10 best yoga mats
With mats designed for various types of yoga, you'll never have to worry about losing your grip
Yoga has found many Western converts in recent years, and with the Western genius for organization and capital, has come a proliferation of products and innovations in their design. While the ancient yogi’s probably practiced on rugs, you need not be so restricted to singular form.
There’s no shortage of options, so when buying a mat be sure to consider the type of yoga you plan to use it for, which will help find the mat for your practice. If you like heat, make sure to find a mat that has strong grip and won’t absorb water. On the other hand, for a more yin-based practice, look for mats that are comfortable and relatively thick. Included here are mats for all range of practice, so you can find the one just right for you. Namaste, yogis.
1. Jade Harmony Mat: $74.95, Jade - Best Buy
Jade has certainly become a standard bearer in the yoga mat space, and their product is the result of an extensive effort starting in 2000 to develop a new mat that wasn’t slippery like most PVC-based mats in the market at the time. Harmony is the world’s first natural rubber mat, and the effort certainly comes through. This mat grips, it has cushion and resilience and it's made from natural materials that make it sustainable and non-toxic. Jade also happens to be strongly mission-oriented -planting a tree for every mat sold.
2. Manduka Pro Yoga Mat: $110, Manduka
Manduka’s Pro Yoga Mat is the luxury car of the yoga mat world. It’s hefty, and with added length and width and ultra-density, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a mat that’s more comfortable and performance-oriented. It’s also built to last, and when well-maintained you’ll have the Manduka for the long-haul. There isn’t a huge amount of grip, so if using this for hot yoga you’ll likely need to pair with a yoga towel.
3. Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat: $84.95, Hugger Mugger
Hugger Mugger carries a fun line of all sorts of yoga products, including props and clothes in colorful patterns. Their Para Mat comes in a non-slip rubber material similar to Jade’s Harmony Mat, with the added bonus of a clean, textured design and eco-friendly construction. It does smell distinctly rubbery when opened, so you may want to consider airing it out before taking it to class.
4. Lululemon Namastay Mat: $78.00, Lululemon
Lululemon, every mom’s favorite destination for spandex, also sells a mat made from their patented Luvea™ rubber that's natural, sustainably-sourced, and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. While designed for non-slippage, you might find that as you sweat you’ll start to slide around on the mat. If you’re regularly going to hot classes, we recommend adding a towel or looking for a different product.
5. Alo Warrior Mat: $100, Alo
Alo’s Warrior Mat is kind of a beast and built to last. With an unusual polyurethane leather top-layer and a bottom made of 100 per cent natural rubber, it weighs in at a full six pounds and has a stripped-down design that makes it a gold standard for hard-core yogis who need a no-fuss mat that holds up, especially when wet.
6. Everyday Yoga Mat: $9.48, Yoga Outlet
At under $10, Yoga Outlet’s Everyday Mat is nothing if not a bargain, and it maintains a solid grip and stickiness to avoid slipping. It’s a great pick that you won’t feel too guilty about beating up in class or using outside. The downside is it’s a bit thin as cheap mats tend to be, so if you find your wrists and knees are sore you might want to consider an upgrade.
7. ProSource Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat: $15.19, ProSource
If you’re looking for an inexpensive mat that isn’t thin like most mats in the under-$20 price point, ProSource’s extra thick mat is a great pick. With ½ inch of cushioning, the mat eliminates joint pain, though you might find the thickness leaves you extra wobbly in balances. It also comes with a free sling for easy carrying to class.
8. Amazon Basics Yoga mat: $16.99, Amazon
Part of Amazon’s basics collection, this mat is a no-frills, simple product and comes in an assortment of pretty, bright colors. The price point is great for beginners, and with about twice the thickness of Yoga Outlet’s Everyday Mat you’ll find it provides extra joint support without being so thick that your standing balances are thrown off.
9. Aurorae PRO Natural Cork/Rubber Yoga Mat: $69.95, Aurorae
Aurorae’s extra-long, extra-wide cork mat is designed to get wet, as in, the surface gains traction the wetter it gets. It’s perfect for those hot yoga classes where you find yourself sliding around on other surfaces, and, as cork is naturally antimicrobial, it inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and odors.
10. Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat: $39.98, Gaiam
Gaiam has long been a leader in the yoga supply space, and their cork mat is a bit of steal at less than half of what high-end mats usually cost. With the same antimicrobial properties as Aurorae’s mat, cork also tends to be slightly more rigid than other materials, so you might find it hard on the wrists.
The Verdict: Yoga Mats
Our winner for the best overall mat goes to Jade’s Harmony Mat. A leader in functionality and sustainability, it also hits a lower price point than many other high-end mats on the market. For something less expensive, Amazon’s Basic Mat is actually extremely functional, and hits a nice middle ground on thickness, making it versatile and a nice choice for beginners. If you’re interested in trying something different, Gaiam’s Cork Mat is innovative, very green, and a little bit of a bargain as well.
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