Three styles of Manduka Yoga Mats that are commonly used

There is a short analysis of each mat’s key features such as material, grip, texture, support, and odor, along with a summary of why you should or should not use that particular mat.

1.  Manduka Pro Yoga Mat

The Manduka Pro is stable, firm, extremely resilient and supportive. I also found that it was so supportive that I didn’t need additional padding for my knees or elbows. It rarely absorbs your sweat or smell and is made with eco-certified safe PVC and is free from toxins (specifically phthalate free).

The major issue with this mat is its weight. If you practice away from home, or if you walk or bike to the yoga studio, you might find this one to be way too heavy. The mat can also be too firm for some people and can become quite slippery when sweaty.

Buy the Manduka Pro if:

  • You like your mat to feel firm
  • You need extra support under your knees
  • You do yoga mostly under dry conditions
  • You care that it’s free from toxins (specifically phthalate free)
  • You want one that doesn’t absorb moisture
  • You want a mat that is remarkably resilient, with a lifetime guarantee

Don’t buy the Manduka Pro if:

  • You don’t want a hefty mat
  • You plan to use it in wet conditions
  • You want your mat to feel soft
  • You would prefer one made mostly from natural materials

2.  Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat

This mat is the thinner and lighter version of the Manduka Pro. It features the same material, surface, and density as the Manduka Pro, so bears the same advantages, is also made with eco-certified PVC and, in contrast to the Pro, it comes in a variety of colors.

Even though it’s quite a bit lighter and thinner than the Manduka Pro, some may still find it too heavy. It also provides less support for boney joints, and like the Manduka Pro, slippage can also be a problem since it repels sweat and so it tends to stay on top.

Buy the Manduka Prolite if:

  • You like your mat to be more firm
  • You need reasonable amount of support under your knees
  • You do practice yoga mostly in dry conditions
  • You care that it’s free from toxins, more specifically phthalate free
  • You want one that doesn’t absorb moisture or odors
  • You want one that is incredibly resilient

Don’t buy the Manduka Prolite if:

  • You don’t want a relatively heavy mat
  • You want very thick padding
  • You plan to use the mat for practice in wet conditions
  • You want your mat to feel soft

3. Manduka Eko Yoga Mat

The Manduka Eko Mat is made entirely from non-Amazonian, all-natural tree rubber that is reinforced with polyester and cotton and manufactured without toxic glues or foaming agents. The two layers of this mat are different densities, offering a combination of both spongy and firm support, and have a closed-cell surface that repels moisture. The natural rubber has a good grip and feels nice under your body.

Given the thickness 3/16” of the the Manduka Eko is surprisingly heavy 7 lbs. Like the Manduka ProLite, it may not be supportive enough for some and loses its grip when it becomes wet. Also, because Eko mats are made from natural rubber, a rubber smell may linger for quite some time.

Buy the Manduka Eko if:

  • You need reasonable support under your knees
  • You do yoga mostly under dry conditions
  • You care that it’s mostly made from natural, eco-friendly rubber
  • You want a mat that doesn’t absorb moisture

Don’t buy the Manduka Eko if:

  • You don’t want a heavy weighing mat
  • You want thicker padding
  • You plan to use it for practice in wet areas or conditions

Investing in a good yoga mat is essential to your mind, body, and practice. Mats provide comfort between your body and floor. They allow for cushioning hips, elbows, and knees when flowing through the different poses.
Mats allow for a personal space and boundary if you aren’t familiar with the person next to you.
Rental mats just aren’t worth the process. You may not be receiving a mat that is cleaned therefore owning your own provides you with satisfaction that it isn’t engulfed in bacteria.
When researching yoga mats, you will quickly see there is a vast variety of mats that are out there. Mats range from cheap plastic ones to high-quality mats made almost entirely from natural materials.
Mats have come a long way over the last decade, so if practicing yoga is a big part of your life, take advantage of it and buy one that feels good under your body.