After some time of practicing yoga, you crave to have your own mat. In the end it is where you place your hands, feet, face and sweat :) You realize that your mat slips or that is it not cushioned enough for your knees when doing frog pose. You can't ask much more of a cheap mat. Sorry, but it's true. Investing in a yoga mat is similar to investing in good shoes. 

There are many yoga mat brands out there. In this post, I describe my experience with the different yoga mats I've tried, why I like them, and whom I believe they are best for. Are you ready to find the mat that best fits your needs?

Fabletics jade yoga mat

Price: 25 EUR (25 USD)
Weight: 1,05 kg (2,3 pounds)
Dimensions: 183 x 61 cm (72" x 24")
Thickness: 4mm
Who: Beginner or travel yoga mat
Why: They are thin and easy to carry with you on a trip. They slide a bit until they are broken into. It can be enough if you like to practice about once a week.

I've taken this yoga mat on trips and it is great because it fits everywhere and it is not to heavy. In their website they mention that is made with Eco-Friendly Non-Toxic Materials, and an ECO-PVC blend. At the beginning of practicing with it, it slides but it gets better the more you practice on it. However, if your joints hurt easily perhaps this thickness is not for you. This mat is also very similar to the ones by GAIAM, which I used when I began yoga.

Lolë women glow yoga mat

Price: 39 EUR (about 39 USD)
Weight: 1,1 kg (2,4 pounds)
Dimensions: 183 x 61 cm (72" x 24")
Thickness: 6mm
Who: Beginner or travel yoga mat
Why: They are thin and easy to carry with you. They have an excellent grip; you won't slide or slip. If you use them intensively they will not last more than a year. 

I used this mat when I went to live to Barcelona for almost a year. It is very light, has a great grip (you will not slide at all). When I had it I would say it was 3 mm thick, but they've probably changed the design. The mat is PVC-free, latex-free, recyclable and eco-friendly. If you do not practice too often (once a week or less), it will do its job. I used it intensively and it rubbed out within a year.

jade harmony yoga mat

Price: from 74,95 USD
Weight: 2,2 kg (5 pounds)
Dimensions: 61 or 71 cm (24" or 28") width and length of  172 cm, 180 cm, 188 cm (68", 71", 74")
Thickness: 4,8 mm
Who: If you practice more than 3 times a week
Why: The grip is wonderful, beautiful colors, and not too heavy to take with you traveling.

This was my first serious yoga mat. I bought it after my yoga teacher training in 2013 and I still use it.  Although it is starting to be a bit damaged, it still rocks my practice. It offers enough cushion for the joints too. I really like that there are many colors available to choose from (the teal one donates to ovarian cancer causes!). They are made from natural rubber from rubber trees so they do not contain PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubbers. Plus, they plant a tree for every mat sold :)

Manduka PRO yoga mat

Price: 89 euros (108 USD)
Weight: 3,4 kg (7,5 pounds)
Dimensions: 66 cm (26") in width and option for 180 cm (71") or 215 cm (85") in length
Thickness: 6 mm
Who: If you practice more than 3 times a week
Why: The grip is wonderful, excellent cushioning for joints, and great performance.

I tried this mat for the first time in September 2016 and I was amazed by the its wonderful cushioning and yet its stability in balancing poses. I've been using it for three months and I love it. If your joints usually hurt on the mat, this is the mat that will make you feel great. To break it in, you can place salt on top ;) Manduka asures the PRO never wears out, so it is to be considered when making an investment. I also like how it is bigger than other mats, allowing you more space if you are in a mat-to-mat studio class. It is OEKO-TEX certified, meaning that it has no any toxic emissions to the atmosphere and that it is safe for human contact. It will not slide from the floor and is also thought for intense sweaty sessions. It is the perfect mat for your home practice.

Liforme EVOLVE yoga mat

Price: 100 GBP (140 USD)
Weight: 2,5 kg (5.5 pounds)
Dimensions: 185 x 68 cm (73" x 27")
Thickness: 4,2 mm
Who: If you practice more than 3 times a week
Why: Non-slip, light-weighted, alignment marks, and wonderful performance.

I've just recently started practicing in this yoga mat and it checks all my yoga-mat-must-haves. This yoga mat is made with natural rubber and eco-polyurethane, so it is PVC-free meaning that it doesn't contain heavy metals. In the picture above, the Evolve yoga mat is shown, it is exactly the same as the original Liforme yoga mat except for the alignment marker system. There are less markings on the Evolve, which is less distracting and allows you to easily finding your "heal to arch alignment". I love it's size: it's the widest mat available.  Its cushioning is enough and its weight is reasonable to take it traveling. According to their developers, the mat lasts 300-500 practices before it starts to lose its grip; which if you practice daily means that the mat will last a year.