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So you have decided to start Yoga after much deliberating. You want to improve your flexibility, your strength and your mind-body awareness. One of your first questions is “What yoga mat should I get?”
For yoga beginners, there are a few qualities to think about when choosing the most important yoga accessory, such as:
Thickness – Thicker mats are ideal if you have sensitive achy joints. It provides much-needed support to ease the pressure on knees and other joints, but the extra thickness can play havoc with your balance. So you want a combination of thickness and density, so if you have joint trouble you may be best served by a mat with thickness about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. If you don’t have joint problems, then any mat will suit although probably best from 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
Material – Natural rubber or PVC are the norm, although you can buy cork and other materials should you wish. Most of the new mats are Eco-friendly with no toxins or harmful substances.
Length – Down to personal choice really, but 68 inch is the norm. If you are a 6ft yogi, then you need a longer mat of 72 inches.
Make – What Brand do you want. There are cheaper brands like Sivan that start at about $16 or you can go for higher quality like Liforme which start at about $140. There are pros and cons of each that we will discuss in the review below.
Slippiness – Some yoga mats are slippy. Mainly because of the manufacturing processes used. Sometimes you have to break them in (use them, wash them etc) to change the surface texture, so that it grips the hardwood floor. The best way to tell before you buy, is to read the reviews. All of our selections are non-slip. But beware, some non slip are non slip when used with certain types of yoga but not with others.
Durability – Again, this sometimes comes down to which brand you choose and how serious you are. Some of the cheaper mats might not last you that long if you are pounding them everyday. However, we only choose mats that have passed our own test of time.
Portability – If you have a light mat, you can usually roll it up and either use the carry strap or put the whole mat into a carry bag. Heavier mats can be a bit more difficult to carry and some of them, you wouldn’t want to have to carry them a mile or so!
Quality – Some mats are of obvious quality but you pay for that. Others are poor quality and it’s obvious they are only a cheap alternative that beginners sometimes use to start their yoga journey.
Price – This is a matter of choice. If you can afford it, I would probably go for a quality mat that will last you a long time. But there are many budget options that can be as low as $16 or so that you could buy if you need to.
Whatever your end goal in getting involved in yoga, there’s a mat out there for you. Check out our five favorite beginner yoga mats below.
For beginners, some of the most common questions include: “Should I buy a yoga mat?” and “What yoga mat is best for beginners?”
Let’s get these questions answered for you…
Most people will never truly understand the capabilities of their own body. The body can do amazing things with the right focus and practice.
Getting a good yoga mat is a great investment and first step towards making big changes in your yoga practice.
It’s a sign of your commitment to yourself and your practice.
Question #1: Should I buy a yoga mat?
Well, you could use the mats at the gym, but some people may not be as “clean” as you are, as you can imagine
There will be no more sliding on the carpet (if practicing at home), and a yoga mat is a less than subtle reminder of the investment you have made in yourself to take up yoga in the first place…
Question #2: What Yoga Mat is Best for New Yogi?
Best of the Best
The Good: No other mat can match up to the quality of this Liforme yoga mat. This mat is eco-friendly, has the highest quality material, and is made by an incredibly customer service oriented company. It’s the best of the best.
The Bad: More expensive. Also, if you sweat a lot in your hands or feet (like me), try using a yoga towel with this mat as this one will be a little slippery for you.
The Bottom Line: It’s the ultimate yoga mat for beginners and even more conditioned practitioners. You will not go wrong buying this mat.
Best Value For Your Money and #1 Amazon Bestseller
The Good: A very high-quality yoga mat with thicker padding for a more durable beginner friendly mat. It will help break falls and keep you from slipping on the mat!
The Bad: It’s a little thicker than others, which may make it slightly harder to balance.
The Bottom Line: The best value for your money. You won’t find a better high-quality, durable yoga mat out there produced by a great manufacturer with a good reputation.
The Good: Great quality mat made by one of the biggest brands (if not THE biggest) in yoga.
The Bad: The big brand comes with a bigger price tag. Gaiam, being such a large company, charges more for products that are not much different from the competition.
The Bottom Line: This is a great mat that has some good styles; however, you are paying a little more than necessary for a brand name.
The Good: Another great quality mat for beginners that comes in all sorts of colors.
The Bad: There are of complaints about the smell of the mat when first unpacked, but this should fade.
The Bottom Line: This mat will “get the job done” for beginners and comes at a fair price. However, that price is the same as our best value brand “BalanceFrom GoYoga” and is a little lower quality.
The Good: It’s a great mat that will get the job done for a beginner yogi.
The Bad: Little bit expensive at about $80 but high quality.
The Bottom Line: Buy this if you want a long-lasting mat of high quality.
Here’s what one delighted reviewer said on Amazon
“This is one heavy-duty solid mat. It looks tough. It feels tough. It is tough. The mat is dense and feels extremely firm with all my poses. I feel more grounded when using the mat compared to my old generic soft 1/4 inch thick mat. The extra 2 inches width and 14 inches length is greatly appreciated as well. The extra room is helpful when moving about the mat and staying focused holding a pose.”
There are LOTS of yoga brands and yoga mats competing for attention as yoga continues to grow in popularity.
There are a few other mats out there that we examined and did not feel had a right place on the top 5 list. We have linked them below to Amazon. Feel free to check any of them out if you’d like:
Don’t forget why we picked these these Yoga Mats:
Reviews: How many positive reviews there were for the yoga mats along with our own experience using them!
Price: The prices of the products were compared to make sure you get the most value from your new yoga mat.
Thickness: As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with a yoga mat thicker than ¼ of an inch to give yourself extra padding. Anything thinner than that should only be used by the more experienced yogis looking for ultimate ground connectivity.
Brand Reputation: Stable and consistent brands are always rated more highly than others.
Quality: You want a yoga mat to last you for a while and not tear during use!
Style: You want a yoga mat that has the feel good factor about it, makes you smile every time you see it. A yoga mat should look good to you as well as easy to use, easy to clean and carry for beginners.
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