How to choose a yoga mat? Why so many variants?


How to choose a yoga mat?
Why so many variants?

There is a flood of various yoga mats on the market. Different materials, different dimensions, price ranges... Each has its own purpose, for sure!


Choosing yoga mats

Yoga is a lifelong practice. In our world, it's often just exercise, but it's definitely excellent for body and mind. Great yoga mat is important for safe and effective training. There are many different types of yoga mats available in the market. They differ from each other in terms of size, thickness, materials...

Types of yoga mats

  • Type: Yoga mats are difficult to categorize into "types". Maybe this first division is best according to the material of the mat. Natural or synthetic material. Each of these two "types" has its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Size and Shape: Yoga mats come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Standard dimensions of approx. 60 cm wide and approx. 180 cm long prevail. There are also available longer and shorter versions. Of course, longer ones are suitable for taller figures, shorter ones for shorter figures and children. Yoga mats can also be round, oval or hourglass-shaped, and more shapes can also be found. Recently, "extra" large mats are also popular, e.g. 200 x 200 cm, which is great for home practice, because this way you have a really large surface available for your practice or two people can practice on it. 
  • Thickness: The thickness of a yoga mat is important for support, stability and comfort. However, thicker yoga mats do not necessarily provide more comfort. It depends on the density of the material. Usually, there are travel mats with a thickness of 1 - 1.5 mm, which are light and can also be folded as a blanket and they offer quite a bit of comfort, but are indispensable on the road. For yoga mats with a thickness of approx. 3 - 6 mm it really depends on what material they are made of. 
Do you already have a headache just thinking about which one would be right for you? It's not that complicated and tiring as it looks. After all, you are choosing something beautiful, something useful for you. Yoga mat, your companion for practice, exercise.

Regardless of the practice of exercise and what you need, it is important that the yoga mat is made of organic materials, because we spend a lot of time on it, touch it with bare skin, we sweat on it, we also press our lips to the mat a few times. So, not only because of the environment, but most for our own sake, it is important that the yoga mat is made of clean, impeccable materials.

Some popular yoga mats brands

To choose the right yoga mat, consider:

  • Consider your yoga style: If you practice yoga that requires a lot balance, you will need a mat to provide you with stability. If you practice yoga which requires a lot of movement, you will need a mat that is durable. If you do hot yoga, you need a super absorbent yoga mat. In restorative yoga, it's good to seek comfort. And on and on variants.....
  • Consider how important the material is to you: Some people swear by natural material (rubber, cork). Some people prefer mat made of synthetic materials, which are usually easier to maintain and more durable. 
Manduka Yoga mats


What is the best yoga mat?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

Which yoga mat is best for me?

The answer is similar here too - a question without a right or wrong answer.

We can help you. With a few tips to find the right yoga mat for you!

Dimensions of yoga mats

What dimensions our yoga mat will be depends a little on our figure - usually taller people reach for extended, "long" versions of yoga mats. So it's a pretty easy choice. Imagine the savasana position and add a few inches to your height on each side...

Thickness and hardness of yoga mats

Thickness and hardness of the yoga mat - what do we need? It depends on the type of yoga practice and from our expectations for comfort. You should definitely consider both features - the thickness of the yoga mat along with the density of the yoga mat material, which means hardness. Even if the thickness is quite considerable, but the material is quite compact, dense, then the yoga mat is still hard and not fluffy soft. Therefore, more millimeters does not necessarily mean more comfort. So whether to buy fluffy soft or dense harder yoga mat? Choose a softer version for sensitive knees. For balance and more challenging positions choose harder. And if a hard mat is kinder to ours wrists, as we can better stabilize and find excellent support, softer is good for "training" wrists, because we have to find and keep the position of the wrist in the right position.

Yoga mats

Yoga mats materials

Material - again - there are a lot of yoga mats and different artificial materials on the market, something made of rubber, cork, even jute and cotton, and anything else you could find. We warn you that here we will not consider the flood of "unclean", ecologically questionable, even toxic yoga mats! We will only talk about "clean" yoga mats, whose artificial substances are chloride-free, toxic-free, free of toxic glues,... Natural rubber, the rubber of "our" yoga mats, comes from trees where their cultivation is controlled and they do not threaten the Amazon rainforest or other endangered forests. So what to choose? Which material is right? Artificial, synthetic materials or natural? For even more difficult decision, many times even in one yoga mat both types of materials are intertwined.

Some basic properties of yoga mats in terms of material and what can be found on the market.

Synthetic yoga mats

Advantages of a synthetic yoga mat:

  • they usually have a lower weight and are therefore easier to carry (of course there are exceptions)
  • they are usually closed-celled and do not absorb any liquids or sweat, and are therefore hygienically cleaner
  • higher grade of such yoga mats is very durable and has a long life
  • usually lower price

Disadvantages of a synthetic yoga mat:

  • extremely many different models and therefore it is sometimes difficult to find the right one
  • lower grade yoga mats are usually softer, more "foamy" and therefore have a shorter lifespan

Let's mention some of the best-selling yoga mats and some of their qualities:

Manduka ProLite yoga mat

Superior, compact yoga mat with a lifetime guarantee. It gets better and better with use. For serious yogis and all types of yoga. An extended version ProLite Long.

Manduka ProLite yoga mat

ReYoga Soft and Light yoga mats

Comfortable with great grip. Somewhat soft and therefore also popular for Pilates practice. Great colors and great price. The thicker one, Soft, is especially suitable for pilates and other exercises. Light for those who don't need so much comfort.

ReYoga Soft yoga mat

Manduka welcOMe yoga mat

Basic yoga mat with excellent grip. Great price. Intended for beginners and recreational yogis.

Manduka welcOMe yoga mat


Yoga mats made of rubber

Advantages of rubber yoga mats

  • super grip
  • natural touch, skin contact
  • they are neither too hard nor too soft and are suitable for all types of yoga practices
  • very durabl, and even if we treat them badly, it won't show on them

Disadvantages of rubber yoga mats

  • greater weight
  • the smell of rubber (it stops to smell during use, but anyway, it is annoying for some people)
  • usually higher price

Let's mention some of the best-selling yoga mats and some of their qualities:

Manduka eKO Lite

Both premium yoga mats made of rubber. TOP grip, just the right material density to be comfortable and at the same time compact to provide full support in yoga positions. prAnina Indigena is slightly larger in dimensions and a little more expensive.

Manduka eKO Lite

ReYoga Grow yoga mat

This mat was the biggest surprise for all of us. Super grip, just the right material density and almost no rubber smell. You will be surprised!

ReYoga Grow yoga mat

Manduka eKO yoga mat

A thicker version of the before mentioned eKO Lite. For those who need a little more comfort and support for knees, elbows...

Manduka eKO yoga mat


Yoga mats and microfibra fibers

A special place in recent years has been occupied by yoga mats, which have microfiber on the upper part of fibers. They are usually those extremely beautiful yoga mats, with beautiful prints, maybe even photo over the entire surface of the yoga mat. Microfibers allow any kind of print.

The microfiber surface is very pleasant to the touch. But sliding!

You won't find optimal grip here! Which is not even a bad thing. Because certain yoga practices are very dynamic and are a kind of "flow" of movements - with such types of practice it is even welcome not to stick too much on the yoga mat and to slide nicely, smoothly from position to position. If we sweat a lot, such yoga mats are also welcome, as they offer great grip when wet. Therefore, such a yoga mat can be a little sprayed with water and the adhesion will be excellent. Or if we are traveling in some tropical countries where there is a lot of moisturein the air - here the microfiber will serve with great grip. It is precisely because of this "sliding" property that yoga mats are sold poorly in our country and therefore there is less supply. We can just mention the extraordinary high quality and very nice prAna Printed yoga mat. And two thin, travel yoga mats prAna Transformation and YDL Commuter.

Travel yoga mats

We must mention the real hit of recent seasons – travel yoga mats! These are the thin ones usually only 1.5 mm thick. They are great because you can just fold them into a backpack or bag. They have extraordinary small volume. They are very durable and can be spread on any surface (lawn, sand,...).

It can always be with us – on the beach, in the mountains, on a trip...

We recommend a super "sticky" yoga mat made of 100% rubber Manduka eKO SuperLite or prAna Transformation or YDL Commuter yoga mat, which has a microfiber top layer. For all who love walking around, we also recommend two slightly different yoga mats: ReYoga Rug made of 100% cotton, carpet from India or ReYoga Grippy Boo, a hybrid between a yoga towel and a mat, soft, pleasant, small volume.

Yoga mat brands

In recent seasons, the Liforme brand has become more and more popular. They come from the Island, from England. Brand with two yoga mats. Simply Yoga Mat and Travel Yoga Mat. Natural yoga mat rubber covered with polyurethane! With the AlignForMe system, which serves us as a "map" for asanas. The mats have the best possible grip, they are comfortable and durable. In addition, you also get a great carrying bag. The difference between them is only in the dimension. Naturally, the Liforme brand was followed by other manufacturers as well. Let's mention YDL Infinity yoga mat – great nice yoga mat! Also high quality.

Several smaller dimensions and one step lower in rank. But really still top notch. That's right, yes we should also mention special yoga mats - Manduka GRP yoga mat and X yoga mat. These are those "working" yoga mats. For those who sweat a lot and need a durable base for serious and dynamic exercise. And the third specialty of the ReYoga Cork Quietness yoga mat – a cork yoga mat – a natural material that will caress our skin. The exercise is pleasant and "warm". Cork can be a bit slippery (similar to microfiber - if you spray it with water, the grip will be great). For all of you who know what you want!

What will you choose now? Maybe the last lines will help you. Read these too.


Another very important thing - all these instructions come from my own experience and observations! I, the author of the article, Vanja Eržen, am not a yoga teacher, nor an important yogi, nor an outstanding professional yogi or something like that. I am a person with a lot of practice in a lot of different fields and yoga practice. Yoga helps me find balance in my life, to maintain physical fitness and body flexibility. It contributes to calmer reactions in stressful situations and at the same time is a way to "reset" my thoughts when it's just too much. From all my yoga activities, my favorite is acroyoga and recently from time to time I also find myself in Iyenger yoga and occasional visits to vinyasa yoga and all its derivatives, bikram yoga, nidra yoga. In addition to personal experience, very important is also the contact and communication with yoga teachers and other serious and less serious yogis. 

You all bring so much information, each of you has your own story, each of you has your own favorites and your problems. All your stories have brought us so much knowledge. THANK YOU!

You all helped that today yogalineshop.com has a top yoga offer mats, yoga accessories and everything that goes with it. And that we know how to listen and give the right advice. We are always available to all of you personally, at email address and phone too!

Namaste, Vanja
Manduka Yoga mats

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