You might think that there’s not much science to a yoga mat. After all, it’s just a piece of material. Find one you like the look of and bingo! Job done.
In fact there’s an awful lot of technology that goes into yoga mats these days. Extreme grip, extra thick, non-slip, sustainable, all of these are words used to describe modern yoga mats.
One of the most common questions we receive at Yogi Bare is what does yoga mat thickness mean, and more importantly, does it matter? So, we thought we’d write a blog on it to give you the lowdown, making it easier to decide which thickness will work for you.
Why Do You Need a Yoga Mat?
Obvs, a cushion or towel is not designed for yoga and likely to become slippery or bunched up. Use one of those and you’re on the path to an accident or injury.
A yoga mat on the other hand, provides cushioning and stability. Even better is a non-slip yoga mat with the right level of thickness because it prevents slipping and sliding, improves your balance, supports your joints, and above all, prevents injuries.
Not to mention, in this day and age of Covid-19, most of us don’t fancy the idea of using the health club’s communal mats, so investing in one for yourself can bring peace of mind and keep you healthy.
Yoga Mat Thickness
Yoga mats can vary in thickness. Often, as with most things in life, it can come down to personal preference.
A thin yoga mat aids balance and stability for active, dynamic, flowing yoga through solid contact with the floor. The flipside is that they provide less cushioning so you’re more likely to feel it in your wrists, elbows, and knees. Thin mats do have the benefit of being lighter and easier to pack down though, making them extremely portable.
A thick yoga mat feels softer, has more padding, and provides greater protection for joints. Too thick however, and you’ll sink into it, meaning movement is slowed down and you might feel less supported.
Generally, thicker mats work better for slower, therapeutic practise like yin yoga and are also beneficial if you experience knee or joint pain especially during knee or forearm poses. Extra-thick mats can be heavier to lug around however and are not normally foldable, which generally rules them out of being packed into a suitcase.
Optimal Yoga Mat Thickness
There isn’t a one size fits all answer but in general, a 6mm yoga mat is probably too thick for most people. For regular practise, a 4-5mm yoga mat offers the right level of thickness, protecting joints and helping to keep you grounded. It’s not too heavy either, meaning you can carry it to your regular yoga class.
4mm Yoga Mats
Our best thickness yoga mat is the wonderfully comfortable, extreme grip Paws mat, available in a number of designs. With a spot-on thickness level of 4mm, the standard Paws Natural Rubber Yoga Mat is available in red, blue, green, black, or grey. It’s made from natural, biodegradable, sustainable rubber, ensuring that there are no harmful chemical residues.
Here at Yogi Bare, we love to give back and with each sale of the Wild Paws Yoga Mat, a tree is planted in return. A donation is also made towards The Wave Project every time the longer, wider, Flow Paws Yoga Mat design is purchased.
2mm Yoga Mats
In contrast, a 2mm yoga mat is more suitable for those times when you need it to be ultra-portable, like holiday time. Arriba Arriba!
Our Teddy Yoga Mat, a travel mat with a 2mm thickness is the perfect size for taking away with you, practising yoga outdoors, or for hot yoga. It might be less thick and more lightweight than most, but this is an exceptionally high-performance non-slip yoga mat with the signature Yogi Bare superb grip, that can be used on any surface.
Incorporating a velvet microfiber surface that becomes extremely grippy under sweat and moisture, the strong natural sustainable rubber base grips hard to the floor, preventing perilous bunching up. Also, easily foldable into a small square, it can be packed into a bag or suitcase.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, we think you’ll like Yoga Mats for All Levels: Beginners to Professional.