Best Yoga Blocks of 2020
The Manduka Cork Yoga Block is a supportive and ethically sourced yoga sidekick. This particular block is constructed of Cork Oak tree bark, a renewable and non-toxic resource. It offers excellent stability, is of standard size (4"x 6"x 9"), and has beautifully contoured corners. Even after weeks of use, this block's cork surface showed no signs of aging, sweat, or water retention. Manduka recommends a quick wipe with a disinfectant to clean the block — a super simple approach which leaves more time for deepening your practice. The fine grain cork surface offers a grippy but not sticky surface for sweaty hands, ensuring stability as your poses heat up. The cork fibers are well-compressed, which contributes to its stiff-to-the-touch exterior.
The Manduka is, predictably, on the heavier side of the blocks in our roundup. The block's weight is a positive attribute in that it stays securely put where placed, but the heavier weight may be a drawback if you are searching for a block that can easily flow with you. The weight and unforgiving edges can also feel too aggressive in some poses. New yoga practitioners and people with sensitive joints may find the tightly-bound cork to be too intense beneath them. The sensation does take some getting used to, so the more sensitive among us may prefer a foam block. All in all, this block offers everything we want — stability, durability, and no strange, toxic odors. Manduka constructed a long-lasting, secure, and easy to maintain prop to aid you as you endeavor to achieve your deepest postures.
Options: None, only comes in one color, price is for 1 block
The Healthyoga is a 2-pack with an included strap that proved to be a real winner amongst our collection of props. Despite years of teaching, we have rarely run across blocks that boast this slender of a profile. We found that we loved this size for more mellow variations of backbends and mid-range lunge poses. While we are typically content to use one block during a practice, the atypical shape of the Healthyoga makes it nice to have a matching set. These blocks are made of high-density EVA foam, which creates a sturdy base and sweat-resistant surface. They are the most durable EVA foam blocks we tested — they can be damaged with force, but rest assured that fingernails won't scratch into the blocks' bodies. The rounded corners on this 3" x 9" x 6" brick add a lovely touch of compassion during hard to achieve postures, and the high-density foam creates a tougher-than-average yet still-forgiving block.
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 Healthyoga 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
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 while you're dripping 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 that 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: 3 colors, price is for 2 blocks and a strap
If you are on the hunt for 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 our EVA foam options, 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 when 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 are 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 the Node Fitness 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
We thoroughly enjoyed practicing with our Reehut Yoga Block. The main draw of this block is its slip-resistant properties, which makes it an excellent choice for super-sweaty hot yoga days. The foam is of medium density, making the surface forgiving and optimal for those searching for a less-intense touch. Restorative backbends with the Reehut block beneath the spine is both gentle and productive. We love that the moderate-density EVA foam is moisture-resistant and excels at repelling odors.
Due to the medium-density foam that makes up the entirety of the Reehut, it is less durable and offers less support overall. It held its shape well throughout our testing, but due to the foam's less-dense nature, we are concerned that it will compress over time and under full body weight. That said, even with daily use for postural support, this block works excellently. Yogis and yoginis looking to explore heated yoga options without worrying about slipping or unwanted odors will love practicing with the Reehut props. You can choose to order just one or a bundle of two for a slightly better price-per-block.
Options: 6 colors, price above is for 1 block, 2-block sets are available in either 3" or 4" heights
The Gaiam Yoga Block is a beloved favorite among the yoga community, and we too love the soft give of this standard-sized brick. The engineering of this ubiquitous block is well-designed and provides a nice balance between supportive and soft. Each affordable block weighs in at 4.6 ounces, making for easy movement while you're in your flow. A sturdy EVA foam block is wonderful for helping to lengthen and deepen poses, and for the price, this one is a solid choice. We love the slip-resistant surface and beveled edges — both components add to the overall usability and superficial softness of this awesome prop. Because this block is a little softer, it's also great for yin-style poses when you want to drape your body over a prop. The beveled foam edges do not cut in or press uncomfortably against the joints, as is the case with many other higher-density blocks.
Blocks made of foam are generally less durable than those constructed of cork or wood. This is true of the Gaiam block too, but this version is minutely more durable than other props we tested. This fully-foam brick is quite susceptible to gashes and dings but does not show indentations from general use. Overall, we are pleased with how it held up throughout our rigorous testing. Well-minted and new yoga practitioners alike will enjoy the gentle support of the soft yet stable surface, ideal for fast-paced vinyasa and slow-moving yin practices alike. Grab just one or get a 2-pack and save some bucks.
Options: Single block currently comes in 29 colors, 2-block set available in 2 colors
The moisture and odor-resistant JBM International blocks boast a low profile and simple aesthetic for those concerned with keeping their studio space looking neat. This 2-pack of environmentally-friendly cork blocks stacks neatly atop one another, and their lack of logos enhances their clean appearance. The high-density cork provides a sturdy block that has the ability to withstand frequent and grueling practices. As with many compacted cork blocks, the JBM blocks are heavy enough to support the entirety of your body weight. The cotton strap that comes with the block set is an added perk!
Even though the JBM block and strap set comes with three items to aid you in deepening your practice, we found the price to be a bit steeper than we'd prefer. These blocks are well-made but not more so than others in our roundup. Upon opening the box containing our new props, we were disappointed to see that these blocks' cork surface had some slight crumbling. After living through our rigorous tests, the flaking of cork bits did not worsen, but it also did not get better with use. We had to deduct a few points from our overall experience with these props because of this. The surface of these bricks is rough, and when combined with the stiffness of compressed cork, we feel that they are pretty uncomfortable. Even if you don't mind a rigid and flaky block beneath your buns, you might be put off (as we were) by the unbeveled edges. A slight corner contour really helps your grip while flowing through steamy studio practices. Ultimately, we feel that there are other, less messy options available for a milder pricetag.
Options: None, only one color available, set comes with 2 blocks and a strap
The Fledo set of featherweight blocks offers the bare necessities for a fraction of the cost of other fitness equipment on the market. We love how easy these EVA foam blocks are to flow with, especially when the going gets hot. The non-slip surface lends itself perfectly to what could otherwise be a slippery hot yoga experience. This pair of blocks is incredibly wallet-friendly and holds up well for the price.
While we love how affordable the Fledo blocks are, the lower-than-average EVA foam density isn't as supportive as we prefer. We recommend exercising caution when using these blocks to support balancing postures because of their weight. They don't necessarily stay put under pressure. They do, however, make restorative practices gentle and productive. Those looking for a supple and forgiving prop for a budget-boosting price will love the squishy softness of the Fledo yoga blocks.
Options: 4 colors, price is for a 2-block set
The AmazonBasics block set is just that, basic. They are simple bits of fitness equipment that will get the job done and nothing more. They resist moisture absorption but not impressively so. These blocks didn't absorb sweat during our testing, but the surface was more slippery than we'd prefer. This two-pack of traditionally sized blocks is affordable, though, again — not impressively so.
We feel that the AmazonBasics blocks area bit overpriced for the quality you receive. The unidentifiable foam is easy to compress beneath very little weight, and the surface shows indentations more obviously than we like. The surface is also not as soft as that of other brands, so ultimately, we'll pass on this basic set of blocks.
Options: 2 colors, price is for a 2-block set
This simple 2-pack of yoga blocks from BalanceFrom offers a forgiving and squishable surface suitable for restorative yoga practices. If you are looking for a gentle block that moves with you, this set might be the right choice. The pair is affordable and lightweight but ultimately falls short of what we really want our props to deliver.
Unsupportive and pliable blocks generally put us off, and unfortunately, the BalanceFrom blocks are both. The soft surface is almost comically easy to blemish, and with use, this block shrank in size! These props are incredibly lightweight, but they are too lightweight — they can barely aid in supporting the weight of a small human trying to practice their balance. After standing atop these blocks, a footprint-shaped compression was left behind, as well as a gash from a toenail. Overall, we would rather pay a bit more for blocks with a bit more staying power.
Options: 5 colors, price is for a 2-block set
Why You Should Trust Us
Our main yoga block tester is Ally Meller, 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 blocks hold up to the hype and which can't hold up to 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 trending fitness equipment can feel overwhelming and downright frustrating. We sifted through this saturated market to bring you an assortment of options to 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.
Stability is arguably the most important metric when testing yoga blocks. We think this because oftentimes, 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 the 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 blocks to be more stable than their foam counterparts due to their heavier weight and denser material. The Manduka 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! We also loved the unwavering stability of the Node Fitness blocks. We enjoyed the even weight and square, grounded sensation of moving with help from the Node blocks. 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.
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. We recorded our findings and then moved onto the second phase of testing density. We remain especially concerned about blocks retaining water after using them in a hot studio. We tested density by exploring the flip side, 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. We learned that the weight of each block is directly correlated with its density. To accurately assess this, we split the blocks up into two groups: cork blocks and foam blocks.
The Node Fitness cork block set proved to be the densest. The surface of these blocks are 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. For foam options, we really enjoyed practicing with the Healthyoga EVA foam strap and block set. These blocks are highly compressed, making them the least porous amongst the foam contenders. Since the Healthyoga blocks are densely-constructed and only mildly porous, we think they are 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.
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.
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 Healthyoga, Reehut, and Clever Yoga foam blocks all performed well, especially when given sopping-wet circumstances. We are also pleased by how well the Manduka cork block held up during our simulated 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.
Even though we can't test over years, we design rigorous and punishing tests to gauge the 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. We found that our foam blocks worked well during gentle practice, but many started to compress when we sat and stood 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 blocks proved to be much sturdier, heavier, and longer-lasting. They did not compress and ended up being far stronger during travel.
The Manduka block 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. If you're looking for a softer, EVA foam block, we recommend the Clever Yoga prop bundle. 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.
Ultimately, yoga props help make yoga accessible to beginners, and they can help experienced practitioners delve into more advanced asanas. 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. If you're new to yoga and interested in a compassionate, restorative practice, we recommend a soft foam block. Cork blocks stay strong for a bit longer, so if your joints can handle it, we recommend these more rigid bricks for the long haul. We found tons of inner peace while determining which yoga blocks are the best in our collection. Namaste!
— Ally Meller