“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times

Yoga Mat Features (continued)

Yoga Mat Length.

The average yoga mat is 68 inches long, which is an acceptable length for most practitioners. Among the cheap yoga mats we researched, the Altus Athletic Altus Flower, Sunny Health & Fitness, Natural Fitness, and Bean Products PER yoga mats meet this standard.
If you prefer a long yoga mat, not to worry: the CleanPVC and MiVizu Eco Friendly mats are each 72 inches long and the Yoga Accessories Deluxe mat unfurls to 74 inches. One six-foot tall yogi notes in a review on Overstock that the extra inches on the CleanPVC mat are most welcome, a sentiment dittoed by other users in reviews of long yoga mats. Bear in mind, though, that extra long yoga mats are harder to roll up and transport.

With the growing interest in yoga among children, shorter and lighter yoga mats have made their debut. The CleanPVC Yoga Mat is also available in a 60-inch version that starts at $15. Short yoga mats also work well for people with limited practice space and for shorter adults, and they make good travel companions.

Yoga Mat Thickness.

The majority of cheap yoga mats, including the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat, Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mat, and the Bean Products PER Yoga mat, are 1/8 of an inch thick; we could not find thickness specifications for the Sunny Health & Fitness mat. A few cheap yoga mats, like the Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat, MiVizu Eco Friendly Yoga Mat, and CleanPVC Yoga Mat, double the fun with their quarter-inch thickness. That said, we came across some complaints in user reviews asserting that cheap yoga mats aren't always as thick as the marketing materials claim. Yoga Accessories prominently points out that its mat is a true quarter-inch thick.

Review continues below

But thick yoga mats aren't always better. Some people prefer a thinner mat that lets them feel closer to the ground, and experts at BuyingYogaMats.com note that balance may be more challenging on a soft, heavily cushioned mat. Moreover, users report that some thick yoga mats, like the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat, become imprinted with the shape of your hands and feet, which interferes with smooth transitions and stability. Experts at Best Health suggest you test out a mat for comfort before committing.

Yoga Mat Design.

Many yogis assert that the aesthetics of a yoga mat contribute to your energy and flow. In other words, the more comfortable you are with your mat, the more efficient and fluid your practice will be. Yoga is all about balance and a relaxed state of mind, and your environment, which includes your mat, affects the overall experience. Reviews on Amazon, for example, say the Altus Athletic Altus Flower Mat is particularly calming with its bluish-green background and floral print. For color choices that affect your conscious state, check out the CleanPVC, Yoga Accessories, and MiVizu Eco Friendly yoga mats. Although the colors range from vibrant to earthy, quite a few consumers comment in reviews on Overstock and Amazon that the colors shown online for the Clean PVC and Yoga Accessories mats aren't true to what shows up in the mat you receive.

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