Finding the best yoga mat: a review on different brands and uses

Over the last year I’ve purchased 3 yoga mats for travel, yoga studio and home practice. All have their positives and negative….in the end, I only love one of the mats. Here’s my review below…..

RYM Jade Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga’s Harmony Professional Yoga Mat

Best overall (5/5 stars)
Jade Yoga’s Harmony Professional Yoga Mat
  • Thickness: 3/16″,  Length: 68″, Weight: ~ 4 lbs.
  • Price: $69.95
  • Open cell 100% natural rubber, 99% latex free
  • It was love at first asana! Other mats take a while to wear in, this one was non slip from day one. Plus I like the amount of cushion and support it provides. At first I shied away because of the price, but after using my friend’s mat during a yttp meeting I felt it was definitely worth it. The “compression set resistance and cushioning” makes for a noticeable difference. Now, when it comes time to buy another mat, it’ll be a Jade Yoga mat.
  • One slight negative – It doesn’t roll up well for a few months. I can’t roll it tight enough to fit my yoga mat bags.
Gaiam's Tree Of Life Print Yoga Mat

Gaiam’s Tree Of Life Print Yoga Mat

Best yoga for those on a budget (3.75/5 stars)

Gaiam, Tree Of Life Print Yoga Mat
  • Thickness: 3 mm (about 7/64″),  Length: 68″
  • Price: $21.98
  • Latex free, rubber and polyester/nylon blend
  • This mat is great for it’s price range, good cushioning and ok grip. Bonus points for being my prettiest mat. However my feet slip if I hold poses like downward dog for too long (and I don’t sweat much).
Travel mat takes awhile to become non slip but for the size/weight it’s worth it (3.5 stars)
Manduka’s eKO SuperLite® Travel Mat
  • Thickness: 1/16″,  Length: 68″, Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Price: $40
  • Closed cell non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber, 99% latex free
  • Last year I was traveling every single month (weddings, husband’s residency interviews, work) but wanted to keep up my practice. Manduka’s was the lightest mat I found that had good reviews and was foldable. In terms of portability it’s great – in my picture below you’ll notice that folded up it’s about the same size as my mac and thinner than my book. However months later I am still slipping around on the mat. Given the $40 price tag, I don’t think it’s worth it. I’d be interested in hearing others experiences with other travel options like yoga paws etc. ***updated March 2015 -> after dozens of uses and cleanings the mat now has some grip***
RYM eKO SuperLite Travel Mat

Manduka’s eKO SuperLite Travel Mat