The 7 best yoga mats of 2021, including sweat-resistant, eco-friendly, and travel options

  • Yoga is one of the best ways to improve flexibility, center your mind, and achieve a sense of relaxation and calm. 
  • A solid yoga session starts with the quality of the mat under your feet. 
  • The best yoga mats offer grip, sweat-resistance, and cushion under your joints. 
  • Our top pick, the Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat, is sweat-resistant and textured to keep from slipping.

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Whether you’re brand new to the ancient practice of yoga and looking into your first ever mat, or you’re a seasoned yogi on the hunt to replace your worn-out asana surface, a new yoga mat is one of those purchases that seems simple, yet quality and details can make all the difference.

If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you know that not all yoga mats are created equally. Each style and material caters to a different set of needs, goals, and specific types of yoga. Those who favor heart-pumping flow classes, or who work up a sweat easily, will enjoy their practice a lot more if their mat has special sweat absorbing properties, for example. Meanwhile, those who travel often will benefit from an easily packable, lightweight mat for maintaining a daily practice on the road. Subtle design changes between mats can even help or hurt your unique movement patterns and may cause unusual aches or pains in any pose.

Read more: The best yoga accessories to elevate your home practice in 2021, according to yoga instructors

You probably never knew there was so much to consider. To help make your purchasing decision easier, we sweat-tested a number of the top yoga mats on the market and compiled this guide to find the best mat depending on your priorities, from perfect pose alignment to eco-friendly materials. Read more about how we tested, as well as what you should look for when shopping for a yoga mat, at the end of this guide.

Here are the best yoga mats:

Best yoga mat overall

manduka mat

The Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat provides just the right amount of padding without being too thick and clunky, and the price stays low even with its sustainable materials and no-slip grip.

Pros: Ideal padding cushion your body,  no-slip grip texture, eco-friendly materials, lifetime guarantee, multiple length options

Cons: Expensive

We love this mat’s thicker sister, the Manduka Pro’s 6mm, but it can be a bit bulky and hard to roll-up. The Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat is a perfectly padded mat to keep your hands, knees, and feet cushioned against any hard floor and support your back as you relax into savasana without being too thick a roll under your arm.

It’s a bit pricy, but the Manduka ProLite mat doesn’t deteriorate over time like others, and if it does flake, peel or fade, the brand offers a lifetime guarantee on their mats.

What’s more, my 13 years of practicing yoga have taught me the importance of a mat that doesn’t just absorb sweat. The Manduka ProLite‘s closed-cell surface repels moisture which keeps it more sanitary and makes it easier to clean and treat. But at the same time, you want a non-slip surface and Manduka’s “proprietary dot patterned bottom” prevents the mat from sliding across the floor, no matter how hot your yoga room gets.

Manduka makes the ProLite mat in two lengths so that more height-gifted yogis can stretch out without fear. Plus, the mat is completely non-toxic, 100 percent latex-free, and even promises a clean manufacturing process.

Best affordable yoga mat

Gaiam yoga mat

The Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat is highly affordable and features a ton of fun design options to bring a smile to your face while you practice.

Pros: Affordabile, fun designs, trusted brand, widely available in-store

Cons: Less durable, will degrade over time

The Gaiam name is respected and trusted in the yoga community. Made from PVC material (free of the six specific kinds that have been linked to health risks), the Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mats has great cushioning under-hand yet is still lightweight and portable. This mat comes in a variety of fun colors and prints which can definitely make your practice more enjoyable.

The main benefit of this mat is the price point makes it very affordable compared to some of the other top-ranked yoga mats out there.

One downside: This mat won’t last forever. In addition to your basic yoga mat wear and tear, both the material and the printed design are susceptible to sun damage. 

The Gaiam Print Premium Mat’s non-slip surface works well for most casual users but if you sweat a lot during your practice, you may need more traction and a grippier surface than this mat offers. As an introduction to your yoga practice without a hefty investment, or even as a backup choice for when your heavy-duty mat is drying, the Gaiam Print Premium is a solid option. 

Best travel yoga mat

Manduka eKOSuperliteMidnight 01

Manduka’s Eko SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat is slim and lightweight enough to bring with you no matter how far you roam without compromising grippiness.

Pros: Lightweight, thin enough of fold, great grip, durable material

Cons: Thin 

Lightweight travel mats let you keep up with your practice on the road without borrowing a questionable yoga mat from your hotel.  The Manduka Eko SuperLite Travel Mat is the lighter, thinner version of Manduka’s top-ranked Eko option.

It’s made of a woven scrim material that won’t tear or stretch either with use or in your suitcase. It’s thin enough to be foldable, so you can tuck the mat away into your backpack or your carry-on without added weight or bulk. It also features a sweat-resistant closed-cell design so your mat will stay drier and cleaner for longer, and has Manduka’s trademark grippiness which you often lose in travel mats.

The Manduka Eko SuperLite is also made from natural rubber that is specifically not harvested in the Amazon. And it’s more affordable than other travel mats, which is ideal considering this option is too thin and flexible to be your every day mat.

Best eco-friendly yoga mat

Prana

The prAna E.C.O. Yoga Mat is made from 100% thermoplastic elastomer, which means it’s non-toxic, sustainably made, and completely recyclable.

Pros: Environmentally friendly, non-toxic materials, recyclable

Cons: May not be grippy enough for some

This mat is made from 100% thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), so all the environmental costs of manufacturing synthetic rubbers and plastics are eliminated from the prAna E.C.O. Mat equation. Once you’re ready to trade your mat for a new one, the material of this is completely recyclable so it won’t clog up a landfill somewhere.

TPE is also UV resistant, so your E.C.O. Mat won’t fade or deteriorate with sun exposure. It’s completely latex-free, chloride-free, and PVC-free. The best benefit of TPE is that it’s extremely lightweight: a 72-by-24-inch mat with a thickness of 5mm still weighs in at only 2.2 pounds.

On the yoga benefits side, the E.C.O. yoga mat is known to be super sticky so your hands and feet won’t slide, but the TPE material may not be the most cushioning option for those looking to protect their knees and backs from the hard pressure of the floor. The mat is double-sided, though, so you can rotate front-to-back and top-to-bottom to get a seriously long-term, even wear on your mat even with heavy use.

Even if you’re just looking for a lighter mat or an eco-friendly option to shake things up, the prAna E.C.O. Mat is a low-cost way to try something new.

Best yoga mat for sweaty yogis

jade yoga mat3

Whether you’re a yogi who sweats a lot during workouts, or you enjoy the sweat-inducing practice of Bikram, the JadeYoga Harmony Mat is what you need to avoid slipping and sliding. 

Pros: Non-slip surface, plenty of cushioning, multiple length options, multiple color options

Cons: Some may find the cushioning too much for their preference, expensive

If your yoga practice works up enough of a sweat that most mats become dangerously slippery, JadeYoga’s Harmony Mat will keep you safe. Made from natural rubber with tiny dots instead of a smooth, sleek surface, the Harmony Mat’s design provides great traction and minimizes slipping. The texture is small enough it goes unnoticed by your hands and knees, even after a 60-minute session. 

The mat is incredibly comfortable, too. Featuring thick enough cushioning to protect your knees and back from getting dinged while practicing, it’s not too thick to hinder movement. 

JadeYoga offers the Harmony Mat in two different sizes, as well as a dozen different colors and prints. It is on the spendy side at $85 for the longest option, but for sweaty yogis, that’s often cheaper (and way more convenient) than purchasing a mat plus absorbant towel.

Read our review of the JadeYoga Harmony Mat.

Best washable yoga mat

YogiBare1

The Yogi Bare Teddy is machine washable without sacrificing quality or durability over time and use.

Pros: Machine-washable, grippy microfiber top, natural rubber bottom stays in place, comes in a variety of fun patterns

Cons: Requires a washing machine, not very padded

Though most mats are easily cleaned with a simple spray and wipe down, if you use it outside or tend to heavily sweat while you practice, it’s convenient to have a mat that can be thrown in the washing machine. The Teddy from Yogi Bare is machine washable. I was surprised to find during testing that the washer didn’t compromise its integrity; its natural rubber base and microfiber top stayed as intact as when I first bought it, even after multiple washes.

Even if the Teddy wasn’t machine-washable, it’d still be a great yoga mat. Its microfiber surface is grippy, especially after I’d been sweating a bit on it, and it’s just padded enough that it provides a soft landing whenever my feet (or wayward knees and elbows) hit the ground. It comes in fun patterns and cololrways.

Cheaper than many other mats on this list, its is well worth the investment considering how easy it is to keep clean. — Rick Stella 

Best yoga mat for alignment work

liforme yoga mat

The Liforme Mat has a printed alignment system on the surface that will help you find your symmetry, balance, and proper footing in any pose.

Pros: Eco-friendly, extremely sticky, doesn’t wear over time, alignment lines

Cons: One-size-fits-all alignment doesn’t fit all bodies, very expensive

No matter what kind of yoga you practice, proper alignment is an important part of learning the poses and transitions. The first thing you’ll notice about the Liforme mat is that discreet lines, shapes, and markers are etched into its surface to help you place your limbs accurately and mindfully as you move through your practice. Liforme’s mat is also slightly longer and wider than most traditional yoga mats, so you’ll never feel cramped or confined.

The Liforme mat’s also has an incredibly grippy surface thanks to their proprietary blend of natural rubber and sustainably-sourced felt to cushion your knees, hips, and hands. The mix also keeps you from slipping and sliding when the sweating starts.

Continuing the eco-friendly trend, each layer of the PVC-free mat is heat-bonded to avoid toxic glues and adhesives, and even the alignment marking system is etched into the surface to avoid synthetic dyes.

If you’re not the most flexible of yogis or if you’re on the shorter side, you may have trouble hitting the alignments recommended by that pattern on the mat, but if your limbs happen to line up with the printed system and you’re looking to go deeper into perfect alignment, the Liforme mat is the one for you.

What else we tested

YoGo Travel Yoga Mat: This mat is lightweight and rolls up really small, making it ideal for packing in a suitcase. It uniquely comes with durable buckles and handles which makes for easy carrying. However, it got beat out by the Manduka Eko SuperLite for Best Travel Mat since they are both the same thickness and made from sustainable rubber, but the Manduka is $20 cheaper.

Manduka Pro’s 6mm: This mat is thicker (6mm) and longer (up to 85 inches) than most mats, making it great for anyone with joint aches and pains. If you don’t need extra padding, this creates unnecessary bulk, so we left it off our main list. But if you need a bigger or more cushioned mat, this is also backed by Manduka’s lifetime garuntee.

How to shop for a yoga mat

There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for a yoga mat that best serves your needs. Size and portability are important to many yogis, mainly because you’ll often tote your mat along with you — unless you do your practice in the comfort of your own home. Some mats are longer than others, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re taller. 

While certain people like sticky mats that help their feet from sliding around, others find them annoying, providing too much hold when they want the freedom of movement. The same goes for a mat’s relative thickness or thinness. Most yoga mats are relatively slim but others are thick for extra protection and cushion for your joints. 

Consider the durability and the types of materials used, too. You want a mat that’s going to last, isn’t made with harsh or harmful chemicals, and is easy to wipe clean after a sweaty session of hot yoga.

How we tested

Each yoga mat featured in this guide went through a series of on the mat tests to see how well they stacked up across these four categories: Performance, durability, ease of cleaning, and value. Specifically, here’s how each category contributed to which yoga mats ultimately made the cut:

  • Performance: How a yoga mat performs encompasses a variety of uses. This could mean how grippy it is for helping you hold poses or reliably move a hand or foot even if you’re a little sweaty, or it could be how comfortable or padded the mat is. In categories such as the best lightweight yoga mat or the best yoga mat for sweaty yogis, we looked at those features specifically (instead of docking points for a lack of padding or too much grip) when choosing what to feature. 
  • Durability: It may not seem like it but yoga mats can take a beating, especially if you use it often. Be it puddles of sweat or the constant barrage of knees, elbows, heels, and shoulders, a yoga mat is under constant pressure. Because of this, you ideally want one built to stand up to this kind of abuse and that’s designed to last for several sessions.
  • Ease of cleaning: Sweat is nearly inevitable when you practice yoga — even during a particularly mellow session. It’s recommended that you clean your yoga mat after every use (especially for anyone who sweats heavily) and a mat that’s easy to clean is a necessity. 
  • Value: Value is the combination of every category we judged the yoga mats on plus it’s actual price point. We like to think that it’s better to invest more in a quality mat that lasts than to spend the money on several cheap mats in the same amount of time. When choosing our budget pick, we also wanted to make sure it wasn’t some shoddy mat but something that delivers premium quality at a more wallet-friendly price. 

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