The 10 Best Yoga Mats

Updated January 09, 2018 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Yoga Mats
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. There are few things better for your body than regularly practicing yoga — assuming you have a good mat, that is. The options below will spare your back, knees, and elbows from the hard ground, while also providing support and helping you to keep your balance. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, you're sure to find one you'll want to "nama-stay" on (I'm so sorry). When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best yoga mat on Amazon.

10. Gaiam Premium

The Gaiam Premium has a Goldilocks level of thickness, as it provides ample cushioning without throwing your balance off. It features a striking print that will help it stand out at the studio, ensuring that no one else rubs their sweat all over your mat.
  • comes with free workout download
  • great for hiit workouts
  • emits a strong chemical smell
Brand Gaiam
Model 05-62032
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Aurorae Classic

Made from Portuguese cork and natural rubber, the Aurorae Classic is extremely durable, even if you're not laying it on the smoothest of surfaces. It's one of the longer and wider models on the market as well, so larger users won't find themselves hanging off the edges.
  • won't leave residue on your clothes
  • good for those with sensitive skin
  • color fades if you use it in the sun
Brand Aurorae
Model YM001
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Youphoria Premi-Om

The lightweight Youphoria Premi-Om comes in at just under 3 pounds, so you can lug it from class to class without throwing your back out. It has a nifty carrying belt that can double as a foot strap to aid in stretching, giving you some extra bang for your buck.
  • static-free surface
  • soaks up a ton of moisture
  • body oils stain it easily
Brand Youphoria Yoga
Model pending
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. BalanceFrom GoYoga

The BalanceFrom GoYoga is one of the most comfortable options to lie down on, so it's good for yogis with sensitive backs. It's made with moisture-resistant fibers, so it won't soak up your sweat, and it's safe to wash with soap and water if it starts to get funky.
  • great budget option
  • comes with a mat strap
  • can get quite slippery in hot yoga
Brand BalanceFrom
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. AmazonBasics Extra-Thick

As its name suggests, this AmazonBasics Extra-Thick is pretty well basic. However, it's also inexpensive, so if yoga isn't an all-consuming lifestyle for you, this one should be more than enough to get the job done without bankrupting you.
  • good option for men
  • perfect for beginners
  • softness may throw you off balance
Brand AmazonBasics
Model YM2001
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. YogaAccessories Deluxe

The YogaAccessories Deluxe is extra long, so it's good for taller yogis, and won't budge when used on hardwood floors or carpets. It's durable enough to handle serious abuse, making it an excellent choice for studios or families who intend to share.
  • good for using with sneakers
  • textured on both sides
  • ends occasionally curl up
Brand Yoga Accessories
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. Jade Harmony

The biodegradable Jade Harmony is comprised of an open-cell, all-natural rubber that provides superior shock absorption and is also slip-resistant, even when covered in sweat. It is on the expensive side, but it's a serious option intended for serious practitioners.
  • available in nine colors
  • can be washed with soap and water
  • rolls and unrolls easily
Brand Jade Yoga
Model Harmony Professional
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Sivan Health and Fitness

It's hard to relax in corpse pose when your bank account is on life support, which is why this budget-friendly option from Sivan Health and Fitness is such a godsend. It's super-thick as well, saving you from having to make expensive hospital visits.
  • great for those with bad joints
  • handy carrying strap
  • suitable for taller users
Brand Sivan Health and Fitnes
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Clever Yoga LiquidBalance

Made of 100% recycled materials, the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance is as healthy for the planet as it is for your body. It somehow manages to be extremely well-cushioned while simultaneously being very thin, making it a great choice for Pilates or other exercises as well.
  • lies flat when unrolled
  • latex- and phthalate-free
  • provides incredible grip
Brand Clever Yoga
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Aurorae Synergy

The Aurorae Synergy combines traditional mat materials with a microfiber towel surface, designed to give you a better grip the more you sweat while still providing a good amount of cushioning. It also stays smooth and won't be left with hand or foot imprints.
  • can be machine washed
  • ideal for hot bikram yoga
  • eliminates the need to pack a towel
Brand Aurorae
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Are Yoga Mats Necessary?

Perhaps no other symbol of modern yoga has come so far as the yoga mat. But are they completely necessary?

In essence, the yoga mat is a reminder for the modern yogi. In the busy life of the modern era, the mind is filled with any number of thoughts. As the term yoga itself means many different things which have taken lifetimes to discuss, the mat is a reminder of an area in which the body, mind, and spirit are sacred parts of one whole being; a place to allow the yogi to forget about the stresses of daily life and focus on the practice.

Physically, the yoga mat provides many benefits. First and foremost it provides traction. Various poses, such as downward-facing dog or warrior II, can require a lot of traction. If a yogi intends to do these poses on the flat wooden floor of many yoga studios, they will be met with a slippery, unsafe surface. Though serious injuries are rare in yoga; accidents do happen. A yoga mat provides all the necessary traction, thus ensuring that your focus can be on the pose itself rather than worrying about falling down or injuring your body.

Another unmentioned benefit of a yoga mat is sweat collection. Most mats are made of non-porous materials; so they do not collect sweat as much as they simply allow it a place to sit. On the hard wooden floor of a yoga studio, the sweat accumulated from a simple one hour class can be a serious slipping hazard.

Many yoga mats are made extra thick, providing padding to delicate bodies on hard surfaces. These mats make it easy to do yoga anywhere; indoors or outdoors. In the winter months, this padding also means that yoga mats provide insulation and warmth for the body; especially important for those sunrise classes.

Using A Yoga Mat To It's Fullest Potential

To achieve the fullest potential from any yoga mat; it is important to make yoga a daily habit. Even if it means doing just ten simple poses every day; the benefits of a habitual yoga practice are outstanding.

Yoga provides benefits to the body's all around fitness levels. A cumulative review indicated that in both healthy and diseased populations, yoga may be as effective as, or better than, basic exercises at improving a variety of health indicators.

Yoga also keeps the practitioner mentally and emotionally balanced. The practice itself is holistic; not focusing solely on the body with postures; but breathing techniques and meditation as well. This holistic approach to stretching and exercise improves the mood and modulates the body's stress response too.

In a separate study from 2005, women who were emotionally distressed were separated into two groups. The control group did nothing new; while the test group took two 90 minute yoga classes each week for just three months. After the three month period was up; the test group rated themselves as less depressed, less anxious, and were considered 65 percent more well-rounded than when they had started the program.

Yoga Mats Around The World

Yoga had its humble beginning over 5000 years ago, since the first asana, yogis favored natural yoga mats to support their bodies during the postures. In the beginning, this was as simple as using the natural earth. Oddly enough, this ancient practice also combined all the benefits of earthing to their yoga practice; including collecting electrons from the earth to help dispel free radicals in the body.

From there, yogis moved their practice onto rugs made of kusha grass, native to India. More affluent yogis practiced on a deerskin rug, and the most bold practiced on a rug made of tiger skin.

Since the early days of yoga mats, many different styles have emerged. From bamboo mats to basic cotton towels; the global spread of yoga practitioners created an evolution in yoga mats. In the west, it was originally most common to see yogis spread out on beach towels or cotton mats designed for yoga. As the wooden floors of most yoga studios proved to be very slippery, rubber pads were introduced below the cotton mats to prevent slipping. Eventually, the entire mat was made of rubber or various PVC products.

The first person to capitalize on this need was Angela Farmer, a yoga teacher from London. She used the foam underlay of carpets underneath her cotton mats, and the idea caught fire. Th Farmer family became the first to offer the sticky mats we are most familiar with today.

Since then, the yoga mat has evolved even more. The first yoga-specific mats were offered in the 1990s, and soon to follow were eco-conscious mats and even biodegradable mats.

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Last updated on January 09, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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