Comment bien choisir son tapis de Yoga?

How to choose the right yoga mat?

How to choose the right yoga mat?

What are limits And advantages different types of carpets and what is their real ecological production index? In this article we will try, as clearly as possible, to highlight the various yoga mats on the market, an exercise that is much less simple than you might think!

Also, and before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to know that a mat, in addition to the material, must be chosen according to the type of yoga practiced. As this requires combining a lot of information, we look forward to welcoming you to There Yoga Shop (Lausanne) and advise you, in person, on the various existing options so that you leave with a carpet fully adapted to your needs.


The thicknesses

For a good yoga mat, you need a thickness between 4mm and 6mm. This guarantees you good joint protection, while providing you with a sufficiently firm surface. Mats with a thickness beyond 6mm are designed for fitness, they are certainly quality mats but are not suitable for yoga because the art of the practice lies in the ability to correctly perform the posture. A mat that is too soft or too stretchy will not help you achieve this goal.

The taller you are, with a build, body fragility or joint sensitivity, the more necessary it will be for you to choose a thick carpet (either 5mm or 6mm). If this is not your case, the 4mm are more than sufficient and offer the advantage of often being lighter.

Mats between 1mm and 3mm are wonderful travel companions. They can also be used as mats for, for example, studio practices or for more occasional use. Of course, if you are in top physical and joint shape, as well as precise positioning in your postures, then a thinner mat will suit you very well! Because let's not forget that yoga was practiced for years on the ground or on cotton mats.

The subjects

We are now getting to the heart of the matter because there is a wide variety of materials available in the production of yoga mats. Some are more efficient and solid over time, while others may be more non-slip or environmentally friendly. Let's take stock of advantages And THE disadvantages of the different proposals that are on the market. In order to give you a better understanding, we will focus mainly on the outerwear (the top layer) because many carpets today are made from mixtures.


There are mainly two types of PVC mat production available in the market. One being German and the other Chinese.

THE German PVC is much more dense, firm and heavy. This type of carpet is of good quality and requires little maintenance. It will certainly follow you for a long time in your practice and will adapt to a good number of types of yoga.

These mats have good anti-slip properties but are still less slip-resistant than those made from natural rubber. They will gain grip with practice thanks to slight wear which gradually gives them more restraint. If from the start you feel yourself slipping, it is then possible, using coarse salt, to generate micro-wear which will allow you to grip better. Here is the recipe:

  1. Unroll your mat on the floor and sprinkle it generously with coarse sea salt.
  2. Leave the coarse salt to act for 24 hours then clean it with a damp cloth.
  3. Allow plenty of drying time for your carpet.

Discover all our German PVC yoga mats

THE Chinese PVC is lighter and offers mats that are a little softer and slightly stretchy. They are appreciated for their economical appearance and comfortable texture. This PVC provides good anti-slip and a slightly sticky surface at the start of practice, but once your hands are sweaty, they tend to slip.

Whether it is of Chinese or German origin, it is important to find out about the agents that make up the carpets. PVC has a bad reputation because, in the past, phthalates and other substances harmful to health were often added to it. To date, production has progressed in this area and it is important to choose a carpet that is free from it. To do this, make sure that the carpet is Eco-tex standard 100 certified. There are also productions that take care not to release toxic emissions into the air during the formation of PVC. It goes without saying that choosing such productions is essential. PVC corresponds in English to “Poly Vinyl Chloride”. It is mainly made from two raw materials. 57% salt and 43% petroleum derivatives. PVC comes in the form of a white powder. This must be added to products allowing its transformation into finished objects (mainly additives: stabilizers, lubricants, plasticizers, pigments, fillers, etc.). Through its additives, PVC can be formulated according to needs and it is precisely the additives that must be vigilant in order to have a good yoga mat, not harmful to health.

Natural rubber

Natural rubber from Hevea trees is mainly harvested in Southeast Asia. There are three major qualities, namely natural rubber from both forestry and human exploitation, FSC-certified natural rubber and recycled natural rubber. Very few manufacturers can actually certify the origin of their rubber and the working conditions in this area. The majority of rugs produced in these qualities come from Taiwan or China.

The advantage of rubber, apart from the fact that it is a natural material, comes from the very high anti-slip properties which are intrinsic to it. If you are looking for a mat with the highest "grip", you will be happy with natural rubber. However, being a natural material, rubber reacts more to your perspiration and will deteriorate more quickly if it is abundant or acidic. In order to properly protect the mats, some manufacturers ensure that the rubber is poured with a closed structure on top of the mat. To do this, the rubber will either be poured onto cotton with glue, or mixed with plastic, which alters the 100% natural side of the carpet but gives it a clear longevity.

One last thing to consider is the weight of the mat. Personally, I am convinced that a good mat that will last you for a while is worth its weight. Rubber is one of the heaviest materials and if you want to walk around with your mat, you will have to compromise on the thickness in order not to carry too much weight (the ideal, in this case, is to take a 4mm mat for 60cm wide).

Here is a small selection of yoga mats based on natural rubber that we offer at La Boutique du Yoga:

 Discover all our natural rubber mats 

The cork

A noble and elegant material, cork is a delight in the hands of those who can afford it. Antibacterial, antifungal, material coming from the lungs of Europe, cork has only good qualities apart from the fact that it needs your hands to become sweaty quickly, in order to give you the necessary grip for practice. If your hands are dry and they stay that way, move on because this mat is not made for you and you will be disappointed over time.

If, on the other hand, you are lucky enough to experience sweating or dampness quickly activated during exercise, the beauty and nobility of cork may seduce you. Cork generally comes from scraps of cork textiles obtained from the bark of oak trees grown in Spain or Portugal. The oak is a tree that loves biodiversity and these forests constitute real green lungs in Europe. The cork is often then transported to China (when it does not come directly from there), where most rugs made from cork are manufactured. The majority of cork surfaces are glued to natural rubber. Sometimes ink designs are printed in an eco-friendly way on the mats. Be careful, however, with the patterns because they initially leave residual marks which could slightly color your hands and feet. If the carpet has patterns, it is therefore a good idea to clean it with clean water once or twice after purchasing it and before starting your practice.

Here is a small selection of yoga mats based on cork that we offer at La Boutique du Yoga:

 Discover all our cork mats 


Microfiber, designed using a synthetic process, is made from a mixture of polyester and polyamide. Resistant, the presence of these materials gives your yoga mat solidity And stability . Very often combined with natural rubber, the overlays of microfiber-based yoga mats offer you a soft and comfortable touch. Microfiber-based mats adapt to various yoga practices; whether they are slow and gentle – its texture will bring you comfort and density, and will protect your joints during slightly longer postures – or dynamic and invigorating. Microfiber, from an adhesion point of view, is very similar to cork. Therefore, if you tend to slip on your microfiber-based rug, you can increase its grip by lightly misting its surface with water. Immediate and effective tip!

And from one point of view ecological SO ? This will firstly depend on “sourcing” natural rubber , that is to say whether or not it has FSC certification ( ). As well as the type microfiber . Most of the time, microfiber is made from recycled pet, but it is important to know that this is not always the case. It can be synthesized from plastic which, we will all agree, is not the most ecological variant available. In addition, many brands are surfing on the name “vegan suede” which certainly implies a material obtained without animal suffering (which should be the basis!), but which does not preserve Nature, since that does not does not imply a plastic-free mat. In addition, microfiber is, until proven otherwise, produced only in China.

This material is mainly used for complex prints from a photograph. The positive point is that we will only produce what we need, which will minimize waste. Finally, and be careful of brands that widely recommend cleaning your yoga mat in the washing machine: from an ecological point of view, this is real nonsense. Washing your carpet in this way sends a whole bunch of plastic and chemical particles into the water. Which remains very toxic and harmful from both an environmental and human point of view.

In addition, it is still important to specify that a microfiber tracksuit is not suitable for everyone: those who have dry hands will not adhere to this material. This is also the reason why microfiber-based rugs are very popular in countries with a humid climate (e.g. by the sea, etc.), because their adhesion is at its maximum thanks to the environment at within which they are summoned.

Here is a small selection of yoga mats based on microfiber that we offer at La Boutique du Yoga:

 Discover all our micro-fiber rugs 

The PU

Derived from plastic, polyurethane (PU) is used in fields as numerous as they are varied (textiles (particularly with imitation leather and sportswear), housing (insulation), medical, etc.). It is also used as a yoga mat overlay, mainly for its flexible/soft qualities, pleasant touch and resistance to wear. PU is most often used in the manufacture of yoga mats with alignment lines. Their surface is often very smooth and can, unfortunately, leave some marks. PU production is also mainly located in China. This material, although not very ecological, is of durable quality over time. Which often ensures solid and durable carpets. The carpets of a very well-known brand are made of PU; specialists in the field should have the reference in mind

Here is a small selection of yoga mats based on COULD that we offer at La Boutique du Yoga:

 Discover all our PU mats 

The per

PER-based carpets are very often mixed with jute fiber. This particular composition provides more grip during practice.

PER, which we recognize by its “gum” texture and its light weight, is very often presented, in the field of yoga mats, as being an ecological alternative because, during the production process, it requires little in energy and holds up relatively well over time. However, it is important to specify that, since it comes from petrochemicals and therefore derived from plastic, PER is not ecologically responsible.

At La Boutique du Yoga we do not offer PER-based mats.


TPE is the generic name for thermoplastic elastomer, also called thermoplastic rubber. It has the advantage of being very light and thick but has little durability over time. As well as little grip (very slippery). TPE is sold as an ecological material because it requires few resources for its production and is biodegradable. However, believe me, if you go to a recycling center, anywhere in Switzerland, because you want to dispose of your TPE carpet in green waste; no one will take it back. It will certainly decompose but by injecting chemical and plastic microparticles into the earth...

This alternative is present in our selection because we recommend it to people who need good joint protection, at a lower price, and who do not necessarily practice intensive yoga, but rather relaxation exercises and stretching.

 Discover all our TPE mats 

The cotton

Cotton mats are used, ancestrally, in the practice of Ashtanga yoga. Tightly woven, made from natural and plant fibers, it is a very nice alternative from an ecological point of view. However, its hard surface is not suitable for everyone. It is intended for people who have an advanced yoga practice. Indeed, given that a cotton mat has very little anti-slip, the posture will only be held by the muscles.

Here is an example of yoga mats made from cotton that we offer at La Boutique du Yoga

 Discover all our cotton rugs 

As this article is slowly coming to an end, it seems essential to me to specify that the elements put forward for each material are not exhaustive, both in their “positive” and “negative” aspects. Firstly, I especially wanted to draw up the key points which will help you, I hope, to choose your yoga mat more consciously and with confidence. Finally, and as specified at the very beginning of the article, your experience in choosing your carpet will be even more complete and precise if you pass through the doors of our den, located at the Place du Tunnel 8 in Lausanne .

My dear colleagues and I will be happy to advise you in your search. 😊

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