The best yoga mats, recommended by expert yoga teachers
Looking to perfect your downward dog? We spoke to some expert yoga teachers to find out which mats will keep your feet firm on the ground as you perfect your poses, for our list of the best yoga mats.
It might be over 5,000 years old, but yoga is very much a part of modern life.
With more and more people spending more time at home, the ancient practice is being taken up by millions of us as a great way of improving both our physical and mental health from our own homes, and all you need to get started is one thing: a good yoga mat.
Finding a great mat can be a challenge itself – there are almost as many options for yoga mats as there are yoga tutorials to choose from.
So, to set out on our quest to find the best, The Recommended spoke to two of the most knowledgeable yoga experts we could find to help guide us on our journey to find a mat that will form the perfect foundation for your planks, downward dogs and pigeon poses. You can read their expert advice in full at the bottom of this page.
The best yoga mats at a glance:
- Best overall yoga mat: Liforme Original Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for beginners: TOPLUS Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for taking to class: Liforme Travel Yoga Mat
- Best basic yoga mat: Prowork Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for travel: Jade Voyager Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for hot yoga: KAIZENLY Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for families: Manduka Begin Yoga and Pilates Mat
- Best thick yoga mat: Maximo Fitness Exercise Mat
- Best multipurpose yoga mat: Umi Yoga Mat
- Best yoga mat for grip: Yogamatters Sticky Yoga Mat
The best yoga mats
Best overall yoga mat: Liforme Original Yoga Mat
The mat used by pros
Liforme’s original yoga mat comes recommended by our experts, who rate its ability to help with balance, thanks to its grip and unique alignment system.
The brand is the name on the lips of all expert yogis. While its mats are at the higher end of the price scale, they promise to offer unparalleled grip and guidance on alignment to avoid injury and assist in your flow from pose to pose. These mats are also PVC free and biodegradable, making them a great sustainable choice.
Best yoga mat for beginners: TOPLUS Yoga Mat
A great everyday mat
This yoga mat from TOPLUS features a double textured design, offering grip on both sides, so the mat doesn’t move around when you’re practising your poses.
Made from eco-friendly TPE material, this mat is latex and PVC free, while its 0.6cm thickness provides both comfort and grip for grounding your hands and feet when you’re perfecting your balance during practice. It’s best used on hardwood or tiled floors, where its texture backing can stop the mat from sliding around.
Best yoga mat for taking to class: Liforme Travel Yoga Mat
Ideal for on-the-go
This travel version of Liforme’s original yoga mat is thinner and lighter, making it the perfect mat to travel to classes with and comes recommended by our yoga expert Adam Husler.
Liforme’s travel mat still features all the alignment and grip features of its original mat but is almost a full kilogram lighter, and half the thickness of the original mat, making it the perfect choice for travelling to and from in-person yoga classes.
Best basic yoga mat: Prowork Yoga Mat
Designed for comfort
This mat from Proworks is ideal for yoga beginners or those looking for a mat for occasional practice.
It’s also latex-free and phthalate-free, as it’s made from NBR foam, which is designed to provide comfort and stability during yoga flows and balances. The material is so durable, Prowork even say it’s suitable for outdoor use, so if you’re looking for a basic mat to take your practice outdoors, this is a great option.
Best yoga mat for travel: Jade Voyager Yoga Mat
Lightweight and super portable
Unlike traditional rollable yoga mats, the extra-thin Jade Voyager mat folds up to about the size of a yoga block, making it ideal for stashing in a backpack or luggage.
While this mat is ultra-portable, it’s still designed to provide grip and comfort, with a netted underside created to stick to the floor underneath, while the upper rubber side provides a grounding surface for your hands and feet during your yoga practice.
Best yoga mat for hot yoga: KAIZENLY Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
Made from sustainable cork
Instead of using man-made materials, KAIZENLY’s eco-friendly mat has been created using a natural cork upper side, which provides grip while also being water and sweat resistant – making it great for hot yoga.
This double-sided mat’s cork upper is non-slip, while the non-toxic TPE underside is designed to provide cushioning and comfort while gripping the surface underneath. KAINZENLY is also a member of the “1% for the Planet” global movement, donating 1% of sales to help protect the planet.
Best yoga mat for families: Manduka Begin Yoga and Pilates Mat
Easy to clean
This mat from Manduka comes recommended by our expert Adam Husler, thanks to it being hardwearing and easy to clean, making it a great choice if it’s going to be used by multiple people.
If you’re looking for a mat to share with your family or friends, the Manduka Begin is a great all-rounder to choose. It features a grippy upper surface that should suit most basic yoga poses, with an alignment guideline down its centre to help with positioning, while its lifetime guarantee promises longevity.
Best thick yoga mat: Maximo Fitness Exercise Mat
Extra cushioning and comfort
While not strictly just a yoga mat, Maximo Fitness’s Exercise Mat is a great choice for would-be yoga enthusiasts. Made from lightweight, high-density foam to give a comfortable, cushioned grounding, it’s ideal for yoga.
This mat can be used for lots of different exercises, including pilates and strength training, thanks to its thickness, but it would be ideal for those looking for a thicker yoga mat to provide a more cushioned floor for more adventurous yoga poses. Don’t be put off by its thickness though, it’s also lightweight, coming in at just under a kilogram.
Best multipurpose yoga mat: Umi Yoga Mat
Ideal for home workouts
This mat from Umi is thick and tear-proof, making it a good choice if you’re looking for a comfortable mat that can handle a lot of wear. It also features a clear alignment line down its centre to help guide positioning during yoga poses.
This yoga mat is great for a variety of at-home workouts, with a good level of thickness and support making it ideal for yoga beginners, with a helpful alignment guide and non-slip underside that should give newcomers the confidence to learn poses without fear of misplacing hands or feet or sliding around.
Best yoga mat for grip: Yogamatters Sticky Yoga Mat
Extra hold and comfort
This ultra-grippy mat from Yogamatters is made from high-density foam that’s designed to cushion, support and protect knees, bottoms, and backs from hard surfaces while providing a non-slip surface to help with balance.
The Sticky mat from Yogamatters is, unsurprisingly, designed to provide unrivalled grip to users when working on their flow. It’s a great choice for those starting out on their yoga journey who want a non-slip mat for an affordable price.
Our yoga experts
Adam Husler and Natasha Kerry are experts in yoga. Both have spent years teaching thousands of people how to perfect their practice through in-person classes, online courses and specialist retreats and have themselves used countless different yoga mats during their years of yoga practice.
Adam Husler is a law school graduate, ultramarathon runner and yoga teacher who specialises in a signature style of Alignment-Based Vinyasa. Having been taught by globally renowned teachers, Adam now teaches others, through in-person classes and retreats across the UK and Europe, and online, through his own online platform The Huslers.
Natasha Kerry is a leading yoga teacher in London who teaches privately and in prestigious members clubs and studios throughout the city. She trained in India at the Yoga Vidya Gurukul ashram, is an expert in Vinyasa yoga, Yin yoga and yoga Nidra, and shares these methodologies at workshops, retreats and festivals across the UK and internationally.
We put three questions to each of them to understand precisely what you need to know when shopping for your new yoga mat and got their expert recommendations of the best yoga mat to buy and why.
What should you look for when buying a yoga mat?
“A grippy surface is the most important thing for any yogi”, advises Adam, “everything beyond that is a personal preference. Do you want a thick cushioned mat, or do you prefer a thinner mat you can travel with? Do you want a mat to show off your fashion taste or, do you want minimal distraction?” Making these decisions before you start searching for the perfect mat will definitely help you find the perfect mat faster.
Natasha agrees that choosing a non-slip mat is a priority. “Seasoned practitioners tend to look for a mat that is non-slip – it’s the worst when you are sweating in class and your hands and feet are slipping on the yoga mat. It really affects your focus and your flow!”
But it’s also important to think about who might be using the mat other than yourself, as Adam points out, “do you want a mat that can be shared with friends or family or will it be a personal mat; the ones that absorb sweat tend to be much grippier, but less desirable to share with others.”
What should you avoid when looking for a yoga mat?
For Adam, avoiding mats that aren’t made sustainably is key, explaining that “yoga brands have made huge headway into making mats that are kind to the planet. Manduka mats are eco-kind because they will last most people a lifetime or and Liforme mats are kind because of their super eco-friendly materials and because the company does a huge amount of work to make the world a better place.”
When it comes to practicality, Natasha warns against mats that are “too heavy or bulky to carry to class” and, underlining the importance of grip, “avoid mats that are too slippy!”
Which yoga mat do you recommend?
So now we know what to look for, and what to avoid, what mats do our experts recommend?
“Liforme has been my go-to mat for around seven years”, says Adam, “thanks to their grip, alignment system and how much work the company do for the plant and community. Their original mats stay in my home studio and travel mats come to me on my international workshops.”
Natasha also recommends Liforme, “the yogis in the know all use Liforme Yoga mats, but it is a splurge!”
For those not willing to shell out three figures for a yoga mat, Adam has more suggestions, “Occasionally, if I’m travelling super light and want something to put on a studio mat, I might take the foldable Jade Voyager. If I were a studio owner, I’d be using Manduka’s; not so grippy as some, but far easier to clean and will last longer than anything else out there.”
Want to read more expert-recommended fitness round-ups? Check out our Fitness page for a full list of recommendations, including The best dumbbells, as recommended by personal trainers.