The beginning of the year is the perfect time to pick your yoga practice back up (or start one!) Finding the right yoga mat to journey with you on your practice is like searching for a soul mate — all mats are not created equal! A great mat can kick your practice up a notch, but before investing, it’s important to do your research!
That’s why the research team at Reviews.com spent six weeks testing over 30 popular mat options on the market. After consulting with yoga professionals and students, along with hand-testing each mat in both moderate and hot climates, they were able to narrow down their top 9 choices, which exhibited the best traction, stability, support, and versatility to complement any yoga practice. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, consider the following options when choosing your mat:
Reviews.com’s Top Pick for Best Yoga Mat
- Best Overall — Manduka PROlite
This mat stood out as most durable and versatile on the list. The dense PVC material makes this mat ideal for any climate or flooring conditions. Whether you love vigorous power yoga or a more gentle practice, the PROlite adjusts to your grip and form, and improves with use! It also comes with a lifetime guarantee, so in the event that something does malfunction or wear out, you can rest assured in your investment. This mat is the perfect thickness to provide joint support in poses that can be hard on your joints, and offers increased stability support for standing postures. With a surface that is slip-resistant but not sticky, you can move fluidly without sliding around. And, at just 4 pounds, the PROlite is a great mat to bring with you on-the-go!
- Runner Up — Lululemon – The Mat
Reviews.com named this mat the “Best Non-Slip Yoga Mat,” making it ideal for hot yoga lovers. It absorbs moisture and actually gets stickier the more you sweat — you’ll never need that towel again! The mat is antimicrobial to keep it from getting funky. If that isn’t your thing, flip it over the the cushy natural rubber side. Choose from 3 or 5mm thickness to fit your needs.
- Others to Consider —
Jade Harmony Professional Mat
This comfy mat is made of 100 percent natural rubber, making it great for the environment but not as durable as other mats. It will degrade when exposed to sunlight and heat, so this option is best for yogis with an indoor home practice. The upside is that it is lightweight and absorbs sweat, giving it great grip, thanks to its open cell technology.
Hugger Mugger Para Rubber
Eco-conscious yogis will love this mat made of sustainable, renewable natural rubber. It provides great grip and lots of cushion to save your joints. The texture can make fluid transitions hard for some people. It shows signs of wear quickly, so this mat is better for a back-up mat or for people who do not practice frequently.
PrAna Revolutionary Sticky Mat
This firm, grippy mat is one of the sturdiest on the list. It is wider, longer, and heavier than the others, making it ideal for people who do not fit into the stereotypical yogi body type. The larger size does make it harder to carry around, so this would be a great mat for home practice.
Gaiam Print Premium
This mat is super affordable and comes in a wide variety of fun colors. It is great for a beginner but more serious yogis should invest in a higher-quality mat for comfort and safety reasons.
What Now? Consider these Factors When Purchasing a Yoga Mat
Ultimately, your personal preference and needs are the largest determining factor when choosing the best mat for you. Keep these factors in mind when you’re weighing your options:
- Durability: Your mat should be a long-term companion! Look for a mat that offers a lifetime guarantee, and be sure to read user reviews that discuss how the mat wears.
- Support: Think about what you’re looking for in a practice — do you like a cushy mat or a sturdy one? Are there frequent poses in your practice that are hard on your knees? Keeping this mind will help you stay comfortable as you move through your practice.
- Stability : If you’re finding yourself in a heated class more often than not, look for a mat that is slip resistant so that you’re able to feel more stable in your poses and push yourself without a potential fall!
- Size: Commute to class? Have a home practice? If you’re transporting your mat, consider a more portable option.
Remember: there is no one-size-fits-all option for a yoga mat. Consider the options above, as well as the factors that matter most to you before making a decision. Try a few different mats out to see which ones make you feel supported and can help take your practice to the next level!