Many yogis and instructors prefer cork yoga mats over traditional rubber or foam mats. They’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, durable, and provide excellent traction.
However, you’ll sometimes hear yogis say they prefer to use a towel. So the question is – do cork yoga mats need a towel?
In this article, we’ll cover the grip, durability and cushioning factors you’ll want to consider – when it comes to using a towel on a cork yoga mat. Let’s dive in!
Do cork yoga mats need a towel?
Most yogis & instructors say you don’t need a towel for a cork yoga mat. You might hear some yogis talk about using a towel to improve traction, durability and cushioning. However, this is only true for cheap & low quality cork yoga mats though.
Will I have enough grip without a towel?
Yes – the majority of yogis love cork’s grip and traction. We discuss more about wet and dry conditions in our article “Do Cork Yoga Mats Have Good Grip?” – in case you’re wondering if there’s a difference between having dry hands vs. sweaty hands.
Now, unlike traditional mats made of PVC or latex… cork mats have a strong natural grip that helps to prevent slipping – even while sweating or performing tough poses.
Beyond that, cork is a sustainable and eco-friendly material (which is also naturally anti-microbial). This makes cork yoga mats the perfect choice for yogis who are looking for a mat that will provide a tremendous grip and support during their practice.
We always recommend checking online reviews. Most users say cork yoga mats have pros and cons.
Do cork yoga mats have enough cushioning?
It’s important to know – cork yoga mats are made of cork on the top layer. Underneath, the mat is typically made of foam, TPE, rubber or other kinds of soft materials. Rarely will you find 100% cork yoga mats, since most users find them far too rigid and uncomfortable.
What size thickness should I get?
It’s important to have a comfortable yoga mat, especially if you are new to the practice. As long as your cork yoga mat is at least 4-5mm, you’ll have plenty of cushioning and support your knees comfortably. This will help to absorb impact and protect your joints.
However, you should avoid cork mats that are only 2-3mm thick – they don’t provide enough cushioning and your knees can start to hurt. (This is especially true if you’re on hard surfaces, like dense flooring or concrete). If you have sensitive knees from a past injury or special condition, you might want to look for 6-10mm thickness.
Do towels extend the lifespan of a cork yoga mat?
Cork yoga mats are a popular choice among yogis due to their natural stickiness and durability. They can be prone to wear and tear, but cork yoga mats typically last 1-2 years (while the average non-cork mat only lasts 6-12 months).
That being said, you can certainly increase the lifespan of your cork mat by using a towel (which is true for every type of yoga mat, of course). Towels can help absorb sweat and protect the mat from rubbing & friction – while provide an extra layer of cushioning, which can help prevent damage from impact.
Are towels annoying to use on a yoga mat?
Many yogis say using a towel can be frustrating to keep in place:
- The fabric slides around, getting bunched up under your hands and feet.
- The edges curl up, making it difficult to keep your balance.
- When you sweat, the towel quickly becomes damp and slippery.
In short, towels can be a major pain to use during yoga. They’re simply not designed for the kind of dynamic movements that yoga requires. This is why many yogis prefer to use their cork yoga mat without a towel – you can always try testing it yourself. Some people are fine with towels, some people hate them. You might want to consider using other cork yoga props and accessories instead of towels.
What about cork yoga mats for hot yoga? Do I need a towel?
Nope – cork yoga mats are perfect for hot yoga. The cork activates with moisture on contact (similar to licking your finger to grip a piece of paper). While most yoga mats get slippery with sweat, cork does the opposite. Unless you prefer a towel, you generally don’t need one.
Final thoughts on using a towel with a cork yoga mat
Cork yoga mats are great – you can practice almost anywhere with them, including at home or in a studio. When it comes to using a towel, you most likely won’t need one – but we recommend doing what works best for you! Remember, you don’t need a special towel. Try using any towel you have at home.
By themselves, high-quality cork yoga mats offer the perfect combination of grip, support and durability. They’re light enough to carry with you on your travels – and with a comfortable yoga mat, you can enjoy all the benefits of this mind-calming practice.