Yoga Mat Buyer’s Guide

The first thing most people think to buy when they think of yoga, is a yoga mat, of course.
Although I’m totally one to practice some poses on my living room floor or outside in the grass, I definitely think a yoga mat is necessary in certain situations.

Yoga mats help you:

  • Not slip (some MUCH more than others. We’ll get into that in a bit)
  • Protect your joints from the hard floor in certain poses
  • Keep in alignment by providing boundaries

When I was mainly practicing in a studio at a beginner Hatha yoga class, I decided to buy a Jade Yoga Mat (link to check price on Amazon), and have had this mat for over 4 years now. It is a great balance of quality, thickness, stickiness, comfort, and does not completely break the bank considering the outrageous cost of some yoga mats.

Things to Take Into Consideration While Choosing a Yoga Mat:

You need to ask yourself a few questions before you even think about deciding on a yoga mat:

1. How often are you going to dedicate time to your practice?

The basic science is, the more you practice, the faster your mat will deteriorate. You don’t want to buy a cheap mat because 99% of the time they begin to shed and fall apart after just two uses, causing you to have to replace it and waste your money on another low quality yoga mat.

You want to have a yoga mat that will last you YEARS, especially if you are planning to make yoga apart of your life long-term. My Jade Yoga Mat has literally lasted me for over 4 years now and does not look one bit aged. That in my opinion, is money well spent.

2. What type of yoga are you planning on practicing?

You need to ask yourself this question mainly in terms of whether you are planning to practice hot yoga or not. If you are, I have another recommendation equally as great as a Jade yoga mat based of my experience.

There are a lot of great yoga mats that are great quality, but become useless in a hot yoga class.

3. What is your budget?

This goes hand in hand in whether you are serious about implementing yoga into your life. If you are, then I say it is 1000% worth it to invest in a good, quality yoga mat, and actually saves you money in the long run because it will last much, much longer than a bargain buy mat.

Why I Bought a Jade Yoga Mat After My First Yoga Class

When I decided to go to my first class, I thought like most people getting into yoga do. I thought I could use any mat and that those super expensive mats were just a hoax like a lot of big brands are. So I stuck with my $9 yoga mat from Walmart and was ready to go.

Then I went to my first class and was proven wrong within 15 minutes into the class. I was slipping and sliding which made doing every pose harder and focus on staying in the pose impossible. Not to mention after class was over and I rolled up my mat there was a huge heap of yoga shreds on the floor.

So I went to the front desk and spent my first investment into my practice, which I still use to this very day.

I spent $80 (!) on a yoga mat, after just taking ONE CLASS. It was a huge investment for me at the time, but in the end if you really think about it, I saved money.

I’ve had one yoga mat that I’ve used for over 4 years now. My bargain buy yoga mat would have maybe lasted 2 more classes AT MOST.

So imagine you are going to yoga 3 times a week. You would literally need to buy a yoga mat every single week.

$10 x 4 years= $2,080

That’s $2,000 more for a crappy yoga mat that only makes your practice harder.

So If I can give you any advice on a mat, I would say that a mat out of any tool you do decide to buy for your practice, is going to be your biggest, and most necessary investment.

Not only to save you money, but to make you have a better practice, and one you can enjoy.

My Top Pick Yoga Mat

For All Types of Yoga: Jade Yoga Harmony Mat

As I said earlier, I’ve had this mat for over 4 years now, and it looks like it is going to last a LONG time. This is me using it on average 2-3x a week for 4 years.

Top Qualities:

  • Has great grip– perfect if you easily slip and slide in your poses a few minutes into class.
  • Traction– the mat itself sticks to the floor a lot better than most- so not only will YOU not go sliding, neither will your mat.
  • Price– it’s more expensive than a supermarket yoga mat of course, but it really is priced great for the quality you get.
  • Comfortable– it’s made of natural rubber, so you don’t automatically sink through it to the floor like in other mats.
  • Durable– this yoga mat will last you a long time- no matter what type of yoga you do. Mine has not shown any signs of deterioration at all.
  • Works for all types of yoga– I’ve used this mat in a variety of classes, including hot yoga, and it always maintains it’s grip! I’ve recently gifted it to my fiance to use when we go to hot yoga together, and he says he actually feels like it grips MORE as you sweat (don’t use a cheap hot yoga towel with this mat), which is the goal in a hot yoga mat in my opinion!

If you are on the fence about which mat to get, I will always suggest this one!

Other Top Quality Mats to Consider

I have had this mat for a little over a year now, and use it when Victor isn’t using my Jade mat. It’s an AWESOME mat for hot yoga, as that is what it is specifically designed for.

Top Qualities

  • Traction-The top of the mat has a built in micro fiber towel to prevent slipping, and the bottom is VERY sticky. After hot yoga I literally have to peel my mat off the floor because it sticks so well. If you are someone who sweats A LOT, then this is a really good option for you.
  • Great grip- Just like the Jade yoga mat, the more you sweat, the better the grip on this mat becomes.
  • Price-The price is pretty comparable to the Jade yoga mat, and I don’t see any signs of deterioration as of yet, so seems like a pretty reasonable price.

Cons

The ONLY thing I don’t like about this, is that you can’t clean your mat with a yoga mat cleaner, you have to put it through the wash, which is kind of annoying if you go to hot yoga a lot.

I’m not gonna lie, I sometimes go weeks without cleaning mine as I just forget and leave it in my car, and the smell really isn’t that bad. But I know I should be cleaning it more because of bacteria build up, which is why I wouldn’t rate this my absolute #1 choice.

I just recently bought this mat to try out at home. I really like the idea of the lines to aid in alignment. It’s so easy to lose alignment while practicing at home without realizing it because no one is there to observe you and correct you.

Top Qualities 

  • Traction- this mat does great with being non-slip, which is great for helping you focus on your alignment
  • Price- this is half the price of most yoga mats, it’s super affordable. Although I must say, I don’t think this mat will last as long as my previous suggestions.
  • Comfortable- it has double layer thickness, making it extra cushiony for those that need extra support!

Durability- although I can’t speak to this myself, since I have not had mine as long, some reviews on Amazon state that their mt showed significant signs of deterioration after only just 3 1/2 months

Grip- The grip isn’t AWFUL, but it’s not the best. A few people in the reviews have complained I noticed, and I noticed myself you do need to focus on not slipping where as with the other mats it’s not even an issue you have to think about.

Overall, I would suggest this as more of a back-up mat, or maybe only a mat you use at home when you want to strictly focus on alignment in certain poses. I don’t think it will hold up long if you’re using it every single day. But then again, it is half the price of the other mats. Overall though, it’s a good buy for the price I would say if you don’t want to spend over 4 times the amount on an alignment mat by Liforme.