This is a question I get asked a lot, and it’s never easy to answer!
When I first started to practice yoga, I bought a very cheap mat from a high street shop and it lasted me a good year before it started to show serious signs of wear and tear. However, this meant I had to go out and buy a new mat as there was no longer any grip. I went to the same place and bought the same mat again, just in a different colour. The same thing happened again.
I was then left with two mats, neither one recyclable. I’ve since re-purposed them as outdoor mats to lay under my new yoga mat and they’ve also served as ground sheets at a festival, so they are still being used and haven’t gone to landfill. But I knew I couldn’t keep repeating this year on year.
When it came to buy a new mat, I knew I needed to spend a bit more money for quality and find something that really worked for me.
As I started to look online, I realised that other people had the same issues I did. Now, I sweat a lot during yoga, even restorative yoga! This means my hands get really slippery – so Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) was always a struggle. My hands used to slide forward on the mat, I’d constantly have to re-adjust and this meant I wasn’t able to focus on my breath or trust my body in the posture. Teachers were always great and gave me tips like grounding down through the base of my index finger and thumb, or creating suction with the hands, but nothing seemed to help when my hands were so slippery!
I also found a lot of yoga mats really narrow – my hands and feet were always needing to be off the edge (which is fine, I don’t limit myself to the mat), but sometimes I’d need the grip of the mat, and it wasn’t there.
Now, I hate researching products, I’m awful at it. So, I went with the next best thing…I turned to people I followed on Instagram where I trusted their opinions…and I bought what they used!
I have no regrets; the yoga mat of choice was often Liforme, so I bought my first Liforme mat and I couldn’t be happier with it (I even went on to purchase the travel version too). I recommend them on my ‘Shout outs’ page (not a sponsored ad at the time of this post…hint hint Liforme…) and will continue to use them.
However, just because it is right for me, it doesn’t mean it will be the right mat for you. And, as they are very pricey, I’m always wary of recommending them to people just starting out with yoga.
So, which yoga mat should you choose?
Well, a company called Consumers Advocate (www.consumersadvocate.org) contacted me recently to let me know about their latest report on yoga mats.
A bit about Consumers Advocate:
“Our editorial team does rigorous research and testing so you don’t have to. We generate helpful, honest, and accurate information to match you with companies that are best for your specific situation so you can find what you need, when you need it.”https://www.consumersadvocate.org/about
On their About page is a full disclosure about how they make money as a company so I suggest you review this first to check you are happy before reading on.
Disclaimer stuff for absolute transparency! I just want to put a note here to say that I am not receiving payment for this post, they have simply asked me if I would like to share their report. They have said they will share my post if I choose to do so. I have thoroughly reviewed the report and would not be sharing if it didn’t align with my values.
The report is called: Best Yoga Mats Based on In-Depth Reviews: A comprehensive guide to Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Yoga Mats
I have to say, I wish this had been available a few years ago when I was looking to buy! They cover everything:
- How they analysed the best yoga mats
- Their top picks
- In-depth reviews on each brand/product
- Insight into their methodology
- What the lab results showed…
- The greenwashing of your yoga mat
- Helpful information about yoga mats
- What’s really in your mat?
- Q&A with Gillian Z. Miller, Ph.D., Senior Scientist for the Ecology Center
I was very pleased to see that Liforme made the list, this gives me great confidence when recommending them. But now I can also refer people to this report as it really does help you to make an informed decision.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. What’s your yoga mat of choice? If you’re looking to buy, has this report been helpful?