I purchased my first yoga mat from Barnes & Noble. It was a good deal, and the only thing I took into consideration was the color and pattern. That yoga mat served me well over the next couple of years, but I soon discovered it didn’t offer the padding I wished it did.
Since then, I’ve owned and practiced on a multitude of yoga mats from some of the best yoga brands. So, let me give you the tips I wish someone would have given me before I set out to invest in a mat of my own.
Remember that there are LOTS of options out there from different yoga brands that offer a range of yoga mat qualities. Between all of your choices, just be sure to look for the following:
- Thickness: The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is— too thin, and you might find that your knees or hips experience some discomfort.
- Material: The material of your yoga mat can affect its durability and ease of keeping it clean.
- Texture: The way your mat feels on your skin should absolutely be something you like. You’ll be spending a lot of time on your mat, so it should be a place where you feel comfortable and want to be.
- Stickiness: This is a big one. Yoga mats usually require at least a short “break in” period. Most mats will come with instructions on how to help break your mat in. Stickiness improves exponentially with use. I’ve personally found that Manduka Pro mats are extremely sticky right from the get go.
- Eco-friendliness: There are some great eco-friendly yoga gear companies that offer sustainably made mats sourced from cork, or recycled water bottles.
- Price-range. Yoga mats can cost anywhere between $20- $150. Some high end yoga brands even offer a lifetime guarantee on their mats, which means it’s absolutely worth the investment. If you practice frequently, or are looking to start a consistent practice, a good mat can make all the difference.
- Towel or no towel: If you’re practicing hot yoga, you’ll also want to consider which mats go well with a yoga mat towel.
- Style: Yoga mats come in a wide variety of colors & styles, pick one that you feel drawn to. Out of all yoga accessories, this is the tool you will use the most!
Your yoga mat should feel welcoming and inviting. If you have a mat you’re excited to use, you’re more likely to practice!
About the Author
India Allen is a twenty-something writer, yoga teacher, and health & wellness coach currently residing in the mountains of Idaho. She is a lover of quotes and asanas, the changing of seasons, old books, tattoos and chai tea. She attended Shanti Yoga Teacher Training where she found her passion in biomechanics, truth seeking, enlightening words, raw growth, and empowering others to understand why we do what we do in yoga.