Yoga mats are meant to do two things; give you traction on the floor and some cushion so you don’t hurt yourself on the hard floor. One thing often overlooked in picking the best yoga mats for beginners is that they typically come in two thicknesses; 1/4″ and 1/2″.
More padding does not necessarily make the best yoga mat, but it can be for you. Many people start with a thicker pad and then move to a thinner one as they become used to the pressure on their bodies. Personally, I prefer a thinner one and always have, the thicker ones tend to make me feel more off-balance, even when doing my warrior yoga pose. This list will have a few of both kinds of the best yoga mats.
So let’s take a look at some of the best yoga mats for beginners!
The first mat on my list is this BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High-Density Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap because it is an excellent value. You get a thick pad that doesn’t let your feet or hands slip complete with a strap in one of seven different colors. All of that is protected by a 2-year warranty. No wonder it is one of the favorites on Amazon.
The mat is 71″x24″ so slightly on the large side, which gives you plenty of room to maneuver on. The padding is plentiful making sure when you put your knee down, there is more than enough cushion to keep it from bruising in yoga, or even something like natural bodybuilding. This alone might make it the best yoga mat for you.
As most of these inexpensive thick mats, however, the mat itself can be slick on certain floor types. I have noticed the most problem on wood laminate floors which tend to be the slickest in sock feet as well. I tell people now that if you need the mat to have traction on the floor, I do not recommend thick mats on floors that are extremely slick while wearing socks.
In all fairness, you should be on the mat all the time anyway so how slick the mat is on the floor really shouldn’t matter. This is, in my opinion, one of the best yoga mats for beginners if you want an inexpensive thick mat.
Speaking of Amazon, they make their own AmazonBasics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat which, like most of their Amazon Basics items is actually pretty good stuff. Think of this mat as a copy of the first one on this list although a few inches longer at 74″x24″, with fewer colors, and in some cases, an awful smell.
While I think this is one of the best yoga mats for beginners, I have read the reviews on the smell of this mat, mine has never had that problem. It does smell a little like plastic, but then again, it is plastic. I don’t doubt the reviewers however, I have received things with that type of smell before, this was just not my experience with this particular mat.
The mat carries a 2-year warranty just like the previous mat and also suffers from the same slick floor issues. Overall though, it is one of the best yoga mats for beginners just like the last one so I would use this as a backup in case they were out of stock of my first recommendation or this one was on sale.
I said in the beginning that I think the best yoga mats for beginners are thinner yoga mats, and this NewMe Fitness Instructional Yoga Mat 3is my absolute favorite to recommend to beginners. Not only is it a really good mat that comes in a nice array of colors, but right on the mat are diagrams for 70 of the most popular yoga poses. I can not stress how helpful this is to a lot of newcomers.
At 68″x24″ this one is a few inches shorter than the previous two we talked about but still plenty long enough for virtually anyone doing any poses you may want to do. If you play professional basketball it might not be the best yoga mat for you(joking).
This mat also is not as slick on slippery floors as the thicker mats either if that is a factor.
Overall, this is not just one of the best yoga mats for beginners, it is the perfect one in my opinion.
When deciding on one of the best yoga mats for beginners like you, you have to consider how you will carry the mat. Sometimes it makes more sense to fold one than to roll it. That is where the Gaiam Yoga Mat Folding Travel Fitness & Exercise Mat comes in. They took a high quality, beautiful, 68″x24″ yoga mat and folded it. This might just be the perfect mat to take on vacation with you.
Now the mat does have one downside, it is only 2mm thick instead of the standard 4-5mm of most “thin” pads. This makes it the thinnest pad of the bunch. If you are exercising on extremely hard floors and/or doing a lot of work on your elbows and knees, this may not be the best yoga mat for you.
If on the other hand you are working on softer floors or doing mainly poses on your hands and feet, then this might just be one of the best yoga mats for beginners for you.
This brings me to the one other issue I had with this mat, it can be slippery. It works fine unless I start sweating, then I need to make sure I keep my hands wiped off or they might slip on the mat. Fortunately, I do not tend to sweat too much when doing yoga on trips, I am usually in my air-conditioned room which makes this a perfect travel companion.
Certainly, if you are traveling this mat works well as it folds up nice and neat and easily fits into your overnight bag.
The TOPLUS Yoga Mat is a nice little mat with a lot going for it. I like the surface texture and the fact that it is hard to make it slip even on slick floors. The padding is good and the 72″x24″ size is excellent. The colors are also very nice even though a smaller variety than some, the two-toned effect is very nice and gets a lot of compliments.
What I do not like about the mat is that it does not seem to unroll very well if you keep it rolled up (and who doesn’t?). I have noticed that keeping it rolled loosely helps but still doesn’t completely solve the problem. It behaves better outside where it is warmer than inside in the air conditioning.
Don’t get me wrong, if you store it loosely rolled in a bag instead of tightly rolled in a strap, it is perfectly usable without any problems. You will probably note the corners curling a little but not so much that it affects the use of the product. I don’t have an issue with this because every mat is a balance of good and bad, this one is no different.
Overall this is still one of the best yoga mats for beginners I have used.