No doubt yoga is the fitness mantra for many. And the perfect companion for it is the yoga mat. Whether you are doing it in your home at your comfort or in a yoga studio or public space, you definitely need one with you. With many options to choose from, people often get confused and end up picking the wrong mat. This might be because of a lack of research.
If you are one among them and wondering how to invest in a perfect mat that best suits your practice and lifestyle, this article is for you. We are here to help you out with how to get started with your yoga regime and make your experience enjoyable.
Materials of Yoga Mats
Many yoga mats consist of materials that range from synthetic to eco-friendly to choose from. However, when selecting the material, please be aware that it may affect the price, grip, weight, and durability.
Most of the mats made from synthetic materials are inexpensive and are not biodegradable. If you are health-conscious and love the environment, you’d definitely want to avoid one.
Below is the list of yoga materials and their characteristics.
PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most common materials used by most yoga mat manufacturers. It is a plastic-based material, which is hard to recycle. It is durable, comfortable, and cheap, though. However, it can get slippery when you sweat heavily.
Foam – Also known as the eco-friendly version of PVC, a foam yoga mat offers the same benefits as PVC without any harmful side effects. Made from durable foam, this mat is lightweight and gives you a cushioned surface.
TPE – Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) is usually a man-made blend of plastic and rubber polymers. It is recyclable and more environmentally friendly than PVC. Though they are less durable than PVC, they offer great traction.
Natural Rubber – Made from all-natural rubber, these mats are perfect for those who love the environment and want to contribute to reducing pollution. Being a solid alternative to PVC just like foam, these are eco-friendly, non-toxic, durable, slip-resistant, and provide excellent cushioning.
Cotton – Made of thick cotton fabric, these mats easily retain sweat and are washable. These are thin, eco-friendly, cost-effective, often combined with other yoga mat materials, and also increase traction.
Jute – Yoga mats made from jute are a cost-effective option and as sustainable and resilient as cotton yoga mats. Many manufacturers use jute mats in combination with other yoga mats for increased traction and support.
Thickness Of Mats
Most standard yoga mats are 1/8″ thick, which is 3mm. This, however, may not be thickness suitable for a beginner. If you want a thicker mat to practice upon, you can consider yoga mats as thick as 1/6″, i.e., 6mm.
If you are a newbie, pick a mat with thickness something in between 3-6mm. This may also be a good option for you if you travel a lot, as you can easily roll them up and carry.
Texture Of Mats
PVC yoga mats are slightly textured but do have a softer feel. If you do not want to prefer PVC mats, you can happily choose a natural rubber yoga mat, a jute or cotton yoga mat as the next best option. Though having a slightly raised pattern, these mats provide an extra grip. This also eliminates the chances of slipping or sliding.
Types of Yoga Mats with Key Features
|Types of Yoga Mat||Features|
|PVC Yoga Mat||Highly Durable|
|Foam Yoga Mat||High-density Cushioning|
|TPE Yoga Mat||Deliver Good Traction|
|Natural Rubber Yoga Mat||Eco-friendly|
|Cotton Yoga Mat||Easy to wash|
|Jute Yoga Mat||Biodegradable|
|Travel Yoga Mat||Lightweight|
Choosing Material Depending On The Style oFf Yoga
Depending on the kind of yoga you are practicing, you may have to choose a different type of material. When practicing Hatha yoga or Yin Yoga, which requires lesser but intense movements, choose a mat that is softer and provides a cushioning experience. When practicing Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and similar styles of yoga that involves shedding excessive sweat, you may need a mat that absorbs all the sweat and provides super-strong traction. There are a few mats available that are perfect for all styles of yoga practice but are expensive.
Along with the material, consider the other aspects of the mat like texture, stickiness, thickness, weight, and price.
Since you have the complete guide with you about choosing a yoga mat based on its material, go ahead and buy one you are comfortable with. Do not just merely go with a cheap option but look for a high-quality one that provides value for your money. I am sure you wouldn’t mind spending some extra bucks perfect for your personal practice and specific needs. Do let us know in the comments sections below if you have any questions. We will respond to all your questions with the necessary information.