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 type of mat and some recommendations of the best yoga mats in each category.
- Open-Cell Yoga Mats
- Closed-Cell Yoga Mats
- Open vs Closed-Cell Yoga Mats
- Related Questions
- Are Lululemon mats open or closed-cell?
- Are Jade Yoga mats open or closed-cell?
- Are Liforme yoga mats open or closed-cell?
- Are Manduka yoga mats open or closed-cell?
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:
- Absorbs moisture better
- Doesn’t become slippy when wet
- Great for hot yoga or Bikram yoga
- Moe cushion
- 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:
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:
- Do not absorb odors and bacteria as easily
- Easy to clean
- More durable (on average)
- Can become slippy if you have sweaty hands
- Less cushion
Best Closed-Cell Yoga Mats
Some of the best closed-cell yoga mats are:
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.
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.
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.
The YogaMad is founded by Mila, an avid yogini who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives while finding mind-body-soul balance. She has a background in business consulting but has left the corporate world in her quest to live out her dreams as a yoga nomad.