I've never understood the appeal of yoga mats, let alone finding one of the best yoga mats on the market. Admittedly, I am the least zen person on the planet, but as a former collegiate athlete, when I feel an ache or pain rapidly approaching, nine times out of ten, I'll grab a foam roller or indulge in an ice bath.
A yoga mat has and will always be the last thing from my mind — or at least, up until last year it was.
The week before the pandemic happened, my best friend and I attended an after-work workout class led by one of those Instagram-famous fitness trainers. Mid-way through the workout, I felt out-of-shape, and my muscles were cramping in places I didn't even know was possible — and as someone who works out four to five times a week, you can understand my confusion.
When the workout ended — I rushed to grab my bag and get out of there as fast as possible — which is where the trainer stopped me, explaining there was one more section, and distributed yoga mats.
She explained that yoga mats weren't just for mediation or working downward dog, but possessing a yoga mat (like the one she handed out) was an essential part of any workout regimen.
While exercise or pilates mats are stellar options, a yoga mat is phenomenal for anyone trying to improve their stability while preventing bone and muscle fatigue.
Which meant, if you've just endured a rigorous workout as I had, a yoga mat was what my body needed right about now.
Now, I fully understand some of you might not have been as lucky as me and gifted one of the best yoga mats, and in that case: fear not. Today is your lucky day.
Whether you're like me and looking for ways to avoid muscle fatigue post-workout or are hoping to keep your chakras in check, we've not only rounded up a handful of yoga mats; we've rounded up the best yoga mats on the market. We've trialed and tested dozens to find you the best options for every price point, level of expertise, and size.
Don't believe us? Continue scrolling to see the five best yoga mats — and be sure to check out our best dumbbells buying guide, too!
The 5 best yoga mats to buy:
If you're someone who is looking to avoid sore knees and in need of a little extra padding here-and-there, let us be the first to recommend the Ewedoos yoga mat.
Why we love it
This mat is perfect for anyone who is looking for a full-body alignment system. The alignment lines help users focus and adjust their hands and feet to accurate positions. We particularly love this feature because it is not something we'd traditionally think of using. Normally, we would eyeball where our feet should (or shouldn't be), and this mat includes markers to avoid any issue.
This innovative and eco-friendly mat is made of technologically improved TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers). TPE's are generally low modulus and flexible materials that provide superior durability and flexibility.
Additionally, this mat also has double-sided, non-slip surfaces so you can perform any movement with confidence and peace of mind. The reason for that? This mat's wavy underside grips the floor, while the subtly textured surface prevents your hands and feet from slipping out of poses. Here, you will stay in place no matter how rigorous the pose!
This mat is both waterproof and easy-to-clean and includes a free carry strap to take from one destination to another.
If you're in the market for a yoga mat that is perfect for fitness and exercise yoga, pilates, and mediation, then we highly recommend turning your attention to this one.
Why we love it
Aside from being non-toxic and eco-friendly, this mat offers up not one but two superior options. Users can choose from two different types of thickness — (2/5 and 3/5 inches) — and you can select which mat contingent on your personal preference. This is an excellent feature because it's great for anyone looking for a case-by-case option; you can first-hand select how big or as small as you like, and you're in full control of deciding.
This mat is made from thick high-grade foam rubber to reduce the impact and provide everyone with superior cushioning. The NBR material is soft and elastic and ensures flexibility for everyone; while passing an anti-slip test in the meantime.
Aside from being extremely durable and flexible (thanks to its high-grade foam), it's also suitable for every level of expertise. Whether you're a beginner or expert, you can use this mat with ease and know that this soft and elastic mat will protect your knees.
If you're looking for a good, solid, reliable yoga mat to use in-home or bring with you to the yoga studio, this AmazonBasics option is perfect. It's both sturdy and reliable, and with a bandwagon of over 25,000 reviewers, it's hard to disagree with how perfect it is.
Why we love it
Whether you're an inspiring yogi or have reached an expert-level, this affordable option not only comes in a slew of colors but gets the job done. Ideal for yoga, pilates, and other floor exercises, this mat's textured surface provides reliable traction and stability for safely maintaining poses.
Made from sturdy foam that's both lightweight and strong, the yoga and exercise mat provides reliable performance and stands up to daily workouts. In addition to that, this 1/2-inch-thick mat also offers added comfort and cushioning support to the body, which is especially important during restorative poses. Talk about a supportive investment!
If you're someone who is looking for a carry-on strap, this yoga mat comes equipped with that as well.
Now, if you're looking for the best yoga mat aesthetically speaking, then let us be the first to introduce you to the Gaiam yoga mat.
Why we love it
Sure, we love the other options in this guide just as much as we love this one when it comes to durability and stability, but when we're looking for something a bit more visually appealing? This mat takes the cake. Here, this mat is available in roughly 22 different patterns and colors, and all of which are reversible. As a result, users get two mats for the price of one — what is better than that? Nothing.
All of the available options offer the same lightweight design sand extra-thick cushioning to protect your joint when engaging in any yoga or fitness routine. Furthermore, this mat is both non-toxic and 6p free PVC.
If any of the available shades and patterns didn't captivate your eye, we're confident this bonus will do the trick: with every yoga mat purchased, shoppers will receive a free bonus yoga workout to help get you started.
Rounding out our list of the best yoga mats is this perfect pick that offers a non-tear feature.
Why we love it
Over time, yoga mats are susceptible to rips and tears with continuous use, which make our investment no longer worthwhile. Here, this yoga mat is the exception to that statement. This anti-tear mat will stand the test of time and do so in pristine condition.
Plus, the high-density, eco-friendly material provides comfortable cushions for your spine, hips, knees, and elbows when used on hard floors and promotes balance.
With double-sided non-slip surfaces, BalanceFrom All-Purpose Premium exercise yoga mat comes with an excellent slip resistant advantage to prevent injuries. It offers exceptional resilience to allow you to keep your balance during any exercise style. Plus, the moisture-resistant technology makes the mat easily washable with soap and water.
Users will also enjoy easy strapping when it comes to this lightweight mat to ensure easy transport and storage.
How to chose the right yoga mat for you?
Thickness is by far one of the most important aspects when hand-selecting the right yoga mat for you. How thick your yoga mat equates to nothing more than how comfortable the mat will be.
If a mat is too thin your knees may get a bit banged up along the way, whereas if a yoga mat is too thick, it will be difficult to connect to the floor. It's imperative to find a happy medium.
Aside from personal preference, the material used to construct your mat is equally as important. It's crucial to take into consideration things such as texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and even sponginess because these are all the factors that will determine it's wear and tear over time.