Manduka PRO yoga mat review: luxurious, eco-conscious but could have better grip

A luxurious top-end yoga mat that's almost perfect, apart from its grip... here's T3's Manduka PRO yoga mat review

Manduka PRO yoga mat review
(Image credit: Kat Bayly / T3)
T3 Verdict

The Manduka PRO mat is one of the better yoga mats you can buy today. The eco-friendly mat offers comfortable padding for a luxurious feel and great support, although its grip could definitely be better.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Padded comfort

  • +

    Eco-friendly materials

  • +

    Generous width and weight

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Falters on grip

  • -

    Extremely slippy

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Most of the best yoga mats are now made from similar materials, are environmentally friendly and all claim to be super grippy and sufficiently padded. It gets harder to distinguish a good mat from an 'OK' mat from description alone so I tested the Manduka PRO yoga mat to give you the lowdown on whether the eco-friendly mat actually lives up to its grippy promises.

Manduka PRO yoga mat review: price

The Manduka PRO yoga mat is £134 and available to buy at Manduka and Yogamatters. It's not the cheapest option on the market, but it's also not the most expensive, either. It comes in 13 different colours, including blue which I tried for this review. It also comes in both a standard size (180cm x 66cm) or extra long version (216cm x 66cm).

Manduka PRO yoga mat review: design

The Manduka PRO yoga mat has a simple design which allows you to not feel too conspicuous when practicing. There are no fancy patterns or bold shapes with this mat, only a very faint stripe pattern which is all one colour and barely visible, unless you’re close up. 

For those who are environmentally conscious, the Manduka PRO mat will tick that box for you. Made mindfully, this yoga mat is made from certified OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 PVC which means the product has been rated as being harmless to human health. Manduka also ensure this mat is manufactured in an emissions-free facility, although the facility is in Germany so for those really eco-conscious consumers, if you’re buying this mat from anywhere but Germany, some harm is still being caused to the environment through transportation.

Of course, we have no way of testing if it does last a lifetime (and who is specifying what a ‘lifetime’ is?) but it does feel like a robust mat with a top layer that isn’t going to crumble away over time. The top layer is smooth, reasonably grippy and doesn’t mark easily, which is especially good when you have a slightly greasy forehead from a sweaty practice. One final notch to this yoga mat’s eco belt is that it is vegan friendly so you also know no harm has been caused to other living beings in the process of making it.

A thoughtful addition is the dot pattern on the bottom of the mat, to add extra grip. There's nothing worse than having your yoga mat slide around beneath you during a flowing practice to disturb your concentration, so the fact this has been thought of shows the creators understand how to make a reliable yoga mat, paying attention to the small details.

On rolling out the mat for the first time, it flattened completely with no curling edges. It’s quite a heavy mat at 3.4kg for the standard size and 4.3kg for the extra long version, with other yoga mats weighing around 1.5kg. This added weight perhaps helps this mat to lie flat perfectly for every practice. Although it unrolls with ease, it did have a strong smell to begin with but this is normal for yoga mats and tends to ease with time.

Manduka PRO yoga mat review

(Image credit: Kat Bayly / T3)

Manduka PRO yoga mat review: Performance and grip

I love the padding this mat offers, measuring at 6mm thick. I practice on a hard floor which, depending on the mat I use, can mean my knees are a little more sensitive than if I practiced on carpet. With this mat, I didn’t notice once that there was a hard floor beneath me.

The cushioning is fantastic and probably one of the best I’ve tried in terms of support. Furthermore, the dotted pattern underneath held the mat firmly in place while I was practicing. Yoga mats generally hold quite well on hard floors, sometimes there is a little movement, but with the Manduka PRO mat it was like it was glued to the floor. This allowed me some really solid practices with no distractions or concerns that I’d need to stop mid flow and readjust my mat. This was a relief and one that I think is underestimated when you’re trying to be in the moment.#

One thing I haven’t tried is a practice on this mat on carpet. I’m not convinced the dots would grip as much but I think this is something no yoga mat manufacturer has figured out yet.

Manduka PRO yoga mat review

(Image credit: Kat Bayly / T3)

Although the Manduka PRO yoga mat claims its fabric-like surface offers superb grip, I didn’t find this with the practices I did. I found this mat to be slippy, especially in a downward dog, and this wasn’t due to clammy hands. I often practice downward dog towards the start of a practice meaning I’m not hot or sweaty yet and my hands are dry. The slipping was frustrating and it didn’t seem to matter where I placed my hands, they still slid.

However, before completely writing this mat off, it’s important to note that Manduka do state the grip improves with time. The more you use this mat, the better the grip becomes. No timeline is given by Manduka so there’s no real way of knowing if this is true unless you keep practicing. It could take 10 practices or 1000…no-one knows. Saying this, Manduka do offer a hack to speed this process up. They suggest you sprinkle the mat with sea salt and leave it on there for 24 hours. After this time, use a damp cloth to remove the salt. You can repeat this process if needed.

The last thing that gets a thumbs up from me is this mat’s width. Measuring at 66cm wide, it offers ample space to spread out during your practice without the fear of a body part touching the cold floor unexpectedly (there is nothing worse!) This isn’t a deal breaker but it is nice having a wider than average yoga mat offering extra space, if needed.

Manduka PRO yoga mat review

(Image credit: Kat Bayly / T3)

Manduka PRO yoga mat review: verdict

The Manduka PRO mat is one of the better mats available. Its highlights include its padding for comfort and the hefty weight which gives you the feeling of practicing on a luxurious, supportive mat. It also means you have a completely flat mat from day one which is a blessing as you’re not left fighting with curling edges in your downward dog. The width is fabulous for stretching that bit further and the dotted back ensures the mat stays put.

The only thing that lets it down is the grip. Perhaps in time this will improve but after a couple of weeks practice, my hands were still sliding quite a lot so sadly, this brings it down to a 3 out of 5.

Kat has 10 years of yoga teaching experience with further training in supporting injured students. She is qualified to teach Yin Yoga, Hormone Yoga Therapy and more traditional forms of Hatha yoga. She also has a certificate as a Yoga Therapy Practitioner.