The 12 Best Yoga Mats, According to Instructors and Devoted Yogis
Yoga is supposed to make us Zen, not stress us out and force us to grip our mat for dear life when things get a little sweaty. How are we supposed to focus on breathing when we’re thinking, Don’t slip, don’t slip? In an effort to truly get our om on in 2021, we turned to yoga instructors and the folks taking their classes for the best mats to buy. Here are 12 yoga mats that come highly recommended for every scenario (inversions, hot yoga and teacher training included).
1. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
In a whopping 14 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, told us, “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 at $80, yoga teacher student Ashley C. tells us 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.”
2. Lululemon Reversible Mat
Half of your workout wardrobe is from Lululemon, but have you been sleeping on the brand's gear? You probably shouldn't, according to more than 1,100 people who have given this mat in particular a 5-star review. Claire B., a 230-hour registered yoga teacher, 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, this mat is especially great for sweatier yogis, since it absorbs moisture and keeps you from slipping all over the place.
3. Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat
If you are on the sweatier side, 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.” According to Manduka, that's because this mat's closed-cell construction blocks bacteria and moisture from sweat, making cleaning a breeze.
4. Liforme Original Yoga Mat
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.” And yes, $150 might be a lot to spend on a yoga mat, but Liforme mats are made of the most ‘body kind,’ specially engineered eco-polyurethane and rubber. These mats are PVC free, biodegradable in one to five years in normal landfill conditions and made using high quality non-toxic materials that keep the mat clean and hygienic.
5. Manduka GRP Hot Yoga Mat
Ideal for any hot (or just plain sweaty) yoga practice, this mat's tri-layered construction maximizes grip with an innovative leather-like top layer. Says Alyssa Sullivan, founder of Synergy Power Yoga, “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.” And because sweat often comes with not-so-great odors, the GRP hot yoga mat also has a charcoal-infused natural rubber core that absorbs your drips and minimizes funky smells.
6. Yoga Design Lab Studio Yoga Mat
Focused on bio-renewability and blending fashion-conscious design with innovative functionality, Yoga Design Lab's mats are made using 100 percent natural tree rubber, water-based inks and a microfiber top layer. According to one enthusiastic reviewer, "This mat is perfect for yoga, stretching or even just strength training. I use it with the Peloton app for all of the above." The pretty pastel geometric design doesn't hurt either, with the reviewer adding, "Plus it’s a beautiful mat, it motivates me to workout just so I can pull it out and look at it!!"
7. alo yoga WARRIOR MAT
Alo Yoga's fan-favorite Warrior Mat is earns praise for being roomy, perfectly cushioned for joint support, anti-odor, dry-wicking and slip-free. Says one yogi, "I frickin love this mat. It's changed my life lol - sounds dramatic but it's true. I can hold crow for an extended amount of time & 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—ideal for a clean practice.
8. b yoga B Mat Strong
B Yoga's products are created with an emphasis on performance, comfort and contemporary design. This mat in particular offers superior cushioning, great for anyone looking for lots of support. Raves one buyer, "It's not the first B Mat I've purchased and won't be the last. I would recommend this mat to anyone who suffers from sensitive joints who practices yoga. It provides cushion and support where needed, such as wrists and knees." 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.
9. lululemon Arise Mat
Another fabulous option for those looking for extra support, this Lululemon model features a natural rubber base with a little extra cushion for even more comfort. "Its very similar to the other reversible mat. Its just a tad firmer," says 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 its totally worth it." In addition to being super-supportive, this mat is made from a natural rubber material that's sustainably sourced and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified to support the protection of forest ecosystems and the people, plants and animals that inhabit them.
10. NUPRAVA The Unity Yoga Mat
Made with eco-conscious materials, the Unity Mat is designed to enhance your practice by providing you with an ultra grip, no-slip mat with a 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, I purchased amethyst(which I love) but now I want moss too! This mat is so transportable. My Lulu mat can be on the heavy side. LOVE!" And if you're concerned about how to clean it (because you should be doing so every week), Nuprava's mats can be thrown right into the washing machine. Score.
11. gaiam PREMIUM 2-COLOR YOGA MAT
Created by yogis for yogis, this mat has more than 100 5-star reviews. Why? For $30, it's one of the best-quality yoga mats on the market. According to assistant commerce editor Kara Cuzzone—who's been using hers for five years—"I’ve tried fancy yoga mats, and they simply don’t compare. I come back to my Gaiam mat every time. 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.
12. BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat
Speaking of positive reviews, this affordable Amazon option has 4.4 out of 5 stars from an incredible 56,000 ratings. Great for the casual yogi (or any other kind of workout enthusiast, to be honest), this no frills mat also comes with a carrying strap for easy transport. According to one buyer, "First off, I'm not an avid yoga practitioner—I just wanted something with enough cushioning to pad my bones on a hard floor. This definitely does that—it is very cushiony and soft...Had no problems with slipping at all." Is this the highest quality yoga mat you're ever going to use? No, but if you're looking to get into a more regular practice and aren't sure how long you're going to stick with it, this is a great starter mat that won't break the bank.