Yoga Design Lab Mat – Unbiased Review


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Yoga Design Lab combo Mat

Yoga Design Lab is known for its beautiful and eco-friendly yoga mats, but are they good enough to buy? Their geometric combo mat is my newest yoga mat, and for the purpose of this Yoga Design Lab mat review I have done some additional research, and here is what I found.

Yoga Design Lab mats come in a variety of beautiful patterns. The combo mat comes with an ultra-absorbent microfiber top layer, making it a great yoga mat for those who sweat a lot, or those looking for a hot yoga mat. Additionally, it has great cushioning due to its rubber base.

It’s no surprise this brand was listed as one of the best yoga mats according to Vogue.

In this review, I discuss my experiences with my Yoga Design Lab combo mat that I’ve had for a few months now.

The Best Things About a Yoga Design Lab Mat

Beauty – It Comes In Many Beautiful Patterns

Yoga Design Lab combo Mat

The first thing to love about the yoga Design Lab combo mat is the beautiful patterns it comes in!

The design of beautiful yoga mats was actually the main purpose of this brand. It all started in 2014 when Chad Turner, the creator of Yoga Design Lab, moved to Bali with the desire to create beautiful visually stunning yoga mats.

And the result is a wide array of yoga mats and accessories that are both eco-friendly and beautiful.

I purchased the Geometric design. I decided on this design as I remember this being the very first pattern I had seen of these mats and I guess it stuck in my mind.

The combo mat comes in 7 different and equally stunning patterns so you are sure to find something you like.

Grip – Great Grip When Wet

One of my favorite parts of the Yoga Design Lab mat is the incredible gip it offers. I’m not sure if you have ever practiced on a yoga mat without any serious grip, but it can be a real pain in the neck.

As you can imagine, having good grip is one of the most important features of a good quality yoga mat. And so I wanted to try out the grip on this yoga mat. In fact, I’ve done quite a lot of research on yoga mat grip, so I wanted to see how this mat compares.

Interestingly, most mats tend to lose grip once wet. And yet that is where the Yoga Design Lab combo mat differs.

With the Yoga Design Lab, you will know that once you have started to sweat you will get to experience a superior grip during your practice. However, this is where the main drawback comes into place and is discussed in detail below.

In order to experience this superior grip, you will have to have wet/sweaty hands or wet your mat first.

The reason is that the Yoga Design Lab combo mat comes with an ultra-absorbent microfiber top layer bonded to a natural rubber base layer. This means that dry hands will just slide off this microfiber layer. On the other hand, this layer can help offer great grip on wet/sweaty hands.

And this is why this is a great yoga mat for those who sweat a lot or those looking for a great hot yoga mat.

Top surface of the Yoga Design Lab combo mat

Eco-friendly – Made using 15 plastic bottles

If you are looking for an eco-friendly yoga mat, then you’ll see that Yoga Design Lab won’t disappoint. According to their website, the reasons the combo mat is heart conscious:

  • Recycled PET microfiber top layer is made using 15 plastic bottles.
  • Base layer is made with sustainable, non-Amazonian natural tree rubber.
  • All of our beautiful designs are printed with water-based inks.
  • Phthalate, silicone and toxin-fee.

Plus, know that all materials used are free of toxic chemicals. According to their website: “All of our products are Prop 65 and REACH certified, meaning that the ingredients used in our manufacturing process pass rigorous testing limiting the use of many toxic chemicals.”

Cleaning – Wipe It Down & For Deep Clean Put in Washing Machine

There are three main ways to clean a Yoga Design Lab mat:

  • For daily clean – One way is to wipe your mat after every sweaty practice with a damp cloth using just water. The second is with some water and soap. 
  • For deep clean – For a deeper clean you may even wash your combo mat in a washing machine, but only on a gentle cycle using a machine without a center agitator.

For more information on yoga mat cleaning, check out my article: How To Clean A Yoga Mat The Right Way

Yoga Design Lab combo mat thickness

Thickness – A Comfortable 6mm Thick

Yoga Design Lab mats come in a variety of thicknesses. These can range from the very thin 1.5mm travel mats, to the medium 3.5mm mats to the thicker 5.5mm mats. I chose the thicker version of 5.5mm as I prefer thick yoga mats.

This, for me, is the best thickness of yoga mat. Why? Well, it is thick enough so you don’t feel the floor beneath you, your joints are protected, your hands and feet don’t sink into the mat.

This particular mat has a rubber base. And so the 5.5mm version I have feels incredible to practice on, even if you’re practicing on a hard floor.

Yoga Design Lab Accessories

I will add this to the list of things to love about Yoga Design Lab.

If you are looking for a variety of eco-friendly and beautiful yoga accessories to add to your collection, then you won’t be disappointed.

Yoga Design Lab has:

  • Yoga bolsters
  • Straps
  • Yoga blocks
  • Yoga mat bags
  • Yoga wheels

And of course, they all come in beautiful designs!

The Worst Things About a Yoga Design Lab Mat

As much as I do really like Yoga Design Lab, it still has its issues.

Wet hands on my Yoga Design Lab combo mat

No Grip With Dry Hands

A big hang-up with the Yoga Design Lab combo mat is that there is absolutely no grip if you have dry hands. Of course I knew this when I bought this mat.

I had read that due to its ultra-absorbent microfiber top layer it only offers grip with wet hands.

And so the first time I practiced on it, it was a cold winter morning. The heating in the house wasn’t working. So there I was at 17°C (63° Farenheit) with super dry hands, sliding all over the place.

I went to the kitchen and wet my hands with tap water. Returned to mat mat and did one successful downward facing dog (see the photo above). But then my hands dried and I was sliding all over again.

The next day I practiced in the afternoon in my much warmer studio. And that is where I got to finally experience the grip grip I had read about.

Yes, its true that the more you sweat the more the grip improves. And so I can see this mat as being great for the summer or for hot yoga.

Yoga Design Lab is narrower compared to Manduka, BYoga and Lululemon.

Size – Its Narrower and Shorter Than Most Mats

Another disadvantage of the Yoga Design Lab combo mat is that it it is slightly narrower than most yoga mats.

You may notice this from the picture above where I have it sitting next to my Manduka Pro, BYoga, and my Lululemon Reversible.

And so if you like a slightly wider yoga mat for your practice, you may find that this mat is not spacious enough.

Both Good and Bad About Yoga Design Lab Mat

Price

The Yoga Design Lab combo mat is a premium yoga mat. And so like any premium yoga, it does come with an increase in price. For just under $100 you can own a good quality yoga mat.

Paying just under $100 may seem like a lot. And it is. However, think that you are buying a good quality yoga mat.

To give you a comparison, the very popular Liforme has a lifetime of about 4-5 years and costs just over $150!

Conclusion of Yoga Design Lab Mat

Yoga Design Lab is not perfect, but it is still a terrific buy. If you are thinking of settling for a cheaper yoga mat you may want to reconsider.

In my opinion, the added price it takes to get the superior quality of a Yoga Design Lab is well worth it.

I really love the grip (with wet hands only!) and comfort that the combo mat can offer. A nice thick mat that doesn’t mess up my joints is much appreciated whenever I’m practicing.

Not to mention the fact that its absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to practice on!

My biggest complaint is that you can’t practice on it with dry hands. But in my opinion, this is a small price to pay when juxtaposed with the plethora of great features.

Realted Questions

Is Yoga Design Lab good?

Yes, Yoga Design Lab makes very good yoga mats. They specialize in eco-friendly and beautiful yoga mat and accessories. The combo mat is perhaps their most popular yoga mat and it has an ultra-absorbent top layer which makes it the perfect mat for anyone who sweats a lot or practices hot yoga.

How to clean Yoga Design Lab mat

There are two ways to clean a Yoga Design Lab. For a daily clean you can wipe your mat with a damp cloth using just water, or some water and soap. For a deeper clean you may even wash your combo mat in a washing machine, but only on a gentle cycle using a machine without a center agitator.

Where is Yoga Design Lab based?

Yoga Design lab is based in Bali, Indonesia, however their products are manufactured in China by BSCI compliant factories that promote ethical, safe and humane workplace conditions.

What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?

4mm-6mm is the best thickness of a yoga mat. This is because 4-6mm can offer sufficient cushioning for your joints. In fact, the most popular yoga mats are in this range of thickness. Any thinner and your joins may suffer and any thicker and it may be hard to practice a dynamic form of yoga.

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Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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