A great yoga mat is a completely personal preference. Through the years, i’ve had the pleasure of practicing on different kinds of textures and materials, and as a teacher and student, i see all kinds of mats around me. The finest premium yoga mats are usually considered to be the latest in material and texture. There is a line of yoga mats that is rubber on the bottom and felt like material on top, which makes them feel soft and strong at the same time. Any pattern or picture on these mats comes out beautifully, and i’ve seen them in different thicknesses. You don’t need the finest premium quality yoga mat in order to have practice successfully, to me the functionality of the mat is what matters most. I use a thin rubber mat for travel, a thick rubber mat for home practice, a felt covered mat for photos, and a closed cell mat for hot yoga and bikram where sweating is a big factor as in making sure the mat doesn’t absorb any moisture when practiced on. Sometimes great yoga mats are inexpensive, and a premium mat is just that, a mat you’ll pay more for without any unique advantage. The best way to determine what is the finest premium quality yoga mat for you is to try it out in practice, and see if it feels right for you and your body. Only then will you be able to truly say what value it holds for you.