on October 20, 2011
THE GOOD: Performance! I'm a vinyasa teacher and I teach 10+ classes a week and also keep up a vigorous personal practice, so I need a mat that can really perform. I work with a lot of jump-throughs, arm balances and other precarious poses requiring serious grip of my mat, and I just love how secure and confident I feel on the Jade Harmony. It's nice to be able to do things like jumping into bakasana from down dog without worrying if your hands are going to slide out from under you! I have to get insanely sweaty to feel even the slightest hint of slipperiness. I know some people complain about slipping when it gets really sweaty, but if you know of any surface in the world that does not become slippery when soaking wet, make a yoga mat out of it and get rich, baby! Until that day, this is hella-grippy and if I know I'm going to be sweating buckets I just bring a hand towel, duh.
THE REALLY GOOD: Jade is a great company and you can feel good about spending your hard-earned money on their product. By now you've read about how they plant a tree for every mat they sell, how the mats are made in the US (hooray for US jobs!) and that they are completely biodegradable (hooray earth!).
THE FINE PRINT: First, you must never, ever leave this mat exposed to direct sunlight. Put it in the trunk of your car, covered. Use an old junky mat for outdoor practice (or just touch the actual earth for once... dirt is cool!). Sunlight will RUIN the stickiness of a Jade mat. It does say this on the label and the website, but I forgot and left my first one in the backseat of my car and the part that was exposed totally dried. I've seen other people ruin theirs too so don't do it! Second, this mat is made from natural rubber and is biodegradable which means it will BIODEGRADE! How long yours will hold up depends on how hard you work it and for how many days a week. With my teaching/practice schedule (see above), I get about a year out of one of these (I've had three). Eventually I wear grooves in the places where my hands and feet go in down dog and then little bits of rubber start coming off. At that point, I accept that my mat's time has come and treat myself to a new one.
If you want a forever mat, get the Manduka Black Mat Pro. It will never break down, but you will need a towel if you're super sweaty. Also, it's extremely heavy.
The Jade mat is made with open-cell rubber, which is why it's so grippy. Other eco-mats are closed-cell, so while you may have a more environmentally friendly mat, you'll be slipping more. Some people worry about the cleanliness factor of the open-cell construction.... In my experience a quick wipe-down after class using a spray bottle of water with a few drops of tea tree oil is fine for daily maintenance, and once a month or so you can submerge it in your bathtub with a splash of vinegar and then hang (not in the sun!) to dry. Try rolling it up in a big towel and stepping on it to get the initial water load out... it will dry faster.
on July 4, 2006
I enjoyed using this Jade mat for the past 10 months or so. My only real gripe is that it wore out so quickly. To be fair, though, it didn't last any longer or shorter than my previous mats. But for the price, I had hoped that I could get more than a year of use out of it.
The mat is heavier and thicker than most mats. It is also, at least initially, perhaps a little less sticky than some of the other mats I've used. Once in a while I did have some trouble slipping on the mat during my practice, but this was due to sweat, and I doubt any other mat would perform better in this respect.
For the money, I would probably go for a Manduka mat. That's what I've switched to, and I have no complaints. The benefit of a Jade mat, however, is that it is more ecologically friendly since it is, I believe, constructed entirely out of biodegradable material, which is something you can't say for most mats, including the Manduka.
on March 27, 2014
I'm uploading some images of my mat because I couldn't really find the close up images I needed when I was researching mats.
I wanted one that was happy and bright, but I really couldn't tell what the saffron was going to turn out like. I would describe it as school bus yellow. Somewhere in between yellow and orange. I love it because it isn't obnoxious or cheap looking, but it's still a happy color.
The main reason I got this mat was because I wanted the GRIPPIEST one out there. My Jade mat has completely changed yoga for me. I liked it before, but now I LOVE it. I'm a beginner, so I sweat and slip a lot. I don't with this! It's like magic. It doesn't feel like your normal mats. It feels like a slightly squishy rubber: not smooth plastic. It's not rough by any means, but it is textured (see close up pictures in product images). This mat is so grippy I cannot pull it across the floor with my toes like I used to with my old one. No scooting around on the Jade mat. I can stay in down dog forever with no slipping! Down dog is actually a resting pose now. Never thought that would happen. :)
The grippiness and reviews had me worried about dirt and dust. It's turned out not to be a big deal at all. Yeah, sometimes there are specks and stuff on it, but I just wipe it off. No biggie. If you accidentally step on it with a shoe, you'll get a shoe mark. Just use a wet rag and it wipes right off. I've only been using it for a month, but it's still as clean as a new one. I just wipe it down with water about once a week. To help keep stuff off the side you use, loosely fold the mat in half (without creasing) and then roll up. That keeps the top from touching the bottom that's on the floor.
Don't use oil-based cleaners on this because it will absorb them. If you use soap, rinse it well. Things getting in the rubber is what will make it slicker.
I don't find it too heavy at all. Slightly heavier than my Gaiam one, but not really noticeable. I carry it around like my baby and it doesn't bother me.
The thickness 3/16 inch (almost 5mm) is perfect. It doesn't make balancing difficult, but it's just squishy enough to be comfy.
The smell... I'm not sure if it's faded or I'm just used to it. It's kind of strong in child's pose, but it doesn't bother me. The first couple of days, the living room smelled like a mat, but now it's fine. To me, the smell is the price I pay for grippy rubber. It reminds me of yoga now. I like it. :)
This is quite a bit cheaper than its Manduka competition and I LOVE IT! Completely recommend. Great company, too. Made in the USA, eco-friendly, biodegradable. For half the cost of a month of yoga, this is WORTH IT.
on December 2, 2011
I adore this mat. I have a somewhat rigorous hot yoga practice, and I use the mat 5-6 times a week. I used to place those pricey yogitoes towels over my mats, and then spray liberally (to make the towel stick), so that I wouldn't slip and slide during practice, but with this mat, I don't even use the towel except maybe for core work where it just feels more "comfy" to have a towel underneath my back. I simply do not slip with this mat. If I'm dumping a ton of sweat in one particular area, it might get a little slippery, but otherwise, for a regular sweaty practice, this mat is wonderful. I've worn out my current mat, so I'm here to buy another one. In terms of weight (I lug mine all around the city by foot), color choices and sheer comfort, this is the best mat out there in my opinion.
As for cons, yes, the mat will wear out. With my practice, I've started noticing some wearing at around 7-8 months. Basically, the rubber on the mat is breaking down right around the base of my mat where I typicaly stand. I wish that the mat would last at least a year for economic purposes, but I'm okay with it breaking down in general. There's something weird about a mat that doesn't break down with rigorous use - kind of like food that doesn't expire. I like to think of the break down of the mat as a sign of my use - and money's worth - of the mat. And honestly, I need a change in mat color every so often. I don't want to keep my green mat forever. Now I want purple. And maybe next time I'll get red. I like the change. I've looked in the Mandukas that last forever, and the appeal just isn't there for me. The sheer weight of the Manduka is ridiculous for someone who walks a mile or two to class nearly everyday like I do.
As for the rubber smell, it doesn't bother me. After a couple of weeks, the smell faded, and now I just don't notice anything at all. I mean, maybe if I stick my nose in the mat and take a deep inhale and really think about it I'll get a rubber smell, but what do you expect from something that is made of rubber?
As a word of warning, this mat is sticky enough that you'll feel the stickiness even lying down in savasana. I would suggest bringing a towel or putting on a sweatshirt or placing a blanket on the mat if you just want to lay there all comfy like. Also, because of the stickiness, you can't just slide the mat in and out of a yoga bag, you have to place it inside of a side zip bag (or use a strap).
on January 24, 2008
I've used a Jade harmony yoga mat for more than 2 years in a regular vinyasa practice. I remember it had a rubber smell at first, but the smell didn't bother me at all (it's weird but I actually liked the smell).
I saw a couple reviewers said it was slippery and not durable - I have had the opposite experience. It's lasted more than 2 years and still has much life to it. It's slightly worn where my downdog hands and feet go, but has actually given me more traction in those places. I should also say I'm an advanced yogi and am very rough on it. It's also great for traction. I've tried Wai Lana and other mats and this one is definitely the best. It does get slippery if I'm completely drenched with sweat, so I don't practice hot yoga without a towel on it. But I typically sweat a lot and my slippage is fairly minimal.
Tip for cleaning - every 3-4 practices I take my mat in the shower with me and rinse both sides with water, then let hang dry. No chemicals and it's kept it clean and in great condition. I can't speak highly enough of this mat.
on October 31, 2013
This is my second Jade mat and I absolutely love it. I really ordered this one because I was obsessed with the teal color and I knew Jade mats could hold up to anything. I sweat profusely when I practice and this mat is non-slip. I've tried other brands before: lulu, manduka, and gaiam and the Jade mat blows them all out of the water. I practice 5-6 times a week and the mat holds up to my vigorous practice.
on January 30, 2014
I got this mat, because, honestly, my hands and feet sweat in yoga like a man in a whorehouse in juraz, Mexico in August. Even in regular vynasa yoga, my feet would slide as I got hot. I tried using a yoga toes towel, but that was awkward for me and the towel would shift and bunch up. So having to straighten out the towel distracted me as well. But I've used this mat in a semi sweaty and regular yoga class, and no slipping. Yay. No sliding, and no slipping to distract me. I feel a million times more stable and enjoyed my practice because I felt like I could get and stay in the right positions. The extra thickness really helped as well.
on July 23, 2007
The mat is indeed very non-slip when it's clean. But when it's not clean, it's very slick, worse than the worst sticky mat. The problem is that its open cell construction (like a sponge) soaks up sweat and body oils voraciously. The only way to clean it thoroughly is to soak it because the oils and such soak deep into the mat and wiping doesn't clean it. Since it's a big rubber sponge it takes days to dry after soaking it. Even worse than the slipping is that it starts to stink pretty quickly when it's not clean. So it's been quite a chore keeping my mat clean enough to enjoy. I'm tossing this one when it turns six months and going back to a normal sticky mat. I'd rather deal with the slipping using a towel than bother with cleaning this mat anymore.
on November 25, 2014
Great mat at first. Regular practitioner of yoga, I used it every day for almost years. Its much heavier and more supportive than 'regular' (i.e. cheaper) mats. However while doing trikonasana the other day mine tore! I contacted the company and they said the mats don't last more than 6-7 years, and some last less than a year! They acted like I should be happy to have got less than 3 years of use out of it and offered me 20% off a new one for being loyal.
On the one hand $70 is not bad for 3 years of use but on the other, $70 is a lot for a yoga mat, and having to buy a new one every year or so is not ecologically responsible or sustainable!
on May 31, 2015
First, my background: I am a 34 year old woman and I have been practicing yoga for 4 years. I practice about 4 times a week and usually take a vigorous intermediate/advanced level vinyasa class in a moderately heated room (temp in the low 80s), so I sweat a lot. I just switched to the Jade Harmony mat after using the Jade Fusion for a little over a year, and I'm so happy with my choice.
Jade mats are the grippiest mats I've ever found. Some people complain that the grip is too much, and slows down transitions (like the transition from chaturanga to up dog), but this has never bothered me. What does bother me is my hands slowly creeping forward in downward dog--and Jade makes the ONLY mats I've found that prevent that.
I really loved my Jade Fusion in the time I had it, but I like the Harmony much, much better. It's thinner, so it's easier to use for balancing poses, and it's lighter, so it's SO much easier to carry around. I didn't realize what a production even just getting the Fusion out of my car or rolling up my mat after finishing a class were until I switched to the Harmony. The extra thickness and weight really does make a negative difference in daily use. I also struggled a lot with balance the entire time I used the Fusion, but the Harmony is a different animal--it's more like being on solid ground and it's that much easier to balance. I did appreciate the Fusion's extra cushioning on my knees, but I just grab a blanket when I get to my studio and use it when I need it--which is rare, pretty much just camel pose. The price of the Harmony is better too--overall it's the mat to go with unless you have a real physical need for the thicker Fusion.
While I was deciding what mat to get after the Fusion, I tried out the Manduka ProLITE and the eKoLITE 2.0. I found the ProLITE was very slick and I never felt totally solid in any of my poses. The eKoLITE was much grippier, almost comparable to the Jade, but I still found my hands doing that forward creep I hate in downward dog.
The only downside to the Jade mats is they don't last as long as Manduka's mats. I ultimately decided I am willing to sacrifice a little longevity in my mat for better grip, which is really the most important thing to me in a yoga mat. Even if I need to replace my Jade mat annually--which I don't think I will; the Fusion was holding up great after a year of practice and I made this change for other reasons--it is a minimal cost given the amount I practice and the value of having a mat that keeps me safe and secure in my asanas. Most other athletic pursuits come with recurring costs--replacing running shoes, for instance--and for the amount of use I get out of them, I think Jade mats are a great deal.