Best Yoga Mats

best yoga mats
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When you’re contorting your body into crazy yoga poses, you’ll definitely want a mat that can keep up. We think the best yoga mat on the market is the Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat.

Offering you all the cushioning your body needs minus the bulkiness, this mat seamlessly fits into any yoga sequence you find your body gliding through.

Just like how our bodies can vary greatly from yoga pose to yoga pose, yoga mats can do the same exact thing. There are tons of different yoga mats on the market each targeted for a specific purpose, and in order to perform the best downward dog you’ve ever done, you’re going to want to make sure your mat fits your specific needs.

When searching for the perfect yoga mat we all like to look for a design we love, but what’s the good in that if it’s not performing at the level we need it to? There’s a few key things you’ll want to consider like length, thickness, and material in order to find a mat that allows you to flow seamlessly through each sequence.

Don’t worry though, pairing yourself with the perfect mat is much easier than you may think, and we’re here to help you out along the way. By the time you finish reading this ranking you’ll have paired yourself with a mat that best fits your needs and will be that much closer to savasa-ing your way back to sanity.

The Yoga Mats We RAVE About

Best Yoga Mat Overall: Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat

The Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat is definitely our number 1 pick when it comes to the best yoga mats on the market because it seamlessly pairs together comfort and stability with lightweight versatility. This mat will keep you grounded and comfortable without breaking the bank or breaking your back when traveling to and from your yoga studio with it.

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Best Travel Yoga Mat: Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat

If you travel a lot with your yoga mat, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on the Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat. Unlike most mats that roll up into a cylinder, this yoga mat folds into a compact 10” x 12” square, making it super easy to slip into your tote bag and take on the go. 

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Best Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga: Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat

Dissolve any worries of slipping on your mat during hot yoga with the Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat. While most yoga mats would leave you falling left and right when your hands and feet get a bit sweaty, your grip on this mat actually improves with a bit of moisture. Go back to enjoying hot yoga without the worry of ending up on your butt.

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Finding the Best Yoga Mats

To find the best yoga mat, it’s important to know both what you’re looking to get out of a yoga mat as well as what a yoga mat actually does for your exercise routine. A yoga mat plays a vital role in the yoga exercise process, and provides more benefits and serves more functions than you might realize. 

First, let’s look at the history of yoga itself before diving into the best yoga mats. 

The Explosion of Yoga

Yoga and its practice has been becoming increasingly popular, even though it’s a practice that is rooted in over 5,000 years of ancient findings, texts, and traditions. A new survey conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal reports that the number of Americans doing yoga has grown by over 50% in the last 4 years to over 36 million as of 2016.

In addition, 9 out of 10 Americans have heard of yoga, 1 in 3 Americans has tried yoga at least once, and more than 15% of Americans have done yoga in the last 6 months. Plus, more than a third of Americans say they are very likely to try yoga in the next year.

Judging by these numbers, it’s clearly very obvious that yoga and its practice is literally exploding over the country, and it has become a staple in the whole idea of “self care.”

Yoga and its Benefits

It’s no secret that yoga feels good. Many of us are flocking to our local studio to take classes from vinyasa to restorative because of how amazing we feel when we’re done. From relaxing in poses where you’re practically falling asleep, to constantly flowing up and down in movement, yoga is an amazing way to loosen your body and work out kinks.

Yoga has many other benefits though that we may not initially realize. Some of yoga’s many, many benefits include:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood flow
  • Increased balance
  • Improved overall quality of life
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced pain
  • Healthier lifestyle overall
  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown

Surprisingly, this list is not even where the benefits end. Yoga is not only amazing for our physical body, but it’s also so amazing for our mental health as well. Even though you can’t see the changes, they’re happening.

Yoga is for Everyone

The sad thing is that there are many people out there that don’t think they’re meant for yoga. Many people have this idea that yoga is only for females, or that if you’re not flexible you won’t be good at yoga.

The cool thing though is that there’s no such thing as being good at yoga. It’s true! There’s really no right or wrong way to do yoga, as long as you’re benefiting from it. If your yoga practice makes you feel good and you’re not getting hurt at all from it, then you’re doing yoga right.

You don’t have to start off as a flexible person to start yoga, especially because yoga itself is what can make you flexible in the first place. So, once you have the narrative that yoga isn’t for everyone out of your head, it’s time to start purchasing some yoga gear.

Yoga Gear

It’s pretty obvious that first and foremost the most important tool in yoga is our body. Yoga is a super physical practice and without our bodies we wouldn’t be able to participate in it. However, there are some other important items you’ll need to take your yoga practice to the next level.

Some items that aren’t required but may help improve your practice include yoga blocks, a blanket, a bolster, and a strap. These items all can help keep you balanced, stretch you a bit further, and keep you cozy and comfy in savasana.

Arguably the most important item though that you’ll need when it comes to yoga is a yoga mat. A yoga mat will greatly improve your practice. From keeping you comfortable to helping you maintain your balance and sturdiness, a yoga mat is really your saving grace when it comes to your yoga practice.

Yoga Mats

The truth that some of us may not want to face is that finding the perfect yoga mat for your practice can be hard. There’s tons of different brands, styles, sizes, and materials that can completely change not only the look but the feel of your mat. There are even some mats that are better for certain types of yoga than others.

There are lots of factors you’ll want to take into consideration when purchasing a yoga mat, including:

  • Thickness
  • Length
  • Brand
  • Weight
  • Material
  • Grip level
  • Texture

And that’s not even all of it. There’s a different yoga mat for almost every different type of yoga there is, so it would be close to impossible to not get overwhelmed when on your yoga mat search.

Get Into Your Best Downward Dog

The hardest part about immersing yourself into yoga sometimes can be starting. But, another big issue can be finding the perfect mat. The good news though is that we got you covered. We gathered together the best of the best yoga mats on the market, so that you wouldn’t have to do any of the work.

Simply take a look at the mats in this list, pick your favorite, and get your yoga on.

Methodology

Over here we take self care very seriously, and yoga is now trendier than ever and a super hot topic when it comes to taking care of ourselves. We all know though that besides our bodies, our yoga mat is the most important tool for getting our downward dog on, and we obviously want you to have the best mat out there. 

That’s why when searching for the best yoga mats on the market, we don’t just search the words “yoga mat” and write down the first ten results we see. Our search goes much deeper than that. Every yoga mat we present you with in this ranking is judged on a number of factors, including:

  • Price
  • Brand
  • Weight
  • Thickness
  • Material
  • Comfort
  • Grip level
  • Pros and cons
  • Customer ratings and reviews
  • Popularity
  • Overall quality

We want to make sure that when it comes to suggesting mats we’re giving you only the best of the best. The last thing we would want to do is suggest to you a product that we wouldn’t personally use ourselves, so rest assured that our reviews of these yoga mats are the real deal and get your savasana on in confidence.

The Best Yoga Mats

Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat

Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat

The Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat is our favorite mat on the market for some very obvious reasons. This yoga mat seamlessly pairs together superior quality and comfort all while still being lightweight and super easy to travel with. No matter what surface you lay this baby out on it’ll support you through your entire sequence.

Unlike most mats that seem to get worse with wear and tear, this mat actually improves over time. After a few sun salutations you’ll start to break this mat in, noticing your foot grip improving with each yoga class. Plus, the high quality material this mat is made from is guaranteed to not peel, flake, or fade.

This mat offers the most amazing cushioning, ensuring that you’ll get the most out of your yoga poses without any of the bone or joint pain you’d experience from a cheaper mat. This mat also offers a lifetime guarantee, so on the rare chance that you’re not getting what you’d expect from this mat, you can always easily return it.

Pros

  • Improves over time
  • Fully cushioned
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • A little heavy

Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat

Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat

For a super compact, lightweight yoga travel mat you can literally bring anywhere, the Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat is the best one you can get your hands on. Unlike typical yoga mats that you’d roll up when not in use, this mat folds into a compact 10” x 12” square, making it super easy to stick in your tote bag and take on the go.

This yoga mat is only 2mm thick and weighs only 1 pound, but the good thing is that none of its comfort is compromised in the process of making this mat so easy to travel with. It’s even made with a sticky surface texture in order to keep you grounded in place whether you’re in an expert level vinyasa class or simply downward dog. 

With a variety of colors and designs to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find a design that you absolutely love. Plus, like the Manduka mat, this mat comes with a lifetime guarantee. So if at any point you find this mat isn’t supporting you the way it should, you can experience an easy, hassle-free return. 

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Foldable
  • Easy to travel with

Cons

  • Too thin
  • A bit slippery

Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat

Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat

For those brave souls who challenge themselves to take on a hot yoga class, the Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat is the perfect yoga mat to take along on the journey. This yoga mat is topped with a lush, non-slip microfiber towel as the top surface, so no matter how sweaty your feet and palms get, you won’t risk slipping and falling out of poses.

This mat has a 5mm thickness which provides comfort and stability to protect your joints and muscles, therefore allowing you to sail smoothly through even the craziest yoga sequences. And it’s free from all Latex, Silicone, Rubber, and Phthalates, so you can enjoy an eco-friendly practice and not have to worry about experiencing any harsh odors.

Most yoga mats make it close to impossible to practice on when sweating, as moisture on your hands and feet leave you slipping around all over the place. However with this yoga mat, the more you sweat, the better grip you get. That’s why this yoga mat is definitely our favorite pick when it comes to purchasing a hot yoga mat.

Pros

  • Good grip
  • Made with hot yoga in mind
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Not the best material
  • Slight odor
  • A bit thin

Liforme Yoga Mat

Liforme Yoga Mat

Ready to level up on your yoga practice with a mat that will help you focus on alignment? If so, the Liforme Yoga Mat is the yoga mat for you. This brand upped the potential of yoga mats by creating a mat that features alignment lines. So, if you’re a stickler for alignment, then this mat is definitely one you’ll want to get your hands on. 

While most users absolutely love the sticky-ness of this mat, some yogis have mentioned that it may be a little too sticky for them, making it a bit hard sometimes to flow from one pose to another. Others have also mentioned that the price is a bit high, but if you’re not shopping on a budget this is a great pick.

A bonus is that Liforme uses sustainably-sourced materials, recyclable packaging, and ensures their mats last a lifetime. But if for some reason your yoga mat finds its way to the dump, it’s completely biodegradable and there will be no trace of it left in 1-5 years. When they say their mission is to be completely planet-friendly, they aren’t kidding.

Pros

  • Planet-friendly
  • Alignment lines
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Too sticky
  • Not worth the price

Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat

Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat

The Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat is definitely a mat favorite among yogis. From its amazing grip to its superior stability and comfort this yoga mat offers your body everything it needs to successfully carry itself throughout even the toughest yoga sequence, all without absolutely breaking the bank.

A crowd favorite among this yoga mat is how incredibly lightweight it is, making it super easy to travel with and bring to and from your yoga studio. However, even though it’s lightweight, it still offers the perfect amount of thickness to cushion your body from the hard floor. Its two-sided texture even offers unparalleled grip.

On the flip side, some users have complained that it’s not exactly built to last. It can lose its cushioning a bit and pieces may even begin to flake off. In addition to this, some users added that while it does grip, there isn’t as much grip as they’d like for it to offer, so if you’re looking for a 100% slip-free mat this one may not be a top contender for you.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good cushion
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not built to last
  • Needs more grip
  • Loses cushioning

Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat

Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat

Another amazing mat when it comes to getting your sweat on in a hot yoga class is the Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat. Just like the Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat, your grip actually increases the sweatier you get, so there’s no need to worry about slipping when your yoga instructor cranks up the heat.

Compared to the Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat however, this mat is a bit heavier, so it may not be someone’s first choice when it comes to finding a mat to bring back and forth to yoga class. Don’t let the weight scare you though. This mat delivers all the comfort and cushioning you need to comfortably contort your body into even the hardest yoga pose.

Made with 100% open airflow filters, moisture is wicked right out of your mat, so you never need to worry about any bacteria hanging around unwanted after a hot yoga class. Plus, a charcoal-infused natural rubber core keeps this baby environmentally friendly, so no need to worry about nasty chemicals.

Pros

  • Good grip
  • Comfortable
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Takes long dry
  • Sticks to floor

Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat

Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat

The Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat keeps up with our constantly changing desires and gives us not 1, but 2 mats for the price of 1. While yogis mention that with the material of this mat you will definitely see some sweat on it, it’s super easy to clean, hang up to dry, and then take right back out to yoga the next day.

This mat is made from a natural rubber base that gives you just the right amount of cushion without being too thick, bulky, and annoying to travel with. And while they mention it gives you good grip for low-sweat classes, many users have mentioned that it performs beautifully in their hot yoga classes.

Being this mat is made from a natural rubber, there is a slight smell when you first receive it. However, the more you use it and wash it and the longer you have it, you’ll notice the smell start to fade. This mat is definitely a bit on the pricier side, but we definitely think it’s well worth spending the few extra bucks.

Pros

  • Good comfort level
  • Reversible
  • Good grip

Cons

  • Initial smell
  • Shows sweat stains
  • Takes a while to dry

Alo Warrior Yoga Mat

Alo Warrior Yoga Mat

Another yoga mat on the pricier side is the Alo Warrior Yoga Mat. This yoga mat features a matte-black top which is super chic and stylish, and not only does it look good but it feels good too. This mat gives you amazing grip, even when wet, and helps to keep you sturdy and stable all practice long.

Many yogis mentioned that they were super impressed with this mat’s grip upon first receiving it. However, as time goes on this mat seems to lose it’s grip a bit, not only with your body but also with the floor. One user mentioned that at the end of a class their mat had moved about a foot forward from where it started out.

However, other users mention that for a mat that isn’t name brand, the Alo Warrior Yoga Mat definitely does deliver some amazing features. They love how comfortable and supportive it is even when in the craziest of poses, and it’s pretty lightweight which makes for easy, stress-free travel.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Sleek
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Slips
  • Doesn’t last long
  • Wears and tears

Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat

Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat

The Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat is an amazing choice when you’re looking for something that’s not only easy on your body, but easy on the environment as well. This mat is made with sustainable rubber, which comes from renewable, non-Amazon sources. What you’re left with is a durable mat that’s built to last.

The natural rubber this mat is made from is also super grippable, and features 2 sides with different textures: 1 side covered in tiny bumps that help hold you perfectly in place, and the other side featuring a woven-like, rubbery, super grip surface perfect for hot yoga and sweatier yogis. Users absolutely love the versatility this mat offers.

This mat also features a ¼” thickness that perfectly cushions your knees and wrists, keeping you safe and comfortable all practice long. However, it also perfectly maintains its stability and sturdiness giving you all the support you need, in even the most difficult yoga poses. While it honestly can’t compare to some of the other mats on this list, it’s still a great pick.

Pros

  • Double sided
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Natural materials

Cons

  • Not the best grip
  • Not super durable
  • Can be more comfortable

YoGo Ultralight Folding Travel Yoga Mat

YoGo Ultralight Folding Travel Yoga Mat

For all you yogis constantly on the go, the YoGo Ultralight Folding Travel Yoga Mat is another great purchase. Just like the Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat, this yoga mat folds up origami style making it super easy and compact to travel with, and you can even secure it with an attached strap to make a handle.

Yogis absolutely love how you can easily fit this mat in a tote bag or backpack, especially when they have other yoga gear to pack such as blocks and straps (which you can also find at the end of this ranking). It folds down to about a newspaper size and at only 2 pounds is super easy to travel with.

One issue customers have complained about is the time it takes to receive this mat in the mall. Also it seems as if there are some pretty high customer fees when ordering this mat online, so if you’d like to purchase this mat your best bet may be to buy it in the store rather than online.

Pros

  • Foldable
  • Super compact
  • Easy to travel with

Cons

  • Takes long to receive
  • Fees when ordering online
  • Not good customer service

Are there different types of yoga mats for different types of yoga?

With yoga becoming hugely popular in recent years, we’re sure most of us know that there are tons of different types of yoga. There’s the types of yoga that have been around for years, like ashtanga, vinyasa, and restorative, and then there’s some yoga with a twist, like goat yoga.

With that being said, there are definitely some mats that are better for certain types of yoga than others. For example, it can be expected that when taking a hot yoga class you’re going to sweat a little bit. Because of this we suggest looking for a yoga mat that is meant for sweating so that you won’t slip and lose your balance.

For restorative yoga and other types of yoga similar to that, you may want to find a yoga mat that has a lot of support and cushioning, as many poses you’ll find yourself in during these types of yoga classes involve laying on the floor. Therefore you’ll want a mat that will support your joints and bones on the hard floor.

When it really comes down to it, you’ll want to find a yoga mat that works best for you. With the exception of buying a yoga mat that has a good grip for hot yoga and yoga similar to that, the perfect yoga mat really will be the one that works best for you and your body.

Is a yoga mat required for practicing yoga?

While there isn’t a written rule that requires you to purchase a yoga mat before walking into your first yoga class (unless the yoga studio your attending does have this specific rule in place), we highly suggest you purchasing a yoga mat, and at the very least checking to see if the studio you’re attending has extra mats you can borrow.

Practicing yoga without a mat can be a bit challenging. Not only may it possibly be rough on your body as you have no cushioning in between your body and the hardwood floor, but it also helps your body move a lot more smoothly in between poses as it gives you the support your body needs to move freely.

Yoga mats, if you purchase the right one, also help your feet grip on the ground, which can help prevent any injuries you risk getting in yoga class as there are many balancing yoga poses you may come across in class. They also are way more sanitary than just practicing yoga right on the floor that many other people have walked on.

Like we said, it may not necessarily be required to purchase a yoga mat before attending a class, but we definitely do suggest it. Having your own yoga mat will make your life much easier, is a much more sanitary option than borrowing one from your studio, and will allow your body to flow comfortably and smoothly throughout your practice.

What’s the best yoga mat?

There are tons of really amazing yoga mats on the market, it’s almost hard for us to choose which one is our favorite. But if we had to pick, we’d totally give our first place prize to the Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat. Combining superior quality with comfort, this mat gives your body everything it needs to practice a safe yoga sequence.

A really cool feature this mat has is that, unlike many mats out there, this yoga mat improves over time, rather than falling apart and wearing down. Once you break this mat in and it really gets used to your body, you’ll notice your grip improving with each sequence you flow through. And you won’t experience any peeling, flaking, or fading.

This mat effortlessly cushions your body throughout your entire practice, ensuring you don’t leave class with any aches or pains, even if you just stretched your body to its limit in some intense restorative poses. And, with a lifetime guarantee, you can rest assured your mat is always protected from any damage it may fall victim too.

Like we mentioned earlier, when it really comes down to it the best yoga mat is simply the yoga mat that feels the best for your body. As long as your yoga mat is offering your body the support and cushioning it needs to safely and successfully make it through your yoga practice, then that mat is the mat for you.

RAVE Recommends

Sure, having the right yoga mat is super important when it comes to enjoying a yoga class, but why just stop there? Here are some other products that will truly take your yoga practice to the next level and will leave you savasana-ing all your problems away.

  • Tumaz Yoga Strap: Take your yoga practice to the next level by bringing along a yoga strap. Enjoy improved flexibility and stability with this strap and possibly find yourself in some poses you never thought you’d get into.
  • Tucketts Yoga Socks: If you’re a sock kind of person, then these yoga socks are perfect for you. Cutout toes allow you to not lose any of your mobility while a sticky grip on the bottom keeps you stable and support all practice long.
  • Lotuscrafts Yoga Bolster: A bolster can truly take your yoga practice to the next level, especially when you’re in a restorative or a yin class. This bolster is eco-friendly and offers all the comfort and support you need in your yoga class.
  • AmazonBasics Yoga Blocks: To promote better balance and to help deepen your poses, this set of 2 yoga blocks will lend you the helping hand you need.