Finding the Right Mat for Yoga


You walk into the studio and sit towards the back. Everyone around you unfurls their mats and you stare blankly at the empty spot of floor in front of you… Just starting out in the yoga world? You already got your yoga pants but you are not sure which mat will make your experience most enjoyable? Here we’ve looked into qualities and questions regarding yoga mats that are important to consider when comparing options to find your perfect fit.

Yoga mats come in a wide variety of thicknesses, colors, and textures. It is best to take your time and examine the selection before choosing which one is right for you. From grey to pink to blue, each mat is unique and there is one that is waiting for you to find it.

Some types are more absorbent than others, which may be important to those who sweat more profusely than others. For example, some yoga websites sell “lite” mats that have closed-cell construction, meaning that they are designed to collect sweat and not make the mat slick as you go through your yoga practice. Consider adding a yoga towel to your cart for those hot yoga classes.

Do you have any pre-existing conditions that might make certain yoga moves more painful for you? If so, you may want to look into a thicker mat with more cushioning to protect your joints from further damage. The more cushion, the more comfortable you will be in your practice. Not only is cushioning important, but you also need to keep in mind the texture of the mat, or the grip it provides on your feet. The thinner and slipperier the mat, the more difficult it will be to balance on it, potentially leading to injury or pain in your practice.

Worried about transporting your mat? Many models come with a carrying bag that makes transport a breeze. Some even have handles that make them easier to hold.

Many yoga mat brands come with unique features that distinguish them from other types of mats. For example, the Manduka mats come with a guidance stripe printed on the mat – this line helps show you your alignment in each pose. As far as designs go, the more soothing the better. The more distracting patterns can detract from your concentration and overall performance in the studio.

The Yoga Outlet website has a mat-matching quiz that you can take to find your personalized product. Answer questions like “How much do you sweat?” and “How often do you practice?” to have the perfect type of mat generated for you. Gaiam’s website has a wide range of prices for yoga mats, so if cost is an issue, that may be the best place to start. Remember not to simply purchase the first mat you see, but instead, take the time to shop around and find what you prefer.

While you might not be able to actually test out mats in the store, you could ask fellow yoga enthusiasts to test out their mats. Asking around to friends is a great way to get some input during your mat search.

Now that you’ve been introduced to some of the mat qualities to look for in your decision-making process, it’s time to go shopping!