When it comes to choosing the perfect yoga mat for your practice, the thickness is perhaps the most important performance impacting factor.
With mats ranging in thickness from 2 mm to a plush 1 or 2 cms, choosing your trusty yoga partner goes far deeper than a pretty design or good sale. In fact, the thickness of your mat could change your entire practice!
So how do you decide what thickness is best for you? Follow along to discover the pros and cons of each yoga mat thickness and what to consider when choosing how thick your mat should really be.
The Thin Mat (2-3mm)
It’s no question that these super-thin mats are incredibly appealing for their aesthetic value. Unfortunately, choosing an ultra-thin yoga mat is usually not the most sustainable choice for your practice.
Of course, there is a time and a place for these mats, especially if you need a lighter option to take on the go or intend to lay your mat out on top of a studio mat.
- Great for travel
- Lightweight and compact
- Good for balance poses
- Not much support for joints
- Uncomfortable on changing surfaces
In addition to this, to be so thin, these mats are usually manufactured with materials that aren’t particularly environmentally friendly, making them potentially harmful to both the planet and your health.
The Plush Partner (6mm and up)
These thick and cushiony yoga mats are the polar opposite of the thin competitor. While the thin mats are small and compact, lugging around your thick yoga mat can be a real chore, especially when boarding a plane or keeping a mat on hand for spontaneous beach sessions.
Where this mat shines is in those soft and cozy restorative classes. The extra padding for your savasana and other deep relaxation poses protects your joints and provides a sense of support.
- Lots of support
- Ultra-comfortable savasana
- Poor surface for balancing
- Not ideal for on-the-go yogis
What to Consider
So, how does each yoga mat thickness really impact your yoga practice? Let’s have a look at each of the areas to consider when deciding on the best thickness for your unique needs.
Type of Practice
The style of yoga you practice most often will play a large part in how thick your yoga mat should be.
If your a lover of Yin and Yoga Nidra, the cushiony support of a thicker mat might just be the perfect match. Plush, padded mats can allow your body to sink in without allowing bony areas like knees, ankles, and wrists to make contact with the hard ground.
On the other hand, if you opt for more active classes such as Vinyasa or Hatha, the thick base can make it difficult to maintain grip and balance. For these classes, a thinner mat is more beneficial, especially if you plan on developing your handstand skills or getting a bit sweaty.
So what should you do if you like a mixture of both active and restorative classes? Stay tuned to find out!
Next up on the debate for yoga mat thickness is your yoga location. If you are searching for the perfect yoga mat in Australia, you’ll want to take the gorgeous scenery into account.
For outdoorsy yogis who love to practice on the beach or in a sunny park, you’ll want to keep the terrain in mind when choosing your thickness. A thin mat may be easier to pack into your favourite beach location, but the lack of padding can make it feel like every rock and twig is becoming imprinted on your skin.
Prefer to practice in a stable environment with hardwood flooring or carpet below your mat? Each of these surfaces will change the feeling of your yoga mat and call for different variants of thickness for both comfort and balance.
This category is especially important for yogis with arthritis, joint pain, or particularly sensitive joints.
If you find your body becomes quite sore resting on the hard surface of the yoga floor, choosing a mat with enough support and cushioning will be an important priority.
The tricky part with this support is finding a yoga mat thickness that adds a subtle layer of padding without causing sipping or throwing the body off balance. Both of these problems could lead to injury and ultimately set your healing yoga journey back.
And finally, our most passionate area of concern, the materials.
The materials used in your mat not only impact density and grip, but they can also actually contribute to health problems, environmental impact, and more.
Many yoga mats will source grippy materials such as PVC that actually contain toxic chemicals. As you can imagine, sweating and deep breathing in your yoga practice can expedite your absorption of these harmful chemicals.
Fortunately, there are many chemical-free and sustainably-sourced materials such as ethically farmed tree rubber that can be used in natural yoga mats to provide sufficient support, grip, and anti-bacterial properties.
The 4mm Sweet Spot
If you find yourself bouncing back and forth between the pros and cons of each of the thin and thick mats, we’ve got the perfect solution for you.
We’ve deemed the 4 mm mat the sweet spot for natural yoga mats in Australia due to its perfect combination of both thin and thick yoga mat advantages. Because this thickness has wiggle room for more materials, we are able to utilize the cushiony support of high-density tree rubber with a grippy, non-slip and hygienic closed-cell layer on top.
This means you can take the same mat from a yin class to a sweaty strength session with ease. On top of this, the natural, durable materials make this mat both compact and strong enough to stand up to the Australian elements.
Say goodbye to sneaky twigs and hello to easy balance and soft savasana all in one.
Selecting Your Yoga Mat Thickness
Now that you know the importance of your yoga mat thickness, you can set forth with confidence to source the mat for your needs. Take your natural yoga mat from studio to scenery and rest assured that you’ve chosen a sustainable partner for your practice.
Ready to sink into the 4 mm sweet spot? Shop our selection of carefully crafted natural yoga mats in Australia and take your practice to the next level.