Prenatal yoga is one of the best exercises you can do during pregnancy. Whether you’re just getting started and need a yoga mat or if you’re an old pro and want to upgrade, there are some specific things you may want to look for in a prenatal yoga mat.
Keep reading for Mama Embodied’s top 5 recommended prenatal yoga mats and learn how we chose them!
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How to Choose a Prenatal Yoga Mat
When you’re choosing a prenatal yoga mat, there are some extra considerations to make.
You want to ensure that your new yoga mat is safe for you and your baby, super comfortable, and ethically sourced. We took all of this (and more!) into account when choosing our prenatal yoga mat recommendations.
Here are the criteria for Mama Embodied’s list of prenatal yoga mats:
- Nontoxic – More than any other time in your life, it’s important to be aware of what toxins you come into contact with during pregnancy. Everything you’re exposed to can potentially be passed to your baby. Many yoga mats are made from questionable materials, but there are nontoxic options available if you take the time to look!
- 4mm or Thicker – Comfort is key during pregnancy, and your joints will thank you for going with a thicker yoga mat. Thick yoga mats can also help with back pain, which is a common issue during pregnancy. Personally, I prefer a yoga mat that’s at least 5mm thick, but what’s comfortable for you is most important!
- Nonslip – Because your center of gravity changes during pregnancy, staying balanced becomes more challenging for many pregnant women. You won’t want to use a yoga mat that gets slippery the moment you sweat a little bit. The prenatal yoga mats on our list are nonslip to help keep you safe during your practice.
- Environmentally Friendly & Ethically Sourced – In Sanskrit, yoga means “union”. Part of that is uniting your mind, body, and spirit. Yogic philosophy also points to the way we’re connected to the earth and all who live on it. It only makes sense to strive to use products in our yoga practice that don’t harm either our home or its inhabitants.
- Durable – When you find a yoga mat you love, you want it to last. You may be buying a mat to use during pregnancy, but there’s no reason that you can’t use it long after you have your baby. Finding a durable yoga mat means less waste and that you won’t be shopping for a new one any time soon.
Related: Why to Go Nontoxic During Pregnancy
Are Expensive Yoga Mats Worth It?
The short answer is: Yes, expensive yoga mats are worth it.
“But why?” you ask. While buying a $15 yoga mat might be tempting, a mat at that price point won’t have any of the criteria discussed above. It will likely be uncomfortable, slippery, and made of toxic materials.
A cheap mat will stain and start falling apart quickly, and you’ll be in the market for a new one again. Save your money (and the planet), and invest in a safe yoga mat that you can use long-term.
I’ve been practicing and teaching on my current yoga mat for 6 years now, and it’s not showing any signs of wear or tear! I’m so glad that I bought a high-quality yoga mat that I’m incredibly comfortable practicing on and I’m not worried about putting my face on.
5 Best Prenatal Yoga Mats
So which mats make the cut for your pregnancy yoga practice? Here are our top 5 picks for prenatal yoga mats!
prAna is incredibly proud of its eco friendly Verde yoga mat. This sustainable 4mm mat is made of a blend of Forest Stewardship Council-certified natural rubber and recycled rubber. The Verde’s organic cotton scrim keeps it from stretching over time, making it both durable and sustainable.
prAna’s Verde mat also comes in a large version that adds 6 extra inches in length and 2 extra inches in width for yogis who need a little more space.
What stands out: Reviewers said that the Verde mat is both cushy and grippy. And they mentioned that it doesn’t have the chemical smell that so many new yoga mats do.
Gaiam’s performance jute yoga mat is made of the natural fibers of the jute plant and PER. PER, polymer environmental resin, is considered a nontoxic, environmentally friendly, carcinogen-free alternative to PVC. Gaiam recommends this mat for hot yoga.
The jute yoga mat is 5mm thick to keep your joints comfortable during your prenatal yoga practice. It is lightweight, durable, and made of sustainable materials, making it a great choice for any yoga mama!
What stands out: Gaiam’s jute mat comes in an attractive but subtle design. Its woven look pays homage to the jute fibers it’s made from.
Manduka’s Pro yoga mat is super cushy at 6mm thick. This mat is designed to be super durable and last for a lifetime, so it could be the last yoga mat you buy.
The Pro also comes in an extra-long version, which at 85 inches is one of the longest yoga mats on the market!
What stands out: Manduka is unafraid to sing the praises of its Pro series, which is manufactured using a process that releases no toxic emissions. These mats are certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®️.
The Harmony yoga mat from Jade combines everything we’re looking for. It’s durable and comfortable, and it provides grip for stability when your balance is compromised during pregnancy.
The Harmony mat, which is just under 5mm thick, is made from natural rubber, which is a rapidly renewable resource that comes from rubber trees. Jade’s mats are made in the U.S. in compliance with all US environmental, labor, and consumer protection laws. Reviewers mentioned that this mat is easy to care for.
If you’re looking for an extra-thick yoga mat, try Jade’s Fusion mat, which is almost 8mm thick!
What stands out: ALL of Jade’s yoga mats are environmentally friendly, so you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve made a green choice when you purchase one of their mats. And Jade plants a tree for every mat sold – over 2 million so far!
The Strong mat from B Yoga has it all. This 6mm mat offers plenty of cushion while providing enough grip to keep you from slipping around if your practice gets sweaty. This should make it comfortable for all yoga poses, whether you’re practicing vinyasa or restorative yoga.
B Yoga’s mats are made from non-slip rubber and are biodegradable and recyclable. They are certified by OEKO-TEX®️ to be free of harmful chemicals.
What stands out: Reviewers rave about the grip of the Strong mat, saying that they don’t slip even when drenched in sweat.
All mats linked below
Which prenatal yoga mat are you choosing? Tell me in the comments!