If you’re a runner, yoga is a perfect supplement to your running routine. A yoga practice allows you to slow down, focus on tightness in the body, work on flexibility and stretching, and challenge a lot of different muscles you don’t regularly use when you’re logging miles (but also muscles that can help you become a faster runner).
If you regularly practice yoga, or you’re just getting into it and your routine is still sporadic, a yoga mat is a must-have for a successful practice. Not only does a yoga mat provide a decent amount of cushion between you and the ground, as well as offer some support to your hands and feet, it’s also made out of rubber or a rubber-like material that doesn’t get slippery when wet. Translation: A good yoga mat won’t have you constantly readjusting your sweaty hands and feet or slipping all over the place. Plus, a mat provides a finite area on which you can practice and sweat, so you’re not leaving your bodily fluids all over the floor—ideal for both health safety and easy cleanup.
What to Consider When Buying a Yoga Mat
Thickness, Weight, and Size
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, it’s nice to feel some support under your hands and feet while you pass through a flow, or especially when you’re holding a difficult pose for a while. Mats come in different thicknesses—most of the mats on our list are 5 to 6mm thick, while the thickest is almost 13mm—which allows you to choose if you want a design that has a more plush and cushioned feel or a thinner one that lets you feel more grounded yet still provides support. While most of the mats here are about the same length and width, they do vary slightly, so choose one that best fits your size. You may also want to consider your yoga mat’s weight, depending on how you plan to carry it. While a heavier mat, like the 7-pound Manduka on our list, is easy to throw into the car or keep at home, lighter options, such as those that weigh under 2 pounds, are easier to strap to a gym bag or sling over your shoulder.
While you could do yoga on a carpet or even on your hardwood floor, neither surface provides enough grip for your hands or feet, meaning you’re going to constantly have to adjust your position. A yoga mat is usually made out of rubber or a rubber-like material that provides a good amount of traction on top, so you’re easily able to grip the mat even when things get sweaty.
The price for different yoga mats can vary quite a bit. The ones on our list range from $22 to $128. Pricier models usually perform extremely well and will last for years without falling apart. But that doesn’t mean a cheaper yoga mat won’t offer the same support and grip. You have to decide if you practice enough to want to invest in a great mat that will last forever or a decent mat that you may need to replace sooner.
How We Chose These Yoga Mats
As a fitness and health editor, runner, and National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal trainer, I’ve always tried to include yoga in my workout regimen. I’ve taken classes in studios, where I’ve been able to use the Jade Yoga mat and the Manduka Pro yoga mat. I’ve had semi-private sessions, where I’ve experienced the feel of the Gaiam Essentials yoga mat. And I’ve also done flows at home on recovery days, using the Lululemon Take Form yoga mat. The other yoga mat options I recommend below offer various thicknesses, materials, and price points, and all have been reviewed positively by many users. If you’re looking into purchasing a good yoga mat that won’t have you slipping around and having to readjust your grip and footing with every pose, try one of these options below.
Weight: 7 lb.
Dimensions: 71 x 26 in.
Loved by many, this popular yoga mat comes in two different lengths, 71 inches and 85 inches, so you can choose according to your heights and preference. We loved that the 6mm-thick mat provided enough cushion from the hard floor yet wasn’t too bulky to carry around. We also found the top surface to be extremely nonslip, which was especially great during hot yoga sessions. The mat comes in six colors: black, black sage, midnight, odyssey, purple, and verve.
Weight: 3.11 lb.
Dimensions: 72 x 24 in.
Material: NBR foam
Like a little more cushion under your hands and feet when you’re practicing? Look no further! We loved how cushy this yoga mat felt under our body, especially during seated and lying poses. It’s also extremely lightweight and easy to tote around thanks to the included carrier strap, and the material wasn’t slippery under our hands or feet when we moved through flows. The mat is made from nontoxic PVC material, so not only are you doing your body good by using it, you’re also doing good for the environment.
Weight: 1.6 lb.
Dimensions: 72 x 24 in.
The smooth top layer of this eco-friendly mat is comfortable on the palms yet sticky enough to keep slippage to an absolute minimum. The textured bottom layer grips the floor well, so the mat won’t move at all mid yoga flow. This mat’s double-layer design makes it more durable and less vulnerable to tears, and a strap makes carrying it to class a breeze. It comes in a wide variety of colors, including green, blue, pink, gold, rose gold, light yellow, purple, and bright yellow.
Weight: 4.9 lb.
Dimensions: 71 x 26 in.
Material: Natural rubber
This 3D yoga mat was designed to help you feel your way around the mat, without having to look down to stay balanced (though we still did from time to time!). We love that the patterns help with your alignment, too, so you can tell if your hands are equally distanced during a plank just by the feel under the palms. It’s made from sustainably sourced natural rubber and is FSC certified to support the protection of forest ecosystems. Choose from plain colorways, or multicolored patterns, depending on which you find most appealing.
Weight: 2.2 lb.
Dimensions: 72 x 26 in.
No latex, metal, or PVC is used in the production of this eco-friendly, nontoxic, and odorless yoga mat, which we feel great about! The TPE material is nonslip, allowing you to move through your flow without any mishaps. Lines and designs are featured on the mat to help you better align your body, especially in more difficult poses. It’s thick enough to provide good cushioning under your hands and feet, too. The mat is longer and wider than traditional mats, too, if you prefer a bit more space.
Weight: 4.2 lb.
Dimensions: 68 x 24 in.
If you don’t have a ton of space for a big, thick yoga mat, roll out this thin option instead. We found that the surface really did have superior traction, and even when our palms and feet started to get a bit sweaty, we weren’t slipping on the mat at all. The company also gives back: For every mat it sells, a tree is planted with Trees for the Future. While the mat is thin, it’s extremely durable and can withstand multiple sessions a week. We even used it as a pad for our at-home strength workouts, too.
Weight: 1.8 lb.
Dimensions: 71 x 24 in.
Material: Natural rubber
Extra cushioning comes built-in thanks to the half-inch thick design of this plush yoga mat. It’s extremely comfortable for grounded poses, and the high-density foam isn’t slippery either, making it safe for your practice. The bottom has a nonslip surface, too. The entire mat is moisture-resistant, so it can be cleaned with soap and water without causing any damage. While it is thick, it’s extremely lightweight. Simply roll it up and attach the carrier strap, so you can easily take it with you to the studio.