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Looking for the perfect yoga mat but don't know where to start? Our testers have spent the last seven years researching and testing more than 30 mats and bring you the best 14 models in this review. We spend countless hours on the mat testing each side-by-side in studios, decks, or the park. We evaluate the comfort and support, grip, durability, and ease of use each mat offers. From dirty feet to pet hair, we test how easy it is to keep each mat clean. We take the mats to and from classes, testing test portability, and we use and abuse them to asses their durability. Whether you're after a lightweight travel option or something to save your knees, we can help you find the ideal companion for your practice.
Editor's Note: This review was updated on November 9th, 2022. We performed a complete project overhaul, slightly changing the weighting of each metric and adding five new mats to ensure a comprehensive lineup.
Weight: 6 lbs | Material: Cork and Eco-Friendly Rubber
REASONS TO BUY
Great wet/dry grip
Comfortable and supportive
Easy to Clean
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires a break-in period
A little slow to dry
The Yoloha Unity Cork Mat seems to knock every test out of the water. The cork-rubber blend top layer provides incredible wet and dry grip while the foam bottom layer offers a softer base for sensitive knees and elbows. It is easy to clean, and the surface is antimicrobial, ensuring that your mat won't start to stink after a few sweaty classes if you forget to wipe it down. Rubber often has a distinct smell, but the Unity Cork somehow smells good right out of the box. The construction provides stability on softer ground, so this mat is great for grass, carpet, and hard floors.
While the Unity provides amazing wet and dry grip, it does require a short break-in period to meet its highest potential. You may slip around a little when you first use it. The cork-rubber combination is also quite absorbent, so it can take a while to dry. It's also no surprise that a cork yoga mat that offers such incredible grip, comfort, and stability is pricey. It's well worth the money, but the price tag may be a drawback for some. This Unity is a great option if you're looking for a cork yoga mat that offers impeccable wet and dry grip, an antimicrobial surface, and a comfortable foam bottom layer.
The Manduka eKO is comfortable, stable, and offers great dry grip. It is four millimeters thick but quite firm, so it's great for hard and soft ground. The firm-to-cushion ratio is really where this mat shines. It falls somewhere between our thinnest and thickest mats, but Manduka has somehow created a yoga mat that is firm enough to support your wrists during handstand practice and soft enough to protect your knees in tabletop. It has a slight rubber smell, but the odor quickly dissipates. The eKO has a closed-cell top surface to increase durability and decrease absorption, leaving the mat smelling fresher longer.
The slight texture helps improve traction when your palms are a little sweaty, but the closed-cell construction causes water to bead up and pool on the surface. So if you're sweating profusely, you will want to have a towel handy to ensure you're not sliding around. It is a little heavy, but this mat rolls up tightly and flat without a hitch. If you're looking for a yoga mat, primarily for dry or slightly sweaty practices, with stellar grip and no break-in requires, the eKO is a great fit.
Weight: 3.6 lbs | Material: PER bottom and microfiber top
REASONS TO BUY
Great traction when wet
Folds easily for extra cushion
REASONS TO AVOID
Less cushion than a regular 5mm mat
Somewhat slippery when dry
Takes a long time to dry
If you're tired of schlepping a mat and towel to class every day, only to have that towel bunch up on the mat and be a distraction, the Aurorae Synergy is a solid alternative. The top layer uses microfiber towel material bonded to a Polymer Environmental Resin base layer. The wet traction is amazing and does not require a break-in period. It is also machine washable. It's super durable, even after multiple machine washes. While five millimeters doesn't offer the most cushion for those with sensitive knees, the Synergy folds easily, so doubling the thickness is a quick solution.
That said, if you leave the mat folded for an extended period, it tends to crease. While this mat is one of the few you can toss in your washing machine after a sweaty practice, the cleaning process is somewhat involved. The Synergy must be washed alone, with detergent on gentle, with warm water, and an extra rinse cycle. It then must be hung to dry, and it takes a while. It also doesn't provide the same traction as stickier mats in our test suite, but the friction is far better than the towels we've used. This innovative hybrid towel mat is a great choice if you practice in a heated room and don't feel like packing a towel and
If you're looking for a long-lasting yoga mat for your inversion and balance Asana practice, the Manduka PRO is extremely supportive. It is on the firmer side, but it is also thick making it great for any practice that requires a significant amount of balance. This six-millimeter mat is made of Oeko-Tex Certified PVC and offers excellent dry grip and decent wet grip once broken in. It's a beefy mat that won't move when you kick your legs up into a handstand or back into a plank from a downward-facing dog. While PVC is not the most "eco-friendly" of yoga mat materials, it is also ranked very high for durability, so you won't have to replace it every year like a less durable rubber mat.
At first, you'll find that traction on this mat leaves much to be desired, both with wet and dry hands. Once broken in properly, it becomes much stickier, allowing for a more involved yoga class, but it's best to take things slowly at first. You can also speed up the break-in process by sprinkling the unrolled mat generously with sea salt, letting it sit out in the sun for 24 hours, removing the salt with a damp clean towel, and then laying it flat to dry. This process is pretty involved but WOW does it make a difference! The PRO is worth the money and legwork if your main concerns are longevity and support.
If you're looking for a yoga mat to take your alignment to the next level, the GuruGrid Eco-Friendly Premium is an excellent option. The numbered grid makes tracking your progress, checking your alignment, and finding that sweet spot much easier, especially if you practice without a mirror. The Polyurethane top layer is smooth and, therefore, easy to clean after yoga classes. The dry traction is excellent, and while it suffers a little in moist conditions, the wet grip is still very impressive.
This mat is only 3.5 millimeters, which is on the thinner side. That being said, it still provides plenty of support and decent comfort. It is also easy to fold over if you need a little extra cushion for your knees, but make sure you fold it lightly so you don't create a crease. It weighs 4.5 pounds which is a little heavy, but the mat rolls up tight, and the grippy surface helps keep it rolled up without needing a strap. The weight also helps keep the edges flatter. Overall the GuruGrid is well worth the money if you're looking for a little alignment assistance.
The B Yoga B Mat Everyday has unbelievable traction. The grip is so strong that you almost expect to be left with sticky residue coating your hands post-practice. The four millimeters of 100% non-slip rubber offers a good amount of support and comfort. It also requires no break-in-period, although you may want to air it out before taking it to your first class because the rubber has a distinct smell. Luckily the smell dissipates quickly.
While the grip sets this mat apart from the rest, it can also hinder some yoga practices. If you prefer a faster-paced practice like Ashtanga, you will find that the mat is too grippy. The traction can interrupt your flow. On that note, if you're consistently dragging your feet quickly across the sticky mat you can ruin the top layer. This B Mat Everyday is not durable enough to handle fast-paced yoga. If you plan to move slowly and want a mat that grips you back, the B Mat Everday is incredible.
The search for the best mat available began with lots of market research. We looked at over 60 models, weighing the relative pros and cons. We read reviews about each one before choosing the most promising to purchase and test in our practice. Our intensive testing period of side-by-side comparison took place mainly at Omni in South Lake Tahoe. We compared metrics like dry and wet traction and comfort with all the mats lined up side by side. Below you can see how we weighted each metric and its sub metrics.
Comfort and Support(35% of overall score weighting)
Hard floor: 35%
Soft ground: 30%
What is it made of?: 50%
Signs of wear: 50%
Ease of Use(15% weighting)
Portability (size and weight): 30%
General versatility: 35%
This review is crafted by OutdoorGearLab Review Editors Bo Outland and Hayley Thomas. Bo has been a Hot Yoga instructor for five years and is very familiar with the therapeutic and beneficial effects of the practice. These days, when she is not on the mat, you can find her mountain biking or climbing at Lovers Leap in Lake Tahoe. Hayley is an avid rock climber based out of Colorado and finds that yoga helps keep her body aligned for peak performance on the wall. She also enjoys acro yoga when she's not on the wall and especially loves getting inverted.
Analysis and Test Results
There are more yoga mats on the market today than there are styles of yoga! The options are endless from inexpensive mats you can pick up at a big retailer to expensive specialty ones. You might think that anything will do; however, the mat you choose depends on the primary style of yoga you prefer. We've taken decades of yoga knowledge and practice to help you find the right model. We discuss some of the pricing in the yoga mat market, what to look for when making a value-based purchase, and how the different models fared throughout our testing process.
There are a lot of inexpensive yoga mats out there, but if it feels like an ice-rink, as soon as your palms get sweaty, you may end up sprawled out on your face! Conversely, some models retail for a lot more, and we're left wondering if the product is worth the expensive price tag or if we're paying for the logo. If you're looking for something that bridges the best of both worlds — high-performing and inexpensive — you have to compare the price to performance.
The Yoloha Unity Cork is one of the most expensive yoga mats in our test suite, but it is durable and versatile. It's firm enough to support your joints and grippy enough for hot yoga. The cork-rubber top layer is great for fast-paced Ashtanga, slow Yin, and even HIIT core workouts. The Aurorae Synergy is a super budget-friendly option whose performance outweighs the price tag. When you consider that it is both a microfiber towel AND a yoga mat, the value of this option increases tenfold. The B Mat Everyday is a mid-priced option that is not as durable as the Unity Cork, but the grip is out of this world and requires no break-in period.
Comfort and Support
This metric focuses on how comfortable each mat is on our boney bits, like sensitive knees, and how they support our joints. Certain poses like handstands or even less advanced ones like downward-facing-dog require a level of firmness to ensure safety for your wrist. Finding the balance between support through firmness and comfort through cushion is difficult to walk.
There seems to be a correlation between weight and comfort and support. The Manduka eKO is almost six pounds and walks the line of comfort and support almost perfectly. It offers a pretty standard thickness of five millimeters. Still, this mat is great for those with sensitive knees and elbows while firm enough to avoid hurting your wrists during inversion training or even sun salutation. The Manduka PRO walks this line well too. It is six millimeters and a bit more firm than the eKO.
The Lululemon The Reversible Mat, Yoloha Unity Cork, and Gaiam Performance Dry-Grip are also comfortable and supportive. They all weigh between 4.5 and six pounds, but the Unity has an extra 1.5 millimeters of padding, coming in at 6.5 millimeters thick. The Unity has a cork and rubber top layer for stability and a foam bottom layer for comfort and the blend of the two works wonderfully.
A few honorable mentions in this metric are IUGA Pro Non-Slip and the Jade Harmony. Both are five-millimeter mats with a little more give to them, making them great for sensitive knees and elbows. These two mats offer a little more of the comfort side, and while they are supportive and stable, you'll have better luck with poses that require more balance with the Lulu Reversible, Unity, and Gaiam Dry Grip.
The Aurorae Synergy is also super comfortable, but since it is a padded microfiber towel, it doesn't offer much support on soft ground. The GuruGrid Eco-Friendly Premium is supportive but very thin, 3.5 millimeters, which can only offer so much comfort. The B Mat Everyday has a unique comfort issue. It's comfortably padded, but its grip is so intense that sometimes it pulls on your skin when moving through Asanas.
There is nothing more frustrating than slipping all over your mat or having a yoga block slide out while trying to get in the zone. Our grip metric is split into dry and wet grip, as some perform better under different conditions. It is also worth noting that the level of grip some yoga mats provide increases over time, while others remain the same or get less grippy with age.
The B Mat Everyday has the most impressive grip right out of the box. It is hard to believe that a yoga mat can be this tacky without leaving residue on your hands after every practice. It does, unfortunately, have some downsides. Because this mat is so sticky, it can be difficult to move through your practice at a faster pace without it holding you back.
Some yoga mats that offer great grip, dry and wet, are the
Both Lululemon mats are reversible. The Polyurethane top layer absorbs moisture to help offer traction during sweaty practices like hot yoga. The natural rubber base offers a textured grip for less sweaty practices. Having two sides is great, however, it can be a little annoying to have to flip the mat halfway through your practice when you realize you're sweating a little more than you had anticipated.
The Lulu Reversible (UN) is extremely thin, and sometimes, when pressing hard into your hands and feet in opposite directions, you can almost feel the mat stretching a little. The same can be said, but even more so, for the Jade Voyager. It's super grippy dry, and wet, but the thinness allows for a little unwanted stretch.
The Manduka PRO and Jade Harmony perform a smidge better when dry. The PRO requires some breaking in, while the Harmony seems to come out of the box with optimal grip. The Manduka eKO falls under the better-dry-than-wet category but to a more extreme extent as its grip suffers significantly in the presence of moisture.
On the flip side, there are a few yoga mats that work better when wet. The Aurorae Synergy is much better when wet. We suggest you bring a spray bottle to dampen the hand and foot areas for added traction. The Unity Cork works amazingly once broken in, wet or dry. But it works best when at least a little moisture is present. Options that work better wet than dry are the best choice for those who prefer hot yoga.
Many companies tout their "green cred" via toxic-free manufacturing processes and zero-waste factories. While that's all well and good, the greenest option is to buy nothing, so if we can get a model that lasts through years of use, we are doing a far better thing than if we purchase something recyclable but falls apart in six months. Our team of testers practiced at least a dozen times on each model, taking note of any signs of wear.
The Manduka PRO is a beefy, heavy, and durable mat. The closed-cell construction prevents moisture, sweat, and dirt from absorbing into the mat. It is made from PVC that has been certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX. PVC is notoriously immune to tears, so this mat is bound to last a LONG time. While the materials may not be the most eco-friendly, this mat could last you a lifetime if you treat it right.
The Unity Cork shows no signs of breaking down or wear during our testing period. We also examined a tester's mat (that has over ten years of regular use) to find that it shows little signs of wear and tear. This mat is made of eco-friendly rubber and cork, ensuring it not only has a low impact on the environment but is long-lasting.
We are also impressed with the durability of our microfiber towel hybrid, the Aurorae Synergy. It is washer friendly, which sounds like a surefire way to shorten the lifespan of your mat. However, we experienced no pilling, separation of the two layers, or cracking and flaking on the bottom layer. This mat is well-constructed and made to withstand many trips through the washing machine.
As for the rubber mats in this review, we have some mixed results with their durability. Most of them break down a little faster, but the Manduka eKO does alright. The textured surface experiences a teensy bit of break-down where your feet roll back and forth over your toes in a Vinyasa-style class. But it still performs well in this metric.
One rubber mat that truly impresses us is the GuruGrid mat. The closed-cell layer on top of the rubber increases its longevity, making it one of the more durable options in our suite.
Ease of Use
We take into account cleaning, portability, and versatility in our Ease of Use metric.
When it comes to cleaning a yoga mat, there are two levels of care involved: regular surface cleaning and occasional deep cleaning. For surface cleaning, most manufacturers recommend wiping it down with only water or a non-abrasive cleaning spray after each class to remove residual sweat and oils. This helps prevent sweat from building up inside your mat and making things stinky.
Deep cleaning is often an awkward endeavor. Whether you rinse it out in the shower, soak it in a bathtub, or hose it off in the backyard, there is no quick and easy way to do a deep clean, and they often take a long time to dry afterward.
If you don't see yourself doing this ever, then you'll want to consider a PVC or Cork mat, like the Yoloha. It has a closed-cell construction and won't absorb your sweat and oils as easily as an open-cell rubber mat, thereby not needing a deep cleaning as frequently.
In our experience, the easiest mats to clean are the hybrid towel mats. These can often go directly into the washing machine after use and hang to dry. There is no scrubbing or hosing involved, and they come out smelling clean and fresh each time.
The mats that are easiest to wipe down are often smooth and not absorbent, like the Lululemon Reversible (Un), GuruGrid, Manduka PRO, and eKO. The B Mat Everyday is also easy to clean but attracts pet hair like crazy.
Portability is an important metric to consider if you use public transportation or walk/bike to get to and from your studio or you are looking for a mat to take traveling. The models we tested range in weight from one to almost eight pounds. Carting a heavy eight-pound mat from your car to the yoga room is not too big of a deal, but you'll start to notice the weight if you're carrying it on your back for long distances. You'll also want to think about the portability factor if you plan to bring an additional towel or two (if you practice Hot Yoga) in addition to a change of clothes, shower essentials, etc. Some days our yoga bag feels like a 20-pound survival kit!
The lightest and most compact models in our suite are the Lululemon (Un) and Jade Voyager, but they are very thin and don't offer much comfort and support.
The IUGA Pro Non-Slip is lightweight and comes with a carry strap.
Once broken in, the Unity Cork and Manduka PRO are great for all different styles of yoga. However, they both fall on the heavier side of the spectrum.
The Lululemon The Reversible Mat is great for all kinds of yoga as it's two-sided for wet and dry sessions, but flipping it over mid class can be inconvenient and sometimes a little dirty.
The GuruGrid is another one worth mentioning. It is quite thin, at 3.5 millimeters, but the numbered grid makes it great for beginners and seasoned yogis.
Whether you are just starting your yoga journey or have been at it for years, the right yoga mat can make a huge difference. Taking into account the style of yoga you gravitate towards the most is the first step, and reading through our in-depth reviews is the next. We hope our review has helped provide enough information for you to make a confident decision.
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