Yoga is supposed to help us find our zen—not stress us out when things get a little sweaty because we’re desperately thinking, "Don’t slip. Don’t slip!" Enter: a tried-and-true yoga mat. These specialized mats provide much-needed cushioning and traction that will allow you to (safely!) stay in downward dog all day without sliding around or banging up your knees. In an effort to truly get our om on in 2022, we turned to yoga instructors and the folks taking their classes for the best yoga mats to buy based on their eco-friendliness, ability to soak up sweat, slip-resistance and more. Here are 14 that come highly recommended for every scenario, from inversions to hot yoga.
The 14 Best Yoga Mats, According to Instructors and Devoted Yogis
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What Is a Yoga Mat Made Of?
Yoga mats may be made of a number of materials, each of which has its pros and cons.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): Most standard yoga mats are made of this material. It's affordable, easy to wash and provides your fingers and toes with a good, solid grip and nice cushioning. It does have several major downsides, however, including the fact that it's non-biodegradable. It's also made with phthalates and other chemicals that are harmful to dear old Mother Nature and humans.
Rubber: Rubber provides a more Earth-friendly option for your yoga mat, since it's sustainable and recyclable. It also absorbs moisture as you sweat, making it particularly great for those hot yoga seshes. Better yet, it offers excellent traction and cushioning. It's worth noting that the heavy material can be harder to lug around and take awhile to dry, however, and is more difficult to clean. It should also be avoided by those who are allergic to latex.
Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE): A mix of plastic and rubber, TPE mats are considered more environmentally friendly than PVC, as they require less energy in production. Still, they're not biodegradable, although they may be recyclable in some instances. TPE is durable, does its job well thanks to its strong grip and ample cushioning and is incredibly easy to fold.
Jute: Not only is jute highly biodegradable, its natural texture offers one of the strongest grips you'll encounter. It's weather-resistant, so you can do your sun salutations outdoors, and it's nice and breathable, too (read: no sweaty funk). It may not be best for beginners, though, as it tends to be far less cushy than other options.
Cotton: Said to be used by the first yogis, a cotton mat will get the job done, absorbing your sweat, rolling up easily into your gym bag and providing minimal cushioning, but it won't last for the long haul, making it less than cost effective. While biodegradable, these mats also leave a high carbon footprint behind from production, making them a less ideal choice for environmentalists than, say, rubber or cork.
Cork: Newer to the yoga mat market is cork, a biodegradable material that's made from natural tree bark and lined with a TPE or a rubber base. These mats aren't as easy to come by and don't do well outdoors, but have many benefits, including great cushioning, easy cleaning, good grip, sweat absorption, and of course, eco-friendliness—they just may be difficult to tote, since they're not very bendy.
How Thick Should a Yoga Mat Be?
The best yoga mat thickness will vary from person to person, though a standard mat is about 1/8 of an inch (roughly 3 millimeters) thick. Thinner mats (1/16 inch; 1.5 to 2 millimeters) will provide more stability, making them ideal for those attempting to master balancing postures, while thicker mats (1/4 inch; 6 millimeters) may be better for inversions or those who need extra cushioning for their joints.
How to Clean Yoga Mats
If you're practicing yoga regularly, a weekly cleaning is a good idea, with more frequent washings recommended for those who sweat a lot. A mild solution consisting of four drops of dish soap and two cups of water should do the trick: Simply transfer it into a spray bottle and give both sides of your mat a good spritz and wipe. (You can also use equal parts water and white vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil or a sanitizing spray, like this one from Asutra.) Be sure to wipe your mat off completely, so there's no sticky residue left behind.
The Best Yoga Mats at a Glance
- Best Overall Yoga Mat: Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
- Most Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat: REECH namaSTAY Yoga Mat
- Best Reversible Yoga Mat: lululemon The Reversible Mat
- Best Yoga Mat for Sweat: Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat
- Best Yoga Mat With Alignment Lines: Liforme Yoga Mat
- Best Hot Yoga Mat: Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat
- Best Yoga Mat With Carrying Strap: Yoga Design Lab Studio Yoga Mat
- Best Anti-Odor Yoga Mat: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat
- Best Rubber Yoga Mat: B Yoga B Mat Strong
- Best Thick Yoga Mat: lululemon The Mat
- Best Machine-Washable Yoga Mat: Nuprava The Unity Yoga Mat
- Best Basic Yoga Mat: Gaiam 2-Color Yoga Mat
- Best Jute Yoga Mat: Anja Yoga Mat
- Best Cork Yoga Mat: Gurus Cork Yoga Mat
Best Overall Yoga Mat
Available in a whopping 10 different colors, Jade Yoga's most popular mat has earned praise for how non-slip it is. In fact, it's so beloved that two different yoga instructors of various levels dubbed it their go-to. Bethany Lyons, founder and CEO of Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York City, told PureWow, “This is our tried-and-true choice at the studio, because it’s unmovable on the floor for inversions and flow, eco-friendly, made in the USA and durable. We also appreciate that the mat is easy to clean and maintain, which is important for home practitioners to keep in mind too.”
And even though it's a bit pricey, yoga teacher student Ashley C. says it's built to last. “I’ve been practicing on the Jade Harmony yoga mat for at least five years. It’s super grippy and it provides good traction, especially with sweaty palms in downward-facing dog. It has just the right thickness, offering enough padding for your knees while allowing you to still feel strong and grounded in standing postures.”
Most Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
After testing this thing for the better part of six months, we found that its smooth, natural rubber surface not only performed, living up to its promises of superior grip in even the most sweaty of situations, it was something we were proud to carry to class on account of its eco-friendliness. Everything about this mat, right down to the packaging, is biodegradable—a serious improvement over the reported 40.3 percent of PVC mats that were sold in 2018 (do yourself a favor and research some of the harmful toxins and phthalates these mats can emit, apparently for an eternity, since they can't be broken down).
What's more, the REECH was easy to roll and unroll, cleaned like a dream and gave us a leg up over our classmates while doing yoga outdoors, since it was hefty enough to withstand a little wind. As an added bonus, the company will plant 15 trees for each yoga mat sold—just note that you'll have to click the "See all buying options" button to add it to your cart, since it's a newer addition to Amazon.
Best Reversible Yoga Mat
Half of your workout wardrobe may be from lululemon, but have you been sleeping on the brand's gear? You probably shouldn't, according to Claire B., a 230+ hour registered yoga teacher, who tells us, “I have a classic lululemon mat that I use for any type of class. It’s reversible: One side is made for hot yoga, and the other side is grippy for non-heated classes. I really love this one—it has lasted me about four years now and still looks brand-new. I highly recommend!”
Made with a polyurethane top layer and a natural rubber base, this mat is especially great for sweatier yogis, too, since the the surface is made to absorb moisture and keep you from slipping all over the place. If the 3mm version isn't cushy enough for you, you can also get it in a 5mm version.
Best Yoga Mat for Sweat
If you tend to soak through your shirt in your yoga sessions, you might notice that lululemon mats don't exactly hide that fact that you're dripping. Nikki M., a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, tells us that while she used to use a lululemon mat, she “hated that they showed sweat stains." This one? No sweat stains, no problems. "It holds up so much better—even in hot yoga classes," she raved.
According to Manduka, that's because this mat's closed-cell construction blocks bacteria and moisture from sweat, making cleanup a breeze. While it's made from PVC, it also has a standard 100 OEKO-TEX certification, which means its chemicals aren't harmful to humans.
Best Yoga Mat With Alignment Lines
This Liforme mat comes highly recommended by celebrity holistic health coach, yoga expert and author Koya Webb, who tells us, “Liforme yoga mats provide the perfect amount of grip. They feature directional lines, which are beneficial for alignment during my yoga teacher trainings.”
True, $150 might be a lot to spend on a yoga mat, but these are also made of a specially engineered, "body kind" eco-polyurethane and rubber blend that make them PVC-free, biodegradable in one to five years in normal landfill conditions and non-toxic. Better still, they come complete with a carrying bag.
Best Hot Yoga Mat
Ideal for any hot (or just plain sweaty) class, this mat's triple-layer construction maximizes your grip with an innovative leather-like top layer. Says Alyssa Sullivan, founder of Synergy Power Yoga in Rhode Island, “It has an ultra slip-resistant texture for maximized grip in sweaty conditions, which makes it easier to stick postures without sliding all over the place.”
Its secret weapon? The charcoal-infused natural rubber core that absorbs your drips. And, because sweat often goes hand-in-hand with some not-so-great odors, you'll appreciate that it minimizes would-be smells, too.
Best Yoga Mat With Carrying Strap
With a focus on blending fashion-conscious design with innovative bio-renewable functionality, Yoga Design Lab's mats are made with a recycled plastic microfiber surface with a 100 percent natural tree rubber base. The pretty geometric design doesn't hurt either, motivating users to work out if only to get a glimpse at its gorgeousness. There's even an included handle, so you can easily haul it back and forth from the gym.
Best Anti-Odor Yoga Mat
Alo Yoga's fan-favorite Warrior Mat earns praise for being roomy, perfectly cushioned for joint support, moisture-wicking and slip-free. Says one yogi, "I frickin love this mat. It's changed my life...sounds dramatic, but it's true. I can hold crow for an extended amount of time and I can now come up into handstand. I didn't know a mat could provide so much support."
It’s also 100 percent formaldehyde-free, non-toxic and PVC-free, which is ideal for a clean practice. And we do mean clean—it even has anti-odor properties that will keep it from stinking up the studio, no matter how much you sweat.
Best Rubber Yoga Mat
With a width of 6mm, the B Mat Strong has got your back—literally—whether you're doing a high-impact Vinyasa practice or a restorative, lower-impact flow. It offers superior cushioning, which will be great for anyone looking for lots of support. Raves one buyer, "I would recommend this mat to anyone who suffers from sensitive joints who practices yoga. It provides cushion and support where needed, such as [the] wrists and knees."
Best Thick Yoga Mat
Another fabulous option for those looking for extra support, this 5mm lululemon model features a natural rubber base with a little extra padding. "Its very similar to the other reversible mat. Its just a tad firmer," explained one customer. "If you are used to your local studio mats and seeing prices at places like Target, you may get sticker shock, but trust me, it's totally worth it."
In addition to being super-supportive, this mat is sustainably sourced and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified to support the protection of forest ecosystems, along with the people, plants and animals that inhabit them.
Best Machine-Washable Yoga Mat
Made with eco-conscious materials, the Unity Mat is designed to enhance your practice by providing you with a super grippable, no-slip microfiber suede surface. Because of its light materials, customers say it's ideal for lugging around. "I love everything about this mat! The colors are beautiful...This mat is so transportable."
Concerned about how to clean it? Not to fret: Nuprava's mats can be thrown right into the washing machine.
Best Basic Yoga Mat
With a slogan of "created by yogis, for yogis," Gaiam is a brand that knows its way around a mat. This two-color option has more than 100 5-star reviews, and at $30, it's one of the best-quality yoga mats on the market. According to our tester, who's been using hers for more than five years, "Fancy yoga mats...simply don’t compare. ... It stays in place for the entire class—even when I’m moving through a fast vinyasa flow. I can’t say the same about the pricier mats I’ve tested. It’s also super lightweight (my shoulder never hurts after carrying it on the 20-minute walk to the studio) and the corners never roll up during class, which is essential."
It's also worth noting that other reviewers praise this mat for being "tall people-friendly," as it's 68 inches long.
Best Jute Yoga Mat
If it's a jute mat you're after, this reversible Ajna find is a great option that's beloved by many a yogi. Its surface is 100 percent organic and naturally biodegradable, but it's designed by a yoga teacher, so it's also equipped with a customized, 5mm thickness. That means it addresses one of the main problems with jute yoga mats, which is that they tend to be on the thinner side and provide less cushion than their plastic counterparts. There's a cotton carrying strap for easy transport, and its fibers naturally repel sweat and stains—just note that the bottom is made of polymer environmental resin (PER) that customers say is not super durable, so if you're looking for a long-term investment piece, this may not be your pick.
Best Cork Yoga Mat
Made from cork with a natural rubber backing, this is another eco-friendly mat that will allow you to feel proud of your purchase. Beyond its high sustainability properties, however, it also preforms, lending an ultra-grippy surface that improves when wet. That means the more you sweat, the less you'll slip—the exact opposite of a typical mat. Since cork is naturally antimicrobial, it won't harbor any icky bacteria or odor, and it can be cleaned with a simple wipe down with water (cleaning products will cause it to break down faster than it should). You'll also want to let this baby fully dry before storing it away.
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