Posted on January 17, 2019
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 5 best yoga mats among more than thirty products available at the moment.
My favorite model is the Liforme carpet, a high-end model that has proven its worth, with a soft spot for the Jade Yoga Voyager, much easier to take away, on an internship or on vacation!
You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide to determine which model is best for your practice.
The best cheap yoga mats
The entry-level models are made of foam. If these yoga mats offer appreciable cushioning, they are a bit of a struggle in terms of grip.
However, with their thickness, strength and ease of maintenance, they are very practical if you want to practice outdoors. It is also versatile mats, which can be used also for fitness, reinfo etc.
Maximo Fitness: the best cheap
Available in several colors
Maximo Fitness is a British brand that offers a selection of sports accessories at a low price: fitness, of course, but also yoga, cardio, reinforcement … Of course, the number of products on offer is limited, but the Maximo Fitness accessories are distinguished by their excellent quality / price ratio.
This versatile yoga mat is a perfect example of its know-how in this area! But it is not necessarily during the practice of yoga that it benefits the best …
The Maximo Fitness mat comes in different colors. It comes with its carrying strap, ideal for rolling and take it in the blink of an eye.
It is noted that the carpet is extremely light. It must be said that it is made of durable NDR foam. In terms of dimensions, the Maximo Fitness carpet displays standard measurements: 1.83 m long and 60 cm wide.
With 1.2 cm thick, nothing to worry about comfort: the Maximo Fitness carpet ensures. Hot, we can still worry about his outfit. Nothing to fear, however. In use, this model is surprisingly resistant for its low price.
Big advantage of the Maximo Fitness carpet: its versatility. Yoga, Pilates, abs … you can use it for all your activities. And nothing to spoil, it is resistant to moisture and easy to clean. It is therefore possible to embark for an outdoor session.
We can not ignore the biggest flaw of this carpet: if it is non-slip, it tends to stretch slightly when you support to stretch. This passes on a bass posture such as the Dog, but it may be more embarrassing for a greeting to the Moon.
We notice the rather unpleasant smell of the carpet at the time of purchase. This is not unique to this model, and it is a concern found in higher price ranges.
To remedy this, it is recommended to let it get air 24 to 48H before use: this is largely sufficient to eliminate this bad smell.
From the point of view of comfort, handling and versatility, Maximo Fitness is a safe bet. If you practice several activities like Pilates, stretching, fitness … and your yoga practice is punctual, you have found the perfect model.
If you practice frequently or exclusively yoga, however, it may be a little more complicated.
The best mid-range yoga mats
In this price range, it is possible to find carpets made of high quality materials. You can find yoga mats made of natural material and / or without toxic compounds.
The mid-range carpets are available in different thicknesses: it becomes possible to choose a model that is perfectly adapted to the yoga you practice and / or your level. These mattresses also have a fairly long life.
HD Fitness YG1800: the best mid-range … indoors!
Double-sided non-slip texture
HD Fitness is a relatively unobtrusive brand, yet offers accessories of very good quality for a price that remains reasonable. We particularly note its rolls and this carpet, made of materials of excellent quality.
If it is to book preferably in a practice room or at home, it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting carpets on the market.
The HD Fitness yoga mat is made of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE). This latest-generation material – latex-free, PVC-free, toxic / harmful chemical – is odor-free and more environmentally friendly.
This model, which comes in different colors, comes with its storage bag and carrying handle. Certainly, we appreciate the attention.
But let's be honest: the bag is not of exceptional quality and it is unlikely that you will be able to keep it for a long time.
Anyway, carrying this carpet is not a pleasure. Because despite standard dimensions (1.83 m long and 61 cm wide), this model weighs 1.51 kg. Not really the carpet that we like to transport!
And that's good: the fitness mat is only 8mm thick. Firm and non-slip (front / back!), It offers good cushioning and very good performance … in the room!
It lends itself to any postures, whatever your practice, provided it is placed on a suitable surface (ie: on an artificial surface). If the HD Fitness rug is not suitable for outdoor use, you'll probably appreciate its softness and excellent grip.
Do you go to yoga by public transport? Forget this rug and move towards the Jade Yoga Voyager.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a good rug for the home – or if you are going to your driving class – the fitness yoga mat is definitely the perfect model.
Jade Yoga Voyager: the best nomadic model
Foldable model extra-light (680 g)
JadeYoga is an American brand that was born in the early 2000s. Well known to yoga enthusiasts, it offers excellent quality carpets.
Its particularity: a strong ecological commitment. The company is not only paying attention to materials: it is also engaged in a process of reforestation (more than 1.6 million trees planted to date).
Beyond this eco-friendly approach, JadeYoga offers some nuggets, including this ultra-light travel mat.
As the name suggests, the Voyager carpet is made to move. It does not matter whether you're flying for an internship, traveling to your transit class, or enjoying your holiday carpet – with 680 g this yoga mat can follow you anywhere.
It does not show less beautiful dimensions: 1.73 m long and 60 cm wide.
At home, Voyager rolls like a classic rug. On the go, you can fold it to slip in the luggage (it's about the size of a yoga brick). In this case, think of unfolding it quickly when you arrive, this allows folds to disappear.
In use, this model offers a remarkable grip (one of the strengths of JadeYoga, by the way): no risk that the carpet and disturb your posture. It gives off a slight odor, which fades after a few weeks.
This carpet is actually made of natural rubber. Good to know: the company JadeYoga manages its plantations and is committed to planting a tree for each carpet sold.
The Voyager carpet comes in different colors. One can perhaps blame a surface that tends to mark (traces of hands, feet). Moreover, if you like to practice in the sun, be careful: it could lose its beauty in a few sessions!
Like all rugs offered by JadeYoga, Voyager is a safe bet. This is THE nomadic model par excellence!
The best high end yoga mats
High end carpets are most often thought to be used in specific conditions. If they offer real comfort to beginners, they will be particularly appreciated by seasoned practitioners.
Their strong point: an all-round grip, safe enough to practice while feeling free to move.
Liforme: the best upscale
AlignForMe Benchmark System
Liforme is one of the best American specialists in yoga mats. Its founder designed his first carpet based on his own experience of yogi, and we must admit that he was able to draw models that perfectly meet our expectations.
The eco-friendly brand is also known for its original landmark system, AlignForMe. Some practitioners may judge this anecdotal feature.
But it would be very difficult to resist the quality of its carpets. A quality that we find with this model, certainly a bit expensive … but it is well worth it!
The Liforme mattress is certainly not a featherweight. With generous dimensions – 1.85 m long and 68 cm wide – it weighs 2.5kg. It is therefore, it will be understood, a carpet intended primarily for practice in the studio or at home.
Made of natural rubber, biodegradable, this model combines high quality materials and technology "GripForMe", which guarantees superior adhesion. It therefore offers you exceptional safety on all your postures, whether you are beginner or advanced practitioner.
The AlignForMe system will not interest all yogis. Some still consider it a kind of gadget.
The fact is, however, that these benchmarks can be extremely useful. You will benefit especially if you start and want to practice outside your classes, without the assistance of a teacher.
This decidedly high-end rug comes with its bag. We also appreciate its ease of maintenance.
The liforme yoga mat is a must have if you practice regularly (note that it is also perfect for Pilates). His only real fault is his high price.
In the long run, however, it is clear that this model is exceptional, both in terms of comfort and resistance. This is without a doubt the best model currently available on the market.
Yoga Design Lab Combo: a nice alternative for the studio
Yoga Design Lab (or simply YDL for intimates) is an American brand. His creed: the style. From holding to yoga towels, all YDL creations are distinguished by their worked look. The Combo Studio Yoga Mat is no exception!
This model comes in an infinity of colors and graphics. With a natural rubber base and a top layer of ultra-absorbent microfiber, printed with water ink, Yoga Combo is both eco-friendly and powerful.
It even claims itself as a 2-in-1 accessory, combining a rug and a yoga towel.
If it is indeed biodegradable, this rug is far from perfect. It is also better to have a spray on hand to moisten it slightly, if you want to practice comfortably.
On the ground side, the grid is excellent. But the upper face is quite slippery at the beginning of the session. This seems related to his touch "peach skin": pleasant to the touch, it is not very safe during practice.
It should be noted that the trick of the spray works well and that this defect fades over time.
This reversible carpet has another small flaw: it catches a lot of dirt. This being said, it should also be noted that it is easy to wash (in a machine, drying in the open air).
Side dimensions, it leaves a little off the beaten track: 1.78 m long and 61 cm wide and 3.5 mm thick. Warning: as its name suggests, the Yoga Combo studio version is used … in the studio.
And he weighs his weight (not less than 1.8 kg). The Yoga Combo studio version is still delivered with its carrying strap, which is quite solid.
Despite its small flaws, this model remains a carpet of good quality, with neat finishes. Whatever your style, it is certain that the brightness of the colors and the quality of the printing will seduce you.
If you do not know YDL yet, know that the brand is committed to the side of an association (Urban Youth Yoga) to which it pays $ 1 for each carpet sold.
If the studio Yoga Combo mat is not the best on the market, it remains the most stylish. If his look seduces you, it will probably take a little patience, time to "skate" the surface. In the studio, this carpet will do its job … and its effect!
The products of my selection on offer for the moment
Here are the points to consider before embarking on your quest for the yoga mat that suits you. Because yes, it's important!
Yoga Mat vs Fitness Mat
It is common for beginners to invest in a fitness mat – or simply get back the one they already have. This type of carpet, usually foam, is not necessarily very healthy: PVC, latex … materials that are not really eco-friendly, which we prefer the TPE (see section "Materials").
Fitness mats have the advantage of being cheap, robust, ultra-versatile and easy to maintain. On the other hand, they quickly show their limits.
The main weakness of the fitness mat is its lack of grip and its tendency to stretch, even on a posture as basic as the Dog. In short: to progress and practice without risk of injury, it is best to invest in a real yoga mat.
His thing more? It is non-slip on both sides, which gives you better stability and freedom of movement.
The choice of the mat of a yoga mat depends on the following criteria.
Are you a beginner or a confirmed practitioner?
Have you chosen a gentle or dynamic practice?
The frequency of your sessions
Do you practice every day, once a week, occasionally?
Do you have a particular sensitivity in the joints?
The place of your sessions
Do you practice in the studio, and can you leave the carpet? Do you practice at home, outdoors, on the move?
Do not hesitate to note the answer to these questions, in order to establish precisely the "profile" of your future carpet!
We distinguish mainly 4 materials.
Cheap, it offers honorable resistance and comfort. It is criticized for its composition, specifically its phthalate content, endocrine disruptors suspected of being able to affect intensive users.
NBR Nitrile Foam
An inexpensive rubber, relatively flexible, that will not seduce all yogis.
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) is the "latest generation" revelation: a latex-free material, without PCV, without toxic / harmful chemical substance. Budget side, count about 30 to 40 €.
This eco-friendly material is one of the most expensive. It will require a budget of 40 to more than 100 €.
The dimensions generally vary from 1.73 cm or 1.83 m long to about 60 cm wide. The standard yoga mat may seem a little tight to neophytes.
It is true that for a posture such as Shavasana – on the back, arms and legs slightly apart – there are chances to "overflow" a little of the carpet. If that bothers you, you can find models called "XL", 80 cm wide.
If they are rarer, you can also opt for a round model (up to 1.90 m in diameter).
The thickness and the density
The thickness and density of the carpet determine its cushioning and, therefore, its comfort. Neophytes are thus often tempted by a thick mattress … to finally disillusion!
Yoga is a special practice: of course, you have to make sure you have enough cushioning so you do not have to suffer unnecessarily if you are on your knees, for example. It is also better to be well isolated from the cold.
But it is interesting to keep your feelings, and to remain "connected" to the earth. It is therefore better to opt for a thinner and denser model.
Some yoga mats are heavyweights. Models like the Liforme or the Yoga Design Lab Combo weigh their weight (respectively 2 kg and 1.8 kg): this avoids having a carpet that folds during the session.
The material also offers a good compromise between maximum comfort and connection to the ground. This is a great option if you practice at home or if you can leave your carpet at the studio.
If you have to carry your carpet between the house and the studio, it is better to opt for a nomadic model, much lighter. It is common that practitioners have 2 mats: one who stays in the studio, and the other who is destined for internships and travel.
Soft or dynamic yoga: we sweat! It is therefore recommended to clean the carpet after each session, before rolling it.
You can use a simple wipe to clean it. This will prevent bacteria from proliferating.
For a thorough cleaning, it is essential to refer to the manufacturer's instructions. Be aware, however, that more and more models go into the machine. On the other hand, they are dried in the open air and this can be quite long, depending on the material and the density.
Mid-range or high-end models are designed to be slip-resistant. In practice, it may happen that it is insufficient.
You can complete your equipment with a yoga towel, which you will put on the carpet. Unlike a classic bath towel, the yoga towel can cover the entire carpet.
A yoga mat sometimes has a cover and / or carrying handle. If you want to carry all of your equipment – carpet, roll, brick etc – it is better to opt for an authentic yoga bag, which will make your life easier.
Most allow you to attach your carpet, rolled, on top or below.