While every Yogi is different, and might need a different mat for their ability or needs, here is our review of 2019’s top 5 ultimate yoga mats, and why we love them. By Katie Morris.
1 - Best all rounder
Developed by actual experienced Yoga instructors, these mats are the new kids on the block having only just launched in early 2019. The mats feel like heaven, are supremely comfortable (given their unique air filled 'trilayer') and get an over all 10/10 for performance & style. There are also 2 alignment designs to choose from; one for those who like free-er movement, one for more detailed alignment. Kin is THE yoga mat brand for 2019.
2 - Best for variety
Manduka have such a huge offering, and really cool tool on their website to help you pick the perfect mat for you. Great for newbies who have no idea where to start in the yoga mat world (and the online quiz is really fun!).
3 - Best for the trees
For every Yoga mat Jade sell, they plant a tree. There are lots of companies who purport to plant trees but many use programmes that over-plant young sapling trees in non-specific locations which can actually wreck local ecosystems. Jade use ‘Trees for the Future’ who work with local communities on projects that are environmentally and economically sustainable. Jade claim to have planted over 1 million trees to date!
4 - Best mat for restorative Yoga
These mats really do look cool. While they’re a bit unstable, and frankly insanely expensive, they are also really fun if you want to make a huge statement. They're comfy af (think duvet cover spliced with an egg carton… but not the most functional and really should only be used for static practices like Yoga nidra/Yin etc.
5 - Best unique mat
Cork Yogis from £65
These mats are made entirely from cork, and amazingly sustainable and biodegradable material. Cork mats are the only environmentally friendly mat that is ultra lightweight too. However we found them a bit too hard and uncomfortable (beware if you have bony bits…) and they do start life rather slippy. Apparently the grip grows over time, and with moisture, so you can add a splash of water to yours to get it to grip better.
Ones To Avoid -
Avoid PVC made mats at all costs. It's a devastatingly damaging plastic that messes with the environment both In production and disposal. Greenpeace are currently lobbying to prevent PVC production in clothing (unfortunately many of the big brands still use PVC in lots of their mats) mats made from TPE (a plastic blend) are flimsy and will stretch and slide around on the floor giving you useless support and making balances impossible, even if they are super lightweight, avoid at all costs!
If you're a stickler for hygiene, closed cell surface mats are the best (as in Kin or Liforme), avoid porous rubber surfaces which retain moisture and end up stinking. You could also buy a yoga mat towel or ultra thin mat (See Kin's 2mm thick Skinny mat collection) to layer on top of sweaty studio mats.