If you are looking to buy a yoga mat, one of the top considerations you might be making is what material the mat is made from.
Like with most things, the material a yoga mat is made from can impact its usefulness, so knowing what to look out for and what to avoid is important when shopping for one.
It turns out that there is not just one material which yoga mats are made from, and there are now plenty of options for materials based on different factors.
The material which your yoga mat is made from impacts a lot of different factors like the texture of the mat, how sticky it is, how eco-friendly the mat is, as well as how spongy it is and how well it will yield to pressure as well.
The material will also impact the durability of the mat and how long it is going to last or wear down. But there are plenty of different options.
The original material most yoga mats were made from was PVC, which is also called vinyl. However, there are now plenty more options to look out for, and plenty which are more beneficial to the environment as well.
For example, there are yoga mats which are made from both natural or recycled rubber which is a great option, or even yoga mats made using jute, or different types of cotton like organic or natural.
These are just a few of the options, and new manufacturers are finding new materials to make yoga mats with every year.
So, when you are buying a yoga mat, you want to make sure you know your allergies since a yoga mat that is made using a natural rubber will likely contain latex, so if you are allergic to latex, avoid this.
If you are looking for a traditional and more sticky yoga mat, then you want to use one which is made using the standard PVC.
This will also be able to endure use for around a decade as well so you should not be able to break it too easily.
Another reason why PVC remains such a popular choice is that it is also one of the more spongy materials to use as well, this means it has the most give, and you will find that a material like cotton or jute is a lot less spongy.
However, if you want something less spongy, then these are a good option. As you can see, there are plenty of different pros and cons to each material, so if you see a different one, you can be sure that it will have its own list of advantages and disadvantages as well.
Make sure to research the specific material you see on a yoga mat, but you also can be rest assured that if you choose a PVC yoga mat, it should serve you in the best way for what a yoga mat needs to do.
Aside from the material, there are plenty of other factors which need to be considered when it comes to choosing a yoga mat.
Because of this, the rest of this guide will be dedicated to going over the other categories and qualities that you will need to assess when it comes to choosing what yoga mat will be the best choice for you!
Other Factors To Consider When Buying A Yoga Mat
As we mentioned in the previous section, one of the most important decisions to consider when it comes to choosing a yoga mat is the material it is made from, however, this is by no means the only important factor and there is a lot more that you will need to keep in mind as well!
This section of the guide will go over other factors to keep in mind when you are shopping for a new yoga mat!
Arguably just as important as the material of the yoga mat is the thickness. The thickness of your yoga mat will impact just how comfortable you are using it.
If your yoga mat is too thin then you could hurt your knees when doing certain poses, however, if you get a mat which is too thick, then you lose the connection that you need with the floor and that can impact your balance severely.
The most common size for a yoga mat is ⅛ of an inch, however, you can get as thick as a ¼ or as thin as 1/16.
We recommend trying out different thicknesses, and considering what context you will be using the mat in.
For example, most people do not love how thin a 1/16 inch thick yoga mat is, however, it is the most convenient size for travelling with!
The texture which your yoga mat has will directly impact how much traction you get from the mat. For example, how sticky the mat is will impact how much you slip or slide.
Texture also just impacts how the yoga mat feels, and you want to be as comfortable as possible. Some mats are designed to be more comfortable, while others more practical, so try to find a balance that suits you!
One aspect which is gaining in importance over the years is the environmental impact of your yoga mat and how this will impact your yoga mat choice. This is the main point against PVC since these do not break down as easily.
However, you might need to look out for a yoga mat which acts like PVC which is also eco-friendly, especially if you are looking for a budget choice as well.
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need on how to choose the best material for your yoga mat.
As you can see there are plenty of considerations that should be made when picking a yoga mat, however, the best way to work out what you like the most is to be able to demo and try out the yoga mat yourself!