Fitness Tips

How Expensive Should a Yoga Mat Be? An Essential Buyers Guide for Yoga Enthusiasts

So, you need a new yoga mat, and you decided to check out the situation on Amazon. Chances are, it left you feeling overwhelmed by the hundreds of choices – with prices ranging from $20-$200 and beyond. Trust me; you are not alone. But how expensive should a yoga mat be? Are cheaper mats going to let you down, or do you really need to drop two Benjamins on a piece of rectangular rubber?

These questions aren’t as simple to answer as they might initially appear, given the diversity in yoga mat designs and materials – not to mention your individual needs.

In short, the cost of a yoga mat will run you anywhere between $20 and $200, but how much you should spend largely depends on its quality, material, and the specific requirements of your yoga practice.

Me holding my high end manduka mat in one hand and my affordable Umineux mat in the other

I’ve owned dozens of yoga mats over the years, and I can tell you that, in general, you get what you pay for. That said, not all expensive mats are worth the cost, and not all cheap mats are a waste of money.

So in this article, we will delve into all the factors that influence the cost of the best yoga mats, from cheap yoga mats to more expensive alternatives. That way, you can make an informed decision and invest in the mat that best suits your yoga practice and budget.

Related: My pick of the BEST yoga mats in 2023.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links below which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I may earn a commission. Full disclaimer here.

A Detailed Explanation of Yoga Mat Pricing

So, why some yoga mats are relatively cheap, while others are significantly pricier? The answer lies in the features and materials used in the production of the different yoga mats.

Quality and Material

Most yoga mats are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride foam), natural rubber, recycled rubber, organic or natural cotton, or even cork. PVC yoga mats are generally on the cheaper end of the spectrum. While they offer a sticky mat surface to help you maintain your yoga postures, they aren’t the most eco-friendly choice.

Natural rubber mats, on the other hand, are a pricier yoga mat. They are eco-friendly yoga mats made from a sustainable resource, providing a good grip for both your hands and feet, especially for standing poses.

For example, a hot yoga class, the GRP Manduka mat, with its charcoal-infused rubber core, offers an excellent blend of grip and durability, though it is a more expensive yoga mat.

Thickness and Durability

A thinner mat may be less expensive than a thicker mat, but it could compromise comfort, especially for floor poses. Thicker mats can provide better support and comfort, but they might be slightly more difficult to balance on for certain poses. Mats like the Manduka Pro mat are the best of both worlds, with a slightly thicker, long-lasting surface made of ultra-dense material that is worth the investment for many.

Design and Special Features

High-end yoga mats often boast special features, such as a textured surface, unique design elements, or superior grip, even in hot yoga classes. Manduka mats, Jade mats, B Mats, and others often feature natural rubber mat bases and specific textures to enhance your asana practice.

Now you know what influences the cost of a yoga mat, but how do you make the choice that’s right for you? Here’s everything else you need to know about how much to spend on your yoga mat.

Consider Your Yoga Practice

Before you make a decision on how much to spend on a yoga mat, you should first consider your own yoga practice. Are you a beginner just starting your yoga journey or a seasoned yogi? Do you practice yoga daily or occasionally?

For beginners, a cheap yoga mat might be sufficient while you’re still exploring yoga postures and gauging your commitment level. However, as your skills progress and your yoga sessions become more frequent, you’ll definitely want to invest in a good-quality yoga mat that will last. A mat with good grip and comfort can make all the difference in your practice.

Also factor in the type of yoga you practice. If you engage in hot yoga, for example, you might need a mat with a good grip even when it’s drenched in sweat, like the Manduka GRP yoga mat. These mats are more expensive, but it offers excellent grip and durability—perfect for intense hot yoga sessions. (Be sure to check out my other mat recommendations for sweat yoga sessions.)

For less sweaty endeavors, you may prefer closed cell mats like the Manduka Pro lite, which will not absorb moisture. PVC foam or TPE mats like the Umineux mat may also suffice.

Mat Thickness and Your Comfort

Yoga mat thickness can greatly affect your comfort during a yoga session. Thicker mats provide more cushioning, which can be essential if you’re doing a lot of poses on a hard floor, or if you have bad knees. On the other hand, thicker mats tend to provide less stability as you sink into them more.

If yoga practice involves more standing poses or arm balances, you might find a thinner mat is a better choice. The Manduka Pro mat offers a good balance of both thickness and stability. While they’re pricier than low-grade yoga mats, the cost could be justified by the enhanced comfort and stability they provide during your yoga sessions.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

More and more yoga practitioners are considering the environmental impact of their yoga mats, so eco-friendly yoga mats made from natural rubber or recycled materials are gaining popularity.

While these mats might be more expensive, they’re a great investment if you’re conscious about reducing your environmental footprint. Eco-friendly options like cork yoga mats not only offer excellent grip but are also naturally antimicrobial.

Cotton mats are another eco-friendly choice, with organic or natural cotton options available. They’re typically more expensive, but they’re durable, machine-washable, and provide a good grip. Choosing an eco-friendly mat is not just about price—it’s about aligning your yoga sessions with your values.

The Brand Factor in Yoga Mat Pricing

Much like any other product, the brand can significantly influence the price of a yoga mat. Renowned brands such as Manduka and Jade often offer higher quality mats, made from superior, durable materials and crafted with features beneficial to your yoga experience.

The cost often reflects the brand’s reputation for quality and durability. If you’re committed to your yoga journey and aim to practice regularly, investing in a mat sold by a reputable brand can be worth the extra money. These mats are built to last, ensuring you get a quality mat for many years of yoga practice.

Customization and Aesthetics

Aesthetic factors like color, pattern, or even custom design can also influence the price of your yoga mat. Certain mats, especially those with intricate patterns or customization options, may be priced higher.

If you value individuality and self-expression in your practice, these mats might be worth the extra cost. They allow you to bring your personal touch to your yoga sessions, creating a space that feels uniquely yours.

Travel and Portability

Finally, consider your lifestyle. If you’re a frequent traveler or if your practice takes you outdoors or in different studios, a lightweight, easily portable mat may be ideal. Travel mats are designed to be light and often foldable or rollable into a compact size, making them easy to pack.

Most travel mats are generally less expensive, but they also don’t offer much in the way of cushioning so they are not the ideal yoga mat for a regular practice.

What I Spend on Yoga Mats

I know this is a lot of information, so for some perspective, I thought I’d share what I’ve spent on yoga mats over the past couple of years.

My favorite mats are all on the pricier side and include:

  • The Manduka Prolite

  • The BMat

  • The Gorilla Mat (best for workouts) 

But if you need a budget option, I have a comprehensive list of budget yoga mats that will get the job done. 

I do yoga mostly at home, and I currently use three different mats, depending on use case. If I’m doing more of a workout, I’ll use the Gorilla mat that’s in my basement, which covers lots of floor space and is highly durable. It’s heavy, but I don’t need to move it ever, so it’s ideal.

If I’m practicing yoga in my home office or doing some light stretches on my lunch break, I’ll use the Umineux mat, a highly affordable mat that I got from Amazon, and it serves its purpose well. It’s a little slippery, so not ideal for long sessions, but it’s super comfy and lightweight, so I can roll it out whenever I have a minute.

For longer yoga sessions in my living room, I’ll use my new Manduka pro lite mat, which can stand up to sweatiness without getting slippery. Like the Gorilla mat, it is more expensive but totally worth it for those longer vinyasa sessions and yoga poses where I need a good grip. 

So based on those use cases, I’ve personally spent anywhere from $29 – $130 USD on my yoga mats. Jade and B Mat are two other mats I’ve used in the past and recommend.

In other words, for a solid, all-purpose mat that you can use anywhere, I wouldn’t spend less than $100. 

Final Thoughts

By now, you’ve learned that how expensive should a yoga mat be isn’t as simple as a tossing out a single price point. Instead, it depends on numerous factors, including the quality, material, thickness, brand, and even the sustainability of the mat.

our unique practice, personal comfort, and commitment to yoga also play significant roles in what you choose for your own mat.

That said, purchasing a yoga mat is an investment in your well-being and yoga journey. Whether you choose to start with a budget yoga mat or go for a high-end mat, remember that the best yoga mat for you is one that supports your practice and feels right under your hands and feet.

The journey of yoga is a personal one. So, take the time to consider all these factors, and choose a yoga instructor and a mat that not only fits your budget but also enhances your yoga experience. After all, the ultimate goal is to deepen your practice in the most comfortable and satisfying way possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a cheap yoga mat be good?

Yes, a cheap yoga mat can be suitable, especially for beginners. However, cheaper mats may lack the durability and features of more expensive mats.

What is the advantage of a high end yoga mat?

More expensive yoga mats often offer superior grip, durability, comfort, and may be made from eco-friendly materials.

What’s the ideal thickness for a yoga mat?

This depends on your preference. Generally, a thickness of around 1/8 to 1/4 inch is standard. Thinner mats provide better stability for standing poses, while thicker mats offer more cushion for floor poses.

Does brand matter when choosing a yoga mat?

While it’s not necessary to choose a mat based on brand, reputed brands often offer higher quality, durable mats (as well as yoga accessories) that can enhance your yoga experience.

Corrie Alexander is a former ISSA-certified personal trainer, home fitness advocate, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie shares tips and product reviews with the goal of helping others on their own fitness journey.

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