One of the benefits of yoga mats is that they come in all shapes and sizes so you are always going to find one to meet your needs. However, this does make it hard to choose between them. So, what size yoga mat do you need?
The best size for a yoga mat is 15cm (6”) longer than your height and about 4-5mm thick. However, if you want something easy to transport, you might opt for a thinner mat around 2-3mm or if you want more padding, a 6mm+ mat will be suitable.
However, there are several other things to keep in mind, such as weight and material. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the different sizes and when they will be suitable.
What Thickness Yoga Mat Should I Get?
The first consideration you’ll need to make is what thickness your mat should be. A standard yoga mat from most major brands will be between 4-5mm in thickness, but your needs may require something thicker or thinner.
Here’s a breakdown of the various size yoga mats:
|Mat Thickness||When to Use|
|2mm||BEST FOR TRAVEL|
These are the thinnest yoga mats on the market and are designed to be suitable for taking on vacation. Many at this thickness can be folded up to fit in your hand luggage as well as rolled up.
They can wear more easily and aren’t great on your knees and hips over long periods, so if using a 2mm mat for travel, it’s best to also have a thicker mat for your day-to-day use.
|3mm||BEST FOR CLASSES|
If you want something to take to classes regularly because the ones in your studio are old and smelly (we’ve all been there), then a 3mm is optimum as it is still suitable for carrying but has a little more longevity for regular use.
4-5mm is the standard thickness for yoga mats. They are versatile for use at home and still not too bulky for taking to classes. However, they will probably be too big/heavy for taking on vacation. If you’re just starting out, this is a good choice.
|6mm+||BEST FOR HOME|
Mats thicker than 6mm provide a good level of cushioning o they are great for your knees and are also very durable. However, they’re typically quite heavy so you wouldn’t want to transport these around. They are also the most expensive.
However, thickness isn’t everything. You still want it to be firm, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly where possible.
Some mats can be as thick as 12mm, although these aren’t recommended as you will find it difficult to maintain a good balance during standing poses.
What Size Should My Yoga Mat Be?
The size of a yoga mat varies by manufacturer but on average, a standard size yoga mat will be around 66-68cm wide and 170-180cm long.
For most yoga practices, you’ll want a yoga mat that is slightly longer than you. I would recommend aiming for at least 15cm (6”) longer than your height. If you are buying in person and don’t have a measure, this will be roughly your height plus one hand length.
A typical 180 x 66cm yoga mat would be ideal for anyone up to around 5’6”.
The width of a yoga mat typically increases with the length, so you don’t need to worry about this, after all, your arm span is usually pretty close to your height (source).
There’s no such thing as a mat being too big, so if you’re unsure between two sizes, you’ll probably thank yourself for choosing the larger one.
How Heavy Should My Yoga Mat Be?
The weight of your yoga mat is also important if you plan to carry it around with you a lot.
Many of the factors I have mentioned earlier will impact the weight of the mat such as size and thickness, but also the material will be a big factor.
A yoga mat can weigh anywhere from 1-3.5kg (2.2-7.7lbs). Cork yoga mats tend to be the lightest, followed by synthetic materials such as PVC and TPE. A rubber yoga mat will usually weigh the most when compared to a similar size and thickness in other materials.
If you plan to carry your yoga mat with you frequently, look for a mat that weighs less than 2kg. However, if you’ll only be using your mat in one place, the weight isn’t important.
Other Key Considerations When Buying a Yoga Mat
A good yoga mat should be sticky to provide a good level of grip. There are several other factors you’ll want to keep in mind when buying a yoga mat, these include:
- Material – Yoga mats come in many materials including natural rubber, cork, and many plastics. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind such as grip, absorbency, etc.
- Durability – You want a mat that will last. There is nothing worse than a mat that develops wear(or even holes) when you regularly do poses such as downward dog.
- Eco-Friendly – Keep your conscience clean by purchasing an eco-friendly mat made from sustainable materials. This also ties into durability as you don’t want to be frequently replacing it.
- Overall Quality – Cheap yoga mats are never a good idea. You want a good quality mat that lies nice and flat and provides a good amount of firmness for your poses.
- Price – Of course as with all things in life, price is an important consideration. With yoga mats, you get what you pay for so a premium brand like Manduka, Liforme, or Lululemon will be well worth it in the end.
- Alignment Lines – If you’re a beginner, you might benefit from a yoga mat with alignment lines to help get the correct posture during your practice.
Do I Need a Bigger Yoga Mat for Plus Size?
No, if you have a larger build, you don’t need your mat to be any larger. Stick to the standard measurement of your height plus 15cm (6”) or about one hand. However, you might want to consider a thicker mat as there will be more strain on your knees.
Is a Yoga Mat or Yoga Rug Better?
If you practice certain types of yoga such as Ashtanga, you might be familiar with a yoga rug. They are made from cotton or jute and were used long before yoga mats were created. Both yoga rugs and yoga mats have their benefits so it’s down to your personal need. A yoga mat will provide more cushion for your knees and better grip, whereas a yoga rug is more traditional and feels much more natural on your hands.
The YogaMad is founded by Candace, 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.