Got Mats?

How many yoga mats have you tried over the course of your yoga practice?  1, 3, 10?  Depending on your practice and how lucky you were right off the bat, you’ve probably had to go through a trial and error period to find your perfect yoga mat or maybe you are still on the quest to find the best one for you.  If you haven’t discovered your best mat I’ve reviewed 3 top seller brands, but if you are lucky in love with your mat share your favorite type of mat with us, our readers will appreciate your authentic advice!

Manduka Mats

Manduka’s Mission

Mats

Profile: The idea of respect for all living things is core to the company’s philosophy, and sustainability is their standard.  Manduka is committed to eco-responsibility, and are mindful of every decision they make in the manufacturing process.  They support fair labor practices and toxic-free emission facilities. Wherever possible, they use natural, recyclable, sustainable and/or biodegradable materials, and constantly search for new green technologies.

Pros

  • different types of mats
  • eKO Series, uses biodegradable rubber sustainably harvested from rubber trees with no toxic glues, bind layers of mat with heat instead
  • closed cell construction, will not absorb sweat or bacteria
  • PRO Series which has a lifetime guarantee therefore minimizes impact on the environment (because you’re going to love it and never throw it out) and ensures years of superior practice, is extremely dense, great for those that want a bit of extra cushion
  • surface grip improves with use, will not peel or flake
  • easy cleaning, spray with your own natural vinegar based cleaner or use Manduka’s Mat Renew with a damp cloth to eliminate bacteria and restore grip
  • Cost for eKO Series $76

Cons

  • mats are slippery at first, takes about 30 classes to develop grip and non slip features
  • PRO Series especially is REALLY heavy, it does not fit in some yoga bags…
  • there is a rubber smell
  • some products are made overseas
  • cost for PRO Series $105

Jade Yoga Mats

Jade Yoga Logo

Profile: Jade Yoga Mats started back in 2000 with a commitment to using a renewable, sustainable resource – natural rubber, tapped from rubber trees. Jade mats contain no PVC or other synthetic rubbers.  Depending on your priorities, perhaps most importantly, Jade yoga mats are made in the United States in compliance with all US environmental and labor laws. Finally, through its partnership with Trees for the Future,  Jade Yoga plants a tree for every yoga mat you buy!

Pros

  • eco-friendly, all natural materials
  • made in the USA
  • plant a tree for every mat sold

Cons

  • rubber smell (some think it dissipates over time) airing out in front of a fan can help
  • will start to disintegrate in direct sun light
  • less than 1% of the mat may have latex, so those with allergies will want to steer clear
  • mats are like sponges, wipe with a lightly damp rag.  If you want a deeper wash you can hose it off or soak it in the bath tub with a mild cleanser but be prepared to rinse thoroughly and allow to hang dry until water completely evaporates
  • Cost: about $110

Lululemon Athletica

  • lululemon athletica

Profile: Lululemon Athletica’s vision is that through personal responsibility, they can change the world by changing how the world does business. They encourage their employees to be responsible for their individual actions so that during their time with Lululemon and beyond, doing the right thing is an automatic reaction.  The goal of Lululemon is to elevate the world from mediocricy to greatness and this mantra applies to every product they make.  Their mats are no exception.

Pros

  • 3 types of mats, The Un Mat $38, The Align Mat $28, and The Mat $68
  • variety to choose from at different price points
  • The Un Mat is made with natural rubbers with an anti-microbial finish, non slip finish, thin so you can use it as an extra layer on the mat you already own or as a travel mat
  • Align Mat has a t shape embossed on it and allows yogis to check their alignment, is lightweight, and is biodegradable.  Better for newbies to yoga
  • The Mat is made with scrap luon for cushion (same luon they use for their pants and tops!) non stick surface, 2 different sides with different finish for different practices, anti-microbrial, and is biodegradable.  Better for serious yogis
  • all can be cleaned with a damp rag, spray bottle of water and natural soap

Cons

  • The Align Mat will disintegrate if you leave it in the trunk of your car when hot, it also starts to shed and pill if you are doing lots of vinyasas coming over your toes
  • The Un Mat and The Mat have a rubber smell (not as bad as the other 2 brands though)
  • The Mat is heavy, but not as much as Manduka’s
  • Depending on the color you buy the Un Mat and The Mat will show dirt no matter how often you clean them, I recommend buying a darker color!

Sometimes it takes awhile to find your perfect mat but try them out first!  Equinox gyms supply all their guests with Jade’s Mats, Lululemon Athletica lets you try them out in their stores as well as most Manduka retailers as well.  If I have left out your favorite mat let me know and share the mat love!!

Namaste,

Kelly

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3 thoughts on “Got Mats?

  1. Hey Kelly,
    Informative article on these top selling brands…I love to send you one of the mats I created. Originally educated/trained as an engineer, I wanted to maximize the the pros within the constraints of pricing the mats so they’d be within reach of most people, thus inviting more to experience, firsthand, the benefits of yoga.

    My mats are health & eco-friendly; having no phthalates, no latex and no heavy metals.
    I needed a mat to provide more cushioning; my mats are 72″ x 24″ x 8mm…almost 3x thicker than standard mats.
    Stability is vital; the texture and consistency of my mats provide a non-slip surface.
    Ease & accessibility always increase the odds for participation; my mats come in a large carry-all yoga bag for ease of transport and storage.

    It’s been my experience, the more inward a student goes on their yoga journey, the more outward it manifests. I wanted to give yoga students a way to extend the health & wellness benefits of yoga to others. My mats come in Awareness Color lines (pink for breast cancer is the first). 10% of purchase price is donated to a charity the consumer chooses.

    I formed a business, Embrace Activism, that makes yoga products with a CAUSE. Let me know if you can accept product samples and I’ll send one straightaway.

    Embrace Activism for Your Health, Your Wellness & Your CURES!!

    • Hi Karen,
      Your mats sound great, we are always interested in health and eco-friendly products to try for ourselves and yogis! We also keep studio mats for students to rent and demo so we’d very much appreciate a sample if you have any. Thank you for sharing Embrace Activism, I will definitely look in to your products and causes!
      Best,
      Kelly

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