Best Cheap Yoga Mats
Published on By Maralyn Edid
Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat Review
(From $17.00 Best)
This durable, 1/4"-thick yoga mat offers extra cushioning to pad wrists and knees. Users also like its long length, long life, and value price. The Yoga Accessories mat is eco-friendly and comes in a variety of colors.
Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat reviews are enthusiastic. Users are particularly approving of its unusually long length and thick cushioning. Although some reviews on Amazon report problems with slipping and sliding, especially when practicing hot yoga, most laud its stickiness, softness, and overall functionality; one user writes of happy knees and wrists. My Yoga Mats remarks on its durability, adding that the Yoga Accessories mat often shows up in fitness clubs and yoga studios. Simply put, the combination of specs and price are hard to resist, say comments on the company's website. That said, a few yoga mat reviews gripe about the smell, which apparently dissipates with airing or a lemon juice and soap bath.
This mat measures an extra-long 74", extra-thick 1/4", and a standard 24" width. Both the company and users stress that the thickness dimension is a true quarter inch (or 6.2 mm), unlike other yoga mats that shave a millimeter here and there. Another appeal is its composition: the Yoga Accessories mat (starting at $17, Amazon) contains no heavy metals or latex, and no inks, dyes, or phthalates (a substance used in plastics for bolster flexibility and durability). And, it's available in nearly two dozen colors, although some Yoga Accessories Extra Thick yoga mat reviews gripe that the actual colors look different from the online images. The mat weighs more than three pounds, putting it in the slightly heavy category, but some practitioners assert this feature enhances its longevity.
Based on the specs and users' reports, the Yoga Accessories mat would be a good choice for hard-core practitioners and those who are taller than average. Of course, this doesn't rule out anyone else. Beginners will also appreciate the thick padding and all users will benefit from its durability.
CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat Review
(From $23.00 Best)
Yoga practitioners concerned about the environment are high on the CleanPVC Eco Yoga mat, which, as its name implies, is made without PVC. Users are pleased with the price, color choices, performance, and durability. Kids or adults with limited space can opt for a shorter and cheaper version.
The CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat by Bean Products (starting at $13, Amazon) is a good option for environmentally-conscious yogis on a budget. It's made without heavy metals or phthalates (a substance that makes plastics more pliable and resilient); CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat reviews say this is a large part of its appeal. In reviews on Overstock, users also talk up its comfort and value, generally praise its thickness, and gratefully note the absence of any chemical odors. Still, we read quite a few yoga mat reviews on Amazon insisting that this mat lacks sufficient tackiness, particularly when you sweat. Several reviewers also report that their mats started to disintegrate after only limited use. One practitioner, though, cautions that machine washing or chemical cleaners could stress the mat and undermine its durability.
This eco mat comes in about a dozen colors, although some CleanPVC yoga mat reviews report that the colors aren't true to what you see online. It measures 72 x 24 x 1/4 inches, dimensions considered extra long and extra thick in the cheap yoga mats world. One tall practitioner notes she doesn't have to step off the mat for certain poses, and others say the additional eighth of an inch in thickness affords good protection for backs and knees.
Another PVC-free yoga mat from Bean Products, the PER Yoga Mat, is cheaper, shorter, and thinner than the deluxe CleanPVC model. Made with polymer environmental resin (PER), this mat measures 68 x 24 x 1/8 inches and comes in 10 colors. But compared to assessments of the deluxe model, Bean Products PER Yoga Mat reviews are only mediocre, Some reviews on Amazon say it provides sufficient padding but others say it's unbearably thin. Likewise, some reviews say the grip is fine while others grouse about a surface that looks and feels like an oil slick.
There's a short PVC-free mat, also produced by Bean Products, that measures 24 x 60 inches and starts at $15. This version of the eco-friendly mats is a good option for kids, shorter adults, and people who travel or have limited practice space. It's just 1/8", though, and it comes in only two colors.
Sunny Health & Fitness Yoga Mat Review
(From $9.00 Good)
This inexpensive yoga mat is a favorite among beginner yogis for its light weight, ample cushioning, and ease of storing. The attractive price is a plus.
Sunny Health & Fitness Yoga Mat reviews say this cheap mat is a good choice for beginner yogis trying out their first downward facing dogs. Users posting reviews on Overstock generally like the price, the comfort, and the quality, and add that it's lightweight and easy to store. A few users say it could be a bit thicker and denser, but others say the cushioning is adequate and the surface sufficiently "grippy." We did find several comments reporting contrary assessments, though. One user says the mat started to shred within a month of purchase and another complains about the smell. On Amazon, one yoga mat review gripes about a slippery surface and another says the mat seems flimsy.
Like most cheap yoga mats, the Sunny Health & Fitness Mat (starting at $9, Amazon) measures 24 x 68 inches; we weren't able to locate information about its thickness. This PVC mat is available in blue or purple, colors that users apparently warm to.
If you're doing simple stretches and light workouts, the Sunny Health & Fitness yoga mat is a good choice at a very good price. For more challenging poses and advanced practice, this mat might not cut it. It provides enough cushion for the beginner and enough tackiness to lessen the amount of slipping that's inevitable when sweating and stretching.
Altus Flower Yoga Mat Review
(From $13.00 Good)
For yoga and stretching against an aesthetically pleasing background, this mat has a lot of appeal. Unlike other cheap yoga mats, this one comes with a carry strap that relieves you of an additional outlay for a separate strap or bag.
Altus Flower Yoga Mat reviews alternately praise and criticize this product from Altus Athletic. Supportive comments posted on Amazon note the soothing blue-green color and floral design, the length, the durability, and the overall functionality. A real bonus, say reviewers, is the carry strap that comes packaged with the mat. Those who find fault with the mat say it's too thin and slippery; one yoga mat review reports it began to disintegrate after eight sessions and another says a soap and water bath improves the surface grip. Best uses for the Altus Flower Yoga Mat (starting at $13, Amazon) may be yoga and stretching; one user suggests it's too thin for Pilates.
This is a soft, lightweight yoga mat with a textured surface that measures 68 x 24 x 1/8 inches. It stands apart from many other cheap yoga mats because of the carry strap; purchasing a strap or bag separately can cost as much as the mat itself.
Although the Altus Flower Yoga Mat may seem a bit insubstantial to some, others say it's a solid and economical choice, especially for yogis who like to feel closer to the ground. And as with other cheap yoga mats, the more use it gets, the less slippery it feels. Considering the price and the reviews, this mat gets a qualified nod.
MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip Yoga Mat Review
(From $9.00 Think Twice)
A very low price for an eco-friendly mat may not compensate for what many users say is excessive slipping and impressions of hands and feet that interfere with their practice. Even so, the MiVizu mat claims its share of partisans.
For yogis committed to eco-friendly products, simple stretches, and real basic poses, this mat might be OK. But based on the MiVizu Eco Friendly Yoga Mat reviews that we found, many users have been disappointed. At 1/4" thick, the MiVizu Eco Friendly mat is far from thin, but therein lies its major flaw. Comments on Amazon note it has a disconcerting tendency to "remember" where you just placed your hands and feet, which makes it hard to transition to the next pose. Users say the time it takes for the impressions to disappear is a definite negative, and some report sinking so deep into the mat that they can feel the floor. Yoga Mat Review similarly expresses some reservations about the MiVizu mat's (starting at $9) ability to provide support and stability. Others, however, consider the mat quite comfortable, and only a few reviews complain about slipping and sliding. The smell bothers some practitioners, but not others.
As noted above, this is an eco-friendly yoga mat that is lightweight and seems to be quite durable. With dimensions of 24 x 72 x 1/4 inches, it's longer and thicker than the average cheap yoga mat. It features a textured, anti-slip surface and is available in seven colors.
People use the MiVizu yoga mat for a variety of purposes, including Pilates and stretching, and many are pleased with the product. But active yogis will be better served by other low-cost eco-conscious options.
Natural Fitness Eco-Yoga Mat Review
(From $28.00 Think Twice)
Although this mat is lightweight and environmentally friendly, it disappoints because of its price-to-quality ratio. Users note problems with flaking and scratching.
Although Natural Fitness Eco-Yoga Mat reviews offer up some positive reasons to buy this mat, contrary assessments give us pause. On Amazon, for example, reviews report the non-PVC mat doesn't lay flat, provides minimal grip, scratches easily, and the foam flakes onto clothing and the floor. A review on Walmart says the mat showed signs of wear after just two weeks of use and is very slippery when you sweat. Other yoga mat reviews are less critical, however. Some users say the cushioning is adequate and the designated floor and practice sides assure sufficient grip. We did not find any complaints in reviews about chemical smells.
The Natural Fitness Eco-Yoga Mat (starting at $28, Amazon) is made with TPE, which is non-allergenic and contains no lead or phosphates. The company says the mat can be recycled, and each side (one earth-colored and the other moss-colored) has a different texture. It measures the standard 68 x 24 x 1/8 inches.
Because this mat is a bit pricier than other cheap yoga mats, including the eco-friendly varieties, and shows signs of durability problems, this is one you might want to transition past.
The practice of yoga is booming. Yoga studios are popping up all over the place and yoga-related products are proliferating. Whether you're a beginner practicing at the gym or a longtime practitioner doing Bikram or "hot" yoga, you need a mat. Prices start at less than $10 and leap beyond $100, but frugal yogis can easily find mats for less than $25 that meet all their requirements for thickness, slip resistance, durability, and, if it's a personal priority, eco-friendliness.
Cheap Yoga Mat Buying Guide
The big difference between cheap yoga mats and the upmarket variety mostly relates to durability. High-end yoga mats claim to last a lifetime and may be the only yoga mat you'll ever have to buy. Cheaper mats, on the other hand, are sometimes thinner and need to be replaced more often. The serious yogi who spends time on the mat every day may want to consider investing in a pricier product, but for the average practitioner who attends a yoga class once or twice a week, a good cheap yoga mat will last quite a while and provide appropriate cushioning.
One critical feature to consider when shopping for a cheap yoga mat is its composition. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) has long been the material of choice due to its resilience, stickiness, and affordability. But PVC has also been associated with environmental concerns and health risks. Experts at BuyingYogaMats.com, say PVC yoga mats may release toxic chemicals and the production process harms the environment. The alternative -- so-called natural yoga mats made with rubber, latex, jute, or cotton -- are increasingly available but pose challenges of their own. The less expensive natural yoga mats may be less durable than the regular PVC variety, and, as experts note, some people are allergic to non-PVC materials like latex. Eco yoga mats are also more expensive to produce and often priced beyond the Cheapism niche. For the typical user, though, PVC mats are not a problem. Just know what you're buying and be aware of your own needs.
Seasoned yogis have probably heard of the Manduka and Lululemon mats, which sit at the high end of the yoga mat spectrum, costing between $60 and $100. At the cheap end, between $8 and $25, names like Yoga Accessories, Sunny Health and Fitness, Gaiam, Bean Products, and HuggerMugger are recognized brands. Our two favorite cheap yoga mats are Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat (starting at $17) and Bean Products CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat (starting at $13). Both are free of the chemicals and compounds that some practitioners object to, they're long and thick, and they're praised by users for their performance and value. Other good cheap yoga mat choices include the Sunny Health & Fitness Mat (starting at $9) and the Altus Athletic Altus Flower Mat (starting at $13), the former for its reliability and the latter for its soothing design and carry strap -- and both for their low prices. We're not enthused about the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip Yoga Mat (starting at $9) because of complaints about slipping or about the Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mat (starting at $28) due to durability issues.
If you're tempted to save a few dollars by buying an exercise mat or using a sleeping bag pad, proceed cautiously. Although these alternatives may suffice for the practice of yoga (and we've heard tell), make sure the mat is sticky and dense enough to cushion your bones and joints.
In the event that a true yoga mat doesn't work out, put it to good use by recycling or repurposing. While doing our research we read reports of yoga mats being used as padding for carpets, as a non-slip surface for children's toys, or as simple cushioning for little ones learning to walk.
Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table
Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat Review
Size, Length 24” X 74”
Composition Free of latex, heavy metals, inks, dyes, phthalates
Aesthetics Variety of color choices
|17||24” X 74”||1/4”||Free of latex, heavy metals, inks, dyes, phthalates||Variety of color choices|
CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat Review
Size, Length 24” X 72”
Composition Non-PVC, no heavy metals or phthalates
Aesthetics Variety of color choices
|23||24” X 72”||1/4”||Non-PVC, no heavy metals or phthalates||Variety of color choices|
Sunny Health & Fitness Yoga Mat Review
Size, Length 24” X 68”
Aesthetics Available in blue or purple
|9||24” X 68”||1/8”||PVC||Available in blue or purple|
Altus Flower Yoga Mat Review
Size, Length 24” X 68”
Aesthetics Floral design and carry strap
|13||24” X 68”||1/8”||PVC||Floral design and carry strap|
Sticky Mats, Eco Yoga Mats
The first issue to wrestle with before choosing a cheap yoga mat is figuring out what you want from it. Is durability your top concern? Do you need extra cushioning for your joints? Do you prefer eco yoga mats? Once you've answered these questions, you'll want to consider critical features like composition, length, thickness, and appearance.
Yoga Mat Composition.When yoga became popular about a decade ago, says Yoga Mats Resource, most people used one kind of mat -- the standard sticky mat made of durable PVC foam. Still in wide use today, the best cheap PVC yoga mats we found are Sunny Health & Fitness Yoga Mat (starting at $9) and Altus Athletic Altus Flower Mat with Carry Strap (starting at $13). Recently, eco yoga mats made with non-toxic materials have been grabbing market share. So if you're not down with PVC, you can try environmentally-friendly options like Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat (starting at $17) or Bean Products CleanPVC Eco Yoga Mat (starting at $13), which contain no heavy metals or phthalates (a substance that enhances the flexibility and durability of plastics) but perform as well as traditional PVC yoga mats. Other non-PVC mats we researched include MiVizu Eco Friendly Yoga Mat (starting at $9), Natural Fitness Eco-Yoga Mat (starting at $28), and Bean Products PER Yoga Mat (starting at $13).
Yoga Mat Stickiness.Most practitioners prefer sticky mats, all the better for stable footing and hand placement (i.e. traction and balance). If you do a lot of hot yoga and/or perspire a lot, a non-slip surface is particularly important. All the yoga mats on our list are sticky. Still, some mats tend to lose their stickiness with repeated use. In fact, slipping/sliding, particularly in downward facing dog, is the most common complaint users have about their yoga mats. One reason we're hesitant about the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat is the proportionally greater number of user reviews grousing about insufficient slip-resistance. The texture of a yoga mat also affects its stickiness, which in part is affected by its composition. PVC mats are comparatively smooth but still slip-resistant; still, the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat boasts two textured sides. Non-PVC mats don't have much innate stickiness, so oftentimes the production process adds texture in the way of slightly raised bumps. The CleanPVC mat, for example, is textured on both sides, as is the Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe mat; the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat has a practice side and a floor side. Obviously, personal preference dictates whether you like the feel of a bumpy surface or not.
Yoga Mat Odor.As any yoga practitioner can tell you, many mats smell, especially initially. Although odors almost always diminish with airing and washing, some cheap yoga mats, particularly those made with natural materials, are more likely to retain an odor. Some yogis don't mind the smells while others find them intolerable -- we read a few comments by practitioners who admit to being totally put off by the odor or being embarrassed in class -- so try to arrange a smell test before buying. User reviews indicate that the yoga mats on our list don't suffer from overwhelming or long-lasting odor problems.
Thick Yoga Mats, Long Yoga Mats
Yoga Mat Length.The average yoga mat is 68 inches long, which is an acceptable length for most practitioners. Among the cheap yoga mats we researched, the Altus Athletic Altus Flower, Sunny Health & Fitness, Natural Fitness, and Bean Products PER yoga mats meet this standard. If you prefer a long yoga mat, not to worry: the CleanPVC and MiVizu Eco Friendly mats are each 72 inches long and the Yoga Accessories Deluxe mat unfurls to 74 inches. One six-foot tall yogi notes in a review on Overstock that the extra inches on the CleanPVC mat are most welcome, a sentiment dittoed by other users in reviews of long yoga mats. Bear in mind, though, that extra long yoga mats are harder to roll up and transport. With the growing interest in yoga among children, shorter and lighter yoga mats have made their debut. The CleanPVC Yoga Mat is also available in a 60-inch version that starts at $15. Short yoga mats also work well for people with limited practice space and for shorter adults, and they make good travel companions.
Yoga Mat Thickness.The majority of cheap yoga mats, including the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat, Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mat, and the Bean Products PER Yoga mat, are 1/8 of an inch thick; we could not find thickness specifications for the Sunny Health & Fitness mat. A few cheap yoga mats, like the Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat, MiVizu Eco Friendly Yoga Mat, and CleanPVC Yoga Mat, double the fun with their quarter-inch thickness. That said, we came across some complaints in user reviews asserting that cheap yoga mats aren't always as thick as the marketing materials claim. Yoga Accessories prominently points out that its mat is a true quarter-inch thick. But thick yoga mats aren't always better. Some people prefer a thinner mat that lets them feel closer to the ground, and experts at BuyingYogaMats.com note that balance may be more challenging on a soft, heavily cushioned mat. Moreover, users report that some thick yoga mats, like the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat, become imprinted with the shape of your hands and feet, which interferes with smooth transitions and stability. Experts at Best Health suggest you test out a mat for comfort before committing.
Yoga Mat Design.Many yogis assert that the aesthetics of a yoga mat contribute to your energy and flow. In other words, the more comfortable you are with your mat, the more efficient and fluid your practice will be. Yoga is all about balance and a relaxed state of mind, and your environment, which includes your mat, affects the overall experience. Reviews on Amazon, for example, say the Altus Athletic Altus Flower Mat is particularly calming with its bluish-green background and floral print. For color choices that affect your conscious state, check out the CleanPVC, Yoga Accessories, and MiVizu Eco Friendly yoga mats. Although the colors range from vibrant to earthy, quite a few consumers comment in reviews on Overstock and Amazon that the colors shown online for the Clean PVC and Yoga Accessories mats aren't true to what shows up in the mat you receive.
Yoga Mat Reviews
Yoga mat reviews by experts and users indicate that many low-cost yoga mats are quite reliable and should hold up for countless yoga classes over a period of years. The key, reviewers say, is proper maintenance, which simply involves washing the mat occasionally (more frequently if you sweat often or use your mat for hot yoga classes). A mat's thickness is the subject of numerous comments in yoga mat reviews, as is stickiness. Although most users seem satisfied with the performance and pricing of the inexpensive yoga mats on our list, even the best cheap yoga mats garner their share of gripes about these two important issues.
Overall Performance.Praise abounds for several of the yoga mats we researched. Scores of reviews of the Yoga Accessories Extra Thick Deluxe mat on Amazon rave about its quarter-inch thickness and 74-inch length. Practitioners report the cushioning protects their joints and backs, even when placed atop hard surfaces like cement slabs. The extra length of this mat appeals to many users, and one 5-foot-11 yogi reports that neither feet nor head ever hang over the edge. My Yoga Mats asserts there's just about the right amount of stickiness, and most users tend to agree. Some yoga mat reviews, however, report insufficient grip and say their hands and feet slide; on Yoga Accessories, one practitioner says running a belt sander over the surface resolved the problem. The CleanPVC Eco yoga mat is another longer- and thicker-than-average product that reviewers posting on Overstock say is easy on the joints and provides sufficient room to transition through varied positions. But here, too, we read a few reports about not enough grip and too much slipping, and some comments that the mat seems thinner than the specs indicate. The two good cheap yoga mats on our list also earn mostly favorable reviews. The Sunny Health & Fitness mat is comfortable, lightweight, and sufficiently sticky, according to yoga mat reviews on Overstock. A few users wish this mat were thicker and longer, but others like its value-to-price ratio. As for the Altus Athletic Altus Flower mat, some reviews on Amazon say its 1/8-inch thickness seems too thin, while some commend the light weight and calming floral design. One user notes that it sticks to the floor while leaving hands and feet free to move, although another reports having to wear gloves to counter the slippery feel.
Assessments of the MiVizu Eco Friendly Anti Slip mat are split. Yoga Mat Review terms the stability and support adequate. Some users, commenting on Amazon, say the feel of the surface is just right -- no skidding, enough bounce. But others complain about slipping hands and feet and compression from your practice that takes a while to recover. Another eco mat we researched, the Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mat, doesn't win over many fans. In yoga mat reviews on Amazon, users report that the mat doesn't lie flat or grip the floor well and is too thin for anyone with sensitive knees or back.