I've been using this $68 yoga mat for the past 5 years and it's still my favourite for home workouts

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor

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First as a thrifty student, then as a frugal freelancer, for years I’ve sworn by at-home workouts to not only stay fit, but to save money too. Over the past couple of years I have branched out into more boutique classes and the occasional gym session now that I can afford them, but my preference has always been a quick and easy sweat session from the comfort of my own home.

Now that home workouts have become a necessity rather than just a money-saving technique, I’ve been breaking out my trusted Lululemon yoga mat that I first bought back in 2016 more than ever. 

What is it?

The Reversible Mat 5mm is Lululemon’s classic cushioned yoga mat that’s made from a combination of antimicrobial polyurethane and natural rubber. I bought it specifically for the extra padding, since my wrists can sometimes be a little sensitive, and I’m always working out on hardwood flooring.

Ideal for my go-tos like yoga and pilates, it’s also great for sweatier workouts like cardio sessions and HIIT. One side of the mat is designed to absorb moisture and help you better grip during sweaty practices, while the other side offers extra cushioning and texture to keep you feeling comfortable and secure.

Keeping the mat clean is super easy, and only requires a quick wipe down with a damp cloth, or a spritz of yoga mat cleaner if you’re feeling fancy. Aside from a few scratches on my mat (I don’t miss those puppy training days), it’s completely held up over the years that I’ve been using it and is in as good shape as the day that I bought it.

The Reversible Mat 5mm in Black. Image via Lululemon.

SHOP IT: Lululemon, $68

What others are saying

According to the Lululemon website, the Reversible Mat 5mm has gotten mixed results. It’s currently received more than 1,800 reviews and a 3.4 star rating, with around half of them coming from five-star reviews. 

“Best yoga mat I’ve had, stays stuck to the ground no matter what move you are doing and with great foot grip,” reads one review. “100% worth the investment for a quality product.”

“I practice vinyasa daily and I needed something with great grip and cushion - this is it!” reads another. “Amazing grip, no weird smell when opening it (I read there may be) and it's a lot thicker than my 5mm mat I previously had (not Lululemon brand) and to add the price is VERY fair.”

The Reversible Mat 5mm in Deep Marine/Utility Blue. Image via Lululemon.

Of the poor reviews that it has received, some shoppers complained of staining after just a few uses, although the brand warns that this may occur. In order to minimize staining, they recommend  that after every practice, you wipe the mat clean with damp cloth and air dry before rolling and storing out of direct sunlight. While I’ve never personally experienced this issue as my mat is black, it’s possible that without proper cleaning and storage away from sunlight, this could become an issue on lighter colours.

The brand also warns in the product description that upon purchase the mat may have a slight rubber smell that should dissipate over time. 

As one reviewer put it, “The smell is very strong but it does slowly start to fade away over time. There are no problems with stains because I just wipe with a damp cloth, allow it to dry and it’s good to go.”

The final verdict

In my experience, the $68 I paid for my Reversible Mat 5mm mat was definitely with the initial investment, especially since it’s a piece of equipment that I use almost every day. While there was a definite rubber smell at first and some scratches that accumulated over time, I’m willing to overlook these superficial issues.

Compared to other less expensive yoga mats that I’ve tried in the past, this is the only one that didn’t begin falling apart after a year or so. It’s also stayed plush, rather than flattening after years of use, so here’s hoping that I’ve got another five years of use to go. 

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