So it’s time to invest in a new, or maybe even your first, yoga mat, but which one to choose?!
The yoga market is booming…
With the US spending an estimated $16 billion on yoga classes and accessories each year, it’s no wonder you’re spoiled for choice.
We’ve done our research, taken a look at all the options and put together a list of the 10 best yoga mats (as well as a handy buying guide) to make your decision a little bit easier.
Our 10 Best Yoga Mat Reviews
Whether you’re looking for the perfect hot yoga mat, or you’re a beginner searching for a budget buy, our quick rundown will give you all the information you need:
1. Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
Best all-round yoga mat
When you need a yoga mat that ticks every box, then this is the one for you.
Manduka are known for creating the highest quality yoga products, and their PRO Yoga Mat is no exception.
It delivers on density, with a 6mm thickness providing you with more cushioning than many rivals on the market.
Plus with a closed-cell surface there is nowhere for sweat to hide.
Available in standard size or extra long, you can make sure you have the floor coverage that you need.
It has quickly become a firm favourite with many experienced yogis, who love how the textured surface gives them real stability when experimenting with new postures.
They also appreciate how the density of the mat didn’t compress, offering protection from the hard floor of a yoga studio.
2. Gaiam Classic Print Yoga Mat
Best yoga mat for beginners
Choosing your first yoga mat can be tricky, you want a great surface, but you might not want to spend too much.
Gaiam’s Classic Print Yoga Mat offers real bang for your buck:
It has a great textured, non-slip surface, making it perfect for when you’re getting to grips with your first asanas.
While not the thickest on the market, it still offers 4mm of cushioning to protect your joints as you begin to get to grips with the practice.
Not only that, but the Gaiam yoga mat is available in a bunch of fantastic printed designs, so the only trouble you might have is deciding which creation to choose.
As a beginner mat, purchasers felt they got excellent value for money, however some did find it a little thin, so if you want more support it could be worth considering the YogaAccessories Deluxe Yoga Mat.
3. The Reversible (Un) Mat Lightweight Travel by Lululemon
Best travel yoga mat
When it comes to the perfect travel yoga mat, you of course need something lightweight, but that doesn’t mean you want to compromise on quality.
Lululemon’s Reversible Lightweight Travel mat delivers on both:
It weighs just over two pounds, yet still has a natural rubber base for cushioning and a polyurethane top layer for excellent grip.
Though some find the mat a little thin, many more are amazed by the level of grip the mat provides, feeling it has helped them improve their practice.
4. Sivan Health and Fitness Comfort Foam Yoga Mat
Best budget yoga mat
If you’re new to yoga and looking for a mat that isn’t going to break the bank, then the Sivan Health and Fitness Comfort Foam Yoga Mat is ideal.
The mat is reversible:
You can choose the smooth finish, or the ridged texture if you want to develop your strength and stability.
Shipping with a handy carrying strap, you can roll it up and take it with you wherever you go.
Though an affordable option, you still get a real thick mat, so you’re certainly not compromising on comfort.
Experienced yogis weren’t so sure about this mat, as they felt it was a little too thick. However new yogis absolutely loved it. They found it really supportive and provided the level of grip required.
5. Harmony Yoga Mat by Jade Yoga
Best hot yoga mat
When you want to enjoy the many advantages of hot yoga, you’re probably looking around for the best non-slip yoga mat.
Harmony Yoga Mat has been created to provide the grip you need when things get a little bit sweaty.
Made from natural rubber, it provides both traction and stability to help you master every pose.
Manufactured in the US from sustainable materials, the mat is offered in three different lengths and is available in a range of colors.
Hot yogis love this mat as it stopped the slipping they’d experienced before with rival products.
In extreme heat some said they added a yoga towel to keep their hands and feet from slipping.
6. Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat
Yoga is amazingly beneficial when you’re suffering with pain, with a number of poses good for back problems in particular.
However getting the right mat is so important:
Generally you’re looking for a little extra cushioning, to protect your joints during your practice.
This mat from Gaiam is perfect as it’s 6mm thick, providing more softness and protection than the competition.
With a sticky, textured non-slip surface, it still delivers in other areas too, weighing just over three pounds despite its thickness.
Users struggling with lower back pain and bad knees, felt this mat gave them confidence, by offering the stability they needed to perform postures safely.
7. Ajna Eco Organic Yoga Mat
Best eco-friendly yoga mat
If you’re shopping for a yoga gift, or just want to be kinder to the planet, then you need to take a look at the Ajna Eco Organic Yoga Mat.
It really is a beautiful product, made from organic jute fiber and shipped in attractive packaging.
As we already know from our acupressure mat reviews, Ajna is an ethical company that cares about the world in which we live.
So much so that they plant a tree each time a yoga mat is purchased.
This mat is free from any nasty chemicals and made from only recyclable and biodegradable products.
Yogis loved the design of the mat, but also described how the organic jute texture provided excellent stability during classes.
Though a small point, many commented on how wonderful it was to open the product and experience no nasty chemical smell, that they’d found to be common with other yoga mat brands.
8. Navaris Cork Yoga Mat
Best for outdoor use
It’s almost as though Navaris created their cork yoga mat purely for outdoor use.
Made from natural cork and TPE, their mat offers you stability, plus with a 5mm depth you have comfort on hard ground.
For yoga practice cork is a clever material, as it doesn’t absorb water or sweat, meaning it’ll stand the test of time.
Amazingly though the mat is still super light:
Weighing just over 2lbs, Navaris’ cork mat is perfect for taking along to a picnic or any other form of exercise, such as Pilates, in the great outdoors.
9. YogaAccessories Extra Wide and Extra Long 1/4″ Deluxe Yoga Mat
Best yoga mat for tall people
If you’re taller than the average person, then you might find that a standard yoga mat is not up to the challenge of your long limbs!
YogaAccessories Extra Wide and Extra Long Deluxe Yoga Mat is one of the largest yoga mats available on the market.
At 7 feet long and 3 feet wide, it’s perfect if you find a regular yoga mat doesn’t provide you with a surface for all postures.
People felt that when it came to value for money, this mat delivered on both quality and performance.
Many tall yogis also described it as “huge” compared to the standard mat they’d previously been struggling with.
10. Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat
Best yoga mat for kids
If your kids have fallen in love with yoga, and are beginning to reap the rewards, why not treat them to their very own yoga mat?
Gaiam yoga mats for kids are a bunch of fun, with lots of different prints available including rockets and dinosaurs, so you can pick the one that suits them best.
The mat provides stability with a slightly sticky surface, enabling your child to get the grip they need on the mat.
Once you’ve checked out, you’ll also get access to a free online yoga class, specifically created for kids to develop their practice.
Quality was appreciated with this mat, and parents loved how it wasn’t purely a gimmick. Some yoga-loving parents even commented that the mat was better quality than their own!
Yoga Mat Buying Guide
When shopping for a yoga mat there are a number of important features to consider. Below we’ve taken a look at each one, to help you make your decision:
You have a range of different materials to choose from, whether you want the organic qualities of cork or the grip provided by natural rubber. Each material will offer its own range of benefits, both for your practice and for the environment, so it’s worth looking closely at information about the materials used.
Yoga mat manufacturers will either boast about how thick or how thin their yoga mat is! This is because both can offer you benefits. Thicker mats are ideal if you want more cushioning, for example if you suffer from bad knees and want protection from a hardfloor. Thinner mats are more suitable as a travel option, as generally they are lightweight. Shown in millimeters, it’s one of the most important features to consider, depending on your use.
Size can be a significant consideration if you’re larger than the average person, as you want to make sure you have the floor coverage that you need. There are mats specifically created for tall people, that are both longer and wider than standard mats on the market. Bigger can also be better if you simply want a little more room to move around!
Take a look at the weight of the mat, as they can vary quite a lot. Sometimes a heavier mat can be an indication of the quality of the material and thickness. Depending where you want to use the mat, the weight could be an important factor.
Some mats featured a ridged texture, with others having a closed-cell surface. The surface and texture is aligned with how much grip the mat offers, and how it handles sweat. You’ll see mats described as ‘sticky’ indicating that they can help with stability as you master your asanas. It’s tricky to judge texture and grip from product photos and descriptions, so be sure to look at customer reviews to get a good idea of the level of grip it provides.
Yoga mats can vary wildly in price, with most ranging between $10 and $150. Price doesn’t always equate to quality, so if you’re a beginner looking for your first mat, don’t feel you need to spend big to get the perfect yoga mat.
Some yoga mats can be folded, while others come with a handy carry strap. If you’re going to be traveling with your yoga mat then these can be important considerations.
You can opt for a functional yoga mat or one that’s a complete work of art! Of course this doesn’t impact on your practice, but if you’re shopping for a gift or want something to really treasure, it’s worth taking in to account.
With so many yoga mats on the market, manufacturers have to come up with unique ways to make their product stand out. That means sometimes you can get added extras, such as access to free online lessons or handy carry straps. You shouldn’t base your decision on added extras, though if you’re struggling between two mats it can help you make your final choice.
One of the best ways to determine if a mat is right for you, is to dig in to the reviews. If you’re looking for a mat for hot yoga for example, you can often find people who have used it for the same purpose, which can help you make your final decision.
FAQs about Yoga Mats
Below we’ve answered a number of frequently asked questions about yoga mats:
Do you really need a mat for yoga?
No, you don’t need a yoga mat. Yoga is an ancient practice, and the first mat wasn’t created until 1982! However a yoga mat can help you develop your practice, as the grip can help you build stability. Plus it can protect your joints if you’re practicing on a hard floor.
What is the purpose of a yoga mat?
It has two purposes. Firstly to protect your body, cushioning your joints from the ground. Secondly to improve your practice, providing you with the grip to hold poses better and for longer.
Which yoga mat is right for me?
If you’re wondering which yoga mat you should buy, hopefully our reviews and buying guide above can help you make your decision. Decide on one or two factors that are most important to you, to help you create a shortlist.
Can you use a towel instead of a yoga mat?
Yes, you can use a towel if you don’t have access to a yoga mat. Of course it won’t provide stability, but it will provide cushioning on hard surfaces.
Are yoga mats and exercise mats the same?
Exercise mats are typically thicker, as they need to provide cushioning for a range of different activities.
How thick should a yoga mat be?
It depends on what you’re looking for in your yoga mat. Yoga mats are usually around 5mm thick, however you may want to choose a thinner mat if you want something lightweight for traveling. Alternatively if you suffer with bad knees, you may choose a thicker mat to protect your joints.
Do yoga mats work on carpet?
Yes, yoga mats are designed to grip whatever surface they’re used on, so you’ll find they work just as well on carpet as they do on a hard floor.
How much do yoga mats cost?
Yoga mats range from $10 up to $150, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Decide on your budget before you start shopping to help you whittle down your shortlist.