Whether you are a beginner or a yoga expert, a yoga mat is the first and important thing to own. Having the right size yoga mat elevates your ease in performing the various asanas and helps you enjoy what you are doing.
While most available yoga mats work perfectly well for any style of yoga, selecting a mat that fits your needs is essential. From the different dimensions available, the perfect size may differ from person to person.
Here is a comprehensive buying guide to help all yogis, especially beginners, on how to pick a yoga mat.
In this article, we will discuss the possible sizes, and other specifications to consider when making the purchase.
Yoga Mat Sizing
Shopping for your first yoga mat can be an overwhelming experience. Fret not! We will help you sail through this. Let us look into the different sizes available and learn which is the best yoga mat size.
1. Standard Size Of Yoga Mat
As mentioned earlier, yoga mats come in different dimensions, and there is no thumb rule for the ideal mat size. The size of the average yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. All yoga mat manufacturers produce mats that are slightly smaller or larger than the average size.
68 x 24 inches is the standard yoga size because most yogis fit upon this and find it comfortable. Mat with 68 inches is the standard length which is about 5 feet and 8 inches. It is the average height of a man, and hence he or she can find this mat with the standard measurements right.
However, his head, hands, and legs may hang from the edges of the mat while performing some asanas. Hence, those who are a little taller might need extra-long yoga mats, i.e., around 72 or 74 inches.
The extra-long mats come in different lengths of 71, 72, 74, and 84 inches, respectively. When calculated, 72 inches is approximately 6 feet and works great for those who are less than 6 feet. Some brands offer mats that are beyond 7 feet long.
You might ask us, what is the best yoga mat size? Below are the various sizes you can consider based on your height.
- If you are someone with a height of 5’5“, we suggest you go with a standard size mat, i.e., 68 inches.
- If your height is between 5’6“ and 6 feet, a 72-inch length mat would be the perfect fit.
- If you are more than six feet tall, a mat between 80 to 84 inches in length will suffice.
Always opt for the size according to your height. Choosing an 84-inch-long mat might look a little awkward to fit into the space normally allotted. It might occupy extra space and make people stare at you in your yoga class. Select the right mat with a perfect size.
Let us talk about the width. The standard width of a yoga mat is 24 inches. However, you will also find mats with extra inches like, 26, 28, or 36 inches wide. A mat having 36 inches wide comes around 3 feet. That means a 36 x 84 inches mat would be three feet by seven feet one.
You might ask us why the wider mats. Let me tell you why. Have you ever thought of those with wide shoulders? Yes, people like those, and the ones on the heavy side need little wider mats to practice. Besides, these mats work great for those who want that extra space for their poses. The wider mats do not allow your hands, legs, and feet to go off the mat.
One downside with these wider mats is they do not fit in your regular yoga mat bag. However, if it comes with a carrier that has straps on either side of the rolled mat, then I don’t think it would be a problem. You can comfortably carry them, and purchasing them is perfectly fine.
However, we suggest you to consider the dimensions carefully when attending a yoga class. Mostly, the trainer might specify the mat measurements to cater to the space allotted to every individual attending the classes. In such cases, it is advisable to purchase one as mentioned and not something that has extra inches occupying more space.
Also, note that these wider mats tend to be a little expensive than the regular ones.
3. Mat Thickness
You might ask us about the thickness. How thick a yoga mat should be? The thickness of your mat is yet another crucial consideration when choosing the mat. The thickness of yoga mats is available in three levels each, with its own advantages and disadvantages. They are:
1/4″ or 6mm Yoga Mats –
- The 6mm thickness yoga mats are the most popularly used mats.
- They have a proven record of being durable and comfortable.
- They provide enough cushioning to the user when practicing.
- These mats can be heavy.
- The 6mm thickness yoga mats are expensive than other thickness level mats.
1/8″ or 3mm Yoga Mats –
- The 3mm yoga mats are durable and provide enough cushioning and support.
- These mats are lightweight and are easier to carry.
- Because of their less thickness, they easily fit in almost every yoga mat bag available in the market.
- They are less expensive than the mats having 6mm thickness.
- These thinner mats wear and tear easily upon continuous usage.
- You need to replace them frequently.
1/16″ or 2mm Yoga Mats –
- These are the thinnest mats most suitable for traveling.
- You can easily fold and fit them into the travel bag to carry. Use them wherever the road may take you.
- These mats have great traction.
- These mats are not recommended for people with achy knees.
- They ideal for use on earth or carpet.
1/2″ or 12mm Yoga Mats –
- Yoga mats having a thickness of a half-inch provide great cushioning than others.
- These are ideal for people to practice pilates.
- They have squishy cushioning.
- They are not ideal for yoga.
- They do not provide balance when performing some asanas like the tree pose.
- These mats are bulky when compared to other mats.
What Should Be The Ideal Thickness Of A Yoga Mat?
Many people often ask this question – what should be the ideal thickness for a yoga mat? The thickness is dependent on the poses and the type of floor that you are practicing on. Let us say you are practicing on a wooden floor. You might require a different mat than the one that the carpeted floor in your living room or a park needs.
Well, here are some suggestions for you:
- A yoga mat having a thickness of about 4-5mm is advisable for individuals with knee or back pain.
- Thicker or heavy mats lack grip and hence make it difficult for yogis to perform certain poses.
- Use softer and thicker mats when practicing on hard surfaces,
- Use thin mats when working on the carpet.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Well, the answer to this question is dependent on the personal choice and preference of the individual. People who do not require much padding mostly prefer mats with 4mm thickness. Thinner mats guarantee more balance and support better when doing certain poses.
The other crucial factor for considering when you choose the mat thickness is age. As we age, our joints wear down and we tend to stick to thicker mats. For people with weaker or aching joints, a 6mm thickness yoga mat is suggestible. It offers great support when getting up and down during the practice.
Some people prefer a thicker mat because it is more durable and will last longer than the other ones.
Yoga mats are available in different materials ranging from eco-friendly type to synthetic ones. Moreover, each of these mats has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Avoid using mats made with PVC, as they are not environmentally friendly and can be toxic to humans as well. We suggest you to choose one from the below list of materials.
Foam Yoga Mats – Very Budget-friendly
TPE Yoga Mats (thermoplastics) – Eco-friendly version of PVC mats. Lightweight, Durable and Reusable
Cotton Yoga Mats – Thin and Eco-friendly
Natural Rubber Yoga Mats – Provide premium cushioning experience
Jute – Provide excellent traction and superior support
Since the mat is subject to stretching, balancing, sweating, etc., it will tend to wear and tear soon upon extended usage. Typically, the lifespan of a yoga mat is about six to 12 months, provided regular use.
Hence, it is crucial to look for the signs or indications of wear and tear to replace it on time. One should not forget that the level of practice varies for every individual, and hence, the longevity of the mat.
Yoga mats are highly recommended to practice. This is because most poses require balance, traction, and flexibility. When practicing on different surfaces like grass, carpet, wooden floor, etc., you need the perfect balance and support for the yoga postures.
You cannot achieve it without a mat. Hence, a yoga mat is not a requirement but a recommended accessory to perform your asanas without any problem.
Cleaning your yoga mat is not difficult as you think. Here are the steps to help you clean the mat easily and quickly.
This is all you need:
*Terry Cloth or Damp Sponge
*Prepare a cleaning mixture by using water and dish soap.
*Transfer this solution into a spray bottle.
*Spray this mixture on the spoiled parts of your yoga mat.
*Use a terry cloth and damp cloth to wipe.
*After wiping, rinse it with clean water.
*After you finish washing, hang the mats outside to allow them to try completely.
You can know and determine which side of the mat to use by taking a keen look at it. Most yoga mats tend to be side stickier or more textured on one side. If you notice it, then that side should go up, as it prevents your hands and feet from slipping.
Some double-sided mats are available in the market. Unlike the regular mats, these mats have similar stickiness and texture on both sides. That means you can use any of the sides to practice your yoga poses.
To wrap up, choosing the right size of a yoga mat that matches your unique style of practice is very essential. I hope this article gave you the required information about the yoga mat size. I am it helped you determine and select the mat that is your perfect fit.
What are you waiting for! Shop for the best yoga mat that fits your needs, like the practice, lifestyle, budget, material, etc.
Write to us in the comments section below if you find this article helped you resolve the ambiguity. Also, post your comments on what size, thickness, and material you prefer in yoga mats and why. You can share your experiences about these mats with us here.
Let us know if you have any inputs or need more information on yoga mats. We would be happy to hear and learn from you.