Manduka Mat - an honest review

Jun 22


Michael Graham

Michael Graham

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Manduka mats are the most popular, highly acclaimed and widely used mats on the market. Is this product worth its high price? Is it a good idea to haul this chunky piece of natural rubber that weighs like a small tire to class? Together with the staff of Yoga Mat Reviews we performed a detailed analysis of the BlackMat Pro (the top of the line Manduka product) to assist people who are hesitant to part with almost $90 for a yoga mat.


An honest review of possibly the best yoga mat - the Manduka Mat

Manduka mats are the most popular,Manduka Mat - an honest review  Articles highly acclaimed and widely used mats on the market. Is this product worth its high price? Is it a good idea to haul this chunky piece of natural rubber that weighs like a small tire to class?YogaMatReviews performed a detailed analysis of the BlackMat Pro (the top of the line Manduka product) to assist people who are hesitant to part with almost $90 for a yoga mat.

Manufacturer's claim.
For the past 10 years Manduka Black Mat Pro has been the world's most popular mat. BlackMat Pro deserves such passion and dedication from its loyal users. This mat's dense form, thick material, unsurpassed cushioning and comfort in addition to special non-slip fabric and classic design is going to have a great effect on your practice. Note that the mat now comes with a lifetime warranty . If you are serious about your practice and care about the planet, choose what the world' best yoga teachers call their first choice in yoga mats - a Manduka Mat..

- No waste, green material
- Extreme longevity
- Comfortable cushioning for spine, hips, knees, and elbows on hard floors
- Resist slipping but does not stick even when wet
- Hold floors and surfaces firmly
- Manufactured without harmful emissions, Oeko-Tex certified
- Longer 71" and extra-longer 85" than most mats
- Backed by a Lifetime Guarantee

How we reviewed this product.
The Manduka Mat was tested in beginners, advanced and hot (Bikram-style) yoga classes. We asked students and teachers of all levels to help us with the review. In order to stay as objective as possible we surveyed a few beginners (though owners of manduka mats were hard to find among regular beginners).
The testing of the mat was conducted for about 6 months. A studio owner who stock various manduka mats allowed to use the mats and collect information from the students.

The review.
We've concluded that this mat is almost perfect but may not fit absolutely everyone.

The longer version is as follows-

The mat's grip.
The super high-quality natural rubber composition of the manduka mat allows it to stick to virtually any surface. The majority of yoga mats today can be used on both sides (this adds to their value) - this means their surface is optimized for skin and not for floors. Manduka mats features a special floor surface that can only be facing the floor and should not be practiced on. The floor side of the mat is very sticky while the other side has a more relaxed grip more suitable for practice. There were almost no occassions where the mat would bunch up or curl during practice.

A true Heavyweight.
The density and thickness of material used in the 71" Manduka mat were awesome for durability, stability and cushioning but not for convenience. Carrying this 7-pound chunk of rubber to class may be troublesome for lighter yogis..
We think this mat is perfect for keeping at home or at a studio, but not for hauling around.
Manduka people listened to this complain and created lighter travel versions, which are less expensive and definitely less durable.

The thickness factor.
The Manduka mat is 1/4" thick, which is perfect for almost anybody. This thickness is considered to be above average, adding to the weight. Some people, however, may prefer a thicker mat for extra cushioning. Absolute beginners and pilates practitioners may require an additional regular mat underneath. Members of our review team found the 1/4" of material to be perfectly suitable for most levels of practice.

Resistance to slipping.
Most people are used to not getting their mat too wet, as traction is lost and their practice becomes a lot more difficult. The actuality of this problem is very apparent in hot and steamy yoga classes where a lot sweat is poured down on the mats. Wiping your mat frequently or laying a special yoga towel on top are some of the ways to prevent slipping and sliding.. Manduka Mats feature a special fabric surface that absorbs and evaporates most of the perspiration. However, in a steamy and sweaty hot yoga class we found the absorption limit of this mat can be reached eventually, turning the mat into an uncomfortable slippy surface. This was especially a problem for heavy sweaters.. We can't name any mats that are sweat-proof. The Manduka Mat we tested in sweaty conditions did a pretty good job, but it wasn't able to absorb 100% of the moisture. The mat's pores, while perfect for accumulating moisture weren't so good in releasing it. We were concerned that without cleaning this mat could become a home for germs and bacteria.. Like any premium product this mat requires monthly maintenance.

Mat's aesthetics and more.
The Black Mat Pro is nothing but black. The look is classic, but may not attract many customers.On the other hand, we don't know any other mats in this category that have the same appearance, so your mat is guaranteed to stand out.The Company have recently released a limited edition Cherry version of their popular Manduka Mat at the same price. Most of our reviewers were very satisfied with the classic black.
The natural rubber smell of a brand new Manduka Mat can be unplesant to some users. Even after washing the mat as the manual suggested the smell remained. In just a few weeks the brand new mat stops smelling, and the problem never returns. We found this to be an issue with every single rubber mat we ever tested.. You can rest assured the smell will go away and will never return.

Our conclusion.
This is the Cadillac of yoga mats, it's elegant, long, heavy, durable and extremely reliable. Those who are serious about their practice will definitely be happy with this investment. This mat is almost perfect when it comes to cushioning, support, slipping, and gripping the floor. Our reviewers were only somewhat unhappy with the mat's weight and size. This product is perfect for home practice or to keep in a studio, carrying around may be a bit difficult.
You can read real customer comments and user feedback for the Manduka mat here.