What Size Yoga Mat Should I Get? (Important Tips)

As if choosing a yoga mat wasn’t difficult enough, they come in many different sizes, including different lengths, widths, and thicknesses.

Each size has its pros and cons, depending on how you plan to use it and other factors.

So, what size yoga mat should you get?

Below we help you navigate the complex process of choosing the right size yoga mat so you can find the best mat for your needs!

Standard Yoga Mat Sizes

Yoga Mat Thickness

Yoga mat thickness

Yoga mats come in many different thicknesses, and there is a good reason for that. Thicker mats, around ⅓ inch (8-10 mm) in thickness, are great for practitioners who may need extra cushioning for their joints. This includes older students, people suffering from arthritis, and yogis with knee, wrist, or spine injuries.

However, there is a downside to having a thicker mat. The softer the surface, the more difficult it is to balance. If you prefer a thicker yoga mat for your practice, it’s best to step off to perform standing balances. The other reason people may find thicker mats off-putting is that they are quite bulky when rolled up. Because of its size, carrying a thick yoga mat can feel like a burden.

The other end of the spectrum is thin yoga mats, usually up to ⅛ inch (3-4 mm) in thickness. They are definitely more suited for grounding oneself through contact with the earth. They provide plenty of grip and won’t stand in your way of performing the Tree Pose and other standing poses.

However, in certain yoga poses, having a thinner mat can be difficult. When you’re kneeling in a lunge or inverting in a handstand, you may choose to add an extra layer by folding a mat or using a blanket.

The other thing to consider when you buy a thin yoga mat is the surface on which you practice. If you tend to practice outdoors on uneven ground, a thinner mat may not hold enough weight to stay reliably in place throughout the practice.

For varied yoga practice, your best bet is to choose something ranging between the two extremes. A ¼ inch mat (5-6 mm) is perfectly suited for most yoga poses while providing adequate joint support.

Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat

Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat

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Yoga Mat Length

Yoga mat length

Generally, “standard issue” yoga mats are 68 inches in length. That’s usually long enough to comfortably fit an average person lying down on the mat.

But what about the taller folk? Don’t worry. Just because 68 inches is the norm doesn’t mean you have to feel cramped on your yoga mat.

Many companies recognized the need for longer mats to accommodate taller practitioners. Their solution was to produce yoga mats between 72 and 84 inches. With an extra-long yoga mat, you no longer have to worry about your legs extending beyond the edge. It is not only more comfortable but more hygienic as well.

CAMBIVO Yoga Mat for Men and Women, Extra Long (84

CAMBIVO Yoga Mat for Men and Women, Extra Long (84″ x 30″ x 1/4 inch)

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Yoga Mat Width

Yoga mat width

Once again, there is a certain industry standard when it comes to the width of a yoga mat. Most yoga mats are 24 inches wide, which is generally enough space for an average yogi.

The great thing about yoga is its inclusivity, which means your body size doesn’t limit your ability to practice. If you find a 24-inch mat too restricting, search for a mat labeled “wide” or “extra wide”. Some manufacturers create mats that are 32 or even 36 inches wide! This is also a great solution for people who want to define a larger practice space in a group setting.

CAMBIVO Extra Wide Yoga Mat for Women and Men (72

CAMBIVO Extra Wide Yoga Mat for Women and Men (72″x 32″x 1/4″)

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Specialty Yoga Mats

Travel Yoga Mats

With the rising popularity of yoga, many manufacturers realized the demand for a yoga mat that could be easily portable. Travel mats tend to be slightly smaller and thinner than standard yoga mats. These changes make travel mats roll up easier and can even fit into some gym bags! Most notably, travel yoga mats are lighter than the “normal” mats. This makes them much easier to transport, whether walking, cycling, flying for work, or going on vacation. Travel mats are a perfect solution for commuters or yogis full of wanderlust.

Yogo Long Ultralight Folding Travel Yoga Mat with Attached Straps

Yogo Long Ultralight Folding Travel Yoga Mat with Attached Straps

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Mini Yoga Mats

Not every type of practice requires a full mat. Sometimes you just want to frame a personal practice space for meditation. Sometimes you want to work on your standing balances or inversions.

In cases like this, you could use a mini yoga mat designed specifically for that purpose. While the width remains the same as the standard yoga mat (about 24 inches), the other dimension is typically about 12-15 inches. These mini mats are lightweight and portable, perfect for outdoor practice.

You can also use a mini yoga mat as an add-on to a larger mat. For example, if you need extra support for your joints, you could add a mini mat under your knees or wrists. It can also act as an extra grippy surface for your hands and feet if your regular yoga mat isn’t sticky enough.

JadeYoga Fusion Mini Mat(™)

JadeYoga Fusion Mini Mat(™)

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Kids’ Yoga Mats

Are kids’ yoga mats any different from adult ones? Not necessarily. If your child is interested in yoga, they can practice on a standard-size yoga mat.

However, in the interest of saving space, you may opt to buy a smaller mat designed for children. While the width remains the same, the length is usually a bit shorter, down to 60 inches. Having a smaller mat is also useful for commuting or traveling.

As a bonus, children’s mats tend to have fun, colorful designs that will keep your child’s attention and encourage them to practice.

Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat

Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat

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Wearable Yoga Mats

If you consider yourself a minimalist, you may do away with a yoga mat altogether. But how can you do that and still practice yoga?

Technically, you don’t need a yoga mat.

Related: Why Do I Need a Yoga Mat? (Hint: You Don’t!)

In fact, when the ancient tradition of yoga was still developing, yoga mats simply did not exist. Yoga mats, as we know them, only came to be in the 1980s. Before that, practitioners used a cotton or linen rug or practiced on a wooden floor. You’ll find that throughout the majority of the asana practice, the only parts of you that need the extra grip due to perspiration are your palms and feet.

The solution is to use “wearable mats” for your hands and feet, like Yoga Paws. In essence, it’s like a fingerless glove and a sock, with the outer surface being made from a yoga mat material, providing you with all the grip you need in Downward Facing Dog and beyond. On the inside, they are usually lined with moisture-absorbing fabric that helps your hands and feet stay dry.

YogaPaws SkinThin Non Slip Yoga Gloves and Yoga Socks

YogaPaws SkinThin Non Slip Yoga Gloves and Yoga Socks

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Other Important Considerations

Material

The material of your yoga mat can make or break your practice. Depending on the type of yoga you adhere to and the environment where you practice, you may need to choose a specific material for your mat.

For example, those who love hot yoga would benefit from a mat that can provide adequate grip, despite the sweat and general humidity. Although most yoga mats provide some amount of friction, a regular sticky mat may not be right for the job. Consider investing in a cork mat or a high-quality non-slip yoga mat.

The other reason you should consider the material of your yoga mat is your environmental impact. Mats made from PVC plastic or rubber have a high carbon footprint due to their manufacturing process and the time it takes for the material to break down once the mat is no longer functional. On the other hand, a mat made from cork or hessian is made from a more sustainable material and will compost much faster.

Finally, the material of your yoga mat determines how long you can use the mat. If you buy a mat from cheap, low-quality material, you may notice it deteriorates quite quickly. On the other hand, if you invest in a mat made from a more durable material, you can go years without having to replace your man yoga accessory. 

Related: How Long Does a Yoga Mat Last?

Storage

Where are you going to store your mat? When you consider choosing the size of your yoga mat, you must also consider whether you have a place for it outside practice.

You should also ensure your yoga mat is stored in a place where it will not sustain any damage from your pets or surroundings.

Don’t leave your mat in the sun, and always ensure it is dry before rolling it back up!

Price

For most of the population, budget is a huge factor when making any purchase. A good yoga mat is an investment, but it is possible to find great options if you are on a tight budget if you do some research.

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