The surface properties of the mat affect the comfort when performing asanas, as well as the quality of practice. There are differences in yoga, fitness or pilates mats. Fr om this article, you will learn how to choose the best yoga mat for you.

What are the criteria for choosing a good yoga mat

Yoga mat criteria for dynamic and static classes:

  1. material;
  2. length and width;
  3. thickness;
  4. care, hygiene, environmental friendliness;
  5. price.

What is the best material for yoga mats

A good yoga mat retains its shape thanks to the properties of the material, the reinforced frame or textile core, and:

  • non-slip on various surfaces;
  • provides reliable adhesion to the skin as well as under the surface;
  • absorbs moisture well;
  • pleasant to the touch.

Please note that high levels of grip will reduce the durability of the yoga mat.

Manufacturers offer composite variants. Combining layers of different materials better reveals their properties.

The top layer is made more tenacious, with a high ability to absorb moisture. The following materials are used for it:

  • natural (cork, rubber, etc.);
  • microfibre;
  • polyurethane.

The bottom layer is non-slip, elastic, with good thermal insulation:

  • natural or synthetic rubber;
  • PER;
  • TPE;
  • PVC.

Natural rubber, latex

Latex or rubber is an environmentally friendly material. A yoga mat made of rubber is a good option with not only light weight, but also the price. It is therefore possible to find combined solutions that retain important properties, are durable while being thinner, lighter and less expensive.

Advantages of the latex mat:

  • maintains excellent grip, non-slip in almost all conditions;
  • natural or synthetic rubber;
  • you can practice outdoors;
  • serves for many years;
  • perfectly absorbs moisture.


  • the specific latex odour retains for a long time;
  • high cost.


The cork mat is made of a very pleasant, warm, environmentally friendly, odourless material. Manufacturers offer two-piece variants: they combine a cork top layer with a bottom layer that is more resistant to physical impacts. The bottom layer can be made of rubber, TPE, PVC.

Advantages of the cork mat:

  • always adheres reliably to the skin under intense loads;
  • the cork layer absorbs moisture well;
  • light weight, easy to carry;
  • large variety of surface patterns;
  • repairable, glueable.


  • crease sensitive;
  • crumbles when twisted tightly;
  • uncomfortable on an unprepared surface;
  • the price is higher than similar synthetic analogues.


Jute is used to make woven eco-friendly mats. Jute mats are usually composite, with the jute itself acting as a reinforcement or top layer. Please note that the bottom layer in the combined solution must necessarily be made of non-slip material, natural or synthetic.

Advantages of the jute mat:

  • beautiful, with a natural surface pattern;
  • very light;
  • wear-resistant, retains its properties for many years;
  • odourless;
  • highly absorbent;
  • maintains stable adhesion to the skin;


  • self-supporting jute mat is very thin;
  • inadequate thermal insulation;
  • slides on smooth surfaces.


The cotton mat is eco-friendly, made of natural material. Often used as a meditation mat. Only very thick cotton mats are suitable for yoga: the yarns are large, coarse, with a special weave.

Please note: a mat without proper care can cause irritation on the skin, as it actively accumulates dust.

Advantages of a cotton mat:

  • beautiful design, can be made with different patterns, can become an interior decoration;
  • can be regularly machine washed;
  • represents cultural value.


  • Not suitable for practising on a smooth surface as it is slippery;
  • requires regular care;
  • quickly absorbs odours.

PER, Polymer Environmental Resin

Synthetic material with environmentally friendly production technology: does not smell and does not emit harmful substances. Often manufacturers offer composite versions, such as those with jute reinforcement over synthetics.

Advantages of the PER mat:

  • good adhesion to the skin;
  • absorbs moisture well;
  • environmentally friendly production;
  • strength, durability;
  • odourless;
  • low weight.


  • small thickness;
  • low thermal insulation;
  • cost is higher than synthetic analogues.

Synthetic rubber, NBR

Synthetic material, by-product of the petrochemical industry. Superior to many of the characteristics of natural rubber.

Advantages of the synthetic rubber mat:

  • elasticity;
  • density;
  • thermal insulation properties;
  • good adhesion to dry surfaces;
  • wear resistance is higher than that of the natural version;
  • synthetic rubber is cheaper;
  • much lighter than natural.


  • unecological production;
  • does not absorb moisture well;
  • retains the odour of petroleum products for a long time.

Polyurethane, PU

Polyurethane is the most modern synthetic material. Due to the specifics of production, it is not composite.

The high popularity and great attention to the material has caused frequent counterfeits disguised as low-quality prints. Counterfeit mats usually cost less relative to other PU mats.

Advantages of the polyurethane mat:

  • maintains excellent adhesion to dry and wet skin;
  • durability, strength;
  • can be washed with water;
  • diverse design;
  • has no odour of its own, does not absorb external;
  • light weight;
  • excellent thermal insulation.


  • high price;
  • risk of buying a low-quality counterfeit with a slippery surface.

Polyvinyl chloride, HD PVC

The synthetic material PVC is very popular. Please note that only HD PVC variants can be considered as yoga mats, together with additional reinforcement mesh as a backing material.

Advantages of PVC mat:

  • good grip on the body and floor surface;
  • thermal insulation;
  • durable, strong, wear-resistant;
  • affordable price.


  • there may be an unpleasant chemical odour;
  • surface properties are highly dependent on the manufacturer;
  • heavy weight.

Thermoplastic elastomer, TPE

TPE is a synthetic material of polymer origin, with a corresponding chemical odour. TPE mats can be of two types:

  1. With closed pores. Please note that with closed pores TPE mat does not absorb moisture, so it is not suitable as a yoga mat. When wet, such a mat, having lost its grip, becomes traumatic.
  2. With open pores. An open-pore mat absorbs moisture well and quickly becomes saturated with external odour. It then dries and ventilates quickly.

You can consider buying a composite version, wh ere the bottom layer is made of closed-pore TPE material, it is responsible for durability, adhesion to the floor, and the top layer for absorbing moisture and maintaining a reliable adhesion to the practitioner.

Ethylene vinyl acetate, foam, EVA

Please note: yoga or fitness mats made of EVA synthetic material should not be used for yoga or fitness due to the slippery surface. Advantages of the mat made of EVA material:

  • hypoallergenicity;
  • low weight;
  • softness;
  • low price.


  • slippery surface;
  • it’s uncomfortable to practice on an unprepared surface;
  • short service life;
  • unpleasant odour.


A modern synthetic material that does not have enough grip to be used on its own in the production of yoga mats. There are combination versions with a microfibre top layer and a rubber bottom layer. This mat is good for exercising in wet conditions.

Advantages of the microfibre mat:

  • beautiful design, the structure allows for clear, colourful prints;
  • durability;
  • very high performance in humid conditions.


  • not suitable for daily use;
  • requires frequent care;
  • high price.

How long and wide to choose a yoga mat

Standard length options for yoga mats:

  1. 173–183 cm;
  2. special solutions — 200+ cm.

To calculate the minimum length of the mat, add 20-30 cm to your height. If you need the mat for quiet practice or meditation, you can add only 10-15 cm to the length of the mat.

Standard width — 66–80 cm.

To determine the minimum width, lie in shavasana , spread your hands 15 cm away fr om your body, and then measure the distance between your palms.

How thick a yoga mat should be

Thin — up to 3 mm, advantages:

  • take up little space;
  • easy to take with you;
  • thick enough for meditation and gentle practice;
  • suitable for children.


  • uncomfortable on an unprepared surface;
  • low thermal insulation;
  • easily deformed.

Universal — 3–5 mm, advantages:

  • stability during exercise;
  • softness and comfort when leaning on it;
  • thermal insulation from the surface;
  • mobility due to smaller volume.


  • insufficient thickness for sensitive joints;
  • inferior in weight and mobility to slim versions.

Thick — 6+ mm, advantages:

  • pay attention to this thickness , if you have sensitive elbow and knee joints;
  • excellent thermal insulation allows you to practice outdoors even on an unprepared surface.


  • balance on thick mats is harder to maintain;
  • heavy weight;
  • requires more storage space.

Care, hygiene and environmental friendliness

After purchase, rinse the mat using the manufacturer’s recommended method to wash off the shipping coating.

Yoga mats made from eco-friendly natural materials need extra care and attention. They are worse able to withstand the effects of aggressive external environment, and they have a lower durability compared to synthetic analogues.

Keep the surface clean to maintain anti-slip properties. Pay attention to the instructions, wh ere the manufacturer necessarily indicates the material and how to properly care for it:

  • rubber, cork — wipe with a damp sponge and spray with antibacterial spray, do not leave the mat on a radiator, dryer or in the sun;
  • jute, cotton — machine washable at low temperature, without spinning;
  • PER, synthetic rubber, PU, PVC, TPE — hand washing.

The mat can be stored in a special bag or pouch . Properly roll the mat with the underside facing inwards after the class, — then the edges won’t curl when you open them. Most mats should not be rigidly folded in half, as this will destroy the internal structure and lead to premature deterioration.

What is the price of a good yoga mat

As of March 2024:

Up to 3 000₽ — PVC, TPE. Small thin variants with short service life and insufficient physical properties for yoga mats. The quality of practice on such mats is lower than on more expensive analogues.

From 3 000₽ to 10 000₽ — you can find a fitness or yoga mat of any size, weight, design and with the right parameters for your specific conditions. The top layer can be chosen from natural material and the bottom layer from quality non-slip synthetics. These are quality mats and will serve you for many years to come.

From 10 000₽ — mats in this price category are aimed at yoga studios as well as professional practitioners. Among these options there are often models with increased environmental care, which may be important for ethical reasons.

Which yoga mat is the best

For travelling:

  • compact mat up to 2kg;
  • non-slip and abrasion resistant;
  • durable material (jute, cork, PER, PU, dense PVC).

For example, Yoga mat with logo 185 cm

For home:

  • reliable adhesion to skin and flooring;
  • easy to maintain;
  • good design that motivates to practice;
  • thickness — 3–5 mm;
  • natural and odourless material.

For example, Yoga mat Salamander Optimum 200 cm

Practising in a comfortable environment accelerates progress on the path of yoga and positively affects the life not only of the practitioner but also of his/her surroundings.

Best of luck!