We Spent 8 Hours Testing to Find the Best Yoga Mats for Every Practice

For meditation and hot yoga or travel, we tested the best mats

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best yoga mats

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Yoga is easy to accomplish from the comfort of your home, whether you’re practicing poses from memory or tuning into virtual classes or livestreams. No matter why you turn to the 5,000-year-old practice—from reducing stress, promoting better sleep, or improving mental health—a solid yoga mat can make or break your flow. 

While there’s a variety of yoga accessories out there, a yoga mat is the foundation to the practice and complements your favorite poses and breathing exercises. The amount of options can be overwhelming, which is why we purchased and tested 16 yoga mats in our Verywell Testing Lab.

For the test, seven testers spent eight hours in our Lab touching and evaluating yoga mat options. Our evaluation began as soon as we took each mat out of the box, noting whether a chemical or rubber odor lingered. We did an intermediate vinyasa yoga flow twice on each mat—once with dry hands and once with wet hands to assess how well the mats would maintain their grip against elements like sweat and water. We also assessed thickness, grip, portability, and overall value. And we weighed how they held up against certain poses, if they were prone to stains and slipping, and absorbency. We found that every single mat had room for improvement, and the perfect mat for you is all up to your preferences. 

Yoga can help promote mindfulness—so you can get the most out of the meditative benefits—and improve your breathing control and posture. As with any form of exercise, the mind-body connection is integral to your practice, making it all the more important that you enjoy the feel and grip of your mat. You’ll want to take into consideration the mat’s length so it’s compatible with your size, the material for traction and grip, and thickness based on your preferred comfort.

Whether you’re a beginner, advanced yogi, or even an instructor, we’ve gathered and tested the best yoga mats for your needs, according to our testers.

Best Overall: Liforme Original Yoga Mat

4.8
Liforme Original Yoga Mat

Courtesy of Liforme

Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    5/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    5/5
  • Grip & Feel
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Roomy

  • Helpful alignment markings

  • Absorbent

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May be too large for a studio

  • Heavy

Liforme’s Original Yoga Mat is an investment and our ideal choice out of all 16 we tested. At 4.6 pounds, it’s a mid-weight option, and it’s roomy enough to accommodate a range of body sizes. 

The Liforme mat stands out thanks to its unique alignment markers, which are extra helpful if you’re a beginner. And even if you aren’t, like our tester, you may find them helpful for poses like Warrior I and Warrior II. With its markers for your hands and feet, you’ll have no issue finding your center—especially if you’re at home and there’s no instructor on hand. Additionally, thanks to its three-layered construction, it offers superior grip and a quick-drying top surface. This is why it received a five out of five for padding and thickness. While our tester noted that it stains easily, the marks quickly evaporated, making it ideal for hot yoga. 

Our tester noted this mat may be better for at-home practices, as it’s longer and wider than average and may not be suited for limited studio space. If sustainability is a concern of yours, the mat is PVC-free and biodegradable within several years, making it a planet-friendly choice you can feel good about.

Thickness: 4.2 millimeters | Material: Natural rubber, eco-polyurethane | Size: 72 x 26.4 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds

liforme original yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“I can see this being useful for someone studying a style of yoga that is strict with alignment, like Ashtanga or Iyengar. I also think if someone had a meditation practice, this would suit that too, because it's cushioned enough and the color isn't very bright or gaudy.” — Fran Sales, Associate Commerce Editor and Product Tester

Best Budget: IUGA Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat

4
IUGA Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    2/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    3/5
  • Grip & Feel
    4/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Non-slip grip

  • Easily portable

  • PVC- and latex-free

Cons
  • Prone to stains

  • Doesn’t fully lay flat

  • Lingering chemical odor

If you’re a beginner to the practice and don’t yet want to make an investment, you can’t go wrong with IUGA’s Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat. We rated this mat a two out of five for unboxing due to a lingering chemical smell and the fact that it didn't lay as flat as we would have liked during our flow. But since it is so lightweight (it weighed 2.5 pounds in our Lab) and included a carrying strap, we gave it a five out of five for portability. While our tester ranked it lower for unboxing and padding, it received high marks for grip and feel, and portability.

Our tester praised it for its non-slip feel, even with wet hands and feet, and thinks it’s suitable for a hot yoga practice. However, the budget buy never fully unrolled during our test, and its sticky material easily held onto dirt and stains. 

While the mat has its flaws, it would make a great starter mat, and an eco-friendly one at that. Composed of biodegradable tree rubber, it’s free of PVC and latex.

iuga pro non-slip yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Thickness: 5 millimeters | Material: Sustainably harvested tree rubber | Size: 72 x 26 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds

Best for Meditation: Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

4.1
 Manduka Yoga Mat PRO Pilates Sporting goods

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    4/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    4.5/5
  • Grip & Feel
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Latex-free

  • OEKO-TEX certified

  • Sustainably-made

Cons
  • Requires a break-in period

  • Heavy

  • High-maintenance care instructions

Revered by yoga instructors worldwide, the popular Manduka Pro Yoga Mat is an investment piece. If yoga and meditation walk hand in hand for you, you’ll likely be impressed by the stick-free grip. Our tester described it as feeling “high-end” and comfortable for an array of poses. 

This mat claims to offer dense cushioning tailored specifically to joint protection, measuring at 6 millimeters—one of the thickest in our tests. However, our tester warned that it may be too firm for yogis with joint pain. Though, this may improve after the break-in period. If you’re staying in place for a meditation session, the mat offers more than enough cushioning to serve as a divider between you and the floor. 

The Manduka Pro was the heaviest yoga mat tested in The Lab, at 8.8 pounds, so it may not be the ideal choice for toting to and from class or the park—especially since it doesn’t include a carrying strap. For this reason, it earned a three out of five for portability. However, designed to last a lifetime, it doesn’t skimp on quality and is worth the investment if yoga is part of your long-term routine. 

Handmade and latex-free, the mat’s also OEKO-TEX certified, so you can rest easy knowing that it’s free of harmful substances. And if you’re upgrading your old mat, of any brand, you can donate it to Manduka. The retailer is committed to sustainability through its partnership with The Renewal Workshop, working to repurpose second hand yoga mats and keep them out of landfills.

Thickness: 6 millimeters | Material: PVC | Size: 71 x 26 inches and 85 x 26 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds and 8.8 pounds

manduka pro yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Best for Hot Yoga: Jade Yoga Harmony Yoga Mat

4.3
Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    4/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    5/5
  • Grip & Feel
    4/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Overall Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Thick and firm

  • PVC-free

  • Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat sold

Cons
  • Lingering rubber smell

When hot yoga is your preferred form of practice, you likely already know that you need a mat with exceptional grip and support, and one that isn’t afraid of some sweat. Our tester found Jade Yoga’s Harmony Professional Yoga Mat fit for the job, offering a five out of five for padding and thickness. Measuring at 4.7 millimeters, it was the thickest mat she tested and offered ample support and grip while still allowing her to feel grounded. 

And since the mat isn’t too thin, it also isn’t the lightest of the test—but at 4.8 pounds, it wasn’t the heaviest either. Therefore, it received a four out of five for portability. Additionally, our tester found a lingering rubber smell while in Child’s Pose. We’ll continue to test this mat at home and will update our review with more detail about how the smell dissipates with time.

This Jade Yoga mat is constructed of open-cell natural rubber, which works to absorb moisture and is free of PVC and synthetic plastics. Your purchase also does some good—partnering with Trees for the Future, the brand will plant a tree for every mat sold, in addition to donating $5 to designated charities for specific colors purchased.

jade harmony professional yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Thickness: 4.7 millimeters | Material: Naturally-sourced tree rubber | Size: 68 x 24 inches and 74 x 24 inches | Weight: 4.8 pounds

Best Versatile: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat

4.8
Alo Warrior Mat

Courtesy of Alo 

Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    4/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    5/5
  • Grip & Feel
    5/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Overall Value
    5/5
Pros
  • PVC- and formaldehyde-free

  • Moisture-wicking

  • Anti-odor

  • Eco-friendly production

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Doesn’t disguise dirt well

Taller yogis will appreciate this longer- and wider-than-average mat from Alo Yoga. Measuring 74.4 x 26.4 inches, it offered our tester more than enough room to fully stretch in various poses. She praised the thickness and support and noted that her wrists didn’t get tired like with other options. The mat received high marks across the board—it didn't receive ratings any less than four out of five.

We found this mat to be very similar to the Liforme Original Yoga Mat, our Best Overall pick. It provided sufficient cushioning while allowing our testers to maintain balance. One tester found it “very suited to both my vigorous and gentle yoga practices, as well as to my meditation practice and my pre-and post-workout stretches.” 

While it’s heavier than some other options, weighing in at 6.2 pounds, our tester thinks it’s fully worth toting to the studio due to its grippiness and non-slip surface. And if you’re sensitive to materials, you can rest assured this mat is constructed of polyurethane leather and all-natural, ethically sourced rubber. Alo Yoga is also dedicated to ethical production—promising to be sweatshop-free and using solar power and low-water dyes to limit their footprint.

Thickness: 5 millimeters | Material: Sustainably-sourced rubber and polyurethane leather | Size: 74.4 x 26.4 inches | Weight: 6.2 pounds

alo warrior yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“It’s thick and roomy enough for a meditation practice. Alternatively, I think it would be great for gentler practices like Yin because it provides enough cushioning for your knees or if you need to hold a pose like lizard pose or frog pose for several minutes.” — Fran Sales, Associate Commerce Editor and Product Tester

Best for Travel: Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat

4.1
Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Unboxing
    5/5
  • Padding & Thickness
    3.5/5
  • Grip & Feel
    3/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Lightweight and portable

  • Free of PVC and harmful dyes

  • Sustainably-harvested tree rubber

Cons
  • May be slippery at first

  • Lingering chemical smell

  • Thin

Manduka offers no shortage of yoga mats, featuring various series based on your yoga level, intended location, and mat preferences. We tested the eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat, as part of the eco-friendly and biodegradable eKO Series. If you prefer doing yoga at the studio or outdoors at the park, the eKO Superlite proves superior when it comes to portability and weight—it received a five out of five on unboxing and portability. 

It was one of the lightest mats that were tested, weighing at 2.2 pounds, and compact enough for small spaces. While it’s ranked high for portability and storage, it falls short when it comes to padding and thickness, at 1.5 millimeters—earning a three out of five for grip and feel. Despite Manduka’s claims of superior grip, even with perspiration, our tester slipped a few times, especially with wet hands and feet. If hot yoga is your speed or if you’re a heavy sweater, it may not be the best choice. 

If you’re prioritizing budget-friendliness and easy carrying for travel, you can’t go wrong with this option. As a bonus, the mat is made from sustainably harvested rubber and free of toxic chemicals.

manduka eko superlite yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Thickness: 1.5 millimeters | Material: Eco-friendly rubber | Size: 71 x 24 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Final Verdict

Beginners and experienced yogis alike will benefit from the Liforme Yoga Mat (view at Amazon) and its unique alignment markers. Our testers appreciated  its larger-than-average size and quick-drying surface that’ll come in handy for hot yoga. 

If a lightweight mat is a priority, or you aren’t yet ready to make a splurge, the IUGA Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat (view at Amazon) is a solid choice. We rated it a five out of five for portability since it weighs less than average mats and also includes a carrying strap for convenience.

best yoga mats test

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

How We Tested the Yoga Mats

The Verywell Mind team tested and evaluated 16 yoga mats from a variety of popular retailers, including Lululemon, Manduka, Gaiam, and Alo Yoga. Our testers featured a certified yoga instructor, certified personal trainer, certified barre instructor, and several seasoned yogis, all of varying heights. With manufacturers’ claims in mind, we tested and rated the yoga mats starting from the unboxing process all the way to the end of the yoga session and mat cleanup—rating each attribute on a scale of one to five.

We began the test by noting whether or not there was a lingering smell on the mat and how well (and how quickly) the mat lay flat after unrolling. As our testers went through two intermediate vinyasa yoga flows—once with dry and once with wet hands and feet—they offered insight into the mats’ padding and absorbency, taking into consideration that the test was performed on a concrete floor. Next, they evaluated the grip and feel of each mat, and whether or not it was gentle on joints or prone to slipping or stains. Some mats were larger than others, and our testers made note of what would (or wouldn’t) be suitable for at-home use.

best yoga mat test

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

After we performed the flow with both dry and wet hands and feet, we cleaned the mats and took into account how much maintenance and care this entailed. Lastly, we rolled the mats, and fit them into bags and straps—noting whether or not these were included with the product—in order to judge each mats’ portability.

Yoga mats need more than a few hours for assessment, especially since some require a break-in period. With this in mind, our testers will continue to evaluate each mat so we can judge how well they hold up over time.

best yoga mat test

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

What to Look for in a Yoga Mat

Material

Yoga mats can be made with many different materials, including PVC, natural and recycled rubber, cork, or even cotton. Directly affecting how they're used, certain materials can increase grip and others can absorb moisture.

Look for one with texture (think raised patterns such as nubs) for traction. According to Elliot, even color matters; he notes that how you feel on your mat can make a difference in your practice.

Thickness

Thickness directly affects the comfort of the mat. Thinner ones make great travel companions since they fold easily and typically weigh less. Thicker ones offer more cushion and ground support, but they might not be ideal for travel. Additionally, the thicker the mat, the better it is for those with knee or wrist issues.

A standard yoga mat is typically 0.125 inches thick and offers a nice balance of support and stability.

Length

You want to find a mat that allows you to fully stretch out for poses like Savasana. A standard yoga mat, which is 24 x 68 inches, is sufficient for those 5-foot-9 and shorter. But if you're taller than average, you may want to upgrade to a longer mat.

gaiam folding travel mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you clean a yoga mat?

    Routinely cleaning your yoga mat will help keep it germ-free and free of odors that might build up over time. You can find plenty of mat cleaners on the market, but cleaning it with a damp cloth is also an option.

    Elliott takes a more eco-friendly route by filling a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar diluted in water. “I use a 1-to-4 ratio, with 10 drops of tea tree oil,” she says, noting that she cleans hers after every single practice, making it a ritual of sorts. 

  • Is there a difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat?

    Yoga mats tend to be thinner and more forgiving while featuring a non-slip surface. Exercise mats typically include extra padding, offering protection to your body when weightlifting and performing rigorous exercises.

    “When I see students practicing with an exercise mat I will always follow up with them as to why,” says Elliot, noting that practicing with an exercise mat may be necessary for those with injuries. “Whether injury, disability, or preference, everyone has their own needs and needs to find a way to practice that works for their body," she added. She recommends investing in a mat that fits your own needs.

liforme original yoga mat

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Why Trust Verywell Mind 

Tori Zhou is the Associate Health Commerce Editor at Verywell. She enjoys staying up-to-date on wellness trends and products, with a focus on holistic health and functional medicine. She continues to test mats at home to see how they hold up after long-term use.

She personally prefers using yoga mats at home and doesn’t mind a heavier weight in exchange for solid grip and padding. Having used budget-friendly picks over the years to follow along to cardio and meditation videos, her ideal mat is versatile enough for both yoga and HIIT workouts, sustainably made, and latex-free.

Additional reporting to this story by Rozalynn S. Frazier.

Rozalynn S. Frazier is an award-winning, multimedia journalist with more than 20 years of experience reporting on health and fitness. She is also a NASM-certified personal trainer and an avid exerciser who routinely puts wellness tools and fitness gear through its paces to help access which products are worthy of praise. She has created content for SELF, Men’s Health, Real Simple, Health, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Livestrong.com, among others.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wang WL, Chen KH, Pan YC, Yang SN, Chan YY. The effect of yoga on sleep quality and insomnia in women with sleep problems: a systematic review and meta-analysisBMC Psychiatry. 2020;20(1):195. doi:10.1186/s12888-020-02566-4

  2. STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. OEKO-TEX®.

  3. Live on. Manduka.