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What Are the Best Tips for Buying a Yoga Mat?

By Rhonda Rivera
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some of the best tips for buying a yoga mat are to consider the materials used to make the mat, choosing the right size of mat, and not to dismiss expensive mats that have better marketing. The material from which a yoga mat is made can mean the difference between having a biodegradable product or one that takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade. Size is not an issue for most people, but children and small adults might have an easier time with a mat designed with them in mind. In addition, expensive mats are generally of better quality and are friendlier to the environment than the standard polyvinyl chloride (PVC) yoga mat. There are also travel mats for the individual who travels, which can be a better investment than a relatively bulky standard mat.

If the buyer is concerned about being eco-friendly, he or she can look for green yoga mats. Green yoga mats are often made from renewable resources and exclude materials like plastic. Purchasing a yoga mat made from bits of plastic ensures that the mat will be around for hundreds of years because it takes a long time to degrade. Rubber can also stay in a landfill for decades, and using a rubber yoga mat has its own risks. People with latex allergies may not be able to use a rubber mat and might be apprehensive about doing yoga next to someone with a rubber yoga mat.

When looking at yoga mats, it is typically a good idea to take size into consideration. Most yoga mats do not vary in size by much, which is not usually a problem, as these sizes are generally perfect for adults. Children and petite adults, however, might have trouble carrying a standard-sized mat, and a few companies do make petite mats and carrying cases.

Sometimes a higher price does not mean higher quality. When purchasing a yoga mat, though, customers tend to get what they pay for. Inexpensive mats are made cheaply with environmentally harmful materials and might not have a proper grip. Expensive mats are usually made with better materials, come with a carrying bag, and can be used hundreds of times before showing wear. There are always exceptions to the rule, but a mat costing $10 United States Dollars (USD) is likely to be of inferior quality compared to one that costs $40 USD.

Different yoga mats are made for different situations and environments. For example, if a yoga practitioner plans to travel, he or she may want to consider buying a yoga mat designed for travel. Travel yoga mats are usually thinner and easier to pack than standard mats. The main downside to these mats is that they can be less comfortable and durable than standard ones. Many yoga practitioners prefer mats which are less suited to travel for everyday use.

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Discussion Comments

By SarahGen — On Apr 02, 2014

I have been doing yoga regularly for years and have used about five different yoga mats so far. From my experience, there is no point in buying an expensive mat. First of all, almost all yoga mats are identical. The brand and the price just varies.

Secondly, all yoga mats eventually develop a sweat odor that is impossible to get rid of and the mat needs to be thrown out. Those who do yoga several times a week will probably buy a new yoga mat once a year. So buying something expensive is a waste of money.

The only time I justify paying more for a yoga mat is when it's a green mat. Then, it's worth it because it's about protecting nature.

By candyquilt — On Apr 02, 2014

@SteamLouis-- As far as I know, yoga mats are always very thin. You may be confusing it with a pilates mat which is thicker.

A yoga mat needs to be thin because you need to feel the ground while doing the asanas. The main purpose of a yoga mat is to prevent you from slipping. It's not meant to support like a pilates mat. So buy a regular thin yoga mat.

By SteamLouis — On Apr 01, 2014

I've noticed that there are thinner yoga mats and thicker yoga mats. Which type is better?

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