The best yoga mats can be used for much more than just yoga. They're a multipurpose surface for many different kinds of home workouts, such as cardio, ab work and weightlifting.
The best yoga mats provide a cushioned, non-slip base on which you can perform fitness activities. And with many gyms closed or restricting attendance, everyone's been investing in the best home gym equipment. A yoga mat is a key component of that.
Yoga mats come in a variety of types to meet different needs and budgets (and style preferences). The best yoga mats are usually made of long-lasting PVC or rubber and have enough cushion to be easy on the joints. They’re also non-slip and sweat-resistant, so you can get your heart rate up without worrying about injuring yourself.
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A yoga mat is essential to yoga practice, of course, giving you a proper foundation to flow from pose to pose. Yoga has many benefits: It can increase flexibility, tone and strengthen muscles, improve heart health and decrease stress and anxiety. But the best yoga mats are also great for any kind of floor workout, such as crunches, planks and push-ups. They provide a stable surface for performing jumping jacks, burpees and squats, and for strength training with the best adjustable dumbbells.
Here are our choices for the best yoga mats.
What are the best yoga mats?
The best yoga mats are made of durable, long-lasting material that’s thick enough to provide some cushion. The surface should be non-slip and sweat-resistant, as well as easily cleaned.
The best yoga mat overall is the Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat, which is 6mm thick and made of textured PVC. It’s reversible, affordable and comes in several bright, cheerful colors. Plus, Gaiam mats come with a lifetime guarantee. That’s why we also selected the Gaiam Performance Alignment Grip Yoga Mat as the best alignment yoga mat, which features markings to help with proper placement of your hands, feet and body.
If you’re on a budget, the BalanceFrom GoYoga All Purpose Yoga Mat is very cheap but well-made. The double-sided non-slip surface is extra thick and moisture-resistant.
Speaking of extra thick mats, the ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat is our pick in that category. The ½ inch thick material is easy on the joints, knees and back. If you need an extra long mat, the YOGA Accessories Extra Wide & Long Deluxe Yoga Mat is seven feet long by 3 feet wide – so taller and larger people can stretch out as they work out.
The best sweat-proof yoga mat, Manduka’s PROlite Yoga Mat, requires a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it (and comes with a lifetime guarantee). The 4.7 mm mat is comfortably cushioned but also lightweight, while the closed-cell surface wicks away moisture and dirt.
If you want an eco-friendly yoga mat, the Jade Harmony is sustainably made from rubber sourced from rubber trees, a renewable resource. Jade also plants a new tree for every mat sold.
And we haven’t forgotten kiddos who love yoga. The Gaiam Kids Yoga mat is made specifically for children ages 3 to 8 and features fun, cute patterns.
Note that the best yoga mats may have an unpleasant odor when you first purchase them. Wipe it down with a little soap and water and let it air dry.
The best yoga mats you can get now
The Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat is perfect for beginner and experienced yogis, as well as anyone looking for a fitness mat to work out at home. The 6mm-thick, PVC surface provides decent cushioning and is textured to be non-slip. The mat is reversible, so you can choose which of the two colors to use on any given day. If your mat doesn’t hold for any reason, Gaiam also offers a lifetime guarantee.
Reviewers on Gaiam’s website were impressed with the quality and “beautiful design” at such an affordable, reasonable cost. One reviewer said, “This is a great mat for a great price. It stays put, the material doesn't flake off, it's thick enough but not too thick and my hands and feet don't slide around. Very comfortable and vibrant colors.” Another said, “This mat has lasted me a few years now and still looks new.”
The extremely affordable BalanceFrom GoYoga mat has everything you need: double-sided non-slip surface, lightweight, easy to wash and clean and portable (a strap is included). 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 (pushups, burpees, bridges, lunges, etc) 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.”
The Manduka PROlite has a lot of fans, who rave about the closed-cell surface that repels moisture, sweat and dirt. In fact, a lot of reviewers say they use it for hot yoga. The high-density foam is easy on joints, so you can do cat-cow poses or forearm planks without undue stress on your knees and elbows. Manduka boasts that the mat won’t peel or flake — and backs that up with a lifetime guarantee.
One REI customer wrote, “I usually do yoga right after I run so I am already super sweaty, but my manduka STILL keeps me from sliding around (and I get really sweaty). Also, I like doing yoga in the sun and this mat works super well in these conditions, too.” A reviewer on Manduka’s website raved, “ I love that I can grip it well without sliding. Definitely worth the investment! I'm obsessed and always thinking about the next time I get to use it.”
If you have extra sensitive joints or body aches and pains, the ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat is one of the best yoga mats for you. The ½-inch foam provides comfortable cushioning even on hardwood floors and will be gentle on your knees, back and hips. The non-slip surface ensures a stable base for yoga, pilates and other workouts. The mat is lightweight and portable, thanks to an included sling, and can even be used as a sleeping mat when camping.
A reviewer on ProsourceFit’s website wrote, “I love my new yoga mat and it’s great for the wooden floor in my apartment. There’s enough support for my knees and wrists when I do yoga classes at home.” Multiple five-star Amazon reviews also pointed out the comfort factor of the mat. “After about a year into use as my yoga mat, I had a failed back surgery that left me in a lot of chronic pain. At this point, it became my favored mat for a ton of different activities.”
Tall and large people may have experienced the frustration of doing yoga or a workout on a regular-sized mat — especially that annoying feeling of feet and arms stretching out onto cold floors. The YogaAccessories Extra Wide and Long Mat is the solution they’ve been seeking at 7 feet by 3 feet. The textured latex-free surface is moisture-resistant and comfortably thick.
One reviewer on the YogaAccessories website described it as “Large, sturdy and cushioned mat suitably for individuals six feet and taller. Rolls into a convenient size for easy storage.” Most Amazon reviews applauded the convenience of the large size. “I have plenty of room on this mat, without it being too heavy or cumbersome to carry or store. I have no issues with slipping, even when very sweaty. “ And some reviewers even mentioned other great uses: “This nice big mat is wonderful to stand on while doing dishes or chopping vegetables.”
For those who want to take one of the best yoga mats on the go, Lululemon’s Reversible (Un) Mat is extremely lightweight. Roll it up and take it to the park for an outdoor workout, to the studio when class is back in session or on a trip when travel starts back up. The rubber base provides support and decent cushioning, while the polyurethane top absorbs moisture and sweat. Plus, the mat has an antimicrobial additive to prevent mold.
Overall, Lululemon customers are pleased with the mat’s quality (though they did point out its initial strong smell). “This mat is perfect for me. It is lightweight and easy to clean,” one reviewer wrote. Another added, “I needed something thin with grip that I could use for home workouts. My previous mat would get in my way when I’d do burpees. This one stays put!”
Environmentally-conscious yogis and fitness buffs will rejoice in knowing that the Jade Harmony Mat is sustainably made from rubber sourced from renewable rubber trees. Jade mats contain no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber. Plus, the company plants a new tree for every mat sold. The material provides a ton of traction and stability, which makes it one of the best yoga mats for sweaty workouts and hot yoga.
Reviewers on Jade’s website also noted the mat’s durability. “I’ve had my mat for SEVEN years and I still can’t find a reason to replace it,” one wrote. Another raved about the moisture-resistant surface. “This mat is perfect. I sweat buckets and almost never need to use my full-mat-length towel.” It’s the choice for quite a few yoga teachers, as well, as one explained, “Let’s just say I have been teaching for ten years and absolutely love the harmony yoga mat! Unsurpassable quality, grip and comfort.”
How to choose the best yoga mat for you
When shopping for the best yoga mats, there are a number of factors to consider, starting with size and thickness. Most standard yoga mats are about ¼ inch thick, but you may want a thicker one if you require more cushioning for knees, hips and other joints. Size matters if you’re a taller or larger person and don’t want to go “off mat” while you work out.
Other key factors to think about are the durability and stability of the mat. Will the mat hold up under heavy use? Will the texture and surface provide grip and traction? The last thing you want is an injury because the mat slipped or slid under you. And if sustainability and being green are important to you, you should look into the materials of the mat and how and where it’s made. As for odor and visual appeal, those vary by the mat’s manufacturer. Some of the best yoga mats have an initial unpleasant smell, which can dissipate after cleaning.
And of course, there’s cost. The best yoga mats come in a wide range of prices, from affordable, sub-$20 options to higher-end, brand-name selections. When it comes to cost, you may want to think about how often and how heavily you’ll use the mat. If you’re a dedicated yogi or you want to use a mat for HIIT workouts, you may want to splurge for a tougher mat that can hold up under the conditions.
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