Why the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is a Must-Have Mat for Your Yoga Practice

Manduka PRO Yoga & Pilates Mat
  • Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Manufacturer: Manduka
  • Reviewed by:
  • On March 9, 2014
  • Last modified:April 11, 2014

Review Summary:

Durable and provides great padding; it also offers lots of room - great for a yoga practice that calls for a lot of floor work. The yoga mat is also heavy to carry around, and not suitable for a hot yoga practice because of lack of stickiness.


The Manduka PRO Yoga and Pilates Mat is a dense, cushiony mat that…with a nod toward the environment, the manufacturing process of the Manduka PRO is done in such a way that no toxic emissions occur. That means the PRO is not only better for the environment, but it’s also better for users since the mat arrives with no trace of that toxic smell mats can sometimes have.

Manduka is committed to reducing the number of PVC mats sent off to landfills each year, and in addition to their environmental friendly business practices, the Manduka PRO comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. If the PRO mat arrives in what Manduka deems “less than their standard of quality,” they will replace the mat. If the Manduka PRO wears out from regular, normal use, Manduka will replace it. There is a more comprehensive list of the criteria as to what is and is not covered under Manduka’s Lifetime Guarantee on their website.

Features & Specifications (courtesy of Manduka):

  • Zero-waste in manufacturing; Oeko-Tex certified, emissions-free manufacturing
  • Backed by a Lifetime Guarantee
  • Superior wear and longevity
  • Comfortably cushions spine, hips, knees, and elbows on hard floors
  • Slip resistant, yet non-sticky, even when wet from light perspiration
  • Provides stability on hard or soft surfaces
  • Colors: Black, Black Sage (Dark Green), Black Magic (Purple), Black Surf (Royal Blue), Black Bliss (Light Bluish Gray), Black Quest (Light Ocean Blue), Black Grace (Rose on one side, Plum on the other)
  • Weighs 8.5 pounds; 85 by 26 by 1/4 Inch (L x W x D) or
  • Weighs 7 pounds; 71 by 26 by 1/4 inches (L x W x D)

Customer Reviews

Avg. rating: 4.4

As of this date, there are over 625 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 – this is an excellent rating.

Reviews on the Manduka PRO are mostly favorable, with customers willing to overlook the high price tag (expect to spend $90 to $130, depending on the retailer) for the extra cushion and durability this mat provides.

Some users have complained about the mat being slippery. Manduka has provided a “breaking-in” instructions, however, for the amount of money being spent, some users believe the PRO should come ready to use.

Thickness = Comfort

Manduka Pro Yoga Mat Purple

The thickness of the Manduka PRO is equivalent to two mats stacked one on top of the other. The mat is so padded, users won’t be able to feel the floor through it, and there’s no need to double up in order to protect the knee, making this mat great for poses like Camel and Boat.

However, standing and balance poses may take some getting used to because the mat is so padded, and mild cramping may occur initially since the feet grip differently on the extra cushion. Teachers should definitely do a practice run of the class they intend to teach if they don’t want to lose their balance while demonstrating certain poses.

Since there’s extra cushion, this mat is also denser, weighing in at 7 to almost 9 pounds, depending on the length. The Manduka PRO can be a chore to lug around and may be best suited for a home practice. For those who don’t mind the weight, or want to get a little strength training in as they walk to yoga, the Manduka Journey On Commuter Yoga Mat Slingis one great option. For yogis using a bag, the length and increased girth of the mat when it’s rolled will require a different sized bag than that used to hold a standard sized mat.

Another great option is the PROlite Yoga Mat, also from the same company.

Is it Slip-Resistant?

Manduka says the surface texture of the Black Mat PRO improves with use. Some users disagree, in fact, the biggest complaint is the lack of stickiness. Despite Manduka’s claim that the Manduka PRO boasts a “fabric-like surface finish (that) offers superior slip-resistance, even with light perspiration,” users found the opposite to be true. For teachers who don’t spend a lot of time on their mat, this may not be an issue, but for those using their mat on a daily basis, the lack of stickiness could definitely be a problem.

Manduka admits that they manufacture their mats using a film that needs to be washed away prior to first use and that the use of the film is part of their eco-friendly practices. The film makes the mat slippery, and Manduka says it could take months for some people to experience stickiness.

The PRO comes with “breaking in” instructions. Manduka recommends applying a fine coating of coarse sea salt, scrubbing with a stiff brush, and then leaving the mat out to dry in the sun. Despite following these instructions, and even after using the mat daily, for several months, some still had issues with the slipperiness, especially those who sweat a lot or who practice Power Yoga, Hot Vinyasa Flow, or Bikram.

While the top may prove slippery for some, the bottom is a different story. Thanks to Manduka’s own dot-pattern bottom that helps to grip the floor, this mat isn’t going anywhere once it’s put down.

Lots of Room to Practice Yoga Poses

Another great feature about the Manduka PRO is that there’s lots of room to move and flow free. The average yoga mat is 24” wide and 68” long. With an increase in size in both directions, the body always stays on the mat. In that regard, the Manduka PRO is great for people with a very mobile practice.

Others believe that the Manduka PRO may be better suited for Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and any practice that calls for a lot of floor work. No matter the class type, the mat can be a nuisance if put down in a super packed class, given the extra length and width. People hovering around 6’ may want to consider the 85” mat even though the longer length is recommended for people 6’ and above.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Manduka PRO is a great mat with a lot of great qualities. It’s durable, cushiony without being mushy, and big enough to Downdog, Flip Your Dog, practice jump-throughs and jump into Crow pose without ever running out of mat space. For those who sweat a lot or favor the hotter practices, this mat may not be the best pick. For teachers looking for a mat to improve their already rockin’ home practice, the Manduka PRO may be the perfect fit.

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
  • Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Manufacturer: Manduka
  • Reviewed by:
  • On March 9, 2014
  • Last modified:April 11, 2014

Review Summary:

Durable and provides great padding; it also offers lots of room - great for a yoga practice that calls for a lot of floor work. The yoga mat is also heavy to carry around, and not suitable for a hot yoga practice because of lack of stickiness.

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