6-Point Checklist to Buy a Yoga Mat

Whether your yoga practice is just beginning or you’ve been practicing for a while, you might be in the market for a new yoga mat. Since you’ll hopefully be spending a great deal of time on your mat, you’ll want to choose one that supports your practice.

Yoga mats are as unique as our bodies, minds, and spirits. Even if your best friend raves about how great her mat is, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the right one for you. Before you buy your first (or next) yoga mat, consider these factors.


Weight is the most important consideration when buying a mat for yoga. I have learned this lesson the hard way. I spent $50 on a mat of mid-range quality that weighed 9 pounds.

It didn’t look like much when I read about it online. But it was a lot heavier. It became a burden to carry it into and out of class. It ended up in the trash.

Weight is important if you plan to take your mat outside your home. My current mat weighs about four pounds. Weight is less of an issue if you plan to use the mat at home and not roll it up. If you’re planning to travel with your mat, then it is best to choose a lighter mat.


My list of factors is ranked by importance. Next, I consider the surface of the mat. What could be worse than having your back foot slide away from you when playing Warriors Two? It’s not much! If you are buying a mat on the internet, make sure to read the reviews. Reviewers who say the mat is slick are probably right.

Search for a mat with a non-slip, gripping surface. The surface of your mat is important if you practice hot or fast-paced yoga.


My mat measures 68″ in length and 24″ in width. I am 5’7″ tall and average weight. I like this size mat, but there are also extra-long mats and extra-wide ones available. You may want to consider a larger or longer mat if you are taller or have a more rounded body.

You should feel the comfort beneath your body while in Savasana. Some mats are round or supersized. These mats are great for at-home practice, but they’re not the best choice if you plan to bring your mat into a busy studio.


The average thickness of a yoga mat is about 1/4″. You can buy mats that are thinner or thicker depending on your needs and preferences. If you are planning to travel, you may want to choose a thin mat. Many thin mats can be folded into your suitcase.

Do you have sensitive joints? You may need a thicker mat. Some students like the extra cushion. What you gain in comfort, you will lose in stability. (Think about balancing in tree pose while on a thick mat.) Start with a mat that is 1/4″ thick if you are unsure.

The Sustainability of the Economy

Ahimsa refers to the belief of yogis that we should not harm our relationships or our environment. Many yoga mat manufacturers make efforts to create mats that are socially responsible as well as environmentally sustainable.

Jade yoga mats, for example, are made from recycled materials, and Jade plants a tree for each mat sold. Yoloha’s cork mats are also examples of environmentally friendly mats. Consider a mat with the least amount of harm if you want to be environmentally friendly while doing yoga.


Many yogis consider the aesthetics of their mat. Do you have a favorite color or design that you would like to see on your mat when you look at it? Some yogis will only practice with a mat that is all black. Others can have their favorite mantra engraved on the mat.

You may want to select a mat that matches the color of a chakra you are trying to balance. Some mats have markings and lines to help you align yourself. These mats are great for some students. Others may find them distracting. Decide what mats are best for your practice.

Ideally, you should be able to test out the mats before making a final decision. This is not always possible. Read reviews and check the return policy if you are unable to test your new mat.

Set your standards high, and you will fall in love with the next mat.

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