How to find the perfect yoga mat
There are so many factors when it comes to finding the perfect yoga mat that it might seem overwhelming at first. This comprehensive yoga mat buying guide should highlight some of the factors you want to consider when choosing the right yoga mat for you, and help you make sense of the many different types of yoga mats.
Each yogi is different and what feels comfortable to you in your downward dog might seem like a nightmare to your friend next to you in class. It's important to think about what you value, what makes you comfortable and what type of mat will provide you with the best surface to master those poses and sequences over time.
We'll highlight a few factors that are essential to consider when you're choosing your yoga mat, and what great options there are for you. First we'll look at the mat itself and then we'll think about you and your yoga.
With different shapes, sizes, fragrances and materials, the search for the perfect yoga mat might seem totally overwhelming. First, we're going to look at four key attributes of your yoga mat - size, thickness, stickiness and weight - so you can find the perfect one for you.
It may seem obvious, but you need to find the right size yoga mat for you. In general, your yoga mat should be about six inches taller than you are. It's important that your mat provides you with the space you need while you are practicing and a standard sized mat is designed for just that.
If you're on the taller side, it's important to invest in a yoga mat that is comfortable for you, so that if you're in a fish pose your whole body fits on the mat. Our extra long yoga mat is 213cm long and a great option for taller yogis! We also have wider than standard yoga mats which are great if you want more room to move around, like this extra wide yoga mat.
The thickness of your yoga mat totally depends on personal preference. A thin mat can be great for connecting to the floor and balancing during standing poses, but a thicker mat can provide extra cushioning for your knees during a cat-cow pose. If you've not got a lot of natural cushioning (you lucky thing!) then a thin mat won't be comfortable for you on a hard floor, so go a little thicker on the mat.
If you prefer extra cushioning, then a thicker mat is the best bet, though they can be heavier than standard mats, so bear that in mind if you're walking miles to the studio! A really thick mat like this 9mm yoga mat is great for durability and extra cushioning, especially for pilates or longer workouts.
A 6mm mat is a popular choice, especially for studios, as it provides high level of durability and cushioning. The Thickest Yoga Mat - 6 mm is a firm favourite with our customers, and is great for regular yoga practice, providing comfort and support. 6mm mats are great for their durability and can last for years if well looked after.
A thinner mat can be a good choice if you're looking for a more lightweight mat that still provides support. They can however be less durable and prone to a little wear and tear. If that's not a problem for you and you'd prefer to feel more connected to the floor, our 4mm yoga mat could be the one for you.
Some people prefer thinner mats for standing poses like the tree pose as feeling closer to the floor can help you feel more balanced. However, thinner mats tend to offer less stability so bear that in mind when you're thinking about purchasing a thin mat, you don 't want your mat shifting if you're transitioning between tricky poses!
Though not the most attractive name, stickiness is very important when you're choosing the perfect yoga mat for you. A sticky mat stops you from sliding around and if you're doing a high intensity form of yoga like Ashtanga yoga, then you need a mat that is slip resistant during sweaty workouts.
Make sure your mat has a non slip surface so that you stay secure during your poses. This premium weight yoga mat is made from PVC (the best for stickiness) and a great investment for regular yoga practice. Some people prefer a yoga mat with a textured surface to improve the non slip quality of the mat, though others find it less comfortable - it's up to you!
It's important to remember to keep your mat clean so that it stays sticky and you stay secure. Keep some yoga mat cleaning wipes on hand and wipe down your mat after your session so that it retains it's non slip surface. If you look after your mat, it'll look after you!
Weight can be an important factor in choosing the perfect yoga mat if you like to travel or if you've got a long walk to the studio. Yoga mats can be heavy and some prefer not to lug around a 5lb mat. Again, it's a matter of personal preference - if you want a more durable, sturdy mat then a heavier mat might be worth it for you.
If you're planning on hiking to the top of a mountain and practicing some poses in the fresh air (which we totally recommend) then you're going to want to look for a lighter mat. If you walk to your yoga class or take the bus then it's worth thinking about a lighter mat, especially if you're taking a change of clothes, towels and washing stuff with you, though some feel that the extra comfort and stability of a heavier mat is worth the extra weight.
You and Your Yoga
When you are choosing your yoga mat there are some important personal factors that you need to consider when looking for your perfect mat. You may need to think about the style of yoga you practice, the environmental impact of your yoga mat, if you're a total beginner and don't want to spend to much or if you have any health issues that might affect which mat is best for you, like a latex allergy. Here's some more advice about how you and your yoga affect which mat is right for you.
If you're a beginner and you're just starting out on your yoga adventure, it may be worth getting a mat that provides a little extra support and cushioning. You're probably not going to be doing headstands yet so you don't need a really thick mat, but you will need a good level of stickiness and cushioning. This 4mm yoga mat is a great starter mat. It's lightweight, available in a range of gorgeous colours and a great price, so you can try it out without investing too much as you start your yoga practice.
There are so many amazing styles of yoga, and finding the perfect one for you is a whole other article! The style of yoga you enjoy and practice plays a crucial role in choosing the right type of yoga mat for you. With ever increasing choices in classes and different practices, it's important your yoga mat is suited to your style of yoga. If you take part in different types of yoga it might be worth considering having different mats so that you know you're providing your body with the right surface.
If you're practicing hot yoga then you don't need us to tell you that all that sweat is going to factor into your yoga practice. It's also important to get the right mat, so you don't slip and slide.
If you're regularly taking part in a hot yoga class make sure you have a good quality non slip yoga towel for your mat that you can wash and keep clean. The Yogitoes skidless yoga mat towel is a great innovative product that is super absorbent and non slip, perfect for taking along to hot yoga. A reversible mat with a microfibre side to absorb sweat pools can also be a good choice for hot yoga - like this natural rubber and microfibre yoga mat.
If your favourite type of yoga is more based around gentle exercise and meditation, like restorative yoga, then you want a mat that is comfortable for you. If you are staying in poses for a longer period of time, extra cushioning is a good idea and a thicker mat is definitely worth investing in. Seated and lying down poses may be uncomfortable on a thin mat for a long amount of time, so choose a nice thick mat that will cushion you properly for this style of yoga.
Scent can add an extra dimension to your meditative yoga sessions and soothing lavender is a popular choice. Our lavender scented yoga mat is a unique choice, in a lovely purple design, delicately fragranced with lavender essential oils. Perfect for a relaxing and soothing yoga session, this mat is a great choice for a more gentle yoga practice.
Have a latex allergy? Then you need to make sure your mat is latex free. Yoga is all about connecting the mind and body and finding your own peace and harmony - and that's not easy to do if you're allergic to your mat. A PVC mat, like this latex free yoga mat might be the best option for you as rubber mats may contain latex. Read the product information carefully and get in touch if you have any queries about what your mat is made of.
Many yogis love to travel and it's important for them to be able to practice yoga comfortably and confidently no matter where they are. If you're a yoga pro and you have a high quality, heavy yoga mat you use every day, chances are you probably don't want to take it on holiday with you.
Travel yoga mats are specifically designed for travelling yogis, providing a great yoga surface while being light enough to pack into your luggage or take with you on a trip. Our travel yoga mat is full size, durable and thin enough to roll up or fold. It's a great option if you like to do yoga outside or if you're going on holiday and it's a really wallet friendly option too!
So with all those things considered, here's the easy part - style! Whether you're looking for a bright pink yoga mat to make a statement or a lovely relaxing green tree design - we have a style of yoga mat to suit everyone.
Our planet is important to us yogis and environmental impact is something that many feel strongly about. Manufacturers are increasingly looking for low impact ways to create yoga mats, using innovative emission free production methods and recycled and recyclable materials. We have some great eco-friendly mats, like the Gaia environmentally friendly yoga mat which is free from toxic materials and made without contributing to greenhouse emissions.
We also have mats made from recycled materials like the recycled rubber yoga mat which is made from 100% recycled rubber and features a recycling symbol as part of it's design.
If you want to get the kids involved, we have the adorable fun yoga mat for kids which is perfect for little yogis. They can choose from sun, turtle or butterfly designs and these great smaller mats are non-toxic and affordable.
Hopefully this article has cleared up some of the confusion about what type of yoga mat is best. There really isn't one perfect yoga mat, each has it's own merits and each yogi has their own priorities. When you're choosing your yoga mat think about what matters most to you, what type of yoga you enjoy and any special factors that will have an impact on your perfect mat. Enjoy your new mat and we wish you happiness and success in your yoga journey.