Choosing a yoga mat simply comes down to your preferences, your needs, and your practice. As it should be, not all yoga mats are created equal, and there are variables you will want to consider before purchasing your own yoga mat!
The 8 Most Important Features
Durability and longevity —
A yoga mat’s ability to withstand even the toughest of practices over time.
Comfort and support —
Just enough cushioning for your joints can reduce squirming in kneeling postures and provide padding for impact, but not so much that it compromises support.
A firm, dense mat can help you feel stable throughout standing and balancing poses.
Consider how much travel you will be doing with your mat. A mat’s weight and size will dictate whether or not it is toteable. Since most people walk, bike, and travel to class, an easy-to-carry mat is an important feature.
Traction and stickiness —
It’s important for a mat to provide traction both to keep you from slipping and in staying connected to the ground. The last thing you want is for your mat to function as a Slip N’ Slide.
Mats have different surfaces, but most yogis agree that it’s best to have a mat that feels most natural.
Environmental consideration —
Buying an eco-friendly yoga mat is important to many practitioners. If this holds true to you, consider purchasing a mat made from all-natural materials.
Your yoga mat should cover the length and width of your entire body. Not every yoga mat comes in various widths and sizes, so make sure to check measurements before purchasing.
Best Yoga Mats to consider:
The Best Overall – Manduka PROlite
The Manduka PROlite beat out its category contenders for longevity by a landslide. It’s an extremely durable, high-performing mat that’s stamped with a lifetime guarantee.
The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat – Jade Harmony Professional Mat
The Jade Harmony Professional is a favorite among yoga professionals everywhere because of its great balance of traction and support. It’s made from all-natural rubber, making it environmentally friendly. As a bonus, Jade Yoga also plants a tree for every mat that’s purchased.
The Best Budget-Friendly Yoga Mat – Gaiam Print Premium
It’s important to invest in a reliable mat, but if you are unsure of making that investment just yet, try the Gaiam Print Premium. It retails for under $30 and is backed with a lifetime warranty. It comes in an array of fun colors and prints, too.
Best Non-Slip Yoga Mat – Liforme Yoga Mat
My new favorite mat for hot yoga, with a non-slip surface that requires no breaking-in period and performs well no matter how much you sweat. At $140, it’s on the pricy side, but it offers traction unsurpassed by any of the other mats I tested.
Most Low-Maintenance Yoga Mat – Yoloha Native Cork Yoga Mat
The Yoloha Native is made from a mixture of recycled rubber and cork, resulting in a pleasantly springy surface that’s naturally antimicrobial. Cork gets grippier as it gets wet, making the Yoloha another good option for hot yoga.
Most Fun Yoga Mat – DAT MAT Yoga Mats
DAT MAT Yoga Mats blend function with style in their quirky-print designed mats!
Like your practice, your yoga mat should be one that you invest in, one that you keep coming back to, and one that supports you through every inhale and exhale. It should feel like a little island you want to call home for every practice. If you want to explore this guide more in depth, be sure to check it out: http://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/