carpets that are too soft can be comfortable, but it’s hard to put them on – and even if you can stand on a mat that’s too strong to last forever, you risk damaging your joints. Beginners, pregnant yogis and people with sensitive joints should think about thicker mats that provide better support. Yogis who travel a lot or go to work sometimes prefer thinner mats that are easier to fold and carry.
The carpet clamp consists of two parts. One is how tight the mat cuddles your arms and legs – are you slipping slowly into a warrior pose, or are you stuck? The other is the adhesion of the carpet to the floor: Will the mat slide over the smooth floor or will it stay in place for the duration of the session? Sweat can also be a factor, especially if you practice intense forms such as hot yoga. So you want to make sure that your carpet always remains exciting.
We wanted to make sure that our topsets were easy to clean and robust (there were no shrapnel from the mats in the middle of the session!) We found the more porous surfaces of open mats to be rather exciting, but at the same time more difficult to clean – they absorb like a huge sponge. Smooth, closed surfaces are generally easier to clean, but can be slippery. A sweet spot is a carpet that just keeps, but doesn’t stick to dirt and garbage.
We wanted to see how the most popular options were compared, so we looked for the mats that people wanted most – from old favourites like Manduka PRO to newer versions like Alo Yoga Warrior Mat. We have looked at countless bestsellers, bestsellers and top lists, asked the opinion of more than 30 yoga teachers and met the wishes and requests of our readers who love yoga.
How to find the right yoga mat for you
The material of the yoga mat influences the grip, strength, comfort, texture and whether or not it is environmentally friendly. PVC is cheaper and more durable, but can be exposed to toxic substances during production and is less beneficial to the environment. Environmentally friendly materials are generally more expensive and break down faster, but they are also toxin-free and more resistant.
Think of size
The instructor of Amir Freudson told us that a standard 68 inch yoga mat is long enough for a man of 5 feet and 8 meters long. To avoid sitting too tightly during the exercise, make sure your whole body fits on the mat when facing the ceiling. If the use of a small mat has no advantages, extra wide mats can be useful to work on your flexibility: According to Giovanna Abraham’s instructor, for more experienced yogis who have been practicing for 2 to 5 years, a longer mat would certainly be useful – for example, to give them more room for a deeper posture.
The most exciting and comfortable yoga mat in the world – it still hurts when you constantly struggle to get it in and out of the classroom. If you want to drive a car with a carpet, consider a lighter option or a carrier bag. Remember, if you don’t, the case will cost more. Weight and thickness also play a role. Heavier and thicker carpets will be slightly larger than smoother and thinner carpets.
Choose a price range
The price is an important factor in the decision to buy a yoga mat. If you are a new yogi, you may want to choose a rug that is more affordable and less frills. But it is also good to think about the lifespan in relation to the initial costs. All our best kits are durable and can withstand intensive use in many classes. This way, if you invest more money in advance, you can avoid having to replace the cheaper carpet later.
Frequently asked questions about Mata Yoga
How thick should a yoga mat be?
The standard thickness of an ordinary yoga mat is 4 to 5 millimeters. Travel mats are generally 3 millimetres or less thick, and the thick mats are 6 to 9 millimetres thick. The kind of yoga you practice will help you understand which power is best for you. Instructor Jane Witzenburg gives advice: If you give up a lot, use a thicker mat. If you do more balanced postures, use a thinner mat.
What does it mean without PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride is a synthetic material normally used in yoga mats because it minimizes the risk of slipping, is durable, offers the best return on investment and is generally the least expensive. Without going into detail, the concern about PVC containing the phthalates, i.e. substances associated with harmful effects on health and the environment.
How do I clean a yoga mat?
It is best to clean the yoga mat at least once a week to prevent stains and stickiness. Use water and mild detergents such as lemon juice or detergent, but avoid abrasive sponges. Wipe off excess moisture and allow your carpet to dry in direct sunlight or at high temperatures, which can accelerate the destruction of natural materials such as rubber. If you have a busy schedule, you can invest in a machine washable carpet (we love ZURA carpets) to make cleaning less annoying. If in doubt, read the manufacturer’s care instructions for carpets.
Do I need towels for my yoga mat?
Yoga mats can be useful for people who slip on mats, usually in Bikram or warm yoga classes. If you invest in a high quality non-stick yogamat, you should not slip, even in the most difficult conditions. But towels can also be a good addition to wipe sweat off your face and body while exercising.
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