The Best Yoga Mats Of 2021
Choosing the best yoga mat isn’t really an objective choice - no mat is the best for everyone. Deciding which mat is best for you will depend on what your priorities are with your practice and your personal preferences. With that said, however, we’ve compiled a list of yoga masts from 2021 that we like the most to act as a jumping-off point for identifying the ideal mat that is right for you.
Before we take a look at the best yoga mats for this year so far, let's first examine what attributes you should consider when you selecting the best yoga mat for this or any other year.
Related: How To Choose A Yoga Mat
Yoga Mat Characteristics
When choosing a mat that's right for you, there are four typical features to keep in mind. These are the thickness of the mat, the material from which it's made, the length of the mat, and the cell type.
You will find mats in varying degrees of thickness. Choosing one will depend on whether you prefer more cushioning or more stability. Thicker mats are best for those who want more support and padding underneath them, but you will sacrifice some level of stability. Thinner mats provide better stability and, because they are so thin, you can feel the floor better.
The standard size of a yoga mat is 68x24. Is that big enough for you? There's one easy way to find out. Try doing downward dog on the mat. If your hands and feet are all securely placed on the mat when you perform the pose, then you're good to go. Just make sure you're not hanging over the edge of the mat at any of those four points. Otherwise, you may need something a little bigger.
You have plenty of choices in material for your yoga mat. However, the most common materials are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic elastomer (TFE), and natural rubber. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. If you're looking for something with great traction and stability, you can go with rubber. But it's not as easy to clean as PVC, which is highly durable but not very friendly for the environment. TPE is the closest you can get to having the best of both worlds.
Mat Cell Type
An attribute of yoga mats that may not be as widely known or understood as those above, cell type refers to the mat's ability to absorb moisture. When it comes to cell type, you can choose between an open or closed cell. Even though this sounds complicated, the distinctions between them are rather easy to understand.
Open-cell mats have pores and they are ideal for use in hot yoga and high-impact classes where you may sweat a lot. These mats offer plenty of traction but they need to be cleaned regularly as they can also trap bacteria inside which can start to smell pretty bad.
Closed-cell mats do not absorb moisture which makes them waterproof and somewhat easier to clean. These mats do not provide a similar level of traction and slip-resistance. They are, however, a lot more durable than open-cell mats, meaning they can last for years before you need to replace them.
The Yoga Mats
There are many yoga mats in the world but only one that is best for your particular needs. The following selection offers a wide range of features and benefits for any budget or skill level. Let's take a look at some of the best yoga mats we've found so far in 2021.
The cost of a mat should not be a barrier to participating in yoga. But that's many people face this issue when they realize one of the most essential components for a class is also one of the most expensive. Gaiam has a solution with this double-sided mat that offers traction on either side to keep it from sliding on the floor. It's also on the thinner side at just 4mm so you can feel the floor and still enjoy some cushioning.
For those of you who need a mat that can stand the heat and sweat, this is one of the best open cell mats out there. Designed to give you the support necessary to take on those advanced courses, the Combo mat can withstand excessive moisture for those hot yoga classes and more. You need not worry about the mat slipping either, no matter how much you might perspire. Best of all, it's machine washable to keep it clean and fresh.
Who says you can't do yoga on a carpeted floor? Well, pretty much everyone frowns upon it because you’re putting yourself at risk for a fall (yoga mats and carpet do not play well together). But Manduka has got you covered with a surface that has the grip needed to stay in place on carpet. It's a PVC mat that won't shift as you move from one pose to the next, and the closed-cell construction will prevent it from absorbing moisture. You can find it in two different sizes for yogis of all sizes, and best of all, Manduka protects your purchase with a lifetime warranty.
When you want a mat that can do it all, look no further than the ALO Warrior. Made from a combination of rubber and polyurethane leather, you get everything in one product, from plenty of cushion and support to a moisture-wicking top layer so the mat won't smell no matter how much you sweat. You have plenty of color options and it comes in a larger size than the standard mat, so it's ideal for taller bodies.
Just because you’re traveling doesn't mean your practice should suffer. You just need to get a mat that can go wherever life takes you. The Manduka EKO Superlite Mat is a lightweight option that is easily portable. But you need not worry about functionality suffering either, as this mat is made from natural rubber and has a thinner profile than some of the other mats on this list.
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