The Best Yoga Mats
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, your yoga mat should be comfortable and easy to maintain. We spent one month talking to over a dozen yoga instructors and sweating, stretching, and savasana-ing it out in our offices, homes, and yoga studios to find the very best.
- Liforme Yoga Mat – Best overall
- Alo Yoga Warrior Mat – Best no-frills mat
- Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat – Best budget mat
- Jade Fusion Mat – Best thick mat
- Liforme Travel Mat – Best travel mat
How We Chose the Best Yoga Mats
A good yoga mat should walk the line between being squishy enough to take some of the pressure off your joints while being dense enough to offer a stable foundation. Too-soft mats may be comfortable, but they’re difficult to hold a pose on — and while you can stand on a too-firm mat forever, you may end up hurting your joints. Beginners, pregnant yogis, and people with sensitive joints should consider thicker mats, which offer more support. Yogis who commute or travel a lot may prefer thinner mats that are easier to roll up and carry.
The “grippiness” of a mat has two parts. One is how grippy the mat is against your hands and feet — are you slowly sliding out of place during warrior pose, or are you solidly planted? The other is the traction of the mat against the floor: Does your mat slip around on smooth floors, or is it firmly stuck in place throughout your session? Sweat can be a factor too, especially if you practice an intensive form like hot yoga, so you want to make sure your mat will stay grippy through it all.
We wanted to make sure our top picks would be easy to clean and durable (no mid-session mat shrapnel here!) We found that more porous, open-cell mat surfaces tended to be grippier, but were also harder to clean — they tend to absorb everything, like a giant sponge. Smooth, closed-cell surfaces tend to be easier to clean, but maybe more slippery. The sweet spot is a mat that’s just grippy enough but doesn’t hold onto dirt and debris.
We wanted to see how the most popular options compare, so we sought out mats that people were most excited about — from old favorites like the Manduka PRO to newer releases like the Alo Yoga Warrior Mat. We sifted through numerous “best-of,” “bestselling,” and “top-rated” lists, reached out to over 30 yoga instructors for their opinions, and dug into requests and queries from our yoga-loving readers.
Our Top Picks for the Best Yoga Mat
Now that we’ve done the research, we’ve compiled a concise review with things we liked and points to consider for each mat.
Best Overall – Liforme Yoga Mat
Superior grip in any situationCheck Price
|Non-Slip Surface||Thinner than some options|
|Special alignment markings||Price|
Why We Chose It
The Liforme Yoga Mat rolled out with a quietly satisfying plop and seemed firmly set in the ground, ready for action. We never had to worry about the mat sliding around on the floor or about sliding around on top of it ourselves. The Liforme mat has a natural, grippy rubber base and smooth, matte polyurethane top. It’s not so sticky it catches you while you’re trying to switch positions (like the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber did), but was grippy enough to keep us stable even during hot yoga sessions. One tester noted, “The sweater I got, the stickier the mat was.”
The smooth, matte, closed-cell top layer of the Liforme means that cleanup is fairly easy: Wipe down your mat after practice to get rid of any sweat or debris. We did note that sweat and water left noticeable marks on the mat’s surface, but these fade by themselves when wiped down and left to dry.
Special alignment markings
We were initially pretty skeptical about the special alignment markings, thinking they might just be a gimmick — but our testers were taken with how helpful the markings were in practice. A centerline helps you maintain symmetry, while 45-degree lines and other parallel markings help you nail perfect alignment. (Lines are spaced at varied distances for taller and shorter people). Liforme explains how the markings should be used more thoroughly on its website, but we found this to be pretty intuitive for experienced testers, even if they didn’t read the instructions.
We loved the Liforme’s size. It’s 73 by 27 inches — a good 5 inches longer than a standard yoga mat. Shorter yogis had plenty of room to stretch out, and taller ones (including one 6-foot-tall tester) didn’t have to worry about their hands or feet resting on the floor.
Points to Consider
Thinner than some options
At 5.5 pounds and 4.2 millimeters, the Liforme is relatively light and thin for a partly-rubber mat. Our more experienced testers thought it was “the perfect thickness,” though one added, “I think if other people had more sensitive joints, it would be slightly painful.” If you need more cushion, we’d recommend the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat or the Jade Fusion Mat.
At $140, the Liforme Yoga Mat is certainly a splurge as far as yoga mats go. Especially compared to economical picks like the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat ($85) and the Alo Yoga Warrior Mat ($100).
Best No-Frills Mat – Alo Yoga Warrior Mat
Sleek simplicity with the perfect amount of cushioningCheck Price
|Performance Without the Frills||Limited Color Selection|
|Non-Slip Surface||No Alignment Marks|
Why We Choose It
Performance without the frills
Rather than incorporating alignment markings like the Liforme or coming in a wide variety of colors, the Alo goes for a more minimalist approach. It only comes in matte black and doesn’t include any fancy extras, which is perfect if you prefer a sleeker look.
The Alo Yoga Warrior Mat is made with the same materials as the Liforme, so it’s grippy, comfortable, and just as easy to clean. Its grip holds firm, staying in place even during the sweatiest, most intense practices.
You don’t have to worry about the Alo rolling up as you change positions. It’s constructed with a natural rubber bottom and an easy-to-wipe-down polyurethane top layer, which help it to roll up and lay flat beautifully.
Points To Consider
Limited Color Selection
The Alo is only available in solid black. And unfortunately, the matte black color shows everything if you don’t wipe it down often. User reviews indicate that footprints, dust, and smudges have a tendency to stand out against the matte black.
No Alignment Marks
It doesn’t include the same alignment markings that set the Liforme mat apart and made it feel so premium. If you’re new to yoga or enjoy some extra guidance when adjusting poses, the lack of alignment markings may be a drawback.
Best Budget Mat – The Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat
Sustainable and renewable without breaking the bankCheck Price
|Eco-friendly materials||Smells like rubber|
Why We Choose It
The Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat is thicker than both the Alo and the Liforme. Testers praised the cushiony, dense material. If you have sensitive joints and need more cushion, we’d we’d recommend it over the other picks.
We liked how extremely grippy this mat was — so grippy, in fact, it’s on par with more expensive mats like the Liforme or Alo Yoga Warrior Mat. Even though it’s budge-proof, the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat didn’t leave any weird sticky residue on our hands.
We love that the Hugger Mugger is made from renewable materials. User reviews show that many customers love this, too, commending the mat for being sustainable and high-quality. If you’re in the market for a yoga mat that’s eco-friendly, then this is a good pick.
Points To Consider
It’s shorter and narrower than the Liforme and Alo Yoga Warrior Mat, at 70 by 24 inches. If you’re five-foot-nine or taller, this mat might be a tight fit during planking positions. However, it’s also available in an XL size which is 78 x 28 inches.
Because the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Mat is constructed entirely out of natural rubber, it’s heavier (6.6 pounds, to be exact) and bulkier than other yoga mats. If you don’t have a strap or carrying case, traveling with this mat might be a bit difficult.
Smells like rubber
Many user reviews agree that this mat smells a little like tires. And mat maintenance may be a headache for hot yoga regulars: Its porous, open-celled surface requires a longer, more thorough clean than smooth-topped polyurethane. (This is the case for any solid natural rubber mat.)
While the Hugger Mugger Ultimate Comfort Yoga Mat was the most comfortable, testers were distracted by the impressions left by their hands and feet. We found that ugly dents remained in it long after our sessions.
Best Thick Mat – Jade Fusion Mat
Ultra-cushiony rubber mat that keeps joints protectedCheck Price
|Extra support||Bulky to carry|
|Multiple sizes available||Tougher to clean|
Why We Choose It
If support is your main concern, the Jade Fusion Mat should serve you well both at home and in the studio. The Jade struck a great balance between cushiony support and secure grippiness: One tester reported, “With dry hands and feet, there is absolutely zero slippage. With sweaty palms, it didn’t feel quite as ‘sticky’ but still secure enough that I never had to think about keeping myself from sliding.”
Multiple Sizes Available
The Jade Fusion Mat comes in two sizes, so you’re guaranteed it’ll fit your height. At 68 by 24 inches, the standard size mat is perfect for yogis under five-foot-nine. The mat is also available at an extended size (74 by 24 inches) for an extra $10.
We were impressed at how the Jade managed to be both super comfortable and squishy, yet stable. While other thick mat contenders left testers feeling wobbly during pretty basic balance poses, the Jade remained secure and supportive.
Points To Consider
Bulky to Carry
Because it’s so thick and dense, it rolls up into a somewhat bulky package. Luckily, it’s not too heavy to carry around: At 5.4 pounds, it’s only 0.2 pounds heavier than the Liforme original mat and is even lighter than the slim Alo Yoga Warrior Mat (though its bulkiness may be something you want to consider if you plan on traveling with it).
Tougher to Clean
The Jade is stickier than the average mat, making it more prone to attracting hair, dust, and dirt. Since it has a textured, grippy surface, wiping down the mat may take a little longer and residue can’t be as easily cleaned.
Best Travel Mat – Liforme Travel Mat
Light, grippy, and easy to carryCheck Price
Why We Choose It
A thinner, lighter version of our top pick, the Liforme Travel Mat is easy to commute with and even includes a carrying case to make practicing anywhere a breeze. If you’re a yogi that wants to do sun salutations while traveling the world, then this could be the mat for you.
The Liforme Travel Mat is just as grippy and smooth as the standard Liforme Mat. Even when on the go, this mat lays flat and stays put. As an added bonus, this mat still has the alignment markings the standard version is best known for, which can help you stick poses with confidence.
Points To Consider
Keep in mind that if you want a supportive mat, our other picks would be better options: The Liforme Travel Mat’s thinness means it might not be comfortable enough for those with sensitive joints.
Guide to Yoga Mats
How to Find the Right Yoga Mat for You
A yoga mat’s material affects its stickiness, durability, comfort, texture, and whether or not it’s environmentally friendly. PVC is cheaper and more durable but may be exposed to toxins during manufacturing and be less beneficial for the environment. Eco-friendly materials tend to be more expensive and degrade more quickly but are both free of toxins and more sustainable.
Instructor Amira Freidson told us that a standard-size yoga mat is 68 inches long — just long enough for someone who’s five-foot-eight. To make sure you’re not too cramped during practice, check to see if your whole body fits on the mat while lying down with your face towards the ceiling. While there are no benefits to using a too-small mat, extra-large mats may be good for working on your flexibility: Instructor Giovanna Abraham says, “For more experienced yogis who have been practicing for 2-5 years, a longer mat would definitely be helpful — for instance, in giving them greater space to extend deeper into their poses.”
The grippiest, most comfortable yoga mat in the world is still a pain if you’re constantly struggling to lug it to and from class. If you intend on commuting with your mat, you may want to consider one that is lighter or comes with a carrying case. Just remember that if it doesn’t, a carrying case will cost extra. Weight and thickness also come into play. Heavier and thicker mats will be a bit bulkier to travel with than sleeker, thinner ones.
Choose a price range
Price is an important factor when considering a yoga mat. If you’re a new yogi, it might make sense to choose a more affordable mat with fewer frills. But it’s also good to consider longevity vs. initial cost. All of our top picks are durable and can withstand heavy use for many classes to come, so putting down more money up front might help you avoid having to replace a cheaper mat later.
Yoga Mat FAQs
How Thick Should a Yoga Mat be?
The standard thickness of a regular yoga mat is 4–5 millimeters. Travel mats are generally 3 millimeters or less, and thick mats are 6–9 millimeters. The type of yoga you practice can help you figure out which thickness is right for you. Instructor Jane Witzenburg advises, “If you are doing a lot of lunges, use a thicker mat. If you are doing more balancing postures, use a thinner mat.”
What does “PVC-Free” Mean?
Polyvinyl chloride is a synthetic material commonly used in yoga mats because it keeps slippage to a minimum, is durable, provides the most “give,” and tends to be the cheapest material. A concern with PVC, without going into too much detail, is that it contains phthalates — substances that have been linked to health issues and negative impacts on the environment.
What is a Yoga Mat made out of?
Aside from PVC, yoga mats are typically made from cotton, recycled rubber, cork, and jute. Which material you choose depends on preference.
- Cotton helps to absorb sweat and can increase grip when wet but doesn’t provide a lot of giving.
- Recycled, natural rubber may not be as sticky as a PVC mat but will still provide great grip. People with latex allergies, however, should avoid it.
- Cork is a natural (though expensive) material that becomes grippier with moisture but tends to absorb sweat and be more difficult to clean.
- Jute is a plant-based fiber that keeps you in place due to Polymer Environmental Resin (PER), a nontoxic material. As an added bonus, jute has antimicrobial properties for those extra-sweaty practices.
How do I Clean my Yoga Mat?
It’s best to clean your yoga mat at least once a week to prevent staining and buildup. Use water and gentle cleansers like lemon juice or dish soap, but avoid abrasive sponges. Wipe down excess moisture and let your mat dry away from direct sunlight or high temperatures, which can accelerate the breakdown of natural materials like rubber. When in doubt, check your mat manufacturer’s care guidelines.