How To Choose The Best Yoga Mat For Beginners

I initially wrote all of the below information as part of my post on how to build your own yoga kit for beginners, but then I realised that it was an extremely long article, so moved ‘how to choose the best yoga mat for beginners’ to a post all of it’s own… and here it is!

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

When I bought my own first yoga mat, I was amazed at the difference it made to my yoga practice. I’d been experimenting with some beginner’s poses and workouts on the living room carpet, which was fine for a short time, but when I got my mat I realised I had so much more stability and felt a lot more grounded. The cushioning also made the floor poses more comfortable, so much so that I could just about fall asleep in my corpse pose!

Before investing in my first yoga mat, I did a lot of research to find out how to choose the best yoga mat for beginners. The last thing you want is to unpack the mat you’ve been looking forward to, and find that it looks nothing like the picture you saw on-line, and starts tearing and fraying after a couple of workouts. Fortunately though, with a spot of research, we can make sure you get a mat you’ll love and that will last a long time…

Some links on namasteandcake.com are affiliate links, please see the disclosure tab on the bottom menu for full details, thank you!

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash

What To Look For When Choosing Your Yoga Mat

Here are the basics of what you need to look out for when you’re purchasing your yoga mat:

  • Thickness – most yoga mats are 1/4 of an inch thick (about 6.5mm). You can buy thinner ones, which can be a good option if you need your mat to be as compact as possible for travelling around, or thicker ones which can be very comfortable. One thing to remember though with the thicker mats, is that although they can be extra comfortable when you’re sitting and lying down, they will provide slightly less stability for your standing poses. If you’re not sure, go with a standard thickness to start off with.
  • Size – most yoga mats are around 24 inches wide and 68 inches long, but you can buy extra long and/or wide if you’re tall or larger build.
  • Surface texture – the main purpose of your mat is to stop you from slipping, so you want a mat with a non-slip surface (obviously!). Pretty much all yoga mats will say that they’re ‘non-slip’, but it’s always a good idea to check out on-line reviews to be sure.
  • Durability – pretty self-explanatory, you want a mat that will last and not tear or fray around the edges. Again, on-line reviews are your friend here.
  • Weight – not so important for home practice, but an essential consideration if you’re going to be travelling with your mat. Most yoga mats sold on-line will give the weight in the product details, and they can range from around 1 pound to 9 pounds, so it’s well worth checking!
  • Material – many yoga mats are made from PVC, but you can also find lots with more eco-friendly materials, like biodegradable rubber, cotton, and jute, so it’s well worth considering an environmentally sustainable option. By the way, many yoga mats can smell a bit funny when you first unpack them, but that usually goes away after a few days.
  • Cost – the cost of yoga mats varies enormously. Buying a really cheap mat can be a false economy, because it may not offer enough grip and not last you very long, but equally there’s no need to spend a fortune as a beginner, unless you really want to treat yourself.
  • Style – be sure to get a mat that you love to see time and time again! There are so many designs out there, you’ll have no trouble finding something that you love.

Here are some of the best options for you to consider, across a range of styles and budgets…

Heathyoga TPE Yoga Mat

Yoga kit for beginners best yoga mats

Yoga kit for beginners best yoga mats

This Heathyoga mat is a great all-rounder, and a safe bet for your first yoga mat. It’s made from TPE, which is a more environmentally friendly option than PVC, and comes in eight different color options. The alignment lines are a really helpful feature for beginners, as it can be difficult to tell whether or not everything’s aligned if you’re practicing at home without an instructor. It’s a standard thickness, but designed to provide extra cushioning and durability, and has a non-slip surface on both sides. If I had just one choice, I would say that this is probably the best yoga mat for beginners.

All the details

  • Size: 72″ x 26″ (slightly larger than most)
  • Thickness: 6.5mm
  • Weight: 2.5lb
  • Material: TPE
  • Note: if you’re purchasing this on Amazon, scroll down to the ‘special offers and product promotions’ and click ‘add both to cart’, to get a free mat sling and velcro strap.
  • Price: $39.95 on Amazon

Clever Yoga Non-Slip Yoga Mat (Best Budget Option)

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

This non-slip mat by Clever Yoga is $16.99, making it a great budget option. It’s also made from TPE, and there are ten different color options. Extra cushioning helps to reduce impact on your joints, and it’s designed to stop sweat and dirt penetrating the surface, so it’s easy to keep clean.

All the details

  • Size: 72″ x 25 1/4″ (slightly larger than most)
  • Thickness: 6 mm
  • Weight: 1.85lb
  • Material: TPE
  • Note: if you’re purchasing this on Amazon, scroll down to the ‘special offers and product promotions’ and click ‘add both to cart’, to get a free mat sling and velcro strap.
  • Price:$16.99 on Amazon

Gaiam Print Yoga Mat

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

Gaiam is a very well established brand, and their yoga mats have a good reputation, so you can expect all the usual features of non-slip, cushioning, and durability. You also get a free workout download when you purchase one. These mats come in LOADS of different color and pattern options (these are just three that I particularly like), so if you’re after something pretty and functional, then these are the mats for you!

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

All the details

  • Size: 68″ x 24″
  • Thickness: 3/4 mm
  • Weight: 1.89lb
  • Material: PVC
  • Note: Gaiam advise airing the mat for 2-3 days before use
  • Price: $21.98 on Amazon

The Liforme Evolve Yoga Mat (Luxury Option)

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

If you’re really looking to invest, and you’re sure that you’re going to keep practicing yoga for years to come, then the Liforme Evolve yoga mat is probably your best option. It has an amazing reputation and every review I’ve ever seen raves about it and says it’s well worth the investment. It’s renowned for its non-slip qualities and superior grip, has good cushioning, and features alignment guide lines to help you achieve your best poses. I’ve never used one, so I’d love to know what you think if you decide to invest!

All the details

  • Size: 72.8″ x 26.8″
  • Thickness: 4 mm
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs
  • Material: naturally sourced sustainable rubber
  • Note: comes with a free bag
  • Price: $149.95 on Amazon

And finally, it’s a good idea to get a simple spray cleaner to use on your new mat. I like this lavender spray by Asutra, which comes with a microfiber cloth and smells gorgeous.

That concludes my choices for the best yoga mat for beginners! You’ve got a great all rounder (the Heathyoga mat), a budget option (by Clever Yoga), a super-stylish mat (Gaiam), and a long-term investment option (the Liforme Evolve). I really hope this has helped you to choose the best yoga mat for you, and I would love to know what you think if you decide to get one of these. Or maybe you have a favorite to recommend to me? Get in touch and let me know!

P.S. If you’re after a couple of nice accessories to go with your lovely new yoga mat (like a cute bag and drinks bottle), you’ll find them included on my post on ‘How to Build a Yoga Kit for Beginners’.

Enjoyed this post on how to choose the best yoga mat for beginners? Why not save it for later on Pinterest…

The 4 best yoga mats for beginners

 

How to choose the best yoga mat for beginners

 

A beginners guide to choosing the ultimate yoga mat

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *