I bought my yoga mat about 15 years ago, so it really doesn’t owe me anything. It is starting to look squashed and not as “lively” as it once did. When I first bought my mat, pretty much the only one you could get was blue and there was only one thickness. Now, I’m looking and there are so many options. What thickness do I need? I’m on carpet now, but my studio that I will go back to when it opens has hardwood floor.
They usually range from about 1/8 inch thick to 1/4 inch thick. It mostly depends on your knees. The thickness doesn’t matter much except when you’re in positions like crescent lunge that push your knee into the floor. You can get the thinner (and usually less expensive) kind and just fold your mat to double it under your knee in those moves or get a thicker mat if you don’t want to have to keep doing that. Go into your kitchen or another space with a harder floor and put your current mat down and do something that requires you to kneel on one knee at a time, especially the kind that has you raising your arms. Your knee should tell you if a thin mat is fine or if you should pay extra for the thicker kind.
The thicker the better but if you have a specific pouch/strap/bag for your mat, make sure that your mat isn’t so thick that it won’t roll up small enough to go in it.
I didn’t even know this was a thing. Does a millimeter really make a difference?
Believe it or not, a millimeter does make a difference. The difference between 4 mm and 6 mm is like night and day. If you do a lot of standing moves, you’ll want a thinner one because it will improve your stability. If you do a lot of work on the floor, like if you do a lot of restorative yoga, then you’ll likely want a thicker mat, particularly if you’re spreading it on hard floor and not carpet or a rug.