Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve covered all sorts of yoga gear — including the best yoga pants for women, the most calming essential oils according to yoga teachers, and the best yoga clothes for men — here we’ve rounded up some supportive and cushy yoga mats, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated yoga mat
This yoga mat is highly recommended by athletes of all stripes and with varying needs, but the one feature that makes it stand out, according to hundreds of reviewers, is that it’s “nice and thick,” with extra padding. One reviewer bought this as an upgrade from the mats at her Pilates studio: “I take Pilates class twice a week at my gym and the mats are horrible. Too thin and worn due to a lot of use. They have to be doubled and tripled in order to do the kneeling exercises without knee pain. I researched this mat, and it is so awesome! I cannot say enough good things about this mat and has made Pilates classes a joy (anyway as much as they can be!) I even bought another one for my 38-year-old daughter who does Pilates classes with me!” Another happy purchaser writes, “This is my first yoga mat and I love it! I’m not a tiny person and yet it’s firm enough to cushion, but soft enough to be comfy. I use it ripple side up and it isn’t slippery at all … and, believe me, I’m sweatin’! Namaste with this mat!”
Best-rated (less expensive) yoga mat
The BalanceFrom has the appeal of our best-rated pick, but it’s a more standard quarter-inch thick as opposed to half an inch. Reviewers say it’s comfortable, durable, and a great value for the price. One purchaser writes: “I recently decided to try practicing yoga and was looking for a yoga mat on the cheaper end of the scale, rather than going out and spending $50+ on one just in case I decided yoga wasn’t for me. After a little research I chose this due to the price point and overall quality of reviews. I am happy to say that I have been VERY pleased with this mat so far! I would highly recommend this mat to anyone who is either just dipping their toes into yoga or who is looking for a solid, but affordable, yoga mat!” One yoga teacher says, “I am in love, especially for the price,” and bought six of these to stock up for a class. “I even use them instead of some of my expensive mats quite often and the green color has awesome energy.”
And now for some micro-picks for every type of yoga mat you might be looking for.
Best yoga mat for hot yoga
Owners of the Jade Harmony yoga mat rave about its durability and ecofriendly, natural rubber construction —but the one feature that comes up again and again is how “grippy” the mat is, which reviewers say is a huge asset during hot and sweaty yoga. “Hands down this mat has the most grip of any mat I’ve used. I’ve spent 100s on other popular name brands and this one far surpasses the others, especially once you begin sweating. I rarely if ever have to use a towel on my mat during hot yoga,” writes one reviewer. One hot yoga practitioner adds, “I’ve been using Jade Yoga mats since 2012 when doing heated Vinyasa upwards of 10 hours a week. I tried every other ‘sticky’ mat out there, but when you’re in 100+ degree rooms doing a 90 minute flow and sweating like Nick Miller trying to keep a secret (I’ve been watching a lot of New Girl lately, sorry), Jade mats are the only ones that will keep you from slipping.” One experienced yogi offers an explanation for the mat’s superior grip and suitability to hot yoga: “The Jade is [made with] open cell rubber, so sweat is absorbed and the mat retains its traction and there’s no slipping during a hot class. After class I just wipe down with a yoga mat spray cleaner and it’s good for the next class. I can’t believe I used a cheap mat for so many years. The change is unbelievable; better grip, better comfort, easier transition between poses.”
Best yoga mat for carpet
Reviewers like that this mat is durable, has a “sticky” and strong grip, and is backed by a lifetime warranty. Additionally, many reviewers point out that since the Manduka PRO is especially firm and thick, it’s particularly suited for use on carpeted surfaces. One reviewer explains: “I do yoga in a spare bedroom with carpet. I have a Manduka Pro-lite mat, but I never felt I got good balance on the carpeted floor. The thicker nature of this mat makes it ideal for carpeted floor.” Another person adds, “This mat is excellent for those wanting to practice yoga at home on carpet. My other mats always slid around on my carpeted floor, but this one is heavy enough to stay put. If you are committed to a yoga practice, invest in this mat and you won’t regret it.” As one yogi puts it: “This provides a firm surface for asanas even on wall-to-wall carpet.”
Best yoga mat for travel
Yogis who bought the Manduka say this thin and light yoga mat is perfect for travel. “This is my favorite yoga mat at home and for traveling,” writes one purchaser. “It’s been with me to Antarctica, Hawaii, and on many quick overnight trips. I’ve rolled it up in a backpacking backpack, folded in the bottom of my suitcase and found that it’s actually easier and more compact to travel with than the yoga towel I used to bring to put on top of borrowed mats!” Tons of frequent fliers praise this mat for giving them the option to practice yoga wherever they go: “I’m a flight attendant and want to be able to work out in my hotel room, especially when the hotel gym is garbage. It is extremely lightweight, easy to clean, easy to fold up into nothing and great quality. I like that it is thin but has a lot of grip to it! I would highly recommend this for anyone that travels often but doesn’t want to sacrifice workout days when on the road or to resort to using a towel for your workout.”
Best yoga mat for beginners
People with the Gaiam call this a great choice for beginners because it has extra cushioning for comfort and support. “I am a new yogi at age 31, so it was very important for me that the mat stays stable while I learn (and hopefully) perform yoga poses,” writes one purchaser, adding, “If you are new to yoga and don’t know what to do, this mat provides great support with its thickness.” Others echo that sentiment, including another beginner who says, “It’s been helping me hold poses longer and get stronger!” This mat also comes in a wide variety of patterned design options, which many people say is one of their favorite features: “Ummmm… HELLO. This mat is awesome. The cushioning is perfect for my weak wrists. The design is perfect for a beginner yoga student that wants to look like she knows what she is doing. So what if sometimes I lose balance? HAVE YOU SEEN MY MAT?! Classmates be so jelly.”
Best yoga mat with alignment lines
According to reviewers, this yoga mat performs well, in general — it’s thick and has great grip — but they say the main reason to get this mat is the alignment markers intended to help ensure proper positioning for poses. One person spoke about returning to yoga after a long break: “I quickly found I needed help. My form was not as good as it used to be and I was finding it hard to find proper alignment. The Lifeform mat has been a blessing with this. There is no more guessing and eyeballing if the center of my back foot is in line with the heel of my front foot — the mat helps me with that. And my hand placement is so much easier! I am so glad I found this great mat!” One reviewer speaks to the premium price of this mat: “Yes it’s pricey, but it’s so worth it. I love the grippiness, the size and the thickness. I have had no issues when I’m getting sweaty in a class, as it doesn’t let me slide at all. The lines are great for alignment cues too, and constantly make you spatially aware. I would definitely recommend this mat to everyone.” Another writes, “This mat has changed my yoga life completely. The alignment markers have helped me immensely.”
Best yoga mat for bad knees
Reviewers with sensitive knees say this extra-thick yoga mat helps them practice yoga comfortably. “I’ve had four knee surgeries and this is comfortable enough to allow me get on my knees with no pain,” writes one purchaser. Another yogi who struggled with “excruciating pain” had been in the habit of layering multiple mats to provide some cushion, but says “no layering is required” with this “extra thick” mat. One person found an unexpected use for this mat and bought it to use as “knee pad” for garden work: “I have some physical issues (arthritis) and can’t kneel, but I can put this on the ground and scoot my way along my flower beds. Works just perfectly and I don’t get wet. This mat is thick and you don’t even feel a rock! Good stuff. If I did do yoga this would definitely be the pad I would use, but …”
Best yoga mat for tall people
Measuring in at seven-feet-long by three-feet-wide, this yoga mat is beloved by taller yogis. “This mat is huge! And I love it. I’m 5’10” and easily annoyed how often I practice ‘off the mat’ or have to scooch back to get back on the mat. The only downside is that I feel kinda silly walking into class with this big ole maama jamma, but if your fellow yogis judge you, they’re doing it wrong … ha!” Many reviewers say this is the first mat they’ve found that is actually the right size for them. “This yoga mat is first class! I am 6 foot 5 inches and every yoga mat I have ever used has been too short for me. When I finally made the decision to purchase this one, I was not let down. This thing is HUGE. I can finally lay down in corpse pose and not be hanging off the mat on both sides.” Reviewers do, however, offer one word of caution: “Be prepared for the evil eye if your studio has cramped floor space.”
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