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Lululemon The Mat Review

A comfortable, reversible yoga mat with a sticky, smooth side and textured underbelly whose balance of features make it superb for any style of yoga
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Lululemon The Mat Review
Credit: Kate Pitts
Price:  $98 List
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Manufacturer:   Lululemon
By Kate Pitts ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 17, 2024
84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 19
  • Comfort and Support - 35% 10.0
  • Grip - 30% 8.0
  • Materials - 20% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

Lululemon The Mat is a “jack of all trades” yoga mat; it offers a well-balanced performance that's versatile for any style of yoga. The Mat's cushion is springy while maintaining stable integrity for balancing. You can use both sides — the sticky side is lovely for flowing and gliding transitions, and the rubber underbelly is great for when you want more friction. With an open cell design, The Mat absorbs moisture as you sweat and offers excellent grip when wet. However, it stains easily, so we recommend ordering it in a darker color or swirl pattern. Although not durable enough to be a “lifetime mat,” it is more resilient than many sticky mats on the market.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent cushion
Soft yet grippy surface
Absorbs sweat
Sticky when wet
Versatile for different yoga styles
REASONS TO AVOID
Contains latex
Stains easily
Needs deep cleans
May lose grip with use

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Lululemon The Mat
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Price $98 List$116 List$67 List
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Bottom Line Highly versatile, this comfortable and grippy mat is grippy for sweaty flows, stable for inversion practice, and cushiony on the joints for restorative stretchingSweaty hands approved, this non-slip rubber yoga mat provides unmatched traction in dry or wet conditionsAt half the weight of most rubber mats, this grippy, portable mat is perfect for any yogi seeking high-quality cushioning at a bargain priceThis affordable option offers decent cushioning, dry grip, and visually pleasing patterns. However, it may not be the best choice for serious practice due to its overall performanceThis lightweight and foldable mat tucks into a tote or backpack for yoga at the park, beach, or while on a hike
Rating Categories Lululemon The Mat B Yoga B Mat Everyday Iuga Eco Friendly N... Gaiam Premium 6mm Primasole Foldable
Comfort and Support (35%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
6.5
3.0
Grip (30%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
3.0
Materials (20%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Lululemon The Mat B Yoga B Mat Everyday Iuga Eco Friendly N... Gaiam Premium 6mm Primasole Foldable
Materials 55% natural rubber, 23% synthetic rubber, 15% polyurethane, 5% polyester, 2% nylon Rubber Polyurethane, Rubber Latex-free PVC Polyvinyl chloride
Measured Weight 5.9 lbs 3.9 lbs 2.1 lbs 3.3 lbs 1.9 lbs
Thickness 5 mm 4 mm 5 mm 6 mm 4 mm
Length 71" 71" 72" 68" 68"
Width 26" 26" 26" 24" 24"

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mat is made of rubber with a silky smooth and absorbent polyurethane top. It's reversible, so you can choose between the sticky side and textured rubber side for different grips. It weighs 6 pounds, measures 71 x 26 inches, and comes in various colors and patterns — the darker colors are less susceptible to staining. Those who have rubber or latex allergies should avoid this mat.

Performance Comparison


lululemon the mat - no matter what style of yoga you practice, the mat gives a...
No matter what style of yoga you practice, The Mat gives a well-balanced offering of cushion, grip, and stability.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Comfort and Support


The Mat has 5mm of natural rubber cushion that feels comfortable in everything from dynamic moves to long, restorative holds on sensitive joints. We avoid flimsier mats for some asanas because the lack of cushion would make the bone-to-surface contact painful or even dangerous for the joints. We feel confident on The Mat's comfortable cushion when we flow into delicate moves like the dynamic asana Garbha Pindasana, where you roll up and down the spine nine times — this mat supports the spinal roll to help massage our back. The cushion is also springy and firm enough to keep the wrists from overextending or rolling in arm balances and drawbacks.


The Mat is also incredibly comfortable for restorative practices. The thick cushion feels good on the knees in cat-cow, although you can always add padding with any mat if your body calls for extra compassion for the joints. One of the things we loved most in restorative classes was the soft smoothness of The Mat against our skin. It has one of the best mat-to-skin textures that we tested. We also enjoy expanding our arms and legs in supine twists on this mat, which is a bit longer and wider than average. The extra turf is also a boon in arm balances, where a wider wingspan feels more comfortable and stable.

One yoga teacher said she loves how The Mat feels soft, but your hands stick even when you sweat.
Credit: Kate Pitts

The cushion on The Mat is dense and firm, so we can root on one leg and feel stable enough to extend into a bird of paradise or pike up to a handstand. The cushion doesn't compress to make our feet wobble to one side, and the material won't stretch like laffy taffy when your feet pull oppositional forces in a strong lunge. You never feel like you sink into the cushion, and it feels supportive of the wrists as you flow through sun salutations.

lululemon the mat - we are grateful for the extra two inches of width on the mat when we...
We are grateful for the extra two inches of width on The Mat when we do arm balances or wide-legged squats. It is an excellent option for those who have longer arms and like more width for Chaturanga.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Grip


The Mat offers one of the best balances of trustworthy dry and wet grip on the market. Add its deliciously smooth top that is easy to flow on, and you have one of the most versatile mats for any style of yoga.


This mat is smooth but not overly sticky — we love the shiny, silky feel on our skin. The grip is solid for most asanas, although sometimes, in poses with strong oppositional force in the limbs like Prasarita Padottanasana (wide stance forward bend), we noticed our feet slide slightly straddle-wise, though this is a good reminder to more fully engage the feet. That said, we could turn The Mat over, and the textured side offers more traction. Many sticky mats can be too grippy, making sliding transitions feel stuck or abrasive, but The Mat has a smooth touch and doesn't give you a “rug burn” when you roll over the toes.

An instructor assists in Prasarita Padottanasana C, a wide-legged forward fold. This is a pose where a grippy mat like the Lululemon is key.
Credit: Kate Pitts

We hardly noticed sweaty palms on The Mat because it quickly absorbs moisture. It feels dry for all but the sweatiest practices because it absorbs sweat throughout the flow. And, even when wet, it is easy to keep a solid grip.

lululemon the mat - sweat absorbs into closed-cell mats like lululemon the mat.
Sweat absorbs into closed-cell mats like Lululemon The Mat.
Credit: Kate Pitts

We tested each of our mats for wet grip by soaking them with a liter of water (the average amount someone sweats in a hot yoga class). Even after we drenched The Mat, it quickly absorbed much of the large pools of water and continued to soak it in as we practiced. Despite being drenched, this mat provided one of the best wet grips in our lineup. We would confidently carry this mat to a sweat fest in a 90- 105-degree heated room.

lululemon the mat - the mat is reversible and it is fun to play with the sticky smooth...
The Mat is reversible and it is fun to play with the sticky smooth top and the textured grip of the underbelly.
Credit: Kate Pitts


Materials


The Mat is a blend of synthetic and natural rubber and has a longer lifespan than many sticky mats.


Consulting with several yoga instructors and yogis, we learned that sticky mats typically last 4-6 years of doing yoga multiple times a week before they peel or wear tread holes in the “train tracks” where the hands and feet move. As hands and feet wear down the surface, it also loses its stickiness. If you do a vigorous daily practice like Ashtanga, the lifespan may be shorter before you start seeing significant wear. Using a towel in a high sweat session could prolong the life of your mat.

lululemon the mat - we love the silky-smooth top of the mat on our skin.
We love the silky-smooth top of The Mat on our skin.
Credit: Kate Pitts

One recurring complaint we heard from users is that The Mat stains easily. While closed-cell mats repel dirt, the sweat-absorbent top takes in everything. If you have any dirt or oil on your body, it rubs into the mat and easily stains. Many marks are nearly impossible to rub out, even with mat cleaner, especially on lighter-colored mats. Do not use a chemical cleaner to remove stains, which could erode the grippy layer off the surface. If you value aesthetics, choose a darker color or swirling pattern that camouflages stains.

lululemon the mat - if you do yoga outdoors, dirt can easily mix with your sweat and be...
If you do yoga outdoors, dirt can easily mix with your sweat and be absorbed into the mat material, creating lasting stains. A darker color is a good choice if you prefer absorbent open-cell mats.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Ease of Use


We found that The Mat rolls up tightly, stays together, and is compact for carrying around. We rolled it up between each session, and it continued to lay flat after every use. However, at just under 6 pounds, it is heavy for some people to carry long distances.


Color choice impacts the aesthetics and functionality of The Mat. We highly recommend not choosing the small dot pattern. Our testers and many reviewers find that the dots create an optical illusion that makes them dizzy during practice. Your Drishti (focused vision or gazing point) is essential for many things, including building concentration, narrowing external distractions, and finding balance. During a yoga session, your vision often focuses past the nose tip and on a space on your mat. Focal point downward, eyes can get drawn inward by this grid pattern of dots, making it easy to become cross-eyed. Several testers lost balance and safely aborted forearm stands and handstands during our tests. We scaled back our practice because of the dizzying pattern, which you can easily avoid by choosing a simple color.

lululemon the mat - when your dhristi (focal point) is downward towards the mat, a...
When your Dhristi (focal point) is downward towards the mat, a simple pattern or color is better for focused awareness.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Be prepared for an overpowering rubber smell when you unpackage The Mat, which disappears after being aired. We recommend off-gassing this mat by spreading it out for a few days before you start practicing.

Cleaning instructions are simple and easy to follow. After you sweat it out, wipe the surface down. We find it incredibly easy to wipe the smooth side of The Mat, but the more textured bottom can be harder to remove dirt or pet hair. Although it is not in Lululemon's cleaning recommendations, it is common practice to deep clean an open cell mat every few weeks by submerging it in a bath or shower and then allowing it to air dry somewhere out of full sun. This is because open-cell mats absorb body fluids, which fester funky smells over time if not washed thoroughly.

The Mat offers good grip and is comfortable for practicing challenging moves like drawbacks.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Should You Buy the Lululemon The Mat?


The Mat is smooth on the skin, well-cushioned for joints, and grippy when wet or dry — making it a versatile favorite for any style of yoga. The top is smooth, but the grip holds you during dynamic movements. If you are looking for a gentle mat on your joints, the 5mm of cushion softens landings in athletic practices and is relaxing for Yin or Yoga Nidra. The Mat has one of our favorite surfaces because it is deliciously soft for sliding transitions. The open-cell design absorbs moisture, so although it usually only needs a wipe down, it will need regular deep cleaning as well. This mat has the potential to stain with body oils or dirt mixed with sweat, so we recommend ordering it in a dark color.

lululemon the mat - we feel strong and stable on the mat, but its silky-smooth top is a...
We feel strong and stable on The Mat, but its silky-smooth top is a welcome gentle touch.
Credit: Kate Pitts

What Other Yoga Mats Should You Consider?


If you want a lighter mat for carrying between classes, consider the Hugger Mugger Earth Elements, which weighs just over two pounds and both are easy to clean if you do yoga outside. Another good travel option is the Liforme Original, which includes an alignment grid that helps improve proper form and body awareness during practice. If you want a mat with premium cushion and a textured grip, then the Manduka PRO is the best you can get.

Kate Pitts