A YogaBen guide to mats

A student recently asked me about yoga mats. In recent years yoga mats have gone up in price significantly and with a dizzying array of mats to choose from it is hard to know what to invest in. Here's my simple guide which cuts through the confusion.

Budget/Supermarket. Cheap but not very cheerful. Often thin, flimsy and slippery. From £6.

Basic mats. Won't break the bank. Last forever. Pick your favourite colour. Around £17.

Eco mats. More expensive but thicker and environmentally friendly. I used to use the EcoYOGA Jute mat. From £42. This mat is excellent but does corrode over time. I got through one a year but then my mats get heavy use.

High performance mats. Nice, well cushioned, but expensive. Worth the money? Probably not if you're doing yoga once a week. Brands include Jade, Liforme & Manduka. Between £50-£100. I recently upgraded to the Manduka Pro Mat: Black, from £84, because it has a lifetime guarantee and I'd rather not have to buy a yoga mat ever again.

Luxury mats. Avoid. Yoga mats featuring encrusted jewels or designer motifs are missing the point. Up to £160 and beyond.

Where to buy? I buy most of my kit from Yogamatters.

Ben ParkesComment