Best Yoga Mats - Balance Massage & Fitness

The best yoga mat for you

Even when just getting started with yoga, most people want their own mat. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, and for hygienic reasons you probably want a mat of your own. A good mat is also essential for traction, cushion, comfort, and support. Our guide covers the key factors to think about while shopping, so you can find the best yoga mat for you at a price you like.

Click on any column header to sort the table, for example by cost, thickness, or material. Detailed explanations of prices, ratings, etc are located beneath the guide:

The 7 columns in the guide are:

  • Mat name & picture (click to view more details or to purchase).
  • Mat size dimensions in inches
  • Mat price – These are current prices on Amazon.com in U.S. dollars. Outside the U.S., click the price in dollars to see the price in your local currency. In some cases price will change depending on mat color and/or style.
  • Mat weight in pounds.
  • Color and/or style options.
  • Mat material (more on mat materials below). SGS is a private, independent laboratory that tests many types of products and makes recommendations regarding consumer safety.
  • Rating – This is the average user rating on Amazon.com, where 5 is the best possible rating. It can be very helpful in deciding whether people were satisfied with their purchase.

Finding the best yoga mat for you

The main purpose of a yoga mat is to give cushion and traction. Thickness determines the amount of cushion. Traction allows you to balance while doing your poses. This is the “stickiness” of a mat. You may also want your mat to be non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and odor free. Other factors to consider are portability, durability, color and design, and of course price.

Thickness and cushion

Thickness is critical since you want enough cushion to make you comfortable, but not so much that it interferes with your balance. Standard thickness mats such as the YogaAccessories High Density Yoga Mat strike a balance at around 1/4”. Extra cushioning mats like the Prosource Premium Extra Thick Yoga Mat are a luxurious 1/2” thick. Thin, portable mats like the Gaiam Travel Yoga Mat are around 1/16”. If you’ll be taking your mat to classes, you may also want to consider a sling harness or a carrying tote.

Unless you are very tall, mat size is generally not an issue. Standard yoga mats are 24″ by 68″, which is the best yoga mat size for most people.

Material, stickiness and texture

Mat material determines stickiness, texture, sponginess (responsiveness to pressure), eco-friendliness, and durability. PVC (or vinyl) is the most commonly available mat material because of it’s affordability and durability. PER stands for Polymer Environmental Resin, which is another widely available material.

Stickiness is important since it’s what keeps you from slipping when doing poses. PVC mats are generally the most sticky and spongy. However textured surfaces can also affect how much traction a mat provides. Texture also determines how comfortable the mat feels to touch. Texture can either be by design, such as raised bumps, or it can be a feature of the material (such as jute mats, which are organically rough). Rubber, jute, and cotton mats are generally not as sticky as PVC, but can have surface texture that helps prevent slippage.

The best yoga mat for you

Eco-friendliness

Mats that are made from “foam”, or that don’t publicize what material they are made of, are most likely made from PVC. Generally mats that are not made from PVC prominently display what they’re made of as a selling point.

Not all PVC mats are created equally. Some are manufactured without phthalates and other toxins. However there are no PVC mats that are biodegradable.

Newer more eco-friendly options include recycled and natural rubber, organic or natural cotton, and jute. Rubber mats are the most popular eco-friendly option, but you should avoid rubber if you’re allergic to latex. Popular rubber mats include the Jade Harmony Rubber Mat, the Manduka eKO Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat, and the Harmony Natural Yoga Mat.

Cotton is the most absorbent mat material, which is important if you sweat a lot or are planning on doing hot yoga. Cotton mats can cost a bit more, such as the Hugger Mugger Cotton Yoga Mat, but are also available in a more affordable rug style. Jute mats such as the Hugger Mugger Sattva Jute Mat feature an organic surface texture which prevents slippage naturally.

Beware of mats with non-natural materials that make eco-friendly claims. Many companies use environmental issues as a marketing strategy, and claim products are eco-friendly when they really aren’t. If it’s not a material that grows in nature, it’s probably not very environmentally friendly.

Price

Last but not least, price matters. Cheap mats are easy to find at big box stores, but with yoga mats you tend to get what you pay for. Mats under $20 can wear out pretty quickly, and often have a chemical odor. Some of the best selling yoga mats are in the mid $20 range, if you don’t mind a PVC mat. Cost generally goes up with the quality of materials, construction, and eco-friendliness.

If you’re buying a mat online don’t forget to consider shipping costs. Many online retailers offer inexpensive or free shipping options on some of the best yoga mats out there. Also depending what state you live in, and what online store you’re buying from, shopping online can often save you sales tax.

Beginners kits

If you’re new to yoga, the best yoga mat for you may come in a beginners kit such as the Valeo Yoga Kit or the Sivan Essential Yoga 5 Piece Beginners Kit. Beginners kits are usually very competitively priced, and have extra items like blocks and straps which are fun to experiment with. The Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit even comes with a DVD with introductory workouts to get you started.

Cleaning and care

When you find your own best yoga mat it’s a good idea to wash it before you use it. This will remove any factory odors. Additionally, some new mats are slippery until you break them in, and washing will help with that.

Cleaning the mat after each use is important to help it last. It’s important to remove sweat and body oils, which can cause mats to deteriorate. Yoga mat cleaning sprays such as the Aurorae Organic Yoga Mat Wash can make clean up easy. You can also make your own at home, check out this fun video:

Don’t forget to store your mat in a cool place. Heat or direct sun can cause even the best yoga mats to age prematurely.

Now it’s your turn

Now that you have seen the options and reviewed our top picks for the best yoga mat on the market, its up to you to pick which one meets your needs in your price range.

New mats come on the market frequently, so we’ll update our guide as needed. But if you feel like we missed a superior mat that needs to be included on the list, or if you have your own tips on finding the best yoga mat, please let us know in the comments below. Namaste!:)

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If you’re looking for pilates in Hillsboro, Oregon, look no further than Balance Massage + Core Fitness Studio. We are a fully equipped massage and fitness practice located in downtown Hillsboro. Our core fitness studio features STOTT Pilates®, the gold standard in Pilates training, using specialized equipment. We offer 20 group fitness classes per week, including Zumba, Zenga, and Total Barre, as well as private instruction from our highly qualified team. Much of our massage practice is focused on injury recovery, relief from pain, and car accident and workers compensation rehabilitation. We also provide a variety of massage treatments purely for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Whether you enjoy the attention of one-on-one private training, or the excitement of a group fitness class, Balance Massage & Core Fitness Studio has the right training options to help you meet your fitness, physical therapy, and relaxation goals.

Balance Massage and Core Fitness Studio

Address
233 SE Washington Street, Suite 103
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Phone: 503.352.9685
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