The Best Yoga Mats

The Best Yoga Mats to Suit Every Style

Chances are, if you practice yoga in modern times, you have yourself a trusty yoga mat. If you’re new to this ancient system, the yoga mat is probably the first and only purchase you need to make as a beginner.

The necessity of a yoga mat is often a hotly contested topic, but you’d be hard pressed to find people practicing yoga today without at least some form of barrier underneath them. Finding the best yoga mat can be challenging, with so many different features available, so it’s essential to know the difference.

Having a yoga mat can help to provide stability and comfort to your poses, and give you a defined space which becomes your world as you practice. So, what is the best yoga mat? Depending on your skill level and how you prefer to perform the moves, there are a few features to consider.

While it’s true you don’t need a yoga mat to practice, it makes a lot more sense to have one in tow. There is a range of benefits to having a yoga mat, and in particular for beginners, these are the handiest tool you can use.

The History of The Yoga Mat

Although traditional Yogis in India never used a PVC mat, they generally performed yoga on hard earth, grass, or a rug of animal skin. As the practice became more prevalent in the West, cotton mats were used to prevent slippage, alongside a spray of water on the hands and feet to promote stability.

The History Of Yoga Mats

The introduction of the rubber mat came as a solution to the safety issue and prolonged process of this water used with cotton rugs. A yoga teacher from Germany, Angela Farmer, first used carpet underlay in her classes to help stability and after finding such success with the material she commissioned to have the sticky mats made in bulk.

Rubber yoga mats are extremely common nowadays, as they offer safety from slipping, a way to absorb sweat and other fluids, and a designated area for someone to practice in. The basic design of these mats hasn’t changed much in 20 plus years, but there are now some other options available to cater to the earth-friendly or allergy prone.

The Benefits of Using a Yoga Mat

In addition to the numerous benefits of practicing yoga, there are added advantages to incorporating this tool into your routine. A yoga mat is the easiest way to add simplicity and safety to your yoga routine, and they’re extremely cost-effective and durable.

Benefits of Yoga Mats
  • Safety - For anyone who’s practiced just a little yoga before, you know how challenging it can be to keep yourself from sliding. The best no slip yoga mat should prevent your feet and hands from creeping so you can focus instead on posture and breathing. In cold weather conditions particularly, the floor can become slippery and hard to grip so a yoga mat is essential.
  • Your Own Space - Practicing yoga isn’t always the tranquil and private experience you might hope for, especially if you take part in a weekly group class with others. A yoga mat is an ideal way to keep yourself focused and centered on your own routine as you can visualize it like your own private island. Using a yoga mat can help block out external disturbances so you can focus on the important stuff and work in a defined area.
  • Comfort - If you’ve ever tried to practice yoga on a hardwood or cement floor you’ll be aware of just how uncomfortable some moves can be. As many different parts of your body come into contact with the ground in a standard move, having something cushy underneath doesn’t hurt. Knees, hands, hips, and buttocks can all be protected with the best thick yoga mat style.
  • Transportation - With a yoga mat in tow, you’re able to practice this ancient system anywhere. Finding the best travel yoga mat which allows you to perform your poses on the go is essential for lovers of yoga. Whether you’re traveling, stuck in the office, or visiting a park on your lunch break, a yoga mat allows you to enjoy this method anywhere you go.
  • Absorption - Contrary to popular belief, many people find themselves getting quite exasperated and sweaty during yoga. This is particularly true in the case of hot yoga which is performed in higher temperatures, aimed to increase perspiration and remove toxins. A yoga mat can soak up moisture and keep you safe from slipping, as well as make for a more comfortable base too.

The Top Features to Look For in a Yoga Mat

With so many yoga accessories on the market and mats being the most common, finding one that is going to suit your style and needs can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Features Of Yoga Mat
  • Price - The budget you have to work with will be completely personal depending on your circumstances, however, most quality yoga mats begin at around $20, increasing for rarer materials or special custom designs. Consider how much use you plan to get out of it and how often you want to replace it before deciding on a figure, and then find one based on what you can afford.
  • Durability - Depending on how much you spent on the mat, you’ll want to know it can last throughout the years. Standard PCV yoga mats are extremely durable and can last through many years of wear and tear. The thinner your rubber mat, the less likely it is to last, but be cautious you aren’t going too thick in the hopes it will stand the test of time only to find it doesn’t work for your yoga positions.
  • Material - It used to be that all yoga mats were made of PVC and pretty much looked and felt the same, however, modern times have seen yoga mat material expand further. Although there have been advancements, PVC is still an extremely popular choice known for durability and comfort. If you’re after something more eco-friendly, though, opt for an organic cotton or recycled rubber material so that you can benefit both your body and the earth.
  • Thickness - There’s a fine line to be cautious of when purchasing a yoga mat and looking at its thickness. A thick yoga mat may make it seem like you aren’t balanced and connected to the floor, whereas one too thin will be extremely uncomfortable. Most yoga mats are 1/8 inch, but this can vary slightly up to ¼ inch. Depending on what comfort level you’re after, this will factor into your decision.
  • Length and Weight - Just as important as the thickness is the length. A yoga mat too small won’t be able to fit you on it and will leave you hanging over the edge for certain moves, so around 72 inches is fairly standard. The weight is also important, so anything too heavy should be avoided. Typical yoga mats can be easily transported but they’re also heavy enough to stay put on the ground when you’re not on top.
  • Design - Although a feature which won’t affect the practicality of your mat, many people put a lot of thought into how their mat is designed. Most yoga mats are a plain color, generally, something which stands out such as purple, but there’s a whole range of colors, patterns, and prints available to suit your style. There are some mats available also which show alignment to aid people to correct their form.

Best Yoga Mats to Buy

Before selecting a yoga mat, there are a few things to consider first. Your skill level may have some impact on the type of mat you want, as beginners should opt for something basic but comfortable at first.

Best Yoga Mat

For those seasoned yogis, you likely know exactly where, when, and in which conditions you practice your poses and will have more defined expectations of what it should offer. Finally, the best yoga mat for traveling, as many people both professional and amateur like to take their mat with them so they can perform yoga as they wish.

The Best Yoga Mat for Beginners

For absolute beginners, the purpose of a yoga mat should be to provide stability and comfort. For this reason, opt for a product considered one of the best non slip yoga mat styles such as RatMat Printed Yoga Mat.

Best Yoga Mat for Beginners

These colorful designs are a great first purchase for beginners as they’re both durable and springy, so they can aid in keeping your balance as you’re starting out. At a ¼ inch thick, they’re the perfect size for comfort without compromising your balance, and they’re great for added confidence as you begin to master the moves.

The mats are non-toxic and environmentally friendly made with PVC, so they’re easy to keep clean. The colorful designs can add a bit of fun to your workout and help to define your personal space with style.

The Best Yoga Mat for Professionals

For a more custom designed yoga mat that suits everyday use and harder positions, you’ll need a product a little pricier. The Aurora Classic Thick Yoga Mat provides comfort, durability, and elegance so you can practice the art as it was intended. Made with PER and not PVC, it’s non-toxic and free from latex, rubber, and silicone.

Best Yoga Mat for Professionals

Measuring at a ¼ inch thick, this mat is the perfect size for those who do a lot of yoga. It’s not so thick that you won’t be able to achieve balance, but just enough to shield you from harsh surfaces.

This mat comes with a non-slip rosin bag so that you can absorb extra perspiration as you go, making it even more stable. As experienced yogis are more likely to break a sweat, this is a valuable tool to have.

The Best Travel Yoga Mat

If you like the flexibility to perform yoga on the move, you’ll need a mat that’s lightweight, easily transportable, and big enough to give you a defined space. The Prosource Premium Yoga Mat can provide all of that with absolute comfort and stability too.

Best Travel Yoga Mat

This mat is extra wide at 71” x 24” so it’s big enough to cover any type of space and allow you to perform any type of yoga. It’s water resistant to suit all kinds of weather, and extra thick making it ideal for particularly hard surfaces.

For travel convenience, this mat has a handy strap which allows you to roll it up and pack it away tightly so you can carry it anywhere. Whether you’re traveling long distances or want to take a lunch break to perform yoga in the park, this mat is ideal for mobile use.

The Verdict

Choosing the right yoga mat is important, particularly for beginners, as you need to find something to provide comfort and stability. With so many options now available, it’s best to first consider where and when you might perform yoga and then work on the best style to suit your needs.

Right Yoga Mat

With the right yoga mat, you’re not only able to partake in this ancient system with comfort and safety, but it can become your personally defined area for which you shut off the rest of the world and become focused.

Other products popular in the art of yoga including yoga blocks and the best yoga mat towel, designed to absorb further levels of perspiration and reduce bacteria. However, for beginners and those who like to keep it simple the mat is all that’s needed.

There’s no denying the numerous benefits of yoga, and especially when performed correctly with the best yoga mat available. A good yoga mat will last for years, and will become more than just a tool to you as it helps you to connect body, breath, and mind.

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