How to choose a yoga mat: open cell vs closed cell

When choosing a yoga mat, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is knowing the difference between open cell versus closed cell. With a hot, sweaty practice like Bikram, open-cell mats provide more traction and absorb sweat better than smoother closed-cell mats. But that absorption characteristic can also trap odors, germs, bacteria, and other unwelcome things. 

Closed-cell mats, on the other hand, are sometimes thought of as more slick making them more suitable for a gentler practice where one does not sweat much. But because they are water resistant and more hygienic than open-cell mats, they may be a better bet for a practice like Bikram. The slicker surface can be easily remedied by using a towel on top. Closed-cell mats also last longer than open-cell mats ultimately making them a better bet all around. 

The studio sells Kulae brand mats made from an eco-friendly material called thermo-plastic elastomer or TPE. It’s a recyclable material free of PVC, latex, rubber, etc. and it is nonporous, closed repelling those unwelcome “things” like odors, bacteria, fungi, etc. They are uber-durable, lightweight, and easy to clean. The brand’s meaning translates to community and their mission is to help bring communities together through yoga and good karma, helping to maintain healthy people on a healthy planet. So along with being more hygienic, they are environmentally friendly another important factor to consider when choosing a mat.