Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
There are hundreds of yoga mats on the market, each boasting its own unique features—so picking one that’s perfect for your yoga practice can be tough. We scoured the market to test and generate this list of our six favorite mats for everyone from beginners to kids to alignment-nerds.
BACK TO THE BEST OF 2016 GUIDE
YogaForce A-Line Mat
Unlike traditional yoga mats, the YogaForce A-Line Yoga Mat has a wider shape at the top which tapers to a narrower base. It’s perfect for people with broad shoulders who need more space to move the torso through asanas. An orange alignment grid helps you navigate where to place your hands and feet, and because it’s on the heavier side (4 lbs) it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport.
Liforme Yoga Mat
The Liforme Yoga Mat may be one of the heaviest we’ve seen this year (5.5 lbs). BUT, it’s also one of the sturdiest we’ve tried. At 4.2 mm thick, it’s extra easy on the joints, and the natural rubber/eco-polyurethane blend provides solid no-slip grip for hot yoga. Our favorite feature? The Liforme has subtle alignment markers placed both horizontally and vertically on the mat. These help you to stay centered in your asana practice, without having to worry whether your feet or hands are in the right positions. (Hint: use these for as much, or as little, guidance you need.)
See also The Best Yoga Mats of 2016
BYoga B MAT Traveller
As yogis always on the go, we’re constantly in search of lightweight, carry-on style travel mats. This year, BYoga’s B Mat Traveller blew us away. At just 3 lbs and 2mm thick, it’s much thinner and lighter than most at-home mats without sacrificing technology or function. Far from flimsy (an issue we find with many travel mats), it would be the ideal companion for a weeklong yoga retreat when you don’t want to cart your main mat along.
Manduka’s PRO Mat has been a classic favorite of ours, and the Prolite midweight version sits equally high on our radar. Cushy and dense, the Prolite is light enough to transport from home to studio, without the hassle, but sturdy enough to withstand daily practice. The latex-free, sustainable material prevents bacteria breeding, and Manduka’s promise that it’ll never peel, flake or fade stands strong. Our favorite classic go-to mat of the year.
Purple Haze Aterra Yoga Mat
If you’re a design buff and want to fold that into your yoga practice, create your very own mat at Aterra Yoga. On the website, you can select colors, upload photos and text, and customize your sticky mat for you or someone you love. Plus, it’s 4 mm thick—extra grippy for hot yoga. 100% made just for you, 100% functional for a great sweaty practice.
Jade Kids Mat
No yoga mat guide would be complete without a kiddo-friendly option. And we love the new Jade Kids Mat, which makes practicing yoga fun and easy for the little ones. It’s made from natural, non-toxic rubber and comes in two versions. The Discovery Mat, made for children ages five and under, runs less than 2lbs. The Pathfinder, made for children ages 6–11, is wider, longer and slightly heavier at just under 3 lbs. Have a few kids? No problem, Jade has you covered. Best yet, Jade plants a tree with every mat purchase so you can feel good about outfitting your family for the practice.