You don’t have to practice yoga to use a yoga mat. They’re also a great surface for push ups, planks, abdominal exercises, and stretching after a run. They also help dampen noise when you do burpees or jumping jacks. To pick the perfect one for your workouts, consider how much cushioning you need, whether you’ll be carrying it back and forth to the gym or yoga studio, and if you’ll be practicing in very hot temperatures. These are our top picks for everyone from beginners rocking child’s pose to practitioners who can do handstands and backbends with ease.
If you want to start a yoga practice and have no idea what you’ll need, grab one of these well-priced mats. They’re available in solid shades including blue, green, and grey, without distracting patterns. This PVC mat (free of six types of phthalates) features a generous .2-inch thickness (5mm) to help support your joints, and weighs only 4.1 pounds for easy transport. At 6 feet, 6 inches long and 2 feet wide, most people should have the room they need to stretch out.
While “hot yoga” technically refers to practicing in a studio heated to a temperature over 90 degrees, yoga can make anyone sweat, especially in the summer. This grippy and biodegradable mat is made from polyurethane and tree rubber, free of PVC, and is about 6 feet long and a couple of inches wider than 2 feet. The surface is designed to wick away moisture from your skin to keep you from sliding around during intense sequences, and a line down the center helps you adjust your alignment. It’s 4 millimeters thick to provide you with a medium amount of cushioning.
Yoga mats made from natural rubber can smell, well, rubbery—but it should wear off after awhile. This well-cushioned rubber mat has a thickness of about 4.75 millimeters (3/16 inches), is just under 2 feet wide, and is available in different lengths from 68 to 74 inches to accommodate your preferences. It weighs about 5 pounds, so it’s best for people who can store it in a studio locker or mostly practice at home. For every purchase, the company also plants a tree.
People who greet each day with sun salutation poses might want to treat themselves to this luxurious mat. At 5.5 pounds, it’s heavy for a yoga mat, so plan to use it at home in your living room or in the backyard in nice weather. While it is primarily made of natural rubber, the top layer contains PVC polyurethane to help your toes and hands grip the mat securely. You’ll notice that this mat is a little longer (72.8 inches) and significantly wider (26.7 inches) than many mats, with 4.2 millimeters of cushioning. Unique markers on the surface helps you maintain an alignment that works best for you.