Manduka Yoga Mat Review & Buying Guide | Get The Best One
If you’re considering a Manduka yoga mat, you’ve come to the right place. The relationship with your yoga mat is personal. It's something you’ll use and have close to your body many times moving forward and things like the stickiness, grip, weight and smell can all affect how happy you are when you're practicing.
We’ve tested many yoga mats to find the best one's for different conditions (sweaty hands, long yoga yoga mats, travel, etc.). Manduka has remained a contender in many of these reviews so we decided to see how the Manduka mats stack up against each other in this buying guide.
Manduka is a conscious company that strives to use earth and body friendly products. As a business, they make it a point to be transparent about what's in their products and strive to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.
This is one of the reasons many yogis love this company and keep buying their products (of course it helps that their products are good too). All of their mats are free of toxic chemicals, dyes and phthalates which disrupt hormone function.
Manduka Pro Yoga Mat
The Manduka Pro yoga mat is an ultra dense / thick PVC material. They’ve certified that no toxic emissions get released into the atmosphere upon making this mat and it’s guaranteed for life. As you may already know, PVC never breaks down and with the surge in the popularity of yoga, cheap PVC mats are crowding landfills. Since this mat’s guaranteed for life, if anything does happen you can send it back and Manduka will replace it and reuse your mat for different purposes.
The Pro features a closed cell surface for quick wipe down cleaning, it’s 100% latex free and the top of the mat has a fabric like finish for enhanced grip. This mat is not designed for hot yoga or heavy perspiration. If you plan on using it for these purposes you’ll want a towel (we recommend their Yogitoes towel).
Manduka Pro sizes:
- Standard: 71” x 26”, 6mm thick and weighs 7.5 lbs.
- Extra Long: 85” x 26”, 6 mm thick and weighs 9.5 lbs
No matter which size you buy, they’re both heavy mats. If you plan on toting it from your house to yoga class then I recommend you get a strap or yoga bag to make it easier (See bottom section of this post for where to get them).
This is a remarkably durable mat that’s guaranteed for life. The heavy weight of the mat is a dead giveaway that this thing isn't going anywhere. It won’t stretch during class, move around on the floor or rip/tear no matter how often you use it.
Buy it if:
- You want more padding
- Like a firm feel
- Perform mostly dry yoga or have a yoga towel
- Want a chemical free mat
- You like something that's easy to clean and doesn't absorb moisture
- You don't mind the extra weight
- You want a lifetime guarantee
Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat
The Manduka Prolite mat is the little brother to the Pro. It’s made from emissions free, high density PVC and guaranteed to never wear out. If you’re allergic to latex, not to worry because this is also 100% latex free.
Like the Pro, the prolites surface is closed cell for easy cleaning. If you’re using this mat in hot yoga, it’s recommended you get a towel to absorb sweat since it is not designed to be absorbent. However, in light perspiration, the fabric like finish will keep your grip and you shouldn’t have any problems with sliding.
Manduka Prolite sizes:
- Standard: 71” x 24”, 4.7 mm thick and weighs only 4 lbs.
- Long: 79” x 24”, 4.7 mm thick and weighs 4.5 lbs.
Both sizes have enough weight to be taken seriously but they’re lighter than the Manduka pro mat. Part of that’s due to the mat being 1.3 mm thinner but the narrower width also contributes and it's something to be aware of if you’re a bigger person.
The durability of this mat is paralleled only by its big brother. It’s dense and heavy so you’ll never have to replace it or worry about tears and stretching. However, for peace of mind, it's guaranteed for life in case anything did happen.
Buy it if:
- You like the Pro but want something a little lighter
- You like moderate support under your joints
- You perform mostly dry yoga or have a decent towel
- You want something chemical free
- You want closed cell / easy to clean
- You want something that doesn't absorb moisture
Manduka eKO Yoga Mat
The Manduka Eko is made from a non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber. The top layer of the mat is a closed cell, easy to clean natural rubber that’s 99% latex free. It's grippy top layer has a sea-grass texture that’s designed to prevent slipping without the need for a towel in low sweat environments.
The bottom layer is a lighter, open cell natural rubber which uses no harmful foaming agents. There's a cushioned middle layer which is made from a biodegradable cotton and recycled silk blend and eliminates the use of toxic glues in the binding process.
Scraps from the manufacturing of this mat are collected and used in the production of other Manduka materials. This is one of the most earth friendly mats on the market and since there’s no harmful dyes, foaming agents or chemicals, it's also one of the most body safe.
Manduka Eko sizes:
- Standard: 71” x 26”, 5mm thick and weighs 7 lbs
- Long: 79” x 26”, 5 mm thick and weighs 8 lbs.
While it’s not as heavy as the Manduka Pro, it's a heavy mat. Manduka has done everything they can to make this mat lighter. Considering that it's natural rubber, they’ve done a pretty good job. That being said, this is not a travel friendly weight so it's a mat you’d either keep at home or bring to and from your local yoga class.
It’s a very durable mat and built to last. The natural dyes used in the manufacturing process won’t fade or run and hold up as well as any other quality dye. At 5 mm thick, the natural rubber should never stretch or tear and you can feel that when you hold it in your hands.
It does not feature the lifetime guarantee but it's a quality company so I’m sure they would work with you. Should you ever decide to get rid of your mat, it’s also completely biodegradable and recyclable so you can be at peace knowing you aren't harming our environment.
Buy it if:
- You want an eco-friendly zero waste mat
- You don't mind the weight
- You like ample cushioning under your knees
- You do mostly dry yoga
- You like mats that are mostly rubber
- You prefer a closed cell / easy to clean surface
Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat
The Manduka eKO lite comes in a wide variety of colors and styles which are very fun and cool. It’s made from non-Amazon harvested natural rubber, 99% latex free, uses no PVC and all scraps from production are reused in other processes. It has the same body friendly, AZO and metal free dyes that are used in the eKO and doesn’t use any glues in the binding process thanks to the cotton and silk middle layer.
The eKO lite comes in a 68” x 24”, 4 mm which weighs 4.5 lbs so it's easier to travel with to and from class. The only issue is that it’s a 68” mat which won’t be large enough for taller people. Amazon has two additional sizes currently (3mm / 68” and a 5 mm / 71”) but Manduka officially acknowledges only the 4 mm 68” on their site. We haven’t tried these other eKO lite sizes so it’s hard to say whether or not they’re actually considered part of the “eKO lite” line.
Because the mat is made from natural rubber, it’s incredibly durable. Natural rubber tends to be one of the most long lasting heavy duty materials for yoga mats that doesn’t tear or wear down easy. The eKO lite, like the other mats we’ve listed is not designed for hot yoga. While it does have a roughly textured top layer, it won’t perform well if you’re dripping sweat. In these cases it’s advised you get a Manduka towel since these two go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Buy it if:
- You function well on the standard sized (68" x 24") yoga mat
- You don't need as much cushioning under your joints
- You want something free from harmful toxins
- You prefer a natural rubber mat that's more lightweight
- You do mostly dry yoga
Manduka eKO Superlite
The superlite is Mandukas version of a travel mat which comes in a wide variety of colors and marbled patterns. It’s made from non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber, 99% latex free, uses no PVC, toxic plasticizers or harmful dyes. The post manufacturing scraps from this mat go into making other products so this is another zero waste product from Manduka.
The eKO superlite is currently offered in one 68” x 24” size, 1.5 mm thick and weighs only 2 lbs. Its thin enough to be folded into a flat rectangle about the size of a laptop and has a tacky orange peel texture on the top for extra grip. As with any travel mat, it's thin so you’ll feel the ground beneath you. Fortunately it's made from high density natural rubber so it provides as much cushioning as possible in a very lightweight mat.
Another aspect of the Manduka travel mat is that it’s designed to be versatile. You may use your mat in a hotel room, park, at the beach, etc. so the mat needs to be dynamic enough to provide the most benefit in any environment. The only real downside will be if you’re doing hot yoga during your travels. This mat is not designed to absorb sweat or maintain high grip in hot and sweaty environments so you’ll need a towel (but this is the case with most travel mats). If you’re evaluating travel mats, we recommend you also check out the Yogo travel mat. You can read our review here.
Overall it's a highly durable mat for traveling. At 1.5 mm thick it's lightweight without feeling cheap and being made from natural rubber means it's unlikely to stretch or tear.
Buy it if:
- You travel frequently and need a quality mat
- You want something that's sustainably made
- You don't mind something thin and lightweight
- You want a travel mat that's free of toxins
Manduke eQua Yoga Mat
The Manduka eQua is designed specifically for hot yoga. It's a hybrid of their eQua towel and eKO mat. The top layer is a soft microfiber that's sweat absorbent and moisture activated. The bottom layer is the natural rubber base that's used in their eKO mat.
The eQua is 68” x 26”, 4 mm thick and weighs 5 lbs. It’s two inches wider than most 68” mats which buys you a little more space in crowded rooms and means you won’t go off the sides. It's currently only offered in a few styles and it’s not as popular as their other mats or mat / towel combos for hot yoga. One person reported that they were slipping on this mat in Vinyasa but didn’t specify if it was heated or if they were sweating. Keep in mind that the top layer is moisture activated and in classes where you’re not sweating, it won’t be a good fit.
For hot yoga, our favorite mat is the Lifeform yoga mat. You can read our review here.
Being made from their eQua towel and a natural rubber bottom, it won’t slip on the floor and in heated classes you won’t slip on the mat. The towel top is very durable and designed for starting, stopping and putting pressure on it without wearing down. The natural rubber bottom is very sturdy and won’t tear or stretch. It’s a well built mat with a long lifespan ahead.
Buy it if:
- You want a mat that's designed for hot yoga and high sweat conditions
- You want a mat that uses body positive products / free from toxins
- You don't need as much cushioning under your knees
- You want a mat & towel combo all in one
Manduka X Yoga and Pilates Mat
The Manduka X yoga mat is a multi purposed mat designed for athletes. It features a closed cell construction that’s easy to clean, lightweight and easy to transport to and from locations, it’s nontoxic, 100% latex free and eco-friendly.
The Manduka X comes in a 71” x 24” length / width, it’s 5 mm thick and weighs 3.7 lbs.
The textured surface provides an excellent dry grip which you feel when using the mat (but it’s not so textured that it’s bothersome). If you’re in need of a quality crossover mat you can use at the gym and yoga, this is the best solution. It’s not designed for hot yoga but could be used if a towel was placed on top. However, the deep texture will require some extra cleaning if you’re getting extremely sweaty on the mat. Manduka recommends their cleaner for this purpose but you can also make home solutions that work well.
The X mat is designed for athletes and as such, it's tough. You can use it for everything from burpees to flow without it tearing or bunching up. It’s lightweight considering its thickness and as long as you aren’t throwing weights on the mat, it should last you for several years.
Buy it if:
- You need a cross-training mat for both yoga and fitness
- You want something lightweight and durable
- You need decent padding for your knees
- You do mostly dry yoga
- You don't want something that absorbs moisture
Lightest and Best for Travel
The lightest and best mat for travel is going to be the Manduka eKO superlite. It's made from a thin but dense material which can be folded into a small package but still provides decent cushioning for your joints. It only weighs 2 lbs which is almost unnoticeable in a packed suitcase or backpack. Overall its easy to travel with and designed to accommodate traveling yogis in a variety of environments.
If you’re shopping for an extremely durable mat then the Manduka Pro is your best friend. It’s extra thick and dense material provides lots of cushioning, it would be nearly impossible to tear the mat with any normal form of yoga and it's guaranteed for life so you literally never have to buy another mat if you don’t want to.
The only downside is that it's heavy with the standard size weighing 7.5 lbs and the long weighing 9.5 lbs. If you’re leaving it at home, at your yoga studio or you’re only moving it from car to class, then it's not a big deal. But if you plan on traveling distances or it's a long walk from your car to class, you will notice it's weight and may find it cumbersome.
The best priced (lowest) priced mat of the Manduka line (at the time of this writing) is the Manduka X. That being said, the Manduka X is a cross training mat rather than a dedicated yoga mat. Each of Mandukas mats serve a different purpose such as hot yoga, cross training, traveling, etc. And they come in different styles, thickness and materials.
With this in mind, I can't say which will be the best option and thus, the best price for you. Consider the purpose of your mat, think about how much padding you need, the size you want and go from there. The good thing about Manduka is that they have quality products and a generous return policy with free return shipping. If you're not satisfied with your mat, you can always send it back and get something else.
Breaking Your Yoga Mat In
Like a new pair of shoes, Manduka recommends that you break your mat in before using. The reason is that mats often have a light film which occurs during manufacturing. You’ll want to remove the film before using because it can interfere with your grip. Here’s how to break it in:
Manduka Yoga Mat Bags
Manduka offers a few yoga mat bags you may consider using if you buy the PRO or one of the other heavier mats. You can see the straps and bags they have available on Amazon Here.
Manduka Yoga Towel
As you can see from this Manduka yoga mat review, they're a great company with a variety of yoga mats to offer. Each of their mats are made from earth and body friendly material, contain no harmful dyes or chemical agents, and are recyclable. They've been designed over the course of decades from yogis worldwide and consistently earn raving reviews. You can't go wrong with any of their products.
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