10 Best Yoga Mats for Every Type of Flow, According to Experts – Finding the right mat can make a big difference in cultivating a yoga practice that feels comfortable, grounding, and sustainable. Whether you prefer to do classes at home or at your local studio, here’s what you need to know about finding the best yoga mat for your flow.

10 Best Yoga Mats for Every Type of Flow, According to Experts

How to choose the right yoga mat

Thickness

A thicker mat is ideal if you’re dealing with slight joint pain, practicing on a hardwood floor, or primarily using it for floor poses and stretching. With enough supportive cushioning, you can focus on your practice rather than on any uncomfortable pressure points. On the other hand, some people may find it more challenging to balance and flow at a faster pace on a thick, cushy mat—in which case, a thinner mat (under five millimeters) might feel better. “Listen to your body: A thicker mat might feel way more comfortable for your sensitive knees, or you might find that you’re sinking too much and need something flatter,” Annie Moves, a registered yoga instructor at Alo Moves says.

Length

Most standard yoga mats are 71 or 72 inches long, but you can find options that are both shorter (68 inches) and longer (80 inches). If you’re on the taller side, it may be worth finding a longer mat that’ll accommodate your body, since many yoga poses involve a wide stance (think warrior II, downward dog, and goddess pose).

Texture and Material

If you sweat a lot or frequently attend hot yoga classes, using a mat with a nonslip surface can help keep you from sliding around. Those made with open-celled materials like polyurethane foam are particularly absorbent, which should help remove excess moisture and reduce the risk of slipping, but they do require regular cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup. Bringing a yoga towel is another way to avoid practicing in sweat puddles, and some mats even come with a towel built in.

There are also textured yoga mats, which feature grippy nubs along the top that can help you feel like you’re actually sticking to it. “You can also get mats with dual surfaces, featuring a smooth surface on one side and textured grip on the other,” Chelsea Jackson Roberts, a registered yoga teacher and instructor at Peloton in NYC, tells SELF. If you practice both hot fast-paced yoga and also slow flow yoga, a versatile option such as this might be your best choice.

Portability

A thinner, lightweight mat is a great option if you often take your mat on the go, because it can pack away easily. It should be able to fit in a carrying strap, roll up into your yoga-mat carrier, or even fold down into a compact square.

The best yoga mats

Whether you’re a relative beginner who’s just getting used to the postures or a seasoned yogi, we’ve highlighted the best yoga mats for all types of practices and bodies. We included budget-friendly bestsellers along with top picks from yoga instructors and fitness pros. And once you find a mat that works for you, consider adding yoga blocks and other helpful props to your practice.

1. Best Yoga Mat Overall: Manduka Pro Yoga

This ultradense yoga mat was recommended by a ton of the instructors we reached out to, and the reason was pretty clear: It’s the ultimate mat for comfort and extra cushioning. Holly Perkins, CSCS, calls it the Rolls Royce of yoga mats: “I love that it feels so substantial and does not move on the floor—it stays stuck! It’s thicker than most yoga mats, so it’s [also] great for strength exercises, but not so thick that your feet stick in and are unstable.”

Jackie Skinner, a certified yoga instructor in NYC, and Jake Panasevich, a yoga instructor and health-science journalist in Philadelphia, also love the Pro mat’s thickness and stability. They both point out that it’s on the heavier side, though, so it might not be the best choice for commuting. (Skinner uses hers for home workouts so she doesn’t have to lug it anywhere.)

The Pro is on the pricier side, so if you’re looking for something under $100, check out Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat 4.7 mm ($81). “It has ultradense cushioning, so it provides all the support and stability you need during your practice. It’s also easy to clean and seals out moisture. It’s a standard but reliable mat,” Mandy Ingber, a celebrity yoga instructor and author of Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, tells SELF.

Pros:

  • Made of closed-cell material, which helps prevent sweat and moisture from soaking into the mat
  • Does not move when on the floor
  • Thicker than most yoga mats, but also suited for strength training exercises

Cons:

  • Hard to transport due to added bulk
  • Surface is too soft for faster yoga flows

Available in lengths 71″ and 85″.

2. Best for Hot Yoga: Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat

“The Yoga Design Lab mat is a yoga towel and mat in one,” Heidi Kristoffer, founder of CrossFlow Yoga and creator of CrossFlowX in New York City, tells SELF, referring to this mat’s absorbent microfiber top layer. The natural rubber base layer also provides stability during your flow. “It’s the best surface for yoga imaginable—the perfect amount of grip without restricting movement,” Kristoffer says. “Bonus: You will never have to worry about remembering a towel for a sweaty or heated class with this mat.”

Pros:

  • Absorbent top layer for sweaty practices
  • Nonslip and heavy grip

Cons:

  • Hand-wash only
  • Many reviewers say it’s a bit too thin

Available in length 70″ and width 24″

3. Best for Versatility: Lululemon The Mat

Lululemon’s flagship yoga mat is not only a best-seller, it’s also expert-approved. Made of natural rubber, this reversible mat feels smooth yet grippy, features 5 mm of cushioning, and holds up to regular flows. Panasevich got several years of use—including indoor and outdoor classes—out of his own Lululemon mat, and he is quick to recommend it to anyone who practices regularly: “This is my favorite yoga mat that I recommend to all my students. It provides strong grippage so you don’t slide and sufficient padding. It’s plenty big for those with broader shoulders and taller folks, yet not awkwardly bulky.”

If you’re looking for a thin yoga mat from Lululemon, then a foldable yoga mat that can pack down to fit inside a carry-on bag like Lululemon Carry Onwards Travel Yoga Mat, 2 mm, ($59) is an ultralight option. Colleen recommends it for traveling: “It’s lightweight, sticky, and grips well.”

Pros:

  • Reversible style with smooth surface and a textured grip
  • Comes in fun designs and colors

Cons:

  • No carrying strap
  • Takes time to lie flat

Available in length 71″.

4. Best for Asana Yoga: Alo Yoga Chakra Warrior Mat

Kylan Fischer, founder of Bendy Babes and a yoga instructor in Sunset Beach, California, recommends this natural rubber mat for its helpful design: It has an asana grid etched into it, so you can check your alignment throughout class. She also notes the Alo mat has antimicrobial, moisture-wicking features—plus it’s thick yet light enough to tote around. “It provides a nonslip surface, which means if I take a sweaty hot yoga class I don’t need to worry about slipping around on my mat,” she says. For those who prefer a solid-colored mat, Alo makes a version of the Warrior Mat without the etchings, and it’s just as supportive and durable.

Pros:

  • Contains etchings to check your alignment
  • Neither too thick nor too thin, making it great for most users

Cons:

  • Only available in one color

Available in length 74″ and width 26″.

5. Best Budget-Friendly Pick: BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Exercise Yoga Mat

With over 60,000 five-star reviews, this mat is a top seller on Amazon. In fact, its positive customer feedback and lower price tag inspired Kelley Green, a certified yoga instructor in New York City, to give BalanceFrom’s exercise mat a try: “Once I purchased it, the reviews did not let me down. This mat has a great grip, so I’m not slipping or sliding if I work up a sweat while transitioning through yoga poses.” Plus the mat’s thickness is great for beginners and will make any pose comfortable on a hard floor.

Pros:

  • Less pricey than other options
  • Easy to clean with soap and water

Cons:

  • Not as durable as other more expensive mats
  • Slightly curls up on one end

Available in length 71″.

6. Best for Taller and Bigger Bodies: JadeYoga XW Fusion

Award-winning yoga instructor, author of Every Body Yoga, and founder of The UnderbellyJessamyn Stanley previously told SELF that the extra-long XW Fusion mat from JadeYoga was her go-to mat for regular practice: “It’s expensive but worth every penny,” she said. As the brand’s widest, thickest, and longest mat, it’s designed to provide all the cushioning that someone with a taller or larger body may need.

Pros:

  • Longer and thicker than most other mats
  • Powerful grip so you don’t slip

Cons:

  • Very bulky
  • Expensive

Available in length 80″.

7. Best for Beginners: Halfmoon Essential Yoga Mat

Kelly Colleen, director of programming for YYoga, likes this 4-mm-thick mat from Halfmoon for yoga beginners, and it’s easy to see why: Its sticky surface helps users grip more easily, it’s durable without weighing too much, and it clocks in at a budget-friendly price.

Pros:

  • Grippy surface
  • Lightweight, yet durable

Cons:

  • Not sweat-resistant
  • Might not be thick enough for those who need extra cushioning

Available in length 72″.

8. Best for Heavy Sweaters: Yoga Strong Yoga Mat

Sarah Larson Levey, founder, and CEO of Y7 Studio, points to Yoga Strong’s sweat-absorbent, anti-slip mat as a recent favorite. “It has nonslip Hydrogrip technology and a microfiber suede top layer, which makes it perfect for hot yoga classes,” she says. “Oh, and the best part: It’s machine washable.” Finding an easy way to clean your yoga mat from all the sweat buildup is always a bonus.

Pros:

  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Nonslip technology

Cons:

  • Shows dirt easily due to the bright patterns

Available in length 72″.

9. Best for Home Use: Bala The Play Mat

The curved top of the Bala Play Mat stands out from more traditional rectangular options. It’s also equipped with a polyethylene top coat that provides extra grip for every dynamic pose you might want to try. At 5 mm thick and about 71 inches in length, it is on the heavier side, so it’s hard to lug around and best suited for home workouts.

Pros:

  • Thicker than a standard yoga mat
  • Polyurethane top coat provides extra grip
  • Unique shape

Cons:

  • Heavy to carry with you
  • Top layer stains easily with sweat

Available in length 71 ⅜” and 26 ½”.

10. Best for Pilates: All in Motion Premium Fitness Mat

If you’re not a huge yoga person but still need a mat for floor exercises like Pilates, consider the All In Motion Premium Fitness Mat. It’s made specifically for floor-based workouts due to the extra cushioning (15 mm) for sensitive joints. The textured surface provides just enough stability for many exercises, but note that it’s likely not grippy enough for standing, balancing movements. The included carrying strap makes it easy to tote around too.

Pros:

  • Cushioning for back, knees, and shoulders
  • Odorless and easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not enough grip to keep you stable for balance-based exercises
  • Sensitive to scratches

Available in length 72″.

Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by shalw

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