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If you’ve ever used a crappy yoga mat, you know that they can be miserable. Who wants to deal with rolling corners, achy knees, and slipping and sliding when you’re trying to find a little peace?
Understanding the struggle that is finding a good exercise pad, we went on a journey to find the best yoga mats. After researching and testing dozens of contenders, we found that the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat is the total package. It’s affordable, it offers the right amount of cushion, and you can use it for yoga and more.
Keep reading to learn about our top pick, or if you’re looking for tips on choosing something for your particular needs, check out our buying guide below.
Best non-slip yoga mat for hard and slippery surfaces
If you often do yoga on hard surfaces like tile and hardwood, you know that it can be difficult to maintain a steady grip when moving from pose to pose. To keep you safe and help you maintain your form, you need a good yoga mat with strong non-slip features. Of the yoga mats we tested, we recommend the BalanceFrom GoYoga mat for the job.
This double-sided mat is non-slip on both sides, so no matter how you put it down, you can expect a strong hold to the floor so that you can glide from one position to the next without slipping or tripping.
We tested it on the tile floor of our living room, a surface that’s notoriously difficult on yoga mats. We can confirm that it stuck like glue, never sliding, no matter how much we moved. We used both sides of the mat, and we found that both offer the same level of non-slip.
The mat measures 71 inches long by 24 inches wide, so it’s a little longer than your standard mat — this is a perk if you’re taller than 5-feet-5-inches or do lots of stretching. It’s also about ½-inch thick, offering lots of cushion for extended sessions, but not being so plump that it’s hard to maintain your balance because you can’t feel the floor.
During our tests, we found that the thickness of this mat was just right for two reasons: It provided excellent cushioning for our joints during Child’s Pose, Pigeon Pose, and others that put our knees and elbows in contact with the ground, and it also helped keep the mat flat. We’ve tested thin, cheap mats that roll and curl, and they’re super annoying.
The manufacturers of this yoga mat label its moisture-resistance as a benefit. The idea is that because sweat and other liquids don’t absorb into the material, it’s easy to clean with soap and water.
While we can confirm that the mat didn’t absorb sweat, we didn’t find it to be a benefit. During a particularly challenging session, we found the sitting moisture to be a nuisance. We didn’t slip on it, but we were worried that we would, so we had to stop several times to wipe the mat.
What I Liked
- Yoga mat offers two non-slip surfaces to keep you upright
- Thick cushioning that protects joints but still lets you feel the floor
- Longer than standard-sized mats for taller people or those who stretch alot
What I Didn’t Like
- It’s moisture-resistant, so sweat sits on the surface until you wipe it away
- Surface seems to stain easily, but it stood up to regular use
Thick yoga mat that’s cushioned enough for everyday use
If you’re researching yoga mats, you know that there are a lot of options, and some with interesting features. But when you want a classic yoga mat that offers just the right amount of cushioning for everyday use, you can’t go wrong with the Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat.
Measuring about 10mm thick (which is thicker than most traditional mats), this pad is perfect whether you strictly practice yoga or also like to throw in some pilates or other cardio. During our review, we completed some barefoot burpees on this mat, and we found it offered just the right amount of softness to keep our wrists and ankles from getting sore.
Despite it being thicker than other mats, this pad rolls up easily for storage or toting elsewhere. It comes with a carrying strap that uses hook-and-loop closures to keep everything in a nice, compact package. We took it with us to the gym a few times, just tossing into the backseat for the trip, and it never unrolled.
As far as looks, this yoga mat doesn’t offer much — it’s one solid color, but it is available in several options so you can pick one that you like. One side of the mat is perfectly smooth, while the other offers light ribbing to help with grip.
We found it interesting that this mat wasn’t advertised as non-slip, but after using it on tile, we can see why. The smooth surface offered little grip against the tile, so when we stood up, the mat often moved with us. It fared better on carpet and painted concrete, but it performed about the same on sealed hardwood as it did on tile.
If you’re worried about phthalates (a toxic chemical found in some rubbery-type products like yoga mats), you’ll be pleased to know that this mat is “6P free”, meaning you won’t find any of these nasty chemicals here. Made from PVC, it’s also more eco-friendly than other options.
What I Liked
- Offers the right amount of cushioning for yoga and more
- Easy to roll up for storage or to take to the gym
- Ribbed texture on one side helps with maintain a good grip
What I Didn’t Like
- Slipped on tile and hardwood during more active poses and transitions
- Arrived with a strong odor that took some time to dissipate
The best yoga mat for keeping perfect alignment
If you’re new to yoga, you might struggle with keeping proper alignment — learning where to put your hands and feet takes time and experience. In the meantime, you can enjoy a little assistance with the Heathyoga Body Alignment mat.
This helpful yoga mat offers markings that show you your center point, your central line, and where to put your hands and feet to ensure they’re in alignment. This allows you to quickly find the right position so that you can get back to focusing on your form.
The mat measures 72 inches long by 26 inches wide, so it’s both longer and wider than your traditional pad. Those who are shorter than 5 feet may find that the foot and hand placements are difficult to reach, but most others won’t have any issues. And no matter your height, you can count on the center point and central line markings.
Coming in at 6mm thick, this Heathyoga mat is in line with most other yoga pads. This is thin enough to keep you balanced because you can easily feel the floor, but it doesn’t provide a lot of cushioning for joints, so be mindful as you change positions and put pressure on your elbows, knees, and hips.
One spot where this yoga mat deviates from many others is its material. It’s made from thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), a mix of materials that are safe and eco-friendly. Despite the use of a premium material, we found the price of this mat to be in line with many others that are made from cheaper plastics and may contain heavy metals.
In terms of grip and anti-slip properties, this mat does a good job. The bottom has a nice tread pattern that holds onto hard surfaces like tile, vinyl, hardwood, and concrete. However, it didn’t do as good a job on carpet.
On the other side, there’s a subtle diamond grip pattern. At first glance, we didn’t think it was substantial enough to keep us upright or from slipping, but it actually did a great job.
What I Liked
- Helpful alignment markings keep your body straight and in the right position
- Extra-large size gives you plenty of room to stretch and move
- Made from a safe, eco-friendly material
What I Didn’t Like
- Non-slip tread didn’t work very well on carpet
- Doesn’t absorb sweat, so be prepared to wipe it down when needed
The best yoga mat to keep you safe during sweaty yoga sessions
The IUGA Pro is a professional yoga mat that’s designed for heavy sweaters. Whether you’re super active, engaging in hot yoga, or living in a hot environment, an absorbent mat is a must to keep you safe and comfortable.
The secret of this mat is a layer of polyurethane, a type of foam that absorbs moisture and traps it until the pad is washed. This means you don’t have to interrupt your session or keep a towel on hand; moisture disappears so you can keep going.
We put this yoga mat to the test by taking it to a Bikram yoga (aka the Original Hot Yoga, where temps reach 100 degrees and higher). We were sweating within minutes and were amazed to see the droplets vanish shortly after hitting the mat. Our workout lasted an hour and a half, and we never had to stop to wipe up sweat.
When it’s time to clean your yoga pad, you can hose it off, scrub it a bit with some soapy water, and then hang it to dry. We’ve washed our pad several times now, and it’s held its shape with no signs of wear, so we’re sure it will serve us for a long time.
While we wash our yoga mat after every intense session, you could go longer if you’d like. The mat resists odors (and it came without the stink you see in many other mats), so you could go several days before giving it a good clean.
We wondered how well a super-absorbent mat could be when it came to anti-slip, and we were pleasantly surprised to see this one delivers on both counts. The bottom of this yoga mat has a textured surface that provides excellent traction in all directions. It performed beautifully on tile at the studio, as well as our hardwood and concrete floors at home.
One thing to keep in mind about this yoga mat is that it only measures 5mm thick. If your yoga routine often has you on the ground, you may find that this isn’t enough cushioning. We definitely felt the hardness of the tile on our knees.
What I Liked
- A very good yoga mat for absorbing sweat during workouts
- Easy to clean, just use soap and water
- Anti-slip bottom did an excellent job on tile and concrete
What I Didn’t Like
- Only measures 5mm thick, so not great on the knees
- Non-slip on carpet could be better
Extra-thick cushioning is perfect for yoga, pilates, and more
If you’re the kind of person who likes to change up your workout routine, you may find that traditional yoga mats don’t provide nearly enough cushion for exercises like sit ups, planks, and burpees. You won’t have that problem with the HemingWeigh Extra-Thick Yoga Mat.
This exercise mat is 1-inch thick — this is easily twice the thickness of most other yoga mats. This means that even when we dropped to our knees during some routines, we didn’t feel the smack of two hard surfaces meeting.
(However, if you do a lot of posing moves, you probably won’t like this mat. Only when we jumped did we get a sense for the floor; we were definitely unsteady while attempting a Triangle.)
Also of note is that this material isn’t cheap; that’s one way some companies try to get away with the added material. We rolled it, folded it, and yanked on it a bit, and there was no fear of tearing.
In addition to being nice and thick, this mat is also roomy. It measures 70 inches by 23 inches, so it’s ideal for even taller yogis.
While this mat is a little bulky, you can take it with you when necessary. It rolls up with no problems, and it comes with a strap for easy carrying.
What I Liked
- Super-thick mat lets this pad double as an exercise mat
- Quality material that didn’t crease or tear, even with heavy usage
- Larger size is ideal for yogis of all heights
What I Didn’t Like
- Lightweight, but a bit bulky for taking around
- Thickness also means you can’t feel the floor; you might not like this
What We Looked For in the Best Yoga Mats
Yoga may be considered a low-impact exercise, but choosing the right equipment for this type of workout is as important as any other.
Some people don’t give much thought to a yoga pad, thinking it’s just a piece of rubber that you throw on the floor. But yoga pads offer an array of benefits and can keep you from getting hurt.
As we researched the best yoga mats, we explored products that met a specific set of criteria. Specifically, we looked at:
- Material. The material of a yoga mat plays a huge role in performance. Those made from high-quality materials last longer and are safer (thanks to better, non-toxic materials).
- Price. As with any type of exercise equipment, the prices of yoga mats can run the gamut. We looked for those that would be affordable for most people and those with prices that matched their features.
- Slip resistance. This is a very important consideration of any yoga mat as a slippery one can send you crashing down in seconds. Some mats offer better non-slip protection than others, but the mats we recommend are all safer than most.
How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat
Of all the yoga mats we tested, we found the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat to be the best in terms of performance, especially when it comes to its non-slip properties. But when shopping for your own yoga mat, you need to consider which features are most important to you, based on your type of workout.
The size of your yoga mat is an important consideration — if it’s too small, you might find yourself off the mat when stretching or switching positions. The standard size for yoga mats is about 68 inches by 24 inches, but many companies are producing larger sizes to account for different body shapes. If you tend to be more active when doing yoga or exercising, definitely consider an oversized mat; it may cost more, but your joints will thank you.
Speaking of joints, you want to treat them nice to keep from feeling pain — after your workout and as you get older. When it comes to yoga mats, the thicker the cushion, the more protection you’ll offer your joints.
Think about the moves you like to perform. If your knees, elbows, hips, and back are often on the ground, consider a thicker pad for greater comfort.
However, remember that the thicker the pad, the harder it will be to feel the ground — this can lead to balance issues, especially for standing poses.
No matter the type of yoga or exercise you like, you should always look for a non-slip pad. But if you’re more active, you’ll want a pad that offers greater traction. Pads with better traction also tend to work better across multiple surfaces, a big plus if you don’t always work out in the same place.
When choosing a yoga mat, think about the types of activities you do. Whether you’re strictly a yogi or also like to incorporate some pilates and other cardio, you need to balance a mat’s thickness and size to ensure it fits your needs.
After months of research, we think the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat offers the best mix of affordability and performance. It has awesome non-slip properties, and it’s the right size for most users, with just enough cushioning.
Love yoga but need a little direction for your workouts? We can help you set up a workout plan in just 10 minutes.