The 12 Best Yoga Mats of 2021, According to an Expert

Take your yoga practice to new levels with these picks

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Our Top Picks
It provides a cushioned surface, offering protection from harsh surfaces and alleviating pressure on joints.
This pick gives you the most bang for your buck thanks to its reversible design, featuring a slip-resistant grip.
This lightweight mat is reversible and anti-microbial, with an easily rollable design so you can take your practice with you.
Ideal if you don't have a lot of space to spare, this mat folds down into a compact square, providing plenty of versatility.
This circular shape offers more surface area, so you won’t have to worry about flowing off your mat while settling into a pose.
This mat is longer and wider than standard yoga mats, making it a solid option for taller people.
It's a half-inch thick, providing an ultra-cushioned platform so all of your poses feel supported during your practice.
This eco-friendly mat's water-absorbing surface helps prevent slipping, ensuring you can maintain a secure grip.
With a tree planted for every mat sold, this sticky-surface mat is a fan favorite of yogis of all levels.
Thanks to a unique synthetic suede top layer, this mat gets grippier with moisture—perfect for hot yoga.

Yoga has an array of physical benefits—like warding off back pain, fighting fatigue, and improving balance. However, the 5,000-year-old practice includes multiple characteristics that can support your mental health as well.

Studies show that those who practiced yoga three times a week for four months had a significant decrease in anxiety—a problem that affects 40 million adults in the United States. The controlled breathing involved in yoga may be a reason for this decrease.

"Once we settle into our breath, and learn the unique rhythms of our own bodies, we are then able to have a better awareness of what's happening within our bodies," says Hope Elliot, a certified yoga instructor and well-being educator. Elliot says that learning how one's breath changes during stressful moments (and following with intentional breathing), can stop anxiety in its tracks.

Considering the multi-dimensional benefits of yoga, it's no wonder millions of Americans participate in the practice. But without the necessary yoga equipment, it can be hard to reap all of its advantages. While blocks, bolsters, and bangles might be recommended, a good yoga mat is essential. With a variety of mats avaialble, we researched the most popular styles—focusing on material, length, and thickness.

Here are the best yoga mats, according to a certified personal trainer.

Best Overall: Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

Manduka Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Good traction

  • Lifetime guarantee

  • Latex-free

Cons
  • Fairly expensive

  • Heavier than others

A go-to for many yogis, this hand-crafted mat is made with durable, eco-certified PVC and comes with a lifetime warranty. At .2 inches thick, it offers a dense, cushioned surface that works to alleviate pressure on joints during active poses.

The mat also features a dotted pattern on one side, which prevents it from bunching or moving during your practice. Designed with a long-lasting material, the surface of the mat gets grippier over time.

Size: 71x26 inches | Thickness: .2 inches | Material: PVC

Best Budget: CAP Yoga Reversible Yoga Mat

CAP Yoga Reversible Mat
Pros
  • Reversible

  • Moderate thickness

  • Carrying strap included

Cons
  • May be too thick for some

Lightweight and durable, this reversible mat features two distinct designs and colors: One side is a bright, sunny yellow with dahlia flowers, while the other features fan-shaped leaves of the Chinese ginkgo tree. Both sides have a knobby texture that offers a slip-resistant grip, and the padding is designed for a comfortable practice.

It comes with an included carrying strap that can be used to tote the mat to class. Plus, it's eco-friendly and latex-free, making it a good option for those with skin sensitivities.

Size: 68.11x24.02 inches | Thickness: .19 inches | Material: Not listed

Best Lightweight: Lululemon The Reversible (Un) Mat

Lululemon-the-reversible-un-mat-travel-yoga-mat
Pros
  • Reversible

  • Portable

Cons
  • Better for advanced yogis

  • Color may change over time

This ultra-light mat from Lululemon easily rolls up for transportation to and from the studio. It's reversible and anti-microbial, and it contains a polyurethane outer layer designed to absorb moisture.

Available in four colors, the mat is crafted to fit your personal style. Thanks to the natural rubber material, it can be wiped clean with a wet cloth.

Size: Not listed | Thickness: 0.06 inches | Material: Natural rubber, polyurethane, polyester, synthetic rubber, and nylon

Best for Small Spaces: Gaiam Folding Travel Yoga Mat

Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Folds into compact square

  • Great grip

  • Nice pattern

Cons
  • Not very cushy

This patterned mat is 68x24 inches and folds down into a compact 10x12-inch square, making it a good mat to take on the go. If you're a traveler, this one can even fit inside a compact carry-on suitcase without taking up too much room.

Made with PVC, it has a sticky texture that helps keep sweaty hands and feet in place during practice. It's also an affordable choice, which could be a good option for new yogis.

Size: 68x24 inches | Thickness: .07 inches | Material: PVC

Best Wide: SISYAMA Circle Round Yoga Mat

Sisyama Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Spacious

  • Cool, round shape

  • Non-slip surface

Cons
  • Heavier than most

  • Not good for crowded classes

If you're looking for a mat with more surface area, this 6-foot, circular mat from SISYAMA may be a good choice. While the unique shape might not be appropriate for packed classes, it's ideal for outdoor yoga sessions or at-home workout sessions.

The dual-sided grip offers stability for a smoother practice while ensuring it doesn't bunch up on the floor. Crafted with eco-friendly TPE material, it's designed for long-lasting durability.

Size: 72x72 inches (6 feet round) | Thickness: .2 inches | Material: TPE

Best Extra Long: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat

Alo Warrior Mat
Pros
  • Moisture-wicking

  • Anti-odor

  • Longer length and width

Cons
  • More expensive

  • Heavier than some

Made with synthetic leather and natural rubber, this mat is moisture-wicking and easy to clean. Additionally, it's longer and wider than a standard-sized mat, making it a solid option for anyone taller than 5 feet, 9 inches.

The extra length adds some weight as well, so if you're looking for something portable, you might want to look into another mat. However, the vibrant jewel tones and moisture-wicking surface make it stand out among other options.

Size: 74x26 inches | Thickness: 0.16 inches | Material: Polyurethane leather and ethically sourced, premium, all-natural rubber

Best Thick: BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat

BalanceFrom Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Non-slip surfaces

  • Good for beginners

Cons
  • Cushioning may be tough for advanced users

The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose mat is made with high-density foam, which provides a thick layer of padding for more rigorous movements. Despite the half-inch-thick base, the mat is fairly lightweight at only 1.8 pounds.

The mat features a double-sided, non-slip design, with tiny ridges on the surface to prevent slipping even when you work up a sweat. It also comes with a handy yoga mat strap for easy carrying and storing.

Size: 71x24 inches | Thickness: .02 inches | Material: High-density foam

Best No-Slip: IUGA Pro Non-Slip Yoga Mat

IUGA Non-Slip Yoga Mat
Pros
  • No-slip surface

  • Certified for hot yoga

  • Extra-large size

Cons
  • Thicker than some

If you're struggling to stay balanced on a slippery mat, you might not feel the mental benefits of your yoga practice. Luckily, this eco-friendly version—made without PVC, toxins, or latex—has a water-absorbing surface that keeps moisture at bay.

At only 2.5 pounds, this cushioned mat isn't too heavy to carry to and from class. It also comes in an extra-large size for anyone up to 6 feet in height.

Size: 72x26 inches | Thickness: 0.19 inches | Material: Rubber

Best Eco-Friendly: Jade Yoga Harmony Yoga Mat

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Multiple colors

  • Good for those with a rubber allergy

  • Charitable company

Cons
  • More expensive

Crafted from recycled and natural rubber, this sticky-surface mat, which is available in multiple lengths, is a fan favorite of yogis of all levels. Elliot also recommends this mat because it features open-cell technology that absorbs moisture while providing extra traction.

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.

Size: 68- and 74-inch options | Thickness: .18 inches | Material: Natural rubber

Best for Hot Yoga: Sugarmat Printed Yoga Mat

Sugarmat Printed Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Good cushioning

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Non-toxic

  • Suede soaks up sweat

Cons
  • More expensive

  • Suede upper may be unfamiliar

If you're a fan of hot yoga sessions, this natural rubber mat will help prevent slipping when you work up a sweat. Thanks to a synthetic suede top layer, the mat actually gets grippier the wetter it gets, making it a top choice for Bikram yoga goers or those living in a warm climate.

It's printed with a beautiful abstract design, and you also have the option to add a monogram to the mat, which may be a good choice if you typically attend packed yoga classes.

Size: 68x24 inches | Thickness: .1 inches | Material: Rubber

Best for Beginners: Sweatech Eco-Friendly Yoga & Workout Mat

Sweatech Yoga & Fitness Mat
Pros
  • Body alignment markers

  • Thick mat

  • Eco-friendly

  • Slightly longer design

Cons
  • Thickness might be difficult for advanced yogis

Beginning a new yoga practice can be intimidating, but the type of mat you use may eliminate some of that intimidation. This one has a design featuring guidelines to help you through your flow.

Showcasing proper alignment of your hands, feet, and body, the mat includes guiding lines to make sure you get the most out of your yoga session. It's also thicker than most mats for ultimate comfort, and eco-friendly to make a smaller impact on the environment.

Size: 72x24 inches | Thickness: .23 inches  | Material: TPE

Best Cork: Yoloha Mountain Magic Aura Cork Yoga Mat

Mountain Magic Aura Cork Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Antimicrobial

  • Vegan

  • Made with sustainable cork

Cons
  • Can get slippery

While buying a cork mat can be an investment, there are plenty of worthwhile benefits—including great grip, an ultra-cushioned surface, and a lightweight feel. This one, in particular, offers .2 inches of foam and an antimicrobial surface, which cuts down on germs and odor.

Requiring no break-in period, this mat will provide an optimal yoga surface from the first use. Plus, it's 100 percent vegan and features a vibrant, colorful pattern.

Size: 72x26 inches | Thickness: .2 inches | Material: Cork

Final Verdict

If you want a mat that speaks to multiple needs, including longer length, more cushioning, great grip, and a variety of colors, the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat (view at Amazon) is a good place to start.

If you're looking for something more specific—like a mat designed for hot yoga sessions— look to the Sugarmat Printed Yoga Mat (view at Amazon) which features a rubber base and an anti-slip suede upper.

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 24x68 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.

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.

Why Trust Verywell Mind? 

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.

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4 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.
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