Once upon a time it was bikes, I had loads of them, one for every occasion. When I moved home recently it became obvious that that yoga mats had stepped into their place, I have loads of them, all different brands, colours, thicknesses. I find it difficult to to part with them as they all seem to have a place/use.
Often I get asked about yoga mats, people seeking advice on which one to buy and wondering whether an expensive mat is worth it. Here I have provided a little review on some of the mats in my collection, hopefully those of you looking to purchase a new mat find it useful.
Before you go further please note that this is just my personal opinion based on the experiences I've had, all the brands evolve over time and I'm sure quality varies to a degree between batches.
Lululemon (Reversible Mat 5mm and 3mm)
Manduka Pro Lite 4.5mm
Jade Harmony 5mm
Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat 5mm
Lululemon Towel Mat
The Mysore Yoga Mat
YogiToes Mat Towel
Yoga mats are such an individual thing and I'm sure every yogi will have their own preferences. The type of classes you are doing, the surface you are practicing on, all these things play a role in deciding on the best mat.
Is it worth paying $100+ for a yoga mat?? Well I think so.
I like to bring it back to $/use, if you practice 3 days a week for a year and your mat costs $100, you are paying around $65 cents per use, that's on the assumption it will only last a year. If you are paying those sorts of $ for a mat, it will almost certainly last a lot longer than a year. Generally speaking you'll get what you pay for.
When you start to get serious about your practice you need something functional, starting out in Downward Dog and ending up in Plank because you can't get grip on the mat is not fun, you need a mat that supports your ability to learn the poses. It's hard enough as it is when learning without having the added stress of a mat that seemingly works against you.
If you are looking to purchase a mat from a studio ask if you can try before you buy, this is a great way to test out the mat to see if it works for you.
I hope this helps with your decision in purchasing a new mat.