What to Look For in Your Next Yoga Mat

There is more to selecting a yoga mat than just choosing the color.

Woman stretching on a yoga mat.
A well-built yoga mat will make your workouts more enjoyable.Burst

Whether you’re a serious yogi or a newbie, you need a good yoga mat to get the job properly done. Most of us are guilty of choosing our yoga mat based on the color and while that is something you want to keep in mind, it is not the only thing you want to consider. You also want to think about the materials used, thickness, and that it doesn’t slip.

Construction

Gaiam Yoga Mat
Steer clear of toxic materials in your yoga mat.Gaiam

Since you’ll be all over this yoga mat, you do not want toxic chemicals getting on you, and you really don’t want to be breathing them in either. You want a yoga mat to be made from materials that are safe for you to come in contact with on a regular basis. Mats that are free from DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP.

Thickness

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
A thicker yoga mat means more comfort for your hands and body.Manduka

The more (reasonably sized) padding you have between your hands and the ground, the better. You want to be comfortable when doing yoga and make sure you are not doing harm by practicing on something so thin it feels as if you don’t even have a mat. There are some great options for thick mats (6mm) that will help to cushion any part of your body that comes into contact with the floor.

Slip-free

BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat
Yoga is hard enough without adding the risk of slipping on your mat, too.BalanceFrom

Things can get sweaty during your class and make it easy to slip around. This is why you want a yoga mat that is built to be slip-free and keep you from falling into an unsafe pose while practicing. Look for a mat that has a double-sided non-slip surface to keep you free of injuries.

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