Finding the best yoga mat thickness can take you from an extra thick yoga mat, which gives your joints more protection, to an ultra-thin travel mat, which makes it easier for you on the road. With so many options, it’s easy to get confused about which one is best for your daily practice.
If you’re reading this, you probably know that a mat isn’t just something to put between your body and the floor while you work out.
More than that: your mat is an essential piece of fitness equipment that keeps you feeling solid, supported, and provides the right protection for your joints – in addition to making your practice beautiful and inspiring.
The ideal mat should fit your needs so that you can get better and better at yoga or Pilates over the 1 + year you use it – so choosing the right mat now will definitely help you improve your practice in the long run. We’ve written about this in detail in our blog post on how to choose a yoga mat.
Choose a mat that is too thin, you may experience a lot of discomfort in your knees, wrists, and ankles when you hold this position for a long period of time. At the other end of the spectrum, an outfit that’s too thick can slow you down and make you feel less than 100% supported – you’ll be hopelessly stuck in it.
By the time you finish reading this article, you will know all the options available to you, have a few myths debunked, and be ready to choose the ideal mat based on your practice and personal needs.
Extra Thick Yoga Mat
If you’re looking for an extra thick yoga mat, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Most very thick mats are made of materials such as PVC or foam, which are the most common materials for making exercise mats.
Many of these pads range in thickness from 6mm to 10 or 12cm, which is about as thick as a blanket and may be “too much” for your daily practice.
One of the downsides of these mats is that they are not made of environmentally friendly material and therefore can contain toxins that are released into the environment long after the mats are discarded. Simply put, this material may not be the kind of material you want to rub your skin against every day or every workout, so the best advice for taking care of yourself and our planet is to avoid mats made from synthetic materials.
So Would Yoga Mat 6mm or Thicker Be More Comfortable?
In terms of your comfort with a 6mm (or thicker) yoga mat, any such mat may become too soft over time. Like a bed that’s too soft, it can be hard to get comfortable, especially when holding a balanced position or staying in the same position for long periods of time.
Your hands and feet are likely to sink into the mat, and it’s a chore to get through that thick as you try to transition from one position to the next. At the end of the day, yoga is meant to make us feel grounded, which can be difficult to achieve when there are too many barriers between your body and the ground.
Best Choose:4 mm Yoga Mat
The options are even more limited when it comes to mats made from materials that are more friendly to your body and body. The options are even more limited when it comes to mats made from materials that are more friendly to your body and the environment.
Fortunately, mats made from natural materials like natural rubber or cork should not be too thick, thus giving you more control over your balance when practicing, as well as giving you the right grip to prevent slipping.
For example, the Morgiana mat is made of natural rubber, a dense natural material extracted from the rubber tree. This is the absolute best grip material. However, natural rubber more than 5mm thick simply cannot be used on a yoga mat – rubber is a heavy material.
Natural rubber thicker than 5mm is simply not suitable for a yoga mat – rubber is a heavy, dense material, so thicker natural rubber mats are too heavy. Natural rubber provides adequate cushioning of the 3.5-density material, so thicker natural rubber pads will be too heavy. Natural rubber provides adequate cushioning between 3.5-4.5mm and is denser than regular mats, so there is no need to choose a thicker mat than this.
If you travel. At 4.5mm, it’s denser than a regular mat, so there’s no need to find a thicker mat than that. If it’s important to you to take your mat to and from the studio or to take it with you on vacation, make sure you find a mat that isn’t too heavy and comes with a carrying strap to help you take it everywhere.
Travel Yoga Mat – Ultra-thin version for people with itchy feet
Travel yoga mats are generally paper-thin — most are just 2mm thick.
You’ll distinguish a travel mat from anything else because you can easily fold it, so you can take it with you. The downside? It can only provide so much buffer; So if you use this mat directly on the floor, you may feel it on your wrists after a few sets of yoga moves or planks, especially when transitioning from downward-facing dog to Chaturanga.
The reason they’re so thin and light is that they do exactly what they say on the packaging — their sole purpose is to make it easier to carry around. If you want to stay fit while on vacation, fold up the mat and put it in your suitcase, or carry it from home to the office, then to a local studio, and then home again without any hassle. But, when you practice, make sure to have something underneath, like a rug or another exercise mat, to reduce the hardness of the floor.
Consider the Optimal Thickness to Protect the Joint
Your joint health will also determine which yoga or Pilates mat you need to choose.
If you need extra cushioning and your mat is too thin, fold it under your knees or wrists when you’re doing a more challenging pose so your joints are protected and you don’t feel pain during or after practice.
Some pads have an extra layer of material inside to provide extra protection for your joints, such as an inner antibacterial cotton layer to increase comfort and also keep your pad hygienic for longer.
The above tips are perfectly suited to your needs, unless you have health problems, or are injured while exercising, or are pregnant. Ask your yoga teacher, or even your doctor, especially if you practice with swollen ankles, sensitive joints, or certain pain points that you want to protect while exercising. It’s best to practice a lot because there’s no one-size-fits-all yoga or Pilates kit; So make sure you choose what’s best for you.
How advanced a yogi are you?
If you’re an advanced yogi, then you can probably hold your pose in most situations (yes, I’m talking about those amazing Instagram photos of yogis doing the splits on cliffs!).
But for most of us who are either beginners, intermediate, or accustomed to a certain standard of comfort when practicing, a yoga mat that is too thick is not acceptable; Neither is being too thin. You’ll know it’s too thick when your hands and feet start sinking into the surface of the mat. In addition, 4mm pads are the ideal thickness for most of us and can give you the support you need to enjoy your practice and move on to the next level or exercise goal.
Is the Material of Your Yoga Mat Important?
Look at the thickness. Is the material of your mat important too? The material of your yoga mat can affect your practice. It’s important to think about the material. The thickness of each material feels different.
For example, if you are using a mat made of TPE(thermoplastic elastomer), it may feel thicker than a mat made of rubber, but it may not be as easy to use. Rubber also tends to have a better grip, so with the same thickness as TPE, the rubber may still be a better choice if you want to help balance. Suppose you have a mat made of nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR).
Synthetic rubber doesn’t have as good a grip and is difficult to spread completely. This cushion will feel more like a cushion, but without the grip. That’s why no matter how thick the mat is, the material should also be taken into account.
We believe cork is the best material for yoga mats. In fact, our pads are made from a combination of sustainable cork and rubber.
How Thick Should Your Mat Be?
So, is there a specific thickness that is best to know if a mat can be too thick or too thin? We personally recommend a mat of around 6.6mm. This allows the mat to have just the right amount of cushioning without losing its grip.
This is probably the best mat thickness for those who regularly practice yoga standing and sitting on a mat. Anything thin will hurt the joints, and anything thick will not only make it difficult to keep your balance, especially for beginners, but it will put extra strain on your ankles when you’re trying to stay steady.
That’s why it’s so important to know what a mat is made of before you buy it. Many people will choose the coolest-looking mat or the cheapest.
The problem is that many mats are designed to look nice or as cheap as possible, but they may not provide the support needed for a good, safe yoga class. The purpose of a yoga mat is to help you practice, not to make it harder. If you choose the first mat you see, you may have chosen a way that doesn’t suit your needs or help you practice.
So, what is the optimal thickness?
There is no one-size-fits-all size, but we think avoiding extremely thin mats (2-3 mm) and super thick mats (6mm +) is how most people seek support and enhance their yoga or Pilates practice.
A 4-5 mm mat will be ideal for many people as it will ensure you stay grounded and balanced while protecting your joints.
While regular travel pads are much thinner than this, 4-5mm thick pads are still thin enough to carry and vacation easily, especially if you have a pad carrying strap on hand, some of which come with it.
However, be aware of your own specific needs and health conditions – if you have an injury, joint sensitivity or pregnancy it is best to consult your yoga teacher or medical professional before you invest in your next mat.
Remember, while it’s easy to choose your pad color or pattern, it’s important to find one that is right for you and make sure you’re comfortable for 1 + a year (or a lifetime!).
Use it. A new yoga mat is really an investment in yourself and your practice, and most importantly it must fit you and have you looking forward to your next yoga or Pilates class.