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YOGA MATS function and use

Grip. Resistance. Color. Material. Endurance. Weight. Price. Size.

As a yoga teacher, I get questions about yoga mats on a weekly basis. Over the years, I have owned, sold and tried a big share of the big brand mats on market today. For future reference, I hereby give my personal opinion on yoga mats available on the Danish market or through import to EU.

Notice: I sweat a lot when I practice. Always have, always will. My palms tend to get sweaty quickly, therefore I choose mats with extremely good grip, so that slipperyness does not interfere with my yoga practice. I am about 170 cm tall and I use a yoga mat about 6-7 days a week, often more than once a day.

For pointing out the grip differences I am using the following terminology:

"very strong" - "strong" - "weak" - "very weak"

The list is in alfabetic order and is not listed in order of best/lesser.

B MAT Everyday

Foamy with good grib

Price: 78,27 € / 584,89 DKK

Grip: very strong

Material: mix of natural and synthetic rubber

Weight: 1,8 kg

Size: 3,5 mm thick, 66 cm wide, comes in multiple lenghts

This yogamat has a soft but very slip-resistant surface. I have also tried the "B MAT Strong", and felt the grip was almost too soft and therefor weaker. But the "Everyday" seems very well balanced. The touch is soft but your foot will not move unless you want it to.

I expected it to be more sturdy being relativly thin and with strong grip. The bottom of the mat is made of a closed-cell rubber structure to keep it from slipping on the floor. This means you should not put it on a carpet, as the fibers from the carpet can destroy the non-slip function.

Gaiam Reversible Yoga Mat

Cheap, pretty and slippery

Price: 31,75 € / 237,28 DKK

Grip: very weak

Material: latex-free PVC (plastic)

Weight: 2 kg

Size: 6 mm thick, 61 cm wide, 173 cm long

I have owned one of these and was actually very disappointed. It is promoted as strong grip or perfect grip. As I tend to get sweaty palms quickly, I am gliding a lot on this mat. You can see this as a good thing if you want to exercise more core-activity during your practice. Allthough I wouldn't want unexpected slipperyness.

This mat is known for it's beautiful designs, but also the strong chemical smell it expels when you first unwrap it. So be aware it might need a wash before use. It is a very soft yoga mat. Even though it's 6 mm thick, I felt the floor underneath, which was a bit unpleasant.

Jade Yoga Harmonie Mat

Rubber sandpaper

Price: 72,58 € / 542,33 DKK

Grip: very strong

Material: eco-friendly natural rubber

Weight: 2,3 kg

Size: 4,8 mm thick, comes in multiple widths and lenghts

Jade Yoga makes their mats with a very different surface than other mats. It is very resistant to slippery movements, some times a little too resistant. It’s kinda like sandpaper made out of rubber. It doesn’t hurt at all to slip but you are pretty stuck whereever you are on your mat and will have to lift a limb to move it (you can’t slide so easily).

They will plant a tree for every mat you buy, which is very nice. Also, because of the mat surface fiber being a bit delicate, my best friend have accidently destroyed the grib resistance on 2 jade-mats because she used the mats on top of carpets. So be mindfull when you use blankets or have carpets under these mats.

Liforme Yoga Mat

Big, functional and sweat resistant

Price: 135 € / 1,009 DKK

Grip: very strong

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 2,5 kg

Size: 4,2 mm thick, 185 cm long, 68 cm wide

This yogamat has a very strong grip. The cushioning is soft and comfortable but stern enough so you wont feel the floor underneeth. It is also the most expensive one on the list. The yogamat only comes in one size, which is a bit bigger than usual. The extra space can be an advantage if you are a large person. I am only 170 cm tall, and will not appreciate the extra space as much as a larger person. Therefor I think of the extra space as excess weight. So keep that in mind; how much space do you need? How much do you carry your mat around? The mat comes with a very good mat-bag though.

There is an alignment-system design on the mat called "AlignForMe". This is meant to be a tool to help you align your poses. Some might find it very helpfull, some too rigid. Personally I don't mind it. You can just ignore the lines if you don't want to use them. The surface of this mat is similair to the Lululemon Reversible mat and the Moonchild mat.

Lululemon Reversible Mat

Smooth surface with good grip

Price: 78 € / 582,82 DKK

Grip: strong

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 2,4 kg

Size: 5 mm thick, 180 cm long, 66 cm wide

When it comes to yoga pants I swear to Lululemons Align II pants. They follow me everywhere and I love them. I don't think their yogamat is as good as their clothing line though. This mat has good cushioning (its soft) and a strong grip. The grip seems a bit slippery at first, but once your palms get sweaty, you will fell the strong grip. This mat has a surface that is similair to the Liforme mat and the Moonchild mat.

I have never owned one of these mats, because they have been very difficult to find in Denmark. Through their European webshop, I find their mats very often sold out. So you need to be quick to by the color you like. One of my first yoga teachers is only using this mat and loves it. Personally, I find the grip not strong enough and the surface too stern (not enough cushioning).

Manduka Eko / Eko Lite

Many color variations with medium grip

Price: 85 € / 635,12 DKK

Grip: strong / weak

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 2,3 kg

Size: 4 or 6 mm thick, 183 cm long, 61 cm wide

In Denmark I beleive this is the most popular starter-mat. This is sold in many Danish stores and has a beautiful selection of colors and combinations. Manduka is really good at producing soft and beautiful mats. Allthough I must say the grip is not so strong. If you struggle with sweaty palms/soles I would not consider this yogamat. If you don't mind gliding a bit and want the extra core activation in a trade for the beautiful colors Manduka offers, I completly understand though. I love their colors too.

My husband ownes a Manduka Eko Mat (the 6 mm one), and he loves it. He doesn't feel the slipperyness I experience, so it's also very individual. If you do live in Denmark, I suggest you try this mat before buying it. One thing Manduka is really good at, is SALE. I have bought all the Manduka products I own really cheap. So look out for their sale.

Manduka Eko Super Lite - Travel

Light, thin and resistant

Price: 45 € / 336,24 DKK

Grip: very strong

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 1 kg

Size: 1,5 mm thick, 180 cm long, 61 cm wide

This super thin yoga mat is always with me when I travel. This yoga mat has a very different and more reaistant grib than the other Manduka mats. I really prefer this type of grib to the other Manduka mats. I love how it is completly foldable. I mean, I put mine all kinds of places, roll it, fold it, smashes it into my bag, and it always folds out perfectly again.

Another good thing about this yogamat is, you can just use a "lesser-good" yogamat underneeth if you need more cushioning. Because with this mat you should not expect to feel softness when you place your knees down. You will feel the floor/surface underneeth.

Manduka Pro

Heavy and slippery at first

Price: 110 € / 821,93 DKK

Grip: weak

Material: eco-certified PVC (plastic)

Weight: 3,4 kg

Size: 6 mm thick, 180 cm long, 66 cm wide

This mat is amazing for classes like yin, mediation, fitness and other yoga classes if you do not care about a strong grip. You should know this mat has a weak grip, and if you (like myself) struggle with sweaty palms and gets irritated when you glide on your mat, you probably shouldn't buy this before trying it first.

This mat is really heavy, so I wouldn't recommend buying it, if you plan on moving it around much. This is the mat I use when I teach yoga for 2 reasons: 1) it is extremely soft, with 6 mm cushioning, which feels better for my feet when I walk around on it. 2) It is extremely heavy, why I do not want to bring it back and forth from the studio.

Moonchild Yoga Mat

Soft and very grib resistant

Price: 85 € / 635,12 DKK

Grip: very strong

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 2,3 kg

Size: 4 mm thick, 183 cm long, 61 cm wide

This yogamat has a very strong grip that allows for strong alignment but also wont keep your foot from gliding if you want your foot to move. Some might find the mid-line a bit rigid - personally i enjoy having it there for ashtanga practice and alignment correction. I really enjoy the size of this mat as well as the cushioning.

Being 61 cm wide, it is one of the smaller mats, which is to my liking. But be aware of your personal preference.

Keep in mind, I am a Moonchild Yogawear ambassador so even though I try to answer as truthfull as possible, I might be a bit biased.

My Sugarmat

Like a towel but beautiful

Price: 89,87 € / 671,56 DKK

Grip: weak / strong

Material: natural rubber

Weight: 1,7 kg

Size: 3 mm thick, 174 cm long, 61 cm wide

The grip quality is very dependant to individual liking. One of my best friends swear to this mat. Myself on the otherhand do not. I feel like I am gliding on this mat - aslo when I am seating. It has a towel-like surface, so if you are used to practice with a yogatowel, this might be perfect for you.

It is super beautiful and has gorgeous designs. Many of these are designed by famous artists.

Wrapping it up

Always remember to form your own oppinion on the products you are interestd in. The above is only the mind of 1 person. I always recommend to try the yogamats before you purchase them. And not only for a couple of seconds, but at an actual yoga class. If you practice in a studio notice what kinds they are using or ask if you can try the teachers mat. You can always try mine if you swing by a class at YO STUDIOS or BOHO YOGA STUDIO.

I care a lot about grip. You might not. So make up your mind as to what is most important:

  • Will I move it around much?

  • Do I sweat a lot?

  • How thick do I want it to be?

  • How broad/long do I wish for?

  • Does color-option matter?

  • Do I prefer to be a bit stuck on my mat or do I like to be able to glide my hands/feet?

  • What is my price-range?

  • Am I allergic to latex/any other substance?

After answering these questions you might feel more aware of your needs.

Move around much: might need a light-weight mat.

Sweat a lot: might need a "very strong" or "strong" grip mat.

Have pointy bones/sensitive knees: might want more than 3 mm thick.

Being very tall or broad: might wish for a larger mat.

Inspired by beautiful designs: consider what is most important to you.

Stuck on the spot-type: consider "very strong" grip.

Price range: consider how much you feel like spending on a yoga mat.

Allergic: some mats contain latex/plastic and other things. Look out for the materials.

Cheapest: Gaiam Reversible Mat

Most expensive: Liforme Yogamat

Strongest grip: B mat, Liforme, Manduka Super Lite, Moonchild Yoga mat

Weakest grip: Gaiam Reversible Mat

Biggest: Liforme Yogamat and Jade Yoga Harmony Mat XV

Smallest: Gaiam Reversible Mat and My Sugarmat

Most heavy: Manduka Pro

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you found some of the information usefull.


Isabella Westh

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