Best yoga mats: the best mats for your home workouts

Looking for the best yoga mats on the market? Check out our tried and tested picks

Best yoga mats
(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Anna Efetova)

From eco-friendly to classic invest in one of the best yoga mats on the market

For avid yogis, there’s nothing more frustrating than being balanced in a particularly tricky pose and feeling your mat slipping beneath your feet. An unsuitable mat is a surefire way to take you out of the zone. If this is you, then there’s more than a need to find the best one for you.

Whether you’re a novice or a professional, prefer vinyasa or hot yoga, a good yoga mat can help aid your sessions whether at home or in class. After all, your mat is literally the foundation of your practice - even if you’re doing something other than yoga. A supple, durable mat should be able to withstand your weekly warrior poses and can even be used during a sweaty HIIT class. Yet which to pick? 

There are many mats available on the market for different budgets, and all seem to offer a variety of helpful features to better your workouts. We found the Lifeform yoga mat - championed by many yoga-enthusiasts -  to be the perfect all-rounder for the highly active. While it felt like the obvious choice (every yogi I know owns one) the Liforme mat is a solid favourite for good reason. If you’re looking to advance your yoga practice, both at home and in the studio, then it’s worth looking at making an investment. The Cork Yogis cork mats were a surprise. While most mats are made from rubber, the cork mats held their own against the traditional materials (with none of the ‘new mat’ rubbery smell). 

What to look for in a yoga mat?

You may be surprised by how many kinds of yoga mats are available. They can vary in thickness, material, texture, and purpose. The majority of mats tend to be made from rubber, vinyl, and PVC materials, yet there’s been a growing trend in more eco-friendly mats made from natural materials like cork (especially good for those who suffer latex/vinyl allergies). 

The general advice is to buy a mat most suited to your personal needs. For example,if you tend to be a yogi on the go, then you’d most likely opt for a travel mat light enough to carry with you on a regular basis. For those who need extra grip, smooth-surfaced mats are said to be best (who knew?), especially for those who work up a good sweat during practice. Mats with ribbed textures also help you stay put, however suit more low impact training. Thickness is also an important factor when making a decision; a thin mat may help you feel more connected to the floor aiding your postures, but thicker mats can support your knees. Yes, it’s a minefield and there’s a lot to consider when shopping for a yoga mat, but we’re here to help whittle it down to some of the most popular yoga mats on the market. 

The best yoga mats you can buy right now

The best yoga mat for most people

Liforme Yoga

(Image credit: Liforme)

Liforme Yoga

A great investment for the devoted yogi who also loves to try out other exercises.

Specifications
Material: Rubber
Weight: 2.5kg
Thickness: 4.2mm
Reasons to buy
+All-rounder+Helps with balance+Smooth
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy for travel-Expensive

Liforme states that this is the “grippiest Yoga mat material currently available on earth” —  a bold claim. It’s certainly supple and its smooth surface does feel more durable than other mats on the market. The first thing you notice about this mat is its weight. Made from rubber and 4.2mm thick, this mat can withstand a vigorous session, including a particularly sweaty hot yoga sesh. While it comes with its own yoga case, it’s not the lightest mat to carry around. I can see why this yoga mat is championed by both yogis and other fitness enthusiasts. The unique markings on the mat help you stay aligned (I often find myself 2 feet away from my mat during workouts, so this was handy) and it’s certainly fit for purpose. The price is a considerable investment for a yoga mat, but for devoted yoga enthusiasts, it’s a wise one.

The best eco-friendly yoga mat

Cork Yogis classic mat

(Image credit: Cork Yogis)

Cork Yogis classic mat

Cork yoga mats stand up to their rubber rivals and offer great grip

Specifications
Material: organic cork and recycled rubber
Weight: 1.8kg
Thickness: 3 mm
Reasons to buy
+Anti-bacterial+Ethical option+Great grip
Reasons to avoid
-No ‘sticky’ feeling

Cork Yogis come highly recommended as an eco-friendly option and it’s interesting to see how cork mats measure up to the traditional rubber mats. The classic cork yoga mat has a smooth surface but there’s none of the typical stickiness you get with some of the PVC versions — I didn’t mind this and had no real bearing on my workout. Interestingly, Cork Yogis say their mats increase in grip as you sweat which is a great feature. Cork mats have antibacterial properties — a huge plus given the fact yoga mats can become a breeding ground for grim bacteria.

The best budget yoga mat

KG Yoga mat

(Image credit: KG)

KG Yoga mat Amazon

A super thick mat at an accessible price point — best for those with knee/joint issues

Specifications
Material: Rubber
Thickness: 1.2cm
Weight: 980 Grams
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Great cushioning for knees+Light to carry
Reasons to avoid
-Not suited for all yoga practices

Understandably, not everyone is comfortable paying the odds for their yoga mat. Luckily, there are a number of affordable mats out there. The KG yoga mats come highly rated on Amazon. At 1cm it’s one of the thicker mats we’ve tried, which could be too thick for yoga classes but great for pilates. It’s foamy, so great for when doing push-ups on your knees. Our main concern is the KG mats overall longevity. While it does lay flat, the edges seemed to curl over time. Regardless, it’s a handy introductory mat for general home workouts.

The best yoga mat for both novices and professionals

Manduka PROlite mat

(Image credit: Manduka)

Manduka PROlite mat

Specifications
Material: PVC
Weight: 2kg
Thickness: 4.7mm thick
Reasons to buy
+All-rounder+Long +Great grip
Reasons to avoid
-PVC

Ask around, the Manduka PROlite is another yoga-instructor favourite. Manduka has a variety of yoga mats available, yet we chose the PROlite with 4.7mm thickness. For a thick mat, it’s actually lightweight and would suit those who tend to be on the go. It’s very long which is perfect for me as I’m 5 ft 10 and sometimes find myself lying beyond my mat which isn’t comfortable. While it has great cushioning supporting both my dodgy ankles and knees, it doesn’t interfere with your practice. There’s no sinking or squishiness, you feel more grounded and supported. 

Best latex-free yoga mat

Gaiam mat

(Image credit: Gaiam)

Gaiam

Specifications
Material: PVC
Weight: n/a
Thickness: 6mm
Reasons to buy
+Textured+Eco-friendly+Latex-free+Sticky grip
Reasons to avoid
-Extra thick

Gaiam yoga mats have a bit of a cult following in yoga circles. The large mandala pattern on the mats, which come in varied patterns and colours, makes it stand out from traditional designs. While I typically prefer smooth mats, the Gaiam textured mat offers a great alternative depending on your preferences. This mat is extra thick, which is ideal for those who need extra cushioning for their joints. I like the feeling of extra support for my ankles which tend to ache during workouts. The thickness may be a turnoff for those who like to feel a little more connected to the floor when it comes to balancing postures. It’s made with latex-free PVC giving it that sticky texture that provides an extra grip sensation. Gaiam says its mats are ethical and non-toxic and also offer a biodegradable cork version.

Best yoga mat for travel

Lululemon Carry Onwards Mat

(Image credit: Lululemon)

Lululemon Carry Onwards Mat

Specifications
Material: Natural rubber and Latex
Weight: 1.34kg
Thickness: 2mm
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for travel+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for home workouts

The modern yogi doesn’t tend to spend much of their time practicing on sandy beaches or at peaceful retreats, sadly. Instead, many need a yoga mat that can be carried to the studio and then to the office and vice versa. I really like Lululemon’s travel option. Naturally, it’s light enough to be carried around. Its handy elasticated straps make it easy to fold away neatly and can be tucked under the mat when you’re in class. The black makes the mat a little more inconspicuous and stylish than the bright options.

Best affordable eco-friendly yoga mat 

ECO Yoga Mat Sweaty Betty

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

ECO Yoga Mat Sweaty Betty

A great introductory mat for indecisive yoga mat shoppers

Specifications
Material: 100% Natural Latex Thermo Plastic Elastomer (biodegradable)
Weight: 2kg
Thickness: 6mm
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Versatile
Reasons to avoid
-Made from latex

If you’ve not quite decided on whether you’re a smooth or textured mat lover then Sweaty Betty’s Eco Yoga mat is a solid option. There’s a different pattern on each side - one slightly textured and one smooth, which is handy if different workouts require different levels of grip. It’s a subtle difference, yet long practicing yoga students will definitely tell and feel the difference — it’s a nice feature. It’s also biodegradable, made with 100% natural latex.