If you practice yoga and are a fan of crowd funding sites, you’ve probably come across Grippz Mats, "the world’s first acupressure mat". According to the website, Grippz Mats combines the benefits of reflexology, acupressure, and yoga in one mat. The benefits include: Increased blood circulation, relaxation, released muscle tension, increased well-being and vitality, better sleep, stress reduction, and enhanced life force energy. It’s been raved about on Martha Stewart, GQ, and Yoga Basics, and have glowing reviews on their website. Being such a unique product with amazing reviews and claims, I had to give it a try.
Finally, after months of seeing it on my Facebook feed, I took the plunge, went on to Indiegogo and put down $88 on a bright orange Grippz Mat yoga mat. After several months and an email to customer service later, I finally got my mat! But it wasn’t the orange one that I purchased. I was sent the original teal since they ran out of the orange. I asked customer service if I could exchange it for the orange one when it comes back in stock, but I didn’t receive a response back. So, I kept the mat. I've been eager to try this out for months. Since I have it, I might as well use it. But judging by the title, you probably know how this ends. Let's start with what I liked about the mat.
What I Liked
Grippz Mats offers 5 bright colors that you normally don’t find in your typical yoga mat. the slight neon-ness of the silicone material feels more invigorating than the usual earth and jewel tones that I'm used to seeing.
The mats are made out of premium FDA grade silicone, which is incredible if you have sensitive skin and want a closed cell mat that is anti-microbial and stain resistant. This leads to my next point.
Easy to clean
Since the mat is closed cell and made from silicone, all you really need to do is rinse the mat and hang to dry. It dries fairly quickly, and you don't have to worry about things growing inside your mat!
The texture is interesting and can feel like pins and needles if you’re standing on it. But lying on it is quite relaxing with all the little nubs pressing into your pressure points.
What I Didn't Like
Mild Pins & Needle Feeling
While I enjoy the texture while I'm lying on my back, I don't quite like it in other positions. I’ll admit, I have no experience with acupuncture or acupressure, but standing on the mat gave my feet the pins and needle feeling that felt more distracting than invigorating, and more uncomfortable than relaxing.
Skin Dents & Markings
It’s safe to assume that with a mat like this, you can’t avoid dents on your skin from resting on the nubs for long periods of time. Which is no problem until you realize you have a party to go to and your face is covered in red dents that will take hours to go away.
Very Thin and Heavy
Even though the mat itself is very thin, the silicone is very heavy. It doesn't offer a lot of cushioning and it’s definitely my heaviest mat. Not the most travel friendly option.
Not Hot Yoga Safe
When I purchased this mat a few months ago, they also marketed it as a grippy mat that you would be able to use for hot yoga. I had a completely different experience. When I took this to my hot yoga class, I was slipping and sliding all over the place. I think they now recommend you use a towel over it, but needless to say it’s not at all safe and even if you're practicing in a non-heated area, I do not recommend using it without covering it with a towel if you’re sweaty.
It Loves Dirt
The benefit of having a mat like this is that it’s low maintenance and easy to clean. However, in my experience it attracts dirt like a magnet! I’m not the best at keeping up with cleaning my mats to begin with, but with this mat, I found I had to hose it down after every use. And if you have hardwood floors, it’s even worse. The bottom somehow sticks to the flat surface like a window decal sticker, so that when you peel (yes, peel) it off the floor, it picks up ev-er-y-thing. No lie, every time I use that mat, the spot it was on get's so clean and so slippery to the point where I slip every time I walk over it. No joke, it was like walking on a freshly waxed floor in socks. You are not safe.
This mat is currently retailed at $139.99. Even with the constant sales and discounts, it's still a lot for a mat you can't really use. I’d rather invest in a Manduka at that price point.
The purpose of a yoga mat is to keep you safe and comfortable so you can focus on your yoga practice. For me, Grippz Mats failed to achieve that. I found this mat difficult to use, unsafe, and greatly overpriced. I think this would be a good mat if it was priced at $30 - $50, and used strictly for non-heated yoga. But you'll be safe with a $30 mat from YogaDirect.com.
So let me know your thoughts! Have your ever tried Grippz mat, and what is your experience? What mat do you recommend?
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