The 6 Best Yoga Mats (2024), Tested by Beginners and Teachers


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“What’s the best yoga mat for [fill in the blank]?” It’s a question we hear all the time. Our answer is, “It depends.” More specifically, it depends on how you practice, what you practice, and whether your practice demands cushiness, grippiness, portability, affordability, sustainability, or any of several other qualities.

We asked 18 yoga teachers and students of varying experience levels (including YJ staffers) to ditch their usual mats for more than a month of sweating, balancing, kneeling, and sitting cross-legged. We unrolled these contenders for best yoga mats at studios, stretched on them at home, tossed them in our car trunks, lugged them along city sidewalks, and (sometimes) scrubbed them down afterward. Then we did it again and again and again.

The following yoga mats are standouts for various reasons. Below, we’ve highlighted what our testers appreciated most about each to help you match one with your practice.

Be sure to also check out the best way to clean your yoga mat as well as the best yoga leggings, best yoga shorts for men, and best plus-size yoga leggings.

At a Glance

All mats in this guide were tested by multiple reviewers. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This supports our mission to get more people on their mats. Learn more.


(Photo: Courtesy Manduka)

Best Yoga Mat You’ll Never Need to Replace

Manduka Pro

$138 at REI $138 at Backcountry

Material: OEKO-TEX Standard 100 PVC
Thickness: 6mm
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Dimensions: 71 x 26 inches

Pros and Cons
Lifetime guarantee
Dense cushioning
Easy to clean
Wider than many mats
Available in extra-long
Heavy
Slippery when sweaty

There’s a reason why so many yoga teachers consider the Manduka Pro their go-to mat. Actually, there are several reasons, including the mat’s “dense cushioning,” explained a teacher tester who’s practiced on the Pro for almost a decade. Also, the no-slip dot pattern on the bottom ensures the mat doesn’t wrinkle or slide, no matter how quickly you transition between poses, even as you make your way from Revolved Lunge facing one edge of the mat to Flying Monkey on the other.

A couple testers asserted that the Pro is supportive of “any type of practice.” Another tester, a yoga therapist, asserts that it more than adequately supports “all bodies,” including those of us with “achy knees,” whether you’re kneeling in Camel, arm balancing in Side Crow, or reclining in Legs Up the Wall.

In terms of upkeep, the Pro doesn’t absorb sweat, which makes cleaning a cinch. It also makes for a slippery experience if you sweat a lot. Throw down a towel if you’re taking hot yoga, cautioned one vinyasa-taking tester.

Also, the breaking-in process for Manduka mats is somewhat prolonged compared to most mats but worth the patience required, according to most of our testers. Read the packaging’s fine print on how to flatten those furled edges and tame any initial slickness.

Bonus: Manduka guarantees their mats will last a lifetime and you can choose from 13 colors.


Jade Fusion yoga mat in Raspberry
(Photo: Courtesy Jade)

Best Grip Yoga Mat

Jade Harmony Mat

$92 at REI $92 at Amazon

Material: Natural rubber
Thickness:
4.7mm
Weight: 5 pounds
Dimensions: 68 x 24 inches

Pros and Cons
Grippy
Made of natural rubber
Available in extra-long and extra-wide
Attracts fuzz and fur
Not for outdoor use

Compared to other brands of yoga mats, Jade makes a textured surface that offers what one tester described as an “unearthly grip.” “Imagine you had Alien Tape suction cupping your hands and feet to the mat and that’s the grip you’ll experience,” she explained. Another tester who’s practiced on the Harmony mat for years swore, “It’s ideal for my chronically sweaty hands and feet. I never slide. NEVER.”

That textured surface, frustratingly, also holds onto fuzzies, fur, and anything else that’s airborne. It also attracts lint from towels when you wipe it down. One longtime Jade owner suggests you take the mat with you in the shower or hose it down—but only if you can allow several days for it to dry.

Even so, it delivers exactly what many of us want in a mat, which is “support, grip, and cushion,” according to a tester who practiced slow, yin, and restorative yoga on the Harmony. Aesthetically speaking, everyone commented not just on its sturdiness or all-purposeness but its lovely and muted “earth colors” and “jewel tones” that are “less nondescript than most yoga mats.”

Testers also noted that they respect the company’s commitment to planting a tree for each mat sold. As do we.


Yune Natural Rubber Yoga Mat
(Photo: Courtesy Yune)

Best Yoga Mat for Aesthetics

Yune Natural Rubber Yoga Mat

$65 at Amazon $65 at Yune

Material: PER (Polymer Environmental Resin)
Thickness:
6mm
Weight: 2 pounds
Dimensions: 72 x 24 inches

Pros and Cons
Array of color and design options
Lightweight
Value
Modest cushioning

“Typically, when you buy a yoga mat, you’re confronted with a decision—function or fashion,” explained one of our testers who’s a graphic designer and yoga teacher. “Not with this one.” A handstander and arm balancer, the tester found the Yune to be the “perfect thickness” and “impossibly grippy.” She explained that it also “basically adheres to the floor,” which quickly earned her trust.

The grippy and design-savvy mat satisfied more than just arm balancers. Several other testers reported feeling “completely confident” on the Yune while practicing vinyasa. And everyone appreciated how it lies flat immediately out of the packaging and rolls up small for ease of storage as well as lugging it to and from class.

And about those designs. Yune makes dozens of expressive patterns that are “printed digitally with UV inks,” which makes for minimal environmental impact. Your options include patterns designated for astrological signs, inspired by contemporary art, even depictions of Peanuts characters.


All in Motion PU Natural Rubber Mat 5mm
(Photo: Courtesy All in Motion)

Best Affordable Yoga Mat

All in Motion PU Natural Rubber Mat 5mm

$50 at Target

Material: Natural rubber base with polyurethane surface
Thickness: 5mm
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Dimensions:
68 x 24 inches

Pros and Cons
Super grippy
Lies flat upon first use
Rolls up easily
Price
Contains polyurethane
Subtle synthetic smell

This easy-to-find and relatively affordable mat is rated five stars by users on Target.com. After practicing on it, we understand why. Despite its smooth surface, the mat boasts an almost uncannily strong grip. “I like this. I feel like I’m going to stay put,” said one tester who was new to yoga. Comparing it to several other budget mats she’d slid on while learning poses, she blurted out, “There’s no slippage with this [expletive]!”

A 78-year-old tester echoed that feeling of security. She appreciated how the All in Motion “holds you in place” during standing poses and felt like the mat allowed her to “sink in a tad—in a good way.” That grip easily releases as you move on the mat. Although a couple testers report occasional air bubbles beneath the mat when transitioning from pose to pose, the wrinkles dissipated as quickly as they appeared.

Although the mat was less cushioned than some others, according to our nearly octogenarian tester, it was surprisingly adequate for most testers compared to other budget brands. That said, anyone with achy joints or who simply prefers additional cushioning will prefer the thickness of a more expensive mat.

Our primary complaint is the origin of the surface material and its lingering smell the first day or two after removing it from the packaging.


Gaiam Premium 5mm yoga mat
(Photo: Courtesy Gaiam)

Best Yoga Mat for Beginners

Gaiam Premium 5mm

$24 at Amazon $20 at Walmart


Material:
Latex-free PVC
Thickness:
5mm
Weight: 2.6 pounds
Dimensions: 68 x 24 inches

Pros and Cons
Super lightweight
Lifetime guarantee
Array of color and design options
Available in extra-long
Slightly slippery
Short

Typically, beginners to yoga are in the market for something that isn’t a splurge and helps them feel comfortable. When we asked yoga newbies to try several $30 and under mat options, the unanimous favorite was the Premium 5mm from longtime mat-maker Gaiam.

“Ooooh pretty!” commented a millennial tester as she stepped onto the pale turquoise mat. “And cushy!” She appreciated that she could take her time learning how to come into sitting and kneeling poses in exponentially more comfort than on other budget mats. She also felt more supported while wobbling in balancing postures such as Tree Pose. Our 78-year-old tester also experienced confidence standing and transitioning on the Premium 5mm and considered other mats in that price category to be “too hard” and “too slippery.” It allowed her to “slide a little” but less so than other mats.

Although it’s not as cushioned or durable as pricier mats, the Premium 5mm offers a respectable thickness and far less slippage than most mats for the money. We recommend it for beginners as an affordable option.

Note: There are a dizzying number of Gaiam mats labeled “Premium” with varying characteristics, colors, and designs. Our preference is the 5mm thickness.


Jade Fusion 8mm yoga mat in hunter green
(Photo: Courtesy Jade)

Best Thick Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga Fusion

$150 at REI $150 at Amazon

Material: Natural rubber
Thickness:
8mm
Weight: 7.2 pounds
Dimensions: 24 x 68 inches

Pros and Cons
Cushioning, cushioning, cushioning
Grippy
Made of natural rubber
Available in extra-long and extra-wide
Heavy
Attracts fuzz
Tricky to clean
Expensive

Few yoga mats dare to approximate an 8mm thickness—and those that do tend to feel dangerously unstable and more like a mattress than a mat. But everyone who tried the Fusion was surprised that it delivered luxe cushiness in a way that felt both sturdy and supportive. “Frankly, I was shocked that I loved this mat as much as I did,” explained one of our testers, a longtime teacher who switched her loyalty from a different brand after trying it.

For anyone with sore wrists or knees who craves more cushioning, whether during vinyasa or a more subdued practice, this mat is a boon. But it’s not just about the cushioning. Multiple testers also commented on how they appreciated the mat’s support and grip.

We heard very few complaints, although one drawback is that with additional material comes additional weight. A yoga and meditation student who considered the Fusion to be “very supportive” also found the mat’s heft to be a chore to roll and unroll as well as transport to the studio. However, he was quite content to practice on it at home, as was his four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who bounced on it to Cosmic Kids Yoga.

The only other quibble we have relates to the mat’s textured surface. With great grip comes painstaking cleaning. “It seems to pick up every piece of dust and lint,” a tester reported. “I felt like it was kind of subtly shaming me for having a dusty house!”


Other Yoga Mats We Like

Manduka PRO Lite
(Photo: Courtesy Manduka)

Manduka Pro Lite

$108 at REI $108 at Amazon

This rendition of the Pro has all the attributes of the classic. There’s just less of it to practice on. The 1.3mm difference in thickness (the Manduka Pro is 6mm thick, the Pro Lite is 4.7mm) makes for a mat that’s less cushioned but easier to both roll and carry. It’s also considerably more affordable.

Liforme Printed
(Photo: Courtesy Liforme)

Liforme Printed

$140 at Liforme $150 at Amazon

This mat from UK-based Liforme has become the darling of an increasing number of hot yoga students stateside in recent years. The mat has a natural rubber base and grippy but smooth eco-polyurethane surface that’s wider and longer than most competitors. It’s only modestly cushioned at 4mm, although one of our testers loved it for practicing vinyasa on carpet at home.

All testers were divided on the “alignment lines” printed on the mat with the intention of helping the user find their position during practice. Some reported them to be helpful, while others found them distracting. “As an ‘A’ type, any mats with alignment markings can make me obsessive,” explained one tester. As far as we’re concerned, the biggest disadvantage of this mat is its price point.


Yoga Mats to Avoid

Don’t race out to buy a yoga mat priced $19 to $30 to save a few bucks. After practicing on many of these in recent months, we can say with certainty that they tend to be exceptionally slippery for your hands, lack cushioning, slide on the floor when you transition between poses, and wear out relatively quickly where you place your hands and feet. At best, most provide a little padding between you and the floor. Almost without exception, they cause more distraction than they’re worth.


How We Tested

  • Mats tested: 35
  • Testers: 18
  • Weeks of yoga practiced: 4
  • Skinned knees: 1
  • Splinters from natural cork: 1
  • Professions of unabashed love for an inanimate object: 3

We drew on the expertise and opinions of dozens of yoga teachers and students during our testing. First, we interviewed everyone we know who practices yoga about the mats they’ve been in long-term relationships with and why. This helped us understand more about durability, stability, grip, ease of cleaning, and other features that you can only appreciate—or curse—after practicing on a mat for months or years.

We also researched big-name, boutique, and lesser-known mat brands and scoured online reviews from users for close to 200 mats that come in an array of materials, sizes, designs, and price points. Then we narrowed down which mats we actually wanted to test.

Next, we asked 18 students and teachers—including two newbies—to take a twirl on different mats. Our testers ranged from millennials to near-octogenarians, hot yoga goers to yin and restorative regulars, newbies to 20-year teachers. Some seek comfort in a mat. Others demand grip and stability.

We did our best to provide each tester with mats that are similar in form and function for comparison. The test mats became part of each person’s regular yoga routine—whether at a studio or home practice space, for hot yoga or restorative yoga—for a minimum of three classes. Then we asked our testers questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Testers weren’t shy about letting us know which mats they felt were the most grippy, durable, cushioned, practical, portable, stylish, and affordable. (One tester even texted a photo of a skinned knee and a request not to ask them to practice on that mat again. We acquiesced—and took the mat out of contention.)

We also checked back in with testers about a month after the testing had ended to inquire which, if any, of the mats they were still using long after the required testing was over.


How to Choose a Yoga Mat

Our advice is the same whether or not you’re new to yoga: Date around.

That is, don’t buy a mat right away. We know you’re enthused about settling into your practice and that’s terrific. But if you’re still figuring out the types of yoga you like to practice, you don’t yet know what you need in a yoga mat.

Pay the mat rental fee at your yoga studio a few times or maybe pick up a used mat for a few bucks at your local thrift store before investing in a brand-new mat. You’ll start to discern which features are important to you—including mat thickness, slickness versus grippiness, rollability, portability, and, yes, the color and design. Knowing what matters to you most will be helpful when you do your research and make a purchase.

Also, if you see a mat in class that intrigues you, approach its owner after class and ask them about it. If they gush and insist that you’ll love it, it’s okay to prod a little for specific reasons why as that person may value grip and aesthetics whereas you may be seeking something with extra cushioning that’s easy to clean.

Save your money at the outset. Once you’ve settled on what features matter to you, opt for a modestly priced mat and remind yourself that as your yoga practice changes, what you want in a mat may also change. Trust us when we caution you not to splurge right away.

Consider Your Needs

If you’re someone who walks several city blocks to class lugging your mat, you probably want something fairly lightweight. If you’re the sort of person who tends to put off washing dishes or scrubbing the bathroom floor (no judgment here), you’re probably better off with a mat that’s super easy to clean. If you experience knee or wrist pain, you’re going to want something substantially cushier than the bare minimum thickness. If you’re a heavy sweater (again, no judgment), look for a mat that won’t absorb sweat or become slick when wet. Or maybe you simply want a mat in a particular color—there’s certainly nothing wrong with that—but make sure it has performance features as well.

The primary thing to remind yourself is you’re not going to change your ways simply because you spent a lot of money on a mat. So rely on that self-awareness you’ve cultivated in your yoga practice and shop accordingly.

Also, watch thos expectations. With any yoga mat, you will experience trade-offs.For instance, if you value cushioning over grip, the mat you buy may be a little heavy to carry and you may occasionally slip slightly. Try to set yourself up for the best experience rather than a perfect experience.

Keep looking. The right mat for you is out there.


Meet Our Testers

Arundhati Baitmangalkar, yoga teacher trainer and host of Let’s Talk Yoga podcast

Tamika Caston-Miller, yin, restorative, somatic flow, and yoga nidra teacher trainer and founder of Ashé Yoga

Stephanie Acosta, vinyasa yoga teacher and founder of Yogis Unidos

Ben Ko, longtime student of Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga student and hair stylist

Brady Garrison, hot, vinyasa, and yin yoga teacher and teacher trainer

Ashlee McDougall, vinyasa yoga teacher and co-owner of Yoga Loft Tucson

Denver Clark, yoga therapist, anatomy teacher, and teacher trainer

Jenny Clise, yoga therapist, author of The Complete Guide to Yoga Props, and social media editor at YJ

Holly Fiske, yoga and movement teacher, author and app creator, and founder of UpsideDownMama

Yogi Bryan, yoga and meditation teacher and creator of the Sleep With Yogi Bryan app

Alex Tzelnic, longtime student of meditation as well as phys ed teacher

Phoebe Digges-Elliott, yoga teacher and movement enthusiast

Sierra Vandervort, yoga teacher and writer

Jane Schettler, newbie to yoga who likes to stretch in front of the TV

Sara Waits, newbie to yoga who lives in yoga leggings

Lisa Jhung, intermittent yoga student of 25 years and longtime runner

Laura Harold, yoga student and digital editor at YJ

Renee Marie Schettler, yoga teacher, writer, and editor in chief of YJ


Don’t forget to check out the best way to clean your yoga mat as well as the best yoga leggings, best yoga shorts for men, and best plus-size yoga leggings.

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.



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