As a beginner, it’s always quite hard to find the perfect mat that suits you. The yoga hype is still growing and people are still finding their way to start their yogi life. For which I’m happy of course, but that also makes that more and more products are becoming available.

A lot of companies are jumping in and starting to produce beginner yoga mats. But what do you have to look for in a beginner’s yoga mat?

There are a couple of simple tips that you need to think about before buying your own yoga mat. You want something that will last you for a while, rather than have something that will serve you for a couple of yoga classes.

Are you ready? Here we go!

#1 Don’t be cheap

Basically, if someone is promoting beginner yoga mats, they’re gonna be cheap. With being cheap also comes the price that it’s not gonna be very sustainable and isn’t gonna give you the best experience during your first class.

So, if you see a mat somewhere for $5.00, basically, don’t buy it. Nothing is as bad as starting to slip when you’re in a downward-facing dog. Cheap mats can also stretch, which also doesn’t give a good feeling, believe me.

When I was doing my teacher’s course in India I saw it happen a lot with people, they bought a cheap mat for a couple of bucks as they didn’t want to take theirs on the trip, but after a month of intensive training, they had to change their mat a couple of times as it was worn out after a couple of uses.

So this also means that if you travel a lot, it might be good to invest in a good travel mat. I’ve bought myself a mat from Manduka once. It’s great and light, and even after 4 years, it’s still alive!


So, even though it was about 40 US dollars, was it the right investment? It sure was! Because even now, when it’s seeing the wrinkles of time, it’s still doing it. I can still take it places.

If you plan to travel a lot, like a couple of times a year, and you plan to continue your yogi lifestyle, it might be a great purchase. Just think about how much you might spend if you buy a yoga mat every time you go abroad.

#2 You Don’t have to be a big spender

I’m all in for a good and expensive mat.

However, as a beginner, you might want to look out for something that also isn’t that expensive. It’s gonna be the first class and you don’t know if you’re gonna like it or not.

If you don’t like it and you bought a $50 mat, then you basically wasted a bit of money and it’s not gonna feel so good for yourself. So for your beginner’s yoga mat, for your first class, it would be good if you would choose something between $10 – $25.

Most yoga brands are quite expensive, so look at the cheaper ones. I really love mats from Manduka and Lululemon, but they are crazy expensive. You might gift this yourself after a couple of years of yoga, when you know that you will continue your yoga practice.

The brand that’s really amazing for beginning yogis is Gaiam. They have different shapes and sizes and they are great for your beginning yoga journey! Prices differ from 20 dollars to 40 dollars.

Great to start and after you get hooked, you’ll be able to go to the bigger brands.

#3 Borrowing someone’s mat

You might say that it might be a good idea to borrow someone’s mat, but to be really honest, if the person is really taking his practice seriously, they’re not gonna lend you their mat.

And in a way I understand, I’m going to speak about the practical side of the whole thing, I like to keep my feet on the ground and talking about energy and muble-jumble isn’t my style.

Practically, normally, people have only one mat, they’re getting attached to the mat and if you are having a serious yoga practice then you want to do yoga whenever you want, wherever you want. Therefore, it’s not gonna be easy to borrow someone’s mat, and especially if that person is joining you for your first yoga class of course ;).

Also, hygienically, do you want to borrow someone’s mat? I’m just speaking for myself now, but it’s not the easiest object to put in the washing machine, and going over it with just a cloth is not really killing all the germs that are coming onto the mat.

And yes, there will be some germs as you are nearly always barefoot on your mat, you can sweat, gasses will be released, you can put the mat on a space that isn’t cleaned that well, etc. So, maybe it isn’t the best idea to borrow someone’s mat to begin with. I know that I don’t lend out mine so easily.

#4 What Material should I go for?

This one is a hard one for me to talk about. I haven’t really looked a lot into materials that producers use. I do know that as the moment there is a big hype for organic mats, which is really amazing. But at the same time it’s also a bit more expensive.

So if that’s what you want for your first beginner’s mat, go for it. The environment will be grateful to you! And sometimes I even wish I would’ve bought an ecological mat, but the one I have now is perfect for my size, my weight and my bad knees.

In that way I just hope I’ll do with that mat for the rest of my life so that it wasn’t a waste as least. If you’re not very into the ecological hype, then make sure you’ll buy a mat with a good grip. The one I would recommend for that is PVC.

Most non-ecological yoga mats are made of this material and it’s just the best if you need some grip. Also, when you’re a person that sweats a lot  during physical activity it’s good to use this material.

#5 Size does matter

Another thing to keep in mind is the size.

Most yoga mats have the same length and width, but are different in thickness. Therefore, make sure you look closely at the dimensions before you buy a mat.

The thinner the mat, the better your feeling will be with the surface you’re doing yoga on.

The thicker the mat, the better it is for your joints and bones.

This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. It means that one is more fit for a certain type of body than the other.

Thinner mats are great for people who are doing Vinyasa yoga as you’ll be doing more balancing poses. While thicker mats are greater for those who are injured. But this mat will be harder to keep your balance.

It’s up to you what your preference has. If you can go to a yoga studio where they have yoga mats, try them out yourself before buying one. It will really give you an idea of what is suitable for you.



It’s not always easy to find your first beginner mat. And what I didn’t talk about before is: if the studio you’re going to offers mats to use for their students, then start there!

It saves you a lot of hassle, studios mostly use amazing mats already because they want to offer their students the best experience they can get. If they don’t, then look around a bit, also see if there is one particular mat that pops out, one that you really like.

And, read reviews, there’s a whole community out their that can help you with your choice, so reach out to them.

That’s it for now, if you have questions, don’t feel ashamed to ask them and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Nama-stay wonderful everyone!

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Jeffrey Teo

    I don’t practice yoga, and certainly not aware that even a simple things like yoga mat has so many considerations. Interesting article and I do learn something new today. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Virendra

      Great to hear that you’ve learned something today :)! Maybe one day you’ll take the time to do your first yoga class yourself ;)!

  2. Boby

    I really enjoy your article.
    I think that a lot of yoga beginners will find it helpful.
    Most of the sites online don’t really bother to take the time and explain what are the best practices where mats are being concerned.
    So I’m really glad that you did!
    Keep going just the way you’re going.
    Your readers will appreciate it!

    1. Virendra

      Thank you very much for your reaction, that means a lot to me! 🙂

  3. Josie

    I started doing some yoga a short while ago at home, and had absolutely no idea about different types of mats – I’m so glad I stumbled across your article now! It’s given me a bit of insight to actually take notice of what I get when I decide to head out and join a class! Thank you

    1. Virendra

      Thank you Josie for your comment! To a lot of people it probably will not mean anything, but to people who are getting deeper and deeper into their meditation will find that the mat is an extension of your practice. I’ve seen it a lot that people buy a cheap yoga mat for a few bucks and then they started hating their practice because they were slipping away from their mat, or after a couple of days it was already worn out. So sometimes it’s just best to spend a little bit more, maybe even just as little as 10 dollars for a mat that is a little bit better, and gives you sooo much more comfort! Hope you’re still enjoying your practice and even for questions non-mat related, you can ask them anytime!

  4. darrickramos

    To be honest and blunt, I do not practise Yoga though the hype around it grows daily even among my colleagues. But I find it very amusing that just a mat could cause for this much consideration. I always think anyone can just pick a random mat and engage in yoga. I really have learnt. Thank you so much

    1. Virendra

      Well, it’s like within every sport I think, if you are into cycling, but you have a crappy bicycle, your experience is also gonna be different than when you have a good one that suits you better. Great that you have learnt something new today! 🙂

  5. Felicity

    I never knew practising yoga also demand for its own mat. But I must say that this article is really insightful. I have plan to start practicing yoga at the end of the month. It really lovely getting to read your article today as it make me realize the importance of yoga mat that will make experience perfect yoga exercise. Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Virendra

      You’re very welcome! I hope you will have a great first experience!

  6. Matt's Mom

    I just recently talked to a gal at the gym I go to and she talked me into getting into the yoga class, which I had been considering for a while now.  I do need a yoga mat and I was thinking about using one from the class, but after your review I think it might be best if I just purchase my own personal mat.  I couldn’t find a link to a good beginner yoga mat on your post.  Do you have one you recommend?  Thanks!

    1. Virendra

      Hi there! Thank you for your reaction. My content is still growing, so I’m still looking at mats and other things to add to my website. It’s always hard to tell what would be perfect for you personally without knowing you. So I’m going give you a few recommendations and then you can see which one would fit you best ;). As it’s gonna be one of your first classes, I have been looking at some cheaper ones, and because you go to the gym, I’ve also looked at a few that might be interesting if you’re doing pilates at the gym or any other exercises where you would need a mat, so the following ones are the ones that I would suggest to someone who’s never done a yoga class before:

      The Gaiam Essentials Premium would be a good one to begin with if you don’t have any knee injuries or joint problems, if you do have those, the Gaiam Essentials Thick Mat is advisable, however, this one isn’t so great for balancing poses, but does offer your body more support than the first one. The price/quality is also accordingly, and I’d like to warn you as well that products from Gaiam have a smell when you open them, so best to open them and air them in an open environment ;).

      The BalanceFrom GoYoga is one of the cheapest mats, and also not that great, but will do for a few try-out classes if you’re really not sure if you are into yoga. This one is good if you reaaaally don’t know if yoga is going to be something for you. 

      And I’d also like to add, when you first buy your yoga mat, it’s gonna be slippery, they all have that in common, so before your first class, just lay out the mat on the floor at home and walk over it for a couple of times, sit on it already, just so you can have a good experience in your class where you don’t have to worry about falling down (too often).

      Hope this was enough information for you now :), if you have more questions, feel free to ask them!


  7. Precious

    I  have always had interest in practicing Yoga but didn’t know much about it. I didn’t know the kind of yoga mat I’m supposed to use in my yoga practices. I’m glad you explained extensively the things I have been so much concerned about yoga mats. I will love to get one for my self very soon. Thank you. 

    1. Virendra

      You’re very welcome! And whenever you need advice or tips on anything, feel free to ask them!

  8. Ranao

    I have had great benefits by reading the review entitle My First Yoga Mat. Yoga is a very popular exercise form nowadays. I myself practice yoga three days a week at home. But a few days ago I was feeling the need for a suitable and comfortable yoga mat. Being PVC it will absorb sweat but will not make the body warmer? However, I liked the product considering all aspects; it is quite affordable.
    Sincere thanks to the author for the excellent post.

    Warm wishes,

    1. Virendra

      Hi Ranao, thank you for your comment. I do agree that PVC isn’t always the best material to use, especially when you’re doing some vigorous flowing yoga sessions, however, they’re the cheaper ones and for a beginner mat I don’t really see the point in buying a mat for $50 already if you don’t really know if you’re really gonna like it. So I’ve focused here on mats that aren’t too slippery in the beginning (because they absorb the sweat a little) and that are comfortable as well.

      Hope you’re enjoying your yoga classes and keep on practising! 

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