Caring properly for your yoga mat is essential to maintain its integrity and maximize its lifespan. How and where you store your mat impacts its durability, cleanliness and performance over years of practice. So, how to store your yoga mats correctly ? Follow this comprehensive guide to learn the best practices for yoga mat storage.
Why Proper Yoga Mat Storage Matters ?
Storing your yoga mat with intention has several benefits:
Prevents surface damage like cracks, tears or peeling when the mat is rolled up versus folded or left flat. And rolling mats tightly can protect the surface.
Damp mats rolled up create the perfect environment for microbes to grow. Inhibits growth of mildew, mold and bacteria by fully drying prior to storage.
Protects from elements like extreme temperatures, humidity and UV rays that degrade materials like PVC and rubber over time.
Maintains grip by keeping surfaces free of dirt, dust, debris, skin cells and oils that build up with use. Regular cleaning preserves traction.
Extends overall lifespan to 4-5 years or more, rather than needing replacement after months. Quality mats last when cared for properly.
Best Practices for Storing Yoga Mats
Follow these guidelines for ideal yoga mat storage and care:
After practicing, unroll your mat and allow it to completely air dry prior to storage to prevent mildew growth. Lay flat or hang vertically to dry fully.
Roll up the mat smoothly, avoiding creases or uneven tension that can place pressure on the foam. Roll tightly from end to end.
Stand mats vertically against a wall or flat on their ends when storing to avoid flattening, which can damage surfaces.
Use an open, breathable mat bag made of natural fabric like canvas or cotton. Avoid storing in plastic bags.
Keep mats out of direct sunlight when storing, which can degrade materials. Avoid proximity to heaters, vents or dehumidifiers.
Gently wipe down mats after each use with a damp cloth to prevent buildup of oils, sweat and dirt. Use mild soap if needed.
If storing vertically against walls, limit to short-term. Long-term pressure can imprint textures onto the mat surface.
Inspect mats regularly for damage like cracks, accelerated wear, loss of stickiness or mildew odor and retire when needed.
Ideal Yoga Mat Storage Solutions
Explore these smart yoga mat storage ideas:
Freestanding vertical mat racks allow multiple mats to dry fully upright without contacting walls long-term. Easy access and organization.
Use large hooks and straps to hang mats vertically from a closet rod or mounted storage hooks. Keeps mats upright and elevated.
In bedrooms, slide mats upright in the gap between the bed frame and wall. Protects from compression and sun exposure.
On closet shelves, place mats vertically on their ends, avoiding contact with wall surfaces. Use shelf dividers for stability.
Affordable mat carrier tubes with end caps keep mats tightly rolled and offer easy portability. Protects surface and edges.
Under platform beds, store mats vertically in the space between the mattress and wall. Keeps them upright and accessible.
What to Avoid for Yoga Mat Storage ?
Problematic but common yoga mat storage mistakes include:
Leaning mats upright against walls long-term results in material breakdown and imprints.
Rolling mats before thoroughly dried and cramming into a closet fosters mildew growth.
Letting mats remain unrolled or folded flat for extended periods can damage the foam.
Squeezing tightly into small plastic bins restricts airflow and traps moisture.
Leaving mats in very hot or cold car trunks leads to cracking and weathering.
Draping mats over hangers allows imprints from the hanger on the foam.
Treat your mat with care, and it will support years of safe yoga practice!