How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat
Finding a good mat isnt tough , but when youre shopping, keep in mind all of your specific needs. Maybe you find thicker mats more comfortable for joint pain. Maybe perfect alignment is your goal, and you want a mat that provides you with ample space to stretch your legs out in Warrior II pose. And if you sweat a lot during your practice, a mat that reduces slipping might be top of mind.
Next, consider the mats portability. If youre looking for a mat you can carry with youeven if its just into the backyard for some outdoor yogaor a mat compact enough to stow under your bed, you may want to choose one that fits in a yoga strap or rolls up easily to fit inside your yoga mat carrier.
And especially in these stressful times, it can be helpful to think outside the mats functionality for a minute and choose one that just brings a smile to your face with its design and feel. Need some inspiration? Below, yoga instructors and fitness pros walk us through what they consider the best yoga mats for all types of practices and bodies.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Heathyoga Eco Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat
This grippy mat is made of eco-friendly material, and it’s recyclable, too. The surface has a body alignment system so you know exactly where to put your hands and feet for proper position and form. One reviewer wrote, “I do hot yoga daily and was looking for a non-slip mat that doesn’t hold an odor. This mat has been so easy to clean and it doesn’t hold odor and it dries quick. The mat for the most part is good at being non-slip.”
What Should I Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat
Jazzy patterns catch the eye, but put them aside and youre left with four simple criteria:
Grip: This applies to both the top and underside of the mat. Its impossible to enjoy a relaxing yoga session when you cant plant your hands in downward dog without slipping. Consider mats made from sticky materials, such as rubber, or those with a non-slip coating. Your mat should lie flat on any surface, from carpet to tiles, and provide the most stable base possible.
Support: Look for a mat thats thick enough to protect your spine from hard floors but not so cushioned that your limbs will sink into it, throwing you off balance. Mats that are between 4mm and 6mm thick tend to be just right.
Durability: Your yoga mat wont have to withstand intense HIIT workouts or dropped dumbbells , but it should emerge unscathed from dynamic practice, without any rips or dents.
Portability: A mat with great get-up-and-go credentials can be a great yoga companion if youre a fan of an al fresco session. Look for thinner mats that roll up easily and have a carry strap if you prefer Pilates in the park to flows in your front room.
On our quest to find the best yoga mats, we also considered sustainability, style and any original features before naming our favourites.
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Forward: : Space The Fs Mat
“The FS Mat is sleek and minimalistic, so it looks good in any space. At 5mm thick, it helps support your joints as you move and is both sweat and slip proof. I love to use it for yoga and for lengthening and sculpting with our FORWARD__Floor classes.” Rachel Warren, FORWARD__Space Founding Instructor and Director of Instructor Training and Development
Jade Yoga Harmony Yoga Mat
“There’s a lot to love about Jade Yoga’s Harmony Mat: It has great grip, it’s made of eco-friendly natural rubber, and it’s favored by my NYC yoga studio of choice, Sky Ting. I have the midnight blue one, and my trick for keeping it from collecting lint between wipe-downs is folding it in half before rolling it like this.” Erica Cerulo, Of a Kind Co-Founder “We love the Jade Harmony Mat both for in studio and at-home practice. It has a perfect amount of grip so you won’t slip in poses like downdog, but also enough cushion for when you have to put weight on your knees or lie on your back. Plus, it’s made sustainably with natural rubber and for every mat sold, they plant a new rubber tree. Also, lots of fun colors to compliment your preference/mood for practice.” Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones, Sky Ting Co-Founders
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Aurorae Synergy 2 In 1 Yoga Mat
It’s the best of both worlds with this oneâit’s a mat AND a towel. This mat encourages sweating because the manufacturer states that the wetter the mat, the better the grip. It has over 1300 ratings on Amazon and 4.5 stars.
One rave review says, “I practice hot yoga every day and I hang it up to dry. During my practices, I sweat a lot! This mat has great grip on the floor and doesn’t slip at all! This mat really stays put! On the mat, I can really get deep into my poses with the grip.”
Jadeyoga Non Slip Harmony Mat Review
This mat, which is over a quarter of an inch thick and composed of organic rubber for added grip, is also perfect for giving a charity boost: for every mat you purchase, the JadeYoga will plant a tree. In addition, if you buy particular colors, a portion of the proceeds will go to a cancer charity.
The Jade mat isnt too heavy and doesnt slide about on the floor. It has a fantastic weight: its heavy enough to keep me from moving but light enough that carrying it doesnt harm my back.
The open cell natural rubber used in JadeYoga mats provides the best grip for prolonged poses and hard practice. The Harmony is suitable for a variety of yoga practices, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot, Bikram, Iyengar, and others.
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What Experts Didn’t Like
Stephanie MansourCertified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert
Stephanie Mansour, host of Step It Up with Steph on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on womens studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.
Tribal Native Cork Yoga Mat By Yoloha
Merging two recycled materials, cork and rubber, the Tribal Native Cork Yoga Mat is not only magically grippy, but also eco-friendly. Weighing in at less than most mats of this caliber, this mat features an uber non-slip surface, optimum durability, and natural, antimicrobial properties.ing grip and traction that improves as you sweat, plus high absorbency and alignment reference points in beautiful geometric designs, this cork yoga mat is as high quality as it is high performance. Yoloha has done it again with this mat boasting a firm top and soft foam bottom to create unparalleled comfort and simultaneous stability. Gripping even better when wet, this mat is ideal for all your hot yoga needs.noopener target=_blank> Ashtangis, were looking at you! this mat surface is practical, beautiful, and unique.
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B Yoga The B Mat Everyday Long 4mm
“I love the B Yoga mats. They provide a better grip than any other mat I’ve tried and the soft cushy texture feels great on my feet. It rolls up really well and comes in a variety of beautiful colors. Plus, its a female-founded company and I love to support other female founders whenever I can.” Joanna Griffiths, Knix CEO & Founder
What To Consider When Buying A Yoga Mat
Thickness, Weight, and Size
Whether youre a beginner or an experienced yogi, its nice to feel some support under your hands and feet while you pass through a flow, or especially when youre holding a difficult pose for a while. Mats come in different thicknessesmost of the mats on our list are 5 to 6mm thick, while the thickest is almost 13mmwhich allows you to choose if you want a design that has a more plush and cushioned feel or a thinner one that lets you feel more grounded yet still provides support. While most of the mats here are about the same length and width, they do vary slightly, so choose one that best fits your size. You may also want to consider your yoga mats weight, depending on how you plan to carry it. While a heavier mat, like the 7-pound Manduka on our list, is easy to throw into the car or keep at home, lighter options, such as those that weigh under 2 pounds, are easier to strap to a gym bag or sling over your shoulder.
While you could do yoga on a carpet or even on your hardwood floor, neither surface provides enough grip for your hands or feet, meaning youre going to constantly have to adjust your position. A yoga mat is usually made out of rubber or a rubber-like material that provides a good amount of traction on top, so youre easily able to grip the mat even when things get sweaty.
How We Chose These Yoga Mats
Dimensions: 71 x 24 in.Material: Natural rubber
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Travel Yoga Mats The Super Thin Version For People With Itchy Feet
Travel yoga mats tend to be mostly paper thin somewhere around 2mm in thickness for the majority of them.
Youll tell a travel mat apart from all the others by the fact that you can fold it easily, so you can take it anywhere with you. The downside? Theres only so much cushioning it can provide so if you use this mat straight on the floor you are likely to feel it in your wrists after a few yoga sequences or planks, especially when transitioning from downward dog to chaturanga. The reason they are so thin and light is because they do exactly what it says on the tin their only purpose is to make it easy for you to travel with them. Fold your mat to fit it into your suitcase if you want to stay fit on holiday, or take it from home, to your office, then to your local studio and back home without any hassle. But, while you practice, make sure you have something underneath it such as a carpet or another workout mat to take some of the hardness of the floor away.
Culturefit Clothing The Culture Fit Yoga Mat: Pink Kente
“The yoga mat I currently love is the Culture Fit Yoga Mat: Pink Kente. After a long day, I enjoy rolling out this mat to meditate and stretch. It has a nice grip so my hands are not slipping. As a Liberian-Nigerian American, the vibrant Kente print allows me to feel rooted and grounded in mind, body, spirit, and, most importantly, culture.” Toyin Omisore, Roam Loud Wanderer in Chief
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Jade Yoga Fusion Yoga Mat
Its hard to pick a favorite yoga mat as there are several brands that I absolutely love, but Jade Yogas Fusion mat holds a special place in my heart. Its thick enough to cushion my joints with an unparalleled grip and width. For a fat-bodied practitioner who likes a wide canvas for play, its the perfect choice.” Jessamyn Stanley, internationally recognized yoga teacher, award-winning Instagram personality, and body-positive advocate
Why Trust Verywell Fit
Ashleigh Morley is the editorial director of commerce for Verywell Fit and a certified barre instructor who uses yoga mats several times a week. While testing yoga mats in The Lab, she paid special attention to the versatility of each mat for different kinds of workouts . Ashleigh conducted side-by-side comparisons of each mat and gathered first-hand data and insights.
Additional reporting by Emily Stone.
Emily Stone is a Chicago-based journalist specializing in fitness and lifestyle content. Emily uses different mats for different workouts. For yoga and pilates, shes a fan of Alos Yoga Warrior Mat , as it provides excellent traction and stability. Meanwhile, she uses the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat for non-yoga workouts because it features extra cushioning for the joints.
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About Of Gaiam Thick Yoga Mat
- Extra thick, lightweight yoga mat: These thick and durable yoga mats provide extra cushioning for your joints during any type of yoga or exercise routine.
- Reversible: The yoga mat has a reversible design. It features a sticky, non-slip texture for superior grip and excellent traction. Two design options will suit your mood and help you stay motivated.
- Non-toxic and 6p free PVC yoga mats are a healthier choice for your health and the planet.
- Yoga class free with every purchase of a yoga mat
- Dimensions: 68 in L x 24 Inch W x 6mm Thick
Lululemon Reversible Textured Mat 5mm
BEST RUNNER UP
Texture is your friend when it comes to finding a non-slip yoga mat that actually stays still. This 5mm option from Lululemon does one better by being reversible. Some mats sacrifice cushion for grip, but your joints can rest easy knowing that all 5mm will be there to absorb impact. While the top layer is designed to absorb sweat, the natural rubber base is better for a low-sweat workout sesh. Although we recommend wiping it down after every practice, an antimicrobial additive ensures that mildew and mold wont penetrate the surface.
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An Overview On Yoga Mats
Although yoga became a fad several years ago, many who participate in yoga do not know the entire history of it. The practice began thousands of years ago to give individuals a well-rounded approach to health, including mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health.
Founded in India and encompassing many different types, hatha yoga is what is most commonly practiced today. This is a fraction of the entire yoga philosophy but has taught so much to many individuals nonetheless. From stress-relief and fitness to healing and mental clarity, yoga has become an integral part of many peoples lives. Part of the attraction to yoga for many people is the ability to do it anywhere, anytime. It does not require excessive gym equipment or bodybuilding weights or a home gym room. All you need is a good yoga mat that stores neatly in your closet or in a duffel bag for traveling, and you are all set.
Yoga mats can be used for more than just yoga, too.
Stephanie Mansour, a certified personal trainer and the founder of fitness brand Step It Up With Steph, says this is the No. 1 investment she recommends to clients who want to get in a good workout at home.
When looking into buying a yoga mat, there are several things to keep in mind. When you strike that combination of perfect features, youll enjoy yoga much more.
Make sure you consider how youll be using your mat.
Consider The Best Thickness That Will Protect Your Joints
Your joint health also determines the yoga or Pilates mat you need to choose.
- If you need extra cushioning and your mat is too thin, fold it under your knees or wrists when youre in a more challenging pose so that your joints are protected and you dont suffer from any pain during or after practice
- Some mats have an extra layer of material inside them to give you that extra joint protection, such as an inner layer of antibacterial cottonthats there to for added comfort as well as to keep your mat hygienic for longer.
The above should cover you perfectly unless you have a health condition, are working out with an injury or are pregnant. Ask your yoga teacher or even your physician to make sure, especially if you are practicing with swollen ankles, sensitive joints or have certain pain points that you are trying to protect while working out. Its always best to practice extra care as there is not a one-size-fits-all in terms of yoga or Pilates gear so make sure you pick whats best for yourself.
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Best Thick Yoga Mat: Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat 6mm
Chock-full of springy, PVC cushion, the rubber-free Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat is perfect for anyone looking for a little extra support for their elbows and knees during their weekly Cat Cow poses. Clocking in at 6 millimeters thick, the mat is twice as thick as most on the market, providing loads of joint protection. More about that thickness: Though its a whopping 6 millimeters, the mat feels more dense than spongelike, meaning we had zero problems finding stability, even with the extra cushion underfoot.
While the grip isnt quite as firm as the Lululemon Reversible Mat, it is still among the strongest we tested, and definitely the best of the cheapish options. Featuring a surface full of tiny textured grooves, the mat has a tacky feel, offering up lots of springy traction, even during sweatier sessions. That said, if youre someone who wants to feel completely cemented into your mat, the Lululemon Reversible is going to be a better choice.
Another major selling point? That price. Not everyone wants to spend a small fortune on a yoga matus included! If you want to get the most bang for your buck, this is the absolute best choice at this price point.
Boasting a lifetime guarantee from Gaiam, the mat, which is free of latex and phthalates, is available in 30 colorways , ranging from jewel-toned tribal patterns to sedate darker designs, and each comes with one free yoga class that can be downloaded from the Gaiam app.