Yoga mats may be the only investment you ever have to make. And so naturally, when you purchase your very own yoga mat, you want to know exactly how long it is going to last.
The average yoga mat can last for anywhere between 6 months and 2 years. Where your yoga mat lands in this range will depend on your yoga practice, how often you practice, and how you care for it. Cleaning it regularly and letting it air dry will help it last for a longer amount of time.
Just like how you need a good pair of shoes to get you through hours of walking, running, or other activities, you really need a good quality yoga mat if you want it to last just that bit longer.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right yoga mat and things that you may not otherwise know until you start to see your mat falling apart, literally! Luckily, I am here to provide you with some helpful tips, so you can have confidence when you buy your very own yoga mat.
In this post, I’ll be highlighting the life span of yoga mats, what kinds last the longest, and give suggestions. We will also look at some helpful tips and tricks you can do to increase the life of your yoga mats and how to know when it really is time for a replacement.
As a result, I will hopefully save you a few extra dollars and struggles in giving you some help in knowing more about your yoga mat.
Luckily, if no one has told you these things before, today is your lucky day to find out some great suggestions to help you choose a good quality yoga mat and help it last longer.
For more information on how to find your ideal yoga mat, here is How To Choose the BEST Yoga Mat in 8 Steps.
A Yoga Mat’s Lifetime
As stated above it is pretty typical to find that the life of yoga mats lasts around 6 months to 2 years, however, it does depend on a few factors that affect how long it will last.
Yoga mat material, thickness, how often you practice, what type of yoga you practice, and how you care for your yoga mat are just some of the things that can affect your yoga mat.
There are some yoga mats that last beyond the 6 months to 2 years with some yoga mats even lasting anywhere between 2-5 years and one, in particular, lasting well over 10 years! However, since there are a few factors that affect the life of your yoga mats, you may affect the life of your mat, despite some of the averages.
I have been a yoga teacher and studio owner for the past 7 years. And so that, combined with the research I have been doing for this blog and my YouTube channel has helped me do a lot of research into yoga mats.
My experience may help you take a look at how we all treat our yoga mats.
Sometimes pretty and cheap yoga mats are what draw our attention, but if you want to get the most out of your yoga mat, aim for good quality and not too cheap.
What Lasts the Longest?
I now own a rather wide selection of yoga mats. And so here is a quick list of the best three yoga mats you can get and why.
- Manduka Pro
Here is also a quick comparison chart between each of the yoga mats that I selected. Each yoga mat is highlighted with a link to check out on Amazon.com (except Lululemon). You can see more details and other specifications if you need more information than what was provided or are looking to buy.
Listed on here is something called the Load Rating Index. If you aren’t sure what that is, scroll down to the posted chart and details so you can get an idea of what your tires can handle.
|Yoga Mat||Price||Highlighted Feature||Material|
|1. Manduka Pro||Over $100||Most long-lasting||PVC|
|2. Liforme||Over $100||Intelligent alignment||Rubber base, eco-polyurethane top|
|3. Lululemon||Under $100||Affordable||Rubber base, polyurethane top|
Each yoga mat has unique features, but these select four are just a few brands that last quite a while.
Let’s just review a little bit about each brand and mat so you can get an idea of how long they last.
How long does a Manduka Pro mat last?
As a general rule, a Manduka Pro should last a lifetime. It is a 6mm thick PVC yoga mat, meaning that it is a thick closed-cell mat, which helps ensure that it won’t absorb any moisture. In turn, this will help prolong its lifespan making it a mat for life.
Manduka Pro has some pretty impressive reviews for how reliable and durable it is. At a reasonable price for a premium yoga mat as well as great grip, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with it. It may be one of the more expensive ones out of the mix, but given the fact that this is a mat for life makes it worth every penny.
Manduka Pro lasts the longest of all yoga mats. So it’s no surprise it’s considered a mat for life. I’ve had my Manduka Pro for over 11 years. I practice on it and teach on it and it hardly has any signs of wear and tear!
How long does a Liforme mat last?
If you practice a dynamic form of yoga every day, a Liforme yoga mat should last between 1-2 years. If you practice twice a week then your Liforme may last 4-5 years. The grip is what will start to deteriorate and once your hands start slipping you will know you need to replace your mat.
Liforme is expected to be replaced every 1-5 years, depending on how often you practice. And so if you have a daily dynamic practice, then expect the mat to last 1-2 years. That is pretty typical for premium yoga mats with a polyurethane top surface.
You will find that this yoga mat is a great option if you are looking for a yoga mat that offers a superior grip. It’s really durable. Due to the alignment system, this yoga mat is a great option for beginners.
How long does a Lululemon mat last?
As a general rule, a Lululemon yoga mat should last between 1-2 years if you have a daily dynamic yoga practice. If you practice a gentle form of yoga twice a week, then expect your Lululemon to last much longer, around 4-5 years.
Lululemon Reversible 5mm is similar to the Liforme, though slightly thicker. It works for both grounding and dynamic yoga practice thanks to its extra cushioning and great grip thanks to its silky smooth top surface.
9 Signs You Need to Replace Your Yoga Mat
There are so many different types of yoga mats.
What does this mean for the problems that might affect the longevity of your mat? Well, this simply means that you may not experience all of the problems listed below or you may even experience alternative problems not mentioned in the following list.
1. You Notice Wear and Tear
One of the most common problems that occur in yoga mats is wear and tear.
Wear and tear occur when the surface starts to change. This often occurs where our hands and feet are positioned, especially if we practice a dynamic form of yoga.
Wear and tear is very common for yoga mats and so if it affects your practice, then it is time to replace your yoga mat.
2. Your Yoga Mat Became Extremely Slippery
As you may already know, grip is something that can be rather important in yoga mats. In fact, there are several different types of yoga practices that require exceptional grip, such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power yoga.
Read this Yoga Mat Grip: I tested 7 of the most popular mats to learn more about which yoga mats offer the best grip.
And so if our yoga mat starts to lose its grip, and we start slipping in various poses, then perhaps it is time to replace your yoga mat.
3. Weird Smell
Another problem almost every single yoga practitioner owner will have to deal with is a smelly yoga mat.
Why do yoga mats smell? Yoga mats smell because when dust and sweat stay on the surface, this becomes a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. And this is what causes the bad smell. Cleaning your mat regularly and letting it air dry after every practice will help prevent a smelly yoga mat.
Try to wipe down your yoga mat regularly and even consider giving it a deep clean once a week or even once a month.
One method of cleaning a yoga mat is by making your own DIY cleaner. There are several easy yoga mat cleaning recipes you can create at home.
On the other hand, if you want t buy a ready-made mat cleaner, my one can be found on Amazon by clicking here!
Another method of cleaning your yoga mat is with yoga mat wipes which can even be used on your body after a sweaty practice with no shower around! Click here to find yoga mat and body wipes on Amazon!
4. Your joints hurt
Yoga mats really are the only accessory you may need to buy for your yoga practice. And so especially if you have sensitive joints and you want to protect them and be able to keep up with your practice, it really is important to have a yoga mat that has good cushioning.
With time our yoga mats may become thinner due to use. And in turn, this may start to put pressure on our joints.
And so if this is the case, be sure that your yoga mat can offer enough support and cushioning for your joints. And you will find this by getting a mat of sufficient thickness. Here is how to choose the perfect yoga mat thickness.
5. The surface is uneven
Depending on the type of yoga we practice, we may be using certain parts of it more than others. For example, any ashtanga yoga practitioner will tell you that the first signs of wear and tear they see on their mat is where their hands and feet are placed in downward-facing dog.
And it makes sense to see an uneven surface there.
This may start to affect the grip and the cushioning so the best advice is to now consider replacing your yoga mat.
6. It’s going bald
This is a rather common thing to happen to yoga mats, particularly cheap yoga mats.
And so what you will start to see is little bits of your yoga mat slowly coming off after every practice. The result of this is a bald-looking yoga mat in need of a replacement!
7. It becomes harder to balance
A yoga mat is meant to be of an even surface. And in turn, this may help us in any balancing postures. However, when it needs replacement, you may start to notice your balance is affected.
Well because an older mat may have less grip and may gradually have an uneven surface. And so both of these factors may affect our balance.
8. You change type of yoga
There are different types of yoga mats that are best suited for different types of yoga.
For example, if you like grounding yoga practices like yin yoga or restorative yoga, then aim for a thick yoga mat that may provide the required cushions for your joints (ideally 6mm thick).
Alternatively, if you practice a dynamic type of yoga such as Ashtanga yoga or Power yoga, then it is important to have a yoga mat that has sufficient grip.
9. You sweat a lot
It is normal to sweat a lot during certain yoga practices. This may be the case when we practice a dynamic form of yoga, or when we practice in a hot and humid country.
And so if you notice that you sweat a lot, it is important to have a yoga mat that maintains its grip so as you don’t slip during your practice.
I filmed a video where I tested the grip of the 7 best yoga mats on the market, both with dry and wet hands. Check it out here!
Additionally, if you sweat a lot, it is vital you airdry your mat after every practice as that way you help reduce any unpleasant smells!
How To Make Your Mat Last Longer
So what can you do to your yoga mat in order to help it last longer?
There are a few ways you can help your yoga mat last longer. Read the care and cleaning instructions when you first get your mat so as to know how to properly clean it. Additionally, avoid any direct sunlight, especially if that is on the care instructions. Lastly, wipe down and air dry regularly.
Cheap vs Expensive yoga mat
First off, whether we like it or not, an expensive yoga mat is more likely to last longer than a cheaper one. And so think about it this way:
A yoga mat may be the only thing you ever have to buy for your practice.
So why not buy one that will last?
I’ve used the super cheap mats that fall apart after just a couple of months.
There are so many good quality yoga mats to choose from and such a wide range of prices, to the cheaper ones ranging from $80 to the more expensive around $120.
If you are wondering what the longest-lasting yoga mat is, well, it’s the Manuka Pro. And don’t just take my word for it! It even comes with a lifetime guarantee on Amazon.
Clean your mat regularly
Another great note would be to wipe your mat after every practice. It doesn’t take very long, but dirt and sweat can affect the life of your yoga mat.
If not cleaned regularly, bacteria may grow on your mat. And so cleaning your yoga mat regularly will help prevent any germs and fungi from forming on your mat.
Try to make it a habit and you’ll see that cleaning your mat may even become part of your practice.
For more information, I published a video on how to prepare your own DIY yoga mat cleaner and how to clean your yoga mat.
A good rule of thumb is to try to wipe down your mat after every practice. It goes without saying that this is vital if using a shared yoga mat in a studio.
Practice with clean hands and feet
As a continuation from above, having clean hands and feet will also help prevent dirt from collecting on your mat. ANd so see this as a preliminary step to your practice.
You can even use baby wipes to wipe your feet, especially if you practice in a yoga studio where washing your feet may not be the easiest thing to do.
Air dry your mat after every practice
This is something most of us forget to do. Am I right?
And yet, if you have a sweaty practice and simply roll up your mat and store it till your next practice, chances are you are going to be greeted by a very smelly yoga mat!
And so after a sweaty practice and after wiping or cleaning your mat, let it air dry to prevent any bacteria from growing.
Place a towel or cotton rug on top
In the Ashtanga yoga world, we tend to place a cotton rug on our yoga mat to both protect our mat and also to help absorb our sweat. These cotton rugs are cheap and may help prolong the life of your mat.
One such example is the Hugger Mugger cotton rug.
And so after every practice, you can simply put your cotton rug in the washing machine and have it ready for your next practice.
Avoid direct sunlight
Most people forget that the sun has a big effect on not only their health but also on their yoga mats. The UV rays from the sun can be damaging. By keeping your mat out of direct sunlight you’ll be able to protect it from the rays of the sun.
Some yoga mats are more sensitive than others when it comes to sunlight. And so rubber yoga mats may deteriorate from direct sunlight.
Read your yoga mat specificaltions
Another really great thing that some may roll their eyes at. . . I know that I do that sometimes– is just check your specific care instructions about how to care for your yoga mat. Despite how boring it may be to some, the information is a really great guide to help you protect your yoga mat.
All these tips are really good general rules that can help, as with everything, there are specific instructions in the care of them. This can help preserve and extend the life of your yoga mat.
Overall, with careful care, you can get a lot of time and practice out of your yoga mat!
In this article, I have explored the problems that may limit the life of your yoga mat, and things you can do in order to increase your yoga mat’s longevity.
Of course, some yoga mats may last longer than others.
While the typical lifetime of a yoga mat is between 6 months and 2 years, if you invest in a good quality mat that is suitable for your practice and you clean it regularly, you can greatly increase its longevity.
How long does a Jade yoga mat last?
As a general rule, a Jade yoga mat should last between 1-2 years if you have a daily dynamic yoga practice. If you practice a gentle form of yoga twice a week, then expect your Jade to last much longer, around 4-5 years.
How long does a rubber yoga mat last?
As a general rule, a rubber yoga mat should last between 6 months and 2 years, especially if you have a daily dynamic yoga practice. The first thing you will notice is wear and tear appearing on the surface which will result in your mat going bald in places.
Do yoga mats go bad?
Yoga mats go bad in a variety of ways. The most common sign of a yoga mat needs replaced is when bits start coming off from the surface resulting in a bald yoga mat. Alternatively, when a yoga mat loses its grip or starts having a bad smell, then that is also a sign of a mat that has gone bad.
How do you know when you need a new yoga mat?
As a general rule, you will know that you need a new mat when you aren’t enjoying your practice anymore. This may be due to bits coming off from the surface this may also be due to a new lack of grip. It may also be due to an uneven surface making balancing postures a struggle.
When should I throw away my yoga mat?
As a general rule, you can throw away your yoga mat when you know it has reached the end of its life. This means that the yoga mat doesn’t serve you or your practice and you are ready for new investment. For some mats, this may be after 6 months and for others after 4 years.
What happens to old yoga mats?
Old yoga mats can be recycled or even reused into different objects. For example, most rubber yoga mats can be recycled. Alternatively, if your yoga mat material cannot be recycled, it can be transformed into something new, such as mousepads or even sleeping pads at an animal shelter.
For more information on what you can transform your old yoga mat into, Gaiam has some very creative ideas!