The mat is basically your connection to yoga practice, it is worth investing a little time in what a quality mat can bring us at the end of the day.

Whether you have a yogi guru or a buddy at work on your first yoga session, you will always need one partner to hold you, soften and sweat with you.

Choosing a mat for yoga or other physical activity is a matter of personal taste. Yoga mats exist in a variety of shapes and can be made from a variety of materials. Several factors need to be taken into account when making the right choice. We have sorted all of them in the order we recommend approaching the yoga mat selection.

  1. Style of Practice
  2. Space for Practice
  3. Material of Mat
  4. Body Link with Mat
  5. The texture of Mate Surface
  6. Size of Mat
  7. Design of Mat

Style of Practice

Along with the figure, plan to choose a mat according to the type of yoga you visit regularly. In most yoga centers you will find “common” yoga mats. It is recommended to try more yoga types if available and compare the quality of the exercise. If you have a chance, try different types of yoga to see how the body behaves on the mat. For more dynamic exercises (Ashtanga) you need a non-slip mat that will stabilize your movement. For static exercises (Yin Yoga), on the other hand, the surface is not so important, you will appreciate softness and comfort. In the case of hot yoga, the mat is exposed to much more moisture than usual, so we recommend that you choose a mat suitable for these types of exercises. For example, jute, suede, or towel surface microfiber, or natural rubber. If this is not enough, your towel can help, which absorbs most sweat and can be easily washed after exercise. An important feature is the ability of the mat to stop sweat.

Space of Practice

When choosing a mat you should also consider where you will exercise most often. You do not have to deal with the weight of the mat to practice yoga in your home environment. On the other hand, you will feel a pound or two if you carry your yoga mat very often. You can also take into account the weight of the yoga bag itself, whose weight again depends on the weight of the yoga mat. Heavier yoga mats require a stronger material and therefore more weight. Travelers who like to practice yoga at sunrise on the beach will certainly appreciate the ultra-lightweight mats, which will not add to the weight of the suitcase too much and can save luggage space for an extra pair of dresses or shoes 🙂
TIP: If you practice outside, get one cheaper mat that you won’t feel sorry for when it’s all brown-green on one side. It cannot be washed or cleaned with time.

Material of Mat

Do you love your health and our mother Earth? Avoid mats made of conventional PVC, which is still used especially for cheaper versions of yoga mats These mats also have a bad reputation in yoga centers. Some studies could be carcinogenic. They are difficult to recycle and the only option is to discard them = the accumulation of unnecessary waste. The most common materials and combinations used for manufacturing the yoga mats on the market today are:

  • PVC / PU / Eko PVC
  • Natural Rubber / + Polyurethane
  • Jute
  • Cotton / Rugs
  • Suede / Microfiber + natural rubber
  • Cork + natural rubber
  • TPE foam
  • NBR foam
  • EVA foam

Body Link with Mat

Nowadays many yogis are preferring more and more yoga mats made of natural rubber. The main difference between them and “artificial types of mats” is that the artificial ones will give you a little better stability on the floor (ideal for dynamic types of exercises like Ashtanga or Power Yoga), but they cannot absorb sweat in contrary to natural mats. On the other hand, mats made of natural materials are more rapidly subject to decomposition, which is due to the inherent property of the material. You will often have a mat on your face, so it is fine to have something harmless under it :). These mats are suitable for Vinyasa, Jivamukti, and Ashtanga yoga. A slight rubbery odor is natural, so if you are not comfortable, look for a jute or cotton mat. In general, you can recognize better quality mats by the fact that you smell less material odor. The last thing to note is that all-natural rubber based yoga mats are twice heavier than mats made of artificial materials.

The texture of Mat Surface

In terms of personal comfort, it may also depend on the type of surface of the mat. In principle, there can be two types – a rougher or smoother structure. During challenging positions you will appreciate the rougher structure of the mat, while slower sequences and movements will suffice with a smooth structure. Anyway, with more expensive yoga mats you will have that grip regardless of surface. Smooth yoga mats are mainly made of PVC or PU, but you can also find their ecological variants. In principle, you do not have to worry too much about the difference in exercise because even smoother surfaces can run in and will not slip at all.

Size of Mat

As a standard, the mats have a width of about 60 cm, which is a space where you can have your hands only slightly away from your body when lying in Shavasana. Today, wide-width mats are becoming popular, allowing you to stay in touch with the mat for most exercises and create a sense of more space. On the market today we can find mats width of 68 cm. However, it should always be taken into account that they will be “higher” when you roll up, so you will need more space in the bag or buy adjustable straps.

Design of Mat

There are only two types of mats according to the pattern. One type has only one color/shade on the surface and no other interfering elements. This is most often appreciated by people who want to be immersed in their practice, concentrating the mind on one point and not being distracted by different shapes or patterns on the mat. The other type of people just prefers a certain pattern, mandala, yantra, or geometric shapes that help to get into positions better and the mat stimulates the brain visually. Some patterns, like a mandala, also have a direct effect on the psyche of a person, making them relax and feel better as they exercise. It is not possible to say what is better, it is purely personal preference and there is no need to worry about it. Just listen to your intuition and choose the pattern that most appeals to you, which will probably be beneficial to you. You can find beautiful designs mostly on suede surfaces, just make sure to use pure colors – ideal on a water-based basis ink like the ones from Yoga Design Lab.


If you often carry your yoga mat with you, it is worth investing in a bag that not only serves for easier transfers but also protects the yoga mat itself against bad weather. It is easier to choose between open mat holders or closed containers. Again, take into account the weight and dimensions of the yoga mat for the whole package, so that the packages for the yoga mat are large enough to maintain the weight. 

We will be happy to help you with choosing the right bag for your yoga mat 🙂

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