Four Things You Should Know About the Quality and Texture of Good Yoga Mats

Just over a decade ago, only one type of yoga mat existed — a basic one made from PVC and would sometimes get really sticky. And your choice was limited to either blue or purple. Fast forward to today, you’ll find many good yoga mats to suit all preferences and priorities. Beyond pattern and colour that suits your style, you want a yoga mat that keeps you stable in all your poses. Further, it needs to be portable and storable yet cushy and comfy. You may also want one that’s environmentally friendly.

 

Your mat’s attributes such as its thickness, surface texture, and what it’s made of are determined by how it’s made. As a yoga adherent, you want a yoga mat that you can be happy with. Preferably, one that’ll suit your budget, values, lifestyle, priorities, and practice. Here are the things you didn’t know about good yoga mats.

 The Thickness of the Mats

  • Why It’s Important

 

A thick yoga mat is a comfortable one — a very thin one will make your crescent lunge uncomfortable as your knee will get banged up. With a thick mat, you’ll hardly feel any connection to the floor, and you’ll be more wobbly. If you want to learn more about the topic, read our guide on thick yoga mats for more insights.

 

  • Options Available

 

Good yoga mats range between 1/8 inches and ¼ inches in thickness. There are also thinner yoga mats, often referred to as travel yoga mats, which are 1/16 inches thick and can easily fit in a standard suitcase.

 

  • Buying Guidelines

 

Before you purchase a yoga mat, you want to consider how much space you have to stow it, how comfortable it is, and how important portability is to you. A standard 1/8-inch mat is ideal if you little room for storage and like just a little padding. A ¼-inch mat would be excellent if you wouldn’t mind storing and carrying more weight for the sake of additional cushioning. And if you must pack your mat in a suitcase, consider getting a foldable 1/16-inch travel yoga mat.

 

Materials yoga mats made from

  • Why It’s Important

The materials your mat is made from will dictate its texture, sponginess, eco-friendliness, and stickiness, and how long it lasts.

  • Options Available

 

PVC is the most widely-used material in the manufacture of standard yoga mats. Newer and more eco-friendly options include jute, organic or natural cotton, and natural or recycled rubber.

  • Buying Guidelines

You want to avoid natural rubber yoga mats if you’re allergic to latex. If you want a mat that’ll last a decade and longer and you won’t mind stickiness, then you are better off with a PVC mat. The sponginess of your mat will vary with different blends of materials.

Texture of the Yoga Mats

 

  • Why It’s Important

 

Your yoga mat’s texture will determine how much traction it will provide. Texture dictates how much sliding and slipping you can do. It will provide physical barriers to sliding. Since texture determines the feel of a yoga mat, it’s an essential component of your overall comfort. Texture is either man-made or dictated by the mat’s material. Although PVC yoga mats are slightly textured, they tend to have a softer feel than jute ones that have an organic roughness.

  • Your Options 

Yoga mats come in various textures to suit everyone — from downright rough to completely smooth ones.

  • Buying Guidelines

If you’re keen on a mat that prevents slipping and you want to avoid PVC ones, then you can consider one made from cotton, jute, or rubber with a raised, tactile pattern. The added grip due to the raised texture will help you stay put regardless of how vigorous or sweaty your practice gets.

 

On the other hand, if smoothness is important to you, then a PVC yoga mat is an ideal choice. And if you don’t mind stickiness but are also curious about the newer, eco-friendly options, you want to ensure you test drive a few of them before you make a purchase. Some eco-friendly mats may provide all the traction you need but without the sticky feel.

Eco-friendliness of Yoga Mats

  • Why It’s Important

Non-violence or ahimsa is a tenet that many yogis hold dear. They find it troublesome practising on yoga mats that’ll, for instance, ultimately clog landfills for decades to come.

  • Options Available

The best option would be eco-friendly yoga mats made from rubber — natural or recycled. The mats may as well include natural materials such as organic cotton or jute.

  • Buying Guideline

If you hold eco-friendliness dear, you want to avoid PVC yoga mats because the material doesn’t break down in landfills and is costly and difficult to recycle. On the other hand, while cotton, jute, and rubber yoga mats are available in various thicknesses, they’re slicker and thicker than PVC mats. You can get yourself an eco-friendly yoga mat with a thickness that meets your needs for portability and comfort, and whose texture prevents slippage.

 

Final Thoughts

Good yoga mats are essential for a good yoga experience. With many options now available in the market, you want to choose one that best suits your individual needs. Most importantly, yoga mats that are comfortable and you’re happy with.