In the market for a new mat? Depending on how often you practice with your mat, you’ll want to replace it fairly regularly to get the most out of it. When shopping for an exercise mat, we’re presented with a paradox of choice with thousands upon thousands of options to pick from. Asking yourself these four questions will help make shopping for a mat easier!
- How Important is Portability? While it’s fantastic to have a luxurious, super-thick, extra-long mat, you may not want to tote it around based on its heaviness. When your mat is placed in a permanent home, splurging on a more deluxe mat makes sense since you won’t have to lug it from here to there. However, if portability is key, look for a lightweight mat, ideally with a carrying strap, to take with you to and from class!
- Is Eco-Friendliness a Key Factor? Keep Mother Nature in mind with mats that are recyclable and decomposable. When constructed with materials such as thermal plastic elastomer (TPE) or rubber, you can be sure that environmentally friendly mats are doing the planet a favor while still providing you with a comfortable practice. Be sure to keep eco-conscious mats out of direct sunlight as they can be susceptible to fading and drying out as a result of their eco-friendly composition!
- Will It Be Used for Static Holds or Movement-Based Workouts? Sometimes you want a smooth surface and sometimes you’re looking for better grip and traction! Many mats offer a dual surface that smooth on one side, allowing for smooth, fluid transitions between movements and a textured side that allows for a better grip when holding a static pose. Also, when testing a mat out, press your hand into it to see how quickly it can bounce back, you’ll want to avoid mats that take a while to return to their original form, as they’re more likely to suffer for permanent indentations.
- How Frequently Will the Mat be Used? With so many options available on the mat market, all coming in at different price points, you may want to determine if you’re looking for an ‘investment piece’ or if you’d prefer to switch mats more frequently. Heavy users who practice on the mat multiple times a week may want to invest in a higher quality piece that features extra cushioning and support that can be used for years. Lighter users may be more interested in saving on cost and might not require many deluxe elements.