After letting my cheap purple yoga mat collect dust for a few years and then overworking it, it is now a slippery and smelly thin piece of plastic. As my yoga forms improve I’m becoming worried that I am going to slide during a difficult pose and hurt myself, not to mention attempting headstands on practically bare hardwood floors is anti-zen.

But how do I even begin my yoga mat search? Semi-new to the whole yoga culture (yes, culture) I googled that name brand Lulumon because I’d seen their logo on my classmates mats. The candy-colored array did look enticing but $68 dollars for a mat and then another $45 for the towel mat and my new hobby is getting expensive.

With a quick google search I found some great resources for finding the right mat. Unfortunately it looks like buying a good mat for Vinyasa yoga may require spending a little bit of cash (no surprise here, quality costs). Since I am going to make an investment I’ve narrowed down my criteria to a few important mat attributes-

  1. Slightly thicker than a normal mat—the standard thickness for yoga mats are a quarter of an inch. Learning new things every day! The extra oomph will help support my delicate ankles and wrists, and won’t wear down quickly so I can attempt many headstands.
  2. Absorbent and grippy- because disgustingly enough I sweat every little toxin out of my body whenever I do yoga. I need to deter a slip-n-slide effect and keep my feet grounded.
  3. Antimicrobial- you are probably thinking, why not use the mats at your studio? Well everyone uses those mats and everyone sweats buckets. I wipe my mat down after every practice but it is still nice to have some reassurance that I’m not inhaling mold and germs while in child’s pose. Also antimicrobial mats usually keep smelliness at bay.

With those 3 factors I decided that I have a few choices:

The Dream Mat- Manduka Pro Black Magic


For its price tag it better be magical! The site’s lovely marketing copy says: With its denser, thicker form, unparalleled comfort and cushioning, superior non-slip fabric-like finish, and simple, elegant design the Manduka PRO will revolutionize your practice. And best of all, it now comes with a Lifetime Guarantee.

The lifetime guarantee almost has me, almost.

The Best-Seller- Lulumon Mat


It has everything on my wishlist, is less than the dream mat and has very good reviews. Plus, I really like the sunny yellow color.

The Compromise- Manduka Towel Mat


Since my main issue right now is slipping, I could compromise and buy this towel mat to put over my currently worn out mat. But will that be enough support?

I’m still undecided! Fellow yogis, what kind of mat do you use?