Can A Yoga Mat Be Too Thick?

Shopping for a yoga mat can be a bit daunting because you have to decide between various factors, including weight and thickness. Determining whether a yoga mat is thick enough for you can be a challenging experience.

Several factors determine the right thickness of a yoga mat. A thin yoga mat may hurt your knees and joints. On the other hand, an excessively thick yoga mat may make it difficult for you to perform certain poses. Standard yoga mats are between 4mm and 5mm thick and provide the perfect balance between performance, comfort, and support.

Yoga mats are made of various materials, including:

  • PVC
  • Bamboo
  • Jute
  • Vinyl

Consider how often you will practice yoga when shopping for a mat as well since this can help you determine how much you want to spend.

The Best Yoga Mat Thickness

Various factors determine the type of yoga mat thickness to choose, including:

  • Yoga style
  • Weight of the mat
  • Body tolerance
  • Practicing surface
  • Secure grip

Practicing Style

There are many forms of yoga. Some practices will require you to be on the floor most of the time.

A yoga mat with the right thickness provides excellent head and back support. Find a yoga mat whose thickness can cushion the pressure exerted by your knees and hands.

A thinner mat is suitable for yoga practices that require lots of standing. Thin mats can help you maintain balance on any surface.

Weight of the Mat

The thicker the yoga mat, the heavier it will be. Thick and heavy yoga mats can be exhausting to carry around, especially if you practice yoga often. Consider using a lighter mat with adequate thickness to support your body. However, thicker mats can be ideal for people who practice yoga at home and often do not need to carry their mats around.

Dense yoga mats are not ideal for travel. Most travel yoga mats feature a thin material to make them lightweight and portable.

Body Tolerance

The right yoga mat thickness improves endurance in various yoga poses. They allow you to maintain knee poses for prolonged periods without experiencing joint pain or fatigue.

The weight of your body affects endurance. Consider using a thicker mat if you practice yoga to reduce weight and improve flexibility. A ¼-inch mat is ideal for enhancing endurance due to its lightweight.

Secure Grip

A good yoga mat provides an excellent grip to stay in one position as you practice yoga. PVC and vinyl yoga mats have a reputation for providing a secure grip on the floor. In addition, choose a mat with adequate friction between the mat and your feet or hands. A slippery mat will affect your performance during yoga.

Make sure the yoga mat you choose is sweat resistant. Drips of sweat on a slippery mat can affect your yoga practice and your ability to maintain balance during yoga. Lack of balance during yoga may cause joint pains and injuries.

Practicing Surface

Consider the surface you will use the mat on when deciding yoga mat thickness. A ⅛-thick mat is ideal for hardwood or tiled floors. On the other hand, a ¼-inch mat is perfect for practicing yoga outdoors because it has the right thickness to cushion your body from rocky or uneven surfaces. In addition, this yoga mat thickness supports different yoga styles and poses.

A thick yoga mat will protect your body in case you fall while doing different yoga poses. A 1/16-inch thick mat is ideal for use on top of a thick rug or carpet. It will keep your back, hand, and feet comfortable as you work on your yoga poses.

Experience Level

Choose a yoga mat that matches your experience. Many studios recommend 1/8-inch thick mats for beginners.

A ⅛ inch mat is thick enough for comfort and lightweight to carry around. This yoga mat thickness is excellent for outdoor yoga provided you use it on level ground. Experienced yoga practitioners can use mats with various levels of thickness, ranging from ⅛ inch thick to 1/16 inch thick.

The Best Thick Yoga Mats 2020

Yoga mats feature various levels of thickness and are often measured in the metric system. Yoga mat thickness can be categorized into standard, light, and ultra-light. Thick yoga mats provide excellent comfort and support. They also improve performance and portability. Here are some of the best adequately thick yoga mats on the market.

Manduka Pro Thick Yoga Mat

This mat is ideal for experienced yoga practitioners. It is 6mm thick and provides an excellent grip for improved yoga performance. Manduka pro yoga mat features an impermeable surface to prevent sweat absorption. The mat is extra-long to accommodate all heights. The Manduka pro yoga mat is lightweight and portable. When rolled out, all four corners of the mat sit flat, making your yoga sessions more enjoyable. This mat is made from durable material that is easy to clean. It also comes in a wide range of colors.

Some of the strengths of this mat include:  

  • Toxin-free mat
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Sits flat when rolled out
  • Great color variety

On the downside, Manduka Pro thick yoga mat is:

  • Pricey
  • May become slippery with time

Gaiam Yoga Mat

Gaiam yogi mat is ideal for open-air yoga. It comes in many colors that accentuate the chic nature-inspired patterns on the mat. This yoga mat is 6mm thick and measures 68 inches long and 24 inches wide. It is thick enough to cushion your joints and lightweight for portability. Gaiam yoga mat features a high-quality PVC that is toxin-free.

Some of the highlights of this mat include:

  • Beautiful and durable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable
  • Slip-resistant

A considerable disadvantage of this mat is that:

  • It could do with more padding

Tapas Hugger Mugger Yoga Mat

This is one of the oldest yoga mat brands on the market. Many people love it because of its excellent density, durability, and grip. Tapas yoga mat comes in ¼-inch thickness. It is excellent for people looking for a mat that supports joint health or need that extra padding when practicing yoga.

This mat features a non-slip and antimicrobial surface. It keeps your hands and feet anchored to the mat while preventing mat infections. The tapas yoga mat is moisture resistant and easy to clean. It is available in various colors, including indigo, burgundy, and eggplant.

The benefits of this yoga mat include:

  • Great for sensitive joints
  • Sweat-resistant and antimicrobial surface
  • Great for joint support
  • Durable

The drawbacks include:

  • Bulky

Yoga Cloud High-Density Mat

Yoga Cloud high-density mat is four times thicker than a standard mat. The extra thickness is ideal for joint and spine support. Yoga cloud mat has no-slip ridges for maximum grip. In addition, this mat is moisture resistant to prevent mat infections and provide a safer yoga session.

Being denser than a ½ inch mat, the Yoga cloud mat is perfect for all yoga practices. You can use this mat for general yoga, hot yoga, vinyasa, and pilates. In addition, this mat is ideal for home floor workouts and weight lifting. You could use it as a camping mat as well.

The highlights of this yoga mat include:

  • Extra padding for joint protection
  • Slip-resistant
  • Versatile

On the downside, the yoga cloud mat is:

  • Bulky
  • Pricier

Lottus Life Yoga Mat

The Lottus life yoga mat is built for durability and the ease of doing yoga. It features a durable top part made from organic jute fiber. Underneath the surface is high-grade memory foam. This allows the mat to accommodate the shape of your body for added comfort.

Unlike other mats that have a closed-cell surface, the Lottus life yoga mat has a semi-permeable surface. This surface absorbs moisture leaving the mat dry and with excellent grip.

Some of the things people love about this yoga mat include:

  • Memory foam for extra comfort
  • Greater moisture absorption
  • Made from durable organic fiber

Some users claim the Lottus yoga mat is:

  • Pricey
  • fibers might feel prickly

Final Thoughts

Yoga mats’ thickness varies depending on their applications. Some yoga mats are thick for extra back and joint support. Choose a yoga mat whose thickness matches the intensity and frequency of your yoga style.

Sita

Mother of three and Yogi of 20+ years and 200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I am also a Certified Thai massage therapist and I have taught Gymnastics for more than 10 years. In the last couple of years, I've been a big promotor of intermittent fasting.

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