Manduka Black Mat Pro vs Lululemon’s Reversible “The Mat”, What to Buy?

Published in Product Reviews, Yoga Accessories on 7th July 2017

Yoga can be a tough sport to get into – it took me a few tries to really get into it.

 

I had to get past feeling a little ridiculous and calming my head, which always seemed to kick into gear as soon as I stepped onto my yoga mat.

 

Not only that, but the first yoga mat I ever bought was a cheap, store brand mat from Sports Authority that my cat quickly decided was a scratching post (leading to me having to hide it in the closet whenever I wasn’t using it).

 

But the thing I remember most about that mat was that it was too thin to really feel like a barrier between me and the floor when I did yoga – on the carpet, I just sort of sunk into the mat.

 

When I finally started researching different mats, I came across two different, equally popular contenders: the Manduka Black Mat Pro vs. Lululemon The Mat.

Manduka Pro vs Lululemon The Mat CHEAT SHEET

Name

Manduka Black Mat Pro

Lululemon The Reversible Mat

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Material:

PVC with fabric-like finish on top

Polyurethane and rubber

Thickness:

6mm

3mm or 5mm

Other:

Closed cell surface

Antimicrobial additive

 

Manduka Black Mat Pro: The Review 

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The first mat we’ll be looking at is the Manduka Black Mat Pro.

 

The Manduka mat is made from “eco-certified safe PVC” and goes for around $90 to $110. It is 6 millimeters thick and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee from Manduka.

 

If you’re looking to spend money on a quality product that will last a long time, this might be the mat for you.

Quick Overview

 

The Product: The Manduka Black Mat Pro, or some variation of it, has been around since 1997 when Manduka began manufacturing its yoga mats.

It’s a well-known staple among yogis who take the sport seriously and want something that will last them a long time, with a great guarantee behind it.

 

The Company: Manduka was founded in 1997 by Peter Sterios, who sought to share the quality of a great mat with the world. Now, the name Manduka is well-known in yoga communities throughout the world.

Because of their eco-friendly production methods, their mats are often preferred by those looking to reduce their environmental impact.

What I like
  • The Manduka mat is a little heavier and larger than other mats – it makes sense, it’s 6 millimeters thick, which is a full millimeter thicker than Lululemon’s thicker-option reversible mat. However, it doesn’t feel like too much of a burden to carry around; instead, it feels sturdy, and like it will go the distance with you practicing yoga.
  • It’s super easy to clean – it has a “closed cell surface”, which just means that sweat and dirt are not absorbed into the mat the same way it is with other mats. Those who hate the hassle of cleaning a yoga mat will find this mat a dream – though Manduka does recommend using their specially formulated wipes for cleaning.
  • You could fall asleep on this mat if you wanted to. That extra thickness means that your yoga session feels like a cushy heaven, free of that feeling that your bones are grinding straight into the floor.
  • Manduka has a lifetime guarantee that says if your mat does not meet their quality standards when you receive it, or if your mat wears out from regular use with proper care, then they will replace it free of charge.
What I dont like
  • It’s a little slippery out of the box and needs to be broken in. Even Manduka acknowledges this – they give instructions for scrubbing your mat with salt to take away that initial slipperiness.
  • This mat is a little over $40 more than its competitor, which means that for some people, it will just be out of the budget for yoga products.

Final Verdict:

 

This mat is all-around a great product to use for a lifetime, even though it’s a little on the pricey side.

If you want something that comes with an excellent guarantee and a renowned reputation for quality, then the Manduka mat might be a food fit.

Who should buy this mat?

 

If you’re the sort of person who can’t start their day without yoga, then this might be a great mat for you.

The Manduka Black Mat Pro is made with quality and longevity in mind – for that reason, it’s a good fit for people who are serious about practicing yoga as more than just a hobby or activity to stay in shape.

From the Crowd: Reviews of the Manduka Black Mat Pro

 

Richard Review:

“The quality is great; this is a well-made mat that is designed to last. It holds up well to hot yoga classes if you use a yoga towel on top. Because of this, I do not find it slippery, and after 90 minutes of working up a sweat, I would rather wash a towel than the mat.”

 

Edward Review:

“This mat is pretty big, but that’s because it is thick and firm. I enjoy using it. It is a bit slippery right out of the box, but there are ways to speed up the aging process. I haven’t tried these yet, but I know this mat will only get better with time and if there are any issues I can use its lifetime warranty.”

 

George Review:

“Yes, it’s thick, but it’s supportive and not too cushiony. If you are a large person, this feature is great. Your knees don’t sink into the floor and your balance is improved. The 71″ mat feels just right to my 6-foot frame.”

Click Here To Purchase The Manduka Black Mat Pro On Amazon

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Lululemon The Reversible Mat: The Review

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The second mat we’ll be checking out is Lululemon’s famed “The Mat”, or Lululemon The Reversible Mat.

 

This mat has gained popularity because of it isn’t at all slippery even without a yoga towel and actually seems to have even more grip as you sweat.

 

You can buy it in either 3 millimeters or 5-millimeter thickness, and it’s made of rubber and polyurethane. If you want a mat with a great up-front price for good quality, this might be a great option for you.

Quick Overview

 

The Product: Lululemon’s “The Mat” has been hailed by yoga professionals as one of the best mats ever made, and many swear they will never use another mat. It’s well-known for staying grippy, even in hot yoga conditions.

 

The Company: Lululemon is an athletic apparel and accessory company from Vancouver that was founded in 1998 around women’s yoga wear. Since then, most of their products have been designed with yoga in mind.

What I like
  • The Lululemon mat is extra grippy – just like everyone says. Even as you sweat more, it seems to grip even better, since the mat is made to absorb the sweat instead of having it rest on top.
  • The price – for a good-quality yoga mat from a company like Lululemon, that $68 price tag is a steal. It’s a great investment if you’re just getting started in yoga or if you have been doing yoga for years.
  • The mat comes in either 3 millimeters or 5 millimeters, so you can choose the thickness that will be most comfortable for you. If you find 5 millimeters too cushy without being supportive, you can easily opt for the 3-millimeter version.
  • The mat comes with an antimicrobial additive to prevent mold and fungus from growing, so even though it is absorbing all that sweat, it’s still fairly sanitary.
What I don't like
  • Unlike the Manduka Black Mat Pro, The Mat is a little bit harder to clean (it requires scrubbing with soap and water), and must be dried out after cleaning. Some users may find it a little gross after a while because of its absorbent qualities.
  • It’s a little less durable than the Manduka mat, with many users saying it needed to be replaced after several months of regular use.

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Final Verdict:

 

The Mat lives up to its hype and remains grippy, no matter what style of yoga you practice, but it requires a little more maintenance to extend its life. If you want a good quality product for a great price, the Lululemon mat is a good place to start.

Who should buy this mat?

 

If money is an issue, but you still want something better than a store-brand mat (like mine), the Lululemon mat is an excellent option.

This mat is good for people who practice hot yoga because it absorbs the sweat and remains grippy, unlike the Manduka mat.

 

From the Crowd: Reviews of the Lululemon Reversible Mat

 

Lululemon Website Review:

“I let it air out for one day because it had a faint chemical smell which I was expecting. I took it to my barre class after letting it sit for a day and it was the best barre class I’ve ever had. I didn’t slip once and it was thick enough to protect my hands and knees. It did show a little sweat but nothing that noticeable!”

 

Lululemon Website Review:

“I really liked this mat at first and I love this brand but it stains really bad and will get nicks in the surface very easily. It takes a long time to dry but the texture is great at first.” –

 

Lululemon Website Review:

“I thoroughly love this mat. I use it almost every day and it’s great – it doesn’t move during classes, I don’t slip even during hot yoga or sculpt classes, and it cleans very easily. It doesn’t really feel very “reversible” to me, it sort of seems like the spongy side is meant to go on the bottom and the glossier side on the top, but that might just be me. It definitely gets heavy when I’m toting it around the city, but it’s worth it for the quality.”

So What Should You Buy?

 

The mat you buy should ultimately be based on your yoga habits and style. If you’re a user that does yoga every single day and in many different styles, then the Manduka Black Mat Pro is an excellent investment for a lifetime.

 

However, if you, like me, struggled to get into yoga at first and are looking to buy a quality product for a new or only occasionally hobby, then the Lululemon mat is a good quality product for the price.

 

It won’t last as long as the Manduka, but if you take care of it, it will stick with you through those “let’s give this a shot” hot yoga sessions.As for my preference in the comparison of the Manduka Black Mat Pro vs. Lululemon “The Mat”?

 

I’d say that overall, the mat that I would recommend for yoga fanatics is the Manduka mat, but Lululemon has remained true to its reputation and created a great product in its own right.

 

In fact, for users like myself, the Lululemon mat may be the superior option simply because of the price for the quality. I certainly don’t need the best of the best, but I will settle for what they have to offer, which is pretty darn good.

 

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