Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the web’s best products. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Our editorial team is independent and only endorses products we believe in.
When I started exploring yoga classes a decade ago, I had no idea how much a quality yoga mat could impact your practice. Renting foamy, squishy, slippy mats was the norm for me in those early years, but when I really started making a commitment to my practice, I decided to splurge on one of my very own. Little did I know that investing in a high-quality mat would help improve the physical aspect of my practice, keeping my hands firmly in place during the omni-present Down Dog, cushioning my joints, supporting my feet in balancing poses, and overall giving me a little “home” for the duration of class.
I firmly believe that yoga meets you where you are — it’s just as valid to practice on a shag carpet as it is on the greatest mat money can buy — but whether you think it’s time to select your very first yoga mat, upgrade your old one, or simply try one made of a different material or with a different thickness to explore something new, these five yoga mats are some of the best in the game.
1. The Natural Rubber Mat: Jade Yoga Harmony Mat ($84.95)
I’ve used the Harmony Mat by Jade Yoga consistently for over five years and honestly love it more every day. Made with 100% natural rubber, the Harmony’s textured surface is tactile and grippy, providing ample traction in even the sweatiest vinyasa class. It’s just thick enough to be kind on the knees in kneeling poses without compromising your balance with too much give. While the Harmony is Jade’s signature rubber mat, the same textured rubber is available on two thinner, more on-the-go-friendly varieties, the Travel Mat ($69.95) and the Voyager Mat ($42.95) for the yogi who loves to practice on their favorite mat wherever they may roam.
2. The Smooth-Yet-Grippy Mat: B Mat Everyday ($88)
Upon first inspection of the B Mat, it’s hard to believe it’s nearly slip-proof, as its texture is wildly smooth to the eye. But I’ve been testing this mat for about four months and can attest that on my sweatiest days, my hands and feet still stay firmly in place, even in high tension poses (like Down Dog and Warrior 2) where traction is necessary. It’s made of 100% rubber — a mix of natural and synthetic to make it both eco-friendly and ultra-strong — and is available in a range of pop-y colors. This mat has totally taken over my yoga studio, where classes range from nice and gentle to wow-so-tough, and nearly everyone I’ve spoken to raves about it, citing both its reliable grip and comfort, and always with a smile on their face.
“This mat has totally taken over my yoga studio, where classes range from nice and gentle to wow-so-tough, and nearly everyone I’ve spoken to raves about it, citing both its reliable grip and comfort, and always with a smile on their face.”
3. The Ultra-Cushy Mat: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat ($129)
Manduka is well-known for its high-quality yoga accessories and mats, and the Manduka Pro is the one mat to rule them all. It measures in at 6mm thick — a good 2mm thicker than most traditional yoga mats. While you may think this could lead to balance issues, it’s made of a dense PVC foam that proves sturdy enough to support its legion of blissful users in any pose. So if you’re on the hunt for a mat that shines both when it comes to joint comfort and stability, it may be time to splurge on the Manduka Pro. It’s worth noting that the Manduka Pro, like most PVC mats, will take a bit of time to “break in” before it’s at maximum grip, but once you do, it’ll be oh so worth it.
4. The Cork Mat: 42 Birds “The Robin” Cork Lightweight Yoga Mat
Cork yoga mats are known for their natural moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties, making them the perfect pick for hot yoga or for anyone who tends to majorly sweat (hey, it means you’re working hard!). Luckily 42 Birds, a small, eco-conscious brand focusing on crafting sustainable cork yoga accessories, offers a lightweight cork mat called The Robin, whose natural materials, durability, and recyclability have reviewers stoked. For anyone out there for whom even the grippiest mat has fallen short, you’ll be pleased to know that for the ultimate hold, 42 Birds suggests spraying down your mat with water *before* practice even begins. A mat that gets grippier the sweatier you get? Nature knew what she was doing when she made cork.
“A mat that gets grippier the sweatier you get? Nature knew what she was doing when she made cork.”
5. The Heavy-Duty Mat: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat ($100)
You likely know (and love) Alo Yoga for its collection of adorable and functional yoga apparel, but the brand also has an ace in the hole in the form of its one yoga mat offering, perfected: The Warrior Mat. It’s far from a travel mat, weighing in at 8 pounds, but if you’re someone who has trouble keeping their mat in place during more vigorous flows, this mat could be the solution you seek. Its grippy top is made of 100% PU leather in a gorgeous matte finish, and the bottom is crafted with all-natural rubber to keep it as grounded as you feel at the end of a perfect class. And available in 10 stunning colors, it’s a looker to boot.
Once you’ve secured your mat, check out some of our favorite athleisure brands, and step into your next class with confidence.