Best Yoga Mats Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Whether you are a seasoned pro at the Lotus Pose or a beginner looking to boost relaxation and well-being, the key to a good Yoga session begins and ends on the mat. It is the single most important purchase you will need to make when starting a Yoga program. Choose one that’s too heavy and you will be stuck lugging the extra weight to and from practice every day. Choose one that’s too slippery and just try getting through a hot yoga routine without ending up flat on your face! Beyond that, there is the nature of the mat itself. For many practitioners, yoga is far more than a means of achieving internal calm. It also demands a benevolent relationship with the world around you. This means choosing a mat constructed using eco-friendly measures. And all of this isn’t even taking into account the color and aesthetic of the mat itself.
- Aurorae Classic Extra Thick
- Non Toxic
- Jade Harmony
This is one purchase you want to get right the first time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ve come to the right place! We will be looking at some of the best mats on the market today, with an eye towards a few key traits you should be keeping a lookout for. Among them, we will be considering: Thickness, material, eco-friendliness, and of course, cost. While a few of the heavy-hitters in the Yoga market are on display here, we’ve also located a few great products from less well-known manufacturers as well. So make sure you’ve stretched, get into Downward Dog, and let’s begin!
10 Best Yoga Mats
1. Aurorae Classic Extra Thick
Consumers with allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals can rest easy, as Aurorae's products are free from any latex, Phthalates, silicone, or rubber. All materials are natural and eco friendly.
Oftentimes users may look at a thicker mat and see greater cushioning during exercises. However, thickness can be a hindrance to balance when in the middle of a routine. This mat is specially designed to strike a perfect balance between the comfort of a thick mat and the dexterity of a thin one.
Cost and Value
This mat is a steal compared to some of the offerings from more well-known manufacturers on this list. It's easily half the price of some of the top tier mats while still providing a terrific user experience along with the peace of mind that comes with a completely non-toxic product.
- Ideal 1/4'' Thickness
- Low Price Point
- Wide Array of colors
- All options feature logo
- Can be slippery during hot yoga/intense routines
2. Jade Harmony
The lack of slipping is really where this mat stands out. The open cell rubber surface holds great, even when the mat is slick with sweat. This definitely makes it one of the top options for users who regularly practice physically intense, rigorous routines.
Consumers are supporting a good cause when they support this company. In addition to being American-made, Jade Harmony is committed to supporting the environment, from the eco-safe materials that go into the mat, to their charitable partnership with Trees for the Future.
Cost and Value
The cost is a bit higher on this mat for a couple reasons. Firstly, it's an American company so you are paying American manufacturing prices. It's also a small company using high-quality materials. Considering all of this, it's still a smart buy if you are looking to help the environment with the purchase of a high-quality mat.
3. YogaAccessories High Density
This mat stands out when it comes to durability. The tough, open and closed cell construction is built to stand up to years of punishment. If longevity is what you're after, this mat is a smart buy for that alone.
At 1/4'' this mat offers a great deal of comfort, especially during more high impact exercises. Additionally, the thickness makes it a great multi-purpose mat, either for aerobics or a makeshift seat during various outdoor activities.
Cost and Value
This is another affordable mat on the lower end of the cost spectrum. It's fairly basic and straightforward in terms of material and workmanship, though it does offer the benefits of extra cushioning. A good basic buy for a beginner.
- Good value compared to other mats
- Eco-friendly construction
- Tear resistant
- Super dense material
- Available in a wide array of colors
- Heavy at more than 3 lbs.
- A bit more slippery compared to other mats on the market
4. Clever Yoga Non-Slip
Unlike other mats on this list, Clever Yoga's mat pays attention to the underside as well as the surface in use. The bottom of the mat is marked with grooves so that it 'grips' the floor. After all, what good is a non-stick mat if it's sliding all over the studio!
While this mat boasts the same thickness as some of the more cushioned offerings on this list, it's built of far more lightweight material, at a mere 2 pounds. Consequently, it strikes a necessary balance between durability and portability.
Cost and Value
The Clever Yoga mat is a bit pricier than some of the other mats that we have looked at. For the beginner just starting out, there are cheaper options that get the job done just fine. That said, if durability is what you're after, the Clever Yoga mat is a good bet.
- Double-sided non-stick surface
- Non-Toxic materials
- All Natural biodegradable construction
- Stands up to vigorous use
- Ends can take extra time to lay down flat
- A bit pricier
5. Manduka Pro
Mats with an 'open cell' surface have a greater grip, but that often comes at the price of cleanliness. A porous surface absorbs sweat and stains, making the mat difficult-to-impossible to keep fully clean. The Manduka mat has a textured 'closed cell' surface so that sweat will not penetrate the surface
Manduka has a lifetime guarantee on this product. It's built to withstand years of heavy use, as well as storage in less-than-ideal conditions. This is truly the mat to buy if you're looking for one item to last a lifetime of yoga sessions.
Cost and Value
Here is where we run into issues. This mat is nearly three times the price of a few others we have reviewed, making it a sizable investment. It may be costly for those looking to get into yoga on a budget, or beginners who are just trying the sport out.
- Lifetime guarantee
- Easy to Clean
- Hypoallergenic and 100% Latex-free
- Built to withstand punishment
- Superior cushioning and comfort
- Quite expensive
- Closed Cell surface can become slippery during use
The defining feature of this product is the eye-catching array of prints available for purchase. Far from simple monochrome color schemes, these mats have a variety of lush Eastern-themed prints like Black Chakra, Sapphire Feather, and Tribal Wisdom Elephant.
As with other mats that we have examined, the Gaia Premium mat is just a bit thicker than other mats, providing extra cushioning for joints during yoga sessions. If comfort is what you're after, this mat fits the bill.
Cost and Value
While not the cheapest item on our list, this mat is still on the lower end of things price-wise. The big sell for consumers here is the wide array of colors and patterns. Other selections cost more and only come in a single monochrome.
- Lush array of Eastern prints
- Extra thickness for comfort
- Lightweight despite density
- Good value for the money
- Surface is firm and holds shape well
- Can become slippery during intense yoga sessions
- Chemical smell can be unpleasant
7. Heathyoga Eco Friendly
This mat is lighter and thinner than many of its top competitors. The TPE material ensures that you won't be stuck feeling the floor beneath you during a session. Though thin, the mat provides the comfort of a thicker mat. Those looking for something that can be easily transporter should look no further.
Double Layer Structure
Unlike other mats, this one combines two layers, each designed to grip effectively. The top capitalizes on the incredible comfort of the TPE material, with a patterned surface for gripping. Beneath it is a separate layer with a 'tire tread' pattern designed not to slip. Therefore each section provides a different type of protection against slippage
Cost and Value
This is a clear-cut case of putting forth a few extra dollars for superior material. Not all of the mats that you see will be TPE, which allows the mat to be both lighter and thinner while still offering the superior comfort of more bulky mats.
- TPE material
- No rubber/chemical odor
- 2 layer protection against slippage
- Comes in a variety of colors
- lightweight and portable
- A bit more expensive
- TPE can warp when exposed to intense heat
8. Liforme Yoga Mat
A great little extra that this mat has are the surface etchings that provide a guide to perfect positioning. This is especially useful for beginners who may be a bit less confident in their movements. The etchings are formed out of grooves on the surface instead of ink which makes them easier to use.
This mat really shines when it comes to its non-slip surface. The GripForMe material used by Liforme really gets the job done. No matter how long the session or the amount of sweat absorbed into the mat, it does not budge.
Cost and Value
This is at the absolute top of the list in terms of price. The Liforme mat is a major investment. If you're looking for any kind of deal it would be best to choose another mat, because this one is strictly for the pros.
- Etchings on mat help to maintain proper body position
- Terrific gripping
- Comes with a carrying bag for ease of transport
- Available in several different colors
- Eco friendly material
- One of the heavier mats on the list
- VERY expensive
9. Shantihi Yoga Mat
Unlike a few of the other mats on this list, this mat is just 5MM thick and weighs less than two pounds. Consumers without a lot of space who may need to transport the mat on a daily basis are sure to find moving this one a breeze.
Mats that are thick and cushioned may be comfortable but they can also soak up sweat like a sponge. This can create an exceedingly unpleasant situation after repeated use. The Shantihi mat is designed to grip effectively while repelling sweat so you won't be dealing with unpleasant stains and smells.
Cost and Value
This is a good mid-range yoga mat considering the quality of the TPE material. It offers a decent balance between quality and cost. If you are practicing yoga at a beginner or intermediate level, this might be a solid buy to consider.
- Eco-Friendly TPE material
- Ultra lightweight
- Cushions well considering how thin it is
- Does not absorb sweat
- Good gripping
- Slight staining from mat coloring is possible during initial use
- The material can stain and attract hair/dust
10. Yoga Zeal Yoga Mat
The addition of suede is one factor that makes this mat unusual. Suede absorbs rather than repels sweat, which can cut down on the slip factor. This makes it perfect for hot yoga, Pilates, and other high impact exercises
This is one more mat that can be customized to any unique style. The beautiful prints include lush patterns based on the moon, the ocean, and the tropics. Definitely, one to show off to your yoga class.
Cost and Value
With the eye-catching design and generous size, this mat also comes with a heftier price tag. While far from the most expensive item on our list, it is still a bit more of an investment. Whether or not to buy will depend on how much you want to spend on style.
- Comes in a variety of eye-catching prints
- Suede surface ensures an unusually soft mat
- Super long at 74''
- Surface is designed to double as a yoga towel
- Holds well to the floor
- More expensive than other similar mats
- On the heavier side
And there you have it. After wading through all of the different options and materials, we have arrived at our top 10. Choosing the particular model that is right for you depends on many factors. As always, consider your body shape when choosing a mat. You may find some of the above options too large, others a bit too small. Remember also that depending on the style of Yoga you plan to undertake, you’ll want to take into account the stickiness of the surface. If more vigorous movement is required a stickier mat will be too. Interested in a particular color? Remember that some options offer a whole array of colors while others allow for only a few.
Criteria used to Evaluate the Best Yoga Mats
Although not a critical aspect of yoga mats, we’ve come to realize peoples obsession with specific colors, and it seems everyone prefers one or the other. This is why we carefully have chosen and included yoga mats that have a variety of color options to choose from. There are also many different textures and styles. You could go with black, all white, green, blue or multi-colored. Have fun looking around.
We’ve selected some models that are as eco-friendly as can be, which means they will decompose and will not damage the environment. However, it’s noteworthy to mention the numerous eco-friendly nominations that did not make it due to their lack of quality and/or poor design. Yoga enthusiasts like to be at one with our surroundings, and when we damage the environment that becomes less and less possible. Make sure to dispose of properly have you ever need to throw away your old yoga mat.
In a conscious decision, you may want to stay away from the standard stick mat comprised of PVC. This type of mat, although can be favorable, does not break down or decompose well at all. However, If you’re looking for the best quality and one fits the bill and your criteria, by all means, take it. It is possible to recycle PVC yoga mats, although just not as easy or cost-efficient. With that, you don’t have to feel guilty should you make one decision or the other.
The standard texture does not work well with your hands and legs throughout the advanced positions typically seen in a yoga session. A semi-sticky surface will grab your skin so you don’t slip. Its a fairly simple concept but also critical and effective, especially when holding positions for any duration of time. This feature goes against the eco-friendliness mentioned earlier in this guide because you will typically find PVC mats to be much better in this regard. However, they do lose their effectiveness, especially when used constantly without giving a thorough wipedown and clean. Dirt or surface dust will hinder the yoga mats ability to grab onto your skin, thus allowing you to slip more easily.
Aside from being relatively sticky, the surface of your yoga mat should also be textured. Now, some people prefer them without texture, and that’s understandable especially if you have sensitive hands or feet which is less likely. Although, we recommend a textured mat for an optimal experience.
In regards to texture, a PVC yoga mat will rate lesser than that of juke material. This means jute mats have a more aggressive texture white PVC a plusher to the touch feel. There’s also everything in between from one extreme to the next. Whether you want a really mean grip, or you want a downright soft or smooth mat there’s something for you.
A yoga matt should have a distinctive padded feel. The material and the overall thickness of the mat has all to do with this. You want a padded mat because you don’t want unnecessary stress on your hands or feet at any given time during a yoga session, especially practical for intense sessions. You should be able to get away with most typical yoga sessions just fine no matter how long the session or fragile you are with a one/ fourth-inch mat. Although, this thick tends to lend it’s hand to awkward and uneven balance for some. If you are not used to anything other then the standard thickness of one/eighth of an inch, we suggest you stick to just that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I use a yoga mat?
A: Yoga mats are highly liked among the yogi. Being that yoga mats offer assistance with balance, support, and nonslip grip, they are incredibly beneficial. Those that have practiced yoga on other surfaces will know that it is not the more comfortable areas for practice. Not only does the yoga mat give extreme comfort but the yoga mat also offers a strong stability so that you can balance and focus your mind and your body, allowing you to release stress.
Q: How do I clean my yoga mat?
A: With all products being different, or different materials, every mat should be cleaned differently. The easiest way to clean your yoga mats is to use soap and water. The type of soap that should be used should be a more mild soap, like dish soap. Another good way to clean y our yoga mat is by using vinegar. Being that yoga mats get full of sweat and dirt, or wherever you may practice, vinegar is widely known for taking out stains and smells. Whatever you may use to clean your yoga mat, it should be a mild cleaner and washed in warm water.
Q: How often should I clean my yoga mat?
A: Yoga mats should definitely be cleaned regularly. Depending upon how often you are using your yoga mat should depend upon how often you clean it. If you use your yoga mat once a week, you shouldn’t have to clean it more than once a week. The best rule of thumb to live by is every two uses. Bacteria can build up and create foul odors if not cleaned on a regular basis.
Q: Why are yoga mats sticky?
A: Many different yoga poses are intricate and difficult to do. Having to place your feet and hands in different positions that would normally cause sliding or pain will be prevented by using a sticky mat. Yoga mats have been made sticky to offer great stability and prevent you from sliding out while you are in your yoga pose. Being that yoga is for the mind and relaxation, you should be able to solely focus on your pose and not about how to stay in it. Safety and comfort are key when it comes down to yoga.
Q: What thickness should I get?
A: Many people like the standard mat that is usually about 1/8″. Although there are different thicknesses, those who are looking to feel a solid connection to the floor will go with a thinner yoga mat. The highest thickness of the yoga mat would be 1/4″. With the thicker yoga mats, they do not give you that connection and can cause you to lose your balance a lot easier, considering they are softer. The standard yoga mat should be your go to, if you are uncomfortable with that, you can always move up in thickness.
Q: Why is the color of my mat important?
A: As yoga is a more spiritual exercise, they say that the color of your mat is the color of your chakra. If you are looking to get in touch with yourself, it is said to go with a yoga mat that defines your personality. Red yoga mats are equal to energetic individuals while yellow could be for happy and joyful individuals, and so on. What personality are you?
Yoga International, Yoga Mats. Are they really Necessary?, April 8, 2014
Wiki How, How to clean a yoga mat
Bad Yogi Magazine, How often should I clean my yoga mat?, October 30th, 2016
Y is for Yogini, What color mat is best for you?, August 2010