Yoga is a great way to relax, de-stress and stretch – but if your mat isn’t comfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your practice.
A lot of people have trouble deciding on their next yoga mat purchase… because they think they need an expensive $120+ dollar mat with a lot of high-quality support and padding.
So the question is – do cork yoga mats offer great cushioning and traction, so you don’t have to worry about slipping, sliding, or soreness due to discomfort? Do they offer the support you need for a perfect yoga routine? Let’s dive in and answer this!
Are cork yoga mats comfortable to practice on?
Yes, most cork yoga mats are a naturally soft and comfortable (with cushioning underneath) – making it ideal for yoga poses that require kneeling or bending your wrists. It also has excellent grip, even with moisture (which helps to prevent slipping during tough poses or hot yoga).
Are some cork mats rough, hard or unsupportive? (AVOID!)
Yes – you should stay away from cork yoga mats that are 3mm thick or under. These will be very uncomfortable in many cases. You should also check reviews and make sure customers found it comfortable too – depending on the specific brand and model.
Beyond that, you might want to watch for cork yoga mats that “curl” too much on the ends – making it hard to lay flat and remain distraction-free. This is a common complaint among reviewers. You can find a comfortable cork yoga mat here.
What is the cork texture like?
Cork yoga mats have a soft, smooth texture that doesn’t hurt in any kind of way. If you haven’t already, you might want to decide “Are Cork Yoga Mats Worth It? Pros & Cons” before making a decision on this type of mat.
Different cork styles and brands can slightly vary depending on the grain (you might want to zoom-in to the images before you purchase, if you’re curious) but most yogis and instructors don’t have a strong preference on the EXACT texture and grain – they all feel comfortable.
Best thickness and cushioning for comfort
The thickness and cushioning matters A LOT for a comfortable experience. There are multiple factors you’ll want to consider – let’s break them down here:
For normal knees
A 4mm thick cork yoga mat is a great option for both beginners and experienced yogis alike. The cork material is firm but also has some give, so it’s comfortable to practice on. Plus, the TPE or rubber bottom layer offers plenty of cushioning. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing yoga for years, a 4mm cork yoga mat is a great choice.
For sensitive knees
If you have sensitive knees, you know that finding the right yoga mat can be a challenge. Too thin and your knees will hurt when you press them into the mat; too thick and you won’t be able to feel the ground – making it difficult to balance. That’s why you need a 6-10mm thick cork yoga mat.
This will provide enough padding to protect your knees – while the 6-10mm thickness ensures that you still feel connected to the ground. If you’re worried about the weight and bulkiness, stick with a lightweight TPE cork yoga mat. This will set you up perfectly.
For hard floors and concrete
If you’ve ever done yoga on a hard floor… you know that it can be quite uncomfortable. You can end up with bruised knees and aching wrists. Not to mention, it’s just plain difficult to balance when you don’t have any padding. That’s why a good cork yoga mat is essential. It provides cushioning and helps to absorb impact.
The good news is… the same recommendations we made above apply here too. You don’t have to buy a thicker mat for hard surfaces – healthy knees can still use 4mm and sensitive knees can still use 6-10mm.
Same here – cork yoga mats work just fine on carpeting. Users don’t report bad experiences, even with thick carpets.
Cork is naturally antimicrobial and resistant to mold and mildew, so it’s ideal for use on carpets. In addition, cork is naturally repellent, so it can help to keep both the mat and carpet clean and dry.
Since cork is also softer than most hardwood floors, it can help to reduce noise and provide a cushioned surface for your yoga practice. So if you’re looking for a yoga mat that will protect your carpet from wear and tear, cork is a great option.
Are cork yoga mats comfortable for hot yoga?
As it turns out, cork’s grip improves with added moisture and sweat – which means it’s (arguably) the #1 option for hot yoga. We talk about this more in our article “Are Cork Yoga Mats Good for Hot Yoga?”
They’re also light and portable, making them easy to transport to and from class. Overall, cork yoga mats have a lot to offer yogis of all levels.
How to fix an uncomfortable cork yoga mat
Use a towel
Over time, even the best yoga mats can become worn down and uncomfortable. When this happens, many people simply replace their mat with a new one.
However, there is another option: using a towel. You might be wondering – do cork yoga mats need a towel?
A towel can provide the same level of comfort and support as a yoga mat, and it is often more economical. Towels are lighter and more portable than mats, making them ideal for traveling yogis. So if your cork yoga mat starts to show signs of wear (or losing grip), don’t despair – a towel may be the perfect solution.
Uncurl your cork mat
If you’re dealing with the annoying “curling” on the ends of a cork mat, the best option is to lay a flat object over the curls and let it straighten out over a few hours. You might be able to accelerate the “flattening” by exposing the curled-up part under lukewarm water for a few seconds (before laying it flat).
Final thoughts on soft, supportive, comfortable cork yoga mats!
Cork yoga mats are extremely popular among yoga enthusiasts for good reason. Cork is a naturally soft and spongy material, making it ideal for practicing yoga. It’s also very supportive, helping to prevent soreness and injuries.
Cork yoga mats also have excellent grip, making them perfect for hot yoga or other sweaty practices. They are also safe and environmentally friendly yoga mats, as cork is a sustainable material. Overall, cork yoga mats offer everything you could want in a mat, making them an excellent choice for any yogi.