Yoga mats might be extremely important to give you that extra comfort or to avoid you slipping during Yoga, but the meaning that the Yoga mat holds is far greater than that.
Yoga mats are believed to be a metaphor – it basically represents a space when our mind finally finds some relief from everyday stress and tension. It’s just like a happy place for your mind to allow itself to just relax.
Nowadays the choices of the best yoga mat are endless. So how can you find the right mat for you? There are Yoga mats that are better for some styles of yogas, others that support your physical needs, or even the type of environment where you practice Yoga.
In this article we will discuss:
Recommended Best Yoga Mats for 2020
Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip 5mm Yoga Mat
- Moisture absorbent top coat
- Mat gets gripper doing practice
- Great for Hot Yoga
Special Note: Owners love this mat. Some have even reported still in use after 5 years…that’s why is made our best yoga mat list.
Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat
- Tacky and non-slip
- Odorless and does not absorb odors
Special Note: Must users have definitely recommended the first cleaning to make this mat more sticky.
BalanceFrom GoYoga 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density
- Does not absorb moisture
- Provides great cushioning
- All-Purpose mat, not for heavy sweating
- Comes with carrying strap
Special Note: Owners reported that the denser 1/4 material provided a perfect combination of stability and cushioning for the price.
Manduka Pro Yoga Mat
- Tried and true, and on our best yoga mat list
- Quite dense and supportive
- Does not absorb moisture and odor
- Outdoor rated
- Stays anchored to the floor
- Build to last for years
Yoga Zeal Mat
- Comfortable suede towel layer
- Non-slip rubber backing
- Machine washable
- 20 VERY unique designs
Special Note: Owners unanimously reported great grippiness even while sweating buckets.
The Aurorae Synergy 2 in 1 Mat
- Very comfortable microfiber top layer
- Unique base material anchors mat to the floor
- Prevents slipping during hot yoga
- Best grip when a little wet
Special Note: Owners have reported keeping this mat for more than 3 years. One owner has even reported no color fading after 2 years and 300 washing machine cycles.
Hugger Mugger Tapas Ultra Mat
- Great cushioning
- Lightweight, easy to carry around
- Not made for sweaty hands like hot yoga
- Natural rubber provides exceptional traction on both sides
- Great beginner mat
- Comes in 3 sizes
Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat
- Made for all activities including pilates
- Great support and cushioning
- Provides great grip
- Comes in 9 different colors
- Carrying strap included
IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
- Super grippy out of the package
- Built to stay in place on any floor
- Free carrying strap included
- Certified odorless material
- Comes in 5 colors
- Hot yoga friendly
Healthyoga Eco Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat
- Comes carrying strap and velcro band
- Comes with alignment marks
- Awesome bottom treads to keep the mat in place
- Great non-slip surface
- Made with resilient non-tearing TPE material
- Great ratings on having exceptional customer service
Special Note: Owners love this mat. BUT…the awesome TPE material used for the mat is not made for washing machines and NOT to be left in a hot car.
Liforme Orginal Yoga Mat
- Expensive, but Made Solid
- Great grip
- Has body alignment lines
- Made with resilient TPE material
- Made for indoor and outdoor use
Special Note: The most expensive mat of this list at over $100, but owner have said they got what they paid for. Very happy with the quality they received.
YogaAccessories 1/4″ Thick High-Density Deluxe Non-Slip Mat
- Grippy after the first wash and break-in period
- Provides cushioning and a great connection with the floor underneath
- Can be used for pilates
- Comes in many colors (you have to check these out)
- Reviews claim slight new odor that dissipates over time
- Durable and made tough
- Non-slip surface
- Built to stay anchored to the floor
- Designed for high-intensity workouts
- Superior cushioning with memory foam
Special Note: Pogamat has come to the market with durable mats. Can be used with shoes and weights.
Details of our Best Yoga Mats
|Yoga Mats||Type||Length (inches)||Width (inches)||Thickness||Warranty (# of years)||Good for |
|Reversible||# of Colors|
|Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip 5mm Yoga Mat||Standard||68||24||5mm||Lifetime||15+|
|Gaiam Premium||68||24||6 mm||Lifetime||6|
|BalanceFrom GoYoga ||71||24||12 mm||2||7|
|Manduka Pro||Standard||71||26||6 mm||Lifetime||11|
|Yoga Zeal||72||24||3 mm||15+|
|The Aurorae Synergy 2 in 1||72||24||5 mm||2||5|
|Hugger Mugger||Standard||68||24||5 mm||Lifetime||3|
|Extra Long||80||24||5 mm||Lifetime||3|
|Gaiam Essential Thick Yoga Mat||72||24||10 mm||Lifetime||7|
|IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat||72||26||6 mm||15+|
|Heathyoga Eco Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat||72||26||6.5 mm||6|
|Liforme Orginal Yoga Mat||72.8||26.8||4.2 mm||Lifetime||5|
|Yoga Accessories High Density Deluxe Mat||74||24||6 mm||Lifetime||30|
Factors you need to consider before buying
First, I would like to share with you the factors you must consider when buying a yoga mat. We’ve divided these into important and less important factors that will affect your choices for a new yoga mat.
Important Factors to consider when buying a yoga mat
Physical factors in choosing a yoga mat
Are you tall (over 6 feet) or short, are you heavy or light, and do you have any injuries or joints you need to take care of (like knees and elbows). These factors will determine the size and padding a yoga mat offers. Below I rundown the shapes, sizes and unique features some manufactures offer to make your yoga experience better.
For tall yogis, find a mat you will be able to lay down on from head to toe. This is very nice to have when doing poses like the corpse pose.
For heavy yogis, or some with sensitive (or injuries) knees and joints, pick a mat thicker mat (like 1/2 inch) made of solid material like TPE. Stay away from NBR (medium-density material and spongy), you will not be happy. The cushioning with NBR is reduced to nothing if you’re in the same position for a few seconds.
Environmental factors in choosing a yoga mat
Will you be extra sweaty and doing hot yoga? Then you want something that is easy to clean and absorbs moisture, or at least is not slippery when it wet. Cork or a mat with a micro-fiber layer on top (commonly called a towel mat) is a great option. Check out the Aurorae Synergy.
Will you be practicing on a floor like hardwood and carpet? Keep in mind that some material swill slip on the carpet and if the mat is too thick and not rigid enough that stability and balance might be compromised. Another possibility, is that you might find yourself doing yoga on sand. In that case you will want a mat that is fairly thick.
Will you be travelling with your mat? Then consider a mat that will pack small. Most mats are not great to bend and fold, so get a mat specific for this purpose.
Pricing and Budget
Yoga mats will come in at every price point. Pricing will have nothing to do with your preferences, and how comfortable you will be. What you will find is the pricing is affected by:
- Quality – materials like natural rubber cost more than synthetic, or made with a blend of different material. Higher quality TPE vs. cheap NBR is a good example.
- Durabilty – expect over 3 to 4 years from a good mat. Cheaper ones will tear and fade over time and not last a year.
- Warranty – Not all good mats provide warranty, but most do which indicates the company is standing behind their products.
- Special features – Some brands differentiate themselves with bells and whistles that help people have a better yoga practice. Alignment lines, special treads to make sure the mat stays in place and funky colors for people who are affected by mood or want to feel unique, and mats called towel-mats, which includes a built-in towel topper.
All the yoga mats on our Best Yoga Mat list for 2020 except for the Manduka Pro and the Liforme Original, are below $100.
Less Important Factors
Color, textures, latex-free and phthalate-free are not important, or I should say – things you need to concern yourself with.
Colors and designs come in so many different styles within the same models of mats, that you will certainly find the exact mat model and brand in the color that vibrates with you. So, that’s easy to deal with and check off your list.
Next, latex and phthalates. With the increased knowledge of how certain materials affect us (like allergies) and the environment (the pollution created when manufacturing and landfill friendly), combined with the rise in popularity of yoga – you will be hard-pressed to find a yoga mat that is NOT latex-free and contain phthalates.
See, people know more about these things and the consumers have spoken…with the speed at which information travels, it doesn’t take long for people to let the world know about good and bad products. All the mats mentioned in this article are the most reviewed and some of the most highly rated we have found. All latex and phthalate free.
By the way, phthalates are chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastics, they are popular because they are effective and cheap. But not environmentally friendly or good for our health.
Yoga mat shape and sizes
Traditional Yoga mats
The traditional Yoga mat measures around 68 to 72 inches long and 24 inches wide. These Yoga mats are made to be anti-slip and their thickness is around 4-6 millimeters and up to 12 mm (that’s a whopping ½ inch thick).
Square Yoga mats
You will typically find these mats in 4’ x 6’, 6’ x 6’ or 6’ x 8’ sizes. The square mat gives you so much freedom that allows you to change to so many positions without having to adjust your body to the mat.
This type of mat is also popular among many Yoga instructors that like to use them in their Yoga classes when they need to show the same Yoga position from many different angles. A Square mat is a great option if your going yoga with a partner, your kids, or like to have your props on your mat at all times. One company known for these yoga and exercise mats at a very affordable price is Pogamat. You can even wear your shoes on them while exercising with weights or kettlebells.
Round Yoga Mats
Round mats are a revolutionary option among Yoga lovers and it seems to be a very popular choice. Mainly because the round shape provides you not only with more freedom to do certain types of Yoga, but also allows you to create your own mental space.
These types of mats usually have more padding in the center to help you to be more comfortable during centered positions or meditation. You may also find the round Yoga mat shape helps you increase your mental focus.
Extra Long or Extra Wide Yoga Mats
Taller people can take advantage of longer mats so they too can have the same comfort as everyone else. The average mats go from 68 to 72 inches, but if you happen to be taller than 6 feet tall (72″), then you might want to choose a mate that is longer.
Also, if the length of the average Yoga mat is OK but would like them to be a little wider, then you can find an extra wider Yoga mat (26″ or 28″).
These types of mats are good if you want more freedom when doing different styles of yoga, or if you happen to be pregnant as these wider mats can give you extra support.
Extra Thick or Extra Thin Yoga Mats
You might want to get a thicker Yoga mat (over 8mm) if you have sensitive joints or are recovering from an injury. Thick mats are also a choice if you practice a more high impact Yoga, where it requires a more intense endurance.
When it comes to thinner Yoga mats (3 to 5 mm), most people already use them on a softer surface, such as carpets or an already padded surface. With that said, some people find thinner mats to be just enough of what they need to still feel the connection with the floor underneath.
And remember, lighter and thinner mats are easier to carry around.
What about the texture of Yoga mats?
Reversible Yoga Mats
Reversible mats are becoming a very popular choice and manufacturers are making them non stop, why?
Because reversible mats give you diversity on your Yoga practices, especially if you like to change your Yoga style frequently. On one side it offers you a microfiber surface while on the other side you have a sticky surface. This way you will save time and money (on one mat) and adjust your Yoga routine to your different needs. Check out the list of our recommended reversible mats.
Sticky Yoga Mats
Sticky mats can help you to avoid any unpleasant slippery accidents when trying to do Yoga on tricky surfaces. Mats are made to be non-slippery, but there are mats that are made to be STICKY. Check out the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip, Gaiam Premium and the IUGA Pro Non Slip Mat.
Hybrid Yoga Mats
If you like a more natural kind of Yoga mat but would like it to last longer then the hybrid mat might be just the thing you need. It’s made with a blend of synthetic and natural materials that will give an organic feeling but that will last longer compared to an all-natural mat. Look for mats that are Jute infused. Check our recommended mats with microfiber top, the Yoga Zeal and the Aurorae Synergy.
Natural Yoga Mats
Natural mats can biodegrade and lessen the impact on the environment. They are usually made from materials such as cotton fabric, cork bark (very popular in Hot Yoga), woven grass fibers, and rubber. But keep in mind that these kinds of mats also usually last less time because they tend to wear down faster.
Prints and textures
Printed Yoga mats are so much fun and can even help you to feel more energetic and in a good mood. A lot of companies offer such incredible designs that are irresistible not to grab. And you can find them in so many different textures, some even come with lines on them to help position your body. For alignment lines, check out the Healthyoga Eco and the Liforme Original.
The Right Mat for the Right Kind of Yoga
Here are some of the types of Yoga that might require different types of mats. Keep in mind that preferences are subjective but there are certain mats that are perfectly suited for a chosen yoga.
Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga is based on 26 positions and it’s really heated so you will be sweating quite a lot, that’s why you should avoid a mat that is rubbery, instead get a non-slippery and absorbent Yoga mat.
Power Yoga is probably one of the newest kinds of yoga compared to a lot of other styles and it doesn’t include the meditation part as many others do, and because you will probably tend to sweat you should consider an absorbent and non-slippery mat when attending this kind of Yoga class.
To practice Asthanga Yoga you will be using a lot of balance, so you need to consider a very steady mat that will support your feet and palms without the chance to slip.
Because this type of Yoga practices a lot of different kinds of poses and transitions between them throughout the class, you should possibly consider a reversible mat so you could adapt to the different style more adequately.
Yogalates (Pilates Yoga)
Pilates Yoga is basically challenging your body into unusual postures and keep your balance and posture. For this kind of Yoga, you want to consider getting a thicker mat to make it more comfortable. A thinner mat can be used but will perhaps be more uncomfortable to work with.
In this Yoga style, you connect each posture with the next one, so a durable but a traditional mat should be best for this kind of Yoga.
You might break a sweat with doing this type of Yoga, so you should invest on a well absorbent and very comfortable padded mat for the best experience.
Because this type of yoga requires a lot of concentration and requires staying still for long periods of time, it might be stressful to your lower back and joints. So it’s recommended that you pick a more soft kind of mat instead of a very thin one.
All mats for comfort
Kundalini Yoga is probably the most challenging Yoga Style that there is because you can do it anywhere, you should pick a very thin mat that is easily folded so you can take it with you wherever you want.
On Iyengar Yoga, you might be using Yoga blocks or straps for stretching. For that reason, you might want to consider getting a very thin mat with a steady grip.
Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga
Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga is meant for recovery and balance when choosing a mat for this style of Yoga you should consider a thick and possibly wide mat.
Prenatal Yoga is meant to help you develop flexibility during pregnancy while your body is changing, so you should find a very steady mat that holds its grip to avoid any accidents due to the growing belly that will change your balance. A wider mat might help you to feel more steady.
Thank you for checking out our Best yoga mat list for 2020. Keep in mind the factors that will help you in determining the best mat for you. And, I hope you also find a yoga style that resonates with you this year. If you are still looking and trying to determine what you might like, please check out our Choosing a yoga page.
Happy Yoga and great health.