Manduka’s one of the best, if not the best, yoga mat maker on the market. Their mats are built to last, sustainably made, and carry lifetime warranties. So how do you choose when comparing the Manduka Pro vs Prolite?
That can be a hard question to answer so we’re going to review both mats to help you decide which is right for you.
Let’s get started....
About The Manduka Pro
The Manduka Pro is one of our favorite yoga mats. It comes in the largest sizes, its made from a dense PVC that’s eco-certified, and its overall built quality is impeccable.
Here are the specs…
The Manduka Pro comes in 71” and 85” inch lengths and 26” width. The 71” length is great for anyone up to 6’ tall. If you’re a much taller person, the 85” length is going to be ideal for you. We love that it’s an extra 2” wide on the sides. The standard 24” width is fine for most people but the 26” is the best for anyone 6’ or taller. Your knees will likely go off the sides on the 24” mat so the extra 2” makes a big difference.
The Pro is 6 mm thick and made from an ultra-dense PVC which minimizes the floor feel beneath you. This mat is best if you have sore joints or you’re new to yoga and you need a thicker mat.
With this thicker and denser mat comes weight. The 71” version comes in at 7.5 lbs and the 85” weighs 9.5 lbs. This makes it one of the heaviest mats. Not a big deal if you’re not traveling with the mat but if you walk to class, you may want to consider a lighter mat.
If the weight isn’t an issue for you, then you can’t beat the Pro yoga mat.
About The Manduka Prolite
The Prolite yoga mat comes in 71” and 79” lengths and 24” width. It’s not as wide as the Manduka Pro yoga mat but the 24” is fine for anyone less than 6’ tall. If you’re taller you’ll want to go with the Pro version of the yoga mat.
It’s 4.7 mm thick making it just over 1mm thinner than the pro version. Its made from the same high-density PVC material as the Manduka Pro which means it provides excellent joint support as well. You will feel the floor underneath you more than with the pro version but many people prefer this.
The Prolite is also slightly lighter than the Pro version. The 71” version weighs just 4 lbs while the 79” version weighs 4.6 lbs. This is an easier mat to transport and may be preferred if you walk to your yoga class or like to bring your mat with you to the parks.
What’s The Difference Between The Manduka Pro and Prolite?
With the above information, it can be hard to tell the difference between these two mats and I agree. The only real differences between them are:
- Size: The Manduka Pro comes in a larger length and width.
- Thickness: The Manduka Pro is slightly thicker.
- Weight: The Prolite is several pounds lighter than the pro.
They both come in a variety of colors with the Pro having more patterns and the Prolite only having solid color options. They also both have a closed cell surface which is easy to clean and doesn’t hold bacteria like an open-celled yoga mat.
Choosing a Manduka Yoga Mat
Choosing a yoga mat isn’t as complicated as it may seem. You don’t want to choose solely on price though. Instead, there are several things to consider first...
Style of yoga
Your preferred yoga style makes a difference in the type of mat you choose. If you’re primarily doing hot yoga, then you’ll want either a combination mat or a yoga towel to go over your mat. This way you’re not slipping and sliding around on the mat. For most other forms of yoga, both mats would work very well. The one caveat being that if you do flow styles of yoga which are more active, you may want the thicker pro version of the mat for the added joint cushioning.
Your height will help you decide which yoga mat to use. If you’re over 6’ tall, then you’ll want a mat that’s over 71” long to accommodate the downward dog and other lengthening poses. You’ll also want something that’s wider than 24” so your knees don’t go on the hard floor when you’re down on the mat.
If you like the feel of the floor underneath you, you’ll want a mat that’s slightly thinner and the Prolite is best. While you will feel the floor underneath you a little with both mats, the Prolite’s thinner so you’ll have more of that feeling.
If you have sensitive joints, you’re new to yoga, or you just like more padding, then a thicker mat like the Pro is the way to go.
While there are other yoga mats which are much thicker (up to 3/4 of an inch), those mats actually don’t cushion as well because they’re made from a very lightweight material that sinks when you put weight on it.
These mats also stretch when you put weight in opposite directions such as when you’re performing downward dog. The deep sinking of these less-dense mats also has a tendency to interfere with your balance.
The Manduka dense mats don’t sink in, stretch, or interfere with your balance which makes them the better choice.
The great thing about the Manduka yoga mats is that they come with a lifetime warranty.
This means you never have to buy another mat again.
When yours is done, you send it in to Manduka and they recycle the old mat. They also send you a new one at the same time. That's a pretty strong incentive for purchasing one of these mats.
Our Pick on the Manduka Pro vs Prolite
These are both excellent mats and you can’t go wrong with either one.
For most people, the Prolite is a good choice. It’s more affordable, lighter, and plenty long enough for most.
Now if you know you’re going to practice yoga for a long time and you want a mat that will provide maximum comfort, the Manduka Pro is the way to go.
This is also ideal for anyone who’s taller or wants a wider yoga mat. Our favorite of these two yoga mats is the Manduka Pro.
You can’t go wrong with either of these yoga mats. When it comes to the Manduka Pro vs Prolite, neither one of these mats is a loser. We’re comparing two premium yoga mats here so they’re both excellent quality and it’s going to be hard to find flaws with either. It comes down to your preference. If you’re taller and want thicker, then the Pro is the best. If you want a lighter mat with more floor feel, go with the prolite. Either way, you’re making a great choice and you can’t go wrong with either one.