Yoga is a good workout to, calm your mind and get your body moving. The practice is easy enough to do at home if you don't have access to a yoga studio. To have the best experience with yoga, it's important to have a high-quality mat. When picking a yoga mat, you want to choose one with plenty of grip and cushioning. This will also depend on the type of yoga you plan to practice, which may require a nonslip surface, a thicker mat or additional accessories such as yoga blocks or socks.
Since yoga has become a popular fitness practice, there are a myriad of types of yoga mats to pick from. This can be overwhelming if you don't know, for example, whether a cork mat or a rubber one might be better suited for the form of yoga you plan on doing. I researched the various yoga mats on the market and narrowed down the best ones based on customer satisfaction and brand reputation.
Check out this list of yoga mats before heading to your next class or setting up your at-home studio. We'll update it as we review more products.
If you're looking for a durable and dependable mat and have a generous budget, the Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat is a good choice. Unlike its larger counterpart, the Manduka Pro, the Maduka ProLite is less heavy (4 pounds vs. 7.5 pounds) and can be used either at home or easily carried to the yoga studio. If the weight isn't a deal-breaker for you, then you can choose between either one. The ProLit mat provides good stability on any hard or soft surfaces and is sweat resistant. The cushioning is 4.7mm thick and is designed to protect your spine, hips, knees and elbows when you practice yoga on hardwood floors.
Although this mat is on the pricier side, it is the go-to of many yoga teachers and yogis alike. Reviewers say this is the nicest yoga mat they've owned, and it lives up to its hype. One yogi said they've been teaching yoga for over 12 years and this is the only mat they've bought multiple times. One thing to keep in mind is that it can be slippery, but that improves if you use a salt break-in method on its surface.
This eco-friendly TPE mat was designed with new yogis in mind. It has a special pattern with a firm grip embossed on the bottom of the mat to make sure you're secure during your whole practice. The mat is tear-resistant and 6mm thick, providing a comfortable cushion for all forms of yoga. It also includes a body alignment system design across the mat, intended to help you focus and keep your body in proper form during your yoga session.
Reviews for this mat show that buyers love its style and durability. Some buyers mentioned that upon opening the mat, an off-gassing smell is released, but it disappears after a few days. Many appreciate how the nonslip surface delivers on its promise, even during their sweatiest hot yoga sessions.
If you want to have a yoga session in your hotel room while traveling for work or on vacation, look no further than the Yogo Ultralight Yoga Mat. The mat uses high-grip tree rubber, which gives it an excellent grip despite being so compact. The attached straps let you roll it up and secure it away neatly, which makes it ideal to pack and carry while traveling.
This mat is best used on softer surfaces because it's only 1mm thick and weighs approximately 2 pounds. Therefore if cushioning is what you're looking for, this may not be the best choice for you. One CNET contributor who tested this mat said it felt best on carpet, grass, dirt or other semi-soft surfaces.
A few practicing yogis familiar with Yogo and other yoga mat brands agreed across the board that this mat was the best for travel. One buyer keeps her Yogo mat in the car because it is less bulky than a traditional yoga mat. She also loves how hygienic the mat is by design, and says: "These mats fold up in a way that always keeps the yucky stuff from the bottom, on the bottom" because the "bottom" and the "top" sides remain isolated.
Hot yoga truly puts most yoga mats to the test. With all the sweat you release during a hot yoga session, it's important to make sure that your feet are secure beneath you. That's where the Yoga Design Lab Combo Yoga Mat comes in. The mat has a microfiber top layer that makes it easy to grip, even when you're dripping sweat from your fingertips. It comes in three different thicknesses (5.5mm for extra cushioning, 3.5mm for daily practice, and 1.5mm for travel) and the weight varies from 3.5 pounds to 7 pounds, depending on the size you select.
Hot yoga students swear by this mat and say they've never slipped once, and rave about how easy it is to transition positions during even the most intense sessions. They also like that the mat absorbs sweat well and is easy to clean by tossing it in the washing machine. One reviewer who takes hot yoga sessions several times a week and has washed the mat many times says it keeps its shape and doesn't look worn at all.
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 (7 feet) 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.
Having a reversible mat is helpful if you plan on using it for different types of yoga classes such as Vinyasa or Bikram yoga. This rubber mat has a 5mm cushion, which is ideal support if your joints tend to hurt. The mat also has plenty of grip, even when it's drenched in perspiration from a hot yoga class, and is easy to clean.
This mat is highly rated among yoga students and teachers due to its versatility and good traction, which works for even the toughest yoga classes. One thing to keep in mind is that this yoga mat scuffs easily, and it's on the heavier side, weighing 5 pounds.
If you're new to yoga or just looking for a yoga mat that's budget-friendly, then the BalanceFrom GoYoga mat is a solid choice. This mat is a good option if you're not looking to commit to regular yoga practice, but would like to still have a dependable mat on hand. A CNET tester said it doesn't feel like a noticeably cheap mat, featuring decent grip and stable support.
This premium yoga mat has light cushioning and only weighs 1.5 pounds. It also includes a strap for easy transportation when you're on the go. One reviewer says they like the mat's versatility because it works well for their strength training, core exercise and yoga sessions.
However, compared to luxury yoga mats, this one may need to be replaced more often depending on frequency of use. One buyer said they didn't mind having to replace the yoga mat regularly because it's fairly priced. They said, "I had it for 3-plus years and it was used constantly -- including a lot of tension or scraping because of using it with sneakers."
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.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.