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Yoga mat is the most important accessory for yoga practice, and we get a lot of questions about our mats… well just about yoga mats in general, as we know there is a bit of a mind field out there for everyone. So… to try our best to help you, we are going to de-bunk, funk it up and answer some of your FAQs in one easy blog post! Let’s hope it helps you work out what might be right for you!

How to choose the best yoga mat

Generally, when buying yoga mats, you should consider buying a mat that is 7 - 10 inches longer than your height. If you do have joint pain or if you are heavy, including pregnant women, you should consider a thick mat so that you can get that extra cushion to support your wait.


What Size of Yoga Mat is Right For Me


As said earlier, you height and weight should influence the size of your mat, but as you know, this is a bit of a tricky one, for us a little bit extra is better as we hate it when our feet and arms are hanging off the edges of the mat, so that’s why all our mats are 6ft in length (183 cms) and 68 cms wide. Standard yoga mats measure about 172 cms by 60 cms, which might be more than enough if you don’t mind or need that bit extra and perhaps you want to save on weight… so really it’s a preference, we like some extra space for our Asanas and for the taller or larger yogi the size of the mat can be very important. 

The most simple thing you should have in mind regarding the height/length of your mat is that it should be 7 - 10 inches longer than your height, except if you like some part of your body such as your leg touching the bare floor. 


Yoga Mats Sizes - Kati kaia

Again, this is very personal and takes a little trial... When you're starting out a travel mat might be the best, ours is 1.7 - 2mm thick, 100% Natural Rubber, so the rubber base really grips to the floor or surface of other mats. That gives you a nice base to start with, not too thin and then you can use provided mats in your local yoga studio underneath, this is an excellent way of playing around to see what thickness suits you and it still gives you your own hygienic top layer for all that sweat! Easy to wash and easy to pack for retreats at under 2kg weight.

Some people really like to feel the floor, so for that you could go even thinner to 1 mm, which is more like a yoga sheet or cotton rug would be good for them. Others (like myself) like some extra cushioning, which is important for joints so it doesn’t hurt when you are engaged or in a plank or dog for a while. 

A thicker mat also gives you that extra luxurious feeling when you're laying out for practice. We have talked to all sorts of yogis and yoga teachers about our cushioning, to get it right. It was especially interesting at The Om Yoga Show, London in October, which was great to get out and talk to everyone! 

We had been worried our mats were heavy, as the natural rubber does have a little weight compared to foam polymers and not wanting to sacrifice the natural base for a lighter plastic, PU or anything like that… but listening to yogis, for your everyday use mat, you need some weight and cushioning. Some of you came to us looking for a thicker mat as we have some of the thickest mats on the market from natural bases, you felt your 3. mm mats were just too thin for your needs. Our Gallery Yoga Mat is 4.5mm cushioning, which provides you with enough thickness to not need to fold your mat and with the vegan suede topper so you have no need for a towel.

Generally, there are three major mat thickness: thick mat is ¼ inches or 6.4mm thick, Standard mat is ⅛ inches or 3.2mm thick and Thin mat is 1/16 inches or 1.6mm thick. For pregnant women, you would want to buy a thick mat so that it can carry your weight and provide you with extra cushion.

In any case, you can avoid the thin mats except if you like to feel the floor or you want something that is lightweight or if you go for yoga classes and need a mat that can be easily transported.


What Mat is Good For My Yoga

The Type of Yoga You Practice

The type of yoga you practice may influence your mat choice. If you are just getting into yoga and don’t know which type of yoga you would eventually like, you should go with the standard yoga mat. For those who engage in flow yoga, you would need a mat with good grip to give you good traction, likewise if you practice hot yoga, you don’t want to be sliding down your mat, so a non-slip mat is good for you too. Generally, it is advisable that you go with a non-slip yoga mat as this is perfect for any practice.

Where You Practice

For those of us that love to go to yoga studio or class, we love mats that are lightweight and easy to carry, mats with straps like ours, popularly known as travel yoga mats. This allows us to easily carry our mats to class without breaking a sweat. If you like to practice at home, you will probably want a mat that is thick for extra cushion. It may be a little bit heavier but since you wouldn’t be carrying it a lot, the weight may not matter much.

If you practice on a hardwood or slippery surface, you will want a mat that is layered with extra grip that prevents it from sliding. Likewise, if you practice outdoors, in the mountains, in the woods, or anywhere else that might have slippery or uneven terrain, you will want a non-slip mat that is weather resistant and easy to clean.


What is the Best Yoga Mat Material

Now this is an interesting one as yoga mats come in all sorts of types, natural or very much otherwise! If your mat is seriously cheap… I would take a look at what is inside it… the cheapest materials and mats on the market tend to be made from Plastic, Polymers, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), even ‘Eco-friendly’ TPE, which is a degradable type of plastic & rubber mix, which is arguably better than PVC, a chemical that, in it’s manufacturing, releases harmful toxins into the environment, a lot of mats are made from this. as an Eco friendly option.

What is the Best Yoga Mat Material

Some of these Eco-friendly yoga mats do not include latex either, which is important if you have an allergy. Eco-friendly yoga mats are usually made out of natural rubber, derived from a rubber tree, or from jute fiber, hemp or cotton. Our mats are 100% Natural Rubber base, which is topped with a ‘vegan suede’ grip topper. The topper is soft and protects you from the rubber base, which helps you with grip and allergies especially as allergies are often aggravated when we sweat.

PVC Yoga Mats

PVC Yoga Mats -kati kaia

Looks like a big acronym, it stands for polyvinyl chloride. Although mats made from PVC have durability, affordability, and slip-resistant surface, they are not considered eco-friendly as they are made by a chemical reaction between chlorine, carbon, and ethylene and because it causes the release of other harmful chemicals, it does a lot of harm to the environment.

TPE Yoga Mats

TPE Yoga Mats - Kati Kaia

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), are sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber). They consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties as said earlier. Some people consider it to be more eco-friendly than PVC as plastic and rubber are biodegradable materials. They are also lightweight, easy to clean and usually have good grip.

Eco-friendly Materials:

Natural Rubber Yoga Mats

Our mats are made of rubber which is eco-friendly. Cotton and jute are also some good materials to choose from. We are also working with Circular Flow to develop mats made of recycled neoprene which saves the planet from huge neoprene waste.

Can I Wash My Yoga Mat?

Can i wash my yoga mat?

Photo: Ingrid Skjong

 Yes of course! Simply pop into your washing machine drum on a cool cycle like 30 degrees, add some lemon juice to cut through the sweat and even a drop of organic tea tree can freshen it right up if you like. No need for detergent, unless it’s natural, detergent can break down fibres just like it does with our clothes, so best save them for your washing! Then hang out to dry, in the fresh air is best and quick, but even on the rainiest of days over the tub will do just fine. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to be clear on how to clean it.

Can Yoga Mats Be Recycled?

 Yes! Natural mats will biodegrade, depending on the thickness and material of the mats this may be 8 months, it may take 10 years or more. But a better use for your tired out yoga mat is to take it to a donation station near you. So many people are displaced at the moment through persecution or war, they are really looking for anything to sleep on, tired out yoga mats are perfect for this! There are many grassroots organizations that are helping refugees with their plight.

We donate our samples to our local center for Calais. You can find more information on recycling for refuge here. We also have an interactive map for your local donation center. Don’t let it go to the landfill, there are so many other uses for a tired mat, in the garden as a rug, the workshop for standing on and keeping those cold floors at bay, your local Women’s refuge center. Think Creative, as we like to say!


Where Are Yoga Mats Made?

Now, we can’t speak for all mats, but we can share our processes from our factory, which is based just out of Hangzhou in China. A lot of mats are made here. Our factory brings many jobs to the area, which is out of the major city, it is a very clean, high standard factory with health and safety and run by a family team. They are close to the market for Natural Rubber, which comes from Vietnam and is grown naturally and tapped over time. We have blogged about both our Elastic Forest and our inks and finishing processes here.


Price Range

Yoga mats come in a range of prices, from budget-friendly options to high-end mats. The price of a yoga mat will depend on the material, thickness, and brand. PVC mats are typically the most affordable, while eco-friendly mats made from natural materials tend to be more expensive. Yoga mats prices generally fall between £15 - £150 depending on the factors above. You can check out the prices of our mats to find one that fits your budget but we would advise you go with premium mats that can survive any hardship you make it undergo, plus you get mats with eco-friendly material, easy to clean and with strong straps for easy transportation.


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