Reviews.com’s Guide to Finding the Best Yoga Mat
20 January 2017
The team at Reviews.com spent six weeks testing over 30 popular mat options on the market. After over 50 hours of research, along with extensive consultation with yoga professionals and students, they determined which ones had the traction, support, and versatility for every yogi’s needs.
The new year is a perfect time to start a yoga practice or return to one! Finding the right yoga mat to complement your practice can be like finding a soul mate — all mats are definitely not created equal.
That’s why the team at Reviews.com spent six weeks testing over 30 popular mat options on the market. After over 50 hours of research, along with extensive consultation with yoga professionals and students, they determined which ones had the traction, support, and versatility for every yogi’s needs.
Why Do You Need a Yoga Mat?
Proper yoga equipment during yogic practice is essential and starting with a good yoga mat is the best start. Choosing the best one for you is about personal preference, your need, and type of yoga style. Your yoga mat will provide traction during your practice and also creates a personal space within the studio. Your personal yoga mat will also keep germs within a studio to a minimum because you will not be sharing mats with others. Lastly, a good yoga mat is there for safety reasons; to keep you grounded, stable, focused, and comfortable throughout your poses.
In order to find the best mat on the market, the top contenders were tested against criteria developed by yoga professionals. Mats were placed through rigorous hands-on testing in both vigorous and restorative yoga practices to assess versatility, as well as under variable heating conditions, and on a multitude of surfaces. Students testing these mats were also given the opportunity to provide feedback, which was taken into consideration alongside the review team’s observations of each mat’s performance and appearance during, and after, use. When testing mats, the main focus was the mat's traction, stability, weight, density, and size. Color choices and eco-footprint were also considered, but were not a determining factor.
Overall Best Yoga Mat - Manduka PROlite
After hours in the studio and consulting with yoga professionals, students, and online reviews, the Manduka PROlite was determined to be best overall option due to its grip, portability, and reported comfort among users. The Manduka PROlite is made with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a material that is able to maintain its durability under any condition such as heated rooms, outdoors, and vigorous practices and provides the most "give." PROlite allows the support and cushion needed to protect your joints in every asana!
The Manduka PROlite’s texture and grip set it apart from others. The mat provides a slip-resistant traction that allows for easier transitions through vinyasas and other poses. Slip-resistant traction is especially important for those with safety concerns during heated practices. Because of its "closed-cell" technology, this yoga mat does not absorb moisture, which minimizes slippage, and makes for an easier cleaning after each session, therefore maintaining a better germ-free mat surface. The Manduka PROlite comes in an assortment of colors and weighs approximately 4 pounds, making it a lighter and more portable option than its counterpart, the Manduka PRO.
Lululemon: the Mat - The Best Non-Slip Yoga Mat
For hot yoga and conditions involving heavy sweating, Lululemon The Mat is top rated and highly recommended. This yoga mat has the best stickiness without the need of a towel in super sweaty yoga conditions. Lululemon The Mat has "open-cell" technology that absorbs moisture keeping the surface from becoming a slippery, dangerous surface during your practice. The moisture-absorbing properties increase the grip surface during times of increased moisture. What makes this possible is the double-sided technology that makes up Lululemon The Mat's amazing slip-resistant quality. The "sticky" side of the mat is a polyurethane material that absorbs moisture during a yoga session; the bottom side is an all natural rubber material providing a nice cushion to The Lululemon The Mat. In addition to its versatility, this mat also has antimicrobial properties that help keep it clean after each use, minimizing the headache of cleaning your mat without increased germ exposure!
Final Thoughts When Purchasing a Yoga Mat
Your needs and desires will be the ultimate determining factor when choosing the right yoga mat for your practice. When researching a yoga mat to purchase, take into account these factors:
- Durability and longevity — a quality mat that is well-maintained can accompany your practice for years! Find out if the options you’re considering come with a lifetime guarantee, and look for user reviews that discuss durability.
- Comfort and support — depending on your preferences, consider which thickness will help you feel most comfortable as you move through your practice.
- Traction and stability — if your practice consists of mostly heated classes, consider a mat that is slip resistant, allowing you to feel more stable your poses!
- Portability — if you’re a commuter, ask yourself: does having a lightweight mat matter to you? Or do you prefer the stability of a heavier mat?
Try a few different mats out to see which ones are the right fit for your body and practice! Remember: a yoga mat is a personal decision and there is no one-size fits all solution. For more information on the study Reviews.com conducted, as well as other recommended yoga mat options to consider, check out their resoearch here: http://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/