The Best Yoga Mats for Beginners and Pros! (2022)

Time to nama-slay.
Tayler Tayler (75)

When it comes to practicing yoga, your practice is largely dependent upon the mat that you're practicing on. Whether you're doing hatha yoga, hot yoga, vinyasa flow yoga, or if you're just interested in padding up the area you stretch in, it's important to understand the market before you make a decision to purchase a yoga mat. If you need assistance with this, I've written a whole guide on choosing the perfect yoga mat!

Between the different brands, various material types, and assorted yoga mat thickness, it's easy to mistakenly purchase a yoga mat that doesn't fit your needs or is poorly made.

With this guide, I'll walk you through the best yoga mats. Since there are many different types of yoga mats, I'll include the best mats from each category! Here are the different types of yoga mats that I'll cover in this guide.

Yoga mats - the basic categories

  • Extra thick - Thicker mats provide a little extra cushion, which is great if you have weak wrists or are practicing on hard surfaces.
  • Travel-sized - These mats are thinner and more pliable, so they can fold up into compact shapes that make for easy packing.
  • Hot yoga mat - These mats are made so you can sweat to your heart's content while still being able to grip onto the mat itself.
  • Extra-tall mat - We've got you covered here, too.
  • Rubber mat - Rubber yoga mats are a standard option for yoga mats and were one of the first options introduced to the market by yogis.
  • Jute - Jute is a naturally fibrous plant that is lightweight and moisture absorbing.
  • Budget-friendly - A good yoga mat doesn't have to break the wallet.
  • Yoga towels - Yoga towels are a great companion to yoga classes, especially hot yoga classes, as they can either lay beside or directly on top of your mat to collect sweat. (Check out other yoga accessories I recommend, if you're interested.)

A brief note

Yoga mats can sometimes emit a strong smell when they are first unwrapped. This smell is completely safe, if a little funky, and will go away within a few days. It's just the byproduct of off-gassing–chemicals that normally accompany mats made from rubber, jute, bamboo, and other materials. If your new mat smells, just unroll your mat and let it air out for 2-3 days.

It's also important to note that the average yoga mat size is 68" long by 24" wide.

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This BalanceForm GoYoga mat is especially great if you're traveling because it has an easy-to-use strap that keeps the mat wrapped up and is easy to sling over your shoulder. The thick 1/2" material makes this the ideal companion for anyone practicing on hard floors.

Hard floors can be really rough on your wrists (it's wristy business, you could say) and, while there are yoga poses and exercises that can slowly build strength in your wrists, practicing on a hard surface can diminish any progress made.

The quickest fix for this problem is to invest in a thick, plush yoga mat like this one!

What makes this mat awesome

  • 71" long and 24" wide, which is slightly longer than your average yoga mat.
  • 1/2" thick material is ideal for practicing on hardwood surfaces.
  • Non-slip surfaces help to deter any accidental slipping because nothing is worse than transitioning from a plank pose to a down-dog only for your hands to slip down the mat.

If traveling yoga is more your shtick, this JadeYoga Voyager mat is the perfect companion for your practice-on-the-go routines. Traveling mats are much, much thinner than standard yoga mats. They are very pliable, so they can easily be manipulated into smaller shapes that will tuck into any suitcase, car, or bag.

While these mats are awesome for traveling from point A to point B, these mats lack the general plush factor that most other mats have. I'd recommend a regular, thicker mat for day-to-day practices.

What makes this mat awesome

  • 68" long by 24" wide.
  • This mat is very pliable, so you'll be able to manipulate it to your heart's content.
  • It's lightweight and very thin at 1/16" thick.
  • The company, JadeYoga, plants a tree for every yoga mat sold.
  • Natural rubber offers a stronger grip and more cushion.

A long-standing name in the yoga industry, Gaiam produces a number of great yoga mats that will boost your practice. Their best yoga mat is the Gaiam Performance Dry-Grip Yoga Mat. This thin mat is ideal for minimalist yogis and is coated with a topcoat that helps disperse moisture, making this the ideal mat for hot yoga classes.

What makes this mat awesome

  • 68" long by 24" wide.
  • This mat isn't made with rubber, which is perfect for anyone with latex sensitivities.
  • This slender build is perfect for yogis with minimal space, as the thin construction can roll up tightly and tuck into small corners.
  • It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Gaiam Performance Dry-Grip Yoga Mat

If you're a tall person, practicing yoga on a standard mat can be frustrating, especially if you start to spill out over the edges. As a tall yogi, I struggle with standard yoga mats from time to time, especially in transitions. I can't tell you how many times my feet have landed off the mat as I transition into a plank position, even when I think I have plenty of room.

Thankfully, there are longer yoga mats out there, like this Hugger Mugger Tapas Mat which offers an impressive length of 80 inches, meaning you can practice in style and not worry about constantly repositioning yourself for different poses.

What makes this mat awesome

  • 80" long by 24" wide, making this mat the perfect companion for taller yogis.
  • 1/4" thick material offers a standard cushion amount for comfort.
  • Rolls easily for storage when the mat isn't being used.
  • Nonslip surface offers comfort and stability during practice.

Rubber is a standard material to make yoga mats out of, but some rubber mats can contain ingredients that aren't always environmentally friendly. This isn't the case for all rubber mats, but it's always important to check to see what the mat is made out of! Because rubber is a common material, the price point for these mats usually won't break your wallet.

We recommend this UGO Rubber Yoga Mat. Not only is it made of natural tree rubber, which is good for the skin and biodegradable, but this mat also boasts an impressive length and it larger than most standard yoga mats.

What makes this mat awesome

  • 71" long by 26" wide.
  • 100% natural tree rubber, which is friendly to sensitive skin and odorless.
  • Offers reversible grip on both sides to keep you in place during your practice.
  • Easy to care for design will ensure that your yoga mat lasts through even the most consistent of routines.

You can find this UGO Rubber mat here.

UGO mat.

If you want a yoga mat that is made from eco-friendly materials, this EcoStrength Hemp and Jute Yoga Mat is a great option. Jute and hemp are both natural vegetable fibers that can be woven together to create textiles, mats, and a plethora of other items!

Jute and hemp are often sourced organically and many companies put effort into the ethical sourcing of such materials, and EcoStrength is no exception to this concept! As an added bonus, this yoga mat is entirely vegan. Both jute and hemp have a tendency to absorb moisture, so this is not the ideal mat if you're interested in taking hot yoga classes.

What makes this mat awesome

  • 64" long by 24" wide.
  • 100% eco-friendly, natural, recyclable, and vegan.
  • Each side had a different texture, both of which are meant to grip into the ground or your body, to offer both strength and comfort.
  • Jute is a naturally soft material, which will feel great against your skin.

I know I've thrown some expensive yoga mats at you throughout this guide, but a good yoga mat doesn't have to break the bank! Check out this Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat, which retails for just $25 while giving you all the elements of a more expensive yoga mat!

This is my personal favorite yoga mat!

This lightweight mat offers non-toxic materials that are lightweight while being durable enough to withstand daily yoga routines. The textured sides of the mat make for a non-slip practice, which provides safety and traction against most surfaces. As an added bonus, there are really cool designs on these mats that Gaiam updates from time to time!

What makes this mat awesome

  • 68" long by 24" wide.
  • Thin construction is lightweight and easy to travel with.
  • Non-toxic materials are the healthier choice for you and the environment.
  • Most Gaiam purchases are accompanied by at least one free yoga class which is a cool way to kickstart your practice if you're new to the game!

The Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat is affordable and it unrolls really easily, meaning it won't retain its shape regardless of how long it's been wrapped within its packaging. I have to replace mine every few years, due to normal wear and tear (and the wear and tear that comes along with owning cats), but this mat is a durable and lasting option if you don't have a $100 to drop on a yoga mat.

Yoga towels are a great item to have in your arsenal of yoga items, especially if you like to attend hot yoga classes or are prone to sweating. Yoga towels can also add an extra cushion if you're looking to plump up your thinner yoga mat.

We love this YOGA MATE Perfect Yoga Towel, which is thick enough to absorb any moisture during a strenuous yoga class while being soft enough to not irritate your skin. It's also machine washable and dryable, so you can easily clean it between classes.

What makes this yoga towel awesome

  • 76" long by 26" wide, makes this towel the perfect companion to all our tall yogis out there.
  • It's lightweight and super pliable, so you fold it into any shape and tuck it into any gym bag.
  • Microfiber is soft to the touch and absorbs sweat easily.
  • Easy to clean and dries quickly.
Unravel your perfect mat.
Tayler Tayler (75)
5 minutes

Picking the right yoga mat can be difficult, time-consuming, and, let's face it, intimidating.