The best yoga mats for every type of flexible (or extremely inflexible) guy

Lamb notes that he has practiced on many a Manduka and can vouch for their longevity. “It’s basically a tank: sturdy, durable and weighs accordingly. Unfortunately for the sweaty-palmed yogi, it can become something of a slip-and-slide if you’re into a more rigorous practice,” he says. Given the mat’s weight and thickness, he would only recommend it to “someone with a yoga practice at home who needs a stable cushion for restorative, yin, Iyengar, or any other slower asana.”

The best yoga mat for tall guys

Lululemon Reversible (Big) Mat

Yes, holding downward facing dog for 10 breaths is challenging, even for seasoned yogis, but downward facing dog on a mat that’s too small is even more challenging. Luckily, Lululemon makes this extra-long, extra-wide version of their reversible mat that’s perfect for tall guys. With a whopping seven feet of real estate (most yoga mats around six o’clock), you can spread those limbs quite comfortably without worrying about kicking your neighbors in the face during your next vinyasa flow. It’s also reversible, so you can choose between a firm, grippy base on one side or a more absorbent, springy base on the other. If it’s good enough for one NBA Finals MVPthat’s good enough for you.

The best yoga mat for Hot Yoga

Whether you’re into Bikram or you just sweat a lot, it can be difficult to find a mat that gives you enough support without feeling like your hands might slip out from under you at any point during downward dog. Placing a sweat towel on top of your mat can sometimes do the trick, but it can also be cumbersome to fumble with during your workout. If this sounds like you, check out Manduka’s Extra Absorbent GRP Mat, specially designed to provide excellent grip for hot yoga classes. The basketball-like textured surface, infused with charcoal, provides great traction even when slightly damp.

The best thick yoga mat for home practice

Even some of the softest, squishiest yoga mats can be a little hard on your joints and bones over time. Sometimes you’ll hear teachers say that you can fold your mat over for extra cushioning under your knees, but this PVC-free mat is already almost twice as thick as the Jade’s Harmony mat – no folding required.

The best travel yoga mat

Manduka has always stocked lightweight options in its eKO series, but a few years back the brand also released a new travel mat under the Pro series. At well under three pounds, the Pro Travel gives you the same high quality you’d find in the Pro and Prolite (plus that lifetime warranty) in a slim, easy-to-fold, 3mm size. It folds perfectly to fit in the bottom of a standard carry-on bag, so you can take your workout on the go. Plus, it’s thin but firm enough to use on top of a hotel room carpet or a hotel gym floor. Even better, the closed-cell technology in Manduka’s rubber mats also helps seal out moisture and bacteria, so you don’t lug a slippery, fudgy-smelling mat home with your other clothes.

The best yoga mat for beginners

Lululemon 5mm take shape yoga mat

Lululemon’s Take Form mat is one of the latest additions to its lineup and serves as a cheat sheet for beginners, mapping out 3D quadrants where people should line up their feet for their standing asanas or place their hands for a plank pose. The Warrior II feels a little less intimidating and easy to achieve when you can feel where to plant your feet. FYI: If you have a latex allergy, you can steer clear, as this mat is finished with a combination of wood rubber and latex.

The best woven yoga mat

If you float on carpet (and don’t need a super thick, rubbery surface underfoot to stay comfortable), a woven mat is a stylish, sustainable choice for grounding your workout. Najee Wilson-a 200-hour ashtanga yoga practitioner at Brooklyn’s Heal House— appreciates the look of Oko Living’s 5mm Herbal Home Yoga Mat, and the comforting knowledge that the woven material supports artisans and preserves an ancient craft. “It’s handwoven from super-soft cotton, which provides great stability, especially when you’re sweating,” says Wilson. “The underside is coated with natural rubber, which prevents the mat from slipping,” he adds, and it all rolls up into its own woven carry bag.

The best yoga mat for commuters

You don’t want to be that guy on the subway at rush hour rushing to make your evening class with your mat awkwardly sticking out of your bag, ready to get stuck in the closing doors or the counter or knock over a toddler. For those on the go, Jade Yoga’s ultralight, ultrathin, foldable The Voyager Mat is perfectly portable. Weighing only a pound and a half, it folds up to about the size of a yoga block and fits easily inside totes, backpacksand gym bags. It’s only 1/16” thick, so if you need a little more support, just throw it on top of a rental mat from the yoga studio and you’ll still get premium grip without the germs or hassle of a sweat towel.

The best budget yoga mat

BalanceFrom GoYoga Yoga mat

If you’re not all in on yoga yet, you probably don’t want to drop around $100 on a fancy mat that you might only use twice. This $15 investment should do the trick. Even better, you can do a lot more than just yoga on it! This mat is also a bouncy surface for a post-workout stretch, a 15-minute meditation at home, or a Sunday afternoon sunbath on the roof. And who doesn’t love a free shoulder strap?


11 more yoga mats and accessories we like

BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Training Mat

Who said you have to do yoga on these things? These affordable pilates mats are also great for a home stretch session or core work due to their superior thickness for performing different poses comfortably (and then switching to some HIIT cardio moves immediately after).

Manduka Eko Superlite 1.5mm travel yoga mat

If you’re cool with slightly thinner mats, Eko is a very popular alternative to Manduka’s Pro travel range. “When I travel, I love the eKo Superlite Travel Yoga Mat,” says Wilson. “The natural rubber surface provides grippy contact. And it’s ultra-thin at 1.5mm, which means it can easily roll and even fold when you need to save space.”

Not quite as thick as Jade Yoga’s, but a close second at 5mm thick, Italic’s mats reportedly come from the same manufacturers as Manduka and YogaDesignLab, except they sell for a much lower price. Our tester noticed some chemical off-gassing from the polyurethane top layer when it first arrived, and it took a while for the edges to fully roll out. But after a week or so, it became their favorite long, thick mat for doing a variety of exercises comfortably—from running lunges to burpees to vinyasa poses—and without pissing off the neighbors below. The non-slip yoga mat also provides a good grip for leaning into a position without losing balance.

Similar to the Take Form mat above, the Toplus yoga mat has lines and markings to help you perfect your alignment in different positions. It’s another solid choice for beginners or visual learners and much cheaper than the Lululemon mat above. It’s also thankfully 6mm thick for doing all kinds of yoga moves and more.

When a teacher tells you to grab a block, it is no slight against your immense yogic powers. Blocks are simply there to help you unlock a deeper, more supported expression of a pose. Cork blocks strike a good balance between give and firmness that cannot be found in the soft, squishy foams at your gym. And perhaps most importantly, they look a lot cooler.

Other alternatives to typical rectangle shapes are these curved multi-purpose balance blocks from Bala, made of a dense foam that supports the curve of your spine if you lean back on one and stretch your pectoral muscles during restorative yoga. Want to work on your balance? You can also do a little of that if you rest your feet or hands on the flat ends and rock on the curved edges.

Manduka Yogitoes yoga mat towel

No matter how sweat-resistant a mat may claim to be, there’s always the option of topping it with an absorbent yoga towel to keep your feet extra dry as you transition from pose to pose. It’s lightweight, compact, easy to clean and extra portable to pack away on long-distance trips or to the gym.

Hugger Mugger standard bolster

Relaxing in restorative yoga is an excellent way to restore your sense of calm after a stressful day, and grabbing a bolster (basically a long, dense yoga pillow) is a very useful prop for relaxing during savasana. Lamb considers the Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster a “fantastic choice” for restorative poses. “It’s a simple but big boost to calming the nervous system and making the most of a (sometimes too short) rest period,” says Lamb. Throw in an eye pillow and blanket, he adds, and you’ve got ultimate restorative luxury.

Whether you’re rolling out for a simple stretch or to up the resistance in a restorative pose, you can achieve even more zen with a strap that does some of the work for you. Lamb notes that there isn’t one tons of variation in straps out there (they all pretty much do the same thing, with some variation in widths), so just make sure you get one that’s easy to grip and resist for more release in your muscles.

Alo Yoga duality yoga strap

Or consider Alo Yoga’s two-fer of a yoga strap, which combines the totally practical setup of a carrying strap for your mat with decadent elastic panels to help you stretch out those tired leg muscles after a yoga session heavy on lunges and warrior poses.

El Paso Designs yoga mat

Great for your home workout and your home decor, a humble, southwestern-inspired rug always does the trick, whether draped over you in a reclining position or rolled under your hamstring in a challenging pigeon stretch.

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