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Best yoga mat review

Yoga Mat Review

27 jul 2015 by Ekhart Yoga

Find the right mat for you.

Finding the best yoga mat that's right for you can be quite a mission. In some ways buying a yoga mat is like buying a pair of trainers for running. Some people need support, some want a more flexible sole, some buy based on looks and some prefer to go barefoot. So this review is our opinion based on our individual wants and needs. 

The Reviewers - Esther, your lovely Ekhart yoga team, and some of the fabulous 'yous' (our members) are a mixed bunch in terms of the 'slippiness' of our hands and the cushioning we like so hopefully we are giving you the 'bigger picture' of each mat.

Try your new mat with one of our classes

first month 1 limited offer

What we haven't reviewed yet is how well these mats last over time and so we hope you will help us out with that in the comments!

Liforme Yoga Mat Review 

  • Thickness: 4.2 mm. This mat has a perfect thickness. It’s comfortable but also very sturdy.
  • Stickiness and texture: This mat has incredible grip. The surface of the mat is smooth (aside from the alignment markers that is etched on the surface) but there is no hope of slipping in down dog!
  • Price: $140 / €100 est
  • Material: Natural Rubber, eco-friendly Polyurethane. The top layer is absorbent which is great for maintaining your grip.
  • Eco-friendliness: The rubber is sustainable and naturally sourced and they also do not use any toxic adhesives.. which is great. Their packaging is fully recyclable too.
  • Size & style: at 68cm x 185cm / 26,8” x 72.8” this mat is wider and longer than most mats. It has alignment markers etched on the mat which is actually surprsingly very handy! The mat comes in grey and pink.

For the serious yogi

We love this mat. The only downsides is that it is very heavy so it’s not a mat that you will carry around with you.. and it’s not cheap! But if you are serious about your yoga.. this is a great investment.
It has great grip - like Lululemons “The Mat” without the overpowering smell. This mat is very body friendly as it uses body safe products to make the mat and it’s firm yet cushioning. Also you can play with the alignment cues on it and see if your body tends to be a bit off center.  

Jade Travel Mat ⅛ inch Review

  • Thickness - ⅛ inch or 3.2mm. Jade's thinnest mat is very sturdy. It does not gather during Sun Salutations and grounds you nicely in balancing poses.
  • Stickiness & texture - Great immediate grip on this mat, very much due to its rough texture. Because of this though, it does mark very easily. It has good resistance and does not do all the work for you!
  • Price - $54,95 / €59,95
  • Material - Natural rubber, there’s a bit of a rubbery smell but not too strong and not unpleasant.
  • Eco-friendliness: Jade mats are super friendly to our eco system. Their mats are made from natural rubber. They are made in the US and they plant a tree for every mat they sell! Thumbs up from us!
  • Size & style: The mat is  available in two lengths (68/74”) and in 5 different colors with a straightforward design.​

Most eco-friendly:

The Jade Travel Mat is great for people who tend to have sweaty hands and feet as it has great immediate grip. It’s very eco-friendly too. However weighing 1.6kg, this mat is not light (because it is natural rubber) and not really thin so we wouldn’t use it as a travel mat.  But compared to their other mats it’s a lot lighter.

What our members say:

“Jade Yoga, grip from the first minute!! The smell, well you get used to it, was at the beginning strong (rubber), and my sensitive skin feels like the surface is a bit rough. Could turn in to my favorite maybe in time.”

Lululemon The Mat Review

  • Thickness: 5mm/.19” - This mat is thick but comfortable without feeling unstable. This mat is great for those who like an extra bit of padding for their knees while still maintaining a solid connection to the ground.
  • Stickiness & texture: This mat has a very smooth texture and the grip/anti-slip is fabulous. The mat is a little ‘plasticky' so it does feel a little a little like lying on lino :)
  • Price: $68/€78
  • Material: It’s made from polyurethane, rubber and latex. If you are in any way sensitive to latex then we don’t recommend this mat. It has a very overpowering smell that's not very pleasent. They say it will go and recommend airing it first. The smell is certainly dying down a little bit, but we have had a few complaints here in the Studio...
  • Eco-friendliness - Not ranking high in this area. The chemical smell from this mat is not encouraging. Their eco policies are unclear so would love to be enlightened?
  • Size and style: 71" x 26" (180cm x 66cm) and available in a variety of colors. Simple, sleek and cool.

Great anti-slip:

If you can get over the overpowering smell, and you tend to sweat a lot this is a great mat! Not for travel though, but their travel mat is the top layer of this one, so without having tried it, that could be good too!

What our members say

"No slip whatsoever, reversable and nice colours. Would never go back to another mat now."

Gaiam Filigree Print yoga mat review

  • Thickness: this mat is 3mm but it feels thinner.
  • Stickiness and Texture: It does not have great immediate grip. It could get better over time but can’t say yet. You tend to sink into the foam so it’s neither stable nor soft.
  • Price: $21.98 / €22.95
  • Material: PVC / Latex Free / 6P Free: Free of DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP phthalates. Made from PVC rather than heavy rubber this is latex free and super light! It also does not have any initial overpowering odor. Because it’s so light it can sometimes curl up at the edges.
  • Eco-friendliness - PVC is not biodegradable and the manufacturing of PVC is not ‘friendly’ either. Can’t find any eco policies from Gaiam.. if you know them.. please let us know!
  • Size and style: 68"L x 24"W it’s a little smaller than most mats. The filigree print is very pretty! 

Lowest price: 

The cheapest mat of this bunch, it's super light making it easy to carry around. This mat is not recommended if you tend to sweat in your classes and if you like to feel a good connection with the ground. You could try washing it down with a vinegar/water solution to get some of the glossiness off the top to improve grip. Esther quite likes this mat too and recommends it for beginners who don't sweat. 

Aurorae Classic Mat Review

  • Thickness: - ¼ inch / 6.35 mm. This mat is lusciously thick without feeling unstable.
  • Stickiness & texture - We have a mixed jury out on this one. For those of us who do not sweat the grip seemed fine. But if you do sweat, this mat is not for a dynamic practice as you slip easily. They also have an anti slip towel to place over this mat.. but we have not tried it. It is our favorite for Yin yoga as it supportive yet soft. ‘Yummy’ is the word!
  • Price: €54.95
  • Material: made from specially designed memory foam. The mat is free from Phthalates, Latex and Silicone so it’s quite hypoallergenic.
  • Eco-friendliness: The classic mat is biodegradable and made from eco-safe PER.
  • Size & style: at 72" x 24" this is a good sized mat - making it also suitable for the taller and wider. It available in a wide variety of colors too.

Best for Yin Yoga

This mat is our favorite for slower and softer practices like Yin Yoga. Its so comfortable and supportive. However if you tend to have sweaty hands and feet or you have a very active practice this mat is probably not suitable for you. If you like to have more than one mat for your home practice this is definitely a good addition.

Gaiam Reversible Travel Yoga Mat Review

  • Thickness: 1.5mm. This mat is super thin. You can easily fold it up like a towel so this is a perfect travel mat. It has no cushioning but that's expected from such a thin mat.
  • Stickiness and Texture: This is a reversible mat. One side is rubber, the other a micro fiber surface.. like a towel. If you place rubber side to the floor (eg. wooden floor) it grips very well - both to you and the floor! We tried it the other way up and it just stretched - but maybe this would be ok on carpet?
  • Price: $29,98 / €38 est
  • Material: Microfiber and Natural Rubber.
  • Eco Friendliness: This mat is much more ‘friendly’ as it’s made with natural rubber.
  • Size and style: 68"L x 24"W, available in two colors. Simple and straightforward design.

Best travel mat:

This is our favorite travel mat. You can put it over another mat too, so it’s ideal for taking to classes in your gym or retreats.. It fits easily into your hand luggage as it is so light and folds up easily.

Manduka Pro Review

  • Thickness: 6mm/ ¼” . This mat has a nice thickness and it feels really stable.
  • Stickiness & texture: The mat has no slipping and the texture is little rough - a fabric like surface.
  • Price: $100 / €85
  • Material: PVC but latex free! 
  • Eco-friendliness: Even though these mats are made with PVC, Manduka say that it is made in a process where no toxic emissions are released.
  • Size & style: available in two different sizes (180cm/210cm). Nice simple design. No fuss.. just a good mat.

Members' favorite

You can see why this is their best seller and such a popular mat. No slip, stable, no overpowering smell and comfortable. The only downside with this one is that it is very heavy. Also we have used these mats a lot here at EkhartYoga and Esther has noticed that with extended use they tend to unravel at the edges.

What our members say

I love my Manduka Pro.  Long, lean, stays clean.  Grips, no trips & the aquamarine color I chose lights up my soul.

Lululemon The Pure Mat 3mm review

  • Thickness: 3mm or ⅛ inch. This mat is solid and thin. It does not offer extra cushioning, so for many of us you’ll need something else under your knees in low lunge for example.
  • Stickiness & texture: Great grip from the get go - almost too good! It’s important not to let this mat do all the work for you :)  It has a roughish texture which is a little abrasive.
  • Price: $48.00 / €55.00
  • Material: Made from natural rubber and latex and it has an antimicrobial additive. There is a strong smell of rubber but it’s not too unpleasant.  
  • Eco-Friendliness: Lululemon's standpoint on eco-friendliness is unclear but the mat is made out of natural rubber.
  • Size & style:  26" x 71" (66cm x 180cm)

Upfront award:

Overall we like this mat. It does exactly what it says it does. This mat is a great general mat. It says it’s good for hatha, yin and restorative. We think that for restorative, some might need a thicker mat.

What our members say

"I don't slip around AT ALL - The only trouble is, because of the texture it's tough to keep clean (it attracts dust an your hands and feet leave 'swoosh' marks)"

New mats update...

OHMat review

  • Thickness: 3.5mm and firm - great if you prefer something more stable.
  • Stickiness & texture: The mat has a microfiber top layer which feels like suede. This mat and the Yoga Design Lab mat work best when wet, so they're especially good if you have sweaty hands or go to hot yoga or Bikram Yoga. If you have dry hands spray a little water on the mat first to make it grippy.
  • Price: €84.00
  • Material: 100% natural rubber and micro fibre top layer 
  • Eco-Friendliness: 100% natural rubber, organic, biodegradable, Free from latex, silicone, toxic glue. The inks for the print are also water-based. 
  • Size & style: weight 1.8kilo, 172 cm x 61 cm (67 inch x 24 inch) 3.5mm thick. Mix of hand-drawn designs

Our vote

We love how the designs are hand drawn by Debbie from OHMat herself. The mats are eco-friendly - plus they’re washing machine proof (without soap). The top layer feels like suede so you have the stability of a rubber mat without it feeling cold.

Yogasana mat review

  • Thickness: 5mm - 6mm thick - good for travelling as you can fold it up
  • Stickiness & texture: This reversible cotton mat looks beautiful and feels great but isn’t sticky. The natural weave is initially firm but the cotton will soften over time. Indian yogis have commented that the texture offers a natural acupressure effect on the hands and feet.  
  • Price: $95
  • Material: 100% cotton, hand woven
  • Eco-Friendliness: Touted as the “world’s most eco-friendly yoga mat”. Mats are made from 100% natural cotton, woven by hand in Northern India. The cotton from local farmers is dyed using a natural process. The residual dye water is treated and used to irrigate adjacent vegetable fields and fruit orchards. It takes 10 days to make each mat and no electrical power is used.
  • Size & style: weight: 1.8kg, size: 188 cm x 61 cm (74 inches x 24 inches).

Our vote

This lovely mat feels and smells very natural and its eco-friendly credentials are second to none. The texture may be a bit rough for bare skin/knees but we didn’t find this a problem. This mat becomes more grippy with wet hands, so if you don’t have sweaty hands you have to work harder during some poses not to slip, which challenges your stability and core. For this reason it might not be ideal for beginners. This is Esther’s personal favourite mat to travel with - “it’s portable, lovely to look at and nice to have permanently unrolled in my hotel room”.

Yoga Design Lab travel mat review

Yoga design lab

  • Thickness: 1.5mm - good for travelling as you can fold it up or roll it but it is still heavy enough that it doesn't gather up while you practice.
  • Stickiness & texture: Like the OHMat this works best when your hands are wet. If your hands are dry you will slip on the smooth surface but when damp it really works a treat.
  • Price: $54 - coming soon in €
  • Material: 100% natural rubber and micro fibre top layer 
  • Eco-Friendliness: 100% natural rubber, organic, biodegradable, Free from latex, silicone, toxic glue.
  • Size & style: 172 cm x 61 cm, wide mix of designs. We reviewed the travel mat but it also comes in 3.5mm thickness too.

Our vote

These mats look great and feel lovely but we were a little unsure how they would be after a hot, sweaty class! However the mats are machine washable. Between washes you can wipe it down with light detergent/soap and water and line dry. 

First published 24th September 2014, updated 13th April 2016.

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