I have practiced yoga for several decades, with all the commitment and dedication it takes to call myself a yogi. However, being a yogi is more than just being a yoga enthusiast. For me, it’s more than a label because I have adopted the practice of yoga’s philosophies and practices into my lifestyle.
As I follow the principles of Yama and Niyama, I practice yoga, focus, and meditate for several hours daily, all of which require a comfortable mat. For everyday people practicing yoga, several considerations are important when choosing a yoga mat, including its traction when wet and dry, stability, comfort, portability, durability, and ease of cleaning.
These are the best yoga mats, as reviewed by my experience:
1. Yoloha Native Cork Mat
The Yoloha Native Cork Mat performance stands out thanks to several features. First, its blend of materials that combine cork and rubber makes it highly stable and comfortable while providing excellent traction at every stage of your yoga routine, whether your palms are sweaty or dry. Second, thanks to its closed-cell constitution, the mat has decreased absorption, meaning no chance of retaining odors and excellent durability. Finally, it is also easy to carry around.
One downside of the mat is its expensive price tag ($149) compared to its durability. When used on softer surfaces, like grass, it tends to crack because the cork separates. Therefore, this is the ideal mat for working out on harder surfaces and with any yoga practice.
2. GuruGrid Eco-Friendly Premium Mat
The GuruGrid Eco-Friendly Premium is the ideal yoga mat for beginners thanks to its grid, making it easier to find your alignment. In addition, the yoga mat has excellent dry traction and doesn’t do too badly when wet. Finally, thanks to its substantial cushioning, the mat is comfortable enough for all styles of yoga while ensuring stability when practicing upright poses.
The mat has a relatively high price ($92), but thanks to its durability and stability, it will give you years of practice use.
3. Manduka eKO
Several good features ensure that the Manduka eKO is worth considering when looking for the best yoga mat. Firstly, the mat is stable, comfortable, and has good traction with dry hands but a little less with sweaty palms. In addition, its closed-cell upper surface decreases absorption while making it more durable. You can choose between several thicknesses, but I recommend the 4 mm to suit all yoga options.
Comfort, stability, and durability are the eKO’s strong points, while its heftier price ($95) and slightly heavier weight are its only negatives.
4. Lululemon The Reversible Mat
If you want a slightly longer and broader mat that doesn’t compromise quality, then the Lululemon The Reversible Mat is a great all-rounder at $78. The mat is comfortable, stable, 5mm thick, and made of rubber material and polyurethane. Furthermore, the mat has two different surfaces – one has a smooth polyurethane material allowing your hands and feet to adhere. In contrast, the other has a natural spongy rubber for more traction in sweatier situations. The Reversible (Big) Mat is a second choice for those wanting an even bigger mat.
Two downsides of either of the reversible are that they are a bit heavier than most mats – the smaller one is slightly better – and dust and dirt tend to show up easier on their rubber surface.
5. Jade Yoga Harmony Mat
The JadeYoga Harmony Mat ($85) and its 100% rubber can absorb more moisture, helping with traction when you’re sweaty. However, some people find it difficult to flow into poses with this type of grip.
The yoga mat offers excellent spongy support at close to 5mm in thickness, making it very comfortable. You can choose between four sizes, including the extra wide, but because this is a rubber mat, the bigger, the heavier. As with all rubber mats, expect a rubber odor, especially when you first purchase the mat.
6. Gaiam Performance Dry-Grip Yoga Mat
If a latex allergy requires that you look for a rubber-free mat, then the Gaiam Performance Dry Grip is a good option. Made of PVC, this mat provides comfort and support thanks to its cushioning. In addition, it has a smooth top layer with good traction while still allowing you to transition between poses smoothly. It is slightly pricey at $70, but you can expect to get your money’s worth from this mat, never mind that it’s also lighter than most tested, making it easier to carry around.
These are just some of the mats I tried for this review on the best yoga mats, but I chose to write about the ones I would most likely use again. If I had to decide on the best-performing yoga mat, I would say that they all have at least two things that would make me choose them again, but I enjoyed the Yoloha Native Cork Mat for its overall performance.