5 best yoga mats for beginners

August 8, 2016

A good mat is an essential companion for anyone interested in practicing yoga - every yogi wants to know that when they’re lying in a contorted position on their yoga mat, it’s got their back!

Thing is, there’s a lot more than support and grip to consider before buying your first yoga mat: shape, size, thickness, thread count, cushioning and colour are just some of the factors that will influence your eventual decision. But as we want to take the pain out of your purchase, we thought we’d ask our expert Go Mammoth Yoga class team to share their best yoga mats for beginners:

Manuka Beginners Yoga Mat

Manuka Life Beginner’s Yoga Mat 

This affordable starter mat does two essential things to assist beginners; its slip-resistant composition ensures stability, while its spongy texture assists with comfort.

Although you may not get years of use from this mat – depending on how frequently you use it, its relative affordability makes it an attractive starter product. Plus, the Manuka Life Beginner’s understated floral motif gives the overall product a touch of elegance that belies its affordable price point.

Oh, and like the other mats this list, the Manuka Life Beginner is composed from environmentally-friendly materials, so when you do move onto your second mat, you can rest assured it won’t sit festering in a landfill somewhere for years to come.

Buy the Manuka Life Beginner’s Yoga Mat

Yoga Matters Classic Mat

Yoga Matters “Classic Mat”

Yet another affordable beginners mat with excellent grip to help with composure and at around 5mm thick, the Classic Mat helps with comfort when performing any poses on your knees or back.

Lightweight portability is also a plus for this pleasant purple product, as is its length if you’re a yogi that stands between the 5”10 and 6” mark. It is, however, a little narrow compared to others on this list, which may become an issue when performing certain poses.

There’s nothing more to be said about this one really – it’s a fairly simple product –  but if we had to describe the Yoga Matters “Classic Mat” in six words we would go with: lovely looks, great grip, pleasantly purple.

Buy the Yoga Matters “Classic Mat”

Prana Eco Yoga Mat

PRANA – Eco Yoga Mat

Yep this one does escalate in price a little compared to the predecessors on this list, but its two-sided textured surface ensures this mat is as gripped to the floor, as it is to your body. It has an almost luxurious feel to it too, making the PRANA Eco a product that feels as premium as it looks.

We’re about to get technical for a moment so bear with us; PRANA claim that its mat’s “closed cell construction” prevents germs from absorbing in the mat. As we’re not scientists we can’t verify that claim, but what we can tell you is that this product doesn’t pong after repeated use, which is a plus right?

The downside to the Eco yoga mat? Well, although our yoga team hasn’t had any issues with it, this product may be suited for more gentler styles of yoga such as Hatha, as there are a couple of reviews across the web mentioning its durability may struggle against the rigour of regularly repeated Vinyasa Flow or Ashtanga yoga sessions.

For beginners just embarking on their yoga journey, we’d happily give this mat two thumbs up.

Buy the PRANA – Eco Yoga Mat

Jade Harmony mat

Jade – Yoga Harmony Mat

Take a little look for yoga-related pics on Instagram and there’s a good chance you’ll see an influential “celebrity” yogi using one of these – Jada Yoga mat has skyrocketed to rockstar status over the past six months, but you know what, this is a mat whose style has the substance to back it up.

Its grip? Great! The Harmony mat has to be utterly drenched in sweat before it gives up its grip – you’ll feel like Spider-Man when planted to this mat.

Its looks? Lovely! The Harmony mat comes in a wide range of attractive tones that really stand-out (our personal favourite is the almost hypnotic Sedona Red above.)

Its comfort levels? Comfy…so very comfy. There is a lot of bounce in this mat, which in the long term, will ward off sore joints.

Its downsides? Divisive depending on how portable you need this one to be, because at 4.5cm this is quite a thick mat, which means it’s not as portable as some of the others on this list. As long as you’re not planning to trek to your classes on public transport with this, this won’t prove to be a problem.

Buy the Jade – Yoga Harmony Mat

Manduka Prolite Mat

Manduka Prolite Mat

Last, but definitely not least on our mammoth list of mats is this great little mat from another big brand in yoga.

Now if you’re planning to travel with your yoga mat to either a far flung exotic retreat or on the tube to your local Go Mammoth class, this will be your perfect travel partner. It’s lightweight and portable, but crucially, it’s not flimsy, which means that if you’re practicing yoga in a location outdoors, you can rest assured you won’t have to weigh down your mat with stones or similar objects to keep it in place.

This is yet another mat with a “closed cell surface” which will ward away germs, but after repeated use, we did noticed it started to smell a bit. That reminds us…just a word of caution, when it comes to washing the Prolite mat (and the other mats on this list come to mention it!), do so by hand before hanging it to dry; the danger with washing it in a machine is that it could  its strong synthetic grip more quickly. Plus, sticking it in the washing machine also voids this mat’s lifetime guarantee from Manduka, so don’t do it.

The Prolite is a product that lives up to its name; excellent performance meets perfect portability. Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive than some of the other mats on this list, but you’ve always got the lifetime guarantee to fall back on…well as long as you don’t put it in the washing machine!

Buy the Manduka Prolite Mat

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