The 5 Best Yoga Mats Recommended by Yogis in 2020
Using one of the best yoga mats is one of the most critical parts of your experience as a yogi.
Whether you’re a beginner or looking to replace an old mat, choosing the right one can be an arduous task. You want to be sure that it will last a long time, feel comfortable, and not slip during downward dog.
To help you out, we teamed up with some of the most prominent yogis out there to help you figure out how to pick from the best yoga mats.
Here are the top 5 best yoga mats and everything you need to know before you get one.
Editor’s Choice: Hugger Mugger Para
The Hugger Mugger Para mat is one of our favorites because of it’s nonslip grip, earth-friendly material, and cushiony texture.
This mat is healthy for your body and the planet. Your knees will thank you during practice (especially if you do yoga everyday) because of the mat’s ¼ inch thickness. The earth and your consciousness will thank you because this mat’s construction is from recyclable materials.
One of the issues that you may run into when choosing an eco-friendly mat is that the materials aren’t as durable. With the Hugger Mugger Rubber Yoga Mat, you get an earth-friendly rubber that will also last longer than other brands.
Hugger Mugger Para Pros
- Affordable price: This yoga mat will fit in most people’s budget.
- Color options: This mat comes in river (blue/green), storm (black/white), juniper (green/yellow), and lotus (purple/white).
- Comfortable material: The thickness of the mat will help you go from pose to pose in comfort.
- Eco-friendly materials: Most yogis care about the environment, so a mat that has recyclable, eco-friendly materials is a significant advantage.
Hugger Mugger Para Cons
- Heavy mat: Because of the mat’s thickness, it’s heavier than some other options.
- Smaller size: This mat measures 70″ x 24″ x 1/4″, so it may not be a good option for taller yogis. However, the company does have an XL version available.
- Strong smell: When the mat is new, it has a distracting smell that can stay on your hands. It’ll wear off after a while, but you’ll have to tolerate it or use a different mat until the smell goes away.
Best for Hot Yoga: Jade Harmony
Recommended by Jessamyn of MynameisJessamyn and UnderBellyYoga
If you’re looking for a versatile yoga mat that will last you years, the Jade Harmony Yoga Mat is a good one to put on your list.
Jade Yoga Mats are extremely popular among yoga teachers and yogis alike for many reasons. The mats are thick, which gives support and makes for a comfortable practice. Jade Yoga also chooses rubber material that makes the mats nonslip and eco-friendly.
The comfort and versatility of Jade Yoga Mats are some of the reasons why this brand is one of yoga teacher and author Jessamyn’s favorite. She especially recommends the Jade Fusion Mat, which comes in multiple sizes and is an excellent option for hot yoga.
“I think it’s great for any and all types of yoga — I’ve seen it used with a towel in hot classes. It’s thick without being spongy and wide/long enough for curvy and tall practitioners.”
The mat’s durability and comfortability come from its earth-friendly material.
“In my opinion, the material of Jade Mats is the best material for practicing yoga-they are made of natural materials: a naturl rubber which is not only very comfortable/non-slip but extremely eco-friendly.”
Jade Harmony Pros
- Multiple sizes: Not all body types work with all sizes, so the Harmony mat has several options.
- Nonslip rubber: Even during hot yoga, this mat will stay where you place it.
- Thick material: The thickness offers excellent support to help you be comfortable while you do yoga.
Jade Harmony Cons
- Heavy material: The thickness makes it more comfortable for yoga, but the mat isn’t as portable because of its thickness.
Best for Beginners: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat
Recommended by: Diane Malaspina of Yoga Medicine
Yoga beginners may be tempted to go with the first mat that catches their eye, but we recommend going for a quality mat that will last.
Diane Malaspina at Yoga Medicine says the Manduka Yoga Mat is one of the best yoga mats on the market because of its durability and versatility:
“I love Manduka yoga mats. I have the Black Mat Pro for my home practice and the ProLite for hopping around town. I love the grip — my hands and feet never slip, and the density is perfect (both firm for standing and balance, and the right amount of cushion for the knees or a restorative practice).
The Black Mat Pro is wider than most mats, and it comes in a long length (great for my taller students). It’s also non-toxic, so I’m not breathing in harmful material. I practice everything from vinyasa to restorative yoga on these mats, and they are exactly what I want in a yoga mat!”
Manduka Pro Yoga Mat Pros
- Comfortable texture: This mat has a cushioned feel to help you be comfortable while you practice.
- Multiple colors: You can show off your style with this mat. It comes in Bondi blue, float (blue), sea star (green), verve (red), waterfall (blue), black, black magic (purple), Odyssey (blue), and black sage (green).
- Non-toxic material: The materials are healthy for you and the environment.
- No smell: Many yoga mats have a strong smell, especially when they are new. This one does not.
Manduka Pro Yoga Mat Cons
- Break-in time needed: When you first get this mat, it may be slippery. You’ll need to break it in over time.
- Non-absorbant material: Sweat doesn’t absorb into the material, which can make the mat more slippery.
Best for Sweaty Hands: Lululemon Reversible Mat
Recommended by Dempsey Marks of PregameFit
It’s no surprise that yoga powerhouse brand Lululemon also makes one of the best yoga mats on the market.
On top of being an excellent choice for any yoga, this option is especially great for anyone who sweats a bit more than usual. A mat that won’t slip even during the sweatiest practices is crucial.
As a professional trainer and yoga instructor, Dempsey Marks highly recommends this mat for the best grip:
“I have been using the Lululemon Women’s Yoga mat for the past ten years, and I love it. While it is a little more expensive, the padding is worth it! Plus they have a variety of colors, and who doesn’t want color when you are doing a yoga workout. I tend to work up a good sweat, and these mats are highly recommended for those who get their sweat on!”
Lululemon Reversible Mat Pros
- Color options: This mat comes in several colors, including stargaze/blue charcoal, Amazonite, Cut Floral Antoinette Smoky Quartz/Antoinette, Slate Blue/White/Cloud Blue, Vintage Plum/Antoinette/Antoinette, Utility Blue/White/Utility Blue, Misty Rose/Spanish Rose, Black/White, Black, and Black/White/Black.
- Excellent quality: This mat has optimum cushioning and stability, and it’s easy to clean.
- Sweat-proof build: No matter how much you sweat, this mat will stay in place.
Lululemon Reversible Mat Cons
- Short life: Some users claim this mat doesn’t last long.
- Strong smell: This mat can smell, especially when it is new.
Best for Travels: Liforme Travel Yoga Mat
For yogis who are always on the go, a mat that is lightweight, portable, and durable is a priority.
Liforme is one of the top brands in the yoga mat industry, and their travel mat packs in all the same great qualities in a much lighter mat.
The Liforme mat has one of the grippiest and smoothest surfaces for all yoga mats there. You’ll also love the unique alignment marker system that is etched into the material to make sure you’re doing the poses right.
Jenay Zahler of NamasteJenay says Liforme is her brand of choice:
“My favorite mat is Liforme because it’s nontoxic, slip resistant, and made with incredible thought, care, cruelty-free, arts. The Mat’s are sturdy, last forever, and I really like supporting small businesses. Great for all types of yoga.”
Liforme Travel Yoga Mat Pros
- Nonslip material: This mat will stay in place while you do your poses.
- Travel-friendly design: The thin, lightweight build makes it excellent for travel, and it comes with a travel case so that you can put it right into your car or luggage.
Liforme Travel Yoga Mat Cons
- Thin material: Because this mat is thinner to allow you to bring it on your trips, it may not be suitable for people with sensitive joints.
Yoga Mat Buyer’s Guide
The type of yoga mat you should get entirely depends on your personal preferences, your lifestyle, and the type of yoga you usually do.
Thanks to the proliferation of the yoga industry, there are hundreds of yoga mats. The most crucial part is knowing what would be the best for your preferences.
Here are some things to consider to help you find the best option for your needs.
When purchasing any product, we should keep the materials in mind.
Researching the materials is a quick way to know which to choose. As mentioned earlier, there are many yoga mats made out of natural, nontoxic materials.
PVC, which is the traditional yoga mat material, is unfortunately not biodegradable or recyclable. Avoid these mats if you are earth conscious.
If you are concerned about using earth-friendly products, go with a mat made of the following materials:
- Organic cotton
- Recycled rubber
Note that while these materials help the earth, they may not be as durable as the more traditional mat materials.
Out of all of the eco-friendly mats, cork is known to last a long time and stand up to wear and tear.
The materials of your yoga mat is important for several reasons:
- The quality of the material determines how it fair over time.
- The texture, sponginess, and stickiness will affect your practice.
Yoga mats are usually made up of PVC or a blend of several types of material. The right material for you depends on your personal preference.
Common types of materials you may find in yoga mats are recycled rubber, cork, jute, and cotton.
How do you know which material is right for you?
It all depends on the texture of the mat and the style of yoga you usually do.
For example, hot yoga lovers will need material that absorbs sweat easily, like natural cotton or jute. Eco-friendly people may want materials that are good for the earth, but people who don’t want to replace their mat frequently may want something made out of PVC.
Some diehard yogis are self-motivated enough to do at home practices consistently, but most people attend classes at a yoga studio. Some people even like to take their mat to the beach or other locations.
If you do yoga anywhere but your home, you need to be able to carry the mat on a train, bus, plane, or car.
A yoga mat’s portability depends on the material, size, and weight.
Check yoga mat reviews to know if the one you want will be portable enough for your needs.
You also have to consider how much money you are willing to spend.
The truth is, a lot of the best yoga mats have a hefty price tag. This is due to a mix of hype, company reputation and the quality of the materials. A yoga mat can cost you anywhere from $30-$150 but the most important thing is choosing one that will give you the best value. The higher the price doesn’t always equal the highest quality.
If style and special features aren’t important to you, then you can find a good mat on the lower end of the price range. However, if you need a mat made with eco-friendly material and a sick design, be ready to spend a bit more.
Size and Thickness
Choosing the thickness of your yoga can make a huge difference during your practice. The size and thickness of the mat you choose are all up to your personal preference. Your standard yoga mat will be around ⅛ inch thick, but they can range all the way up to ¼ inch. Why choose a thicker mat? A thicker mat will protect your knees in certain poses like the camel pose or crescent lunge. When doing poses that put a lot of pressure on the knees, you’ll want a mat that will support your knees and not cause too much pain.
On the other hand, a mat that is too thick can make it difficult to feel grounded during stability poses. Poses like the tree pose requires the foot to feel anchored to the ground. If your yoga mat is too thick, it makes it more difficult to align yourself and hold the pose.
The standard size of a yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. However, you can find a wide range of yoga mat sizes on the market. Generally, travel yoga mats tend to be thinner and not as wide so that they fit into a suitcase or travel bag easily. Similarly, if you are a taller person you may need a longer length. Jessamyn recommends mats like the Jade Yoga Fusion Mat because “it’s thick without being spongy and wide/long enough for curvy and tall practitioners.”
Once you finally know the exact type of yoga mat you want, you can focus on the most exciting part, the style! There are tons of great styles and patterns out there to choose from. All of the picks on our list of best yoga mats come in various colors so you can customize it to your liking. The idea is that you will spend a lot of time on your mat, so choose one that you’ll love to stare at.
Just like material, a yoga mat’s texture is all about preference: If you don’t like the texture of the mat, you’ll find yourself struggling to concentrate during practice. The texture is also essential for grip as it determines how much you slip and stick during a pose. Traditional yoga mats are usually sticky, like PVC, and provides a perfect amount of grip. If you’re wanting the same type of grippy texture but want to try a green mat, check out the reviews of different mats and see which one you think would fit for you.
Beginners will probably not be sure on whether to choose a smooth texture vs a ribbed texture. Over time you will be able to identify your personal preference and choose the mat that works best for you. Luckily, most mats are available in a wide range of textures.
Yoga Mat Care and Maintenance
One of the most important things to remember is to maintain your yoga mat, you will need to clean it consistently. A yoga mat is a breeding ground for build-up and trapped bacteria from sweat and dirt. You especially want to clean your mat if you’re using it multiple times a week.
So what is the best way to clean your mat? Cleaning a mat is pretty easy. Once a week use warm water and a gentle cleanser and wipe the mat down. Let it air dry away from direct sunlight and try to avoid scrubbing it with rough textures. There are also tons of DIY yoga mat cleaner recipes available online. Most recipes are a concoction of water and an essential oil like tea tree oil or lavender.
Cleaning your yoga mat will keep the gross bacteria away and will help your mat last you a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need a Mat for Yoga?
While yoga is an extremely relaxing and centering practice, it requires the body to be in positions that would be difficult without any support. You need a yoga mat for many reasons. Yoga mats are designed to not slip and hold up during strenuous poses. Believe us, you don’t want to accidentally slip during a pose. It can be frustrating, breaks concentration and even dangerous. Your comfort and safety are extremely important during yoga practice and we promise that you will instantly notice the difference when you use a good yoga mat.
Are Exercise Mats and Yoga Mats the Same?
An exercise mat isn’t quite the same as a yoga mat. You could use a yoga mat to do exercises other than yoga, but you won’t always be able to practice yoga on a run of the mill exercise mat. Like we previously mentioned, a yoga mat is specifically designed with materials that will prevent slip and grip well. Most gym mats are made with different materials that are designed to be comfortable, but not necessarily nonslip. If you are beginning a yoga journey its best to invest in a good mat specifically made for yoga.
How Long Will a Yoga Mat Last?
The durability of your yoga mat depends on the quality of the material and how much you use it. It is completely normal for a yoga mat to show normal signs of wear and tear after consistent use. A mix of the sweat, tension, and stretching of the mat material will cause it to wear down over time. The type of material it uses also affects the yoga mat’s life span. Eco-friendly made mats tend to wear down much faster than the synthetic PVC yoga mats. However, many of our favorite yoga mats are known to hold up for years. Diane of Yoga Medicine claims her Manduka Yoga Mat has lasted her years.
“These mats last! Each are the original mat I’ve purchased – I’ve never had to replace. I’ve been practicing on the Black Mat Pro since 2001 and the ProLite since 2009.” With proper care and maintenance, a good yoga mat can last you many years.
When you get one of the best yoga mats, you’ll be able to dedicate yourself to the practice and have a better experience with yoga.
Use this guide to help you find the best option for you.Read More