We spent 8 hours of testing to find the best yoga mat for each practice

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Whether you practice a posture from memory, or transfer to a virtual class or live broadcast, yoga can be done easily in the comfort of your home. No matter why you turn to 5,000-year-old exercises-from reducing stress to promoting better sleep, Or improve mental health-a sturdy yoga mat can make your heart flow smoother.

Although there are a variety of yoga accessories, yoga mats are the basis for practice and can complement your favorite postures and breathing exercises. The number of choices may be very large, which is why we bought and tested 16 yoga mats in our Very Well testing laboratory.

To conduct the test, seven testers spent eight hours in our laboratory to access and evaluate yoga mat options. We immediately began to evaluate each mat from the box, paying attention to whether there was any residual chemical or rubber odor. We performed two intermediate vinyasa yoga streams on each mat-once with dry hands and once with wet hands, to evaluate the mat’s grip on elements such as sweat and water. We also evaluated thickness, grip, portability and overall value. We weighed how they resist certain postures, if they are prone to stains and slippage, as well as water absorption. We have found that every cushion has room for improvement, and the best cushion for you depends entirely on your preferences.

Yoga can help promote mindfulness – so you can take full advantage of the benefits of meditation – and improve your breathing control and posture. As with any form of exercise, physical and mental contact is an indispensable part of your practice, so it is more important for you to enjoy the feeling and grip of the mat. You need to consider the length of the cushion to adapt it to your size, material for traction and grip, and thickness based on your preferred comfort.

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According to our testers, whether you are a beginner, advanced yogi, or instructor, we have collected and tested the yoga mat that best suits your needs.

Final verdict

Both beginners and experienced yogis will benefit from the Liforme yoga mat (check on Amazon) and its unique alignment markings. Our testers praised its larger-than-average size and quick-drying surface, which is very useful for hot yoga.

If a lightweight mat is a priority, or you are not ready to splurge, then the IUGA Pro non-slip yoga mat (check it out on Amazon) is a good choice. We rate it as five-fifths of portability because it weighs less than a regular cushion and also includes a convenient strap.

Very Good Mind / Nick Kova

How do we test the yoga mat

The VigorTip Mind team tested and evaluated 16 yoga mats from various popular retailers, including Lululemon, Manduka, Gaiam and Alo Yoga. Our testers include a certified yoga instructor, a certified personal trainer, a certified ballet instructor, and several experienced yogis, all of different heights. Taking into account the manufacturer’s statement, we tested and rated the yoga mat, from the unpacking process to the end of the yoga class and mat cleaning-each attribute was rated on a scale of 1 to 5.

When we started the test, we paid attention to whether there was a lingering odor on the mat and how much (and how quickly) the mat lay flat after unfolding. When our testers went through two intermediate flow yoga processes (one with dry hands and one with wet hands and feet), they got an in-depth understanding of the padding and absorbency of the mat, and considered that the test was conducted on a concrete floor . Next, they assessed the grip and feel of each mat, as well as whether it is gentle on the joints and whether it is prone to slipping or soiling. Some mats are larger than others, and our testers noted which ones are suitable (or unsuitable) for home use.

Very Good Mind / Nick Kova

After we finished the process with dry hands and wet hands and feet, we cleaned the mat and considered how much maintenance and maintenance it would require. Finally, we roll up the mats and put them in bags and straps—note whether these are included in the product—to judge the portability of each mat.

Yoga mats require more than a few hours to evaluate, especially because some require a break-in period. With this in mind, our testers will continue to evaluate each mat so that we can judge their ability to withstand over a period of time.

Very Good Mind / Nick Kova

What to look for in a yoga mat

Material

Yoga mats can be made of many different materials, including PVC, natural and recycled rubber, cork, and even cotton. What directly affects how they are used is that certain materials can increase grip, while other materials can absorb moisture.

Look for a textured (think raised patterns like small blocks) to gain traction. According to Elliott, even color is important. He pointed out that how you feel on the mat will affect your practice.

thickness

The thickness directly affects the comfort of the floor mat. Thinner products are great travel companions because they are easy to fold and generally lighter in weight. Thicker insoles provide more cushioning and ground support, but they may not be suitable for travel. In addition, the thicker the cushion, the better for people with knee or wrist problems.

The thickness of a standard yoga mat is usually 0.125 inches, which provides a good balance of support and stability.

length

You want to find a cushion that allows you to fully stretch to pose like Savasana. A standard yoga mat of 24 x 68 inches is sufficient for people with a height of 5 feet 9 inches and below. But if your height is higher than average, you may need to upgrade to a longer cushion.

Very Good Mind / Nick Kova

Frequently asked questions

  • How do you clean the yoga mat?

    Regularly cleaning your yoga mat will help keep it sterile and will not produce odors over time. You can find many mat cleaners on the market, but you can also choose to clean it with a damp cloth.

    Elliott took a more environmentally friendly route, filling spray bottles with apple cider vinegar diluted in water. “I use a ratio of 1 to 4 and add 10 drops of tea tree oil,” she said, noting that she cleans her after each practice, making it a ritual.

  • Is there a difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat?

    Yoga mats tend to be thinner, more forgiving, and have a non-slip surface. Exercise mats usually include extra pads to protect your body during heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.

    “When I see students practicing on exercise mats, I will always follow up on their reasons,” Elliott said, noting that it may be necessary for injured people to practice on exercise mats. She added: “Whether it’s injury, disability or preference, everyone has their own needs and needs to find a way of exercising that suits their body.” She recommends investing in mats that suit their needs.

Very Good Mind / Nick Kova

Why trust a very good mind

Tori Zhou is the associate health business editor of VigorTip. She likes to learn about the latest health trends and products, focusing on overall health and functional medicine. She continues to test the mats at home to see how they can withstand long-term use.

She personally prefers to use yoga mats at home, and does not mind trading heavier weights for firm grip and padding. She has been using affordable options to follow aerobics and meditation videos for many years. Her ideal mat is versatile, suitable for yoga and HIIT workouts, and is sustainably manufactured and latex-free.

Additional reporting by Rozalynn S. Frazier on this story.

Rozalynn S. Frazier is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 20 years of health and fitness reporting experience. She is also a NASM-certified personal trainer and avid exerciser. She often uses health tools and fitness equipment to help obtain commendable products. She has created content for SELF, Men’s Health, Real Simple, Health, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Livestrong.com, etc.

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