Gaiam is one of the largest brands in the yoga accessory industry, with possibly the widest distribution. They’re popular for their colorful prints and affordable yoga mats.
But the question is, are they any good?
In this Gaiam yoga mat review, we’ll highlight the positive points and negative points about this brand. We’ll also try to find out how Gaiam will fare with other popular brands, like Manduka, Lululemon, and Jade. To help you pick the perfect Gaiam mat for your needs, we’ll review five of the best Gaiam mats on the market today.
The Premium Print Reversible Yoga Mat is a little thicker than the Classic Print. We love its versatile design because you can use either side to suit your mood. Though it may have a slight rubbery scent when first unwrapped, you can air it out for 2-3 days to dissipate the odor.
The Essentials Fitness & Exercise Mat offers the best comfort and support during any form of floor work. At 10 mm, this mat is extra thick. For how bulky it is, you can easily store and carry it with its bonus easy-cinch strap.
The Classic Print Yoga Mat is a thin mat available in 27 colors. It’s lightweight and durable to last for many years. This 4-mm yoga mat has an average grip and doesn’t catch any sweat odor, which is a good thing.
Editor’s Pick: Best Gaiam Yoga Mat
Gaiam Yoga Mat Buying Guide
About Gaiam Yoga Mats
Gaiam is derived from the words “Gaia” which refers to the name of a Greek goddess and “I am” meaning I am the Earth. Their yoga mats are available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes.
Most of the Gaiam mats are made from PVC which is why they’re relatively affordable. They have the most beautiful prints and colors. However, they smell initially but you can air out for 3-4 days to dissipate the odor.
Overall, they’re good but they’re not as good as higher-end brands. If you’re a beginner to yoga and want to save up for your first yoga mat, then Gaiam is perfect for you.
Comparison Of Gaiam With Other Brands
Let’s see how Gaiam compares with other leading brands, like Jade, Manduka, and Lululemon.
Gaiam Vs Jade Yoga Mat
Unlike Gaiam, Jade yoga mats contain no PVC or other artificial rubbers. They’re made from natural rubber, a sustainable resource that offers superior traction level. However, they only come in solid colors making it look pretty boring compared to Gaiam.
Gaiam Vs Manduka Yoga Mat
Manduka is more expensive than Gaiam but you save yourself the problems of having flaky and fading mats in the long run. Both Gaiam and Manduka offer a lifetime guarantee but the latter seems to be more durable and even promises to improve over time. Although Manduka is beaten with Gaiam in terms of colors and prints, it performs better in wicking away sweat and moisture.
Gaiam Vs Lululemon Yoga Mat
Both Gaiam and Lululemon offer a reversible mat for practical reasons. However, Lululemon has better traction when you sweat making it ideal for hot yoga. It’s a good eco-friendly alternative to Gaiam PVC mats.
How To Find Your Perfect Gaiam Mat
Gaiam yoga mats are available in 5 thickness levels: 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm. If you’re a beginner or suffer from injuries, choose the thickest mat to support your knees and back. Choose the thinner mats if you want to feel more connected to the ground.
The 3mm mat is the best for those who have limited storage space and like the feel of just a slight cushion. Consider getting a 2mm mat if you want it to bring in your bag for travel.
The standard size of a yoga mat is 68 inches long and 24 inches wide. If you’re a little taller, you might need a longer mat with a length of 72 inches. For kids, 60 inches is enough length to make room for both hands and feet.
The material determines the stickiness, texture, and eco-friendliness of the mat. Most Gaiam mats are made of PVC, which is free of the six harmful phthalates. It has the most “give” than any other materials, plus it’s sticky and can endure a lot of beating.
More eco-friendly options are natural rubber, jute, and organic cotton. If you’re sensitive to latex, steer away from natural rubber.
Style And Design
Gaiam offers a wide variety of colors and patters. If you want dual functionality, choose reversible mats. There are tons of printed designs including oceanscape, granite mountains, and green bamboo. It all boils down to your preference.
5 Best Gaiam Yoga Mats Review
1. Gaiam Premium Print Reversible Yoga Mat
At 6 mm, this Premium Print Reversible Yoga Mat is thick enough to provide both comfort and support to your joints, hips, and knees. It’s 68 inches long which gives you enough room to secure your hands and feet on the mat. This PVC mat is safe for the environment and your health because it’s 6P-free.
The best thing about Premium Print Reversible is its versatile design which gives you two different types of color at each side. The slickness is average with this mat but it might be a little squishier than a thinner mat. There was a slight rubbery smell when it first arrived but it disappears when you air it out for a few days.
The Premium Print Reversible Yoga Mat is perfect for basic yoga and most yoga practices including flow yoga. The 6mm thickness is best for people with minor joint problems or anyone who want extra comfort.
2. Gaiam Essentials Fitness & Exercise Mat
The Essentials Fitness & Exercise mat is the longest and thickest mat offered by Gaiam. It’s 72 inches long and around 10 mm thick to give superior comfort to your bones during any form of floor work. Good thing that the dual sides have textured ridges because they keep you stable during a standing pose.
We love that this Essential Fitness mass includes a carrying strap because you can carry it anywhere you go. You can choose from 9 different colors including navy, green, and black. Unlike other Gaiam mats, Essentials Fitness is made of NBR which makes it elastic and resistant from oil and heat.
The Essentials Fitness & Exercise mat is the best for all types of floor exercises including yoga and Pilates. It’s 10mm thick making it comfortable for seated and supine poses.
3. Gaiam Classic Print Yoga Mat
The Classic Print is a PVC mat that is extremely lightweight making it convenient to bring to the studio regularly. At 4mm, this yoga mat provides a little bit of cushion and firmness. It offers support and stability without feeling the cold floor.
One of the good things about the Classic Print is its beautiful design which comes in different prints. The length is 68 inches, which is the standard of yoga mats. The textured sticky surface gives a nice grip to keep you stable in any position.
The Classic Print Yoga Mat is best for any yoga practice that involves a lot of balance and standing poses. It’s great for those who have no sensitive bones but still want a slight cushion for comfort.
4. Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat
The Kids Yoga Mat is what you’ll expect for a mat designed for children 5-8 years old. It’s made with fun patterns to help your kids enjoy yoga. The length is around 60 inches, which is small enough to fit the size of children.
The thickness is around 3 mm, which allows your kids to feel a close connection to the ground. This phthalates-free mat includes a downloadable yoga class to help your kids get started with yoga. You can choose from nine colorful patterns, like birdsong, owl, and pink zebra.
Real Also: 5 Best Kids Yoga Mats for Little Yogi
The Kids Yoga Mat Kids is best for kids age 5-8 years old. It’s available in colorful and fun patterns to help your kid get started with yoga.
5. Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat
The Foldable Yoga Mat is 68 inches long and 24 inches wide but becomes 12 inches long and 10 inches wide when folded. It’s 2 mm thick and weighs around 1 lb making it super lightweight to carry in your bag. It’s available in six beautiful colors and patterns.
The texture of the mat is sticky enough to offer a stable footing when doing your standing or balancing poses. We love how the creases are pressed in because they allow the mat to sit flat on the floor without popping out. You can fold the mat in such a way that the opposite sides never touch.
Q: How to clean Gaiam hot yoga mat?
If your mat is a little soiled, spray your mat with a solution of 4 drops of liquid detergent and 2 cups of water. Rub the dirty areas with a sponge or soft rag. Wipe with clean water then dry with a towel. Air-dry outside.
Q: Is Gaiam a good yoga mat?
Yes, it’s a good yoga mat for the price and design. It offers a sufficient grip to keep you stable during your practice.
Q: What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?
A 3mm mat is best for practically any yoga practice, from a flowing vinyasa to a subdued Hatha class. Thicker mats are great for restorative and Yin practices which involve a lot of lying or sitting positions.
That wraps up our Gaiam yoga mat review. If we have to choose the best, we recommend the Premium Print Reversible because it has the best design. The top and bottom surfaces have different colors to suit your mood. Its 6mm thickness provides the best comfort and support to your joints and bones.
If you want extra length and thickness, then the Essentials Fitness & Exercise Mat might be a good alternative. This 10-mm mat provides extra cushion for your sensitive bones. It includes a carrying strap so you can bring it anywhere.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.