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When choosing a yoga mat, one of the key things you’ll need to consider is whether you want a closed-cell or open-cell mat. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry, you’re not alone as the majority of yoga mat shoppers don’t have a clue at first, myself included.

But, after some deep research into the topic, I’ve put together this article to help you decide whether an open or closed-cell mat is best for you.

The difference between open and closed-cell yoga mats is the amount of air in the material. An open-cell mat has more air which provides cushion and allows the mat to absorb moisture to stay grippy. A closed-cell mat can get slippery when wet but is much firmer and usually more durable.

Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of each yoga

Open-Cell Yoga Mats

An open-cell yoga mat is made from material that has tiny cells which remain slightly open. These cells have air inside which

One of the main benefits of these mats is that they are slightly absorbent as moisture can seep into the cells rather than remaining on the surface. This is important with a yoga mat as you’re likely to get sweaty during practice, especially if you’re at hot yoga or Bikram yoga.

The last thing you want is sweat pools on your mat as this can make it very slippy which can be both frustrating and dangerous during difficult poses.

Examples of open-cell materials include polyurethane and cork.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of open-cell yoga mats:

Pros:

  • Absorbs moisture better
  • Doesn’t become slippy when wet
  • Great for hot yoga or Bikram yoga
  • Moe cushion

Cons:

  • Can absorb odors and bacteria more easily
  • Harder to clean
  • Less firm

Best Open-Cell Yoga Mats

Some of the best open-cell yoga mats are:

Maduka GRP Range

Liforme Mats

Lululemon Reversible Mat

Jade Harmony


Closed-Cell Yoga Mats

A closed-cell mat is essentially the opposite of an open-cell mat. It is essentially a much denser material that doesn’t allow moisture to get inside.

This makes it less absorbent than open-cell mats which have both pros and cons. One of the pros is that it’s much easier to clean by wiping it, however, the con is that sweat may accumulate on the surface and could become slippery.

Generally, closed-cell yoga mats are more durable because the texture is more resistant to wear and tear, however, this will vary between manufacturers and materials, there are really durable mats available in both closed and open-cell.

A closed-cell yoga mat will be firmer than open-cell but with less cushion. Whether this is good for you will depend upon your own preference. More cushion is good for sore knees and hips whereas firmer mats are better for balance when doing standing yoga poses.

Examples of closed-cell materials include PVC, TPE, and natural rubber.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of closed-cell yoga mats:

Pros:

  • Do not absorb odors and bacteria as easily
  • Easy to clean
  • More durable (on average)
  • Firmer

Cons:

  • Can become slippy if you have sweaty hands
  • Less cushion

Best Closed-Cell Yoga Mats

Some of the best closed-cell yoga mats are:

Manduka Pro

Manduka Pro Lite

Manduka eKO Range


Open vs Closed-Cell Yoga Mats

The main difference between open and closed-cell yoga mats will be the amount of moisture they absorb and how easy they are to keep clean.

Which is best will depend upon your needs. If you’re someone who sweats a lot or does hot yoga, then an open-cell mat such as Liforme or Jade Harmony will be better.

However, if you prefer a mat that is easy to keep clean and you won’t be getting too sweaty during routines, then a closed-cell mat such as the Manduka Pro or Pro Lite will be more suited to you.

Remember, there are other things to keep in mind too. For example, you should choose the right size yoga mat for your needs and you’ll want to ensure the product is durable and sustainable.

See my full guide on how to choose a yoga mat for more help.


Related Questions

Are Lululemon mats open or closed-cell?

Lululemon yoga mats are open-cell with a polyurethane top layer that absorbs sweat and helps the mat stay grippy. The extra air in the open-cell design means the mats are well cushioned compared to closed-cell equivalents.

Are Jade Yoga mats open or closed-cell?

Jades yoga mats, including the popular Jade Harmony, are open-cell mats which means the material has small pockets of air that provide extra cushion and absorbency which is ideal during hot yoga or for those that sweat a lot.

Are Liforme yoga mats open or closed-cell?

Liforme yoga mats have a polyurethane surface which is an open-cell material. This means it will absorb moisture and stay grippy when you sweat. However, they can retain odors which is why Liforme recommend you avoid using lotions or essential oils on them.

Are Manduka yoga mats open or closed-cell?

Most of Manduka’s mats, including the Pro, eKO, and Manduka X series, are closed-cell mats which explains why they are so durable and easy to clean. However, the GRP series is made from an open-cell material so is better for hot yoga and sweaty hands.