New products are released on a pretty constant, and often overwhelming, basis, so we like to go back and update older posts to account for any new favorites that might’ve come onto the scene since we last checked in. We set out to refresh our original “best yoga mat for every occasion” post and learned of two new mats, while gaining further evidence that our original three are very heavily vouched for.
For class around town
“If you’re walking to your yoga class, I would say try the Manduka Prolite. Manduka is a really quality brand, and their light version is great for carrying around, and it’s durable. It can get slippery, but it’s designed to make you engage more, so that’s the point. You can also wipe it down really quickly, so it’s easy to clean.” —Kristen Nichols, instructor, Y7 Studio
“I love this mat! I use one in my home practice and leave another at Yoga Shanti for teaching. It provides cushioning for the joints without sacrificing stability in standing postures. I prefer the texture of this mat over rubber mats because I find it’s smoother for flowing through transitions, while also offering enough traction so that my hands don’t slip in down dog. It’s very easy to clean, and as an added bonus, they offer a lifetime warranty.” —Alexandria Brzenk, community manager and yoga teacher, Yoga Shanti
For traveling to a yoga retreat
“If I were going to travel, the mat that I’d really like to take with me is the Lululemon (Un) Mat. It’s really thin and light and easy. To get that light, it’s a little bit thinner, so not so cushioned, which is the downside, but it’s so easy to travel with. And it’s really durable. It’s also reversible. It has two different layers, so one side has a firmer grip for when you get sweaty. It weighs only 2.3 pounds, and since it’s so thin, you feel like you’re practicing very close to the ground, but it has a nice grip.” —Danielle Horowitz, managing teacher, Yoga Vida
For yoga at home
“I always use Manduka mats. They last so long and they get better over time. When you get the Pro, at first it feels slippery, and then a couple of weeks into using it, it starts to get perfect — and five to ten years later, it gets even better and so sticky, which is the opposite of many mats. I really like the quality and they last a long time. The standard Manduka are really heavy, but you get a lot of support, so if it’s for my home practice mat, which is thicker and will last forever, I’m willing to spend more on it.” —Sarah Neufeld, co-founder, Modo Yoga
“For home practice, a bit more cushion and density are sometimes nice. For this, we love the Manduka Pro. We also spend a lot of time on the road, so we designed a lightweight, packable mat.” —Heather Lilleston and Katelin Sisson, founders, Yoga for Bad People
For sweaty people
“Jade mats are the best. They’re sticky, so your hands and feet don’t slide, and they’re durable, so you can put them in washing machines. They’ll also last for a really long time, several years.” —Liz Wexler, group fitness manager, Equinox
“We love the Jade Harmony mat. We stock all of our studios with Jade mats, and I use one at home for my home practice. The natural rubber is ecofriendly and provides great grip (even when you get a little bit sweaty), and it’s thick enough to provide a little cushion, but not so bulky that you can’t carry it with you on the go. To top it all off, they plant a tree with each purchase, and each color has a different cause they donate to; everybody wins.” —Patrick Foley, manager and teacher, Sky Ting
For hot yoga
“For Bikram, we don’t do much that would require gripping with your hands, so I like the thinnest rubber mat possible. You don’t want something too cushy when you’re balancing on one leg. Breathe makes the perfect mat for hot yoga because it’s a mat and a towel in one. You can wash it after every use by throwing it in the machine. But it’s only for hot yoga. It’s basically a massive towel, so if you’re not sweating a lot then it doesn’t make sense.” —Kate Davies, owner, YO BK
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