Best Yoga Blocks of 2021
|Price||$22.00 at REI||$22 List||$23 List|
$15.99 at Amazon
|$24.67 at Amazon||$28 List|
$29.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Strong, stable, ethically-sourced, durable, non-toxic||Supportive, dense, durable||Strong, durable, affordable||Slip-resistant, versatile, stable, eco-friendly||Super stable, dense, strong, eco-friendly|
|Cons||Heavy, might be too rigid for beginners||Sharp edges can feel a bit too rigid||Nontraditional size, strange odor when new||Non-traditional in shape, slightly less durable||Can be slippery, heavy|
|Bottom Line||A durable, stable and sustainable yoga block for all poses and occasions||A durable two pack of eco-friendly, dense, and supportive cork blocks||A solid choice for anyone looking for a stable, non-traditional sized block and strap set||This uniquely contoured block offers exceptional slip-resistance and stability for steamy, sweaty yoga practices||This heavy and durable block offers incredible stability and strength, though it isn't the best for sweaty hands|
|Rating Categories||Manduka Cork||Node Fitness Cork S...||Heathyoga Strap and...||Manduka UnBlok||Hugger Mugger Bamboo|
|Slip Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Manduka Cork||Node Fitness Cork S...||Heathyoga Strap and...||Manduka UnBlok||Hugger Mugger Bamboo|
|Weight (per block)||31.20 oz||36.61 oz||9.84 oz||12.95 oz||34.04 oz|
|Material||Cork||Cork||High density EVA foam||Recycled EVA foam||Bamboo|
|Dimensions||9" x 6" x 4"||9" x 6" x 4"||9" x 6" x 3"||9" x 6" x 4"||10" x 6" x 4"|
If you want a supportive and ethically sourced yoga block, check out the Manduka Cork. This block is comprised of a renewable and non-toxic material — cork oak tree bark. It offers great stability, has wonderfully molded corners, and is a standard size (9" x 6" x 4"). It stood up to all our practice sessions easily — the cork exterior didn't show any visible wear, nor any signs of water or sweat accumulation. Manduka's suggested cleaning method is to do a simple wipe-down with a disinfectant. The cork exterior's fine grain makes the surface easy to clutch with sweaty hands without being sticky, so you stay balanced as the temperature rises during your practice. The tight compression of the cork fiber ensures the surface of the block stays firm to the touch.
Unsurprisingly, the Manduka Cork is one of the heavier blocks that we tested. This comes in handy to help keep it firmly in place, but if you need something lighter during your flow, the weight might be a hindrance. Some poses feel a bit difficult with the harsh edges and heavier weight of this block. If you are still new to your yoga practice or suffer from tender joints, the tightly-bound cork might be too much for you. Until you've taken some time to get used to the intense sensation, or if you're just on the sensitive side, you might prefer a foam material for your block. However, for the slightly more experienced yogi, this block has everything we look for — durability, stability, and no odd or toxic smells.
Options: None, only comes in one color, price is for 1 block
This package from Heathyoga includes two blocks and a yoga strap — a welcome addition to any prop collection. Even after years of teaching, it is still rare to find blocks with the thinner profile these offer. We were pleased with this size when working through more delicate backbend variations and mid-range lunge poses. We typically don't use more than a single block during practice, but the nonconforming shape of the Heathyoga made us appreciate the matching set. These blocks are comprised of a high-density EVA foam that allows for a solid base and sweat-repelling exterior — they're the most durable EVA foam blocks we tested. Like most things, they can be damaged with force, but you can rest assured that fingernails aren't going to leave a mark on these blocks. The rounded corners on this 9" x 6" x 3" brick add a lovely touch of compassion during difficult postures, and the high-density foam creates a tougher-than-average yet still-forgiving surface.
Upon unveiling this bundle of yoga goodies, we were immediately offended by the odor of the foam. We allowed the foam to breathe for about 48 hours and were then able to enjoy our yoga practices odor-free. And while the non-traditional size ended up being an attribute for us, we encourage consumers to be aware that the standard yoga block size offers a full inch more in terms of a support base, depending on what block configuration you prefer to use. Ultimately, we are pleased by the durability and affordability of this collection and unanimously agree that the Heathyoga bundle is a top-shelf choice for yogis looking to deepen their practice with props.
Options: 6 colors, price is for 2 blocks and a strap
If you're seeking an incredibly supportive and well-compressed set of cork yoga blocks, the Node Fitness set is the pair for you. These seriously dense, natural bricks stay where you place them and are strong enough to support the weight of heavier bodies. While cork is more porous than EVA foam, the high-density cork of these blocks repels sweat and condensation far better than other similar options. We felt super comfortable breaking a sweat and resting our bodies atop these solid, environmentally friendly assistants. The increased weight of these bricks aids in their overall support, so we found them excellent during poses where we really had to rely on our props for stability.
The uber-compacted cork of the Node Fitness blocks creates a tough brick, which isn't always the most comfortable beneath stiff joints. The uncontoured edges and corners make these blocks best for strength-focused practices; they're not quite gentle enough for slow-moving, restorative practices. However, anyone looking for a prop that will support their body weight for the long haul will be satisfied with these blocks. They stay put, do not compress with use, and can support more weight than many of their competitors.
Options: None, only comes in one color, price is for 2 blocks
Opening the double block and strap yoga bundle from Clever Yoga inspired us to get on our mat! This 2-pack of traditionally sized blocks is made of eco-friendly, high-density EVA foam. The perfectly beveled edges make them easy to grip, and the non-slip surface ensures that they stay in place, even when you're dripping with sweat. The included strap is made of 100% cotton and scarcely showed signs of use after our battery of tests, and each block is lightweight and easy to use during fast-paced flows. The construction of these bricks allows them to feel soft on the outside while dense on the inside. This affordable bundle truly makes practicing yoga with props widely accessible.
Decreased durability is par for the course in the world of foam yoga blocks. While the Clever Yoga blocks held up to our imposed demands decently, they are certainly not impermeable. The foam is well compressed, but our fingernails could still create blemishes on the surface of the blocks — though we weren't able to gash the foam the way you can with lower-density blocks. Overall, these are decently tough, especially considering they are constructed of puncturable materials, but they have their limits. We recommend this yoga bundle for beginners and advanced practitioners alike because of its affordable price and gentle exterior. Deepen your practice without breaking the bank.
Options: 4 colors, price is for 2 blocks and a strap
The Hugger Mugger Bamboo yoga block is unique when compared to the other blocks in our lineup. It stands in a league of its own regarding stability due to its above-average weight and supreme density. If you are looking for a block to support the weight of your body without wavering, this bamboo brick could be a great choice for you. It is made of bamboo, the earth's fastest-growing, most renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice. This block is about an inch larger than the standard-sized blocks we tested, and that extra inch provides a wider and thus more complete base of support for poses where you really need the assist. The surface of this bamboo block repels water with ease, making it less porous as well. Ultimately, the water-repellant properties, density, and rigidity of this prop make it highly durable. Knowing that this block won't need to be replaced for years furthers its eco-friendliness.
This block is not the lightest in our roundup, making it a less desirable choice for dynamic yoga flows that have you bringing your block from one end of your mat to the other. However, because of how durable the Hugger Mugger Bamboo block is, perhaps you'll deem buying two a worthy investment, which would eliminate the need to move this 34-ounce block to and fro. The main drawback we found with this yoga prop is that it can be a bit slippery, especially when it isn't used on the surface of a yoga mat. The bamboo surface had next to no traction on vinyl, laminate, and hardwood flooring. While these surfaces might not be the most popular for use, it could be dangerous to strike a yoga pose on the wrong surface. Additionally, clammy or downright sweaty hands do not feel as secure on the surface of this block as those comprised of EVA foam. That said, if you tend to avoid practicing yoga in hot, steamy environments or directly on the floor, you'll find that this block offers exceptional and long-lasting stability.
Options: None, only comes in one color, price is for 1 block
The Manduka unBLOK beat out our prior hot yoga favorites because of its unique and functional shape and slip-resistant exterior. Made of recycled EVA foam, the unBLOK has two gently curved sides coupled with comfortably beveled edges. The special curvature of this block increases its versatility. It is fifty percent standard block and fifty percent curvy block, so you truly get to choose the way you want to use it. It can act as a prop for stability, and since it is made of foam, it is soft enough to use for backbends or other poses where your bony bits might be pressed up against it. The curves also make it easier for people with small hands to grab and move easily. The unBLOK is our true favorite for hot yoga; the non-slip surface is great for your hands and against your mat.
While we are stoked on the non-traditional countenance of the unBLOK, we understand that the curves might not suit everyone. In this case, it definitely comes down to personal preference. If you prefer the feel of a super-dense and rectangular/square-edged cork block, you might find the unBLOK to be a bit too soft and delicate. The softer nature of the material also leaves it more susceptible to abrasions which led us to deduct a few points in the durability metric. This block is highly dense, making it one of the more durable foam blocks, but the durability doesn't hold up when put up against the bamboo and award-winning cork options. Even still, with proper care, the unBLOK will be by your side while you practice for a long time. If you are looking for a versatile block to use from hot yoga to practicing on the beach or in the park, we recommend taking this one for a spin — we think you'll like the balance between soft, strong, durable, and grippy just as much as we do.
Options: None, only comes in one color, price is for 1 block
Why You Should Trust Us
Our main yoga block tester is Ally Arcuri, a yoga teacher for more than 10 years. She earned her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certificate in Baja, Mexico from the Yandara Yoga Institute, shortly after completing her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Though Ally teaches an array of fitness classes, teaching yoga to new practitioners is one of her passions. She believes in making yoga accessible for all and loves inspiring confidence in her students.
We committed ourselves to weeks of practice to analyze and assess the yoga blocks in this review. We bent, stretched, and strengthened to determine which ones hold up to the hype and which can't last through the demands of daily practice. If your body can do it, we think your props should be able to keep up! We cranked our heaters to simulate a hot yoga experience and practiced yoga while pouring sweat. We stood on, jumped on, and drenched each block to determine its stability, density, slip resistance, and durability. Read on to learn about each testing metric and which blocks excelled in each area.
Analysis and Test Results
Whether you have been practicing yoga for decades or you are just starting, finding the right props amid a sea of trendy fitness equipment can feel overwhelming and downright frustrating. We sifted through this saturated market to bring you an assortment of options and help you find the best fit for your needs. We take our yoga practice seriously, with a side of humor, so we are confident that our roundup will provide the details you'll need to heat things up. Your yoga block should feel as much a part of your practice as your mat, so please, select your new favorite prop wisely based on the information we've garnered.
To measure value, we compare and contrast each block or bundle's performance metrics with their pricepoint. If an affordable product performs well across our scoring metrics, it is awarded a higher value rating. Versatility is another factor that contributes to a product's overall value — the most versatile blocks are viewed as more worthy of purchase because they have the potential to fulfill more needs than their less versatile counterparts.
When it comes to yoga blocks, some are sold as solo items, while others come in as a pair or with extra accessories. These factors contribute to our value ratings. For example, the Heathyoga block set comes with a pair of matching blocks and a strap. Not only is this set offered for a relatively low price, but it scored highly across all of our metrics. That's high value. The Clever Yoga bundle also includes a pair of matching blocks and a yoga strap. While this set did not perform quite as well due to its less-dense and therefore less durable foam, it is still a set that is well worth the money. The Reehut yoga block is another product that offers great bang for the buck. This affordable block is not super durable, which is a trend we've seen among blocks made of foam, but it is a great choice for hot yoga because of how slip-resistant it is.
The Gaiam yoga block is another product with a great value ratio. For its lower-than-average price point, you receive a soft, forgiving block that is great for beginners. Because it is made of lower-density foam, it is a versatile choice for restorative practices or fast-paced vinyasa flows. Finally, the Amazon Basics 2-pack is another choice that offers a good value for a combo set. They're aren't as durable or versatile, but if you're trying to stock up on a budget, these will do the trick.
Stability is arguably the most important metric when testing yoga blocks. This is because frequently, your body's entire weight is rested on a block or two. It would be a shame to sustain a yoga injury due to your block slipping out. Stability is directly correlated to safety, so this is a highly important attribute to consider.
We initially measured stability by simply placing a hand on each block while resting in a comfortable and safe yoga pose. After assessing this initial stability, we graduated to single-leg balancing on each one and threw in the occasional hop for good measure. As we twisted and rested our hands on the block faces, we gently shifted our balance to determine how easily each block could potentially tip over. All in all, we were able to determine which blocks are earthbound, supportive, and safe.
We found the cork and bamboo blocks to be more stable than their foam counterparts due to their heavier weight and denser material. The Manduka Cork block strikes the perfect balance between weight and stability. We love how this block stays put, especially when relying on it to support an entire pose.
The Hugger Mugger Bamboo block is another one of our favorites — this block is one of the most stable blocks we've tested. It accomplishes this by being incredibly dense and heavy and adding an inch of length (10" instead of 9") to increase the support base. This block is the one reach for when we need a maximal amount of support in our asanas.
The Healthyoga block set is an impressively stable foam option. Because the foam is so densely compressed, they stay grounded while boasting a lighter weight. However, we did find that the lower-profile of 3" (instead of the standard 4") were less stable when used on that side. When used on their main face on the ground with the 3" side as the height, they are equal in their stability to traditionally-sized blocks.
We also loved the unwavering stability of the Node Fitness blocks. We enjoyed the even weight and square, grounded sensation of moving with these well-crafted bricks. In another vein, we really appreciate the unique shape of the Manduka unBLOK. The curved edge provides a more ergonomic grip, and the non-slip EVA foam stays grippy even if you're sweating it out in a heated room.
While brainstorming important yoga block features, density was one of the first metrics that came to mind. This is particularly important when using blocks in a warm and steamy environment. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of testing this metric, we weighed each block on a kitchen scale, recorded our findings, and then moved on to the second phase of testing density — an exploration of porosity. We worked up a sweat and observed how moisture-repellant each block surface was. After this heated practice, we sprayed each brick with a cleaning spray, wiped, and then repeated this process with water. We then weighed each block again to determine which, if any, retained water. We were thrilled to discover that none of the yoga blocks we tested actually retained water, solidifying that the weight of each block is directly correlated with its density.
The Node Fitness cork block set proved to be one of the densest. The surface of these blocks is strong and far less susceptible to blemishes, especially compared to the foam blocks we tested. The Manduka Cork block is another dense and strong block. Both of these options stayed fresh, maintained their weight, and offered a strong base for lengthening the toughest of poses.
The blocks made of bamboo wood feel completely different to the touch, so we ended up judging the density by their weight more than anything else. Both the Hugger Mugger Bamboo block and the Wooden-Life Bamboo sets impressed us with their ability to repel water, which we sprinkled about generously to simulate sweat droplets.
Of the foam options, we especially enjoyed practicing with the Healthyoga blocks. They are highly compressed, making them one of the least porous amongst the foam contenders and the easiest to keep clean and disinfected. We found that we prefer dense blocks for cleanliness, stability, and overall feel, so our rankings reflect our discoveries. We also truly loved the density of the Manduka unBLOK. The recycled EVA foam is about as dense as that of the Heathyoga. Both options are strong, durable, and hold up in the face of scratches when compared to less-dense blocks.
Slip resistance was certainly the most fun metric to test. Though it isn't common practice in the studio, we had fun trying to slip and slide off each water-soaked block (don't try this at home!) To accurately assess each block, we then, no surprise, systematically practiced yoga with each one. We simulated sweat on our hands by spraying them with water to ensure every block received the same amount of moisture.
After trying to force our hands to slide off each one, we sprayed each block directly with water and repeated the process. While maintaining safety, our cautious hand-sliding evolved into forcefully trying to slide our feet across the damp blocks as well.
The surface texture of each block dictates its slip resistance. Some manufacturers specifically design their yoga props to be slip-resistant; those that prioritized this made the most grippy blocks in our roundup. While any block will become slippery when sprayed with enough water, the over-the-top nature of our tests helped reveal the truly top-notch options. The Manduka unBLOK, Healthyoga, Reehut, and Clever Yoga foam blocks all performed well, especially when given sopping-wet circumstances.
We were also pleased by how well the Manduka Cork block held up during our hot yoga test. Ultimately, any block can become slippery under the right circumstances, but our favorites stayed grippy and in place for a bit longer than their competition.
Slip resistance was given a whole new meaning when we chose to introduce bamboo blocks into our lineup. Even though the Hugger Mugger Bamboo block is one of our best scoring and personal favorites, it can't compare to the slip resistance of the foam or cork options. Both the Hugger Mugger Bamboo block and the Wooden-Life Bamboo slipped across standard floors and didn't offer a good grip for our sweaty hands. Wooden blocks like these are best utilized in non-heated practices on grippy mats and floors.
Even though we can't test over many years, we design rigorous and punishing tests to gauge the expected longevity of each product. Though not exclusively, durability is often directly correlated with price. In the case of yoga blocks, that usually means just a bit more money, not a ton, so it's worth keeping in mind.
To test this metric, we weighed and measured the blocks before beginning our test process and then again after to see if they changed size or shape. Overall, it's noticeable that blocks made of cork hold up better than those made of foam. Furthermore, the bamboo blocks are the toughest and, thus, the most durable. We found that our foam blocks worked well during gentle practice, but many started to compress when we sat, stood, and jumped on them. The foam blocks are also far more susceptible to surface-level damage. This is a non-issue during an intentional practice, but we damaged one block by accidentally catching a fingernail on the edge while in transit. The cork and bamboo blocks proved to be much sturdier, heavier, and longer-lasting. They did not compress and ended up being far stronger during travel.
The Manduka Cork block also impressed us by holding up despite our rigorous, occasionally outlandish, testing. This block's surface was impenetrable during our fingernail stab test. It did not retain water, nor did it lose any cork flakes in transit. The Node Fitness and JBM cork blocks also held up to our strict scrutinizing, though the JBM did arrive with a bit of crumbling, hence its lowered score.
If you're looking for a softer, EVA foam block, we recommend the Clever Yoga prop bundle, the Healthyoga bundle, or the Manduka unBLOK. All three of those options offer excellent durability despite the fact that they are made of foam. The moderate density foam is stronger than less compressed versions, and even though the surface is soft, it did not show signs of use after our test practices.
Bottom line, if durability is your prime focus, you will be fully satisfied with either bamboo block option, the Hugger Mugger or the Wooden-Life. If you want to strike a balance between comfort and durability, the cork blocks and the higher-density foam blocks will be a better match for you.
Ultimately, yoga props help make yoga accessible to beginners, and they can help experienced practitioners delve into more advanced poses. The yoga and fitness market is saturated with options, so we hope our recommendations help guide you to the right prop. We enjoyed every sweaty practice we had the pleasure of experiencing to find the best yoga blocks available. We recommend a soft foam block if you're new to yoga and interested in a compassionate, restorative practice. Cork blocks stay strong for a bit longer, and wooden bamboo blocks won't budge, so we recommend these more rigid bricks for the long haul if your joints can handle them. We found tons of inner peace while determining which yoga blocks are the best in our collection.
— Ally Arcuri
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