The Best Yoga Mats for Beginners: 7 Mats That Won’t Leave You in Regret
Just about the only thing you MUST have in yoga, is a mat. It's the piece of equipment that ties the whole thing together and without one, you’ll definitely have a hard time participating. Fortunately we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best yoga mats for beginners. And don't worry, we’ve found top quality mats you can have in time for your next class.
Top Yoga Mats For Beginners
How to Choose The Best Quality Yoga Mat
Choosing a yoga mat that looks great, doesn’t cost an absurd amount of money and keeps your bones cushioned from the floor requires a discerning eye. But unfortunately, there’s no “this is the mat for everyone” yoga mat.
We all have different requirements and tastes and what works for me may not work for you. For that reason I’ll tell you how we evaluate yoga mats so you can make your own decision and find the best mat for your needs.
The thickness of your yoga mat matters - but it can be a misleading indicator. Many of the softer yoga mats are 1/2 inch or more thick. At first glance, this seems like it would provide the ultimate cushioning for your joints. However, most of these mats use a very soft foam that gets deep indents and has a habit of stretching which can interfere with your balance in many poses.
The thickness of your yoga mat matters - but it can be a misleading indicator.
With that in mind, it's a good idea to pay attention to the density of the material as well as thickness. I’ve found that denser materials which usually aren’t as thick yield the best experience. Typically they’re made from natural rubber, dense foam, or another equally dense material. Dense yoga mats don’t indent or stretch as much as the softer mats.
2. Grip & Material
Finding a mat with the proper grip can vary from person to person. For example, there are some mats that work better for those with sweaty hands and feet. Others may prefer a light texture or even a yoga towel over their mat. For most though, a light texture on the top of your mat works well.
The mats we’ve highlighted in this post all have grip that works great for most people. But if you’re unsure, aim for a mat with a light texture, sticky surface and medium to high density material. You can always buy a cheap yoga towel later if you expand into hot yoga.
The material your mats made from will play heavily into its durability. Cheap plastic and foam mats tend to work for a few months and then begin to tear and wear holes where your hands and feet go.
You may think that eco-friendly, biodegradable mats would wear out faster since they’re designed to break down. However, that’s actually not the case. Most of the eco friendly mats are made from dense materials that will break down in a landfill (with heat, pressure and sunlight) but would take a very long time to break down with yoga.
If you’re a slightly larger person, opt for a denser material like natural rubber, denser eco-friendly foam or something similar.
Generally these mats cost slightly more but the investments worth it since you don't have to replace them as often and they don’t harm the environment.
If you’re a slightly larger person, you participate in more active styles of yoga or simply want something solid, opt for a denser material like natural rubber, denser eco-friendly foam or something similar. These won’t break down as quickly and often save you from frustrations in class like having your mat stretch or tear when you’re in downward dog.
You have a unique style and there’s not much I can tell you that you don’t already know. About the only thing I want to include here is that there’s so many yoga mats and styles today that you don’t have to settle on the plain black mat if you don't want to. You can get a quality mat that also expresses your unique style without spending a fortune.
5. How Often You Do Yoga
How often you do yoga can help you figure out how long a mats going to last and whether or not it's worth purchasing. If you’re doing or planning on doing yoga at least 3x a week, spring for something nice. However, if you’re doing it once in a while, you can get away with almost anything that gives your joints decent support.
Whether you stick with yoga or not, all the mats on this list qualify as solid choices. After testing many mats over the years, my best advice is to buy something that's quality and built for yogis. In other words, avoid buying a mat based solely on price.
You'll use your yoga mat every single time you go to class or do a session at home. If you buy something that's uncomfortable, this might just pull the wind out of your sails and stop your practice altogether because you'll end up uncomfortable and frustrated. And that's the last thing we want.
With that said, here's our favorite yoga mats for beginners:
Both the Manduka PRO and Heathyoga mats are great choices for beginners. The Manduka PRO is the overall favorite mat for beginners because it has a lifetime warranty (so you won't have to get another mat when you start doing yoga on a regular basis), its ultra dense so you have outstanding cushioning and the mat doesn't indent to interfere with balance, the grip is awesome, and there's many impressive styles.
The Heathyoga mat's good for beginners because of it's great grip, its slightly wider (like the Manduka), comes in nice styles, has decent durability, and features some very cool alignment marks on the surface. Overall, we consider both of these mats to be the best beginner yoga mats. Now you know so you can get started and bliss out 🙂
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