So, you want to start your yoga class but are not sure what size yoga mat is best for you? Or perhaps you are an avid Yogi and would like to get a yoga mat that fits you well? If you answer yes to either, you are in the right place.
In this post, I am going to walk you through the common yoga mat sizes and how to choose one that fits your particular need. So, enough talk. Let’s get into action!
How to Choose the Best Yoga Mats?
First of all, the size of your yoga mat has a big impact on your yoga exercises. Now, consider this: if it’s too thin, you will feel the floor beneath you and this may cause you some knee issues.
Thick and long yoga mats (some as thick as 1/4 inch) might make it difficult to maintain a strong and steady connection while you are standing on the floor.
The thinnest and smallest yoga mats are roughly 1/8-inch thick, while the largest are up to 1/4 inch thick. Ultra-thin mats are only 1/16 inch thick. You will find they are easy to pack and are light in weight, so you can easily fold them.
The other thing you should keep in mind is how much space you have to store your yoga mat, how essential portability is to you, and where your comfort sweet spot is in terms of feeling a direct connection to the floor. Choose a standard-depth mat in the 1/8 inches range if you’re low on storage space.
Below are also other factors you should consider:
With Yoga in general, you’re going to sweat at some point (or sweat like hell during a hot yoga class). So, a solid yoga mat is your best bet if you want to avoid slipping and falling flat on your face
2. Ease of Use
With the padding of a yoga mat, your sensitive knee joints and jutting bones will definitely feel much better. A second layer is also useful for protecting your body from a chilly or hot surface.
When you are a beginner Yogi, you tend to compare the position of your shoulders and hips on the mat. This is very common. But, there are now a variety of stylish yoga mats with alignment lines that will teach you where to place your feet and hands so that you learn a given yoga pose much faster.
4. Space Marking
If you have ever done yoga in a busy class or elsewhere, you certainly know very well how important it is to mark your space so that you don’t accidentally touch a fellow Yogi.
What Are the Common Yoga Mat Sizes?
The most common yoga mat size is usually 24 inches wide and 68 to 72 inches long. If you are shorter than 5’8 or 172 cm, this mat size will comfortably fit you well and provide enough space for you to practice most of the yoga poses.
When you practice any pose on it, you will feel most at ease.
If you are taller than 5’8,” then you should look for mat sizes that are at least 74 to 86 inches if you prefer to have a little extra space to practice your yoga poses.
Extra-wide mats (up to 30 inches wide) are also available. These are useful if you need more space in a crowded yoga class or if you want to practice on a cold tile floor.
When rolled up, the longer/wider the mat is, the bulkier it becomes. It will also be more difficult to mobilize. So, you should look for ultra-thin mats for a more mobile option, also known as travel mats.
What Is the Best Size of a Yoga Mat?
It all depends on how tall you are and what yoga pose you’re practicing. Moreover, will you be bringing your yoga mat with you on a trip, for example? Or perhaps you are buying one as part of your physiotherapy sessions to treat an injury? Are you new to the game? All of these are essential questions to ask.
If you are taller than 6’0” and are using a small mat, you may wind up with your knees and hands on the floor.
A standard yoga mat can fit a person who is 5’8′′ tall. Longer yoga mats are available in lengths of 71 inches, 72 inches, 74 inches, and 84 inches for practitioners who are taller or prefer a longer mat. There are even mats that are longer than 7 feet.
I recommended that you choose one that allows you to lie flat with your head and feet on the mat. Extra-long yoga mats are slightly heavier to carry and a bit bulkier when rolled up, but this is a minor issue of course.
You can also find yoga mats with widths of 28 and 30 inches. These mats are a little broader than the typical 24-inch width, but they’re perfect if you like to have a little more room for poses on the back of the mat.
Wider mats are also ideal for yoga poses where your hands, legs, and feet tend to slide above the edges of the mat.
So, with all of that in mind, let’s go now over the optimal yoga mats dimensions:
For Taller Yogis: 70 to 75 Inches
If you’re taller than 6 feet (182 cm), you’ll need to get a larger and wider mat to fit your body properly. Stretching and spreading your hands and legs is an important part of yoga.
So, make sure you get a yoga mat that allows your mind and body to comfortably do the poses. Look for something between 72 and 74 inches (182 and 188 cm) in length.
For the Average Yogis: 68 to 70 Inches
Normal mats range in length from 68 (172 cm) to 70 (177 cm) and are designed for people who are 5 feet 8 inches (172 cm) or shorter. However, if you believe yourself to be a plus-size yogi, get yourself a broader mat.
The Standard Yoga Mat Thickness
Yoga mats range in thickness from a thin 1/16-inch to a thick 1/4-inch. The standard size is usually 1/8-inch.
If you choose vinyl or PVC mats, you will have very thick ones. Natural materials like bamboo and hemp, on the other hand, are less thick.
Lightweight travel mats start at 1.5 mm in thickness. A regular mat is about twice as thick as this one. If you often experience knee or back pain when practicing yoga, a thicker 4 to 5mm mat is the best option for you, but don’t go beyond the 6 mm because thicker ones can make certain yoga poses more difficult to perform, such as the “tree” pose.
The following are the most common yoga mat thickness options:
- 2 mm
- 3 mm
- 6 mm
- 8 mm
- 12 mm
The thickness of your yoga mat is also determined by the type of surface you’re practicing yoga on. Your studio’s wooden floor may require a different mat than your carpeted living room or the field at your local park, etc.
So, Which One Is Right?
Generally speaking, when exercising on rough surfaces, use a softer, thicker mat, and when on the rug, use your thin travel mat. Test a couple of different mat thicknesses to find which one best suits your own style and preferences.
Yoga mats range from ultra-thin travel mats that roll up neatly to take up little space in your backpack to soft versions that provide comfort.
Moreover, the more padding you have for your joints, knees, and spine, and the less contact you have with the floor, the thicker the mat.
While most people think that thicker means better, it is not always the case. If your yoga mat is very spongy, it will be difficult to balance.
Furthermore, the thicker the mat, the heavier it becomes and the longer it takes to dry.
Ultra-thin mats are a perfect choice if you travel often. These mats are light, compact and help with balance. You probably don’t want to practice on a thin travel mat every day unless you’re a seasoned yogi with super-healthy joints. Thin mats provide absolutely no cushion between you and the floor.
If you’re serious about your yoga practice, I recommend investing in two yoga mats: a thicker one for home/studio use and a thinner one for travel. If you’re on a tight budget and have sensitive or hurting joints, consider investing in a thicker mat that won’t aggravate the pain.
How to Choose the Length and Width for a Yoga Mat Based on Yogis Level?
Yoga mats come in a variety of sizes, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. As a general rule, your yoga mat should be 6 to 1 foot taller than you when you’re lying down. You’ll need a mat that will allow you to lay flat on any hard surface you come across.
If you are tall, look for mats with the label ‘extra-long,’ as these will stretch beyond 6-feet. Also, if you are somebody with a big physique or wide shoulders, then you should certainly aim for an extra-wide mat that fits you well.
If you are a tall yogi, you would want a mat that is at least 72′′ to 85′′ long. Whereas, if you are an average Yogi, you would prefer a mat that is 1′′ or 2′′ longer on each side for extra comfort during floor sequences. Here is the key takeaway:
- Choose a mat that is 2-5′′ longer than your height if you want the most comfort and space
- Choose the normal 68′′ mat if you are 5’5′′ or shorter
- If you are somewhere between 5’6′′ and 6,′ you should use a 72′′ mat
- If you’re above six feet tall, an 84′′ or 85′′ long mat is the ideal option here
So, to measure your body breadth, lay flat with your hands and arms comfortably out to the side. To get a great mat width that fits you well, add 2 to 3 inches. The largest mat on the market is 36 inches wide, or three feet.
Thicker Mat vs. Thinner Mat
Thick Yoga Mats
- At least a full half-inch of support
- Excellent for Pilates
- Ideal choice if you have joint paint
- Provides adequate traction and grip
- Can be less stable than thinner mats, causing you to lose your balance more frequently
- Many people find it too spongy and soft
- Makes some popular poses more difficult to do
- Bulkier and more difficult to store
Thin Yoga Mats
- Extremely light
- Ideally suited to travel and portability
- It will fit in small locations and is easy to store
- Usually less expensive
- Ideal for people who don’t have any joint pain
- It won’t provide much support for the bones
- You can only use it on soft surfaces
- If you have joint pain, it will make your life more difficult
- It is also prone to wear and tear
- Doesn’t have a lot of traction
Finally, choosing the best yoga mat size depends on you, how tall you are, how often you practice yoga, and other things.
Choose a yoga mat that you know can adapt to your specific needs. Always remember that your yoga practice changes over time and you certainly would want a yoga mat that keeps up.