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Manduka eKO Review

A yoga mat that walks the comfort and support line perfectly, with great dry grip for less a sweaty practice
manduka eko yoga mat review
Credit: Manduka
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $95 List | $89.03 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great traction when dry, no break-in period, perfect comfort-stability combo, good for hard and soft ground, textured for added grip, cleans easily
Cons:  A little heavy, creases easily, slippery when wet
Manufacturer:   Manduka
By Bo Outland & Cam McKenzie Ring & Hayley Thomas  ⋅  Nov 10, 2022
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83
SCORE

RANK
#3
of 14
  • Comfort and Support - 35% 10.0
  • Grip - 30% 7.0
  • Materials - 20% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a yoga mat that is firm enough for vinyasa but soft enough for Yin, the Manduka eKO is a great choice from our best yoga mat review. The dry grip is wonderful right out of the box, but the closed-cell construction causes moisture to sit atop the mat, which is great for cleaning but can make sweaty practices slippery. The weight can be a little cumbersome to trek around with, but it rolls up easily and lays flat, so you don't have to worry about the corners rolling up during your practice. If you're looking for a versatile yoga mat with the perfect combination of support and comfort, the Manduka eKO is sure to check all your boxes.

Compare Similar Products

 
manduka eko yoga mat review
This Product
Manduka eKO
Awards Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $89.03 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$99 List$70 List
$69.95 at Amazon
$96 List
$96.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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79
Bottom Line A yoga mat that walks the comfort and support line perfectly, with great dry grip for less a sweaty practiceA yoga mat featuring a grid for alignment, perfect for a new or experienced yogi looking to improve their yogaA yoga mat-micro fiber towel combination perfect for heavy sweaters who love hot yogaA non-slip rubber yoga mat with unmatched grip right out of the box, dry or wet
Rating Categories Manduka eKO GuruGrid Eco-Friend... Aurorae Synergy B Yoga B Mat Everyday
Comfort and Support (35%)
10.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Grip (30%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Materials (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Manduka eKO GuruGrid Eco-Friend... Aurorae Synergy B Yoga B Mat Everyday
Materials Natural rubber Polyurethane, rubber PER bottom and microfiber top 100% rubber
Measured Weight 5.9 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.6 lbs 4.1 lbs
Thickness 5mm 3.5mm 5mm 4mm
Length 71 72 72 71
Width 24 24 24 26

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Manduka eKO is a 5mm mat made from biodegradable non-Amazon harvested rubber. The standard size of this mat is 71 inches long by 26 inches wide, and it also comes in a 79-inch extended version. This is a two-layer rubber mat — the bottom layer is the typical open-cell construction, and the top layer is a closed-cell one for increased durability, impermeability, and ease of cleaning.

Performance Comparison


manduka eko yoga mat review - the eko offers the perfect combination of comfort and support.
The eKO offers the perfect combination of comfort and support.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Comfort and Support


The Manduka eKO shines very brightly in this department. More often than not, yoga mats will sacrifice comfort for support, or the other way around, but the eKO proudly provides both. The 5mm thickness is not too squishy underfoot but offers enough give for your boney bits, and the heaviness of the mat makes it stay in place when moving around during your practice.


Lighter mats tend to shift underfoot, particularly when making dynamic movements like jumping from Downward Facing Dog to standing. Not so with this mat — it stays in place all the time, instilling confidence through security while practicing challenging vulnerable arm balances and inversions.

manduka eko yoga mat review - this mat stays put no matter what kind of yoga you're practicing.
This mat stays put no matter what kind of yoga you're practicing.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Whether you are lying in Shavasana, upside down in a forearm stand, or moving slowly between asanas in your favorite Yin class, the Manduka eKO has you covered with support and comfort.

manduka eko yoga mat review - there's nothing like a comfortable mat for some meditative shavasana.
There's nothing like a comfortable mat for some meditative Shavasana.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Grip


The Manduka eKO provides incredible dry grip the first time you use it however, it suffers significantly in the presence of moisture.


The rubber on the Manduka eKO has a slightly tacky feel to it, and when you set your hands and set your feet and raise your rear to the sky in Downward Facing Dog, everything stays where it's supposed to stay. It is also ever so slightly textured which helps with the dry traction. Manduka states that this mat was developed over four years by seasoned yoga teachers, and it shows, as they better than anyone know how important traction is for safe and enjoyable practice.

Whether you practice in a heated room or not, most people perspire at least a little during their practice. Where and how much varies from person to person, but for those of us to have sweaty palms, wet grip is very important.

manduka eko yoga mat review - here you can see how the water beads and pools on the eko mat.
Here you can see how the water beads and pools on the eKO mat.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Some of the mats in our test suite perform better with moisture. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the eKO. The texture helps a little, but it's best to use a microfiber towel with your eKO mat if you plan to use it in heated rooms.

manduka eko yoga mat review - a quick wipe down when moisture is present helps keep your mat...
A quick wipe down when moisture is present helps keep your mat grippy during sweaty practices.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Materials


The eKO, as its name suggests, is sustainably made from the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. This natural rubber is a renewable resource, harvested responsibly from rubber tree farms. These farmed rubber trees regenerate and produce material for 30 to 35 years. This rubber is quite durable.


The closed-cell construction prevents moisture from penetrating the mat. This means that next to no sweat is absorbed, and any dirt can be easily wiped away with a gentle cleaner or a clean damp rag. The only wear we noticed during our testing is a small amount of fraying of the texture found on the top layer of the mat. It is somewhat inconsequential and doesn't affect the grip much, but we suggest using a mat bag as most of these blemishes occur during transportation.

One thing to keep in mind is that, like all other rubber mats, you should not leave this one in direct sunlight or a hot car for prolonged periods, as it will cause the material to break down.

manduka eko yoga mat review - the eko is pretty easy to transport as it rolls up nicely.
The eKO is pretty easy to transport as it rolls up nicely.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Ease of Use


One of the bonuses to having a closed-cell construction top layer is that it is easy to clean. While the grip and texture attract lint, dirt, and animal hair like moths to a flame, wiping the mat with a wet towel does the trick. I also take zero time to dry because it's not absorbent. Manduka recommends cleaning this mat with a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. They also advise against soaking this mat in a tub or putting it in a washing machine.


The eKO weighs 5.9 pounds, making it one of the heavier mats in our test suite. While it rolls up easily and fits nicely in a mat bag, the extra weight can feel a little cumbersome if you plan to walk long distances or bike to your yoga studio. The weight does offer some pros, like laying flat on the ground, durability, and firm support. So while this is a heavier mat, you are getting a lot out of the extra pound or two.

If you're taller than around 5'9, you'll probably want to order the long version of this mat (79") so that you are not constantly hanging off the edges. The longer version is slightly more expensive, but still a great price for the performance.

manduka eko yoga mat review - a heavier mat rolls out flat, which makes your practice much more...
A heavier mat rolls out flat, which makes your practice much more pleasant.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Should You Buy the Manduka eKO


This mat is not inexpensive, but if we compare the price to its performance, it is well worth the money. It falls in between the most expensive mats on the market and the mid-priced ones. Whether or not the eKO is worth the money depends on what you plan to use it for. If you're looking for the ultimate hot yoga mat, keep moving because the wet grip is not what makes this mat desirable. However, if you're looking for a firm mat that will not leave your sensitive knees feeling bruised after every practice, it is well worth the money.

What Other Yoga Mats Should You Consider?


Speaking of the ultimate hot yoga mat, the Yoloha Unity Cork actually performs better in the presence of moisture. It requires a decent break-in period, so if you're looking for a great grip out of the box, you might want to check out the Lululemon The Reversible Mat, whose grip barely changes when wet and requires minimal break-in. The Aurorae Synergy has an incredible wet grip, but you may find yourself sliding around when there is no moisture present.

Bo Outland & Cam McKenzie Ring & Hayley Thomas

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