I was walking around Novena Square and found yoga mats selling at the price of $80-$130. Why is Watsons selling their yoga mats at $19.90 and other sports brand selling it at $120? Is there really a difference or is it just a brand gimmick? I did my research and here is my summarized conclusion.
PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride are the most common man-made plastic. They are not eco-friendly and can be hazardous to our health. They do have the sticky factor, but might lose stickiness and break down/peel after several washes. Prices range from $18 - $40.
TPE- Thermoplastic Elastomer mat is made from synthetic rubber that can be recycled and are 90% biodegradable. They are lightweight, chlorine free, latex free, and have non-slip properties. Prices range from $45 - $80.
PU/Natural Rubber - are said to be more durable compared to both of the above, and their high traction doesn't seem to diminish over time. They are much heavier as compared to PVC. It comes with a slight rubbery smell which diminishes over time. Most yoga studios uses this as they are sturdy and easy to clean. Prices range from $100 - $150.
Cork - A sustainable and eco-friendly material, its traction is due to the presence of suberin, a naturally occurring waxy substance found in cork's cell walls. This makes cork impermeable to moisture, and that's why its commonly hailed as anti-microbial and easy to maintain. With a welcoming "leathery" feel, the cork yoga mat is great for both studio and home use. Prices range from $100 - $170.
*Of course, it does not mean you can judge a mat by looking at it's price. Some retailers mark up their mats by a whole lot, selling PVC mats at $68 and TPE Mats at $116. Do note to take a closer look into the composition before purchasing.
If you are someone who do inversion poses, you will be better off getting a slightly thicker mat of approx 1/4 inch (0.6cm). Portable thin towel mats are good for travels too, but I prefer one with more cushion for the comfort of my knees, elbows, neck and head. Most of the time, with the material used being constant, the thicker the mat the more costly it will be.
Vivre's Recommendation for beginners/traveling yogis
Vivre has tried and tested before manufacturing our TPE Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats in a variety of colours, and they have been receiving very positive reviews since we brought them in early 2013.
It is light enough to be carried around, has got ample cushioning - great for those looking for a basic mat to start their practice.
Length: 183cm. Width: 61cm. Thickness:0.65cm
Investing in Quality - The Premium Range
Considering high quality accessories to accompany your developing practice?
Both our Cork Yoga Mat and the Premium Rubber Yoga Mat are great additions to have.
Since its launch in November 2015, the Premium Rubber Yoga Mat has been a highly sought after product. The top Polyurethane surface provides great traction and grip, while the bottom rubber keeps you well-cushioned and keeps the mat in place.
Bonus: Check out our Elite Heavy Duty Yoga Mat for extreme grip and durability!
Checkout with coupon code "vivremat" now to enjoy 10% off our yoga mats. (online purchase only)