Yoga mats really are the only accessory you may need to buy for your yoga practice. There are so many to choose from and such a wide range of prices, to the cheap ranging from $20 to the more expensive around $120. And so for anyone wondering what type of yoga mat to buy, there is the question of whether expensive yoga mats are really worth it.
Expensive yoga mats are expensive for a reason. They are built to last and so they are the only yoga mat you will ever need to purchase. Additionally, as a general rule, the more expensive the yoga mat, the better the materials used are, meaning that it tends to be more eco-friendly with better grip.
There is even a particular brand that offers a lifetime guarantee for their mats.
Let’s have a look at the 8 reasons expensive yoga mats are worth the cost and continue reading for a list of the 5 best pricier yoga mats worth buying.
1. They’re more eco-friendly
As you would probably expect, more expensive yoga mats are most likely to be made from better and higher-quality materials.
More specifically, eco-friendly yoga mats are generally made from biodegradable natural tree rubber, while non-eco-friendly yoga mats are made from PVC.
And yet, even if a yoga mat is not listed as eco-friendly, it may still be the greener option. Why?
Well, something to point out is that in the case of Manduka at least, is that their non-eco-friendly yoga mats are “made from the highest quality PVC on the planet, manufactured emissions-free and guaranteed for life”.
This means that you will only have to buy one mat for the rest of your life and this is something that could offset the fact that it is PVC made and in turn, makes it less harmful for the environment as it will never be thrown out.
2. They’re more durable
When I first started practicing yoga I immediately went and bought a pretty and cheap yoga mat from Amazon. It arrived, I was thrilled and practiced on it the next day. What I very quickly realized was that this yoga mat was not going to last for very long.
It was thin, too thin for my liking and also, after just one practice little bits started coming off…
And so for my next yoga mat, I decided to do more research and found the Manduka pro mat, which is a very popular yoga mat amongst Ashtanga yoga practitioners. I have had this mat for just over 10 years!
It is ultra-dense with comfort and cushioning. It has a closed-cell surface that keeps moisture and bacteria at bay, increasing longevity and making cleaning very easy.
If you’re not sure about open and closed cell mats, here’s a little guide:
- The open-cell mat is porous and so it absorbs sweat. This can be good for a dynamic practice, however, it can be hard to clean and become a bacteria playground.
- The closed-cell mat is denser with an impermeable surface. It is more resistant to wear and tear and could be considered as more hygienic.
All the pricier yoga mats listed below are closed-cell mats.
3. You don’t slip
Again, more expensive mats are expensive for a reason. One of the reasons that become very obvious is when you want your mat to have a good grip. This is particularly true when you tend to sweat during your practice, or when you practice a dynamic form of yoga that involves many downward facing dogs.
The last thing you want is to be sliding all over the place making your yoga practice more challenging than it needs to be.
I will point out that this may not be important for those with a soft, more restorative-like practice. However, form experience I have noticed that if you practice Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or any physically demanding variation like it, well, in the long term you will want to invest in a good quality yoga mat.
The Liforme mat seems to have taken the grip an extra step: “We believe our revolutionary ‘GripForMe’ material is the grippiest Yoga mat material currently available on earth. It stays grippy even when ‘sweaty-wet’”
4. Some have alignment cues
There is one particular yoga mat, the Liforme mat which uses an ‘AlignForMe’ system that works as a navigational tool for the asana practice. This system helps guide practitioners to know where to place their hands and feet in certain postures.
The combination of intelligent markers can give you as much, or as little, guidance as you need.
One reviewer mentioned how much they love their Liforme mat and went on to say how helpful the alignment cues are to both beginners and experienced practitioners.
5. It may make you invest in your practice
Now, this is us now exploring the more indirect benefits of buying an expensive yoga mat.
And interestingly, this is something I have noticed happens with the students in my studio. The students who have purchased a new and pricier yoga mat, tend to be more committed to their practice. Even if they are complete beginners.
There is something about making an investment in a mat, in an accessory, and in ourselves that motivates us to make use of it more! Of course, this is not the general truth as I have some long lost mats in my studio. though I will point out that the cheaper ones tend to be forgotten about more.
6. Your main yoga investment
Yoga is one of those activities that really doesn’t require much equipment. Ok, there are many things to spend your money on like yoga accessories, clothes, yoga retreats, and your yoga studio membership, however, there are still ways to practice without needing to spend any money.
So for example, if you practice in your old sweatpants, at home, you really dot need to spend any money on your yoga practice.
However, the one thing that you will need is a yoga mat. And so why not invest in one that even has a lifetime guarantee, like the Manduka pro mat?
7. Some come with lifetime guarantee
Following from above, to the best of my knowledge, only Manduka offers this. The reason being? This mat is guaranteed to never wear out. According to Maduka: “If your PRO wears out from regular use and is no longer able to perform as intended, we will replace it under the Lifetime Guarantee.”
One reviewer who used this mat mentioned how tough and durable it is. Indeed, for a dynamic practice like Ashtanga, you want your mat to feel like it is going to last a while!
This is the mat I have and have had for the past 10 years. And indeed, it is a very durable and solid mat, perfect for my Ashtanga yoga practice.
8. Expensive yoga mats may save you money
As mentioned above, when I first started practicing yoga I bought a mat that cost around $20. I replaced it soon after buying it, but let’s say it lasted the year.
Let’s do some maths.
If I were to buy the same mat every year for the 11 years I have been practicing, I would have spent $220..! And yet, I bought my Manduka mat for $100 (which at the time seemed like a lot of money). And yet even with that investment, I seem to have saved $120!
Expensive yoga mats worth investing in
- The Manduka pro mat is a very popular yoga mat amongst Ashtanga yoga practitioners. It is ultra-dense with comfort and cushioning. It has a closed-cell surface that keeps moisture and bacteria at bay, increasing longevity and making cleaning very easy.
2. The Manduka GRP series mat is made from natural rubber is the ideal yoga mat for those who sweat a lot. a very popular yoga mat amongst Ashtanga yoga practitioners. The Manduka GRP yoga mat delivers supreme traction with no slip as it uses a leather-like surface and a charcoal-infused rubber core.
3. The Manduka travel mat is a ‘Fold + go’ mat that offers ultimate portability. Fold it and place it in your laptop bag or place it over your yoga studio’s yoga mat. Its surface texture offers a superior dry grip. It is made from biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber with non-toxic foaming agents.
4. The Liforme mat uses a natural rubber base with an added felt portion between the layers that help provide extra support, stability, and cushioning. It also has an ‘AlignForMe’ system that works as a navigational tool for the asana practice.
5. The Liforme travel mat also uses the ‘AlignForMe’ system that works as a navigational tool for the asana practice. This is the lightweight, portable version of the Liforme yoga mat. According to Liforme: “Our mats are always truly planet-friendly: biodegradable, non-toxic, and PVC-free. Take the Liforme magic with you wherever you go!”
6. The Lululemon Reversible mat is slightly thicker than standard mats, and as such has cushioning for knees, hips and floor poses. It has a polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture to help you get a grip during sweaty practices. And as a really good benefit, it also has what they call an ‘antimicrobial additive’ to help prevent bacterial mold and fungi.
7. The Lululemon Reversible (Un) Mat Lightweight Travel yoga mat has all the benefits of the original yoga mat mentioned above, but as it is thinner and lighter it is a perfect travel yoga mat. It also has a polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture to help you get a grip during sweaty practices. It also has a natural rubber base that provides cushioning.
8. The Jade Harmony mat is popular, especially for those looking for a good quality eco-friendly yoga mat. It is thick and this helps to provide great traction and cushion while still providing stability for standing poses. According to Jade: “Unlike other mats, Jade mats contain no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber, and are made in the United States in compliance with all US environmental, labor and consumer protection laws.”
What equipment do I need for yoga?
Yoga equipment can help make your yoga practice that much easier, whether you practice yoga in a studio or at home. Most yoga studios offer a wide range of yoga essentials and accessories to help their students with their practice.
The main equipment you really need is a yoga mat. The yoga equipment listed below is not necessary for a yoga practice. They are there to make your savasana more relaxing (e.g. the blanket and the eye pillow), to help you explore yoga postures in a more accessible and perhaps creative way (yoga blocks and strap), and the rest may come in handy at some point in your practice and your yoga travels.
- Yoga mat
- Yoga clothes
- Yoga mat bag
- Yoga blocks
- Yoga strap
- Yoga wheel
- Eye pillow
For more information, you may find my article interesting: Your Ultimate Guide To Home Yoga Essentials & Accessories
How do you clean a yoga mat at home?
Now, this is something that anyone who owns a yoga mat will need to find out about. Especially if we use our mat often!
There are a variety of ways we can clean our yoga mats at home. Some involve store-bought cleaners, while others involve DIY natural yoga mat solutions that you can make at home.
Also, some are as simple as a spray and a wipe and others involve more elbow grease for a deeper clean.
If you want o know more about cleaning your yoga mat, then you may find my article interesting: DIY Yoga Mat Cleaner (3 Easy to Make Formulas)
Can I travel on a plane with my yoga mat?
If you are interested in traveling with your yoga mat on a plane, know that different airlines around the world have different policies for carry-on luggage. To be sure, place your yoga mat in your suitcase and check that in.
Otherwise, depending on the carry-on baggage policy you may be allowed to bring your yoga mat on the plane with you.
If you would like to know more about this, I did a little research into traveling on a plane with a yoga mat, and here is what I found: I Contacted 11 Airlines About How To Travel With A Yoga Mat