Should you practice yoga without a yoga mat? No. But they are so expensive! Why are yoga mats so expensive after all? Have you ever wondered why? Let’s find out!
One can spot yoga mats in all yoga classes. If you are a yoga practitioner or associated with yoga in any way, you certainly understand the value of yoga mats, and it can’t be understated.
However, yoga mats may not always be very affordable. This article will discuss the cost factor of yoga mats and understand what makes them expensive and in what areas they are better than cheap yoga mats.
As you approach the end, we are sure you will also be able to make a checklist of all the pointers you would certainly want to see in your next yoga mat.
How Thick Are Yoga Mats?
The thickness of yoga mats ranges from 1mm to 8mm. The thicker the yoga mat, the better cushioning and padding it will provide for your body.
However, too much padding is unsuitable and uncomfortable for yoga because the bouncing effect of the thick padding will make it difficult for someone to balance on the mat.
Do not opt for yoga mats thicker than 1.5 inches, or you will lose the essence of yoga and the yoga mat.
How Thick Should a Yoga Mat Be?
The thickness of yoga mats is crafted to ensure your joints remain protected even in the most intense yoga postures. 4-6 mm or half inches to one inch is the standard and ideal thickness for yoga mats.
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Is a 12 mm yoga mat good?
So much cushioning might be ideal for other physical activities but not for yoga. Your body tends to get squished into the yoga mat, and it is no flattering experience.
Is a 6 mm yoga mat good?
Yoga mats of thickness 6 mm are believed to be the most durable and ideal size for yoga mats, and it provides just the right amount of cushioning.
Is a 3 mm yoga mat good?
Thinner the mat, the more the chances for wear and tear. The only good thing about them might be that they are inexpensive, but that also means you have to buy a new mat very soon.
Why Are Yoga Mats So Thin?
Yoga mats are thin because they help you to have a stable connection with the ground. Thinner yoga mats can help increase stability for styles of yoga with more active poses or balanced, focused poses.
Thicker yoga mats, apart from providing extra cushioning, are useful for therapeutic practices. A thicker mat is ideal for seated poses and thinner for standing yoga postures. So a combination of both is likely to work best for newbies.
Are Thin Yoga Mats Bad?
Thin yoga mats are ideal for practicing balanced postures and lending the user a strong connection to the ground. Thin mats provide more stability with certain styles of yoga.
Thin mats are not ideal for use on hard flooring, and they will make the experience very uncomfortable for the user. If you plan to work out from home and have hard tiled floors, try and avoid too thin mats.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga On Carpet
How Much Should I Spend on a Yoga Mat?
A yoga mat can cost as low as a meager $10 to a whopping $1500. If you are new to yoga but are determined to practice it regularly, invest in a good quality yoga mat that costs you something like $70-$80 for a natural rubber yoga mat.
The TPE mats cost $30-$50. Low-cost yoga mats are made with poor-quality materials such as polyvinyl chloride foam. Not only this, research shows that PVC is a highly toxic material and the most toxic plastic.
Are Expensive Yoga Mats Worth It?
Yes, expensive yoga mats certainly tend to outweigh their cheaper counterparts in numerous aspects such as durability, material composition, ease of movement, slip resistance, and whatnot.
What Is the Difference Between a Cheap Yoga Mat and an Expensive One?
Read our reasons in support of the statement and tell us your thoughts.
#1 What is the material of your yoga mat?
It is imperative to check the constituent materials, not just of cosmetics but of other products too. Are you aware: What is the material of your yoga mat? Poor quality yoga mats can be made of harmful materials such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates.
These chemicals are known to have adverse effects on the brain in case of excessive exposure. Cotton, jute, and cork are the best natural yoga mat materials. Investing in a non-toxic yoga mat should be high up on the list of characteristics for an ideal yoga mat.
One may also consider rubber mats. Natural rubber mats are a popular option and are used worldwide. Rubber mats, however, have a very strong smell getting used to, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
The material absorbs a lot of moisture and also helps keep traction in sweaty weather. For those who have a latex allergy, rubber-free mats would be ideal.
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#2 How durable is the yoga mat?
Expensive yoga mats are built to last, and they will be the yoga mat that sticks with you through thick and thin, thanks to their built-to-last quality.
Some high-quality mats can last you as many as ten years, and cheap quality yoga mats tend to flake away in a year or even less of usage.
#3 Is the mat anti-Slip?
Yoga mats must have a good grip to focus on bending your body into yoga postures and not ensuring that you do not slip. Anti-slip yoga mats are particularly needed for those who practice a physically demanding variation of yoga.
Poor quality yoga mats, especially those made of polyvinyl chloride foam, tend to be sticky and slippery. If you have never paid attention to the material of your yoga mat, you should do that now. In general, mats with textured surfaces tend to offer better grip.
#4 One time Investment
The cheaper buyer gets the bad meat is no secret. Invest in a good quality mat, and you are sorted from buying them very often.
#5 Made in Sustainable Materials
Sustainability is the need of the hour. While researchers and scientists are doing so much, the least we can do is use sustainable products and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
There is a global movement calling for the switch to all sustainable products in the coming decades. Cheap yoga mats are made in polyvinyl chloride foam, which is difficult to recycle.
High-end mats tend to be built partially or wholly from sustainable materials, and if you choose to invest in one, you are doing a great job, and we praise you for that.
If you are looking forward to making an eco-friendly purchase, you can check out brands such as Hugger Mugger, Jade Yoga, and Manduka. They offer a range of eco-friendly designs.
#6 Can help you with Alignment
Certain yoga mats in the market guide users to perform asanas by telling them where to keep their feet and hands on the mat. The alignment cues are tried and tested and are loved by many. The Liforme mat, which uses the ‘AlignForMe’ system, is one such mat.
Well, haven’t we mentioned enough reasons to splurge on a yoga mat already? Just in case you are not convinced yet and would like to know about some more, continue reading.
#7 Dealing with the heat
Can your mat take the heat? Certain forms of yoga lead to extensive sweating, this makes the mat dirty, and not all mats can deal with the same. A good yoga mat can eliminate the need for a yoga towel. If you use a yoga towel, you know how it gets, and the towel will twist under your feet and whatnot. The B Mat is one amazing yoga mat that can quite literally beat the heat.
#8 Is your yoga mat portable?
Some yoga mats tend to be very heavy. So heavy that the very thought of picking them and spreading them on the floor will tire you. A yoga mat can range from 0.2 pounds to 11 pounds; expensive mats tend to keep the portability factor in mind and design mats that come with the ease of portability.
Check if the yoga mat can easily be rolled and folded. Poor quality yoga mats tend to wear easily with frequent folding and rolling. However, folding and rolling are necessities and cannot be overlooked, making better quality mats necessary.
How you roll or fold your yoga mat also helps keep the yoga mat clean. Portability becomes even more essential if you travel a lot.
You might like to read: Can You Use A Yoga Mat Under A Treadmill
#9 The Two Sides of Yoga Mats
Not both sides of yoga mats are the same, except for some microfiber materials. One side is smooth, and the other side is grumpy and has a textured surface.
The grumpier side is the one that you should keep upwards, and it prevents the user from slipping and ensures a firmer and better grip.
#10 The mat can turn out to be your motivation to jump out of bed.
Last but not the least, an expensive mat can turn out to be your motivation to put it into use daily. You never know it is the first thing that makes you jump out of bed each morning.
Downsides of Expensive Yoga Mats
Yes, we certainly believe expensive yoga mats are worth the cost. However, we would also like to bring to the limelight some downsides of high-end yoga mats. After all, all that glitters is not gold.
Certain brands have very strict return policies, such as the Hugger Mugger does not offer any guarantees or trial and return options.
You invest a hefty amount, and what happens after is solely your concern. It is hence advisable to read in-depth product reviews before buying such a product.
You may still need to buy a yoga towel.
You invest in a good mat, and you need to invest in a good yoga towel. Some yoga mats like the Jade Mats can’t tackle the heat and sweat so well, which calls for a yoga towel.
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Lack of proper cushioning
Ideal thickness does not always mean proper cushioning; keep this in mind when shopping for yoga mats. Check for the right amount of cushioning based on the intensity of the yoga you practice.
Our Take on Expensive Mats
In our opinion, the pros outweigh the cons, and if you are a regular yoga practitioner, a good yoga mat is a first and foremost necessity. It is also important to consider your needs before making a final decision about which mat to buy.
Do You Need a Yoga Mat?
Yes, it would be best if you had a yoga mat for yoga. Yoga is often done with a mat on a sturdy hardwood floor, and this is an ideal surface for staying grounded and balanced. They are meant to create the necessary barrier between the surface beneath and your body.
Yoga mats provide the necessary cushioning and minimize the risk of any potential injury.
A yoga mat may not be necessary for some scenarios. Your yoga instructor must, however, always be consulted.
Is a yoga mat necessary on a carpet?
A yoga mat may not be necessary on a carpet. But, this also depends on the type of carpet you have at your home. Whether it is reliable or not for yoga can again be consulted with a certified yoga instructor.
Also, working out on a carpet once in a blue moon is perfectly alright. Do not forget to use a yoga towel to avoid damaging the carpet beneath.
However, one must not forget that yoga mats are designed to consider numerous factors, such as preventing hands and feet from slipping during the process.
Keep Calm and Choose the Right Yoga Mat!
Expensive does not always mean better. But, in the case of yoga mats, it tends to be so. Did we address all your questions related to yoga mats? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Also, share the article with someone who might find this information useful.