Best yoga mats for 2021 [updated]
As you’re probably already aware, yoga is booming at the moment. Increasingly, it feels like you can’t turn your head without spotting someone with a rolled-up yoga mat under their arm.
The best thing about yoga – aside from the suppleness, the zen, the fact that it can prolong your healthiness and happiness – is that the barrier to entry is incredibly low. In terms of equipment, all you need to do yoga is a mat. So we set about testing and reviewing the best options on the market in order to help you make your decision.
Considering factors like durability, material, texture, thickness, comfort, stickiness, and cost, we stretched and downward dogged our way to discovering which mat is the best around.
What to look for in a yoga mat:
With plenty of yoga mats on the market, when it comes to finding the best one for you, you’ll need to think about a few things. Firstly, what you need the mat for. If it’s going to live in your living room, you don’t need to worry about the weight of the mat, or how you’ll carry it on the underground, so invest in one that’s comfortable.
Secondly, how tall you are. If you are a taller yogi, you’ll want a longer mat that will let you easily move through an entire yoga sequence, or foam roll your IT band without feeling restricted.
Finally, another thing to consider when choosing a yoga mat is the thickness. If you struggle with knee or wrist pain when practising yoga, it’s worth investing in a thicker mat that will protect your joints a little more.
How much should you expect to pay for the best yoga mat ?
Yoga mats can really vary in price, with some costing as little as £10 and others selling for more than £100. It really depends on the style and features you want. You should be able to get a decent yoga mat for around £40-£60. Thicker, more durable mats will cost more, as will more environmentally friendly options such as natural rubber. Colourful and intricate designs are typically more expensive compared with solid-colour mats, as are mats that have grid lines.
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3 Things to Consider:
A thin yoga mat is about 1/16-inch thick and ideal for practicing balance postures, giving you a strong connection to the floor. The downside to a thin mat is that it provides less cushioned support for you. A 1/4-inch yoga mat is considered thick and may be more ideal for back support during core work, inversions, and other postures that cause your bones to dig into the ground. If you would like a happy medium, go for the standard yoga mat labeled 3.3 mm or 1/8-inch thick.
The material of a mat will determine the texture, stickiness, sponginess, and eco-friendliness. Most yoga mats are made of either vinyl or rubber. Vinyl mats last a long time and can endure many yoga classes. Rubber mats typically have jute and cotton in them making them more eco-friendly but less spongy.
The mat’s texture will control the amount of traction it has. If you sweat a lot in yoga class, a grippy mat will keep you from slipping around. If the bumpy texture bothers you, make sure the smooth mat has a moisture control mechanism.
What else do I need?
Whether you’re new to yoga or returning to practise after some time off, good props can make all the difference. We’ve also added some yoga blocks and straps that make moving into more difficult poses a little easier.
Before You Make A Decision
Your Yoga teachers typically have a favourite mat, but everyone one has their personal preference so don’t b brand savvy.
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Should you buy a cheap yoga mat?
You can get a basic, thin, solid-colour PVC mat for less than £10. If you’re not sure how well you’ll take to yoga, you could always try a cheap mat to start with, but bear in mind it may be less durable. And try not to substitute price for truly important features – if you’ve got dodgy knees, it could be well worth spending a bit more for extra padding.