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The 10 Best Yoga Mats

results are based on 24,027 reviews scanned

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Yellow first place 1 BalanceFrom BalanceFrom BalanceFrom GoYoga All Purpose High Density Non-Slip Exercise
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2 Heathyoga Heathyoga Heathyoga Eco Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat, Body
1425 reviews
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Orange best value 3 BalanceFrom BalanceFrom BalanceFrom Go Yoga All Purpose Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga
9945 reviews
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4 AmazonBasics AmazonBasics AmazonBasics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat with Carrying
1025 reviews
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5 REEHUT REEHUT Reehut 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density NBR Exercise
3097 reviews
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6 Trideer Trideer Trideer High-Density Yoga Mat, Premium Printed 1/4" Extra
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7 FARLAND FARLAND FARLAND Non Slip Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap
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8 YogaAccessories YogaAccessories YogaAccessories 1/4'' Extra Thick High Density Premium Sticky
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9 Gaiam Gaiam Gaiam Print Yoga Mat, Pink Marrakesh, 4mm
1195 reviews
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Gaiam Print Yoga Mat, Pink Marrakesh, 4mm Review and Comparison
Gaiam Print Yoga Mat, Pink Marrakesh, 4mm Review and Comparison
Gaiam Print Yoga Mat, Pink Marrakesh, 4mm Review and Comparison
10 Gaiam Gaiam Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat, Granite Mountains, 5/6mm
1195 reviews
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Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat, Granite Mountains, 5/6mm Review and Comparison

A Guide to the Best Yoga Mats

By Yehudah Posnick

Many yoga enthusiasts encourage using a yoga mat. If anything, it creates a certain “space” where you can concentrate, since yoga is a mental discipline as much as a physical exercise.  But yoga mats can also assist you in assuming and maintaining certain poses. There are four main considerations in choosing a yoga mat:

  • You want to make sure that it provides good traction so that there is little risk of it slipping while exercising,

  • You want to be sure that it provides adequate cushioning when exercising on a hard floor,

  • You want a mat made from a material that is durable and easy to clean,

  • You would like a mat that is compact and can be rolled up or folded in a way that it won’t take up too much space.

 

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a yoga mat. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of yoga mat,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of yoga mat,

  • Read reviews of different yoga mats, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of yoga mat, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Yoga Mats

  • Beginner’s Yoga Mats--Some companies, such as Gaiam, make yoga mats for beginners. They feature a cushiony block that helps you maintain certain poses, and a strap that helps you increase your range of motion when stretching. Some also have markings for where to place your feet and hands for certain poses.

  • Sticky Yoga Mats--These are also known as “non-slip mats” or “non-skid mats”. The mat is designed so as to remain in place without slipping. This allows you to maintain particular a particular yoga pose, without having to worry that the mat will slip out from under you.

  • Hot Yoga Mats--For those who practice Bikram yoga, they’re familiar with the fact that it requires a hot, humid room, such as a sauna (105 degrees Fahrenheit, 40% relative humidity). For practitioners of this type of “hot yoga”, their yoga mat should be particularly suited for the sweating and the humidity, so that you don’t slip when assuming a certain posture. Good materials include rubber, Thermal Plastic Elastomer, or PVC. Bamboo, on the other hand, will be slippery when wet, so it is not recommended.

  • Travel Yoga Mats--These are designed to be lightweight, while still being durable. Depending on the brand, the weight will vary from 1.6 pounds to 3.5 pounds. As for the thickness, you can find them in 1/16” (1.6 mm), 1/10” (2.54 mm), ⅛” (3.175 mm), and ¼” (6.35 mm).

What Reviewers Say

  • Good for Pilates as well:  Yoga and Pilates are similar disciplines, but not every yoga mat is good for Pilates exercises as well. A thicker mat, that is ¼” - ½” thick, is good for both types of exercises. Also, PVC and rubber are better for Pilates--so if you do both yoga and Pilates, look for this material in your mat.

  • Cleaning the mat: Some customers of the Gaiam Yoga Mat said that washing their mat with vinegar or water around once a week is adequate to remove any waxy or sticky residue that accumulates on the mat due to use.

  • Comes with bag and shoulder strap: Many brands come with a carrying bag and shoulder strap. This makes it easy to take your yoga mat with you, if necessary.

Important Features

  • Alignment markings: Some mats for beginners have markings, to indicate where you should place your hands and feet for particular poses. Gaiam makes such beginners’ mats.

  • Prefer ¼” to ⅛”: There is a trade-off between the thickness of your yoga mat and its portability. A thinner yoga mat can be rolled into a more compact cylinder--but it won’t provide you the same protection as a thicker mat. The thicker mat will give you better cushioning. The extra thickness also means that it will provide better insulation, so you won’t feel the cold floor. The minimal thickness is 1/16”, while ⅛” is considered average, and ¼” will be rated as excellent insulation. Some brands, such as Sivan, offer an extra-thick, ½” thick mat. But too much padding can make it difficult to maintain balance, since the material “gives” too much under your weight.

  • Sweat collection: Yoga mats are typically made from a non-porous material, so the perspiration will not seep into the mat. The BalanceFrom GoYoga Yoga Mat is made from foam and can be cleaned by just washing it with soap and water.

  • Non-slip: To ensure that they will not slip, some yoga mats also have rubber pads underneath, to make sure that the mat will not slip. The Sivan Health and Fitness NBR Comfort Foam Yoga Mat has a ribbed surface on one side, which grips the floor firmly to ensure no slipping.

  • Materials: You’ll see yoga mats made from a number of different materials, both natural and man-made. Here are some of the most popular:

    • Natural Rubber Yoga Mats: Rubber is popular because it is natural, biodegradable, and recyclable. It also is cushiony, durable, and not slippery.

    • Synthetic materials: There are a number of synthetic materials employed in yoga mats.

      • You’ll see “NBR (=Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) mats”, which is a synthetic rubber. Although not biodegradable, it will produce a thick, comfortable mat that is also durable and inexpensive. An example is the Trideer High-Density Yoga Mat.

      • There are also EVA (= ethylene-vinyl acetate) mats, which is resistant to cracking and moisture.

      • Another option is Thermoplastic Elastomer  (TPE) Yoga Mats. These are a mix of plastic and rubber and are usually not recyclable. They, like rubber, also offer good traction and are slip-resistant. They don’t absorb sweat, so they will be easy to clean. They have the advantage of not having an artificial smell. An example is the Farland Non-Slip Yoga Mat.

      • You’ll also see PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) mats. They have the advantage of not tearing, but they may absorb sweat and skin oils, and be more difficult to clean. An example is the Gaiam Print Yoga Mat.

    • Natural fibers: You can find yoga mats made from a number of natural fibers. The most popular ones are cotton, cork, hemp, and jute.

Top-Rated Brands

  • Trideer--are makers of gym equipment for yoga and Pilates, as well as for gloves for boxing, cycling, and golf. Their non-slip, sweat-resistant mats are notable for being thin, while at the same time offering stability, durability, and grip. Their thinness makes them considerably easier to carry around with you.

  • BalanceFrom--based in Los Angeles, are makers of yoga and exercise mats, floor mats, and other fitness products: weights, dumbbells, exercise balls, rollers, and more.

  • Sivan Health and Fitness--has a wide range of exercise products, including floor and acupuncture mats, massage equipment, exercise balls and gym equipment, and more. They are based in Passaic, New Jersey.

  • Gaiam--is a manufacturer of yoga apparel and equipment, based in Louisville, Colorado. They make yoga mats in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. They also offer different materials and styles, giving you a wide selection of designs.

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