Whether you’re new to yoga or a seasoned pro, a good yoga mat is essential to productive practice. If you’re constantly slipping out of your Downward-Facing Dog, you’re never going to convince yourself to get your Vinyasa on, be it for a yoga class in the studio or a home practice with a yoga app.
But having a great mat is useful beyond yoga, too. A trusty mat is fantastic for calisthenic exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and planks, and a great place to sit and roll out your legs or back as you recover from other workouts.
That’s why we spent some time with a lot of popular mats, including the offerings from Alo, Manduka, Nike, and Hugger Mugger. After hours of testing, the Lululemon Reversible Mat(available at Lululemon), with its durable, supportive surface, is our top pick. We also think the Gaiam Premium Mat (available at Amazon) is a solid choice for people who don’t want to spend as much. And if you’re looking for an extra luxe place to practice, we love the Liforme Yoga Mat (available at Liforme), which feels cushy and has markings to help you find proper alignment.
These are the best yoga mats we tested ranked, in order:
Lululemon Reversible Mat
Liforme Yoga Mat
Hugger Mugger Para Mat
Alo Yoga Warrior Mat
Nike Mastery Yoga Mat
Gaiam Premium Mat
JadeYoga Harmony Mat
Lululemon Take Form Mat
Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat
Everyday Yoga Mat
YogaAccessories High Density Deluxe Pilates & Yoga Mat
Aurorae Classic Premium Eco Safe Yoga Mat with Non Slip Rosin
AmazonBasics Extra Thick Exercise Mat
BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Exercise Yoga Mat
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This mat really convinced me to up my yoga game. The 71-inch long, 26-inch wide, and 5-millimeter (.2-inch) surface may seem hard at first, but it has just the right amount of softness to provide cushion under joints without any wobbling during balancing poses. (You can also get the “Big” version of the mat, which is a whopping 84 inches long and 28 inches wide.) It boasts a completely flat, non-stick polyurethane surface and a base made of textured natural rubber, ensuring a great grip on both sides. This smooth, sturdy top layer means it's great for hot yoga, too—a yoga towel doesn't slip around too much on the mat, even if a lot of sweat drips onto it. I can firmly plant my hands and feet on the mat while switching poses or trying to hold a plank. Because it’s so smooth, it’s easy to wipe down after a workout, though it takes some time to fully dry. And while the 5.24-pound weight can feel heavy, the mat rolls up well, which is great for portability.
If you do a lot of yoga or bodyweight workouts and want a barely there but still comfortable feel, you can’t do much better than this classic mat.
When I was a wee beginner yogi some 12 years ago, someone gave me the Liforme mat and it’s been my favorite—second only to the Lululemon mat—ever since. It’s made of natural rubber with a polyurethane surface and is well-cushioned with 4.2-millimeter (.17-inch) padding. You can use it on almost any surface and feel comfortably supported—I’ve even practiced on a gravel driveway and couldn’t feel the rocks underneath. Thanks to its rubber coating, I have never once slipped on the Liforme mat, even in the hottest of Bikram yoga classes. It also has line markings etched into its 72.8-inch long and 26.8-inch wide surface that help you get into proper alignment, whether you need to line your arch up to your heel in Warrior II or you want your hands properly placed in Downward Dog. While I don’t use these as much now that I’m a yoga instructor, they were incredibly helpful when I was a beginner and I still use them as a gut check from time to time. The Liforme mat, however, is the most expensive of all the mats we tested. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly mat, this ain’t it.
I’m Amanda Tarlton, Reviewed’s style editor. I’m also a certified yoga instructor and spend about five days a week on the mat, either practicing on my own or teaching.
Before me, Reviewed contributor Bethany Kwoka evaluated yoga mats. She’s a former college athlete who turned to yoga a few years ago as a lower-impact way to work out. Bethany is also a big fan of at-home practices, and often starts her days with bodyweight workouts and sun salutation yoga routines on her mat. I also practice at home, but I’m more into studio classes, especially heated ones like Bikram or power yoga.
For tests, we did a 20-minute yoga routine and a 20-minute calisthenics routine twice on each mat. We kept both routines simple and focused on common poses such as Warrior I, II, III, and Downward-Facing Dog, and exercises like push-ups, front and side planks, sit-ups, and leg lifts. I also took the mats I tested to hot power yoga to see how they held up to heat (and sweat).
During these routines, we took notes. We observed if hands and feet slipped, the floor was painful on the knees during low lunges or on forearms during planks, if the mat deformed over the course of a workout, and whether the surface helped or hindered routines. We also took stock of how easy it was to clean, if it was portable enough to take to a studio or gym, and if it seemed like it would last through years of use.
What You Should Know About Yoga Mats
There are a few things you should know about yoga mats before deciding which one to pick up. The first is its material—most of the mats we tested are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), natural (or recycled) rubber, polyurethane, and/or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). PVC is a type of vinyl, a man-made, non-renewable material. Most mats made of this material are sticky enough to prevent slipping, soft enough to offer some cushion, and very durable. Natural rubber is renewable, biodegradable, and also provides texture and traction—however, it may be a bit firmer feeling than PVC. Rubber mats can contain trace amounts of latex, too, so they may not be the best option for people with latex allergies. Polyurethane is a blend of plastics that can have a soft, foamy feel or a sleek, smooth one, and is often used as a supplement to mats made of natural rubber. You can also find mats made of TPE, or a blend of plastic and rubber. These mats usually aren’t as long-lasting as PVC or natural rubber mats, but are often lightweight and can sometimes be recycled. Mats made of cork, bamboo, or jute (a woven vegetable fiber) are also an option, but these aren’t as popular.
The size of your yoga mat is another consideration. A typical yoga mat is 68 inches long and 24 inches wide, though you can find some that are larger (we tested a few that extend to 74 inches long). However, unless you’re really tall, 68 inches is probably long enough for most people, and any added length often also makes mats heavier to carry
Finally, you’ll want to factor in the mat’s thickness. Most of the mats we tested are somewhere between 4 millimeters and 6 millimeters thick (or .16 to .24 inches), which we found to be the sweet spot for protecting joints and providing good feedback in poses. You can find mats that are thinner (usually about 3 millimeters, or .12 inches), which don’t provide as much cushion for the joints but are great for rolling up to travel. Other mats are made of thick foam (some up to 12 millimeters, or about half an inch) which may seem like a good option for sensitive joints. But these mats, while great for ab exercises, Pilates, and restorative yoga, aren’t ideal for more vigorous flows because the compression of the cushy material under hands or feet can interfere with balance.
Other Yoga Mats We Tested
Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat
If love at first touch is a thing, that’s what I experienced with the Hugger Mugger mat. The non-slip surface, which is made of natural rubber, is so soft that it feels like something I could easily fall asleep on. (In fact, I may have done just that a few times in Savasana, shhh). However, it still provides more than enough grip to keep you securely in place during a sweaty flow. The other side is textured if you’re someone who prefers that feeling, too. The 6-millimeter (.24-inch) padding is thicker than most and gives just enough cushion to make your practice comfortable without being too squishy that it’s hard to balance. It also comes in both regular (70 inches long) and XL (78 inches long) lengths for taller people.
The only downside to this mat is its heft. It weighs in at 6.6 pounds, the most of all we tested, This may not sound heavy, but definitely feels like a lot to carry home when your arms are tired after an hour of shoulder stands and Chaturangas.
Soft to the touch
Non-slip surface on one side and texture on the other
The polyurethane and rubber Alo Warrior mat performed very well in tests. It has an excellent non-slip surface that feels firm enough to provide ample support but doesn’t feel too rigid. That said, I couldn’t get it to lie fully flat—the ends retained curves from being rolled for storage. I also noticed that it sometimes got lumpy and deformed where I placed my hands. Plus, its rubber bottom is so sticky that it picks up debris from the floor. It’s 74 inches long, 26 inches wide, 4.2 millimeters (.17 inches) thick and weighs in at a hefty 6 pounds, so while it’s great for home practice, it may not be the best option for lugging to and from the studio.
The Nike yoga mat was the only mat that had zero odor when I opened it up. Made of a blend of rubber and “recycled materials,” the surface of the 5-millimeter (.2-inch) mat is sleek and smooth yet grippy. When I sweat on it, it didn’t stay damp for hours nor did it get smelly—even after multiple uses, the mat has remained odorless. I like that the reverse side of the mat—i.e., the side that you lay on the ground—isn’t sticky so it doesn’t pick up dirt and dust like some yoga mats are prone to. Fortunately, however, this doesn’t affect how well the mat stays in place during a flow. At 3.15 pounds, this mat is also one of the lighter ones that I tested so it’s a good option to carry to and from the studio. You can also get it in two lengths: standard, which is 71 inches long, and long, which is 79 inches long.
Still, despite its amazing functionality, I found myself missing some fun in the form of colors and patterns. The Mastery mat only comes in black and gray, so although it could work for people who like to keep it simple, it may not be the best option for yogis who like to practice on funky hues.
This natural rubber Jade Yoga mat is effective in that it prevents feet from slipping and feels sturdy. Another plus is that it offers more size options than most brands. You can get it in three lengths (68 inches, 71 inches, or 74 inches) and two widths (24 inches or 28 inches) and its standard size weighs about 5 pounds. But it's not very comfortable—its textured material feels tacky and rough, and, even though it’s a hair under 5 millimeters (.2 inches) thick, it doesn’t feel like it provides much padding. This material makes it tough to wipe down, too. My cleaning cloth kept rolling up on itself in a way that didn’t happen with the other mats.
Overall, this is a decent mat for someone who isn't looking for much cushion and just wants something to nail their hands and feet to the ground.
Effective at preventing slipping
Great mat for someone who doesn't like excess padding
I’m a big Lululemon fan—not only do I think the Lululemon Reversible Mat is the best one you can buy, I also live in the brand’s popular Align leggings. That said, I’m not 100% sold on the latest Lululemon mat: the Take Form. Unlike the smooth surface of the Reversible Mat, this 5-pound, 5-millimeter (.2-inch), 71- by 26-inch mat has a textured surface made of natural rubber with ripples and ridges intended to help you stay in place. This offers a lot of grippiness, which is useful for flowing through poses in a hot yoga class, but also makes the mat look dishevelled, creased, and wrinkled. To be honest, when I first unrolled it out of the box, I thought it had gotten warped during shipping—and then I realized it was supposed to look like that.
One highlight of this mat, however, is the 3D rings that are located in the four corners and center of the mat. The idea is that you can use these rings to guide your hands and feet into the right position without looking down at your mat. I found these particularly helpful in poses like Down Dog and Wheel (a type of back-bend).
The PVC Manduka Pro mat felt nice at first, but it got slippery and less comfortable as time went on. As soon as I started sweating, it was difficult for me to maintain a grip. Its 71-inch length, 24-inch width, and 4.7-millimeter (.19-inch) thickness makes it weigh just about 4 pounds, so it's not too heavy. It’s portable and easy to roll up, but other than that, it's not anything special to use.
The 72- by 24-inch Everyday Yoga Mat is a bestseller at Yoga Outlet, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. It provides ample cushioning with its 5-millimeter (.2-inch) thickness and its waffle-textured PVC material allows some grip. However, the minute I started sweating, said grip went away. I was slipping and sliding throughout an entire hot yoga class—which is as dangerous as it is frustrating. The surface texture also irritated my skin after an hour of use. I found that it left little square indentations and chafed against my sweaty legs and hands. Not cool.
This mat is soft enough to be comfortable for most people without being too soft to make balancing hard. It’s also roomy at 74 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 6 millimeters (.24 inches) thick, yet relatively lightweight at 3.4 pounds, which makes it easy to tote around. However, it's way too slippery to be any higher on our list—I lost my grip the moment I started perspiring. Hilariously, it also makes funny squeaking noises when handling with sweaty hands.
I wanted to love this 72-inch long, 24-inch wide, and 6-millimeter (.24-inch) mat made of Polymer Environmental Resin (PER, or a type of PVC), but it just didn’t perform as well as the others. It comes with a chalk-like rosin to keep you from slipping, but you have to keep reapplying it throughout your routines or risk sliding out of poses. Without it, it’s a little slippery. The brand also recomillimetersends washing the mat right when you receive it to help start breaking it in (and presumably make it less slippery), but it’s a complicated process. Aurorae recommends cleaning it with a soft brush and non oil-based detergent, then rinsing it thoroughly, then wrapping it in a towel, and hanging it out to dry (outside, if possible). It weighs 4 pounds, which makes it easier to carry around than some mats, but isn’t as light as others.
Comes with rosin that you apply to the mat to prevent slipping
As soon as I unpacked the AmazonBasics mat, I turned up my nose—literally. Although most yoga mats have an initial odor that usually fades after a couple of uses, the scent of this mat was abnormally strong. It reeked of a pool noodle or rubber dodgeball and the odor lingered for weeks. It’s about 7 millimeters thick, or .28 inches, which is thicker than most other mats. Some people may be drawn to this, but it didn’t offer many benefits for me. The TPE surface of the mat didn’t provide much grip and I found myself constantly having to readjust my stance. The 74- by 24-inch mat also curls up at the edges and doesn’t fully lie flat, which is a pain when you’re trying to focus on your poses and not trying to keep your mat down.
It comes with a mesh carry bag that makes toting it around convenient and hands-free.
This 74-inch long, 24-inch wide, and half-inch thick foam mat is thicker than you need for most yoga poses. That said, it’s pretty light at 2.5 pounds, and comes with its own carrying straps, which is perfect for bringing it to a yoga studio or park. I also found it surprisingly non-slippery and never lost my grip while using it.
There are a couple of downsides to contend with, though. This mat has a strong smell right out of the box, deformed a bit over the course of my practice, and doesn’t seem like it will last as long as the harder, more durable mats. However, the smell dissipates after a day or two and the lack of durability is totally fine if you reserve it for things like ab exercises and restorative yoga, not your everyday practice.
The all-foam, half-inch thick BalanceFrom GoYoga mat is too soft and squishy to be effective for most yoga poses. Still, I enjoyed using it as it offered a lot of comfort while also holding my feet firm. It’s 71 inches long and 24 inches wide and weighs just under 2 pounds. It also comes with a carrying strap that makes it a suitable travel mat. However, it deforms fairly quickly, and I don’t think it will last very long before needing an upgrade.
Bethany is a freelance contributor for Reviewed. An avid home baker and aspiring home cook, she reviews and writes mostly about kitchen gadgets (with the occasional fitness review thrown in). Her specialty might be fancy desserts, but she's never met a batch-cooked dinner recipe she didn't like.
Outside of her work for Reviewed, Bethany is a content creator working on clean energy and climate change at a regional non-profit and runs a tabletop game at her local comic book shop.
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