As a beginner, it’s natural to question whether you need a yoga mat for meditation or not...
I know I even had this debate with myself A LOT in the beginning. But, for most newbies, one of the biggest challenges is getting comfortable and remaining still.
Investing in a yoga mat for your practice can be a great way to improve the quality and comfort of your meditation practice.
Here’s a couple of questions that often come up when considering whether you should get yourself a yoga mat. I’ll also highlight 5 different yoga mats that are good for helping beginners to improve comfort during meditation.
Do I Really Need a Yoga Mat for Meditation?
To be 100% honest, nope you don’t NEED to get a yoga mat.
BUT, it can make a profound difference to the comfort your experience during meditation, and also yoga.
Personally, these days I wouldn’t meditate without one…
When I was getting started with Meditation, discomfort was my biggest problem. I’d get itchy sitting on my carpet at home, and if lying down, I found the floor to be too hard.
When I went to yoga classes, their public yoga mats didn’t exactly turn me on….Especially with their disinfectant smelling aroma and previous sweat marks from the person who used the mat in the prior class…
Yuck & no thanks!
This is where having your own mat for meditation can be SUPER handy.
You’ll have the confidence that it’s clean and will also feel much more comfortable than sitting on the floor.
If you enjoy doing some yoga too (as I do), your mat can become multi-purpose. This way you’ll get more bang for your buck… which is awesome!
What Yoga Mat is Best for Meditation?
Well honestly, you have soooo many to choose from….
But this diverse amount of choice often makes the decision even harder!!
After all, as a beginner…how are you possibly going to know the difference between a shitty yoga mat, and one that is actually going to help you with your practice?
Well, that’s where I come in.
Having been meditating now for over 4 years, I’ve tried my fair share of different yoga mats. I’ve also done my research.
Below, I provide a quick overview into some of the more popular brands on Amazon – the perks and the downfalls.
That way, you can choose a mat that best suits you and your preferences.
- Made of eco-friendly materials
- The mat is grippy to help prevent slipping during yoga and other floor exercises.
- It has a dual-layer structure, so is highly durable and tear-proof.
- Many customers rave about the thickness and size of the mat, saying it is very comfortable to use.
- Comes in a range of colours
- Has a one year warranty.
- There doesn’t appear to be that many significant problems, other than a few customers complaining that the mat can get a bit slippery during yoga where they sweat a lot.
- Some have also highlighted that their mats were damaged when delivered damaged. But I feel that this would be rare as there were only a few instances of this.
I think that given the many rave reviews, the fair price point and thickness, this mat would be a great option for newbies to meditation.
If you’re planning on just using the mat for basic yoga or meditation, this mat could be a perfect option for you.
- Many customers (including me), love these mats because of the range of different patterns and colours you can get.
- Has a good thickness for meditation and yoga
- It comes with a FREE downloadable yoga workout, which is great if you’re also interested in giving yoga a go. Just double check it’s included before you buy.
- Gaiam is a very reputable and trusted brand in the industry. Therefore, you can generally trust that you’re going to get a better quality product.
- Several customers have complained that they keep slipping on the mat when they’re sweaty from yoga, despite it being advertised as non-slip.
- Some people have said that the mat smells bad.
On this note, I actually did experience this a bit when my mat was delivered but after I let it air out for a bit, it was fine and nowadays, doesn’t smell at all. Some suggest to just wipe the mat down with warm water and soap.
For the purposes of meditation, this could be a good mat to get your meditation vibes going. Especially, due to all the cool colours and patterns that the mats come in.
The thickness of the mat should provide enough cushioning and support, but keep in mind it may not be as thick as the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose (12mm) mat mentioned above.
I personally use and own this mat, Gaiam Yoga Mat – Classic 4mm, with the purple and pink pattern. I love it because when I unroll it, it looks pretty and inspires me to get started.
I mainly use it for meditation and light yoga/stretching, so it could be another option to check out. But, it may not have as much padding as the other mats, if that’s something you prefer.
- It’s said to be a good yoga mat for its price
- Many say it’s a good size for tall people and is comfortable to use.
- Easy to wash and clean with soap and water.
- Has a 2 year warranty.
- Several customers have complained about the quality of the mat
- Some state that the mat sometimes falls apart and flakes after use, which can sometimes be a bit embarrassing to clean up after classes
- Claims made that it dents and marks easily due to little resistance in the material.
If you’re planning on using the mat for Meditation and not extensive yoga, then this yoga mat should suffice.
- Many customers have raved about the thickness of the mat which leads to added comfort and cushioning for the spine, hips, knees and elbows on hard floors.
- The mat is cheaper than a lot of others on the market
- It is considered easy to clean
- Has a 2 year warranty.
- Apparently, the Company incentivises customers to leave positive reviews in exchange for a free gift
Not sure whether this is a bad or good thing.. but it does make it hard to say whether all the 5-Star reviews on Amazon are legit and genuine or if people just wanted the free gift.
- There is a common theme of customers saying that the mat slips, especially on wooden floors.
- Mat apparently has a tendency to tear easily with regular yoga use.
- Apparently, makes some noises when you move on it which can be distracting / annoying
As a yoga mat, I’d probably avoid buying this one. But for the purpose of meditation, it could work ok.
The extra cushioning could provide additional comfort without tearing a hole in your bank account.
Previously, I’ve avoided buying mats this thick though because I find they take up a lot of space when being stored and they don’t lie flat after being rolled up.
However, I have not bought this particular yoga mat, so I am unsure if it is the same for this one too. There’s not many comments about it.
If you’re wanting a cheap, thick, inflexible mat that you’re not going to use for yoga, it could be a good option.
My Final Recommendations:
The Winner (For Meditation Beginners & Yoga)
After looking at several different yoga mats, I believe the TOPLUS yoga mat is the way to go.
- Their mat is versatile and has really good reviews on Amazon.
- The price is mid-range, so not too expensive or cheap.
- I like that the mat is made from eco-friendly material rather than latex or PVC
- Has a double-layered structure to improve grip and cushioning and reduce its likelihood to tear.
- Their mat also comes with a carry strap making it light and easy to carry
The only real downside is that it only comes with a 1-year warranty, compared to some mats that have warranties for 2 years. However, after a few sessions, you’d probably know whether it is a good mat or not.
Some also say they’ve found the mat can be a bit slippery. But if you’re just doing meditation and maybe some simple yoga poses here and there, I think you’d be ok.
The Winner For Meditation Beginners
I believe this would be a great mat to get started with as a beginner to meditation.
- Its cheap price, thickness and great reputation on Amazon.
- It also has over 10,000 customer reviews and is labeled as one of Amazon’s best sellers.
- Being extra thick, it should provide lots of comfort during your practice, especially if you prefer to lie down on the floor rather than sit in a seated meditation posture.
- It can be easily cleaned if it gets dirty over time and is easy to carry around given its lightweight components.
- They also include a FREE yoga strap that you can use for stretching before and after your practice.
- This mat is covered with a 2-year warranty.
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. And at that price, what have you go to lose?
There are LOTS of yoga brands and yoga mats competing for your attention given the increasing popularity of meditation and yoga these days.
There were a few other mats on Amazon that I looked at, but I didn’t think they matched up to the ones I’ve mentioned above – at the time this article was published anyway.
My Considerations for Choosing the Top 5:
- How many positive and negative reviews there were for the yoga mat, along with my own experience using them or similar products!
- The price of the yoga mats to determine whether you would get value for your money.
- As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with a yoga mat that has a bit more cushioning to add some comfort during your meditation practice.
- You can go for something a bit thinner if you like (as I did), but in that case, you may need a meditation pillow as well. I personally use this meditation pillow during my practice.
- I naturally prefer brands that are known, stable and consistent. Therefore, they are rated higher than others.
- You want to try and get a yoga mat that isn’t going to rip, tear or flake away after only a few uses.
- You also want to be able to use it for as long as you can to get your money’s worth.
- I don’t know about you, but to me style matters.
- You ideally want a mat that is going to make you feel good and motivated to get started with your practice and that is easy to use and carry.
So, there you have it!
Hopefully this article as helped you to narrow down the field in terms of which yoga mats most suit your needs and preferences.
As mentioned, I personally use the Gaiam yoga mat, but it’s best that you choose a mat to best suit your needs and preferences.
All the best guys!!