So you want to buy your next yoga mat but are confused with so many choices available ? Don’t worry, you are not alone who is feeling like this. With so many options available in the Indian market and new products being introduced every next month it difficult for everyone to choose the best yoga mats. We are here to help you decide which mat suits your need. Here we evaluate most of them and list the top 10 best yoga mats available in India.
Do you need a yoga mat ?
The short answer is no. If you ask why, the reason is that yoga has its history dated back to more that 5000 years and there was no need of an mat until recently. Most of the yoga guru’s still don’t use an mat and try to keep the practice of yoga natural and minimal. One of the core elements of yoga is that you only need your body to do the assans. Having said that, yoga mat provides several benefit’s to the user. It provides you tracking and cushioning, which increases you stability and balance. It also helps prevents you from slipping when you palms and feed get sweaty. So yoga mat are not necessary but they are good to have.
Assuming that you have made up your mind to buy a yoga mat, read on to find out how to find the correct mat for you and how did we evaluate the mats to come up with list of top 10 best yoga mat in india.
How to choose the best yoga mat
Please read this section carefully, It is more important than the ranking we provide below. This because different people are looking for different features in a mat. So the number one mat in our ranking may not be the best suit for your requirement. These evaluation criteria will help you make a informed decision.
Sometime you may think that there may not be big difference in the all these yoga mats, after all its just a mat on which I will do my yoga assans. You are wrong, having a yoga mat with correct traction, thickness and material is going to make a big difference to your comfort and stability. Selecting the right mat also depends on the style of yoga you practice.
There are mats available for a wide variety of uses such as gym, general fitness, pilates, exercise, aerobics etc. Therefore you have to clearly understand your needs before you decide to buy a mat.
Some of the key factors you should consider while choosing a yoga mat are :
One of the most important consideration while choosing a mat is its thickness. This because thickness of the mat affect all the other factors. Typically yoga mats are between 3 mm to 6 mm thick. However there are few mats such as Iso Solid yoga mat that are 15 mm think. Thickness is such an important factor because you spend most of your time standing on the mat or in the yoga posture. Hence you need cushioning provided by the mat which is directly related to the thickness. 4+ mm of thickness should work best for most of us. But if you are looking for more comfort and stability, then you should look for mats with higher thickness as well.
Yoga mats are made from different materials like rubber based, chemical based, Cotton rug based etc. Well for some users the materials used in the manufacture of the mat does not matter provided all other factor are taken care of, while for some other, these is an important factor.
Rubber based mats are most common, they are made from the rubber generated from tree. Once issue with the rubber mats is that they have typical rubber odor or smell in new mats which usually fades away with time. Rubber mats are good at soaking sweat and water, hence they give you good grip. But the down side is that they need more up keeping and cleaning.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), and PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) are the common chemical used in making of chemical based mats. Cotton based mats are the common mats used in every household in India. These can be used if you are doing yoga for a short time as these don’t provide much grip and cushioning.
Another important point you should check about material is weather you are allergic to any of the components used such as latex.
Traction (or Stickiness)
The importance of this factor depends on the type to yoga asans you intent to carry out. If the asans required lots of turning, twisting ans sliding, then you have ensure that the mat has good traction. Traction is yoga mat means how good grip, anti-slip features is provides. These depends on both wet and dry conditions. If you are one of those whose palms gets sweaty just after few yoga routines then pay close attention to the effectiveness of wet traction provided by the mat. For general cases, you need to consider the dry traction also. A good mat should have a sticky surface that will firmly hold you to the ground during your yoga routines.
Stability and Comfort
Another important factor to look at when buying a yoga mat is the stability and comfort it provides. These features actually depends on the a combination of other factors like thickness, material and traction which we have covered separately above. However you should also check the comfort level provide by the mat, well that is the whole purpose of buying a mat.
When you buy a yoga mat, you plan to use it for a at least 6 months. So durability of the mat becomes an important part of you selection criteria. If you are a regular with your yoga classes, then the mat will get used everyday. Over a period of time the mat tends to wear out. The surface becomes imperfect and the top layer starts to peel off. Some mats even starts to crack along the lines where we fold or roll them. Another common issue you would face as the mat gets older is that it starts to loose traction and stickiness. To avoid this problems ( or at least delay them for a fair amount of time) you should make sure that the mat you purchase is durable. Also need to take into consideration what type of warranty the manufacturer provides and for how long. Good manufacturer will be confident of their product and provide a longer warranty.
We have taken feedback from people using the mat for some time to understand its durability. This is the easiest way to validate the durability claim of the manufacturer. The ranking has be provided to the mats accordingly based on these feedback’s.
Portability is the ease with which you can carry the mat around. This may not be a very important factor for those who are doing yoga at home or at a constant place. But those who travel around or go to different yoga groups this becomes an important factor for choosing the correct yoga mat. The mat must be light, easily fold-able or roll-able and take up less space. Also the mat must stay in the rolled position and should not un roll it self. Some manufacturer also provides a bag to carry around the mat. This will be an added advantage for someone who is on the move. While some other manufacturer provide straps to keep the rolled mat in position. The bag or strap can also be purchased separately as a accessory.
Wash-ability: ( How to take care of you mat )
As you continue to use the mat, sweat, oil and other dirt will start to deposit on the layer and soon it becomes very untidy. Hence it becomes very important that you keep the mat clean by washing it regularly. You should ideally wipe it with water daily and clean it thoroughly at least once in two weeks. This is important to keep your mat odor free and bacteria free. Do note that the mats usually take a lots of time to dry. So its better you time your washing with a off day of your yoga routine.
We have evaluated these mats on the easiness of washing, maintaining and drying.
Here is a very good article on how to clean your yoga mat.
The best yoga mats you can buy in India
Other factors that might be relevant to some users but we have not considered in our ranking are :
- Style : How good does it look, what is the color, the graphics on the mat etc.
- Value for money : What features it provides for the buck.
- Eco-Friendly : It is made from natural, non toxic products, is it recyclable.
If after reading this detailed review, you still cannot pick one then we suggest the best alternative is to speak to your fellow practitioner in your gym or your locality. Ask what has brand they use and how satisfied they are with the product. Try to evaluate the product on the all the criteria s we have mentioned above.
Strauss Yoga Mat
|Other Mat Features||
Provides right cushion
1 Yoga Mat
Stag Yoga Mantra Mat
AmazonBasics Yoga and Exercise Mat
Paffy Yoga Mat
Height: 460, Length: 2440, Weight: 273, Width: 510
Paffy Yoga Mat – 6 Mm – Floral Print – Textured Pattern – Anti Skid Both Side – Washable – With Cover
Iris Yoga Mat