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Best Yoga Mat

best yoga mat wirecutter
best yoga mat wirecutter

As a yogi who likes to run, or an athlete who wants to stretch out after his or her workout, we’ve got you covered with our selection of yoga mats.

The physical and emotional benefits of regular yoga practice include increasing mobility, strengthening muscles, and reducing stress. Finding the correct mat can help prevent injuries and allow you to run for longer periods of time.

There’s no use in spending money on a wobbly mat that doesn’t provide any stability. We’ve done all the legwork for you by comparing and contrasting 18 different yoga mats to help you pick the one that’s right for you.

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Although natural rubber mats might be heavy, IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat weighs just 2.2 pounds, making it a breeze to transport (the manufacturer records 2.8 pounds, but we found it to be lighter when we weighed it in our Lab).

Because it has a carrying strap, it got a score of a perfect 5 out of 5. There is a downside to using such a light mat, though, because it doesn’t have enough weight to lay precisely flat when it comes out of the box like some of the heavier mats we tried.

A standout among the test mats was the IUGA, a 5-millimeter thick product that proved to have excellent traction. This product was deemed too sticky by one of our testers.

This mat performed exceptionally well in our sweat test, making it an excellent choice for hot yoga practitioners. Our tester reported a rubbery scent when her head was placed on the mat during Child’s Pose, which the company claims is odorless.

  • Lightweight
  • Includes carrying strap
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Takes time to lay completely flat
  • Shows stains and dirt
  • Lingering chemical odor

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When it comes to yoga mats, the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is an excellent bet if you’re searching for something that will last for years to come. It has a reputation for being one of the best mats on the market and is frequently chosen by experienced yogis and teachers. We tested it and discovered that it lived up to its reputation.

The Manduka PRO is well-known for requiring a time of break-in before it becomes the non-slip mat people brag about. It’s not surprising. We scored it a five out of five because of its excellent grip right out of the box compared to other mats we tried. Our tester didn’t require the use of a yoga towel as the manufacturer suggested in order to keep their feet from slipping.

In our tests, we used the long version of this mat, which comes with a heavier weight. The Manduka PRO, which weighed 8.8 pounds, was the heaviest mat we tested (notably, the manufacturer states that it weighs 9.5 pounds).

It would have been wonderful if the manufacturer provided a bag or a carrying strap with the mat for such a heavy mat and at this higher price range. That’s why it received the worst grades for mobility, storage, and upkeep in the whole study (a three out of five).

  • Available in 2 lengths
  • Available in 8 colors
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Latex-free
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • High-maintenance care instructions

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The thickest mat in our test was this one, which measured approximately 13 millimeters. Foam mats are perfect for anybody with delicate joints or who needs a multipurpose mat for bodyweight workouts since they are softer and more flexible than any other material we examined. We gave it a five out of five for cushioning and thickness since its thickness makes it a flexible mat.

It’s possible that a thick mat might make you feel less steady or grounded in some poses, especially if you’re trying to improve your balance. If you want to use the mat for Pilates or other activities, a thicker mat may be the best option. In the end, the choice of yoga mat thickness is purely subjective.

Squeaking noises were heard when transitioning into certain poses, even though the mat had adequate grip during the sweat test (we gave it a score of four out of five for grip and feel). We wouldn’t suggest it to someone who wants a more contemplative practice because of the cacophony.

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Available in 7 colors
  • Includes carrying strap
  • Squeaks occasionally
  • Takes time to lay completely flat
  • May not be durable over time

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The Jade Yoga Harmony Yoga Mat is an excellent alternative for those who prefer hot yoga or just sweat while practicing. As far as cushioning and thickness go, our reviewers gave it five out of five stars.

A good quantity of cushioning was given without being excessively fluffy, according to our findings. With its natural rubber absorbing moisture, the mat provides exceptional grip during any exercise (it received a four out of five for grip and feel).

For the first time, this Jade mat weighs less than 5 pounds, making it easy to fold up and store. However, it isn’t the lightest mat on the market, but it isn’t the heaviest. Even though there is no carrying bag or strap, it is quite easy to transport from your house or studio to the studio and back again. We gave it a score of four out of five for mobility.

  • Available in 2 lengths
  • Available in 10 colors
  • Rolls up tightly
  • Jade Yoga plants one tree for each mat sold
  • Lingering rubber smell

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The Liforme mat’s distinctive ‘AlignForMe’ mechanism is etched into the polyurethane top layer of the mat. For at-home yoga practice, this aspect truly stands out because you don’t have the luxury of an instructor to assist you in correcting your form. A manual is attached to the bag that outlines the alignment mechanism in more detail.

You’ll have plenty of room for dynamic flows and stretching thanks to the mat’s extra length and width compared to ordinary mats. Because of its 4.2-millimeter thickness and non-slip surface, this mat performed admirably in both the wet and dry testing.

With a PVC-free eco-polyurethane surface that’s absorbent and quick-drying, our tester didn’t detect any water or sweat stains while she was exercising.

The Alo Yoga Warrior Mat, Wirecutter Best Overall selection, has many similarities with this mat, according to our testers. The mat’s dimensions and grip and feel under our testers’ palms and feet were almost comparable. Nonetheless, the Alo mat provides more value because it costs 40% less.

  • Alignment guide marked on mat
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Quick drying
  • Expensive
  • Care instructions are difficult to find
  • Shows stains and dirt

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The Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat may be the ideal option for you if you want virtually all of the benefits of a great yoga mat in a smaller, more portable size. The mat’s five-star mobility was highly praised by our reviewers.

Wet testing revealed it to be one of the lightest rubber mats, weighing only 2.2 pounds despite its 71 by 24-inch size. In terms of thickness and cushioning, we gave it a 3.5 out of five because the 1.5-millimeter thickness may not be enough for all users.

The sticky and gripping properties of Manduka’s mats can only be achieved after a period of wear and tear. Our initial impression was that the eKO Superlite was more slippery than we would have liked, and it received an overall rating of three out of five for grip and feel. We will continue testing this mat at home and update our review once we’ve had a chance to break it in, so stay tuned for more updates!

  • Lightweight
  • Can be rolled or folded
  • Non-toxic
  • Select colors available in additional sizes
  • May be slippery at first
  • Thin

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This mat has received dozens of five-star reviews because it provides a substantial amount of padding. As one buyer put it, it’s “thick enough that practising yoga on hardwood floors isn’t an issue, and it also serves as an excellent insulator if the floor is really chilly.”

“Most yoga mats slip and slide on hardwood floors,” writes one reviewer, but this one is made of material that is “smooth but not slippery,” and she was able to “perform mountain climbers on the mat” while it was moving.”

One reviewer even described the mat as “squishy,” which is a compliment. Specifically, she was looking for “something cushioned to use over the hard floor while exercising, and this meets her needs.”

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Reviewers have compared sitting on this one-inch yoga mat to “sitting on a cloud,” which is even thicker than the mat mentioned above. In one review, the author describes how they explored different workout postures that are “uncomfortable on a hard floor,” and discovered that they were “so much more comfortable on this mat.”

Despite having a shattered tail bone, another reviewer claims that they were able to do sit-ups on it without any discomfort. According to them, “this is the first time anybody has ever done the job,” and “I don’t even feel the shattered tail bone.”

According to a third reviewer, who titled their review “Making yoga a bit less painful,” the mat is “very cushioned,” “not mushy,” and “stiff enough to not create balance difficulties, but soft enough to aid those of us who just don’t love yoga on hard surfaces,” among other things.

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For taller reviewers who find ordinary yoga mats too short, this seven-foot-long mat is a favorite. It’s the first mat that hasn’t left her boyfriend’s six-foot-four feet dangling on the floor, according to one reviewer.

It’s “excellent for more motions” for a six-foot-tall reviewer, according to another. The mat’s general feel has been praised by others as having tremendous grip while still providing just the perfect amount of support. “You receive the cushioning and protection from hits on the knee without getting the sense you are sinking into a pillow,” a reviewer notes.

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The cork side of this unusual mat from Gaiam has received over 400 five-star reviews, indicating that it is a favorite among customers. One reviewer stated that cork “certainly outperforms rubber” in terms of both how it feels to use — they describe it as “smooth” to the touch and “grippy in a different manner than standard rubber mats” — and the fact that cork is a more environmentally friendly material.

According to them, “it feels fantastic to practice on a long-lasting yoga mat.” Several reviewers have noted that the cork’s moisture-resistance makes it an excellent choice for hot yoga, including one who describes the mat as “very convenient” since they “don’t have to spray off my mat or use a towel” during sweaty yoga sessions. Finally, a final reviewer was so taken with the mat’s “sturdiness, comfort, [and] ease of cleaning” that they went out and purchased four more for their friends and family.

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Both the top and bottom of the mat should be cleaned in this manner. Downward dog is impossible if you can’t keep your hands in place without sliding. Think of rubber mats or mats with a non-slip coating, which are more likely to stick to the floor. Regardless of the surface, your mat should be as sturdy as possible and give a solid platform.

A mat that is thick enough to protect your spine from hard flooring but not so cushioned that your limbs sink into it, putting you off balance, is the best option. Mats with a thickness of between 4mm and 6mm are ideal.

Even if you’re not doing a lot of high-intensity interval training, your yoga mat should still be safe from a dynamic practice, with no noticeable rips or scratches.

Get-up-and-go yoga mats are excellent companions for those who prefer their practice outside. If you prefer to practice Pilates outside rather than in the privacy of your own home, look for lightweight mats that are easy to store and carry.

Before picking our favorites, we also looked into sustainability, aesthetics, and any unique qualities that would make a mat stand out.

It’s wise to keep things simple when it comes to washing your yoga mat. Spray your yoga mat liberally with a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap, then clean it with a microfiber towel vigorously but not harshly. Repeat on the other side. Finally, use warm water to thoroughly clean both sides of your yoga mat before hanging it out to dry naturally.

Since of its thickness and smoothness, it is ideal for yoga practice because it aids in keeping the user’s body in a neutral position. For bodyweight activities, on the other hand, an exercise mat is significantly thicker and either quite hard to accommodate heavy gym equipment or extremely cushioned.

Our top pick is the Alo Yoga Warrior Mat because of its size, versatility, grip and padding. Despite the lack of a bag or strap, we found the care instructions to be simple and straightforward to follow.

The Manduka PRO is a wonderful upgrade for dedicated yogis who want to invest in their practice, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Nevertheless, it’s the heaviest and most difficult to maintain of the three mats we examined.

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