If you are just discovering how healthy yoga can be, it’s better late than never. Yoga has many health benefits, and this is true both for the mind and the body. Moreover, yoga classes are inexpensive, and you only need to purchase a couple of things to get started. The one thing you will need is a decent yoga mat.
That said, yoga mats come in all sorts of sizes and thicknesses, and they can be made of various materials. Today, we want to determine the best thickness for a yoga mat for you. We want to go over other factors to keep in mind when buying one.
Yoga Mat Thickness and Weight Range
First off, you need to know the range. Considering all of the options, you can find yoga mats that are barely 2 mm thick, and you can find ones that are 6 mm thick or even thicker.
Something to keep in mind in terms of portability is that the thicker the yoga mat is, the heavier it will be. The thinnest and smallest of yoga mats can weigh from one or two pounds, with the largest and thickest of them weighing up to seven pounds.
Yoga Mat Thickness: A Good Starting Point
Before we get into comparing the differences and attributes of yoga mats of varying thicknesses, let’s talk about a good starting point. After all, we can provide all the pros and cons of thin and thick mats, but if you have never used a yoga mat before, it’s tough to judge one way or another.
Therefore, let’s start by saying that a good thickness for you to try as a first-time yoga mat user is 1/8 inch (3.175 mm). This is a standard thickness that many people use; it is thin enough to allow for good balance and contact with the floor and thick enough to offer a bit of support and cushioning.
Thick vs. Thin Yoga Mats: Pros and Cons
Now that you have a decent starting point let’s compare thinner and thicker yoga mats based on how they excel and what their drawbacks are.
Thinner Yoga Mats
Thinner yoga mats are ideal for portability and transportation. For instance, if you do your yoga at a studio that you must travel to, having a thick and heavy yoga mat will not be ideal.
Next, thin yoga mats are ideal for more intensive yoga sessions that feature many movements and various poses, especially those involving a lot of fluid motion. Thinner mats have you closer to the ground, and they have less bounce to them, which allows much better balance. A thinner mat has a lower chance of getting caught on your clothing or body as you go through the motions.
Moreover, if you are doing yoga for rehabilitation or joint strengthening, or as a senior or somebody with an injury, a thin mat might not be best, as it won’t offer enough support cushioning between you and the ground. The bottom line is that thin yoga mats are ideal for balance, stability, and intensive yoga sessions.
If you need lots of cushioning to protect your bones and joints from the ground, whether due to being a bit heavy, being a senior, or having injuries and health conditions, you want a thicker yoga mat.
If you are doing yoga that involves many stationary poses that you need to hold for a long time, a thicker mat may be best. If you need to kneel or be on your elbows for minutes at a time, then you probably want a good bit of cushioning.
That said, thicker mats are not ideal for transportation, and they won’t help you achieve the best balance and stability.
We have given you the information to make an informed decision, and now the rest is up to you.