Skip those expensive workout classes and get in shape on the cheap.
Yoga Mat Reviews
Yoga mat reviews by experts and users indicate that many low-cost yoga mats are quite reliable and should hold up for countless yoga classes over a period of years. The key, reviewers say, is proper maintenance, which simply involves washing the mat occasionally (more frequently if you sweat often or use your mat for hot yoga classes).
Overall Performance.Praise abounds for several of the yoga mats we researched. Scores of reviews of the Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe mat on Amazon rave about its quarter-inch thickness and 74-inch length. Practitioners report the cushioning protects their joints and backs, even when placed atop hard surfaces like cement slabs. The extra length of this mat appeals to many users, and one 5-foot-11 yogi reports that neither feet nor head ever hang over the edge. My Yoga Mats asserts there's just about the right amount of stickiness, and most users tend to agree. Some yoga mat reviews, however, report insufficient grip and say their hands and feet slide; on Yoga Accessories, one practitioner says running a belt sander over the surface resolved the problem. The CleanPVC Eco yoga mat is another longer- and thicker-than-average product that reviewers posting on Overstock say is easy on the joints and provides sufficient room to transition through varied positions. But here, too, we read a few reports about not enough grip and too much slipping, and some comments that the mat seems thinner than the specs indicate.
The two good cheap yoga mats on our list also earn mostly favorable reviews. The Sunny Health & Fitness mat is comfortable, lightweight, and sufficiently sticky, according to yoga mat reviews on Overstock. A few users wish this mat were thicker and longer, but others like its value-to-price ratio. As for the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat, some reviews on Amazon say its 1/8-inch thickness seems too thin, while some commend the light weight and calming floral design. One user notes that it sticks to the floor while leaving hands and feet free to move, although another reports having to wear gloves to counter the slippery feel.
Assessments of the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat are split. Yoga Mat Review terms the stability and support adequate. Some users, commenting on Amazon, say the feel of the surface is just right -- no skidding, enough bounce. But others complain about slipping hands and feet and compression from your practice that takes a while to recover. Another eco mat we researched, the Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mat, doesn't win over many fans. In yoga mat reviews on Amazon, users report that the mat doesn't lie flat or grip the floor well and is too thin for anyone with sensitive knees or back.
Yoga Mat Durability.Many users report that their yoga mats provide years of service, but we also read reviews about mats that quickly begin to disintegrate. Yoga mat reviews say the Natural Fitness Eco mat scratches easily and sheds flecks while in use. One practitioner says the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat fell apart after about half a dozen classes, and another reports a similar problem with the Sunny Health & Fitness mat. Users say that high-end eco yoga mats are often more durable than cheap PVC yoga mats, but cheap eco yoga mats may be less durable than the cheap PVC variety. One of the few yoga mat reviews of the Bean Products PER Yoga Mat that we were able to find grumbles on Amazon about its very limited durability. On the other hand, users say the CleanPVC Eco mat, made by the same company, is relatively long-lived.
Most mats don't need much attention outside of class but a few simple acts may help extend the life of your yoga mat. After finishing a session, wipe the mat down with a damp sponge or spray with a spritz bottle. Let it air dry and then roll; Yoga Mats Resource recommends rolling with the exercise surface on the outside to minimize the amount of curling when you next lay it out. If you detect an unpleasant odor when the mat is new, letting it air helps a lot, and some users recommend a bath with lemon juice and soap. A word of caution -- too much soap can deposit unwanted residue, so use sparingly, rinse thoroughly, squeeze out excess water, and lay the mat on a towel to dry. Yoga Mats suggests keeping your mat, especially the eco-friendly ones, away from direct sunlight. Don't store your mat in a hot car but do keep it in a cool, dry place. Also, it's not a good idea to walk or step on the mat with shoes.Back to top »
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