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Best yoga mat

woman doing yoga on boardwalk
(Image credit: kike vega/Unsplash)

A yoga mat that is comfortable and strategically designed is a key component of any yoga practice. It can set a professional yogi apart from a beginner because there are multiple mat styles to accommodate multiple yoga types. A mat that works perfectly in your hot yoga class may fall short during your early-morning outdoor routine. This is because yoga mats have unique textures, depths, and features to prevent injury as you pose in your preferred environment. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned vet, these are the best yoga mats for your money.

Staff pick

Gaiam Essentials thick yoga and fitness mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

Gaiam Essentials thick yoga and fitness mat (opens in new tab)

Warm up with a cushioned mat

Gaiam Essentials is a thick mat that's just right for floor exercises, warming up, and seated floor asanas.

Pros:

  • Thick and comfortable
  • Great for beginners
  • Carrying strap included
  • Ribbing gives great grip
  • Easy on your joints

Cons:

  • Best for seated floor poses

Most yoga mats are 4 to 6-millimeters thick. The Gaiam Essentials mat measures a bit thicker at 10.16 millimeters, giving you a little more cushioning for floor poses, warming up, pilates, and general exercise. The ribbed outer surface is a great feature because it helps with the grip and stability of your hands and feet. This mat is hand washable, great for beginners and those who focus on floor poses, and comes in multiple colors.

Best super-thick

BalanceFrom GoCloud yoga mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

BalanceFrom GoCloud yoga mat (opens in new tab)

One full inch of cushioning

The 1-inch-thick mat from BalanceFrom is ideal for warming up, pilates, and seated floor exercises.

Pros:

  • 1-inch thick
  • Slightly ribbed surface for gripping to feet and hands
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Washing with soap and water
  • Carrying strap included

Cons:

  • Not for standing poses

This model from BalanceFrom is an all-purpose 1-inch-thick mat that doubles as an exercise mat. The generous, cushiony foam absorbs impact and provides a lot of give as you learn to hold floor poses or meditate for extended periods. BalanceFrom's mat has a double-sided non-slip surface and is moisture resistant. The included strap wraps around your mat, giving you a way to haul it around and minimize its size for storage.

Best value

Gaiam print yoga mat

(Image credit: Gaiam)

Gaiam print yoga mat (opens in new tab)

A high-quality mat for less

This Gaiam-branded yoga mat comes in the standard size, has a textured surface, and comes in several prints.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • 40millimeters thick
  • Perfect amount of cushion
  • Sticky surface stays non-slip
  • Free downloadable yoga workout included
  • Multiple inspiring prints available

Cons:

  • Print may wear off over time

Gaiam printed yoga mat is 6-millimeters thick and provides a good amount of cushioning for beginners and advanced yogis. This lightweight model comes in 20 different prints and has a highly textured and grippy surface that helps you hold your asanas longer and give you better foot traction. The Gaiam mat is PVC and 6P-free, so it's good for the planet, too. If you need an inexpensive mat for home, travel, or classes, this is the one to get.

Best for beginners

NewMe yoga mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

NewMe yoga mat (opens in new tab)

Never forget a pose again

The NewMe yoga mat has instructional poses printed on the top so you can learn as you go.

Pros:

  • 70 poses printed on the mat's surface
  • 5-millimeters thick
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • BPA-free
  • Suitable for all levels

Cons:

  • Needs to be treated with spray to help with tackiness

Those starting out or getting back into yoga will benefit from the instructional poses printed on the NewMe mat. Illustrations of 70 asanas decorate this indoor/outdoor mat, taking the guesswork out of your form and flow questions while working out at home and alleviating the need to stream a yoga class or consult your favorite pose book. The printed poses are long-lasting and do not wear off over time, and you can grab this mat in multiple colors.

Best grip

JadeYoga Harmony yoga mat

(Image credit: JadeYoga)

JadeYoga Harmony yoga mat (opens in new tab)

An eco-friendly mat you can count on

JadeYoga Harmony is made from all-natural, open-cell rubber and is super tacky and slightly cushioned, making it the perfect work surface for any yogi.

Pros:

  • All-natural materials
  • Excellent grip
  • Terrific traction
  • Suitable for all types of practice
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Costs more
  • Contains latex

The JadeYoga Harmony comes in two lengths and eight colors and is the best pick for any yoga practice, including hot yoga. Thanks to its all-natural rubber construction and slight texture, the Harmony is grippy on the hands and feet without being overly sticky. The mat's surface is soft without being bouncy and wonderful for everything from balance poses to downward dogs. Like all JadeYoga mats, this one is toxin-free and contains no PVCs, phthalates, heavy metals, or chemicals. 

Best for advanced

Manduka PRO yoga mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

Manduka PRO yoga mat (opens in new tab)

A mat that will last a lifetime

The 6-millimeter thick Manduka PRO is super dense, chemical-free, and has a marvelous grip and a light texture.

Pros:

  • Good for stability
  • Easy on the joints
  • Lays flat on any surface
  • Free of harmful substances
  • Excellent longevity

Cons:

  • It's heavy
  • Expensive

This high-performance yoga mat from Manduka is expansive and heavy, measuring 71 inches long and weighing over 7 pounds. So, those looking for a substantial mat will love this option. The mat has a closed-cell surface, which delivers phenomenal grip and joint protection while wicking away sweat. Use this multifunctional mat for your relaxing morning practice or an intense workout. When storing the Manduka mat, roll it with the fabric-finish surface facing outwards to ensure that the corners remain flat.

Bottom line

Pairing your yoga routine with a yoga mat that is designed for your type of practice is a great way to elevate your abilities. 

Yoga mats like the one from Gaiam Essentials (opens in new tab) are good for beginners and those who spend a lot of time working on floor poses. The thicker foam cushions movements, while the ribbed surface gives some much-needed grip. Gaiam Essentials has an integrated cinch carrying handle and is available in several colors.

Yoga mats like the BalanceFrom GoCloud (opens in new tab) yoga mat are great for everyday use and compatible with various forms of yoga as they feature a balanced mixture of essential components such as non-slip grip and adequate cushioning. 

The JadeYoga Harmony (opens in new tab) mat is made from natural rubber and works well for every yoga style. It's available in two lengths and multiple colors and is a yoga mat that will last for years to come. The grip is phenomenal, and it's comfortable enough to hold seated poses for long periods and balance on your knees.

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