Comparison Tests for Choosing Right Yoga Mat

By Patricia | May 14, 2009
How To Choose A Yoga Mat

Whether you've been practicing for many years, or you are new to yoga, either way you would need a Yoga mat right away. Even if you already have one you will most likely need a new at some point of time in the future, particularly if your current mat was purchased without much knowledge or research. You probably started out with a cheap, colorful mat –like most folks tend to do – then found out it’s not only impractical but maybe even emits a foul smell after the first few uses, or because of the presence of chemicals. Or you probably decided to go the eco-friendly way and decided to go in for a Yoga mat made from natural materials, such as jute, for instance. At the same time some of the eco friendly varieties may not be durable, and you can be in quite a dilemma. So, what do you do?

Here are some tips on how to choose a good Yoga mat

  • Always go in for the best quality Yoga mat you can afford. This kind, normally, lasts for a few years and provides better usage. The cheap mats, on the other hand, will weaken your practices.
  • A lightweight mat is always better, especially for carrying.
  • See that it can hold up to frequent washings.
  • Choose a Yoga mat that will keep your feet from slipping?
  • When you perspire, see that it helps you maintain your grip.
  • While the Yoga mat remains firmly on the floor, it is also important that it does not stick to your feet.
  • Go in for a Yoga mat whose lifespan at least compares well with others in the market.
  • Particles such as lint and dust should shake off easily, and not stick to it.

Here are some commonly asked questions together with some comparison tests to determine quality:

The pinch test

What is its resistance like? To find out, pinch a few Yoga mats between your forefinger and thumb to compare their compression resistance.

The wet friction test

How does it hold out when wet? Moisten your hand to simulate sweating and compare wet traction by rubbing your palms crossways sideways on the surface.

The quarter test

What will the lifespan of the mat be like? The only way to do this is by comparing different samples. The test is to rub them with the edge of a coin till the surface breaks down. The more strokes the mat is able to take before the surface breaks down, the longer lifespan the mat is likely to have.

The commonest mats available in the market today are:

  • Standard Plastic Yoga Mats
  • Cork or Jute Yoga Mats
  • Rubber Yoga Mats
  • Bikram Yoga Mats
  • Pilates Mats
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