An unbiased review of the popular Manduka Yoga Mat

Published: 22nd June 2010
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Manduka Mat - the Rolls-Royce of yoga mats

The Manduka Mats are currently the highest quality mats available on the market. Is this mat worth so much money?? Would you carry this heavy piece of rubber to class? YogaMatRevews were able to perform an in-depth review on the BlackMatPro - the most popular Manduka product to help people make the decision..

What the manufacturer claims
Over 10 years the legendary Black Mat Pro has been the world's most popular yoga mat. There's a pretty good reason why people are so passionate and dedicate to this product. 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. Another notable feature of is the lifetime guarantee . By choosing a Manduka Mat, you select the world's best mat, the first choice of teachers and practitioners worldwide. Pick the best for you and your planet.

Each mat features
- No waste, sustainable materials used in construction

- Unsurpassed longevity

- Superior cushioning on hard floors

- Resist slipping but does not stick even when wet

- Hold floors and surfaces firmly

- Oeko-Tex certification, no emissions during manufacture

- Comes in two lengths - 71" and 85"

- Featuring a lifetime guarantee

Review setting
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).
Our review was conducted over a six month period. Our review took place in a studio where the owner invested into manduka mats and let her students practice on them free of charge. We were able to collect feedback from the owner and the students/.

The complete review
We found that this mat's price is highly justified and it will be perfect for many students, but not for everyone.

The longer version is as follows-

How it grips
Manduka Mats are mat from a high-quality natural blend of rubber and fabric, which are durable and will stick to most surfaces. Most mats can be used on both sides, which means their floor side can't be too sticky, otherwise it would attach to your skin next time the mat is flipped.. Manduka mats have a distinct back surface especially designed to stick to the floor, it should not be practiced on. The floor part is extremely sticky and attaches to the floor firmly, the other side's grip is more relaxed making your practice more enjoyable. We weren't able to curl the mat under any conditions, making this mat the most stable we've seen.

Weight
The 71" Manduka Mat's weight can be a significant downside. Carrying this chunky piece of rubber to class may be a burden for many practitioners. Though we did understand that without being so heavy and thick this mat wouldn't be so great..
This is not the most mobile mat we've seen, it's quite heavy and bulky and we would say it's perfect to be kept at home or stored in a studio at all times.
There are thinner versions of the same mat available for those who want to travel with their Manduka Mat.

The mat's thickness
The 1/4" of thickness is perfect for almost everyone. While 1/4" is above average, most people appreciate the extra cushioning. Some people, however, may prefer a thicker mat for extra cushioning. Pilates students and absolute beginners may benefit from additional thickness. We thought 1/4" is a perfectly fine thickness.

Slipping and sliding
Most people are used to not getting their mat too wet, as traction is lost and their practice becomes a lot more difficult. This problem is very apparent in hot classes with a lot sweating. The practitioners are offered a number of solutions from special wipes, to absorbent yoga towels. Finding a mat with a fabric surface may also be the answer.. Manduka Mats do not suffer from this problem as their fabric surface does a good job of keeping the moisture away from skin. During a hot yoga class we found that the sponge-like surface of the mat has an absorption limit, and once it's reached moisture will start accumulating on the mat's surface, creating an uncomfortable situation for heavy sweaters. We can't name any mats that are sweat-proof. The material in the Manduka Mats we tested held up pretty well to our moisture tests, but it we were not completely satisfied. We also found a related issue - eventually moisture begins to accumulate inside the mat, providing a safe environment for bacterial growth. To stay safe this mat require cleaning and maintenance at least once a month.

The look and other issues
As the name states - this mat is black. The classic and elegant look may not appeal to all customers, for them the company made a limited edition cherry version. We think the Black Mat definitely stands out, it's difficult to mistake it for anything else.. We though the tire-black color was striking and effective, also non destructing during practice and meditation.

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. This is a problem with all rubber mats tested by YogaMatReviews, and it is something a customer has to live with for the first few weeks of practice. You can rest assured the smell will go away and will never return.

Conclusion, other thoughts
This is the Rolls-Royce of yoga mats - heavy, reliable, elegant, and very durable. If you are serious about your practice, you will need something like this mat, it is a worthy investment that will last years. This mat is almost perfect when it comes to cushioning, support, slipping, and gripping the floor. We were only concerned with the weight and size of this Manduka Mat. While traveling with this mat may be difficult it is perfect for home and studio use.

To read the real users' reviews of the manduka mat check out our main site the yoga mat reviews

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