Yoga is one of the best exercise practices to pick up this year. Whether you've been a practitioner for several years now or you are starting from scratch, having the right mat will be essential for optimal performance.
If you find you’re tired of having people’s sweaty feet marks near your face or if you're too tall for the average yoga mat, you should invest in your own! We made a list of the top 10 best yoga mats to buy, with our top pick as Yogibare's Extreme Grip Yoga Exercise Mat, and created a buying guide to focus on the essential considerations that you should think about before making your decision.
Whether you are planning to practice yoga at a hot yoga studio, outdoors, or at home, it is important that you understand the following specifications of every yoga mat before buying one.
The standard size for yoga mats is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long, which is perfect for anyone five feet, eight inches tall or shorter. If you're taller, though, you'll want a mat that is 74 inches wide by 84 inches long.
These specifications are important so that you can have a full range of motion for poses on the mat without touching the floor. This is particularly helpful if you are doing yoga outdoors and you don’t want your hands or feet getting dirty. Additionally, you don’t want to always hold onto the edges of your mat to keep balanced.
You'll also want a mat that fits your height so that you can have your head and feet both on the mat while lying down. Other poses such as upward facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana), and warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) are particularly uncomfortable to do while using a small mat.
Your mat's width is more important for yoga practitioners who like more room when doing poses at the back of the mat. Some specific examples for poses that require a wider mat include bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), bound angle pose (Baddha Konasana), and wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana).
185 centimeters long by 68 centimeters wide (73 by 27 inches) would be my ideal max dimensions. You can go slightly thinner in length, but I would not go much smaller; otherwise, you won't have enough room to move around.
The ideal density for travel yoga mats tends to be less than one-tenth of an inch thick and can be easily stored at home as well. Be mindful that since they are thinner, they provide less support. However, these are beneficial for practicing balance postures in connection to the floor or light stretching.
Medium-density means the mat is about one-eighth an inch thick and these options are great for traction and balance. They're useful in flow yoga classes where you move from one pose to another in swift movements. The more traction you have, the better stability and control you have on the mat.
High-density yoga mats are about one-fourth an inch thick and are ideal for sensitive joints and for beginners. They can provide support for your back and other postures that can cause your bones to dig into the floor. The downside is that they can be heavier and cumbersome to carry. However, this may not be an issue if you’re doing yoga at home.
Lastly, consider the type of yoga class you take to decide on the correct thickness of your mat. If you're more prone to taking yin yoga classes, you'll want a thicker mat as you will be sitting most of the time. If you focus on stability for active or balanced poses, go for a thinner mat that has a texturized surface to maintain your grip.
Four millimeters (about 0.15 inches) is my favorite thickness. It gives enough cushion for your knees and your joints but is still thin enough to be buoyant if you want to practice hopping or floating back into chaturanga.
The material of the yoga mat will affect its texture, which determines how the mat yields to pressure and what is needed for balance. Let's explore the different materials to see how they will affect the durability of the mat and if they will meet your needs.
A yoga mat made from plastic polymers, like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is highly durable, easy to keep clean, and usually grips the floor well. The main downsides are that it is non-absorbent, which can be slippery if you sweat, and it is not biodegradable like other materials.
It is also difficult to properly recycle because of its high chlorine content and other additives that may be harmful to mix with other materials. While it is good to be aware of these concerns, PVC is still a great option if you find that you don't sweat heavily or you need a latex-free option since it does offer that benefit.
TPE, which stands for thermoplastic elastomer, is a foam material made from eco-friendly plastic and rubber polymers. While these may be less durable than a PVC mat, they still have good traction, are biodegradable, and in certain places, can be fully recyclable.
Friction and stickiness are what to look for when you need a mat designed for a secure grip. Mats that are marked as dry grip are great for hot yoga. The best materials for dry grip mats are natural rubber or cork. They may not be as easy to clean as some other yoga mat types, but they'll keep you from slipping during your flow.
Cork material comes from a renewable source that does not damage the tree in harvesting. In cork mats, typically one side of the mat is made of cork while the other is a different material so that it will have a better grip on the floor. A cork mat combined with natural rubber is a great biodegradable option.
Natural rubber mats are made from the sap of rubber trees, making them sustainable and durable for your yoga needs. However, if you are allergic to rubber, you'll want to look into other options.
An organic cotton yoga mat is another favorite among yoga enthusiasts with its soft texture, ability to soak in sweat, and stable traction to the floor. Depending on the size you choose, they are usually lightweight and can be a foldable travel companion if you do yoga outside your home.
Apart from its capabilities, an organ cotton mat is biodegradable and can be washed easily. Like most of the other materials, it may not be as durable as a PVC mat, but it can still last for a long time if kept in proper care.
I love a natural rubberized or eco-polyurethane yoga mat surface that's almost tacky. I like a surface that is non-slip and somewhat grippy when damp or wet, so as you sweat throughout your practice, your hands and feet are able to naturally maintain traction on your mat instead of slipping.
A naturally textured rubber bottom surface helps the mat stick to the floor of the studio, whether you're practicing on wooden floors or concrete. The amount of cushion you have in between the top and bottom surface should not be foamy nor absorbent, but a sturdy poly or natural rubber. Cork is also an option.
Below is a list of the top ten best yoga mats that you can buy find online. We've compared the best options to save you time and to make sure you go to your next yoga session in style!
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Karin Loo. For more on our selection process, check out our content policy.
Extreme Grip Yoga Exercise Mat
PRO Yoga and Pilates Mat
Original Yoga Mat
B Mat Strong Yoga Mat
GoYoga Yoga Mat
Premium Eco Safe Yoga Mat
Sprout Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mat
Jade Fusion Yoga Mat
Folding Travel Fitness and Exercise Yoga Mat
Sattva Jute Mat
Best Support For Body Alignment and Practicing Poses
Dense Cushioning for Support and Stability
A Mat That Helps You Effortlessly Find Your Alignment
A Popular Choice Among Tall Yogis
Anti-Tear and Easy to Clean Yoga Mat for Beginners
A Durable Yoga Mat That’s Built to Last
Push Through Your Next Hot Yoga Session With This Mat
A Sustainable Yoga Mat You Can Feel Good About
A Portable Yoga Mat That You Can Take Anywhere
Keep Your Limbs Dry With a Natural Fiber Mat
|Size (length x width)||70 x 26 in.||71 x 26 in.||70.9 x 26 in.||75 or 85 x 26 in.||68 x 24 in.||72 x 24 in.||72 x 25 in.||68 x 24 in.||68 x 24 in.||68 x 24 in.|
|Thickness||0.15 in.||0.24 in.||0.2 in.||0.24 in.||0.25 in.||0.25 in.||0.2 in.||0.31 in.||0.08 in.||0.4 in.|
|Weight||5.5 lbs.||7 lbs.||5.5 lbs.||4.9-5.3 lbs.||1.5 lbs.||3.7 lbs.||2 lbs.||6.5-7.1lbs.||1-1.9 lbs.||2.65 lbs.|
|Material||Polyurethane, rubber||PVC||Natural rubber & eco-polyurethane||Rubber||High density foam||Polymer environmental resin (PER)||Cork & thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)||Natural rubber||Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)||Jute|
|Size (length x width)||70 x 26 in.|
|Size (length x width)||71 x 26 in.|
|Size (length x width)||70.9 x 26 in.|
|Material||Natural rubber & eco-polyurethane|
|Size (length x width)||75 or 85 x 26 in.|
|Size (length x width)||68 x 24 in.|
|Material||High density foam|
|Size (length x width)||72 x 24 in.|
|Material||Polymer environmental resin (PER)|
|Size (length x width)||72 x 25 in.|
|Material||Cork & thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)|
|Size (length x width)||68 x 24 in.|
|Size (length x width)||68 x 24 in.|
|Material||Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)|
|Size (length x width)||68 x 24 in.|
Before cleaning, the best and safest approach is to read the instructions from the manufacturer or brand to see what they recommend. However, there are two things to remember no matter what: regularly wipe your mat down after you exercise and then give it a good deep cleaning from time to time.
There are plenty of mat sprays that you can buy, and these are best applied once a week. If you want to make your own cleaner, take a spray bottle and mix a one-to-one ratio of water to vinegar. You can add an essential oil such as tea tree oil to balance out the smell of vinegar; however, be careful as too much oil may damage your mat over time.
You can also go for a diluted soap and water mixture to wipe down your mat. Look for a water-based, organic soap that isn't too heavy. If you have a natural rubber mat, you will want to use another cleaning method as it can soak up the suds and become slippery.
For a deep clean, soak your mat in the tub for a few minutes in enough water that will cover it along with a few cups of vinegar and mild soap. Another method is to hand wash it with the soap and then rinse it off with a hose or in the shower.
If you have a front-load washer, you may be able to wash your mat as these washers are usually more gentle and need less detergent. It is best to set it on a gentle mode and low temperature; however, this method is best for PVC or cotton mats, so if you have another material be sure to check your instructions beforehand.
Here are some other tips to remember. Make sure you thoroughly rinse off your mat. Unless it is a cotton mat, do not tumble dry your mat since this may tear or damage the material. If you have excess moisture, place a towel on top and roll up the mat; once it is soaked up, lay it flat or let it hang dry away from direct sunlight.
It is best to keep your mats away from direct sunlight since this can cause the material to deteriorate, especially PVC or natural rubber. Instead, let your mats air dry after each yoga session instead of leaving it rolled up.
A hygienic tip for both you and your mat is to wash your hands and feet before each yoga session. This should help maintain your mat's cleanliness by lessening the chance of body oils and dirt showing up, aside from your sweat.
Karin says, "When choosing a yoga mat, think about what type of practice you like and what type of yoga you do most. If you practice hot indoor yoga, consider a mat that has great non-slip reviews. If you like to do your yoga outside, consider a lighter-colored mat; I love a dark or black mat, but it absorbs heat and makes it hot to the touch if practicing in the sun!
Yoga mats, just like anything else, come in all price points. Consider investing in a higher-quality mat that you love to look at. It will encourage you to keep up your yoga practice.
Also, don't forget to purchase a strap or yoga mat carrier. It keeps your mat rolled up, and makes your life ten times easier!"
In this video, Yoga With Bird provides a 10-minute yoga session for beginners who need a full body stretch in the morning, mid-day, or even in the evening before bed. She walks you through the entire session to help release any tension, promote circulation, and offer relaxation before heading into your day or night.
The ideal yoga mat might not be the only thing you need to achieve your fitness goals this year. Here are some more sports and fitness products you might be interested in!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
Author: Kenny Soto
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