Looking for a new mat or slipping on your existing one? Maybe it is time to invest in a new high-quality mat to deepen your practice and prevent slipping. There are some great mats out there to choose from. Mat selection, like everything in life, is a person preference. Mat selection also depends on what type of yoga you are practicing. For power yoga, the first feature that I recommend, is that you look for a non-skid mat. For gentle yoga, the first feature that I recommend, is that you look for a thicker mat (5mm or 6mm) but one that still has some stability to it. Also, for gentle yoga, consider using 2 mats stacked instead of one super thick one.
Do some research on the mats you are considering by going on-line to check the manufacturer’s website for warranties, cleaning guide, and even the mat’s weight. With proper care and cleaning, most mats will last you many years. Also, check the manufacturer’s website to see what the mat is made from. If you have any allergies, such as allergies to latex, make sure you understand what your mat is made from.
Power yoga mat recommendations (in order of preference)
Liforme - Non Slip Yoga Mat with The Original Unique Alignment Marker System – I love this mat for the Alignment Marker System as a student and as a teacher. As a student, I use the markings to keep my body in alignment from the center outward whether it be side to side or front to back of the mat. As a teacher, I often use the markings to demonstrate proper alignment in poses to my students. In my opinion, these mats are a bit pricy. If you get from the UK, be aware of foreign currency charges on your credit card.
Lululemon – The Reversible Mat - 5mm thickness – I have worn out a couple of these mats already but in my opinion they are affordable, easy to purchase and do the job. I always use the flat or colored side up even though it is reversible. I purchased the travel mat which is only 3mm thick for a week long power yoga training and regretted it! Needless to say, that mat didn’t make its way home with me but it was donated to a good cause. The mat has a bit of rubber smell when first used but it will fade with time.
Manduka – Another great, high quality mat! Manduka Pro. A great mat for the price! A thick, dense, stable mat but known to be heavy. Your comfort may be worth it! Pay attention to which surface of the mat is recommended to use face up. Manduka EKO is my choice for an outdoor mat. I use it on the grass or on cement and find it comfortable. My feet and hands do slip on this mat so I always use a Maduka towel on top of it. I love the Maduka towels!
Yoga Design Lab – The Infinity mat – 5mm thickness - A great mat for practice. We have one that we use as a loaner mat in the studio and I notice the teachers grab it more than it gets loaned out! The design gives the mat texture and grip for your hand feet. The design can also be used for hand and foot placement. Many of my students have purchased this mat and love it! When updating this article, I looked up this mat and noticed the price has increased by about $30 in the past year or two. In my opinion, I now consider this a pricey mat.
Jade – A great, high quality mat. Jade Harmony is their most popular mat. Expect many long years from a Jade mat. Be sure you clean as recommended by the manufacturer. Made in the USA. I used a Jade for many years indoors then moved it to only outdoors. I have since retired the Jade mat and now use a Manduka for outdoor practices.
Gentle yoga mat recommendations
Please consider using 2 mats stacked instead of one super thick one (1/2” or greater). From what I have seen the super thick mats slip and slide on the studio floor while using 2 mats stacked stay in place.
Gaiam – Premium Reversible Mat – 5mm thickness – a great mat for gentle yoga and won’t empty your wallet. This mat has a strong smell when you first take it out of the box but it fades quickly in a day or two. This is what I use for studio mats. These mats have held up extremely well for studio mats! For people that need a little extra padding, we often double these mats and still have great results.
Jade – Extra thick Fusion Mat – For extra cushion and comfort. In my opinion, a bit pricy. Expect many long years of use, make sure you clean as recommended by the manufacturer. This mat is a bit heavy but your comfort may be worth it!
Please note - this blog post is based on my experience and observations and are my opinions as an experienced yoga practitioner and teacher.