Best yoga mats: We’re laying out the choices for your best home workouts
Whether you’re perfecting your plank or dabbling in pilates, you’re going to need a mat, so why not get one of the best yoga mats available today.
Do you love working out in the comfort of your own home, to start the day with a sun salutation series? If so, you may need your very own yoga mat or to upgrade an old one. Whether you’re a pilates, barre, yoga, [insert your favorite low-impact workout here] fan, a yoga mat is on that list of essential equipment. Some people may argue that all yoga mats all the same, but we’re going to let you in on a little secret: there are designs that are definitely better than others. So, in order to prevent injury and assist you with an awesome home workout, here are our picks for the best yoga mats. Their quality will, well, floor you.
- Best yoga mat: Gaiam Yoga Mat – Premium
- Best non-slip yoga mat: IUGA Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat
- Best eco-friendly yoga mat: Heathyoga Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat
- Best travel yoga mat: TOPLUS Travel Yoga Mat
- Best budget yoga mat: Mind Reader Two-Tone Mat
Things to consider when shopping for the best yoga mat
PSA: Yoga mats and exercise mats are different! In order to figure out what you need, consider what types of home workouts you do. If yoga, pilates, barre, or any low-impact workouts are your sweet spot, then yoga mats are for you. Typically, these mats can be anywhere from 1/16 of an inch to 1 inch in thickness because you need to feel grounded and stable during those workouts (plus, they’re easier to roll and store). With that said, these are not intended for high-impact exercises because they are too thin.
Alternatively, exercise mats are about 1-inch to 3-inches thick. This protects your body and the floor, should you say, drop a dumbbell—hey, it happens! These mats are best for floor exercises and bodyweight exercises. The cushioning supports your body when you’re lying down or sitting while you do these types of exercises. Knowing the difference between exercise and yoga pads will help you make the best selection for your home workouts.
What’s the best yoga mat for people who work out a lot?
The best mats will support you during your home workout. They will offer just the right amount of cushioning to protect your joints, anywhere from 4 mm to 6 mm, while you move through your practice, whether that be yoga, pilates, or barre. The thickness of your mat will depend on what you need during your practice. A thinner mat will help with balancing and holding poses for longer periods of time. On the other hand, if your mat is too thick, you may lose that grounded feeling and could sink into your mat.
Best yoga mat: Gaiam Yoga Mat – Premium
The Gaiam mat is a bestseller for good reason. At 6 mm thick, it offers additional cushioning for your joints during your workout. You can choose from 23 beautiful prints to keep you motivated and inspired while you move and won’t have to worry about which side to pick because both sides are sticky and non-slip. It is non-toxic PVC and free of six harmful phthalates, protecting you and the environment. As an added bonus, there is a lifetime warranty!
What about a non-slip design?
No matter what thickness you choose, you need the best non-slip mat available. Many companies now offer mats that are non-slip and textured on both sides to provide optimal grip. The last thing you need is to be sliding all over your mat during class—not only can be it dangerous but it’s extremely uncomfortable. Moisture-absorbing models are especially important if you practice any of the hot yoga variants.
Best non-slip yoga mat: IUGA Pro Non-Slip Mat
If you practice Bikram or hot yoga, this is the best non-slip mat, one that is especially great as you won’t have to worry about sweat disrupting your practice. No matter what you practice, however, this mat will prevent you from slipping and sliding, period. Made of sustainably harvested tree rubber, this mat is 5 mm thick with optimal cushioning to stabilize and ground you. It is super lightweight at just 2.5 pounds and comes with a carrying strap to make travel easier.
Getting eco-friendly products is important to me. What’s my best option?
Eco-friendly yoga mats are made with materials such as TPE, which is a type of rubber made from recycled material, and natural tree rubbers. Yes, eco-friendly designs can be a little more expensive than options made from other materials. But many are also non-slip, odorless, and provide excellent cushioning; plus, as a bonus, they’re healthy for you and the environment.
Best eco-friendly yoga mat: Heathyoga Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat
If you’re looking for the best eco-friendly mat that doesn’t use latex or PVC, then this is the one for you. TPE is non-slip, odorless, and provides great cushioning. A great feature of this mat is that it has a body alignment system to assist you in making sure your hands and feet are in the correct positions. To ensure this mat lasts class after class, there is an anti-tear mesh layer so it won’t start to break apart with use.
Do I need a separate travel yoga mat?
If you’re really dedicated to your yoga practice, or just exercising in general, you’re going to want to keep up your routine when you’re on the road. That’s where a travel yoga mat comes in handy. Travel designs easily collapse down to fit into a small carrier that’s easier to tote around than the longer tube-type carriers that mats often come in. You may like it so much that you decide to use it at home, too.
Best travel yoga mat: TOPLUS Travel Yoga Mat
This 2.5-pound, bestselling travel yoga mat might end up being your everyday mat. The top side is made of a faux suede fabric, which is skid-resistant and moisture-absorbing, while the bottom side is made from natural tree rubber, which provides great grip and traction. To make things even easier for you, this mat is washable! And if it’s not up to your yogi standards, there is a one-year warranty.
I don’t want anything fancy, so what’s a good, cheap yoga mat?
Every penny counts when you’re on a budget. Especially if you don’t do a lot of yoga or low-impact home workouts, you may want to get the best cheap mat you can find. The good news is that even our $20 pick is worthy of serious consideration.
Best budget yoga mat: Mind Reader Two-Tone Mat
Just because this pick is on the cheap mats end of the price range but will work great for yoga classes, floor exercises, and any exercise that requires additional cushioning and support. It is made from TPE material, which is non-toxic and resilient. Both sides of the mat are textured and anti-slip to ensure stability during your practice. One thing to consider with many cheaper options is they aren’t moisture-absorbing, so you may want to purchase a yoga towel as well.
Q: How much should I spend on a yoga mat?
Yoga accessories and pads can get quite pricey, but there are a lot of great ones in the $35 range as seen in our selection of best yoga mats. With that said, a true high-performance splurge, like the covetable Manduka Pro yoga mat, can cost up to $175, while there are also cheap yoga mats as low as $10 (and price alone will not necessarily determine quality, so research is always required). Something to note is that, typically, the cheaper ones will often use poorer materials like plastics and foams, which are bad for the environment, and you may end up replacing them more than you like. Products in the $35-plus range use better, more quality materials, especially eco-friendly ones like TPE and natural tree rubbers. They also are more likely to have the qualities you want: anti-slip, textured, great grip, moisture-absorbing, etc. If treated correctly, your mat (whether it’s $35 or a Manduka Pro) will last longer, making it worth it.
Q: What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?
This totally depends on you and how you practice. The best yoga mats can be anywhere from 4 mm to 6 mm thick. If you need a little extra cushion to protect your joints, a 6 mm mat would be a good choice for you, but we wouldn’t recommend going above 6 mm as that will be too thick. If you need less cushion, 4 mm will be a good thickness and will enhance feeling grounded and stable in your poses. Travel mats are typically less than 4 mm because they fold and roll up so easily, which is fine too when you’re on the move. If you feel it’s too thin, you can always fold over the side.
Q: What should I look for when buying a yoga mat?
When buying a yoga mat, make sure it is anti-slip and, if possible, has gripping on both sides. We can’t emphasize that enough, as you don’t want to be slipping through your practice. Again, depending on what feels right for you, thickness is something to look into as well. You also want to be able to roll it up and store it as needed. When you find a mat that works great for you, you may notice an odor when you unroll it for the first time. Don’t fret! Let it air out for a couple of days, and you will be ready to go.
The final word on shopping for the best yoga mat
The best yoga mat will enhance your home workouts and classes. It will be like a friend who supports you and comforts you through what can be a very strenuous 30 minutes or more. Once you decide exactly what you need and what types of workouts you want to focus on, the rest will fall into place now that you have some tips and tricks about finding a great mat. In the meantime, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re working out—at home. You’re a rockstar!