How to choose the best Yoga mat for you.

Your Yoga mat can become an intimate ally during your Yoga practice and journey. Some mats can last for many years, which help establish a strong connection with it, as much energy, breakthroughs, sweat and perhaps tears are shared with it. Some Yogis hold to one single mat and take it with them wherever they go. Some others have a wide selection of mats from which they can draw from at any given time depending on the circumstances.

Like most areas related to Yoga there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a Yoga mat. However choosing a mat that doesn’t suit you can in fact hinder your practice significantly. Weighting the pros and cons of each type of mat whilst considering your personal likes and dislikes will help you find one that is just right for you.

In my experience I can classify 5 aspects to consider when choosing a Yoga mat.

  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Traction
  • Weight and size
  • Eco friendly


Few things can be more distracting than a cold, hard Yoga mat on the hardwood floor whist you do Savasana in wintertime. The thickness of the mat is the most important aspect when it comes to comfort. If you have sensitive knees, bony shoulders, and practice over tiles or hardwood, you’ll probably benefit from mats with thickness between 4mm to 6mm.   2mm mats can be uncomfortable for some and this may take you out of the Yoga zone while doing Asana or meditation!.   One of the most comfortable Yoga mats I’ve ever owned was given to me as a present by Lulu lemon. It was a very thick mat on which my knees and feet would softly sink in as I did my practice plus Savasana was delightful. The downside was it was very heavy which made it hard to carry around plus it had low traction, which I later found was an obstacle for me in some poses.


This is an important point when deciding how much to invest in a Yoga mat. Most Yogis would hesitate to spend over $100 on a mat that will last less than a year. (Some mats can go for $450-$1000! ) Since “The best mat for you” is a personal and subjective concept, an expensive mat doesn’t necessarily means it’s a good mat for you.

If you wish to develop a strong connection with you mat over the course of years then durability will likely be your priority. I’ve encountered Yogis who have used the same mat for 10 years! There are brands that offer lifetime warranty boasting exceptional durability so these may be what you need if you plan to hold on to your mat for years to come. Eg. This mat advertises as
“Guaranteed to last a lifetime, the Manduka PRO will never peel, flake, or fade, it only improves over time


I’ve known Yogis to whom this is THE most important factor. This is true for those who tend to have sweaty palms and feet. Have you tried holding a simple Downdog with sweaty hands on a slippery mat? Not that easy! Not to mention it could be dangerous if you slip on your mat. I’ve seen it and it has happened to me as well. If you are in a hot place or have practiced hot Yoga you probably can relate to this too.

It may be tricky to balance comfort and traction. The best mat I had that excelled on this category was a Bamboo Yoga mat with a cushy bottom and threaded Bamboo fibres on top.   Unfortunately it wasn’t very durable and lasted less than a year.

Weight and Size

If you are always on the move this will be a big factor for you to consider. If you are a tall Yogi you may need a longer mat. If you have a bigger frame there are wide mats as well. Alas, you can be short and small but enjoy of larger areas so you are also welcome to larger sizes!

As a rule of thumb a light mat will weight less than 1kg. Eg. This one. Weights 0.9kg and it’s dimensions are 61cm x 173cm x 2mm. This is great for portability, and storage! Some of them can fold to fit inside a backpack.

On the contraty if you’re looking for a sturdy and bigger mat here is the standard size of this brand and the Large one is here (4kg / 216cm x 66cm x 6mm). This is probably one the largest and heaviest mats I’ve encountered and it’s probably best for those who will leave it at home and always practice in the same area. It’s portability is very low however it’s very comfortable.

Eco friendly

Yogis practice the art of Ahimsa and this extends to “Do no harm” to the environment. So generally speaking reputable brands tend to stay away from harmful chemicals, however there are still cheaper brands that do use them. One of the biggest culprit chemicals to avoid are PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) as they are not recyclable and have been classified as hazardous to the environment and health during its manufacture and disposal.   Many reputable brands will advertise their mats as PVC, EVA and synthetic rubber free.   Vegan Yogis will also avoid mats that contain leather or animal products.

Nowadays it’s not too hard to purchase Bamboo, Hemp and organic cotton mats. Plus natural rubber mats can also be found in the market and made of recyclable materials.

As for me after much trial and error during the past few years I have come to use mostly a Jade Yoga mat that I find very comfortable, with good traction, not too heavy (as I practice Yoga on the go and outdoors a lot) and it’s made of natural rubber, free from PVC and EVA. I also keep a hemp yoga mat with an organic cotton cover to make it thicker and more comfortable.

I’m not sponsored in anyway shape or form by any Yoga mat brand, this is merely me wishing to share with you my experience in order to help you identify what you consider important when choosing a Yoga mat and enhance your practice with it.

PS. As an added bonus, there are also a few places that can customise your Yoga mat with your choice of colours, mandalas, symbols, images etc. Having these on your mat can increase the connection you have with it and add energy to your practice.

Be sure to share with us and the other online trainees what kind of mat you use and why!  🙂



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