Buying a new yoga mat can be an important decision if you’re new to yoga or you’ve only used one or two other mats before. After all, you’ll have the weight of your body on your knees and other joints so you want something that won’t hurt you right? And since a mat is the one piece of equipment you must have for yoga, we’ve reviewed Jades most popular yoga mats to help you find the best fit for you.
Jade Yoga Mats Reviewed:
How to Choose a Yoga Mat
Jade yoga has a variety of high quality mats and each serves a different purpose so there’s no ONE that’s right for everyone. That being said, I can give you a few guidelines and some advice before making your final decision. Here goes:
The thickness of your mat matters a lot. If you have sensitive joints, you’re pregnant or you just don’t want to feel the floor underneath you, then you want something thicker. Yet I’ve noticed that many of the thicker PVC and memory foam style mats are squishy. That sounds nice but it can actually throw you off balance until you either develop your stabilizers or get used to it.
The alternative is something like a natural rubber mat. You can find some that are 6-8 mm thick (Jade Fusion) and dense so you don’t feel the floor and it’s not squishy. The downside with a natural rubber mat is that it’s heavy so you may not feel like lugging it around.
If you’re taking your mat too and from class, you may want to consider a middle ground such as a natural rubber that’s around 4 – 5 mm thick. It’s not as heavy and still dense enough to protect your joints.
Length and Width
Yoga mats generally range from about 68” to 72” long and 24” wide. After using the standard yoga mats for a while, I learned about the longer / wider versions and I won’t go back.
For one, it buys you space in a crowded yoga studio. Further, in poses like pigeon where your foot wants to go off the sides or grab the edge and bunch your mat, you realize that a few inches can make a big difference. If you’re smaller, like 5’10 and under, then a standard mat should work for you. If taller, I recommend sizing up to be safe.
Functional, Hygienic and Moral Reasons
The material of your mat is important for several functional, hygienic and moral reasons. Let me explain:
- Functional – a thick and squishy mat (like PVC or memory foam) can affect your balance and make it hard to change poses. A thick and dense mat (like rubber mats) can be heavy and unwieldy. They all have their functional pros and cons so you have to decide which pros matter more for you. If you’re just starting out, check out our review of the best yoga mats for beginners.
- Hygienic – you want a mat that’s easy to clean. Opting for mats with a closed cell surface means they won’t absorb dirt and sweat so you can pretty much wipe them clean. I don’t want to give you the wrong idea about open celled mats though. They’re still easy to keep clean, they just aren’t one wipe easy. All of Jade’s mats are open celled but I explain cleaning at the bottom of this post.
- Moral reasons – mats made from PVC, as an example, never break down. That means they’re filling landfills and not going away. Natural materials are better if you’re considering future generations. Materials like natural rubber, cotton and jute are great biodegradable options which are earth friendly.
You don’t want to be that person who falls on their face in the middle of class right? Nobody does. Traction matters in general but it’s especially important for hot yoga. There are two options available in this case:
- Get a quality hybrid non-slip mat
- Buy a decent yoga towel to put on top of your mat
If you know you’ll be primarily in hot yoga, we recommend the Lifeform yoga mat. If you want the ability to switch styles at whim, consider getting a decent towel – we love Mandukas Yogitoes towel. That being said, since Jades yoga mats are open celled, they do maintain a high level of grip and stickiness so if you’re not a heavy sweater, you might be fine with just the mat.
Active yoga styles like Ashtanga and flow require lots of starting and stopping which can eventually wear holes in your mat. If you’re practicing often, this might mean you’ll have to replace it a few times a year. If that doesn’t sound like a good time, spring for a quality mat that won’t tear or wear through easily. Natural rubber and composite materials are typically more durable options.
The weight of your mat may or may not be a big deal depending on how you get to class. If you can leave your mat at the studio, then weight really isn’t an issue. But if you’re walking or biking to class, you might not feel like hauling a 9 lb mat. I will say this though, if you find a mat you love, and it’s heavy and you have to travel a ways to class, get a good bag to carry it and get the mat you love. Carrying the mat is an added calorie burn so it can’t hurt right?
About Jade Yoga
Jade’s an earth conscious company that makes all eco-friendly products AND plants a tree for every mat that’s sold. Since they have a mat for almost every style of yoga and every size person, we’ll go ahead and cover each one below for you.