Yoga Mats: Ratings of Sources
Blum and several testers compare a dozen yoga mats and towels, rating them in several categories: dry traction, wet traction, comfort, durability, portability, eco-friendliness and ease of care. Mats and towels receive a score on a 1-100 scale as well as an editor's rating from one to five stars. Accompanying reviews are thorough and comparative, noting pros and cons for each product.
Cassity and two other yoga instructors tested 16 mats in more than 50 classes to name a top pick, runner-up, budget pick, eco pick, and softer pick. Testers performed a variety of yoga styles while they evaluated each mat for slipperiness, texture, cushioning, weight, smell and appearance. The resulting reviews are detailed, even-handed and comparative.
Govoni, a yoga instructor, spent 50 hours researching mats and several more doing hands-on testing. She recommends nine mats as overall best picks, singling a handful out for special considerations: eco-friendliness, budget, durability/versatility, and stickiness. Govoni includes a buying guide and comments from other yogis in her thorough reviews.
Online yoga video provider Ekhart Yoga reviews 10 yoga mats using several criteria: thickness, stickiness and texture, price, material, eco friendliness, and size and style. It recommends several mats as best in the following categories: An overall pick for serious yogis, eco-friendliness, anti-slip, budget, travel and member favorite. Reviews are balanced but not as thorough as some on other sites.
Ali Carr Troxell's five picks for best yoga mats are based on personal testing as a frequent yoga practitioner over the years. Her reviews cover thickness, stickiness, eco-friendliness, durability and style. However, it's unclear whether she tested any mats other than the ones she lists.
Lisa Mitchell reviews mats she has used as an owner and instructor at a hot yoga studio. She offers pros and cons for three popular mats, focusing on stickiness, durability, and ease of cleaning -- all prime considerations for hot yoga. The reviews are thorough but not comparative.
Amazon.com is one of the best resources for real-world reviews of yoga mats. Reviews are often quite detailed and even-handed, and some note durability concerns that are often overlooked in other reviews. Prospective buyers should read carefully, since reviewers sometimes wrongly fault a product for bad experiences with the seller or shipping. Readers should also beware of older reviews, which might discuss an older version of a product with flaws that have since been addressed.
Gaiam sells roughly 70 yoga mats, and the more popular ones have a good number of reviews. Owners rate each mat on a one- to five-star scale and note how long they've been using it. Reviews range in helpfulness, but generally aren't as detailed as those on Amazon.
Editors review two popular yoga towels, the Yogitoes Skidless and Manduka eQua, in the American Council on Exercise Workout Watchdog column. The reviews are thorough, covering size, weight, feel, and slippage. They are also balanced, noting pros and cons for both towels.
Goodson reviews six popular yoga mats, and while she does practice yoga, it's unclear whether she tested all six mats personally. The reviews cover price, thickness, durability and other important considerations. They also reference owners' Amazon reviews as well as other expert opinions. She does not pick a favorite, but notes a "bottom line" for anyone considering each mat.
Pizer gives an overview of five of the most popular yoga mats, in a couple of cases linking to more detailed reviews. A chart offers a direct comparison of material, thickness, weight, length, odor, feel, traction, durability and price. However, it doesn't appear that Pizer has personally tested all of the mats.
Quittem, a globe-trotting yogi, compares five popular travel mats in short but informative reviews. He provides pros and cons for all mats, focusing on bulk, thickness, stickiness and other considerations. A comparison chart focuses on weight, price, durability, padding, and other factors.
This guide by Moore, a yoga instructor and frequent traveler, looks at four popular travel mats, comparing them directly on surface feel/stickiness, thickness/weight, and portability. Pros and cons are noted for each mat, and there are helpful photos of how compactly each mat folds or rolls up.
Yoga teacher Walsh ranks and recommends five yoga mats specifically for Bikram yoga, a style of hot yoga that often makes practitioners quite sweaty. The reviews focus on stickiness and ease of cleaning, but ignore many other important considerations such as price. It's not clear if all of the mats were actually subject to hands-on testing.