Manduka are world-famous with a trusted reputation as the best in the yoga business. Yogi around all over swear that Manduka mats are the very best yoga mats you can find. They are reliable, long-lasting, and now environmentally friendly.
The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat, formerly the BlackMat Pro, is a perfect mat for all levels of practice and the best non-slip yoga mat. Made from natural rubber and featuring amazing craftsmanship, this mat will beat any other thick or thin yoga mat on the market. This is one of the most popular yoga mats with many rave reviews you can read here.
Review of the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
This is a very high end yoga non-slip yoga mat for serious practitioners. This Manduka Mat has specific top and bottom surfaces. The top’s sticky surface keeps feet firmly rooted during balancing poses, while the bottom side remains stable on hard floors or carpet and won’t shift or bunch up during movement. The mat’s fabric-like surface finish is not sticky, yet slip-resistant, even when wet from perspiration, though some people with extremely sweaty hands may find this mat (or any other mat) still slippery. The Black Manduka Mat is exceptional for cushioning your spine, hip bones, knees and elbows from punishing hard floors; its durability is excellent.
The story of Manduka started about 15 years ago, when an architect designed a revolutionary new yoga mat. That person was Peter Sterios, a passionate yogi practitioner who created a mat with a perfect combination of grip and support.
The name Manduka was chosen in honor to Peter’s teacher, S. Remete, whose practice and teaching always included the ancient Mandukasana or frog pose. The word and the pose are simultaneously playful and profound. The joy of Manduka is now felt in more than 35 countries all over the world.
The quality and performance of Manduka mats and yoga accessories are still unmatched in the marketplace. They are still crafted using simple, enduring, natural, and whenever possible, renewable materials, alongside a fine attention to detail. Manduka is a company built by and for yoga teachers and their students.
Manduka Mats are made from a high-quality blend of emission-free PVC and fabric, which are durable and will stick to most surfaces. Most double-sided mats lack stickiness to prevent them from creating discomfort during contact with your body. While this feature aims for a more pleasing experience, it is responsible for the mat sliding on the floor. Manduka mats have a distinct back surface especially designed to stick to the floor that should not be practiced on. The floor side of the mat is very sticky while the other side has a more relaxed grip suitable for practice. The bottom grip ensures that the mat will not curl or or move during use.
The mat’s heavy weight is an important factor in durability and stability, but a great burden when it comes to carrying this mat in and out of class. This is one of those mats that are best kept in storage close to your place of practice and not for carrying around a lot. There are thinner versions of the same mat available for those who want to travel with their Manduka Mat. Alternatively, we recommend the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance as a lighter but premium yoga mat that matches up to the Manduka.
Most practitioners found the 1/4″ thickness of the material to be perfect. The Manduka Mat is slightly thicker than most similar mats. There were some people who wanted even more thickness. Pilates students and absolute beginners may benefit from additional thickness. 1/4″ of material seemed like more than enough cushioning for our team.
Once a regular yoga mat is wet most of its surface traction is lost, this is a serious issue for some hot yoga students. 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. The fabric surface of the Manduka Mat does an excellent job of keeping the moisture away. We found that the mat’s spongy surface was only able to absorb a limited amount of moisture, especially in a hot yoga class full of overweight excessive sweaters. Here, the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance’s no-compromise grip even under the sweatiest conditions has an edge over the Manduka Mat. We also found a small problem with the mat’s material – it absorbs moisture, and if not cleaned regularly, it will eventually start harboring bacteria in it’s pores. We recommend cleaning this mat at least once a month, following the included instructions.
Appearance and features
As stated in this mat’s name, it is quite black. The look is classic, but may not attract many customers. On the other hand, we don’t know any other mats in this category that have the same appearance, so your mat is guaranteed to stand out.The company has recently released a limited edition Cherry version of their popular Manduka Mat at the same price. We really enjoyed the original black color, though. The mat is made of a PVC blend (synthetic rubber), which has a smell that most people find quite unpleasant. Even after washing the mat as the manual suggested the smell remained. Our reviewers concluded that the smell eventually went away and did not return.
The Manduka mat is a indeed a Rolls-Royce of yoga mats – it’s heavy, long, thick and extremely durable. This mat will last for years, and it’s an excellent investment worthy of any serious practitioner. The cushioning, slip resistance, and floor grip are all well above average if not perfect. The only downsides of this mat are its weight and size. It’s perfect for home practice or to keep in a studio locker, but not for carrying around in public transportation.
If you absolutely want the Manduka name-brand, you can’t go wrong with this classic. This is a luxurious mat from the 100-pound gorilla yoga company. If you are willing to try out newer brands, we think the newer Clever Yoga LiquidBalance gives the Manduka a run for its money, with better grip, more colors, and slightly lower price.