What Mat Should I Get?

PictureManduka vs Jade vs Lululemon

This is a question I get asked all the time. The topic came up at one of my studios where I teach and through conversation with the student in need of a mat and another teacher, I was told I know a lot about yoga mats. So I’m here to share my knowledge with you! There are 3 major mats that people look at, so I’m going to give you the details and give my 2 cents on each. The companies? Manduka, Jade, and Lululemon.

PictureManduka Closeup

First up: Manduka PRO. I’m providing a closeup of each mat so you can see the logo and the texture of each. But let’s get right into the stats:

It is considered the taj mahal of mats. I think the biggest advantage this mat has over the others is it’s lifetime guarantee. This baby is incredibly durable! It can be left out in the sun, in your car, and it can still be used for years and years. This mat is also very thick so if you have sensitive knees or elbows, this one is great. It’s sturdy but also has a little bit of give so it’s comfortable. All Manduka mats come in a variety of colors, plus they have a big variety of mat types. There’s a PRO-lite, which means thinner and more lightweight, and they have a eco-friendly mat made from tree rubber.

While this mat is wonderful, it does have a few downsides. Firstly, it is quite pricey at $108 and if you order it online, shipping is incredibly expensive. Often yoga studios sell it, so if you are interested in it, call some of your local studios. Another con is this mat needs to be broken in. Because of the manufacturing process, it comes with an invisible film on the top that you have to wear away. You can speed up the process by doing a salt scrub which their website details, but I’ve heard many people admit that that’s not something they want to do. I have sweaty hands so I had to do the scrub to avoid slipping. The scrub does help, but it still takes time to wear your mat in so I have to carry a small hand towel around with me just in case. Lastly, this mat is quite heavy. I don’t mind the weight, but if you’re a yogi on the go or use a bike or public transportation to get to class, this one might not be for you.

It might not sound like it, but despite it’s initial quirks, I do quite like this mat. I love using it for teaching because of it’s thickness and I also have one that permanently stays in my yoga room at home.

 

PictureJade

Next up: Jade Harmony.

I will admit that I have only used this mat a handful of times. However, it did leave a good impression on me. Many people love this mat because it is eco-friendly. They even plant a tree for every mat sold. Similarly to Manduka, there is a wide range of colors. I think Jade might have even more options. They also have a couple varieties of mats so you can find this one in 3 different lengths, and they also offer varying thickness depending on your needs. I’ve only used the standard mat with the stats above and it was quite lightweight. As I said earlier, I have pretty sweaty hands and this provides with me the perfect amount of grip so I don’t slide at all. This mat is also well priced for such a good quality mat.

Unfortunately this mat has a few downsides too. Because of the natural material, it does biodegrade and while I have never owned one, I have heard they only last a few years if you use it a lot. You can’t leave this one out in the sun because that breaks it down faster. This mat is alsoquite squishy in comparison to the Manduka. While it doesn’t bother me, if you have sensitive knees, you can always use a blanket. Lastly, I’ve also heard it smells pretty funky at first. It is made of rubber, but the smell does dissipate overtime because the one I used smelled just fine.

While I have don’t own one, I know a lot of people that like this mat. We have a couple as mat rentals at one of the studios I teach at and I always make sure to give these out first. I actually had someone borrow one earlier this week and like it so much she went out a bought her own.

PictureLululemon

And lastly: Lululemon The Reversible Mat.

This mat was my first real mat. I had had one from Target, but this one stole my heart when I invested in it. But just like the others, it has it’s pros and cons. This mat has an amazing price and like the others has a wide range of colors. I’ve actually had 2 of these mats over the years and I mostly bought a second one only because the first was light pink and showed every speck of dirt. As said in the title, this mat is reversible. I only ever use the side pictured above, but the reverse side is closer in texture to the Jade mat. My personal favorite feature of this mat is the grip. It doesn’t look like it would be because of it’s lack of texture, but the polyurethane wicks away my sweat and absorbs moisture, but don’t worry, it’s antimicrobial. If you take a lot of hot classes, this might just be the mat for you.

That said, if you have dry skin and don’t share my sweaty hands problem, this mat can be slippery. My feet stay dry and I find I have to adjust a little bit, but my hands are a much bigger problem for me. Similarly to the Jade mat, this one also has a bit of a funky smell at first but it does go away quickly. This mat doesn’t have the longest life span and can wear thinner where you’re hands and feet often lay, but it should get you through at least 5 years of frequent practice, if not a few more. As for travel and yogis on the go, this mat falls in between Manduka and Jade as a happy medium.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these mats, it just depends what your personal needs are. I thought I would list the best mat depending on a few features to see what might suit you the best.
Longest lifetime: Manduka
Thickest: Manduka
Lightest in weight: Jade
Best for sweat: Lululemon (Jade is close second)
Cheapest: Lululemon
Eco-friendly: Jade

What is your favorite yoga mat? Let me know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Yogamatte

    December 15, 2017

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

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