Skip To Content
    Updated on Apr 10, 2020. Posted on Apr 10, 2020

    It's Not A Stretch To Say That These Are The Best Yoga Mats

    Just roll up to the studio and unroll your new mat.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Under no circumstances is yoga required for a healthy life, but in a world where distractions rule everything around us, it feels more important than ever to find some glorified "me time."

    HBO / Via giphy.com

    Because taking a break to focus energy inward can provide the balance you didn’t know you needed. The best part? Even the most casual yogi has something to gain; all you need is your body and a mat. So join us as we settle into the floor, steady our breath, and review some yoga mats.

    You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Yoga offers numerous physical and mental benefits. It can increase flexibility, relieve stress, enhance balance, and generally bring the body and mind into a more harmonious union.

    We took a look at nearly every yoga mat on the market to find the absolute best, testing for surface grip, thickness, and cushion, plus portability and maintenance. Our devoted group of testers traveled with mats to and from studios to Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, plank, and Warrior Pose until we found the finest mats to fit every budget.

    Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

    BuzzFeed

    If you’re a beginner yogi and aren’t sure you’ll even stick with your practice, the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat is a great starting point. With its grippy surface, perfect cushion, and wide range of designs and patterns to suit every taste, this mat was deemed by our testers as the “certified cool girl” of the affordable price range — and the fact that it’s under $30 only adds to its appeal. The downside? PVC isn’t the most eco-friendly material, and it’s not quite sticky enough for us to recommend to anyone with a vigorous practice.

    BuzzFeed

    There are certainly stickier mats on the market, but compared with others in this price range, our testers gave this mat a five out of five for its grippable surface. It features textured grooves throughout, meaning your hands and feet won’t slide, nor will the mat slip around on the floor. But take this baby to heated yoga and you may be telling a different story. The thing about PVC is this: When it’s dry, it’s extremely grippy, but when it’s wet, we found it loses grip. So if you typically take shorter, less aerobic classes, this mat is a solid choice. But in order to find an unbeatable grip, you’ve gotta shell out a little more moola.

    On that note, if you’re in the market for a budget mat, chances are it will be made of PVC, a plastic otherwise known as polyvinyl chloride. In recent years, yoga brands have attempted to make PVC a little more environmentally friendly by stripping it of its more harmful chemical additives (like phthalates, which this Gaiam mat is free from), but a zebra can’t change its stripes. Toxic emissions are a byproduct of PVC manufacturing, and the material isn’t biodegradable. Long story short: If being eco-friendly is your number one priority, this is not the product for you. If your wallet is up for it, though, it’s worth noting that Gaiam does offer more eco-friendly options.

    BuzzFeed

    But don’t discount the Gaiam mat just yet! There are more upsides than down. First of all, it’s very affordable, and sometimes you spend too much on your daily oat milk lattes to splurge on a mat. We get it, and we don't judge. Secondly, the mat boasts 6 mm of supportive cushion, which is close to the thickest you can get (the thinnest falls around 3 mm). The trick to finding a mat that perfectly suits your needs is determining the importance of protecting your pressure points versus feeling rooted to the floor. A thinner mat allows a stronger root and thus a more stable balance. But sometimes our poor hips and knees deserve some love! Because of the PVC material, which is springy, not dense, this mat provided us with the thickness we craved without throwing us off balance.

    If there’s a silver lining to PVC, it’s durability. Many of our testers felt confident that this mat would stand the test of time better than others, which included picks from brands like Aurorae and YogaAccessories. If you’re worried about the Gaiam yoga mat ending up in a landfill, know that PVC actually holds up super well, and theoretically it should stand up to years of use.

    BuzzFeed

    Another important feature Gaiam ticks off is mat design: Out of all the mats we tested, Gaiam offered the most options. It’s available on Amazon in a whopping 35 different color schemes and patterns, so you’re sure to find something that appeals to your style. Ash leaves, peacock feathers, blue, pink, purple, black — you name it, they’ve got it.

    At the end of the day, this mat surprised us. If you’re just getting started with yoga, or you know yourself enough to admit you’ll be a casual practitioner at best, we think the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat will definitely suit your needs.

    Get it from Amazon for $24+.

    Lululemon Reversible Mat

    BuzzFeed

    If there were one activewear brand poised to take over the world, we’d put our money on Lululemon. And we’re happy to report that we’d also put our money on Lululemon’s Reversible Yoga Mat, a two-in-one mat that provided better traction, cushion, and versatility than any other we tested in the mid-priced range.

    BuzzFeed

    First things first: This mat is reversible. On one side, you’ve got a smooth, matte polyurethane layer that feels sticky, and on the other side, a natural rubber that’s more textured to provide traction. All of our testers agreed that both sides of the mat had excellent grip, but our general preference was to place the textured side facedown, which helped the mat grip the floor and allowed our hands and feet to glide along the smooth surface. Though some still needed to use a towel during their practice, we came across a ton of online reviews from users with a proclivity for hot yoga who vouched that this mat is a game-changer.

    With the discussion of grippable surfaces comes that of cleanliness. Most yogis agreed that the mat was fairly easy to wipe down, noting that the smooth side could be cleaned quickly with a warm, soapy cloth, as advised by Lululemon, but the textured surface took a few extra swipes. Overall, though, there were no substantial concerns here with keeping the mat clean.

    BuzzFeed

    One downside is that some of the lighter colorways may tend to look a little beat-up after a few uses. The polyurethane layer is supposed to wick away and absorb moisture, which is good in practice, but not ideal for upkeep. According to a source who has been using this mat on a regular basis for nearly five years, it has held up structurally but gotten a little dingy. So if you’d prefer a mat that’s pristine-looking after years of use, you might want to consider a dark color. However, the natural rubber is supplemented with an antimicrobial additive to prevent any mold buildup, so the only real risk is having a dirty-looking mat.

    At 5 mm thick (the thickest mats on the market tend to be a little over 6 mm), this mat has been crafted with the precise cushion most are looking for. Lululemon states that the mat was designed “with a little extra cushion for your hips and knees during floor poses.” So if you typically find yourself using blankets underneath sensitive areas to feel more comfortable throughout your practice, this mat should help relieve any pain you’d otherwise feel at pressure points.

    BuzzFeed

    When it comes to portability, the mat offers a fairly standard experience. It’s only slightly heavier and bulky than some, but its grippy surface did mean that it wasn’t unrolling or falling out of our arms as we made our way to yoga class — it can be transported from point A to point B with only the standard struggle.  

    All in all, Lululemon’s Reversible Yoga Mat is for yogis who are willing to spend a moderate chunk of change but aren’t quite ready to venture into six-figure territory. For our testers, the mat’s superior grip vastly outweighed minor complaints, like long-term durability, which can be offset with daily upkeep. From power vinyasa flows to gentle hatha practice, you simply can’t go wrong with it.

    Get it from Lululemon for $78.

    Liforme Yoga Mat

    BuzzFeed

    If you practice yoga on a regular basis, a mat that meets your needs and lasts as your practice progresses is essential. Not only is the Liforme Yoga Mat sticky, it also features etched lines to help with alignment, comes with a nifty carrying case, and provides a little extra room, both width- and length-wise, so you don’t run the risk of feeling cramped or stifled.

    BuzzFeed

    In simpler terms, this mat is amazing, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Robin Martin, the card-carrying yogi who we consulted for this review, loves the Liforme mat for its non-slip surface, which, if you haven’t noticed yet, is the number one thing you should be looking for in a yoga mat. Basically: A better grip ensures that your hands and feet won’t slide from under you, which means less potential for injury. Liforme proudly touts their proprietary polyurethane-based “GripForMe” material, and we can certainly vouch for it. We tested the mat in various classes, with bodies contorting and sweat falling, and we can say assuredly that even in super-moist (sorry!) environments, this mat held up; we didn’t have to readjust or wipe our hands once.

    While other spendy mats from Manduka and Jade also boasted grippable surfaces, there were a few aspects that elevated the Liforme. We discovered that portability really mattered when comparing mats, which surprised several of us. And in the hunt for portability, we looked for that happy medium — a mat large enough to accommodate the apex of our stretch game, but one that wasn’t so heavy that it would be a burden to transport.

    BuzzFeed

    All the mats we tested in this category were fairly weighty, likely thanks to the extra inches and high-quality material that come along with extra dollar signs. But the Liforme includes a sweet little gray sling bag, which makes transporting it to and from your favorite studio exponentially easier. Also something to keep in mind: Liforme has a travel version of the mat, which is a tad smaller and thinner, making it substantially lighter and slightly less expensive (though it isn’t quite as cushy, and therefore not as comfortable for some).

    Perhaps Liforme’s most interesting feature is the AlignForMe system, a set of alignment markers that help beginners and experts alike stay centered during practice. Testers especially liked that the guide lines were etched onto the mat rather than printed, so they could benefit from feeling the lines without seeing them.

    BuzzFeed

    Another element that’s surprisingly important if you practice regularly is the ease with which you can clean your mat. The Liforme Mat doesn’t have a very textured surface, so a wet cloth can quickly get the job done after every few sessions — as opposed to mats with grooves, which can be harder to scrub down on a regular basis.

    Something else that that Liforme does right is its approach to sustainability. Everything you get when you order from the brand is biodegradable, including the mat and the cardboard packaging it comes in. The AlignForMe system is etched, as we mentioned before, so as to avoid any harmful ink, and even the glue is eco-friendly. Plus, it comes in four colors: pink, blue, green, and black.

    When it comes down to it, Liforme hit a homerun with this design, taking into account (and celebrating) every aspect of the yoga experience. From its slightly bigger dimensions and eco-friendly makeup, to the guiding lines and carrying case for easy transport, we believe Liforme is the best splurge-worthy yoga mat out there.

    Get it from Amazon for $150.