As I was waiting in line at the grocery store the other day, I mindlessly scanned all the magazine headlines and one in particular caught my eye: the best yoga mat had finally been found after an exhaustive search.
Actually, first I saw a tabloid about Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson and briefly wondered if I’m out of touch. Then I saw the yoga thing.
I didn’t have time to read it as I was next in line, but it did get me thinking. Is there a better mat out there than the one I’m using almost every single day, and I don’t even know it? I’ve never really investigated that.
I like my trusty black Jade Mat, I have no complaints. But since I haven’t actually tried any other options, I have little to compare it too.
So, what better collective brain to pick than a bunch of yoga teachers? If anyone’s gotta have a valid opinion, surely they would right?
Right. But I was surprised at the variety of responses. I had hoped for one clear winner, a common favorite among the crowd. Manduka was the only one with multiple votes, unless you count a second for my Jade. The good news though, is that each teacher addressed why they like the mat and what potential problem it solves (namely slipping, balance and durability).
As with all things #wellness, it looks like experimenting to find what works best for you is the way to go. Here are a few yoga teacher recommendations to check out, based on common issues and preference, all clocking in under $70. Each one is suitable for any level!
LuluLemon + Manduka
“I have strong feelings on yoga mats, I’ve tried SO many 🙂 I used to only practice on Jade but their mats are too heavy and start to flake apart if they get hot or after extensive use, they also have a weird odor if warm. Currently, my two favorites are this Manduka ($39.99), which has great padding, and the lululemon (un) mat ($48.00). Both are good for travel and have great grip, I slip a lot on most mats so that’s a must.” – Celsea Jenkins [Website / Instagram / Facebook]
“My favorite mat and the one I recommend to all of my students and friends is the Jade Yoga Travel Mat ($64.94). There are a few reasons I love this mat – for starters, it’s super lightweight, making it easy to tote around with me. I also love the texture – it makes me feel very secure and grounded, and helps prevent slipping when things start heating up! Finally, Jade mats are eco-friendly (they don’t use any synthetic materials), made in the USA and they plant a tree for every mat sold!” – Kelsey Cook [ Website / Instagram / Facebook]
“I absolutely love my mat. It’s taken me a little over 12 years to find the perfect one but I swear by the one I have now. If you need super resilient mat, I highly recommend the Manduka eKO 2.0 Yoga Mat 71 5mm ($51.35). After practicing Vinyasa Yoga for nearly twelve years, I’m so glad I finally came across this yoga mat that prevents me from slipping throughout my flow. This eco-friendly mat is made of natural tree rubber and is thick enough to feel supported but thin enough to feel balanced.” – Lauren Demenus [Website / Instagram / Facebook]
“I have been practicing yoga for almost 10 years now and I am one of those people who show up for class looking like a homeless person. I couldn’t care less about brands and cute stuff, my focus is on the practice. But… Gaiam mats are my favorite ($35.97). The material, the durability, the simplicity, always a winner!” – Adriana Nobrega Giorgetti [Website / Instagram / Facebook]
“The yoga mat definitely makes a difference to me. I prefer a TPE material to PVC or cork. Preferably 6mm. That thickness is ideal for cushioning when doing weight bearing exercises on the knees and hands, yet it’s also not too thick that it causes difficulty when balancing (mats that are too thick are difficult to balance on). The current brand I use is Asoka ($45.61). It’s a good mat that’s not extremely expensive.” – Naseema Ebrahim [Website / Instagram / Facebook]
Shop the Mats:
Do you have a favorite brand or model? Tell me below why you love it!