The 3 best DIY home yoga mat storage ideas

Yoga can quickly become an equipment-heavy practice. Knowing how to store your beloved yoga accessories so as to not clutter up your home yoga room can feel like a big undertaking in interior design and engineering. DIY yoga mat storage doesn’t have to be such an insurmountable feat, though. With a few handy tools, you could become the next DIY yoga mat storage expert!

How not to store your mat

Ellie Smith Yoga avoid direct sunlight on your yoga mat

Mats, especially non-toxic mats, should not be left outside under direct sunlight or exposed to the elements. Non-toxic mats are biodegradable and will break down much quicker in sunlight.

Storing them inside is paramount if you want to get the most out of their longevity and durability. 

Make sure your mat is clean and dry before rolling it up to store away. Some mats come with specific cleaning instructions so be sure to read those first. If no specific instructions are included, then a DIY yoga mat cleaner that you can personalize is the way to go.

Home vs Studio storage considerations

You are likely to have a little less space in your home than a yoga studio does to store props and mats. It is therefore essential to consider how you will store your mat (and other items such as blocks and blankets or their alternatives). 

Studios will have large spaces dedicated to props, as they anticipate large classes where not everyone brings their own equipment. Studios also keep equipment far beyond what’s needed for a home yoga practice, including resistance bands, athletic foam rollers, lots of yoga blocks, and yoga blankets. They may even house specialized exercise equipment if they offer Pilates or other forms of exercise-focused classes.

The home yoga enthusiast, however, unless you have a dedicated home gym or yoga room, will be working within small spaces. In my place, I have little space for my practice. Therefore, I need to find an easy way to store my mat while still ensuring I have easy access to it. That way, my yoga practice stays consistent. The good news is there is more than one practical way of doing this.

The 3 best ways to store your yoga mat at home

I’ll now lay out the three best DIY yoga mat storage options and some paid alternatives. These are in no particular order as, depending on your DIY skills some may be easier to accomplish than others.

DIY yoga mat storage idea #1: A basket

Ellie Smith Yoga wicker yoga mat basket

If you are a craft-loving being, chances are basket-making may be in your repertoire. DIY basket making is a lengthy and sometimes expensive learning curve. To learn it from scratch for the sole purpose of making a space to store your mat is perhaps a little too far-fetched for many of us. That said, it could be a lucrative side hustle if you are a basket-making genius. 

A quicker option may be to add a small, tall, basket like this one from Ikea, or upcycle an old laundry basket. A wicker basket or a cotton rope basket would be ideal, but again, the learning curve is steep.

The quickest and cheapest thing I have done was to purchase five large rolls of twine from the dollar store and a tube of super glue. I then spent the afternoon gluing the twine around an old plastic rubbish bin that I was looking to recycle. It looked something like this. I even managed to fashion a couple of braided handles and somehow wove them in. It wasn’t perfect, but it was all mine.

The pros:

A basket looks lovely and is a common, cheap, easy DIY yoga mat storage option. You can upcycle it to match the interior of your home or it can be stored away in a closet.

The cons:

Baskets can be a bit bulky depending on their shape, and a lot of wasted space if it’s just for one mat. The solution to this is to use that space to also store your yoga mat bag or other yoga accessories.

DIY yoga mat storage idea #2: A wall-mounted yoga mat rack

Ellie Smith Yoga wall-mounted yoga rack

If you’re a wine lover, think along the lines of a wallniture moduwine. If you’re a handy DIYer, then this could be a simple afternoon build. You could include a set of wire towel holders as a yoga mat hanger. This would create a place to hang your mat to dry before rolling it up to store away in the wall rack.

Hanging your mat out to dry after practice is highly recommended, especially if you’ve had a particularly sweaty practice. Some mat materials are water-repellent and therefore need to be aired out and allowed to dry.

I’ve not made a wall rack myself (my contract and self-doubt don’t allow for it). However, a savvy DIYer could see how a couple of shelving units fixed to a sturdy back panel, then affixed to a couple of large hooks could quickly take the shape of a fancy wall rack. Careful when affixing it to your wall, though – I’d recommend using a stud finder to locate your wall’s stud frames if affixing to drywall.

The pros:

Wall racks are great if you’re the proud owner of more than one mat. Having a wall hanging option, like a towel rack, for example, could be a great addition, as it ensures your mat is dry before each practice. If you use a yoga towel then that would kill two birds with one stone.

The cons:

If you’re renting, or not the homeowner, then this option may not be feasible for you depending on your contract. The rack would need to be placed out of direct sunlight so finding a suitable position could be troublesome. In a shared house, it could be a bit awkward having a mat hanging up in your living room all the time. this is especially true if you share the house with small children or pets. The latter often finds mats a great place to scratch  – understandable as for many of us a mat is where we release our stress too. Therefore, it would need to be placed fairly high up, out of the reach of curious little paws. It also may require some DIY handyperson to install, or relying on yourself to not drill through a wire.

DIY yoga mat storage idea #3: Yoga mat bags

Ellie Smith yoga yoga mat bags

On my “off” days, I keep mine in its bag, and then store it away on a shelf in my closet, next to a basket filled with other props. This is also where I keep my yoga clothes. It’s my little hidden yoga space, that is just as sacred as my more visible home yoga space where I practice. 

As I don’t have a space to hang my mat to dry after cleaning, I drape it over the sofa for an hour before rolling it up.

If you’re a studio-going yoga practitioner, then yoga mat bags might be the best option for you, too – just switch out the basket for your favorite gym bag in which to keep your yoga gear and you’re good to go.

If you have a sewing machine or are a dab hand at hand sewing, then this site provides 13 different patterns for a yoga mat bag. Number 3 on this list is about my level of sewing skill, but if you are skilled with a needle then have a look through and choose one that suits you 

The pros:

Having a dedicated storage space separate from my practice space can make the setup of my practice like a mini ritual. The few minutes it takes to get my mat and props out and my clothes on can fet me in the right frame of mind for practice. It feeds the ever-starving discipline gene. Having a handmade yoga bag makes it all the more special.

The cons:

It can sometimes feel a bit of a pain to always have a mat taking up my sofa after practice. After vigorous practice, the last thing I want to do is tidy up. But, this is part of it all, and it hasn’t slipped me up just yet. Additionally, sewing something from scratch can be time-consuming, so this is a rainy Sunday project.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to DIY yoga mat storage, there are many different ways to store yoga mats. However you choose to store your mat, there are three main takeaways to keep in mind. 

First, clean your mat after use to maintain its longevity, especially for a non-toxic good quality mat. Make sure to follow the specific instructions that come with the mat. 

Second, keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid color fading. Sunlight will speed up the process of biodegradation. I do put mine out in the sun for 20 minutes once every month in summer to ensure it’s completely dry.

Third, keep in mind your budget and your skills. I’m a terrible person for anything D.I.Y. I’d likely buy all the wrong things at the hardware store and drill through an electric wire sending the world off its orbit. So, for me, simple is best. I leave mine out as I have the space in my little yoga corner to do so. What would work for you? 

If you’re at the buying stage for a mat, then be sure to check out this post to make sure you get the best mat for your needs. 

If you’re in the market for a free cleaner, then click the button below to get my free DIY mat cleaner checklist so you make your own cleaner at home. 

And that’s it for this week.

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Until next week, much love,