A decade ago, if you practiced yoga, you could buy just one basic type of mat — made of PVC, available in blue or purple. Fast forward to today and choosing the right yoga mat brands becomes a task in itself.
So, how to choose the right yoga mat? Beyond a color and pattern that make your heart go pitter-patter, your yoga mat needs to keep you stable in your poses; and it needs to be storable and portable, yet comfy and cushy. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing yoga mat brands.
Popular Yoga Mat Brands
The thickness of your yoga mat decides how comfortable it is. Too thin, and your knee may get banged up during Crescent Lunge. Too thick and it’s harder for you to feel a strong connection to the floor, making you more wobbly in certain poses.
A standard yoga mat is about 1/8 inch thick, while the thickest swell up to 1/4 inch.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]There are also wafer-thin yoga mats, perfect as “travel mats” – a mere 1/16 inch thick.[/perfectpullquote]
They fold easily, don’t weigh much, and easily fit in a suitcase.
Think about how much room you have to stow your yoga mat, how important portability is, and where your sweet spot is on comfort versus being able to feel a direct connection to the floor. If you have to physically carry your yoga mat to class, opt for a lightweight option that will also travel easily.
The material of yoga mat brands dictates its texture, stickiness, and eco-friendliness. It also decides how much it yields to pressure, and how it wears over time, while it also plays a role in setting a budget.
Most standard mats are made of PVC, otherwise known as vinyl. Newer, more earth-friendly options include natural and recycled rubber, jute, cork, and organic cotton or natural cotton.
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If you’re allergic to latex, avoid yoga mats made of natural rubber. Yoga mat brands made out of PVC can endure your use and abuse for more than a decade. If you are particular about eco-friendly choices, you can choose from either jute, cork or cotton mats, though they have the least sponginess.
The texture of your yoga mat dictates how much traction it provides, or in other words, how much slipping and sliding you do. It provides physical barriers to sliding, and because texture affects the way a yoga mat feels, it’s also a component of overall comfort.
Texture can be either manmade or dictated by the materials — jute mats have an organic roughness to them, while PVC mats, though slightly textured, have a softer feel.
If you’re looking for a mat that prevents slipping but don’t want a PVC mat, look for a rubber, jute or a cotton mat that has a raised, tactile pattern.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The added grip the raised texture provides can help you more stability too.[/perfectpullquote]
If smoothness is of prime importance to you, a PVC mat is the way to go.
As a yogi, you feel connected to nature. You may not want to use a mat that will ultimately end up clogging a landfill for decades, and thankfully, there are plenty of eco-friendly choices for you.
Earth-friendly yoga mat brands are typically made from natural or recycled rubber. These mats may also include natural materials, such as jute or organic cotton.
Avoid yoga mat brands made of PVC, which don’t break down in landfills and are costlier to recycle. Rubber, jute, and cotton mats, while available in a range of thicknesses, tend to be thicker and slicker than PVC mats. Look for yoga mat brands with a texture that prevents slippage.
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Have you used any of the yoga mats mentioned in our blog? We’d love to hear your review. Leave a comment!