How to know if it’s time to replace your yoga mat

Whether you’re doing yoga in a structured class or at home, you’re likely to find a yoga mat useful. Apart from the comfort aspect of having a cushion for your knees and feet, the mat also acts as a hygienic barrier if you are doing yoga in a public space.

“If you’re taking yoga classes in a studio, you’ll usually be barefoot, which means you’re doing yoga on the same floor as everyone else is walking barefoot. It will be much cleaner and healthier to practice on your mat, the cleanliness of which you can control,” said Bianca Ashley, a postnatal yoga specialist who has practiced for 15 years.

But as with any item that gets used regularly, now is the time to buy a new one.

“If your carpet smells and the smell doesn’t dissipate when you clean it, that’s a sign it’s time to replace your carpet,” she said.

Although the lingering, not-so-fresh smells will make you want to swap a well-seasoned yoga mat for a new one, the texture from a frequently used mat can also affect your yoga experience – and potentially cause injury.

“You’ll also want a new one if you start to see chips or holes in the mat, because sometimes they wear down like your favorite pair of running sneakers or the tread of a tire,” Ashley said. . “We need to replace the tires on our car because the tread wears out from wear and tear from normal use, and the yoga mats are exactly the same.”

Constant, long-term yoga can also cause weathering on the top layer of the mat, making it slippery and dangerous to practice on.

Below, we’ve rounded up 8 yoga mats you can buy online if you think it’s time for a replacement, including two of Ashley’s favorite mats.

HuffPost may receive a share of purchases made through links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

lululemon

The Lululemon Carpet

“If you’re going to do hot yoga or high intensity workouts or yoga with weights, you want to get what’s called ‘sticky mats’. This one from Lululemon is my favorite of the sticky mats, but it’s very thick and very heavy,” Ashley said.

This 3-millimeter natural rubber mat is nearly 6 feet long and comes in multiple colors, including pink, creamy mint, pastel blue, black, and teal. It’s also reversible, meaning you can switch between the smooth, grippy side and the natural rubber padded side. You don’t even have to worry about your carpet getting gross and gross because it has a built-in antimicrobial substance that prevents mold and mildew. The mat is also available in a 5 mm option.

Promising results: “Perfect for Ashtanga – provides the perfect amount of ‘stick’ and support. I sweat (a lot) and it keeps me in place.” —Jim M.

Amazon

June and Juniper Travel Mat

“June and Juniper make great travel rugs with lovely designs,” Ashley said.

Style options include purple space, green forests, and blue flowers. Since this mat is designed for travel, it’s super thin (like a credit card!) and foldable so you can easily take it with you. It measures almost 6 feet long and is made of microfiber and tree rubber. If multifunctionality is your workout style, you’ll love the reversible element as the black rubber side provides high-quality grip, while the microfiber side works best for hot yoga or humid environments.

Promising results: “I needed a mat that I could easily fly with and I spent quite a bit of time finding the right one. I decided to be vain and pay a little more for this one because the The design was so gorgeous. It was worth every penny. The color and design is even more stunning in person…and it folds up easily in my backpack. As for the quality of the mat – excellent. Super grippy top, great texture to work out in. I also usually use a yoga towel for better grip, but that’s not necessary for this mat because the texture is already very grippy. It is of course very thin, so it can be a bit hard on the knees, but the extra pad that comes with it takes care of that. Perfect purchase!!!” —Amanda

Amazon

jade yoga mat

Available in a variety of bright colors like orange yellow, raspberry, midnight blue, and olive green, the Harmony mat from Jade Yoga makes a great replacement option. The high grip mat is 3/16 inch thick and available in 68, 71 and 74 inch lengths.

Promising results: “This is the best yoga mat I’ve purchased! I’ve used many different mats and I’m so glad I tried this one in a yoga class. Highly recommend this mat over to any other expensive mat. I practice flow and heat yoga and both worked wonderfully without slipping. Downward dog was NOT a problem! I sometimes practice yoga with weights, and I think that this will be perfect for that too. I just aired mine over the weekend when I got it on my doorstep and it was ready to use! No scrubbing or cleaning before use. Good practice !” —Jesse

Hello

Alo Warrior Rug

Measuring just over 6 feet long, this sturdy matte finish yoga mat provides enough cushion, support and grip for your next session. It is also 100% formaldehyde-free, non-toxic and PVC-free. With odor-repellent, moisture-wicking, and non-slip properties, it’s also ideal for hot yoga. It comes in several colors like pink, blue, mint green, yellow rose gold, white gray and black.

Promising results:
“I’ve been looking for a new yoga mat for a while. I really needed something more sticky and non-slip in wet and dry conditions. This one does the job! It’s quite heavy but I practice at home.” — Amber G.

Bala

Bala Playmat

Bala, the brand best known for its famous Bala Bangles, offers its signature combination of form and function with the Arc-Shaped Playmat. As well as having an antimicrobial and waterproof top layer, the mat is also moisture wicking and non-slip for your most intense yoga sessions. It measures just under 6 feet long and comes in dusty pink, gray and sand beige.

Promising results:
“I love this mat!! It’s thick so you can kneel on it without any pain and it lays FLAT without bending! It’s the best workout mat ever! Totally worth wow! I bought pink and I love the color! So much fun!” — Jaime M.

Target

Gaiam Printed Yoga Mat

Add a splash of color to your next yoga session with this Gaiam mat. It comes in purple and dark blue and offers 4 millimeters of cushioned support for your knees and feet. This lightweight rug is 68 inches long.

Promising results:
“Great mat! Bought a good one to start doing yoga again. It’s reasonable and durable. I have hardwood floors and had no slipping issues.” — Tdburleson

Amazon

BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

Made of high-density foam, this 71-inch mat is an ideal replacement for yoga beginners and professionals alike. Its double-sided non-slip surfaces help prevent injuries or slips during sweat sessions. The moisture resistant mat also comes with a carry strap for convenient storage. Get it in red, purple, green, black, pink, blue or gray.

Promising results:
“I have VERY sensitive knees and sensitive bones due to osteoporosis. I find this mat very comfortable when doing my yoga routines, especially in any kneeling position. I don’t find it too thick to be unstable in straight poses It’s WONDERFUL soft I will definitely be buying again or even adding another color before I need a new mat as I’m very happy with it It’s a great product for the price. I have been doing yoga for decades now and am thrilled with this find.” —Luluru

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