The Best Yoga Mats for Beginners

by Anna Mae

Finding the best yoga mats for beginners is a hotly debated topic, with plenty of people weighing in with their opinions. To be fair, it is the most important piece of equipment. In fact, the only thing you need to practice yoga. However, with so many different styles of yoga mats on the market, if you are new to yoga, it can be tricky to know what to purchase. So, while we may just be another voice in the crowd, we have put together our opinion on the best yoga mats for beginners

Purple Yoga Mat

 and the things you need to understand when making a decision; hopefully, it will make things easier for anyone new to yoga practice.

Yoga Mats Come in a Variety of Thicknesses

One of the first things you will notice is that yoga mats come in many different thicknesses. When you are just starting out with your yoga practice, you may enjoy the comfort offered by thick yoga mats, which is 6 mm. It ensures a good level of cushioning between you and the floor, but it can make it harder to balance. The most commonly used yoga mats are generally between four and 5 mm, which also give good comfort levels and protect you from the floor but make balancing poses that little bit easier. Very thin yoga mats between 1 mm and 2 mm are usually designed for travelling so that they can be folded up small and stashed in a rucksack. These are not recommended for beginners unless there is any reason why carrying a thicker mat is problematic. At the other end of the scale, extra thick yoga mats are over 6 mm and are only really recommended for restorative yoga and grounding yoga, for example, yin yoga.

The Materials Used to Make Yoga Mats

For most people, the next consideration is what the yoga mat is actually made from. A lot of yoga mats are fabricated from man-made materials like PVC or PER. These are both created using plastic techniques. This does mean that they are not in any way environmentally friendly, and some people express concern over being that close to the chemicals involved in production. The reason so many yoga mats are made from PVC or PER is that it is cheap, washes really easily and resists the growth of any bacteria, which gives yoga mats made from these materials a really long lifespan; it also gives the mats excellent cushioning and grip properties for yoga. On the downside, they are not recyclable and will end up in a landfill.

Yoga mats made from natural materials are popular, but these do tend to cost more, so often, the advice when it comes to the best yoga mats for beginners will be to try something cheaper, therefore manmade, in the first instance. Once you know that yoga is for you, upgrading your mat to something more eco-friendly could be a great option. The best natural material for getting the same protection from the floor as man-made equivalence is probably natural rubber. Natural rubber comes from rubber trees and is made from sap but does have latex, so it’s not suitable for anyone who has a latex allergy. Other natural materials like cotton and cork give a thinner yoga mat, although they do provide a good grip. Jute yoga mats are also good for most types of yoga and provide a good amount of insulation and cushioning against hard floors. 

Woman on yoga mat

So, What is the Bottom Line

When it comes to picking the best yoga mat for beginners, the main factors you should take into consideration are the thickness and material used. This can be impacted by the type of yoga you do; for example, rubber tends to get very slippery during hot yoga and therefore isn’t really appropriate. Other than that, the remaining considerations come down to personal choice. You will notice that all yoga mats come in a wide range of colours; some have symbolic designs and lines to help you focus on the correct position for some poses, while others have images designed to help with focus and meditation. Once you have determined the thickness and material you prefer your yoga mat to be made of, you will find that the options have been narrowed down quite a bit.

Here are some of our best-selling yoga mats for beginners to get you started

Yoga Studio Designed Sticky Yoga Mat 6mm

Our best selling 6mm Designed Yoga Mats are made To European Standards, and they are made from the latest environmental polymer resins. 

This Livley Lilium patterned yoga mat in pink is 6-P Free, Free of Phthalate, AZO, DOP, Phenol, and Heavy metals, i.e. no nasties at all!

Making them a great mat for children and pregnant women. These are the best PVC Yoga Mats you can buy in Europe, they surpass European quality standards, and the anti-slip yoga mat surface is the choice for many yoga teachers and yoga students.

Gaiam Vivid Zest Yoga Mat (4mm)

You’ve got a zest for life and for your yoga practice, and it shows! This classic yoga mat is 4mm thick and features a textured “sticky” surface to keep you in place during the most challenging poses.

It’s durable, non-toxic, and made from latex-free PVC that’s free of the six most harmful phthalates.

Manduka Equa Eko Yoga Mat 4mm - Lily Pad

Re-introducing the eQua® Yoga Mat! A combination of two of our best products – The ultra-absorbent eQua® yoga mat towel as its top layer and the natural rubber core from the 4mm eKO® Series as its base. Perfect for all your sweatiest endeavours – this Sweat Activated Grip top layer absorbs moisture and offers grip where you need it most during your practice. A match made in hot yoga heaven! The super soft microfibre top improves your grip the sweatier you get, so please note that if you are not sweaty, this mat can be smooth and will need some moisture for it to work in a non-hot environment. Crafted in Taiwan from natural rubber and Microfibre towel 99% Latex-free. Not recommended for those with Latex sensitivities.

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