Best yoga mats: Top mats for all practices, from simple flows to sweaty Bikram

Our round-up of the best yoga mats, suitable for all types of yoga styles, from Ashtanga to Yin

Included in this guide:

Woman rolling up a yoga mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Discovering the best yoga mat is like finding a new best friend. If you're a regular yogi, the mat – the only equipment you need, outside of possibly a yoga block – becomes your anchor. After many hours sweating on it in the studio, it's like a
favourite hoodie. 

But a bad mat can ruin your practice, as a lack of traction can cause you to slip, and poor mats absorb smells – so no amount of lemon juice and vinegar will get that -post-Bikram musk out. So it's worth thinking carefully about your purchase. 

Finding the best yoga mat is a much-discussed topic amongst yogis - along with anyone who's ever struggled to hold a posture during class. But we're here to settle the debate once and for all with this, our ultimate guide to the best mats out there.

Our absolute top pick is hands (and feet!) down the Yogamatters Eco Rise Yoga Mat, which tops our list of the best yoga mats for its textured, grippy surface, simple design and eco credentials.

However, if you're looking for a top-of-the-range mat, we also recommend the Liforme yoga mat. It's got brilliant non-slip technology, and the the alignment cues are also really helpful. 

If you're not ready or able to splurge $150 / £100 on a yoga mat, there’s a great alternative in Lululemon’s The Reversible Mat, which offers a fantastic non-slip surface and (being reversible) two mats for the price of one.

How to choose the best yoga mat for you

When choosing which yoga mat to go for, there are two key elements to consider:

  • Grip, or traction

This is, hands-down (in downward dog) the biggest consideration when it comes to getting a new yoga mat, as there's nothing worse than trying to pull off a complex pose, only to feel your sweaty hands beginning to slide away from you. Grip is a combination of the materials the mat is made from, and the surface of the mat's design, with some carrying small bumps, ridges or other raised surfaces to help you stay put. 

Yoga mats are made from various materials, the main ones being; natural tree rubber, polymer plastics (PVC) and polyurethane. Some of the polymer plastics used in yoga mats contain phthalates, the same stuff woven into plastic takeout food containers. It's these phthalates that release toxins when thrown in landfill, so many reputable brands are phasing out the use of phthalates – but still using PVC as a material. 

Polymer plastics provide good grip, and until recent years, it was the main material for most mats. However, in my opinion, the best grip comes from mats made from polyurethane, or those that have a top layer of this material. If you’re a hot yoga regular, look for this - it’s the only one that will hold you when you’re sweaty and in downward dog! If you’re into restorative yoga then most mats will provide sufficient grip so you have a wider choice of mats to choose from.

  • Thickness

This is also a big consideration. A thick mat provides cushioning for your knees, elbows, hips, your tailbone and other potentially painful areas. A thinner mat provides less material between you and the floor, opting for a better earth-body connection and less cushioning, which means less imprints on the mat itself and less balance issues, as thicker mats are increasingly unstable. Your thickness of choice depends on where you normally practice, and how comfortable you are during the session. 

Yoga mats come in different thicknesses, ranging from 1mm (for travel mats) to 6mm. When choosing your thickness, keep in mind where you practice regularly. For example, do you practice in a yoga studio with wooden floors or on a luxurious carpet at home? Go for a thicker mat if you find harder floors to be uncomfortable on your knees or hips and, conversely, go for a thinner mat if you practice on carpet, otherwise you may find it incredibly difficult to balance. 

The best yoga mats you can buy right now

Best yoga mats: Yogamatters Eco Rise Yoga MatFit&Well Best Buy Award

(Image credit: Yogamatters )

The best yoga mat for most people

Specifications
Thickness: 3mm
Size: 183cm x 61cm
Weight: 2.3kg
Material: Natural tree rubber
Reasons to buy
+Affordable sustainable choice+Biodegradable
Reasons to avoid
-Light colours only-Limited cleaning options

This is a fantastic sustainable choice, made from natural tree rubber and biodegradable. The price is great for such an eco-conscious mat. With superior grip and a practical textured surface, this mat provides a strong base for any type of yoga practise. Sadly though, it’s only available in light colours which means that grubby stains from sweaty hands and feet (or dirt collected from studio and hall floors) may show over time. Plus you can’t wash it in the washing machine or use chemicals to wipe it down meaning it may become rather stinky quickly. That said, it’s an affordable, great quality mat that’s one of the best we've used - by far.

Best yoga mats: Liforme Yoga Mat

(Image credit: Liforme )

2. Liforme Yoga Mat

The best premium yoga mat

Specifications
Thickness: 4.2mm
Size: 185cm x 68cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Material: Natural rubber with specially engineered eco-polyurethane
Reasons to buy
+Alignment cue lines+Superb non-slip
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Larger than other mats

Talked about as one of the grippiest yoga mats out there, the Liforme yoga mat has lots more to offer alongside its non-slip technology. Toxic glue and plastic free, this mat is made from sustainable natural rubber with an eco-polyurethane top layer making it biodegradable. The alignment lines help to guide you in your practise proving to be especially useful for those practising at home. There really isn’t much to dislike apart from it’s one of the heaviest on the market and is larger than most. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless you walk or cycle to your class. And if it’s a cramped yoga class, having an extra inch or two width may mean your mat joins your neighbours’. This mat ticks more boxes than others so it’s definitely worth the bigger price tag.

Best yoga mats: Yoga-Mad Warrior Yoga Mat II

(Image credit: Yoga-Mad)

3. Yoga-Mad Warrior Yoga Mat II

The best budget yoga mat

Specifications
Thickness: 4mm
Size: 183cm x 61cm
Weight: 1.1kg
Material: Phthalate free PVC
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting grip+Lightweight for travel
Reasons to avoid
-Made from PVC (plastic polymer)-Mat crumbles over time

Although made from plastic polymer, this budget option has great long lasting grip with ours still holding us strong eight years down the line. In fact, it’s one of those mats that gets better with time, starting off a little slippery and rigid (due to the lack of phthalates) but moulding with each practise. It’s phthalate-free so fewer chemicals will be released when you send it to the tip at the end of its lifecycle (although PVC will still release some nasties into the environment). It’s lightweight, making it suitable for travelling without having to invest in a travel yoga mat. Perfect for beginners and for practitioners of most yoga styles offering sufficient grip and comfort.

best yoga mats: Lululemon The Reversible Mat

(Image credit: Lululemon )

4. Lululemon The Reversible Mat 3mm

The best all rounder

Specifications
Thickness: 3mm
Size: 180cm x 66cm
Weight: 1.76kg
Material: Polyurethane top layer, natural rubber
Reasons to buy
+Great non-slip+Reversibility for longevity
Reasons to avoid
-Marks and stains easily-Colour selection a bit bland

The non-slip on the textured side of the mat is a little disappointing, it had us slipping in downward dog after a breath. However, you can get through a hot yoga class with the superb non-slip on the smooth side. The textured side can be used for calmer practises like restorative or gentle yoga without a problem. 

The only thing we noticed was that the hotter the practise, the more likely greasy forehead and sweaty hand marks were to stain the mat. These marks don’t seem to dry and instead leave a little stain which is a bit annoying. The reason we love this mat is that it’s lightweight compared to other mats in the same calibre so better for travel to classes. The reversibility increases its lifespan – you get two mats in one. It’s nearly fully eco-friendly apart from the polyurethane top layer but it’s the closest you’ll get to the Liforme mat for half the price. It’s a fantastic all-rounder for the price, non-slip properties and durability.

Best yoga mats: Jade Harmony Mat

(Image credit: Jade )

5. Jade Harmony Mat

The best sustainable yoga mat

Specifications
Thickness: 5mm
Length: 173cm, 180cm or 188cm
Weight: 2.2kg
Material: Natural tree rubber
Reasons to buy
+Made from renewable source+Sturdy, thicker mat
Reasons to avoid
-Wet stains the mat-Non-slip wears off over time

If sustainable buying is your thing, then the Jade Harmony yoga mat will be your go-to. For every mat sold, a tree is planted – so not only is your mat eco-friendly but you are actively helping to reduce carbon emissions with your purchase. Being 5mm in depth gives you extra support when practising on harder floors without making standing or inverted postures difficult. The only downside to this environmentally savvy purchase is that if your mat gets wet it can leave a long-lasting stain so a carrier is an essential if you walk or cycle to your class incase of a downpour. The natural rubber in this product can mean that over time the initial strong non-slip wears off eventually, but we think it’s still a mat worth the investment.

Cleaning and maintaining your yoga mat

We've obviously become much more conscious of hygiene in recent months. Most workout equipment like weights and exercise machines can take a wipe-down with strong chemicals such as Dettol and other alcohol-based cleaners. However, yoga mats are soft surfaces, so harsh chemicals in alcohol-based cleaners like Lysol could damage your purchase. 

Instead, for rubber or PVC mats, you could soak a cloth or sponge in warm, soapy water, wipe down your mat and dry it with a separate cloth. These hard-wearing mats will withstand a more vigorous clean. Alternatively, for foam and softer mats, you could make a mix of white vinegar or dishwashing liquid combined with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mat down between sessions, wiping it clean with a washcloth, or leaving it in the sun to air-dry. 

Kat Bayly
Kat Bayly

Kat is a yoga teacher with over five years teaching experience with a speciality in supporting injured students. She is qualified to teach Hormone Yoga Therapy and is currently studying to become a Yoga Therapy Practitioner. Alongside this, Kat has written about yoga and mindfulness for T3 and is the founder of Kalindi Yoga.