These days, finding the right yoga mat can send you into choice paralysis. From sticky mats that come in all different textures and levels of thickness to hot yoga towel-mats, traditional woven blanket-mats, and more, there’s a yoga mat for almost every type of yoga. Which means it can be especially tough to find the best yoga mat for your practice.
So, where to start when it comes to deciding on the right one? Keep reading, to learn what some of the world’s most discriminating yogis have to say about their favorite yoga mats.
The Best Yoga Mats From Your Favorite Teachers
Best cushioned mat: Manduka PRO
Carbondale, Colorado-based yoga teacher Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga® and the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom, says the best yoga mats he’s ever used seem to “disappear underfoot.”
“When I am on the Manduka PRO, it’s almost as if I am not using a yoga mat at all,” he says. “It doesn’t move, stretch, smell, or wear out like many other mats. This is my steady platform that I practice on daily.”
Bonus: This is one of the few mats to come with a lifetime guarantee.
Best grippy mat: Hugger Mugger Tapas Performance mat
A little bit of history: The Tapas Mat, which debuted in the late 1980s, was the first mat designed specifically for yoga—and as a result, it set the bar for durability, density, and grip. For yogis that came of age during this era, Hugger Mugger mats inspires a loyal following. To wit: Aadil Palkhivala, founder of Bellevue, Washington-based Purna yoga, says this is his favorite yoga mat.
“I like to use this mat because it is extremely sticky and extra-thick,” he says. “I have injured my body over the years; this mat provides the cushioning and support my body needs. It also allows my hands to sink in just enough so that I have more friction and less slip. Also, I find that when I hold Headstand for a while, this mat actually helps distribute pressure on the head.”
Bonus: All Hugger Mugger mats are made from phthalate-free PVC and are free from heavy metals.
Best mat for travelers: Jade Travel mat
If you don’t pack a yoga mat, chances are yoga won’t happen. Yet lugging your go-to mat with you wherever you go can be a hassle. Enter Jade’s Travel mat, which folds up as small as a pair of pants. This portability factor gives it a high score for Beryl Bender Birch, eRYT, who is considered the matriarch of vinyasa yoga.
“I love how it’s beautifully light and easy to pack, which makes it so that I can just throw it into an outside pocket of my suitcase wherever I travel and have it handy,” she says. Equally important to Birch is the company’s stellar environmental track record. “It is made from natural tree rubber, and has no PVC, toxic plasticizers, or harmful dyes. Plus, it’s 99 percent latex-free—all important to me as an environmental activist.”
Bonus: Jade’s “Buy a Mat, Plant a Tree” program plants a tree for every product they sell on their site. To date, the company has planted more than a million and a half trees.
Best sweat-resistant mat: Lululemon The Reversible Mat 3mm
For those who like their yoga hot, this is one of stickiest mats on the market. One side has a top layer of antimicrobial polyurethane to help absorb sweat and prevent slippage. On the flip side, a grippy texture gives you plenty of traction for less vigorous practices.
For Seattle, Washington-based Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine, this mat’s versatility is what makes it her fave.
“I like my yoga mat simple and functional,” she says. “This mat has just the right amount of grip, stands the test of time, and is perfect in a sweaty class or restorative practice.”
Bonus: The antimicrobial layer deters mold and mildew from growing on your mat.
From $58, lululemon.com
Best mat for alignment: Liforme Yoga Mat
Ready to up-level your yoga practice with a mat that will help you focus on alignment? Bay-area-based yoga teacher Annie Carpenter, founder of SmartFlow yoga, has high praise for the Liforme yoga mat. If you’re a stickler for alignment cues (read: heel to heel), the alignment lines are helpful, says Carpenter. “Plus, it’s got just the right amount of sticky-ness for me,” blending the perfect ratio of stability and cushioning.
Bonus: Liforme uses sustainably-sourced materials, recyclable packaging, and ensures their mats last a lifetime. “I love that this mat helps me be as eco-friendly as I can be, at least so far,” says Carpenter. “There are so many yoga mats these days; we need to be conscious of our short- and long-term footprints.”
Best home practice mat: Manduka Mat PRO Squared
For dedicated practitioners, having a yoga mat to lug to class and one that stays at home makes sense. So, why not think outside the rectangle for something that’s going to stay put? The Manduka Mat PRO Squared fits the bill.
“Its size allows me to create movements in any plane without having limbs wander away from the protective rubber,” says LA-based Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT, co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide. “Its density and shock absorption are unmatched by any other yoga mat on the market. It is a permanent fixture in my home studio.”
Bonus: Like doing yoga with your partner or kids? This mat gives you plenty of room to go big in every direction.
Best up-cycled mat: Sugamat
If your yoga practice is about deepening your connection to nature, you might want to take sustainability to the next level by being part of the solution with a SugaMat. For Vancouver-based yoga teacher and surfer Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology, his top choice is made from recycled wetsuits. “As a surfer, it is so heartening to know that we are saving space in landfill by creating a sustainable yoga mat,” he says.
Bonus: If wine can have terroir (the topography that gives it its distinctive taste), so can yoga mats. “I swear I can still feel all of that great surf juju from the surfers who wore the wetsuits that have become my yoga mat when I step onto it to practice,” says Finn.
From $79, sugamats.com
Please note that we independently source all of the products that we feature on yogajournal.com. If you buy from the links on our site, we may receive an affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.