Sick and TIRED of slippery yoga mats? Good news – by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to reduce (or completely remove) slipping on a yoga mat – even if you have sweaty hands.
Because here’s the thing… even a small problem with your mat can RUIN your form and practice. After all, yoga is about removing distractions. That’s why it’s important to use high quality yoga essentials early on.
And one of the most annoying distractions? Dreadful, slippery yoga mats – although in this blog post, we’ll show you exactly how cork yoga mats help you:
- Increase friction with sweat
- Maintain grip & stickiness to the mat
- Fully avoid sliding (due to cork’s unique Suberin layer – which works like a charm)
Because slippery yoga mats are never fun to deal with – especially when its packaging reads “non-slip” and makes a promise to improve your grip (only to waste your money and leave you disappointed).
And as it turns out… certain non-slip yoga mat materials are MUCH grippier than others – especially cork yoga mats.
Below, we’ll explain why this is, and which other materials reduce slipping too. After that, we’ll cover a few methods for improving grip on a slippery yoga mat (which can make small improvements to your current mat).
Best Non-Slip Material for Yoga Mats
Yoga mats are made from many different kinds of materials – some of which are “stickier” and provide better grip than others. Among the most common materials found in yoga mats are PVC (vinyl), jute, cotton, and organic cork. To avoid buying a slippery yoga mat, cork is your best option.
Cork yoga mats offer flawless grip, due to their unique texture, friction & sponginess. The reason these qualities make cork grippy is because:
- They counteract the pressure you apply to the mat when holding a pose. As you push your hand onto a solid, flat surface, it will tend to slide (or slip) along that surface the harder you press.
- The high-friction cork perfectly catches your hand, preventing it from slipping as you support your bodyweight.
- The texture of cork also prevents slipping, but in a different way. It allows your hand to press into the cork, creating a slight indentation. The walls of that indentation help to lock your hands in place as you apply greater pressure.
These are the benefits of dry cork in a yoga mat… but what’s most impressive about cork? It becomes even easier to grip as it comes in contact with sweat & moisture – making it the perfect non-slip material.
In the middle of a session, when you’re sweating onto your mat, the cork “Suberin” material provides a surprising advantage over other yoga mats:
- Its stickiness increases as moisture is added – allowing you to hold difficult poses even towards the end of a full yoga session.
- A similar effect can be found in paper, which becomes easier to grip (or flip through) when you apply moisture by licking your finger or thumb.
- If you want… you can even “prime” cork at the start of a session by spraying it with some water to increase its friction.
Finding a non-slip mat is a little more complicated than it may seem. While manufacturers may claim to produce non-slip mats, the quality of their construction often won’t live up to their promise.
That’s why it’s important to not only to seek out mats with non-slip materials, but also a trustworthy yoga mat shop.
How to Make A Yoga Mat Less Slippery
If you bought a slippery yoga mat and you’re unable to replace it with a stickier cork-based mat… there are a few methods to make your current yoga mat easier to grip. The strategy here… is to wear your mat down a bit (to help add some texture).
Train on One Side of Your Mat
Oftentimes, the more you practice after you buy a yoga mat, the less slippery it will become thanks to wear and tear. You can accelerate wear and tear by using one side of your mat exclusively every time you train, rather than flipping between both sides.
We recommend marking the side you want to wear down with a small piece of tape, so that you don’t mix up the sides early on. After about 10-14 days of using your yoga mat consistently, you should begin to notice an increase in grip.
Thoroughly Wash Your Mat
By carefully washing your slippery yoga mat, you can accentuate its natural texture without damaging the materials.
Most yoga mat materials are safe to put in the washing machine, so long as you don’t add soap, don’t run it on a spin cycle, and let the mat dry by air (this may take a few days).
- If your mat is not machine-washable, try washing it with an organic surface cleaner and let it air dry after.
- Avoid highly acidic cleaners if possible.
- Consensus about the safety of using such products as apple cider vinegar to clean your mat has been mixed at best. Therefore, we’d advise against it.
A natural alternative to chemical cleaners may be sea salt. Apparently, you can add texture to your slippery yoga mat by rubbing it down with sea salt until it is thoroughly coated.
Then, let the salt sit on your mat for 24 hours, and rinse it with water. You can then store it in a yoga carrier tote bag after it’s dry.
Use a Towel
There are a couple of ways in which a towel comes in handy when dealing with a slippery yoga mat.
- First, you can use it to mop up sweat, and second, you can lay it on top of your mat for added texture.
- Sweat can make a yoga mat more slippery if the materials aren’t as absorbent as, say, cork.
- So, if you sweat a lot, you’ll definitely want to keep a towel nearby.
- Use it to remove sweat in-between poses – or lay it over top of your mat before training.
If you opt for the latter, make sure the towel is pulled tightly around your mat (so that it doesn’t slide across the mat’s surface).
If a regular cotton towel isn’t absorbent enough, or you find that it increases slipping, try placing a quick-drying microfiber towel over your mat instead.
Final Thoughts on Slippery Yoga Mats
A slippery yoga mat won’t just annoy you, it can ruin your entire practice.
To enjoy the benefits of yoga, it’s essential that you use a proper non-slip yoga mat. Cork mats are the most sticky, and therefore provide the best grip, even after adding moisture. If you’re hesitant to buy one from any old company, check out these yoga gear and equipment reviews to make sure you’re getting the best yoga accessories.
If you, like many others, trust us to deliver you the highest quality cork yoga products on the market, check out these cork yoga blocks and cork yoga bags. They’re the perfect props and tools to helps your flow!