Not all yoga mats are made equal. As a practitioner of different types of yoga and a borrower of many different mats, I know that there is a lot of variation in yoga mats, from material to texture and thickness to price.
Plus, you will find that the most important qualities in a mat vary depending on your practice. You may opt for a highly portable travel mat or an inch-thick mat to provide extra cushioning for your joints.
No matter what you are looking for, we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive buyers guide, we break it all down and provide high-quality recommendations for every type of yoga practitioner. With the links below, you can jump down to your preferred category or simply scroll through to browse each of our recommendations.
When you are done, be sure to check out our review of the Best Yoga Apps According to a Fitness Pro so you can upgrade your practice and follow along with yoga classes right from home.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, that’s OK too. We know it can be hard to sift through all the options to find the yoga mat that’s right for you. That’s why we have compiled the how to choose buyers guide and FAQ section.
Head there first if you need help understanding which mat will work best for you, and then come back up to review our picks for the best yoga mats of 2022.
- Best Overall
- Best Budget
- Best Thick Yoga Mat
- Best Hot Yoga Mat
- Best Travel Mat
- Most Sustainable
- Best of the Rest
The Best Yoga Mats of 2022
Best Overall: Manduka PRO
At the top of this list, and for very good reason, is the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat ($138). This is certainly not a cheap yoga mat, but we think you will agree that its high-quality construction justifies the price tag.
Made with closed-cell PVC, this mat is easy to clean and keep free of bacteria; plus, it’s built to last without harmful chemicals and is also latex-free.
This high-density, cushioned yoga mat provides an all-around comfortable experience. The mat has a textured top layer to keep your hands and feet in place as you transition between poses, and the dotted bottom layer prevents the mat from moving around on the floor.
This added stability and the nonslip surface can make a real difference in your yoga practice and help prevent injury from falls.
Manduka claims to be the most recommended brand by yoga teachers. And while that’s impossible to prove, our experience with the PRO Mat is overwhelmingly positive. The mat is relatively heavy, compared to others on this list, and the most expensive by a significant margin.
Therefore, we recommend the Manduka PRO for people who practice yoga seriously and frequently and are looking to invest in a reliable mat.
- Size: 71″ x 26″ (extra-long option is 85″ long)
- Thickness: 6 mm
- Weight: 7.5 lbs. (extra-long option is 9.5 lbs.)
- Material: 100% latex-free high-density cushion made from PVC
- Textured top and bottom layers, durable construction, available in an extra-long option
- Relatively heavy, expensive
Runner-Up: Lululemon Reversible Mat
The second prize for the best yoga mat of 2022 goes to the Reversible 5mm Mat by Lululemon ($88). We can’t rave about natural rubber yoga mats enough, and you would do well to purchase one so you can see why.
First, the stickiness factor is wonderful, and this mat has an extra top layer to provide increased slip prevention and moisture resistance. The polyurethane coating also makes it very easy to keep clean, and it has an antimicrobial additive for increased sanitation. This mat is a great choice for any practice.
One thing we love about every Lululemon yoga mat is just how stylish they are. It is also a bonus for fans of the brand that you can get matching equipment, and the brand even sells packages with blocks and yoga towels. There are plenty of great options and opportunities for you to find one that fits your personality and makes a statement in your next yoga class.
Reviewers found the 5mm mat to be padded enough, but if you have joint pain or bad knees, you may opt for something with more cushion. One complaint reviewers do have is the mat’s odor, which Lululemon says fades over time. It recommends (as do other companies) that you air out the mat outdoors for a few days before using it.
- Size: 71″ x 26″
- Thickness: 5 mm
- Weight: 5.24 lbs.
- Material: Polyurethane top layer with natural rubber base
- Very stylish options, antimicrobial additive, good grippability
- Initial odor, contains latex
Best Budget: Gaiam 6 mm
At its affordable price point, the Gaiam 6 mm ($35) is definitely the best yoga mat for beginners. This is a quality mat of standard thickness and a nice light weight. You will find this mat available in various fun designs, from funky and bold to modern and sleek.
It is a little smaller in both length and width than most other mats. If you are taller or like having that extra space, this might not be the mat for you. But for others looking to give yoga a try or wanting to expand their practice on a tight budget, the Gaiam 6mm yoga mat is a great selection.
One common complaint with more budget-friendly mats (like this one) is that they are not as durable as others. You may find that the mat sheds over time, particularly in the spots where you put your hands and feet. Because the mat is just one layer, you could use both sides to increase its lifespan if you notice rips or tears.
However, if you expect to use it multiple times a week, we would recommend a more expensive mat as an investment in durability. This yoga mat by Gaiam is best for beginners and casual yoga practitioners.
- Size: 68″ x 24″
- Thickness: 6 mm
- Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Material: PVC
- Variety of designs, lightweight, affordable
- Slightly smaller than standard, not as durable as other brands
Best Thick Yoga Mat: Retrospec Solana 1″
This one-inch-thick yoga mat by Retrospec provides extra cushioning for people with joint pain or injuries. As a practitioner with bad knees myself, I can tell you the Solana Yoga Mat ($40) is a real game-changer. It is nearly four times thicker than the average 6mm mat, and there is also a one-half-inch version for folks who want something in between.
With a thicker mat, you can generally expect a little less stability, but most reviewers haven’t noticed such an issue with the Solana. It is made of dense foam and nonslip rubber, ribbed on one side and smooth on the other. This mat is free of latex, heavy metals, and harsh chemicals, and it comes with a carrying strap.
Some users have questioned its durability, noting that it is too stretchy and prone to rips. For such an affordable yoga mat, though, that is probably a risk worth taking.
The extra thickness leads to a lot of added bulk when stored, making this a tough sell for a travel mat. One reviewer found it embarrassing to bring to yoga class because it was so large when rolled up. In this case, the half-inch version will be more portable and still much more cushiony than standard-sized mats.
However, if you are looking for an at-home mat that reduces pressure on joints, the Solana 1″ yoga mat is an excellent option.
- Size: 72″ x 24″
- Thickness: 1″ (25.4 mm)
- Weight: Not provided
- Material: Small-cell dense foam rubber
- Extra cushioning, good stability, included carrying strap
- Slightly smaller than standard, bulky when rolled, not easily portable, questionable durability
Best Hot Yoga Mat: Manduka GRP Adapt
Hot yoga enthusiasts rejoice! Thanks to its open-cell design, the Manduka GRP Adapt ($94) rubber mat can absorb sweat and other moisture, wicking it away from the surface and maintaining its highly sticky, nonslip qualities throughout your workout. This means the mat will stay dry even when you don’t.
We love that this mat makes it possible to enjoy hot yoga without the addition of a yoga towel. It is naturally very sticky and maintains a good cushion at just 5 mm, thanks to the foam rubber composite.
This GRP Adapt mat is slightly lighter than the Manduka Pro, but it’s still quite a bit heavier than most others on our list. If you carry your mat around a lot, you might not be thrilled by the mat’s 6-pound heft.
You should also note that because of its moisture-absorbing design, the mat requires more of a cleaning regimen than you may be used to with other yoga mats. The company says that the mat cannot be cleaned with regular disinfectants, as they can be absorbed in the foam interior and are difficult to remove.
Instead, the brand recommends cleaning with Manduka’s GRP Yoga Mat Restore Foam, which is not included in the mat purchase. Despite these annoying cleaning requirements, we have to agree with Manduka’s many fans that the advantages of this mat are definitely worth it; this mat is a must-have for all hot yoga practitioners.
- Size: 71″ x 26″
- Thickness: 5 mm
- Weight: 6 lbs.
- Material: Foam rubber composite
- Super nonslip, moisture absorptive, durable material
- On the heavy side
Best Travel Yoga Mat: Yogo Ultralight Long Folding Mat
Unlike anything else on this list, the Yogo Ultralight Folding Mat ($80) is truly designed to travel. It’s extra-wide yet amazingly compact once folded, and it folds in a sanitary way so that the top and bottom never touch. The mat is made of natural rubber, which ensures excellent grippability, and cotton mesh — which keeps it from being overly stretchy.
One feature we really love is the integrated strap. Not only does this mean you can always fold and carry the mat, but it is also helpful for cleaning. The mat was designed so that after you wash it off in the shower, you can hang it right on the curtain rod to dry.
A second lovable perk of buying from Yogo is that the brand is hyper-eco-friendly. The mat’s tree rubber is sustainably sourced, the mat is biodegradable, and the buckle is recyclable.
A potential downside of this mat is that at only 2 mm thick, it has minimal cushioning. For people who like to practice yoga in nature, you will be glad to know that fellow GearJunkie reviewer and yoga enthusiast Josh Alridge found it sufficient for his outdoor practice. You can read his full article “Foldable, Non-Stink Yoga Mat: An Outdoorsman’s Review.”
Between the compact size, the integrated carrying strap, and the low weight (only 3.2 pounds), this is truly the best travel mat of 2022 for those of us who love an on-the-go workout.
- Size: 72″ x 29″
- Thickness: 2 mm
- Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Material: Natural tree rubber and cotton mesh
- High-grip rubber surface, integrated strap, extra-wide dimension, eco-friendly, highly portable
- Very thin, minimal cushioning
Most Sustainable: Lolë Iglow Yoga Mat
Montreal-based active lifestyle brand Lolë is a brand that’s been making winter layering apparel for years. More recently, though, it’s been developing products that promote mindfulness, like its thoughtfully sustainable Iglow Yoga Mat.
The Lolë Iglow Yoga Mat ($24) is PVC- and latex-free, and fully recyclable. It’s made of eco-friendly material, but it also shines in other aspects.
This mat is super-grippy, lightweight, and perfect for any time, anywhere yoga as well as travel. We found the length of 70 inches to be an adequate length for yogis up to 5’10”. If you are quite tall, consider other mats on this list that come in a long length. Though, we do wish it was a tad thicker for extra support.
If you tend to keep your practices between 20 minutes and an hour, and you’re looking for a mat that can handle lots of wear while being sustainable at the same time, the Lolë Iglow mat is it.
- Length: 70″ x 24″ (180 cm x 61 cm)
- Thickness: 4 mm
- Weight: 1.8 lbs.
- Materials: PVC- and latex-free closed-cell thermoplastic elastomer
- Fully recyclable
- Great price
- Not enough support for some
- Only comes in one size
Best of the Rest
We have to give props to the Jade Harmony Yoga Mat ($85), giving it and these other mats honorable mentions in the Best of the Rest list. This mat is a high-end product, coming in around the top of the price range. It makes sense when you learn that the mat’s sustainable, natural rubber construction is eco-friendly, containing no toxins or ozone-depleting gasses.
On top of the eco-conscious materials, we love the slip-free surface of the rubber mat. Being one material top and bottom, the mat will stay secure on your floor as well.
Take note, however, that some reviewers complain that the mat becomes more slippery when wet. This mat, therefore, might not be the best option for hot yoga practitioners or those who sweat a lot.
- Size: 68” x 24”
- Thickness: 5 mm
- Weight: 4.5 lbs.
- Material: Open-cell natural rubber
- Heavier, not as slip-proof when wet
If you’re looking for a luxury-quality mat at a more affordable price, look no further than the Hugger Mugger Earth Elements Yoga Mat ($63). This 5mm-thick mat is made of a TPE material, which boasts the grippability of rubber and the durability of plastic. It is not as eco-friendly as some other yoga mats on this list, but if that isn’t your priority, you will love this mat’s material and feel.
The Hugger Mugger Earth Elements Mat is moisture-resistant and has a soft, textured grip on both sides. It is also easy to clean and latex-free. Despite its average dimensions and thickness, this mat is lighter than almost all of its competitors on this list.
If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable yoga mat at a lower price tag than most, the Earth Elements mat by Hugger Mugger could be the one for you.
- Size: 72″ x 24″
- Thickness: 5 mm
- Weight: 2.4 lbs.
- Material: TPE (a rubber-like material made of thermoplastic elastomers)
- Durable, lightweight
- Not made of natural materials
If you’re looking for a travel yoga mat but do not want to splurge on the large price tag of the Yogo Ultralight Folding Mat, the Gaiam Foldable Mat ($25) is an excellent runner-up. The mat is extremely lightweight and made of a sticky PVC material that will prevent you from sliding on the floor.
This 2mm mat has integrated seams that allow it to be easily folded into a rectangle no bigger than your laptop. It will fit in a backpack or tote bag so that you can travel with it easily.
While reviews for the Gaiam Foldable Mat are overwhelmingly positive, some users note that the folding seams prevent the mat from lying perfectly flat. This can be a problem with many yoga mats, but the nature of this design makes it even more difficult.
The seams also create added texture to the mat that can be problematic. Unlike other smooth mats, these creases appear in many places and could interrupt your flow when you need to readjust during a pose.
- Size: 68″ x 24″
- Thickness: 2 mm
- Weight: 1.8 lbs.
- Material: PVC
- Compact and portable
- Minimal cushioning, smaller than average, retains creases
Made from organic jute, this eco-friendly yoga mat ($60) is biodegradable and non-toxic. Jute is naturally antibacterial and very sturdy, meaning the mat does not rip, stretch, or shed.
It is ethically produced with zero waste, and we love that the company plants a tree with every purchase. If you are a passionate environmentalist, this is a yoga mat you can feel good about purchasing.
The mat comes with a cotton carrying strap, a booklet on how to use it, and a guided meditation — so you can get started with your practice right away. Happy reviewers note that the company provides excellent customer service, while some users complain that the jute does not have enough grip.
If you are looking for something that is both super grippy and eco-friendly, you may opt for a natural rubber yoga mat instead.
- Size: 72″ x 24″
- Thickness: 5 mm
- Weight: 4.4 lbs.
- Material: Organic jute fiber
- Eco-friendly, included carrying strap, stylish designs
- Not as grippy as natural rubber
The third — that’s right, third! — Manduka yoga mat to make the Best of 2022 list is the eKO Lite 4 mm ($84). Made of biodegradable tree rubber, this yoga mat is eco-friendly, free of dyes, and 99% latex-free. The top layer is nonslip and resists stretching for a reliable surface to practice your yoga.
The eKO Lite has many positive reviews from users calling it an upgrade from cheaper mats they owned before. At only 4 mm thick, you may find that you want a little more cushion, especially if you practice at home on hardwood floors.
Users also note that the rubber scent lasts, though the company suggests airing it out for a couple of days.
- Size: 71″ x 24″
- Thickness: 4 mm
- Weight: 4.5 lbs.
- Material: Natural tree rubber
- Great grip, lightweight compared to other Manduka mats
- Less cushion, potential lasting odor
Why You Should Trust Us
Like my fellow GearJunkie reviewers, I am a fitness buff with a lot of experience and expertise to share. My personal journey with yoga started after a severe back injury a few years ago.
My acupuncturist recommended some basic yoga poses and stretches to aid my recovery. As I healed and got the go-ahead from my doctor, I began attending two or three yoga classes a week at my local gym.
I learned different types of yoga from multiple instructors and was able to master enough poses to develop a good home practice when the gym closed during quarantine. I also kept up with virtual classes offered on Facebook and YouTube — a fun and free option for folks looking to get into yoga on a budget.
Throughout this time, I borrowed the mats available at the gym, which were, as you would expect, on the cheaper side. I also borrowed friends’ mats before finally stealing a high-quality mat from my mom. (It’s fine; she had two.)
Having tried different types of mats in a variety of yoga practices, I know that not all mats work for all exercises. I also personally lived through various experiences that users can have with their yoga mats depending on their bodies’ capabilities and the types of yoga they practice.
Through multiple states of injury and being in recovery to now, when my core is much stronger, the characteristics I need from my yoga mats have shifted. I do not claim to be an expert yoga practitioner at all, but my time with yoga and a variety of mats has given me some good intel and a keen eye for what qualifies these mats as the best 2022 has to offer.
Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Yoga Mat
There are quite a few different options in terms of yoga mat materials. You may notice as you search that many have multiple materials for the top, bottom, and inside. That’s because the outside layers focus on grippability and texture, while the inside is responsible for providing cushioning and support.
Your choice of material for a yoga mat should depend on where you do yoga and what kind of yoga you do. For example, if you like hot yoga, the Manduka GRP Adapt will keep your mat dry even as you sweat.
Or, if you like practicing outdoors, the Yogo’s integrated strap and sanitary folding design would be a convenient and clean option.
While many yoga mats are either 5 or 6 mm, they range from 2 mm all the way up to an inch. The thicker mats are best for people who need extra support and those struggling with joint pain or chronic injuries.
If you are aiming for maximum comfort, a thicker mat will provide that. Moreover, if you frequently practice restorative yoga, in which you hold poses for longer, a more cushioned mat will keep you comfortable.
The thinner the mat, the more compact it will be. If you enjoy bringing your yoga practice outdoors or if you frequent classes at a gym, you may want a compact and portable mat. When there is less cushion, the mat tends to provide more stability; although if you are on rough terrain, you may feel it.
Firmness or Density
One quality that goes hand-in-hand with thickness is firmness. As you saw in our recommendations, yoga mat materials and thickness are two features that vary a lot and impact the firmness and stability you will get from your mat.
If you have ever gone to a fitness class at a gym, you probably noticed that there are different mats for yoga and other exercises like Pilates or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is because certain yoga poses can actually be more difficult with an overly cushioned mat.
If you primarily practice more meditative or restorative yoga types, featuring long-held and restful poses often on the back or knees, an extra supportive mat can protect your joints and spine from fatigue.
For others practicing more core-focused, aerobic yoga with fast transitions between poses, a denser mat will protect you from slipping or overextending in a movement.
Dense foam mats, natural rubber mats, and mats with harder top layers are all good options to ensure that you have enough stability and protection for your joints as you move through your practice.
It is not bad to have extra room on your mat, though, unless you are concerned with compactness. In fact, I like having extra space to stretch back and step forward without falling off the mat.
If you are taller, we would definitely recommend finding an extra-long mat. Otherwise, you will often have your feet hanging off the end. Depending on where you practice, this could be uncomfortable or even unsafe.
For a more spacious option, be sure to check out the Manduka Pro, which has an extra-long option that extends 85 inches (7’1″).
The width of yoga mats is even more uniform than the length, with most clocking in at 24 or 26 inches wide. This tends to be accommodating enough for most people, but you may prefer something wider if you practice a lot of restorative yoga and stretching.
The Yogo Folding Mat is very roomy at 29 inches wide and has the added benefit of folding in half to 15 inches for travel. If you are looking for the most compact and portable mat, the Gaiam Foldable Mat folds in half to be only 12 inches wide.
Texture is a very important feature of a yoga mat. It can be hard to find the right balance, but you want to choose a yoga mat that is textured enough not to be slippery, yet smooth enough to be comfortable. When holding a pose — on your forearms, for example — an overly textured mat could prove uncomfortable and irritating to your skin.
If you prefer a smooth mat but still need that stickiness factor, you should consider the Manduka GRP Adapt or the Lululemon Reversible Mat.
It is also important to note the texturing on the bottom side of the mat. Many quality yoga mats have some nonslip material on the bottom, so the mat does not slide out from under you.
If you often practice in a carpeted room, be sure to get an extra-textured mat that will keep you safe and sturdy while transitioning between poses.
If you are searching for an eco-friendly yoga mat, there are a couple of places you should direct your research. Companies that invest in sustainable production and use exclusively eco-friendly materials will help you find a mat that you know protects Mother Earth with your purchase.
This list of recommendations contains numerous yoga mats fashioned from sustainably harvested tree rubber. There are also biodegradable mats along with options produced via a zero-waste production process. Some mats are even made from cork.
On this list, the Lolë mat especially stands out for its sustainable materials in its construction. If you are looking for a thicker mat, check out Ajna, which plants a tree for every purchase.
When considering how much you want to spend on a yoga mat, think about your expected frequency and duration of usage. If you are looking for a mat for beginners, you might want to start with one of the more affordable mats, like the Gaiam 6 mm, until you establish your practice and can invest in a mat that meets your particular needs.
On the other hand, if you are serious about your yoga practice, splurging for one of the more expensive yoga mats is the way to go. These tend to be more durable and made with higher-quality materials and construction.
For example, Mandukas are some of the most expensive on this list, but it is also a respected company with quality mats beloved by yoga instructors and students alike.
Unless you exclusively practice yoga at home, you will likely transport your yoga mat from time to time. Keep this in mind as you consider the size of the mat: If you travel with your mat often, the one-inch-thick Retrospec Solana might prove cumbersome. The compactness of folding mats might be a huge factor in your decision.
Another helpful feature for your ultimate enjoyment of the mat is the included accessories. Carrying straps for yoga mats can cost around $20 or more. If you want added value for your purchase, the recommended mats by Retrospec and Ajna come with included straps.
Even better is the integrated strap on the Yogo Ultralight Folding Mat, so you will never accidentally forget it at home.
Which brand of yoga mat is best?
There are a lot of great brands of yoga mats out there, and it can be difficult to choose. The most important factors for quality are durability and stickiness. This is because a mat that has a slippery surface will be dangerous and frustrating to use, and one that flakes or rips apart is just a waste of money.
Based on our list, you can see that Manduka’s products are featured three times, and it is because their mats are always high quality. They have a great stickiness factor, and users regard them as durable, reliable, and solidly constructed.
Each of Manduka’s three mats recommended above is a different thickness — 4 mm, 5 mm, and 6 mm — so you can experience the great quality of a Manduka mat at your preferred cushion level. For a more affordable option, Gaiam mats are quite popular — and made this list twice.
What’s the best type for beginners?
The more budget-friendly options on this list are all good yoga mats for beginners. It is a good idea to stick with a cheaper yoga mat at first. You could even borrow a yoga mat from a friend or use the mats provided at your gym when you go in for yoga classes.
If you are just getting into yoga, Gaiam’s 6mm Yoga Mat is a great option, as it is affordable and provides a good experience for users. Once you are more familiar with your practice, you can invest in a quality mat that provides more grip or cushion, or portability, depending on your preference.
What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?
Most yoga mats are 5 mm or 6 mm thick, though you will see even this list features some 2mm mats and a one-inch-thick mat. In my personal opinion, the 6mm standard is the perfect balance of cushiony support and rigid sturdiness.
When yoga mats are too thick, they tend to decrease your stability because you sink into the mat. That said, thick and sturdy mats are a great option for people with chronic joint pain who need a bit of extra cushioning.
When they are too thin, you may find that you do not have enough support for holding restorative yoga poses or practicing on uneven surfaces, like outdoors.
What’s the best way to clean a yoga mat?
It is a good idea to clean your yoga mat after each use. You can wipe the mat down with a damp cloth and hang it up to dry.
Keep in mind that you should always let your yoga mat dry thoroughly before rolling it up for storage. Otherwise, you will likely come back to find a foul odor and potentially even some mold.
You can use an antibacterial wipe for some mats, while others suggest soapy water. It is essential to read the instructions for your particular mat, as cleaning procedures depend significantly on its materials. Some brands, like Manduka, sell cleaning solutions for their yoga mats and do not recommend using any other cleaning products.
How much should I spend?
Depending on the frequency of your practice, buying a higher-quality mat may make sense for you. If you know you love yoga and expect to keep up with your practice, investing in a durable mat like the Manduka Pro will have a longer life. At this level of quality, you can expect to pay around $80-140.
If you are a beginner, we do not recommend spending this much at first. You can find a decent, comfortable mat in the range of $20-50, and we recommend the Gaiam 6 mm as the best yoga mat for beginners.
Be sure to also check out package deals. Some mats may come with accessories like carrying straps or yoga towels. This can help get you fully equipped at a lower cost.