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For months, you’ve skipped over that part in your yoga video that looked intimidating, or worse, just plain hurt when you tried it. You could give up and resign yourself to more basic poses…or, you could level up by incorporating a yoga block into your practice. Made of a variety of materials, like cork and foam, yoga blocks are essential in helping you master challenging balancing poses while also deepening your stretches and keeping your spine aligned. While they’re a common staple among beginners looking to stay stabilized, they’re equally beneficial for advanced yogis looking to, well, advance. The best yoga blocks on the market will give you support, stay firmly planted on the ground and be comfortable enough to make you want to nama-stay in downward dog all day—and we've tracked them down for you.

What Are Yoga Blocks?

Yoga blocks are so much more than random chunks of material scattered across your yoga studio or home gym. Essentially, they serve as a mode of stability and a tool for increasing your range of motion. Each one offers three levels of intensity, which you can change by simply flipping them around to suit your needs.

What to Look For in a Yoga Block

At first glance, yoga blocks appear pretty similar, making it frustrating to shop for them. But no sweat! (Or, if you’re practicing Bikram, maybe a little bit of sweat). In general, you want to opt for a block that features rounded or diagonal-cut edges that won’t dig or cut into your skin when you rest the weight of your body on top of it.

The two most popular materials for them are foam or cork, the former of which is both lighter and more malleable. Foam also absorbs enough shock on the joints to be suitable for practitioners of all levels (we’re looking at you, newbies).

Cork yoga blocks, meanwhile, which you may have caught a glimpse of on a yoga influencer’s feed, also deserve a place in your home practice for a number of reasons. For starters, they tend to be heavier than their foam counterparts, which allows them to stay more firmly anchored to the ground. This is a huge bonus for those who struggle with stability in their poses. If you tend to sweat, cork is a great choice, as it won’t slip and/or slide as easily as foam thanks to its porous and jagged texture. It also certainly helps that cork is a renewable material that will make for a more sustainable option for the planet.

You'll also want to consider the depth of your yoga block. They usually have a thickness between 2.5 to 4 inches, and while most folks prefer a wider block, a slimmer cut may be more comfortable if you have narrow hips and plan to use it as a spacer between your legs.

How to Use Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks allow you to get creative in your practice. You can use them in any pose that requires you to place your hands on the ground, for instance, thereby increasing range of motion. For example, in triangle pose, which requires you to fold the side of your torso over a straightened front leg, a yoga block will shorten the distance between your hand and the ground. This will help you to deepen the stretch in your straightened front leg and also assist you in keeping your core engaged and your spine aligned.

To use yoga blocks in exercises like glute bridge, simply place them between your inner thighs and squeeze your legs together as you lift and lower your hips. The presence of the block works to create a mind-muscle connection, further activating your adductors (the inner thigh area), and holds you accountable by keeping your knees from collapsing inwards or falling outwards. You can even place blocks between your calves during leg raises for an added lower abdominal challenge.

For advanced practitioners, yoga blocks will make for the ultimate BFF as they work to master a variety of arm balances. You can prop your feet up onto a block during crow pose and have someone slowly and gently remove the block from beneath you as you work to sustain your balance, or you can kick it out from underneath you by yourself. Before you know it, you won’t even need it!

These fitness tools can also make for a deliciously restorative practice. You can place them anywhere under your body during savasana (that’s your final resting pose) to help boost circulation, relieve muscle tension and promote an overall feeling of relaxation.

How Many Yoga Blocks Do I Need?

The number of yoga blocks you need largely depends on how you plan to use them. You can get away with just one block to help bridge the gap between your palms and the floor for half moon or triangle poses, for example, but you’ll feel a lot more stable with two blocks during poses that call for placement of both hands on the ground, like a standing half split or any type of plank variation.

A single block will also work well placed when under your sacrum (lower spine) or scapula (shoulder blade) during savasana, since it’ll decompress your spine and provide a full-body sensation of muscle relief. You’ll want two blocks during savasana, however, when you elevate your legs for boosted circulation to keep both sides of your body even. Luckily, a number of brands offer convenient two-packs.

The Best Yoga Blocks at a Glance

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Amazon

1. Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block Duo

Best Overall Yoga Block

Made from an extra-thick foam material (it’s 4 inches deep), these yoga blocks will work for most asanas, or positions. They’re lined with a non-slip solution that will make you feel extra grounded, and their beveled edges will help you, quite literally, get a grip on your practice. To sweeten the deal, you’ll also get an 8-foot strap to help you sink deeper into passive stretches.

Pros:

  • Non-slip
  • Included strap

Cons:

  • Chemical smell
  • Softer than other foams

From $22 at Amazon

Amazon

2. Manduka Yoga Block 

Runner Up

Thanks to its renewable fine-grain cork material, which is said to be more sustainable than foam, this block provides a firmer surface for an added layer of stability. It will also penetrate deeper into sore muscles should you use it under your limbs in restorative poses. The rounded edges can help you clasp onto the block more comfortably (something that can help prevent chafing), while its naturally textured surface provides enough grip to keep you feeling secure during your practice. Best of all? Cork has natural anti-odor and antimicrobial properties, which will be much appreciated during super sweaty sessions.

Pros:

  • Extra firm
  • Long-lasting
  • Antimicrobial properties

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No color variation

$22 at Amazon

Amazon

3. Node Fitness Balance Pad

Honorable Mention

With a 2.5-inch thick width on its lowest side, Node Fitness’ yoga block makes for a great compromise between a standard 4-inch block and no block at all. This makes it ideal for advanced yogis who don’t require as much assistance deepening their poses, or beginners looking for a simple cushion for meditation, since it can double as a posture-promoting seated riser. If you tend to drip buckets of sweat during your workouts (guilty as charged), you’ll also appreciate Node Fitness’ “closed-cell technology,” which can reportedly help to ward off odors and bacteria. It features beveled edges for a gentler feel and an embossed texture for added toe grip.

Pros:

  • Thinner for more advanced yogis
  • Odor-busting technology

Cons:

  • Scratches easily

$20 at Amazon

Amazon

4. Clever Yoga Blocks Set

Best Beginner Yoga Block

If you’re not looking for anything complicated, this foam yoga block will do a solid job of stabilizing you during balancing poses and improving your spinal alignment for meditation. It’s made of a high-density foam with a slip-proof surface and it features curved edges for a more comfortable grip. Coming in a set of two, it also features an added bonus in the form of an 8-foot cotton yoga strap that can further deepen your stretches. New to the practice with no arm strength yet? No problem. At less than half a pound, this block will be a breeze to hold aloft during utkatasana or to tote in your bag to the gym. The bold, bright colors, like teal and purple, meanwhile, will uplift your spirits.

Pros:

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Bright colors

Cons:

  • Too light for some

$22 at Amazon

Amazon

5. Wrist Buddy Yoga Block

Best Advanced Yoga Block

While beginner yogis and those recovering from mild injuries are welcome to give this ergonomic yoga block a shot, the presence of hand-shaped moldings suggest it’s targeted toward folks who plan to use them to master advanced poses, like handstand or elevated plank, for extended periods. The chiropractor-created design is intended to shift pressure toward the palms and away from the wrists, so you leave each session pain-free. Its high-density foam material provides comfort and cushioning for long-standing poses, and each block (they come two to a pack) contains two hand-shaped moldings, so you can benefit from their support at multiple levels.

Pros:

  • Designed by a chiropractor
  • Shifts pressure away from wrists
  • Useful in mastering tough poses

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable to lie down on
  • Not suitable for feet

$32 at Amazon

lululemon

6. lululemon The Yoga Kit

Best Yoga Block Set

If you’re looking to kickstart your yoga practice and don’t know where to start, this convenient set from lululemon is bound to set you on the right path. Not only does it include the brand’s popular Lift and Lengthen yoga block, which is comprised of three inches of durable, high-density foam, but you get its popular natural rubber reversible mat and an absorbent microfiber towel to keep you dry. You can snag it this kit in numerous colors and patterns, too, from marble to ombré, so it will look just as great in your living room as it feels.

Pros:

  • Includes all the essentials
  • Stylish design

Cons:

  • 3 millimeter mat will be too thin for some
  • Expensive

Buy It (From $98)

Alo Yoga

7. Alo Yoga Uplifting Yoga Block Duo

Most Versatile Yoga Block

Alo Yoga is a star player in the athleisure scene, and the company makes yoga blocks that will look equally chic when paired with your leggings. Take this duo, for example, which can be mixed and matched—something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of, given the stunning color options. These accessories feature beveled edges, so you can hang onto them tightly and free of pain, and they’re made of a phthalate-free EVA foam material that will be tough enough to withstand your body weight but soft enough to still be comfortable as you lean into them.

Pros:

  • Mix and match colors
  • Beveled edges

Cons:

  • Not textured

Buy It ($48)

Verishop

8. Livity Yoga Block

Most Budget-Friendly Yoga Block

While the Livity yoga block isn’t necessarily the cheapest on this list, it is a great value given its high-quality cork material, which would usually run you upwards of $20 a pop. Eco-friendly, biodegradable and renewable, this block will not only make you feel at peace about your shopping choices, but it may enhance your practice too: It boasts a porous surface for extra grip, naturally resists odors and has a heavier feel than foam. At 3 inches on its shortest side, it’s also suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Sustainable
  • Naturally resists odor

Cons:

  • Less give than other options

Buy It ($22; $17)

Madewell

9. Oak and Reed Form and Function Yoga Blocks

Most Stylish

If you’ve been dreaming of a Pinterest-worthy yoga block, you’ll fall in love with this marbled duo from Oak and Reed. Coming two to a pack, they feature a gorgeous swirl print that will put you in a zen-like trance. More than looking pretty, however, they've got a slip-resistant surface, so you can sweat to your heart’s content; beveled edges to allow for comfortable gripping; and measure 3 inches wide to help support you in any pose.

Pros:

  • Stunning pattern
  • Beveled edges

Cons:

  • Spot clean only

Buy It ($25)

Target

10. All In Motion Yoga Block

Most Durable

At $7 a pop, you wouldn’t feel too much of a sting if you wound up having to replace this All in Motion block, but there’s a good chance you won’t have to, as customers say its 4-inch-thick foam is surprisingly sturdy. Its depth also makes it ideal for use as a seated meditation block. Its firm foam material provides ample shock absorption, too, which can be extra helpful for beginners, those with joint issues or anyone recovering from a mild injury.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Firm

Cons:

  • Only one color

Buy It ($7)

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