6 Best Thick Yoga Mats: How Thick Should A Yoga Mat Be?

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Yoga is a diverse form of exercise that can be practiced indoors or outdoors, and in a variety of different settings. But one thing remains consistent throughout — you need a high-quality yoga mat.

Building a regular yoga routine relies upon having a decent mat to practice on. This is the basis of any yoga session, and there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a mat.

In this article, we’ll be guiding you through the importance of yoga mats, asking how thick a typical mat should be, and highlighting some of the best thick yoga mats on the market.

We’ll be exploring these key points:

  • Why Are Yoga Mats Important?
  • How Thick Should A Yoga Mat Be?
  • The 6 Best Thick Yoga Mats
  • Stretch Yourself!

Let’s get started.

Thick yoga mats visual

Why Are Yoga Mats Important?

Yoga mats are an essential accessory when it comes to helping you achieve the poses you’re aiming for.

Firstly, mats provide comfort and create a level of separation between you and the ground, meaning you can practice yoga indoors or outdoors.

Mats also tend to be built with anti-slip technology and grip support, helping yoga practitioners practice with stability, security, and strength.

Whether you’re practicing yoga indoors on a wooden, stone, or marble floor, or outdoors on grass or in the woods, the body will always be subject to muscle cramps and fatigue if it’s not given adequate support.

Providing this support is the main job of yoga mats.

There are a number of factors to consider when buying a yoga mat, including material, texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, sponginess, and how much it wears over time.

If you’re someone who’s allergic to latex or cares deeply about the environment, you’ll probably want to avoid mats made of natural rubber or PVC respectively.

Thickness is another key issue to think about. So how thick should a yoga mat be?

Woman rolling a thick yoga mat

How Thick Should A Yoga Mat Be?

Yoga is a highly individual practice. So naturally, mat thickness will differ between different people, depending on their intentions and the nature of their practice.

Thickness and comfort go hand in hand. If your mat is too thin, you’ll be more at risk of problems with knee pain or hip pain.

On the other hand, a super thick yoga mat can reduce your sense of connection with the floor. That means some poses, for example, Tree Pose, can cause you to become a little more wobbly.

It’s important, therefore, to strike a balance. Typically, a yoga mat should be 3 mm thick, while thicker options are usually 5 mm or above.

Using a mat that’s thinner than 3mm means you risk not having adequate support for your back, feet, knees, and other parts of the body that are strained during practice.

Thicker mats give extra cushioning for people with sensitive knee, ankle, and hip joints. If that’s you, you’d probably benefit from getting a thicker yoga mat.

Here are a few things to consider when buying a yoga mat:

  • How much room do you have to store your yoga mat?
  • How important is portability to you?
  • How much comfort do you need?
  • Do you want to feel much of a connection to the floor?

If you’re a little short on storage space, you’ve got to travel a fair to your studio, or you just want a little extra padding, you’re probably best off opting for a standard-depth mat.

However, if you want extra cushioning and don’t mind carrying and storing something a little bigger, a thicker yoga mat could boost your practice. Basically, it’s all about individual preference.

Okay, time for our exclusive list. If you’re looking for the best thick yoga mat, look no further.

Senior woman doing yoga

The 6 Best Thick Yoga Mats

There are plenty of options out there for any yogis looking for that extra bit of cushion while practicing. Here are 6 of the best.

#1. Manduka X Yoga Mat

Manduka X Yoga Mat

– Shock-Absorbing Cushioning

– Ethically-made

Manduka is a highly trusted brand when it comes to delivering top-quality yoga gear.

Their X Yoga Mat offers shock-absorbing cushioning so that it hurts a little less when your joints literally hit the mat.

It’s a multi-purpose option that’s great for home fitness, outdoors, or at the gym.

At 5 mm thick, it gives you extra cushioning without detracting from its lightweight credentials or seriously reducing portability.

This mat is also made with the planet in mind. It’s 100% latex free, made with recyclable materials, and no chemical solvents.

Striking a good balance between price and quality, many would argue that the Manduka X is the best thick yoga mat on the market right now.

#2. Gaiam Premium 6mm Yoga Mat

Gaiam Premium 6mm Yoga Mat

– Sticky Non-Slip Texture

– Includes Free Downloadable Yoga Workout

If you’re someone who slides around and struggles to stay stable during yoga classes, you might benefit from the sticky non-slip technology of this product.

The extra-thick Gaiam Premium 6mm Yoga Mat is built to give additional cushioning to your joints, while its surface is designed for excellent traction and superior grip.

Another perk is that all purchases include a free bonus downloadable yoga workout to help get you started.

And if aesthetics are important to you, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a wide range of designs available for this mat.

#3. Myga Woodland Pro Printed Yoga Mat

Myga Woodland Pro Printed Yoga Mat

– Budget Buy

– 6mm Foam And Embossed Texture

The Myga Woodland Pro Printed Yoga Mat is another product that puts a lot of focus on the image, with a woodland print transporting yogis into nature wherever they are.

But clearly, practicality is also important. This 6 mm Foam Padded mat is lightweight, non-slip, and comes with a carry strap.

With extra cushioning and an embossed texture, it’s an excellent budget option for both beginners and advanced yogis alike.

However, like most cheap products, there are a couple of downsides.

This mat can become slippery when wet, and there’s sometimes a slight smell at first. It also includes PVC, with for environmentally-minded practitioners, might be a problem.

If material is really important to you, it may not be your best bet, but if you’re looking to find the best cheap thick yoga mat, this is a great budget buy.

#4. Manduka EkoLite Mat

Manduka EkoLite Mat

– Premium Lightweight Mat

– Biodegradable and Sustainable

The Manduka eKOlite is a premium, lightweight mat, built with high-performance grip for added support and stability during yoga, Pilates, HIIT workouts, and various other types of exercise.

Manduka has put a lot of emphasis on sustainability with this product. It’s made out of non-Amazon harvested tree rubber and is 99% latex-free.

A closed-cell surface for ensuring the mat will never absorb moisture does mean that the eKOlite can get slippery if you become warm or sweaty, for instance during a hot yoga session.

Therefore, Manduka recommends putting down a mat towel for these moments.

At 4 mm thick, it also doesn’t provide as much extra protection as some other yoga mats we’ve discussed in this article.

Regardless of that, if you’re after a high-quality thick yoga mat that remains lightweight, this one should be high up your list of options.

#5. Yoloha Aura Cork Mat

Yoloha Aura Cork Mat

– 100% Vegan Product

– More Expensive

If you’re up for splashing out a bit more cash on your new thick yoga mat, the Yoloha Aura Cork Mat could be the one for you.

A 100% vegan product that’s made of cork and contains no PVC’s, latex, plasticizers or rubber smells, this Yoloha mat is a fantastic eco-friendly option for yogis who are super concerned about the planet.

At 6 mm thick, it provides a good deal of comfort and support, while remaining lightweight at the same time.

The Yoloha Aura also doesn’t absorb moisture, meaning it dries in minutes.

If style is a big factor for you, a cork mat could also be a great option.

The Aura mat gives a simplistic, natural finish that communicates the eco-friendly values underpinning Yoloha’s work.

#6. Brybelly Crown Sporting Goods 15mm Extra Thick Yoga Mat

Brybelly Crown Sporting Goods 15mm Extra Thick Yoga Mat

– Extra, Extra Cushioning

– High-density, non-stick foam

If you want a serious, serious level of cushioning, this Brybelly mat has got you covered.

Delivering 3/4 inches, or 15 mm of high-density, non-stick foam (backed up by a non-slip bottom to keep the mat in place), this is an extra-thick option designed to provide support and prevent injuries.

It’s super affordable and made with a ridged texture that creates a cooling, non-stick, moisture-resistant surface.

Check this one out on Amazon, or Walmart (where it’s slightly more expensive).

Stretch Yourself!

Buying a high-quality thick yoga mat could take your practice to the next level by providing additional comfort and stability and thereby boosting your confidence and performance levels.

Pick out a mat that fits your needs and aims, and you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of reaping the amazing rewards of yoga.

And once you’ve purchased a yoga mat that suits you, looking after it is also important.

Our guide to cleaning your yoga mat offers some advice on one of the most crucial areas of mat maintenance.

Senior woman stretching

Yoga mats can be used for all sorts of other transformative practices as well. For more on this, why not check out our guides to kundalini meditation or the gong bath?

Photo of author
Fred is a London-based writer who works for several health, wellness and fitness sites, with much of his work focusing on mindfulness.

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