The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is — too thin, and your knee may get banged up during the crescent lunge. The tradeoff is that thick yoga mats (some as thick as 1/4 inch) can make it harder for you to feel a strong connection to the floor, making you more wobbly in Tree Pose.
The material your yoga mat is made of dictates its texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and sponginess (how much it yields to pressure), and how it wears over time.
The texture of your yoga mat dictates how much traction it provides. Like stickiness, texture affects how much slipping and sliding you do. It provides physical barriers to sliding (whereas stickiness relies on suction). And because texture affects the way a yoga mat feels, it’s also a component of overall comfort.
A sticky yoga mat keeps you from sliding all over the place and helps you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another, as well as when you hold poses for several seconds.
As yogis, we hold dear the tenet of ahimsa or non-violence. That makes practicing on a yoga mat that will ultimately end up clogging a landfill for decades to come troublesome.
Typically, a basic 1/8 inch thick, plain solid-color PVC sticky yoga mat will be toward the low end of the price range. From there you may pay more for patterns, designs or logos; premium thickness; antimicrobial treatments; and cool textures, especially raised tactile patterns. Eco-friendly yoga mats tend to be toward the high end of the price range.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down by thickness, material, texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and price, there’s only one factor left: style! So go ahead and pick your favorite color, pattern or print.