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 how to find quality 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. Thicker the yoga mat, better the cushioning and padding it will provide to your body while practicing yoga.
However, too much padding could also be uncomfortable while doing yoga because it might provide some bounce or you might find your feet or hands sinking into the yoga mat, which will make it difficult to balance on the mat.
Do not opt for yoga mats thicker than 1.5 inches, or you will lose the essence of doing yoga.
How Thick Should a Yoga Mat Be?
Yoga mats are designed in a way to ensure your joints remain protected even during 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?
Super cushioning might be ideal for other physical activities but not for yoga. Your body tends to get squished into the yoga mat, and your experience while practicing yoga might not be great.
Is a 6 mm yoga mat good?
Yoga mats of thickness 6 mm are believed to be of the ideal size and are most durable as well. They provide just the right amount of cushioning, ensuring you do not bruise yourself while practicing yoga.
Is a 3 mm yoga mat good?
Thinner the mat, the more the chances for wear and tear. Also, a 3 mm mat does not provide as much cushioning as might be required. 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 to allow you to have a stable connection with the floor. Thinner yoga mats can help increase stability required for various yoga asanas.
Thicker yoga mats, apart from providing extra cushioning, are useful for therapeutic practices. A thicker mat is ideal for seated poses like meditation and Pranayama and thinner ones 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 balancing 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 are practicing yoga on a hard tiled floor, try and avoid too thin mats.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga On A 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 harmful form of 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, and slip resistance.
What Is the Difference Between a Cheap Yoga Mat and an Expensive One?
We’ve mentioned below 10 reasons why yoga mats are expensive and qualities of a great yoga mat that you should keep in mind while making a purchase.
#1 What is the material of your yoga mat?
It is imperative to check the constituent materials, not just of the food we consume or cosmetics we apply, but of other products too. Are you aware of 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 materials for a yoga mat. 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 and getting used to it might 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 a yoga mat?
Expensive yoga mats are built to last, and they will be the yoga mat that stick with you through thick and thin, thanks to their built-to-last quality.
Some high-quality mats can last you as much as ten years, and cheap quality yoga mats tend to flake away in a year or even less, especially if you use it regularly to practice yoga.
#3 Should the mat be non-slip?
Yoga mats must provide you with a good grip so that you do non slip or non slide and stay stable while doing your yoga practice. Anti-slip, also called anti-skid yoga mats are particularly needed for those who practice physically demanding variation of yoga.
Poor quality yoga mats, especially those made of polyvinyl chloride foam, tend to be sticky and slippery. If you feel your foot sliding ahead in poses like a Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) or Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana), then you can conclude that your mat is not anti-slip and is not of a great quality.
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
“Cheap buyer gets bad meat” is no secret. Invest in a good quality mat, and you are sorted from buying them very often.
#5 Made with 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 switch towards greater incorporation of sustainable products in our lifestyle. 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 Ajna Organic Yoga Mat, Floele Eco Friendly Yoga Mat, and CorkTec Yoga Mat. These yoga mats are non-toxic and offer a range of eco-friendly designs.
#6 Can help you with your 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 great 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. How you roll or fold your yoga mat also helps keep in longevity of your 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
Typically, both sides of yoga mats are not the same, except for some microfiber material. One side is smooth, and the other side is has a textured surface.
The textured side is the one that you should keep upwards, as it would prevent you from slipping and would ensure 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, a funky looking or colorful yoga 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. My personal favorite yoga mats that are peppy and make me smile are Popflex Vegan Suede Yoga Mat, Manduka PROlite Purple Yoga Mat and Reetual Yoga Mat.
Downside 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.
You might like to read: Do Lululemon Yoga Mats Come With A Strap?
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 your yoga practice. Yoga is often done with a mat on a sturdy hardwood floor, and this is an ideal surface for a balanced practice. 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 surface.
However, one must not forget that yoga mats are designed keeping in mind 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.