How to Choose a Yoga Mat - The Best Way

Searching for the perfect yoga mat? You will find that while there are a wide variety of mats available on the market, the "best" mat is the one that meets your needs.

The first thing you will want to look for in a yoga mat is a size that works best for you. Most yoga mats average around 24 inches wide, but lengths can vary widely. Lengths of 68" and 72" are fairly common, but yoga mats can typically range from 60" to 75" in length. A shorter mat may be appropriate for kids, people with smaller frames, or in situations where portability is important. A longer mat will allow you to perform a wider variety of poses more easily. For instance, it is nicer to have your face on a mat than on the floor in a Chattaranga pose!

Second, consider the material. You will want a material that provides good thickness, traction, and holds up over time. Cheap yoga mats are often made out of PVC and plastic materials. These are the least environmentally-friendly option, and you may not want to be in close contact with the compounds and fumes they release while practicing yoga. A newer development is the introduction of TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) yoga mats.


These are a good tradeoff between cost and eco-consciousness. While they are still relatively inexpensive, they are made from a more environmentally-friendly material that is recyclable. Some of the best yoga mats are made from natural latex and organic natural latex. The latter is usually the most eco-friendly yoga mat choice. Manufacturers of natural latex mats often have environmental offset programs to counter the manufacturing and shipping impact of the mat.

Third, consider the cost. While cost is imporant, don't get fooled by the false economy of cheap low-quality mats. A single high-quality yoga mat that provides you with productive practice sessions is worth way more than a slightly cheaper mat. Furthermore, a high-quality mat will last longer than a series of cheaper mats that need to be replaced on a regular basis. In short, buy the best yoga mat that you can afford.

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How to Choose a Yoga Mat - The Best Way
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