How To Choose The Best Yoga Mat
Pick one with plenty of grip.Many cheaply made yoga mats are slippery both on the floor and underfoot, and require you to brace and grip in your poses, says Amy Quinn Suplina, owner of Bend and Bloom Yoga in Brooklyn. You want a mat that has enough texture and grip so you can easily find your foundation without extraneous effort. Otherwise, youll end up focusing more on trying not to slip than on improving your postures.
Know which type of yoga you practice.If youre practicing the most popular style, Vinyasa, I would stay with a 4-mm or 5-mm thick mat so you dont sink into the mat and you can feel the floor underneath you, explains Christine Chen, a bestselling yoga book author and national teacher trainer. If youre sticking with restorative practices, she says, you can get away with a thicker mat. Also, consider how sensitive you are when bearing weight on your shins and knees or reclining, Quinn Suplina suggests.
Balance comfort with mobility. Good cushioning can feel amazing during longer yoga sessions, but it also tends to be bulkier and heavier when moving around town. If you mostly practice at home, having a thick mat probably won’t be an issue, but if you commute or travel a lot, you might need a thinner mator a better way to carry yours around.
Why Does A Good Yoga Mat Matter
The right yoga mat can actually help prevent injury by cushioning pressure points like the knees, lower back, and hip bones, Kasia Gondek, PT, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist at Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy in California told Insider. “Less joint pain can improve your activity tolerance during your yoga practice, allowing you to spend more time improving your mobility, flexibility, and strength in the areas you need it most,” she said.
Even the most able-bodies person will feel a different level of comfort between an uber-minimal or cheap mat, and a quality one at standard thickness. If you have any sort of joint pain, upgrading to a thicker mat will give you a world of relief.
Additionally, if you like heart-pumping Ashtanga or Vinyasa flows or who sweat easily during hot yoga, you’ll enjoy your practice a lot more if your mat has special sweat-absorbing properties. Meanwhile, those who travel often will benefit from foldable and lightweight mat for maintaining a daily practice on the road.
Cambivo Sf64 Large Yoga Mat Review
The Spacious Choice CAMBIVO
Though most yoga mats measure 2 in width, some of us balance-challenged yoga enthusiasts require a bit more space to land on a cushy surface in case we fall over. If you want a spacious area to prevent bruises, the CAMBIVO SF64 large yoga mat with 4 width is the perfect choice to protect you from your clumsiness.
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Best For Beginners: Heathyoga Non
Suited for yogis just starting their practices, this eco-friendly yoga mat includes alignment lines on the top layer to help you make adjustments with your hands and feet as youre moving through poses. The double layer also provides grip so you dont slip and can maintain balance. We love that it also comes with a carrying strap so you can bring it with you wherever you go.
I highly recommend this mat, whether youre a beginner or a little more seasoned, one Amazon reviewer writes. The quality and features are on par with $80+ pro mats, but at a much friendlier price point!
Hugger Mugger: Eco Para Rubber Mat
The peaceful tie-dye design of the Eco Para Rubber Mat may be the first thing to catch your eye with the Eco Para mat. Both sides of this yoga mat have textured traction so you can practice without slipping or the mat moving. You will like this yoga mat if: You enjoy high-quality yoga mats with a fun design, and you want variety in your traction so you can practice on any surface.
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Compare Prices Of The Hugger Mugger Tapas Yoga Mat
Thickness : 5 mm
Weight: 3.7 lbs
The Gaiam Athletic Yoga Series dynaMat is Gaias mens fitness line. This PVC yoga mat is 10 longer and 2 wider than a standard yoga mat to accommodate taller bodies. The dynaMat is reversible but available in black and grey only. We considered this mat as an option for taller individuals, but at 3.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon at the timing of writing, it has the lowest customer satisfaction of any yoga mat we researched for this article. Since then, the original listing has been deleted, but we still think you will be better off with one of the other mats we recommend.
What To Consider When Buying A Yoga Mat
Depending on your needs, you could purchase a standard yoga mat, or you may want to splurge a little more to get a mat with higher-quality features. This is important to consider if you want your mat to have extra grip or be easy to clean.
Next, think about what types of activities you’ll be using your yoga mat for. If you’re only going to be doing yoga at home, you may not want the same features as someone who plans on using their mat outdoors.
It’s also important to consider if you need extra joint support or if you need a mat that’s longer and roomier so you can spread out comfortably.
To start, there are some helpful questions to ask yourself when choosing a good yoga mat:
Will you be using it indoors, outdoors or both? Typically most mats are intended for indoor practice, but if you plan on doing yoga outside, you’ll want something sturdier and more durable.
Will you use it for hot yoga? If you’re planning on using your mat for sweaty yoga sessions such as hot yoga, you’ll want a mat made from a grippier, no-slip material. This will prevent you from slipping and sliding around as you move. You’ll also want a surface that is antimicrobial and easy to clean.
Do you need to take it on an airplane or other small space? Travel-size yoga mats are compact and easier to roll up and carry compared to a standard yoga mat. This will be important too if you plan on traveling with it and want a convenient option to either throw in your carry-on or suitcase.
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Best Value: Gaiam Classic Print Yoga Mat
Yoga mats can get pricey. The Medallion Yoga Mat by Gaiam is a wonderfully affordable option that yogis can trust. Feel your feet connect with the earth through its 4-mm width, which offers just enough cushion without throwing you off-center. Its double-sided texture also provides traction, so youll be able to get into a downward-facing dog or a triangle pose without slipping. And did we mention it has a beautiful, yet simple design?
This specific mat lasted quite well in the several months Ive been using it, says an Amazon reviewer who is new to yoga. This was the first yoga mat that I purchased for myself. When I began practicing yoga, I didnt know if Im going to be consistent. Thats why I preferred to start with something simple and upgrade over time.
Cambivo Extra Long And Wide Exercise Mat
Yoga mats are not one-size-fits-all. Taller individuals need a mat that is wider and longer for their yoga practice. The Cambivo Yoga Mat is a great option for tall men and women who are seeking a mat that allows them to stretch into every position without edging off the mat. This mat measures 84 inches long by 30 inches wide and gives plenty of room for those who need it. This mat also takes pressure off the joints by way of its 6mm thick cushioning.
Several reviewers who are over 6 feet tall say this mat is the perfect length and not too thick for them to use. One buyer pointed out that the mat is better for home use than to take to a studio, simply because the length requires more space than a standard size mat. As with some new mats, this one has an off-gassing smell that disappears after a few days.
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Balancefrom Goyoga All Purpose High Density Non
Best cheap yoga mat
The extremely affordable BalanceFrom GoYoga mat has everything you need: double-sided non-slip surface, lightweight, easy to wash and clean and portable . The high-density, ¼-inch foam material ensures comfort for your spine, knees, elbows and hips. The moisture-resistant technology means you can sweat it out without worrying about slipping and injuring yourself. And the BalanceFrom mat is extremely cheap though that means it will flake, tear and fall apart faster than other mats.
I use it for more strength and core movements and also use sneakers on it often, one Amazon reviewer wrote. For the beating that I put on these mats, I honestly think it’s a great price. Another noted, The mat is good quality for a low price, and definitely a worthwhile buy for anyone looking to dip their toes into a yoga practice.
Best Splurge: Liforme Original Yoga Mat
Another one of Beltchenkos picks, this is pricey, yes, but has a slew of features that justify the price. Longer and wider than many others, it gives you plenty of space to practice, plus alignment markers that are great for beginners or to help experts nail more challenging poses. The material is also super grippy, ensuring hands and feet stay put even when the mat gets sweaty, and its made of eco-friendly material as well.
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What We Think Of The Amazonbasics Extra Thick Exercise Mat
AmazonBasics is the go-to brand for many online shoppers looking for an inexpensive product that doesnt sacrifice quality entirely. The AmazonBasics extra thick mat is great for people who need some extra cushioning while they are using the mat. A ½ inch thickness makes it twice as padded than many other yoga mats, so the benefits for pressure relief are certainly noticeable.
The foam construction is also incredibly comfortable and contributes to the superior pressure relief that this mat offers. As well as being extra thick, this mat also has some additional length when compared to other yoga mats. Taller individuals making use of the entire length of a typical mat will greatly appreciate the full body support this mat provides.
This thick exercise mat feels amazing! I have sore feet a lot of the time and working out on this mat instead of my hardwood floor has made a big difference already. If you are a taller person and often use the entire length of a yoga mat, the extra length on this one will be a great benefit to you. Even if you are shopping on a low budget, this mat would be great for you.
Amazonbasics Extra Thick Exercise Mat Review
The Tall-Persons Alternative AmazonBasics
Those who are taller need a longer-than-average yoga mat to be comfortable in a variety of positions during yoga, stretching, working out, meditation, and more. The extra length of the AmazonBasics extra thick exercise mat gives you the few extra inches you need to match your extra height.
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Why We Love This Eco
Of all the mats on this list, Yoloha takes the cake on beauty, functionality, comfort and design. Not only is the artwork on their mats beautiful, but they make their products with one of our favorite materials, cork.
As you know, we love cork for its sustainability. It is incredibly environmentally friendly as it comes from cork oak bark, which grows back without cutting down the tree! These are the only trees in the world that can regenerate their bark even after they harvest it.16
In addition to cork, they create mats containing rubber and their patented green Plant Foam made from 70% renewable materials.
Yoloha takes its sustainability efforts to the next level by being a Carbon-Free Partner with Carbonfund.org. In addition to their wonderfully eco-conscious business practices, Yoloha gives back to the community by donating yoga mats to youth organizations, veterans, and medical professionals.18
Best Cushioning: Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5
The best mat in my opinion is the Reversible Mat from Lululemon, says Jake Ferree, a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher. It has awesome grip and support, which makes it a great mat for classes you get sweaty in. Its 5-mm thick, which means its pretty comfy, making more intense classes all the more easier to enjoy.
The top layer absorbs moisture to help you get a grip during sweaty practices while the reverse sides natural rubber offers more cushion, Quinn Suplina explains. Pro tip: Ferree recommends unrolling the mat and keeping it outside for a few days before you first use it, which helps air out its strong initial scent. And for best results, be sure to wipe your mat off and let it dry after each use, too.
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How Thick Should A Yoga Mat Be
The best yoga mat thickness will vary from person to person, though a standard mat is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Thinner mats will provide more stability, making them ideal for those attempting to master balancing postures, while thicker mats may be better for inversions or those who need extra cushioning for their joints.
Frenzybird Yoga Mat With Alignment Marks Review
The Beginner-Friendly AlternativeFrenzyBird
If youre new to yoga and arent practiced in even the simpler poses, a little help goes a long way to ensure youre in the correct form to build strength and eliminate the risk of injury. The FrenzyBird yoga mat is a great pick for a novice learning yoga.
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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.
How We Researched
We researched reviews on best yoga mats from : Gym Gear Info, Outdoor Gear Lab, Outside Magazine, The Strategist , Thoroughly Reviewed, Wirecutter, Womens Health Magazine, and Yoga Journal. We found other reviews that were promising such as those by MarieClaire, but decided not to use their findings because the yogis they interviewed for the story were ambassadors for yoga brands.
Yoga is an activity where gear recommendations are often given by influencers. To keep our findings objective, we tried to stick with comparative reviews or reviews that used multiple testers and data points to come to their conclusions.
Treeline review writers and editors personally bought and tested the mats that made our listand these findings reflect how the mats hold up after up to 10 years of use. Our findings and opinions are described throughout this guide.
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Does It Stay Flat
A good mat should roll out reasonably flat when unfurled and become completely flat within a minute or so. A flat mat is safer . It also means the material is more resilient.
In addition, we think you should choose your mat based on your own personal needs, including what type of yoga you practice, your body, and how you get to-and-from your yoga practice. See our how to choose section to find which is the best mat for you.
The Best Travel Yoga Mats:
Best travel yoga mat overall: Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga MatThe Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat weighs only 2.2 pounds and is highly flexible for travel, without sacrificing the quality of the materials.
Best budget travel yoga mat: Gaiam Foldable Yoga MatThe Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat is a compact and grippy option with an under-$20 price tag.
Best for more cushioning: JadeYoga Travel Yoga MatThe JadeYoga Travel Mat comes from one of the most reliable brands on the market, is 3mm thick, and comes in two lengths to accommodate taller people.
Best reversible travel yoga mat: The Reversible MatThe cleverly named Reversible Mat from Lululemon is like having two lightweight yoga mats for the price of one.
Best machine-washable travel yoga mat: Clever Yoga Travel MatThe Clever Yoga Travel Mat is odor-resistant and simple to clean, which is great news for both practitioners of hot yoga and people rolling the mat out on questionable hotel floors.
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How To Clean Yoga Mats
If you’re practicing yoga regularly, a weekly cleaning is a good idea, with more frequent washings recommended for those who sweat a lot. A mild solution consisting of four drops of dish soap and two cups of water should do the trick: Simply transfer it into a spray bottle and give both sides of your mat a good spritz and wipe. Be sure to wipe your mat off completely, so there’s no sticky residue left behind.