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5 Things To Consider When Buying A Yoga Mat

5 Things To Consider When Buying A Yoga Mat

So you’ve decided to buy a yoga mat. It could be because yours is worn out and needs replacing or you’re a beginner yogi getting your gear together. However, as you begin searching, you’ll notice there are endless choices in the market to get you confused. Therefore, you need to make a few considerations when buying one as yoga mats aren’t all the same. That said, here are five things you should consider before buying your first or your next yoga mat:

1. Mat thickness and weight

When shopping for a yoga mat, particularly online in retailers such as Pixels, you can’t hold one to feel the weight and thickness of a mat. You need to rely on the measurements provided. Yoga mats come in different levels of thicknesses and weights. Some are thin, compact and lightweight, while some are cushier, thicker and can weigh quite a bit.

Thicker mats offer better cushioning and protection on your joints but are difficult to move around with. However, if you pick a mat that’s too thin, you may experience discomfort on your wrists, knees and ankles when doing yoga for a prolonged time. A standard is usually about 4 mm thick and will work fine.

They create a firm contact with the floor, aiding with your stability as you do various poses. They’re also unlikely to get on your way during the transition to different poses. But if your yoga sessions are outside your home, the mat’s weight plays a crucial role. You can carry around the standard 4 mm mat without it feeling cumbersome. If you plan to travel with your mat, thin and lightweight is the direction you should go. (1)

2. A good grip

The stability of the mat is another crucial thing you need to consider when buying a yoga mat. The grip of a yoga mat is essential as you want to be sturdy and secure when flowing through poses. Otherwise, a mat without a good grip will keep sliding and slipping, making it near impossible to perform your poses well. (2)

Besides, you’ll sweat as well, which can cause you to slip. That’s the reason the texture of the mat is an important consideration. The best yoga mats are those that provide an excellent grip to keep you stable through the poses even when you’re sweaty. If you’re not a fan of textured mats, ensure you choose one that has a moisture-control feature.

3. Size of the mat

The size of the mat is its length and width. The standard yoga mat is typically 68–72 in. × 24 in. Average height individuals—those who are 5’8″ and below can comfortably use a mat this size. However, taller individuals need to prioritise the mat size. The taller you are, the longer your mat needs to be to accommodate your body adequately through various poses. 

Additionally, a rounder person may also want to consider the width of the mat for the same reasons as a tall person. But standards aside, generally, you need a mat that’s slightly longer and wider so that you always have extra space. You need to always feel the comfort of the mat beneath you no matter what poses you’re doing. (1)

4. Type of material

Similar to how you consider the material of your workout attire, the type of material in yoga mats determines many other things. They include cushion, durability, texture, grip, eco-friendliness and price. The most common yoga mat materials are rubber and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Rubber mats are typically made from cotton and jute. They’re the more eco-friendly option, offer better cushion but are less likely to serve you decades.

However, rubber comes with a disclaimer for persons who’re allergic to latex. It may irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. As for PVC, they’re more durable enduring years of yoga classes and sessions, easy to clean and has an excellent floor grip. Buying a PVC yoga mat may also not cost you as much as purchasing a rubber-based yoga mat. But being a plastic-based material, they’re not an eco-friendly choice. (3)

5. Keep it fun

You also need to factor in the appearance and aesthetic appeal of the yoga mat. The traditional yoga mats are monochromatic, and you may think that’s how yoga mats need to be. You don’t need to keep it basic. Search around and see if you can find something that tickles your visual interests.

Yoga routines are generally fun, but adding some colour, shapes and patterns to the mat can make them better. It’s better to have something to look at and admire during those lengthy classes. If you have a theme or an image you’d want to look at while doing your sessions, go for it. Since you may be spending quite a lot of time with your mat, ensure that you enjoy each other’s company. (2)

Takeaway

When buying a yoga mat, there’s a lot to look for to ensure that what you take home is worth your money and will serve its purpose well. Ensure you check all your boxes as there’s no room for error, especially if you’re parting ways with a significant sum of money.

References

  1. “How much does a Yoga Mat Weigh?” Source: https://floormatreview.com/how-much-does-a-yoga-mat-weighchoose-the-right-fit/ 
  2. “7 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Yoga Mat”, Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/yoga-mat_n_7182330
  3. “Yoga Mat Showdown: TPE vs. PVC vs. Rubber”, Source: https://branded.disruptsports.com/blogs/blog/tpe-vs-pvc-vs-rubber 

 

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