This $30 Yoga Mat Is Better Than Any of the Premium Ones I’ve Tried
Five years ago, I decided I was going to “get into yoga.” The first step on my new path toward enlightenment? Buying a yoga mat—the Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat, to be exact. It was a pretty lavender color and also rather cheap. (I figured I could deal with a $30 loss if my Zen habit didn’t stick.) But beyond that, I didn’t really think much of my purchase at the time.
Surprisingly, I did get into a regular yoga practice, and I’ve continued to use my Gaiam yoga mat. That’s right, after five years of hot yoga classes, ab circuits on my bedroom floor and even a half-hearted attempt at a headstand practice, the mat is still practically good as new. Sure, there are some marks where I place my knees in child’s pose, but I consider that to be a reminder of how far I’ve come since my first cat-cow. The six-millimeter cushioning still keeps my wrists feeling comfortable in downward dog, and the nonslip surface is just as effective as it was on the day I bought it.
But the main reason I’m confident this mat is a winner? I’ve tried fancy yoga mats like Alo’s Warrior Mat ($100) and Lululemon’s Reversible Mat ($78), and they simply don’t compare. I come back to my Gaiam mat every time. It stays in place for the entire class—even when I’m moving through a fast vinyasa flow. I can’t say the same about the pricier mats I’ve tested. It’s also super lightweight (my shoulder never hurts after carrying it on the 20-minute walk to the studio) and the corners never roll up during class, which is essential.
Other yogis agree. “This is a great mat for a great price,” writes one happy user. “It stays put, the material doesn’t flake off, it’s thick but not too thick, and my hands and feet don’t slide around.” She notes that she loves the vibrant colors, too. That’s another great aspect of this mat—each one is reversible, so if you get tired of the original shade, you can flip it over to use the other side. Mine is a lavender/bright purple combo, but I’m also a big fan of the light blue/dark bluecolor pairing.
And now that we’re stuck inside indefinitely, I’m getting more use out of my Gaim mat than ever. Whether I’m rolling it out for a quick 15-minute yoga practice before I log on to work for the day or using it for cushioning as I attempt to follow an at-home workout dance and sculpt video, I’ve put it to use almost every single day since we began social distancing.
Yup, those $30 were well spent.