12 best yoga mats 2024: Tried, tested and reviewed

Best yoga mats: Quick menu

a photo of a woman holding an exercise mat

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

1. Best yoga mats
2. How to choose
3. Buying advice

The best yoga mats are essential to help make the most out of your yoga classes, and if there's anything we wish we had known as yoga beginners, it's that your yoga mat matters.

With that in mind, we tried and tested the most popular brands on the market to help you decide which yoga mat is best for you. These yoga mats have been living with us for months, allowing us to frequent local yoga studios or practice from home and get to grips (quite literally) with each one. 

We've tested across Yin, hot yoga and dynamic flows, and even caught up with yoga and Pilates instructor Eloise Skinner for her advice on what to look for when buying the best yoga mats, which we cover more on below.

If you enjoy hot yoga, the super grippy Yogi Bare Paws tops our list with its sweat-wicking properties. And for Yin yoga lovers, we love the extra thick and plush ProsourceFit yoga mat if your joints need a little TLC. However you choose to practice, you'll need a yoga mat designed with you in mind. Those who love to practice inversions or balances will need a thinner mat that improves grounding and connection whereas yoga beginners might prefer mats with alignment cues embedded into the design.  

The best yoga mats vary in design, style, cost and materials, so we recommend doing homework before parting with your cash. Luckily, we've cut down that homework time by writing up this handy guide for you to follow, keeping planet-friendly and sustainable options in mind. Level up your practice using this yoga block accessory, hit download on the best yoga apps and read on.

Best yoga mats you can buy 2024

How we test the best yoga mats

Whenever we can, we call in the best yoga mats to test them out. Every few months, we'll scour what's out there and make a note of any latest releases from brands, discontinued products, or new yoga mats on the market that we're yet to test and add them to our "to test" list.

As of this year, our in-house trainer has taken on testing and reviewing yoga mats, and we've also consulted a qualified yoga and Pilates instructor to provide guidance on choosing the best yoga mat for you, including what to avoid and big green ticks to look for.

Where possible, we strive to take these yoga mats into the world, testing them across a range of classes and locations. Our main testing areas include thickness, grip, size, price, value, sustainability, and how well they travel. We also like to keep hold of our mats to see how they fare over time, including any scuff marks or damage, and what to do when they've reached the end of their life.

On occasion, we might not be able to test the yoga mats we add to our guide. That doesn't mean you should avoid them! We've done our due diligence, researched the yoga mat and checked independent reviews to ensure we're giving you all the information we can to make an informed choice.

How to choose the best yoga mat for you

Eloise Skinner headshot
Eloise Skinner

When shopping for the best yoga mats, Skinner gave us a few pointers to look out for.

"The best yoga mat really depends on what type of practice you're interested in," she says. "For most dynamic forms of yoga, a strong grip will be important, especially for hot yoga, which often requires a specific material designed for a hot studio.

In terms of size, yoga mats tend to be fairly standard-sizing, although you might prefer a smaller mat for travel, or a specific hands-focused mat for handstands and inversion practice."

For thickness, Skinner recommends going plush on your mat for a slower, floor-based practice like Yin or if you're doubling up to use your mat during a Pilates or stretch practice. A slightly thinner mat suits a more dynamic practice or for travel. 

Best yoga mats pictured together against wooden floor

(Image credit: Future)

Most standard yoga mats are about ¼ inch thick, but you may want a thicker mat (4-6mm) if you require more cushioning for your wrists and knees. If you're a taller yogi and don’t want to go “off mat” while you practice, look for a longer yoga mat. Again thinner mats help people ground during inversions or balances, so they are worth considering if you plan to practice a more advanced and dynamic style.

Yogi Bare Paws vs Take Form yoga mats

(Image credit: Future)

Grip: Will the texture and surface provide grip and traction during your class or workout? The last thing you want is an injury because the mat slipped mid-practice. Look for mats that are designed to be grippy without the need for a yoga towel if this is important. Cork and rubber tend to resist sweat well, but a grip towel could also be worth purchasing and easily washes in the machine between sessions.

Take Form Lululemon mat vs Yogi Bare Paws yoga mat

(Image credit: Future)

Odor: As for odor and visual appeal, those vary by the mat’s manufacturer. Some of the best yoga mats have an initial unpleasant smell, which can dissipate after cleaning. Check if your mat is sweat-wicking, which means it shouldn't absorb a lot of sweat, and this may reduce smells over time. 

Cost: The best yoga mats come in a wide range of prices, from affordable, sub-$20 options to higher-end, brand-name selections. When it comes to cost, you may want to think about how often and how heavily you’ll use the mat. If you’re a dedicated yogi or you want to use a mat for HIIT workouts, you may want to splurge for a tougher mat that can hold up under the conditions. Otherwise, an Amazon Basics or similar variety could be worth considering.

Manduka yoga mat against wooden floor half unrolled

(Image credit: Future)

Buying advice

What is the most eco-friendly yoga mat material?

If making sustainable choices is important to you, you should look into the materials of the mat, how and where it’s made and if it's recyclable. We've included sustainable options for you to consider, and many company websites will detail how and where the mats are made to help you make more informed choices.

"Mats will often list their materials as part of the packaging, so you should be able to pick out a sustainable or natural option," Skinner agrees. "Materials like foam or plastic are generally less eco-friendly... depending on the way the product is made. Sustainable materials also often have longer usage, so it's a win-win for your mat investment."

Mats made from natural materials like cork sound like great options, but can still negatively impact the environment, like contributing toward deforestation, for example, so it's no wonder people get confused. 

As a general rule of thumb, a truly sustainable yoga mat will be made from recycled or natural materials and are recyclable or biodegradable. Many brands now use initiatives to tempt clients, like planting a tree for every mat bought or returned and offering the option to hand your used mat in once it's at life-end. 

The Yogi Bare Paws deluxe mat is biodegradable, vegan-friendly and made with sustainable materials, including 100% recyclable packaging. The Jade Harmony mat in this guide has been self-titled "Nature's best yoga mat," and is made sustainably from rubber sourced from renewable rubber trees. Plus, the company plants a new tree for every mat sold.

What is the best hot yoga mat?

If you prefer hot yoga (or you tend to get sweaty during workouts), the grip will be your single most important factor when choosing the best yoga mat for hot yoga. A thinner mat will also help you ground down better during balances and inversions because there’s less distance. After all, you can connect better with the floor.

Natural rubber and cork tend to fare better in heat but can be harder to clean, and any brand that uses moisture-wicking materials will prevent slipping and bacteria build-up. You can often find this information on the brand’s website. We love cork yoga mats for this reason, but they can be harder to clean and stain more easily.  

It’s best to consider the type of classes you prefer. Fast-paced classes will require quick transitions, so you’ll need to balance a grippy texture with the ability to move with ease, whereas Yin yoga lovers might prefer plush cushioning and thicker designs and grip might matter less. We're big fans of the Lululemon Take Form and Yogi Bare Paws for grip, stability and beautiful design. However, instructors rave about the Jade Harmony mats once you've broken them in!

What is the best way to clean yoga mats?

Skinner advises you to think about the nature of your practice. "Hot yoga students will need to be cleaning their mat more intensely than a Yin yoga student who uses a blanket over the mat, for example," she explains. "Mats are best kept clean by wiping down after each session. If you practice in-studio, there will often be wipes or spray provided. At home, you can mix a small amount of soap with warm water and gently wipe down your mat."

Always check the instructions for your specific mat as brands offer varying advice. In general, we recommend using a yoga mat spray or a mix of water and white vinegar for a homemade solution. You could even add essential oils if the manufacturer's guidelines allow.

Every few weeks, give your yoga mat a deeper clean using water and a scrubber. Most yoga mats won't fare well in a washing machine, so we always recommend handwashing unless the brand specifies otherwise. Here's how to clean your yoga mat properly for more detail. 

Is there a difference between an exercise mat and a yoga mat?

Yoga mats and exercise mats are often used interchangeably, but yes, there's a difference. Exercise mats are typically more durable and come in a range of thicknesses and sizes. They're designed to take the wrath of your sneakers, dumbbells, kettlebells and fast-paced movements, after all. 

Yoga mats are made with materials such as rubber or cork and are tailor-made for different types of practice, like hot yoga or Yin. We advise not wearing sneakers or any type of shoe on your mat, and you'll need to take care of your yoga mat by spraying and wiping it down after use.

How thick should your yoga mat be?

We've briefly covered this above. How thick you go will depend on your practice and your body. If you want a thicker mat of 4mm and above, that will provide ample cushioning for your joints but might make you more wobbly during advanced practice. Around 3mm, you'll feel much more connected and stable on the floor. 

What is the best yoga mat in the market?

"It really depends on personal preference," Skinner advises. "See if you like any particular studio mats, and check the brand name when you practice. Personally, I love the Sweaty Betty non-slip range." 

We do, too!

Sam Hopes
Senior Staff Writer - Fitness

Sam Hopes is a level III qualified fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.

With contributions from