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The One and Only Legendary PRO – Manduka PRO Yoga Mat Review

manduka-pro-mat-reviewThe Manduka PRO mat is has been awarded as the #1 yoga mat for decades. With over 2 million Manduka mats have been sold to this day, how could it not deserve this title?

Read on my review below to find why the Manduka PRO mat is the bestseller that it is.

Who Should Use The Manduka PRO Mat?

Everyone. Well what I mean is that anyone can use it. It’s the holy grail mat for many yoga teachers as it never gets worn out. The local studio I go for hot yoga only rents out Manduka mats so that says something about the quality and durability.

For gentle and non-heated practices like Hatha, Restorative and Iyengar yoga, you’ll be good practicing on the mat directly on it.

While this mat hasn’t been designed for heated types of yoga (ie. Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga), you can still use this mat for these classes. However because the mat’s closed-cell structure repels sweat and moisture from seeping into the mat, the PRO will become slippery so it’s highly recommended to put a  yoga performance mat towel on top of the mat like the Yogitoes for superior grip.

While the PRO mat can also withstand vigorous types of yoga like Ashtanga and Vinyasa in non-heated rooms, if you’re a particularly heavy sweater, you want to use a  yoga mat towel as well but most of time you probably won’t need to. 

So if you only want to invest in only one yoga mat and use it for all types of yoga including Hot Yoga and Bikram this is it.

How To Use The Manduka PRO?manduka-pro-palma

In my research for this review,I found that some people weren’t sure on which side to practice on. The top side of the PRO which you practice on has the Manduka frog logo in the top right-corner, and the bottom side has a dot pattern texture which firmly grip the mat on to the floor so that it doesn’t budge.

Specs

  • Standard size
    Weight: 7.5 lbs
    Length: 71″ x 26″
    Thickness: 6 mm

  • Extra long size:
    Weight: 9.5 lbs
    Length: 85″ x 26″
    Thickness: 6 mm 

Special Features

  • High-density cushioning to protect and support your joints
  • Made from eco-certified safe PVC
  • Phthalate-free
  • Hygienic closed-cell surface (means that it repels sweat from seeping into your mat)
  • Sticky
  • 100% latex-free

What’s The Difference Between The Manduka PRO And The PROlite Mat?

The PRO and PROlite mats are quite similar as they differ in weight, colors, and thickness. The PROlite mat is a lighter version of the PRO and is more portable but it looks and feels the same as the PRO mat. The PROLite weights 4 lbs whereas the original PRO mat weighs 7.5 lbs or the 9.5 lbs if you go for the extra long size.

If you can’t choose between the PRO and the PROlite think about your needs. If you go to your local studio several times a week, the PROlite might be a better option for you as it’s easier to carry around.

Which Size Is Right For Me?

The PRO is great if you mainly have a home practice and hit up the studio from time to time.  Whether or not you want the standard or extra long PRO mat is up to you (except if you’re very tall than you’ll want to go with the extra long size) but keep in mind that the extra long mat will be much heavier at 9.5 lbs instead of 7.5 lbs.

Is There A Break-In Period?

Yes there is. The PRO mat gets better as it ages —kind of like fine wine (but you have to use the mat of course). Due the manufacturing process, you’ll find the PRO to be slippery at first because of the thin film that covers the top surface. However, the more you use your mat it will become grippier and softer and the slippage will be eliminated.

On average the break-in period lasts for 3 months with a daily yoga practice. The slipping will subside as the friction of the hands and feet will wear into the mat.

If you still continue to slip after the mat has been broken into you’re most likely just a heavy sweater so you’ll need to pair the mat with a yoga mat towel like the Yogitoes yoga mat towel. If interested in learning more about it, check out my review here.

How To Break-Into A Manduka PRO

If you don’t want to wait 3 months or you simply don’t practice yoga daily, but you really want to break-into your PRO mat asap, you can speed up the process by treating your PRO mat with the salt water scrub method.

Manduka refers to this process as a ritual. Hmmm a yoga mat breaking-in initiation ritual. Cool. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Unroll the mat
  2. Sprinkle the top surface of your mat with coarse sea salt or himalayan salt
  3. Let it sit for 24 hours (some people leave it outside though I wouldn’t recommend leaving it directly under the sun)
  4. Scrub gently and remove the salt with a damp towel
  5. Let it dry and practice yoga!
  6. Repeat the process again if needed

Eco-Responsible manduka-black-mat-pro

Did you ever have a cheap mat that became unusable within a few weeks of use? I sure did and it sucks not only for my wallet and but to the environment.

When Manduka came along in 1997,  its mission was to drastically reduce the amount of cheap toxic PVC yoga mats entering landfills and to reduce overall mat consumption. By creating this durable sustainable yoga mat with over 2 million sold around the world you can bet that their mission has been accomplished.

While the PRO mat is made of PVC, rest assured that it’s toxin-free. In fact the PRO mat is made of eco-certified PVC and it’s phthalate-free and latex-free and the OEKO-TEX, a European association for textile industries, certifies the Manduka PRO Series mats as safe and free of harmful substances. So if you’re pregnant and you want a toxin-free mat, look no further.

Oh and also the manufacturing process is certified emissions free so workers manufacturing this mat are protected from toxins.

Taking Care of Your Manduka PRO Mat

Dos

  1. Clean your mat after each use by gently scrubbing the PRO mat with a soft brush, cloth, or sponge with Manduka’s All Purpose Mat Wash or any non-solvent household cleaner
  2. Wipe the mat with water and let it air dry. You can put it up outside but not directly in the sun

Dont’s

  • Don’t use any vinegar based cleaning solutions as it can damage the mat and dull the mat’s metallic and opalescent properties
  • Don’t soak, shower, put it in the bathtub, machine wash, use a garden hose or a vacuum cleaner to clean the mat.

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Will become slippery if you’re a heavy sweater or if you’re using it for Hot Yoga (but this is solvable by using a yoga mat towel over it)
  • There’s a break-in period
  • Heavy to carry; not travel-friendly

Pros

  • Doesn’t smell because the mat’s closed-cell structure repels sweat and moisture so it never absorbs germs and bacteria into the mat
  • Lifetime guarantee! Manduka will replace your mat even if you’ve purchased it on Amazon.com
  • Durable
  • Non-toxic
  • Dense cushioning, super comfy
  • High-performing
  • Spacious, stable mat
  • Made with sustainable and toxin-free materials
  • If you want to invest in a top of the line mat and use only one mat for all types of yoga (including heated) this is it

Summary – Key Points

  • If you want ultimate comfort and a durable sustainable toxin-free mat to last you for years to come the Manduka PRO is your best bet.
  • If you have sensitive joints and have trouble with kneeling and sitting asanas, the Manduka PRO provides the dense cushioning you need to ease these discomforts.
  • If you’re a heavy sweater or practice Hot Yoga you will have a problem with slippage, but this is easily fixable by pairing this with the Yogitoes yoga mat towel. Other than that this will suit all types of yoga
  • The rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com
  • It’s not the most portable mat in the world but this can be fixed by getting the PROlite if you head out to the yoga studio many times a week.
  • It’s a spacious mat and It has a wonderful fabric-like texture that’s raised and patterned which also adds to the comfort of your yoga practice.
  • The mat is stable and the bottom side sticks firmly to the ground so it never moves even during your most vigorous flow sequence.
  • You may a premium price but it’s under a lifetime guarantee and it’s definitely cheaper than buying crappy yoga mats one after the other. If you want more info on the lifetime guarantee check out the F.A.Q. at Manduka’s website

Remember if you invest in a good quality mat, you will save lots of money and have a  distraction free, comfortable practice.

Where to Buy the Manduka PRO Mat?

The get an authentic Manduka PRO mat, the best place to get it is directly at Manduka’s website or on Amazon.com

What do you think of the Manduka PRO mat? Have you tried it?

Leave a comment or question below.

PS: I respond to all comments.

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8 Comments

  1. Alyssa Alyssa

    I love this post! Awesome detail. Especially love your inclusion of both pros and cons. What would you say are the top yoga mats to avoid?

    • Hey Alyssa, I’ll be featuring more product reviews on yoga mats so the ones to avoid will be discussed in more details. In the meantime, anything cheap really. It doesn’t mean that you have to fork out hundreds of dollars for a good quality mat but the ones on the cheapest end of the spectrum generally don’t last long, break down fast and are toxic.

  2. Arief Wibowo Arief Wibowo

    Ok. Reading this yoga mat review really gave me new information.

    First. I never know that yoga mat has a break in period. I thought the best condition is when they are brand new, not when they are older with age. 😀
    And sea salt? Really? I am curious.

    Second, why should I buy a “slippery when wet” yoga mat? If I have to put a towel over it, it will be too troublesome for me. But hey, that’s just me.

    • Hey Arief! I’m glad you brought this concern up. Like I said in the review, if you don’t sweat a lot and/or do gentle non-heated types of yoga this mat will serve you very well. But some people like to own only one mat and they want to use it for all types of yoga (including heated) so in this case it’s highly recommended for them to purchase a yoga mat towel. I hope this cleared things up.

  3. Eric Cantu Eric Cantu

    This may be the perfect mat for my girlfriend. She was running into issues with other mats just not lasting. I like that this one actually gets a bit better with use. Great review!

    • Yeah seriously how many products do we know actually get better through use? I can’t think of any except cheese and wine but that’s food and alcohol so it doesn’t count. The Manduka PRO mat is such a great investment and with the lifetime guarantee you really can’t go wrong.

  4. BooBish BooBish

    I do yoga but currently only at home on carpet. I do have a mat, however, that I’ve used just a couple of times before.

    Considering that I’ll be going to yoga class soon, I’ll be bringing the mat I currently have. However, your post has opened my eyes to the differences in mats, which I never thought about before.

    Amazing how the Manduka mat is able to last a lifetime and has a warranty to guarantee that. Maybe I’ll just get that as my one and only mat. It does help the environment to not have to purchase multiple mats.

    • Vanessa Vanessa

      To reduce waste in the landfills some people reuse their old yoga mats for other purposes. In fact I’ll be posting my next article on how you can reuse your old yoga mat when you’ve upgraded to the new one.

      Thank you for the inspiration for my next post. 🙂

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