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Why you don’t have this yet: Unable to commit, you’re still renting the peely mats from your local studio.
Why you want this: Since yoga mats now run from $10–$150, it can be difficult to figure out how much to spend. For casual practitioners, Gaiam is a good go-to, with an affordable but high-quality product. The Reversible Gaiam mat offers the additional benefit of two beautiful design surfaces, for the yogi who doesn’t mind a little flash.
What the experts say: Gear Patrol calls Gaiam’s reversible mat the “best beginner mat,” noting that it doesn’t make sense to really invest in a mat until you’ve established your preferences. They explain that this mat has the standard yoga mat dimensions, but is five millimeters thick, giving it two additional millimeters of cushioning from other mats. Finally, it’s made from a non-toxic PVC foam, which provides a nonslip surface.
What the people say: A good value. (“I’m a Yoga instructor and I love Gaiam mats because they’re not outrageously expensive, are a good value, and do the job you need them to do.”)
Good thickness and wears well. (“It is thick enough to add some comfort, but not too thick to interfere with balances. The first couple uses it wasn’t super sticky, but the more I’ve used it the stickier it has become. Some folks complained about the ‘chemical smell,’ but I sprayed mine down with my eucalyptus mat cleaner after its first use and that completely vanquished the smell.”)
The Gaiam Reversible Yoga Mat is currently $24, or 30 percent off the regular price.